NFL Analysis


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Ranking The Top 10 NFL Rosters Entering 2024 Season

NFL Salary Cap Explained

The NFL promotes parity as much as possible, but the presence of an all-time quarterback has created a new dynasty in Kansas City during the last few years.

Still, the only way for everyone else to beat Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs is to field the best roster they can and create some lucky breaks. The San Francisco 49ers nearly pulled it off in Super Bowl 58.

Free agency and the 2024 NFL Draft brought a slew of changes that have left some rosters looking much better than where we sat in January. Which 10 rosters are the best in the NFL entering 2024?

Top 10 NFL Rosters in 2024

Quarterbacks matter in our ranking, but they're not given extra credit for being so valuable. Quality at the most important positions and depth played into each team's placement. 

10. Los Angeles Rams

Whether it's because the Los Angeles Rams succeeded in 2023 thanks to a slew of unknown defensive players or their dismal 2022 season, which was wrecked by injuries, the buzz around this team is surprisingly low.

Sure, Aaron Donald retired, but the Rams finished 10-7 after ripping off seven wins in their final eight regular-season games last year. This young defense began to complement its explosive offense, setting the formula for how they'll be more competitive in 2024.

Getting Matthew Stafford another big-time playmaker in Puka Nacua last year, and then rebuilding the offensive line with two big free agents this year, is massive. The offense no longer has a clear weakness, as Kyren Williams established himself as a quality starter, and the Rams addressed the depth of every position through free agency or the draft.

Sean McVay already had the eighth-best scoring offense, and they could push into the top five this fall. 

The Rams' defense might be more interesting for football nerds. Adding the Florida State rookie duo of Jared Verse and Braden Fiske helps a pass rush that was already impactful with Kobie Turner and Byron Young. Defensive coordinator Chris Shula has more young legs to work with and create pressure. 

Behind them is an overhauled secondary that has taken some risks with Tre'Davious White and Kamren Kinchens, but the unit has a high football IQ and versatility.

If Kinchens can overcome a terrible scouting combine performance, and one of the roster's many young corners becomes an above-average starter, the Rams might have a top-10 defense in 2024. 

9. Green Bay Packers

The Green Bay Packers' hot streak during the season's final eight weeks parlayed into an impressive set of playoff performances. Few would've expected the Packers to hit a rapid developmental burst in the middle of the season, but Jordan Love clearly ascended into a very good player.

The Packers' defense played enough quality games to support the belief that they'll take the next step under new defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley.

Despite finishing 12th in offensive scoring and 10th in defensive scoring, there's still a lot of meat on the bone for the Packers to improve. Their defensive DVOA was only 27th, so the opportunity to become a truly top-tier team is huge. Adding star safety Xavier McKinney, LB Edgerrin Cooper, versatile DB Javon Bullard, and getting a healthy season from Eric Stokes totally changes how the secondary will play.

The offense doesn't have quite as much projection. There might not be a team with a deeper core of young receivers, and the additions of Josh Jacobs and MarShawn Lloyd will supercharge the running game. Youth doesn't always develop in a linear fashion, but the Packers have the trajectory of a scary opponent with tremendous upside.

8. Baltimore Ravens

Last year's No. 1 overall seed was a force to be reckoned with in the regular season, but the lack of star power outside of Lamar Jackson again reared its head in the postseason.

The Baltimore Ravens did well to address their overreliance on their MVP, bringing in Derrick Henry to tote the rock, right tackle Roger Rosengarten to upgrade the pass-blocking, and fourth-round rookie Devontez Walker to bring a legitimate deep threat. However, it's still a team with one way to win — from ahead.

When it all works as planned, the Ravens are terrific.

Their defense is a better collective unit than a group of individual stars, although first-round CB Nate Wiggins can be the x-factor who raises its level even more. Bringing back Justin Madubuike was a huge win as well. This was the league's top-ranked scoring defense because of how versatile they are, more than how each individual could change the game. 

The Ravens will likely push for a top seed in the AFC because they play to their strengths as well as anyone. Besides keeping Jackson healthy, the key is for them to evolve beyond what they did in 2023.

Developing a legitimate edge-rusher and more reliable receiving threat outside of Mark Andrews would redefine Baltimore's ability to win a Super Bowl.

7. Miami Dolphins

The Miami Dolphins, owners of the longest active streak without a postseason victory, enter 2024 looking to prove themselves a bit.

Their road-game struggles are painfully obvious, as the NFL's second-best offense failed to score more than 20 points at Buffalo, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Kansas City. Miami hopes that a refresh along the offensive line and adding Odell Beckham is enough to avoid stagnation.

The offense is certainly talented, as Tua Tagovailoa, Tyreek Hill, and Jaylen Waddle power the passing game. The running game is one of the league's most feared attacks, and newcomer Jaylen Wright might be their best overall back by season's end. The question is whether the line can protect Tagovailoa well enough since three of its five starters are questionable.

The defense also has some holes to fill. Adding veterans Jordyn Brooks and Kendall Fuller looks like smart short-term deals, but losing Christian Wilkins is tough. Nevertheless, if Jaelan Phillips and Bradley Chubb return at full strength, there simply aren't many teams with more high-end talent than Miami. 

New York Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson, left, and running back Breece Hall
New York Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson (17) and running back Breece Hall (20) are shown during the second quarter against the Atlanta Falcons at MetLife Stadium. Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports.

6. New York Jets

If all goes right for the New York Jets in 2024, they could have an argument for ranking even higher on this list. Their starting units are excellent, particularly the defense that was already arguably the NFL's best before trading for Haason Reddick. There's no reason to believe the Jets' elite pass defense won't continue carrying its weight.

The question in New York revolves around its offense's ability to stay healthy. If available, the core of Aaron Rodgers, Tyron Smith, and Mike Williams is a massive trio of upgrades compared to what the Jets trotted out in 2023. Add in young playmakers Garrett Wilson, Breece Hall, Braelon Allen, and Malachi Corley, and there's a runway for a huge season for a franchise that has suffered time and time again.

However, the collective health of the offense is so concerning that New York used its first pick on backup tackle Olu Fashanu. At least New York is aware of its reliance on injury-prone talent, but this team is combustible despite its high baseline of ability.

5. Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions are breaking in many young players to their defense, but the upside is really high for Dan Campbell's Lions. Their maligned defense finished 13th in defensive DVOA in 2023 despite playing with a cornerback room that was overhauled this offseason.

It's fair to expect improvement after Terrion Arnold, Carlton Davis, and Ennis Rakestraw Jr. were added to a unit with Brian Branch and Kerby Joseph.

If that happens, and the Lions get any production across from Aidan Hutchinson, the defense can be a top-10 unit. Their run defense finished second last year, so this is no longer a leaking mess that opposing offenses can have their way with. 

It helps that Detroit brought most of its offensive gang back for 2024. A full season of Jameson Williams and Jahmyr Gibbs might unlock a slightly higher ceiling, but even a repeat of 2023 is more than enough offense for the Lions to win a championship. They've become a must-watch team with only a few holes throughout the roster. 

Chiefs players celebrate after Super Bowl winning touchdown
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) celebrates after throwing the winning touchdown to wide receiver Mecole Hardman Jr. (12) during overtime against the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium. Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports.

4. Kansas City Chiefs

Of course, Mahomes and Travis Kelce get most of the flowers, and anyone who has watched the NFL during the last five years should know how much of a wrecking ball Chris Jones is. The rest of the Kansas City Chiefs' roster is also quite good, and most of their key talent is back from their repeat Super Bowl victory.

The Chiefs will be right back in the Super Bowl mix this season.

Giving Mahomes two new receivers in Xavier Worthy and Hollywood Brown will help the passing game, but so will second-round OT Kingsley Suamataia. Neither starting tackle in 2023 was effective, and the team's struggles to rely on a receiver not named Kelce or Rashee Rice is well-documented. It's bad news for the league that Mahomes has more explosiveness around him.

The Chiefs' defense has done more than its share of heavy lifting as they overcame an offense that slogged at times. Every starter is at least solid, but the loss of L'Jarius Sneed does present a challenging hole at cornerback. The young core of George Karlaftis, Felix Anudike-Uzomah, Leo Chenal, and several corners vying for playing time will need to emerge as more impactful presences.

3. Cleveland Browns

This might be surprising because the defending Super Bowl champions aren't even the top AFC team, but the Cleveland Browns are an above-average quarterback away from fighting for a No. 1 seed.

They might get there in 2024 if the arc of Deshaun Watson's 2023 performance was a sign of things to come and he's healthy. A roster filled with high-end talent and depth across all positions is a big reason why.

Cleveland's biggest areas of concern are its No. 2 receiver role and the health of star RB Nick Chubb. The Browns' running game died as soon as Chubb suffered his brutal knee injury against Pittsburgh in Week 2, but getting Chubb at 80 perfect for the back half of the 2024 season would strike fear into opponents come January.

The acquisition of Jerry Jeudy should also bolster a good passing attack, largely thanks to David Njoku's development into a superstar last season.

Of course, the defense is the more special unit. They were historically good at home in 2023 and brought back almost everyone, plus upgrades in Mike Hall Jr., Jordan Hicks, and a healthy Grant Delpit. The defense finished first in yards allowed, third in interceptions, and second in points per drive.

2. Philadelphia Eagles

Even after losing six of their last seven games in 2023, the Philadelphia Eagles are stacked on both sides of the ball. Something was off with this team after racing out to a 10-1 start, as the defense cratered to 30th in scoring allowed.

After bringing back safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson and drafting cornerbacks Quinyon Mitchell and Cooper DeJean, the Eagles have given new defensive coordinator Vic Fangio more athleticism and playmaking to work with.

The offense is in a more interesting spot. QB Jalen Hurts endured a nasty middle finger injury late in the year. Plus, his efficiency dipped after Shane Steichen left his offensive coordinator role the previous offseason to become the Colts' head coach. Philadelphia responded by reinvesting into the offense, adding star RB Saquan Barkley and veteran WR Parris Campbell, as well as two Day 3 receivers and a running back to improve their depth.

If new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore and Fangio can simply refresh and retool what already works, the Eagles will push for a Super Bowl again. Their offensive line is elite, they boast an incredible trio of playmakers in A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, and Barkley, and their defense features a ton of talent entering its prime.

1. San Francisco 49ers

It's not an accident the San Francisco 49ers finished the 2023 season second in team DVOA, third in offensive and defensive scoring, and had the second-best point differential, considering the strength of their schedule.

The 49ers are incredibly well coached, but their staff isn't solely responsible for producing eight Pro Bowlers and four first-team All-Pro members. Their playmaking on both sides of the ball consistently produces a regular-season juggernaut.

Losing Arik Armstead this offseason hurts their defensive front, but getting star safety Talanoa Hufanga back healthy will more than offset Armstead's departure. Then, factor in rookie additions Ricky Pearsall, Dominick Puni, Renardo Green, and Malik Mustapha, and the 49ers simply restocked their roster with guys who fit their schemes and have great athletic makeups. Puni should win either the right guard or right tackle spot early in his career. 

The biggest question mark about the roster is whether the star-receiving duo of Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel will make it through the season. Aiyuk is angling for a long-term deal, and Samuel's bloated cap number is partially in the way. Losing Aiyuk might be enough for the 49ers to slide down this list because the competition is that fierce.