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Fan Nation makes Bold Training Camp Predictions and Projects Final Rosters

Rams clinch division in early December, Desmond Ridder takes over for Falcons and Davis Mills surpasses Texans’ over/under number. Plus, Christian McCaffrey plays all 17 games.

Football is back.

With all 32 NFL teams now in training camp, we asked our Fan Nation publishers to look into their crystal balls to make bold training camp predictions and project final rosters.

Here’s what they’ll be keeping a close eye on over the next month and a half and how things could shake out with the NFL opener between the Bills and the Rams on Sept. 8.

Sean McVay and the Rams will try to repeat as Super Bowl champions

Can McVay and the Rams win their second consecutive Lombardi Trophy?

NFC WEST

LOS ANGELES RAMS

Bold prediction: The Rams clinch the division shortly after November ends. The Rams are going to run away with an NFC West that is in transition. Big-time QB changes in Seattle and San Francisco put those programs on losing tracks. Kyler Murray received a five-year, $230 million extension from the Cardinals, but the Rams are 5-1 against the former No. 1 pick. — Mike Fisher

Ram Digest: More on Los Angeles’ offseason and its first roster projection


ARIZONA CARDINALS

Bold prediction: While DeAndre Hopkins serves his initial suspension, Rondale Moore will emerge as a serious threat within Arizona’s offense. The speedy second-year receiver can be used in a variety of ways under coach Kliff Kingsbury, and after an adjustment period to the pro level, Moore is a prime candidate to blossom early in the regular season. – Donnie Druin

All Cardinals: More on Arizona’s offseason and its first roster projection


SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

Bold prediction: The 49ers will have a top-five defense and a top-five rushing attack and still miss the playoffs by one game. With a talented roster, the 49ers have four major question marks on their offensive line, plus a starting quarterback (Trey Lance) in his second year who has started just three games since 2019. Had the 49ers released or traded Jimmy Garoppolo this offseason, they could have spent up to $24 million on offensive linemen. But they still have Garoppolo and his massive contract parked on the bench because he’s rehabbing from shoulder surgery. So the 49ers will go 9-8. – Grant Cohn

All 49ers: More on San Francisco’s offseason and its first roster projection


SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

Bold prediction: The Seahawks will boast a top-10 pass rush in sacks and pressure percentage. After finishing near the bottom of the NFL in both categories in '21, coach Pete Carroll overhauled his staff by promoting Clint Hurtt to defensive coordinator and luring former Bears defensive coordinator Sean Desai to the Pacific Northwest as an associate head coach with visions of a more aggressive 3-4 scheme. The Seahawks are undergoing a transformation personnel-wise as well with explosive third-year linebacker Darrell Taylor joining forces with Uchenna Nwosu, who had a career-high 40 quarterback pressures last year with the Chargers, as well as uber-athletic second-round pick Boye Mafe. While none of those players may hit double-digit sacks, all three should be excellent fits as hybrid linebackers. With safety Jamal Adams expected to resume his role as a standout blitzer, the Seahawks should have a far more potent pass rush collectively. — Corbin Smith

All Seahawks: More on Seattle’s offseason and its first roster projection

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NFC EAST

DALLAS COWBOYS

Bold prediction: CeeDee Lamb will lead the NFL in targets. This flies in the face of CBS’ Tony Romo suggesting that the Cowboys offense is about to go retro with a running emphasis. But the buzz in the locker room is about Dak Prescott feeding Lamb. Critics might say it's going to happen because Amari Cooper is gone and the wideout cupboard is bare. But Lamb was already the top statistical Cowboys receiver a year ago. Catches and TDs? Not sure. Targets? A league-high total for Lamb. — Fisher

Cowboys Country: More on Dallas’ offseason and its first roster projection

Cowboys receiver CeeDee Lamb

With Amari Cooper in Cleveland, Lamb becomes the No. 1 receiver for the Cowboys.


PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

Bold prediction: The '14 season was the last time an Eagles wide receiver went over 1,000 yards and a defensive end/edge rusher racked up double-digit sacks. Both droughts will end this year. Either A.J. Brown or DeVonta Smith will top the 1,000-yard mark to become the first wideout since Jeremy Maclin put up 1,318 in '14. Coming off back-to-back, career-high seasons in sacks with six in 2020 and 7.5 in '21, Josh Sweat will notch double-digit sacks to become the first DE/edge to do it since Connor Barwin in '14. — Ed Kracz

Eagles Today: More on Philadelphia’s offseason and its first roster projection


WASHINGTON COMMANDERS

Bold prediction: All of that “real-life shit” coach Ron Rivera termed at the end of the ’21 season remains an issue for the Commanders. Can Carson Wentz be competent? Maybe. Can the defensive line be dominant? Maybe. But will the ownership supervision of Daniel Snyder—who isn't supposed to be supervising anything—continue to linger as the Commanders’ top story? Sadly, yes. — Fisher

Washington Football: More on Washington’s offseason and its first roster projection


NEW YORK GIANTS

Bold prediction: Saquon Barkley will lead the Giants in receiving targets. Between injuries and a lack of creativity, the Giants got away from deploying Barkley, the fourth-most targeted receiving option among NFL running backs in '18, in the passing game. That is expected to change this year. A healthy Barkley is a matchup nightmare. The Giants experimented with moving Barkley all over the formation this past spring, with some early success. Ideally, he could see 100+ targets, as he did in his rookie campaign when he caught 91-of-114 targets for 721 yards and four touchdowns. — Patricia Traina

Giants Country: More on New York’s offseason and its first roster projection


NFC NORTH

GREEN BAY PACKERS

Bold prediction: GM Brian Gutekunst will throw a dart at a veteran defender long before he adds a veteran receiver. The talk for months has been the state of the Packers’ receiver corps. The trade of Davante Adams left behind an unproven group, especially compared to their Super Bowl-contending peers. The Packers have only 89 players on the roster, so there’s room to add a veteran. And they will—but it won’t be at receiver. Green Bay’s larger weaknesses are depth at outside linebacker, cornerback and safety. Beyond top-notch starters, there isn’t a single proven backup at any of those positions. — Bill Huber

Packer Central: More on Green Bay’s offseason and its first roster projection


MINNESOTA VIKINGS

Bold prediction: The Vikings will sign Ndamukong Suh before the start of camp. Reports indicate the Vikings and Raiders are among the teams who have been in close contact with Suh, a five-time Pro Bowler who is still a feared interior pass rusher at age 35. Minnesota has solid run-stuffers in the middle of its defensive line in Harrison Phillips and Dalvin Tomlinson, but Suh's penetration ability would add a new element. The Vikings will get a one-year deal done before camp starts and add Suh to an already impressive front seven. — Will Ragatz

Inside The Vikings: More on Minnesota’s offseason and its first roster projection

Will the Vikings sign free agent Ndamukong Suh.

Suh would add inside pressure for a Vikings defense.


CHICAGO BEARS

Bold prediction: The Bears won’t extend linebacker Roquan Smith, setting the stage for either the franchise tag or last-minute negotiations next offseason. With Smith in the final year of his contract, it can’t help matters that he fired his agent. Spotrac projects a $17.5 million average annual value for Smith but he'll likely pursue something closer to the $98.2 million total Indianapolis gave linebacker Darius Leonard. The Bears have $19 million in cap space and could devote some to Smith, but the expectation is they’ll sign another free agent offensive lineman, possibly even Eric Fisher. — Gene Chamberlain

Bear Digest: More on Chicago’s offseason and its first roster projection


DETROIT LIONS

Bold prediction: It is expected by many that the Lions will keep three quarterbacks on the active roster in '22. Judging by the inconsistent performance of backup quarterback Tim Boyle, it is hard to justify keeping him on this roster. He looked off during the majority of spring workouts. If David Blough can build off of his solid spring, then Boyle will be let go and a new signal-caller will be brought in to backup Jared Goff, maybe even Jimmy Garoppolo. — John Maakaron

All Lions: More on Detroit’s offseason and its first roster projection


NFC SOUTH

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

Bold prediction: Newly signed tight end Kyle Rudolph will catch more than 50 passes and score at least six touchdowns this season. Tom Brady's favorite target in the red zone, Rob Gronkowski, says he is permanently retired. If true, Brady will need to be able to count on Rudolph, who has averaged 48 receptions per season over his 10-year career while adding 49 touchdowns.  

BucsGameday: More on Tampa Bay’s offseason and its first roster projection


NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

Bold prediction: Jameis Winston will become the first quarterback for the Saints to earn the AP Most Valuable Player award. In addition, he’ll win the AP Comeback Player of the Year honor while leading the Saints to the NFC South Division title and '23 NFC Championship Game. — Kyle T. Mosley

Saints News Network: More on New Orleans’ offseason and its first roster projection


ATLANTA FALCONS

Bold prediction: Marcus Mariota starts fewer games than rookie Desmond Ridder. The third-round pick will learn on the fly with help from tight end Kyle Pitts and fellow rookie Drake London. But Ridder and the Falcons will also lose. — Fisher

Falcon Report: More on Atlanta’s offseason and its first roster projection


CAROLINA PANTHERS

Bold prediction: Christian McCaffrey plays all 17 games. Since Matt Rhule was named the head coach of the Panthers two years ago, his star running back has only been available for 10 games. Prior to this recent run of bad luck, McCaffrey was viewed as one of the most durable backs in the NFL. He didn’t miss a single game in the first three years of his career and only missed one game during his time at Stanford. With the addition of D’Onta Foreman, the Panthers will be able to limit McCaffey’s touches, especially in short-yardage situations. A healthy McCaffrey gives the Panthers a chance to compete for a wild-card spot in the NFC. — Schuyler Callihan

All Panthers: More on Carolina’s offseason and its first roster projection

Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey.

McCaffrey has played. in only 10 games in two years.


AFC WEST

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

Bold prediction: At some point before, during or late in training camp, the Chiefs will add another noteworthy defensive end to bolster their thin group of pass rushers. Rookie George Karlaftis and veteran Frank Clark are the two presumed starters without much significant depth behind them. So the Chiefs will look to add a veteran in some form, even if that means waiting until another team makes a difficult move during roster cutdowns in late August. — Joshua Brisco

Arrowhead Report: More on Kansas City’s offseason and its first roster projection

LAS VEGAS RAIDERS

Bold prediction: The Raiders will win the division with a win on the last day of the regular season against the Chiefs. The Raiders added Josh McDaniels, Davante Adams, Chandler Jones and a bevy of talent to a 10-win team that was the fifth seed in the '21 AFC playoff race.

Raider Maven: More on Las Vegas’ offseason and its first roster projection


LOS ANGELES CHARGERS

Bold prediction: The Chargers will lead the NFL in sacks. When the team acquired Khalil Mack and assembled arguably the top one-two punch off the edge in all of football, joining forces with Joey Bosa, their pass-rushing efforts are expected to take a monumental leap forward. But it’s not just the two Pro Bowl edge rushers who are poised for big things. The Chargers also have a well-grounded rotational pass-rusher with Kyle Van Noy waiting in the wings. With three respectable options coming off the edge and some juice up the middle with Sebastian Joseph-Day and Austin Johnson anchoring the interior, sacks should come in the form of a large variety during the '22 season. – Nick Cothrel

Charger Report: More on Los Angeles’ offseason and its first roster projection

New Chargers LB Khalil Mack

Mack upgrades the Chargers pass rush, which should give AFC West QBs fits.


DENVER BRONCOS

Bold prediction: Bold prediction: Russell Wilson throws for 40-plus touchdowns for only the second time in his career while the Broncos roll through the AFC. The Broncos are more than a good story in '22. Wilson leads them back to the veritable promised land, snapping their 13-game losing streak to the Chiefs on the way to an AFC West crown. — Chad Jensen

Mile High Huddle: More on Denver’s offseason and its first roster projection


AFC EAST

BUFFALO BILLS

Bold prediction: The Bills—finally—are going to win the Super Bowl. And Josh Allen will be the regular-season and Super Bowl MVP. The pieces all fit, from GM Brandon Beane and coach Sean McDermott, down to the depth on the roster. And home playoff games in Buffalo will be part of the fit as well. This is a complete football team that is about to chase away all of its ghosts. — Fisher

Bills Central: More on Buffalo’s offseason and its first roster projection


NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

Bold prediction: Quarterback Mac Jones draws Tom Brady comparisons—and nobody laughs. He won't be good enough to keep pace with Buffalo—but the big frame, the leadership style, the change in his body —it's all very Brady. Jones against Allen could set up a pair of classic Buffalo battles this year. Jones will give coach Bill Belichick a chance to win in every game, something Patriots fans have enjoyed for two-plus decades. — Fisher

Patriots Country: More on New England’s offseason and its first roster projection


MIAMI DOLPHINS

Bold prediction: The Dolphins might not have the firepower to unseat the Buffalo Bills atop the AFC East, but they will end their losing streak against them in Week 3 at Hard Rock Stadium. The Dolphins have lost seven in a row against Buffalo, the last three by an average of 26.7 points. But, they were competitive defensively for the first half or a good stretch of the first half in all three. The offense finally will catch up in the Week 3 game. Also remember that the Bills, a media darling as a Super Bowl favorite, were 7-6 after 13 games last year. — Alain Poupart

All Dolphins: More on Miami’s offseason and its first roster projection


NEW YORK JETS

Bold prediction: Offseason moves aside, if the Jets want to succeed this season and take a step closer to contention, they need quarterback Zach Wilson to blossom in his second year. If Wilson doesn’t develop and utilize the weapons around him, the Jets are in serious trouble. With that in mind, what if Wilson shows up at camp and blows everyone away. He should instantly showcase the improvements he made this offseason, providing Gang Green’s roster and fan base with even more ammunition to be excited about this season and the possibility of meaningful games in December. Whether he'll perform at a high level once the regular season begins, however, is another story. — Max Goodman

Jets Country: More on New York’s offseason and its first roster projection

New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson

Can Wilson live up to his top draft status and help the Jets be relevant in December?


AFC NORTH

BALTIMORE RAVENS

Bold prediction: Quarterback Lamar Jackson will show up for training camp despite not having a new contract. However, the Ravens could be shorthanded over the first couple of weeks. Running backs J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards, left tackle Ronnie Stanley, tight end Nick Boyle and cornerback Marcus Peters could all open camp on the PUP list after suffering season-ending injuries in '21. The Ravens main focus is breaking camp fully healthy after having 25 players on IR last season. — Todd Karpovich

Raven Country: More on Baltimore’s offseason and its first roster projection


CINCINNATI BENGALS

Bold prediction: The Bengals will sign a proven veteran wide receiver before the start of the regular season. Having Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd is great, but they don’t have much depth. Look for Cincinnati to add a proven pass catcher in free agency or via trade over the next few weeks. — James Rapien

All Bengals: More on Cincinnati’s offseason and its first roster projection


PITTSBURGH STEELERS

Bold prediction: The Steelers will jump in to add an edge rusher to go along with T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith. With most of their roster in place, the Steelers have to feel confident in their '22 team. But at some point, a big name will be cut from another franchise, and the Steelers will jump in to add a third man to the defensive end rotation. — Noah Strackbein

All Steelers: More on Pittsburgh’s offseason and its first roster projection


CLEVELAND BROWNS

Bold prediction: While all eyes are on David Njoku because of his contract extension, don’t be surprised when fellow tight end Harrison Bryant puts up better numbers than Austin Hooper did in either of his two seasons with the Browns. — Pete Smith

Browns Digest: More on Cleveland’s offseason and its first roster projection


AFC SOUTH

TENNESSEE TITANS

Bold prediction: Fifth-round draft pick Kyle Philips will finish with more receptions than first-round pick Treylon Burks, who struggled this offseason with asthma causing him to miss all or part of virtually every OTA and minicamp session. Philips, on the other hand, looks like the prototypical slot receiver the Titans have wanted for the past couple years. Expect quarterback Ryan Tannehill to get the ball out of his hand quickly often after being sacked (47 times) more than anyone except Joe Burrow in '21, and Philips’ ability to get open on short and intermediate routes will make him a regular target. — David Boclair

All Titans: More on Tennessee’s offseason and its first roster projection


INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

Bold prediction: Besides being their fourth pick in the draft, Colts safety Nick Cross will appear to be the team’s most impactful rookie early on. With the retirement of starting strong safety Khari Willis, it thrusts Cross and veteran Rodney McLeod into a bigger role. However, McLeod will begin training camp on the PUP list, and fellow starting safety Julian Blackmon is making his return from an Achilles injury. Cross’ range, explosiveness and ability to keep things in front of him will turn heads in camp and ultimately earn him a starting role in the secondary. Between Alec Pierce, Jelani Woods and Bernhard Raimann, they all become early starters. — Jake Arthur

Horseshoe Huddle: More on Indianapolis’ offseason and its first roster projection


HOUSTON TEXANS

Bold prediction: Davis Mills will lead the Texans to well over the predicted 4.5-win total. Seven wins? Sure, if the former five-star recruit—who many believe would've been a high first-round pick in the '22 draft (rather than a third-rounder in '21)—will continue the leap he made at the end of last season. Mills will be good enough to convince his front office that they do not need a quarterback in the '23 draft, freeing the Texans to use their bounty of picks in support of Mills. — Fisher

Texans Daily: More on Houston’s offseason and its first roster projection

Houston Texans quarterback Davis Mills

Can Mills be good enough to convince the Texans they don't need to draft another QB in 2023?


JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

Bold prediction: Second-year offensive tackle Walker Little wins the right tackle job from Jawaan Taylor. Taylor hasn’t missed a single game since the Jaguars traded up for him in the '19 NFL draft, hoping he would be the right tackle of the future. But the former Florida Gator has been inconsistent and has had penalty issues, creating a competition with Little, last year’s No. 45 overall pick. Taylor has the experience, but Little impressed in three starts at left tackle last season and has the traits to be a high-level starting tackle for multiple years on a cheap rookie deal, while Taylor is entering a contract year. — John Shipley

Jaguar Report: More on Jacksonville’s offseason and its first roster projection

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