NFL’s most improved teams in 2022? Raiders, Eagles, Chargers among six rosters on the rise this offseason

When the Dolphins win the offseason, they typically crumble into darkness come actual games. Up north, the Jets routinely flounder into oblivion no matter what they accomplish pre-September.

I’ll probably pay for these words, but this time around feels different for these two longtime AFC East punching bags.

The Jets crushed the draft with a smile. Picks flop all the time, but general manager Joe Douglas handled the entire event with a quiet calm. Adding rookie corner Sauce Gardner to a secondary that imported CB DJ Reed and S Jordan Whitehead in free agency allows second-year head coach Robert Saleh the chance to mimic the heroics he pulled off in San Francisco. Trading back into the first round to snatch pass rusher Jermaine Johnson at No. 26 was a bank heist after many viewed the Florida State product as a top-10 prospect.

Second-year quarterback Zach Wilson finds himself in a much better position than Sam Darnold ever experienced. Stud wideout Garrett Wilson, taken 10th overall, has the goods to immediately shake up Gang Green’s passing game alongside Elijah Moore, Corey Davis and Braxton Berrios. I adore the addition of ex-Bengals tight end CJ Uzomah to furnish Wilson with a trusty playmaker (assuming Uzomah stays healthy). Second-rounder Breece Hall was widely seen as the best back in the draft and fills out a deep position group – Michael Carter, Tevin Coleman, Ty Johnson and La’Mical Perine – that Kyle Shanahan disciple Mike LaFleur can creatively unleash behind a rebuilt O-line. None of this promises Wilson can play, but the Jets currently boast their tastiest roster since the days of Rex Ryan.

The Dolphins have put their trust in another Shanahan offshoot, Mike McDaniel. They’re on this list after swinging for the fences in March’s trade for Tyreek Hill, the ex-Chiefs burner set to freak out defensive coordinators beside uber-productive 23-year-old Jaylen Waddle. It’s less flashy, but the signing of left tackle Terron Armstead might be the move that pays off first. With guard Connor Williams also airdropped in, Miami’s disastrous line from a season ago is a vastly improved contingent. Like LaFleur in Florham Park, McDaniel has a cadre of different backs to unfurl with new faces Raheem Mostert, Chase Edmonds and Sony Michel joining Myles Gaskin. Someone’s not making the team.

Teddy Bridgewater joined the crew, too, and sits out there as a compelling figure heading into camp. Tua Tagovailoa is the unquestioned starter under center today, but Miami’s rugged early slate – vs. Patriots, at Ravens, vs. Bills, at Bengals – makes you wonder if McDaniel might try out Teddy if Tua tumbles.

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