The NFL Draft has come and gone, and already the grades are out for how each team performed. Perhaps more than any other sport or league, the NFL’s draft provides an opportunity for a franchise to completely shift its direction – which is why it’s one of the most dramatic and enjoyable offseason events in sports. Rather than posting yet another recap of the draft football fans have already dissected though, we’re moving past the draft and looking ahead.
Believe it or not, speculation about the 2019 Super Bowl is already underway. You can find countdowns to the game that include broad analysis on the different betting angles surrounding the playoffs, as well as some perspective on recent winners. It won’t be long before people are already debating which teams are best suited to compete for the NFL’s grand prize in 2019 – and of course making bets based on those debates. Here we won’t adhere strictly to betting odds, because a lot can change with those numbers over time. But we’re taking a quick look at some of the clear favorites to contend now that the NFL Draft dust has settled and we’re moving into the summer offseason.
New England Patriots
Patriots fans were by and large disappointed by their draft. One Pats platform gave the team a B+, and that was one of the more generous takes. However, the team did address some needs, drafting a potential starter on the o-line in Georgia OT Isaiah Wynn and adding some backfield depth in the form of the electric Sony Michel (also a Georgia product). Throw in Duke Dawson as a new CB and a potential steal in Miami WR Braxton Barrios and this team has reloaded nicely. It’s enough to keep the Pats in the mix as the likely Super Bowl favorite.
The Eagles really didn’t factor in much to the 2018 draft, having traded away some picks. Furthermore the team didn’t really have major needs to address. But the defending champions haven’t lost much, and will be getting MVP candidate Carson Wentz back at QB, which should keep them right in the thick of the race.
Ben Roethlisberger might not have been pleased with the Steelers’ decision to draft a QB to study under him, but the team should still be able to contend for the 2019 Super Bowl. Oklahoma State WR James Washington may be able to contribute as a deep threat right from the start, but mostly there’s a feeling that a healthy Steelers team ought to be able to beat anyone.
Los Angeles Rams
The Rams will certainly be among the new faces to contend for the Super Bowl. LA had a strange draft, picking four times in the sixth round and twice each in the fourth, fifth, and seventh without significant early round picks. They added some depth, but really it’s the acquisition of WR Brandin Cooks via trade that is most exciting for Rams fans. Jared Goff now has the best receiver he’s played with in his short career, which should make the offense surrounding Todd Gurley III that much more dynamic.
At this stage these look like the four teams most likely to have the best odds at the Super Bowl. Keep in mind though there’s more offseason ahead. This is merely a snapshot following the NFL Draft.