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NFL Offseason winners: which teams improved the most?

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Every year in the NFL, one or two teams make a splash in free agency and the draft which results in enormous speculation and hype surrounding them going into the new season.

Of course, adding big name free agents and highly graded rookies looks great on paper but it doesn't always translate to on the field success.

Just ask the Indianapolis Colts who secured a plethora of highly sought after free agents in 2015 but regressed dramatically as a team and missed the playoffs as their new pieces failed to produce for the most part.


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It doesn't always pan out like this though, and this year's offseason juggernauts will certainly be looking for their newly recruited stars to improve their team's stock.

Without further ado, here are the teams that made the biggest personnel improvements this offseason and what they can expect to achieve in 2016.

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars suddenly look like a playoff team following an outstanding period of business over the offseason, starting with the additions they made during free agency. General Manager David Caldwell made a real splash early on adding key defensive difference makers in Malik Jackson, Prince

General Manager David Caldwell made a real splash early on adding key defensive difference makers in Malik Jackson, Prince Amukamara and Tashaun Gipson.

The Jaguars had an explosive offense in 2015 and there is no reason to expect anything but more of the same next season, so shoring up their leaky defense was a priority that Caldwell addressed well.

They also got Blake Bortles some protection after adding Kelvin Beachum, and signed former Jets running back Chris Ivory to add to their running attack alongside second-year pro TJ Yeldon, forming an exciting backfield tandem.

When you consider that they also get back their first round pick from last year, edge rusher Dante Fowler who missed his rookie season with a knee injury, this defense suddenly looks like a productive one and that is even without their stellar draft week additions. 

Jacksonville absolutely nailed the draft. They picked up two of the top five players overall in rounds one and two in corner Jalen Ramsey and linebacker Myles Jack.

Although Jack carries some injury concerns he seems confident that he will be ready to play come week one and if both healthy, these are two players that will start and contribute at a high level immediately. 

They also added some much needed depth on the defensive line in rounds two and three with two good value picks in Sheldon Day and Yannick Ngakoue.

Defensive Coordinator Todd Walsh suddenly has some really exciting talent to work with and this roster is poised for a breakout year in which they should challenge for the AFC South crown at the very least. 

The Jags haven't been to playoffs since 2007, but with a loaded roster, there is no reason they can't end their postseason absence in 2016.

Oakland Raiders

The Raiders improved drastically last season, going from 3-13 in 2014 to 7-9 in 2015, and threatened to make the playoffs for the first time since 2002 when they lost in Super Bowl XXXVII to the Buccaneers.

They have an excellent core of young players led by quarterback Derek Carr and all-pro pass rusher Khalil Mack who had a 15 sack season. 

GM Reggie Mckenzie has hit two drafts in a row getting outstanding young talent in Carr, Mack and wide receiver Amari Cooper, and he continued his good work in free agency this offseason.

For a team that has the cornerstones of a winning franchise, smart additions to add depth and shore up weak spots were required and Mckenzie looks to have done an excellent job addressing their needs. 

They added offensive tackle Kelechi Osemele from the Ravens and brought back Donald Penn to help protect Carr, and then filled their defensive holes with steady veteran presences in the secondary and up front.

Sean Smith and Reggie Nelson will help fill the giant hole left by the outgoing future hall of fame Charles Woodson, whilst linebacker Bruce Irvin will add production to their already stellar pass rush alongside Mack. 

The draft also yielded some excellent additions to their defense, most notably in the selection of exciting young safety Karl Joseph, who draws comparisons to Seahawks star Earl Thomas.

Defensive ends Jihad Ward and Shilique Calhoun should also add competition and productivity to their defensive front. 

Jack Del Rio's team is primed for a playoff push and should provide the Denver Broncos with stiff competition this season in the AFC West. They have young talent at almost every position and as long as Carr stays healthy, there is no reason to suggest they can't go all the way to the Super Bowl in the future. 

Other teams that have improved their rosters effectively over the offseason include the Texans, Titans and Giants who all have reason to believe they can make the playoffs this coming season. 

Whilst the offseason doesn't count for anything, the additions made by the Raiders and Jaguars, in particular, have been outstanding and both teams should harbor high hopes for their young rosters.

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Oakland Raiders
NFL Draft
Jacksonville Jaguars

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