10. Baltimore Ravens
Coming in at number 10 are the Baltimore Ravens. Cowherd likes the Ravens this year if they can stay healthy. Quarterback Lamar Jackson is now signed to a long-term deal and has new weapons like Odell Beckham Jr. and Rashad Bateman. A healthy JK Dobbins also helps the offense. Defensively, the Ravens were hit hard by injuries last season but should bounce back as a top unit.
9. Los Angeles Chargers
At number 9 are the LA Chargers. Cowherd believes this is the year to buy into the Chargers with quarterback Justin Herbert and new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore. Getting left tackle Rashawn Slater back from injury is key, along with healthy seasons from Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. First-round rookie WR Quentin Johnston has also impressed in camp.
8. Dallas Cowboys
Cowherd has the Cowboys at number 8 but does have concerns. The losses of guard Zach Martin and OC Kellen Moore worry Cowherd, as does RB Ezekiel Elliott’s durability. But QB Dak Prescott and the defense led by Micah Parsons keep Dallas in the top 10.
7. Miami Dolphins
Cowherd is high on the Dolphins at number 7 if quarterback Tua Tagovailoa can stay healthy. Despite O-line questions, Miami had a top 3 offense last year with 3 different starting QBs. Add in new playmakers like Tyreek Hill and Cowherd sees big things, especially if the defense improves.
6. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars land at number 6 as Cowherd is buying the Trevor Lawrence hype in year two. Doug Pederson is an upgrade at head coach and the addition of WR Calvin Ridley gives Lawrence a true WR1. The weak AFC South helps too.
5. Buffalo Bills
At number 5 are the Bills who have won the AFC East the past three years. But Cowherd has concerns about QB Josh Allen’s league-leading giveaways last year and the loss of OC Brian Daboll. The defense remains elite and should keep Buffalo atop the division.
4. Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles sit at number 4. Despite losing their offensive coordinator, QB Jalen Hurts is 21-4 as a starter the past two seasons. GM Howie Roseman has built one of the NFL’s best offensive lines and added playmakers like A.J. Brown. The defense has questions at linebacker but remains stout.
3. Cincinnati Bengals
Cowherd has the defending AFC champs at number 3. He worries about their offensive line protecting QB Joe Burrow, who has been sacked more than any other quarterback the past two seasons. But the talent is there for Cincy to make another Super Bowl run.
2. San Francisco 49ers
At number 2 are the 49ers, who Cowherd calls the NFL’s most physical team. Their roster is loaded with stars like George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, Trent Williams and Fred Warner. But QB Trey Lance remains a question mark.
1. Kansas City Chiefs
No surprise at number 1 – it’s the Chiefs. Despite some turnover on the O-line and at receiver, Cowherd believes Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes will make it work. With three Super Bowl appearances in four years, the Chiefs remain the class of the AFC and Cowherd’s top team.