3. Los Angeles Rams
The Rams were already were a playoff team last season and they have an extremely bright future ahead of them. The Rams appear to be an even better team than they were last season as they have made several huge moves this offseason. They lost starting cornerback Trumaine Johnson in free agency, but they managed to replace him quite well with the additions of Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters. Los Angeles should have an even better secondary than they had last season and it has the potential to be dominant. Also, the Rams improved an already good defensive line by signing pro-bowl defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. Pairing him with Aaron Donald at defensive tackle will most likely create the best defensive tackle duo in the NFL. The Rams already had a good defense, but with these additions it has the potential to be outstanding. Meanwhile, the Rams also added a major weapon on offense by acquiring speedy wide receiver Brandin Cooks from the Patriots. The Rams did lose Sammy Watkins in free agency, although Cooks is almost certainly an upgrade at wide receiver. Los Angeles already had a good team on both sides of the ball, but now they are legitimate super bowl contenders in 2018.
2. San Francisco 49ers
The NFC West is certainly in transition right now as the Cardinals and Seahawks are entering rebuilds. Meanwhile, San Francisco is a team on the rise in the NFC West and it is possible that they could make the playoffs this season. San Francisco signed franchise QB Jimmy Garoppolo to a huge contract extension this offseason. However, the 49ers made their roster stronger especially with the addition of all-pro cornerback Richard Sherman. He is undoubtedly one of the best cornerbacks in the game and he will improve a 49ers secondary that was one of the worst in the NFL last season. Also, the 49ers improved their offensive line by signing center Weston Richburg in free agency. The 49ers even found a new starter at running back as they signed Jerick McKinnon to replace Carlos Hyde who left in free agency. We’ll see if these moves make a big difference, but the 49ers are certainly trending in the right direction. San Francisco still has some work to do in order to complete their roster, yet these moves could make them a playoff team this year.
1. Cleveland Browns
Give credit to the Browns for finally beginning to trend in the right direction, but they are finally proving that they will be ready to be a contender in a couple of years. The major move that the Browns made was acquiring quarterback Tyrod Taylor from the Bills. Taylor is a decent starting quarterback and he is a much better option than what Cleveland had at the position last season. Taylor probably isn’t the long-term answer for Cleveland, but he is a good temporary solution in order to make the team much more competitive right away. Also, the Browns added some much needed weapons on offense at the skill positions specifically by acquiring elite wide receiver Jarvis Landry. If Josh Gordon can stay productive and Landry stays healthy then the Browns could have a terrific wide receiver duo. Also, the Browns found an upgrade at running back by signing Carlos Hyde as he can be a productive player even as a pass catcher as long as he stays healthy. Cleveland did lose franchise left tackle Joe Thomas this offseason, but they did add Chris Hubbard to take his place so the void shouldn’t be felt too much. Cleveland didn’t do too much to improve their defense, but they did add Damarious Randall who could be a starting cornerback for them right away. The Browns aren’t going to be a playoff team next season, but at least this is a team that won’t be the joke of the league anymore. Also, the Browns still have plenty of draft picks this year and in the future, so it is very possible that they could make a quick turnaround very soon.