There’s always that bunch that sits at the bottom of the NFL food chain waiting for their peak of light. Now may finally be the time. With free agency set to kick off and the 2017 NFL Draft just a short time away, teams will have the chance to upgrade their rosters and ready themselves for the upcoming season. This article discusses the teams that will improve in 2017.
NFL Teams That Will Improve in 2017
San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers hired Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator, Kyle Shanahan, to take over as head coach after a one year failed trial with Chip Kelly. Shanahan is now the 49ers third coach in three years after the departure of Jim Harbaugh, who joined his alma mater Michigan Wolverines football team as their head coach. With the arrival of Shanahan, the franchise may finally be able to fix their issues at quarterback, which have been troubling since Harbaugh’s departure. One the 49ers hardest struggles is quarterback. Colin Kaepernick, who once could’ve been argued as one of the greatest young quarterbacks in the league, has taken quite a few steps back to the same level as rookie quarter back’s in the league. His competition, Blaine Gabbert, is not much better, and there’s the high possibility that they draft a quarterback with the second overall pick in the upcoming 2017 NFL Draft.
The Cleveland Browns must be tired of being thought of as the worst team in the National Football League. As they head into their second year under head coach Hue Jackson, they have to be considering all the right moves to improve their football team. It shouldn’t be news that quarterback is the Browns top priority this off-season. The Browns last few top picks spent on quarterbacks proved catastrophic with none no longer being with the team. The latest, Johnny Manziel, failed miserably after his off-field issues arose faster than ever. But with Jackson now further settling in, the Browns have a chance to turn their franchise around and start winning some games.
New York Jets
The New York Jets missed the playoffs in 2015 by the skin of their teeth and finished with an unfortunate record of 5-11 in their highly anticipated following season. There was a lot of hope that the Jets could begin to turn things around under head coach Todd Bowles after a handful of disappointing seasons with former head coach Rex Ryan. But things just could not seem to match up. A lot of controversy with the team’s failures surrounded the quarterback position. With veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick at starter, one who simply had a one-hit-wonder season in 2015 but couldn’t follow it in 2016. If the Jets can fix their troubling quarterback position and a few other flaws on their roster through the free agency and draft, then their 2017 season can be expected to show much improvement.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are another team that deserves their chance at winning but keeps pissing it away. At the end of the 2016 season, the Jaguars fired head coach Gus Bradley after four disappointing seasons. Doug Marrone was soon hired as his replacement. If the Jaguars want to win, they have to learn how to get the ball rolling. One way to ensure this, literally, is finding a way to fix quarterback Blake Bortles turnover ratio. In his first three seasons in the NFL, he has a tough 51 interceptions. If Bortles finds the ability to change this to touchdowns, Jacksonville can snag a winning season.
The Denver Broncos failed at following up their Super Bowl winning season in 2016 with a mediocre record of 9-7. After Gary Kubiak retired, the Broncos hired Vance Joseph who left his position as the Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator to become their 16th head coach in franchise history. Last season’s outcome was a bit of a surprise after their four previous years of winning at least 12 games. The last time they had a record similar to this was in 2011 when they went 8-8 and even then made the playoffs. Although there may be trial and error under a new incoming head coach, the Broncos have a chance to return to their former self and restore the possibility at a run for a fourth Super Bowl win for the franchise.