Ranking The NFL Rosters: #16 - #9

Photo: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

This will be the third installment of a four-part series, with the ultimate goal of ranking the NFL rosters based on talent all the way from #32 to #1. 

This isn’t necessarily a team power ranking, as coaching staffs and schedules can dictate win-loss records. This will just be one person’s opinion on the quality of roster built by each front office for the 2019 NFL season. If you missed the first two parts explaining teams #32 - #25 and teams #24 - #17, I’d suggest catching up on them first. 

For a more brief synopsis, here are the team rosters that I deemed to be in the bottom half of the league:

32. Arizona Cardinals

31. New York Giants

30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

29. Miami Dolphins 

28. Cincinnati Bengals

27. Denver Broncos

26. Detroit Lions 

25. New York Jets

24. Washington Redskins

23. Oakland Raiders

22. Carolina Panthers

21. Buffalo Bills

20. Tennessee Titans

19. Jacksonville Jaguars

18. Chicago Bears

17. San Francisco 49ers

Now for the next 8 teams, ranked from #16 to #9:

16. Baltimore Ravens

The strength of Baltimore's team is obvious, as their secondary is one of the best in the league. With Marlon Humphrey, Jimmy Smith and Brandon Carr, the Ravens have one of the best cornerback trios around the NFL. Somehow, Baltimore might have even stronger safety play with Earl Thomas and Tony Jefferson. In today's passing league, with how vital the secondary is, this talent and depth is a massive boost to their roster. Not to be outdone, their defensive line has potentially dominant run defender Michael Pierce. Their pass rush took a hit with the free agent losses of Za'Darius Smith and Terrell Suggs, but Matthew Judon has 15 sacks over the past two seasons and Tim Williams has flashed when he's been on the field.

Offensively, the Ravens roster is heavily titled towards the running game. With Mark Ingram and Gus Edwards in the backfield running behind offensive lineman like left tackle Ronnie Stanley, right guard Marshal Yanda and promising second-year right tackle Orlando Brown, they'll be able to pound the rock next season. Quarterback Lamar Jackson is a dynamic weapon in the run game, and easily has the talent to progress as a passer in his second season. Their wide receiver core improved through the NFL Draft with the addition of first-round pick speedster Marquise Brown.

15. Seattle Seahawks

Seattle is in an interesting spot with their roster, as they have unproven players at some key positions. Regardless, their teams starts with Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner.

Wilson is a top 5 quarterback in the league, giving Seattle a dynamic playmaker with both his arm and legs at the most important position. Despite the retirement of wide receiver Doug Baldwin, their pass catchers should be strong with wide receivers Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf. Running back Chris Carson broke out in a big way in 2018, and could ascend to an elite level this season. While their offensive line had their issues in recent years, the unit is much improved from a couple of seasons ago. Duane Brown is fending off father time and still playing left tackle at a high level, and the addition of guard Mike Iupati gives Seattle an experienced, sound left side. While center Justin Britt, right guard D.J. Fluker and right tackle Germain Ifedi have been some of the most inconsistent offensive lineman I've ever witnessed, they are more than capable of meshing well together.

Bobby Wagner, fresh off being named a 99 overall player in Madden, is arguably the best linebacker in the league. He's the tone setter for the Seahawks defense, and counterpart K.J. Wright is no slouch either. Barkevious Mingo had the best year of his career in 2018, and the additions of Ziggy Ansah and rookie L.J. Collier should help improve their pass rush. Seattle has some question marks at defensive back, but the talent-level has been shown on film. Shaquill Griffin can be a top cornerback, and Tre Flowers showed promise as a rookie. Strong safety Bradley McDougald has quietly been solid for a number of years, and they'll need him to continue his consistent play to survive on the backend.

14. Houston Texans

Houston has some holes on their roster *cough* offensive line, but goodness their top-end talent is ridiculous. Defensively, J.J. Watt was his typical self and one of the ten best players in the league last season. Jadeveon Clowney is dominant against the run while having 18.5 sacks over the last two years. Their defensive talent doesn't end there, as Benardrick McKinney, Zach Cunningham and Whitney Mercilus should be one of the best linebacker cores in the AFC. Jonathan Joseph has been one of the most consistent CB1's in the NFL for years, and second-year safety Justin Reid showed promise last season. Houston signed free agent Tashaun Gipson to be Reid's running mate, and he has been one of the most productive safeties in the league since entering it in 2014.

To go along with the elite talents of Watt and Clowney on the defensive side, the Texans offense has two of their own. Quarterback Deshaun Watson and wide receiver Deandre Hopkins were incredible last season, and Hopkins is arguably the best receiver in football. Houston has worked to surround Watson with surrounding talent outside of Hopkins, as receivers Will Fuller and Keke Coutee have shown promise when they've remained healthy. The glaring weakness on the Texans roster is the offensive line, but help could be on the way with first-round offensive tackle Tytus Howard. If they progress in that area, this roster could ascend to the top 5 with the number of elite players they already have in-house.

13. Pittsburgh Steelers

Despite the departure of future hall of fame wide receiver Antonio Brown, the Steelers still have plenty of firepower around veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and tight end Vance McDonald are special, dynamic athletes after the catch. The Steelers' offense didn't miss a beat after inserting running back James Conner in the lineup for Le'veon Bell, proving Conner's ability to carry the load. In the trenches, the Pittsburgh in one of the strongest teams in the league. Alejandro Villanueva, Maurkice Pouncey and David DeCastro are some of the best players at their respective positions, and right tackle Matt Feiler was solid last season.

Remember two sentences ago when I mentioned Pittsburgh being ridiculously strong in the trenches? That goes for the defensive side, too. Defensive lineman Cameron Heyward, Stephon Tuitt and Javon Hargrave make up a top 3 defensive line unit in the league. On top of that, T.J. Watt is flirting with star-level as a pass rusher. Pittsburgh needed help in the middle of their defense after Ryan Shazier's unfortunate injury, and they found exactly that with the draft pick of Devin Bush Jr. out of Michigan. Bush is going to set the tone and bring back shades of those vicious Steelers defenses of the past.

In the secondary, the Steelers need more out of safeties Terrell Edmunds and Sean Davis. While Joe Haden is still playing well at cornerback, Pittsburgh has inconsistencies behind him. Their secondary could hold back their defense and ultimately the entire team, but this roster is seemingly strong in all other areas.

12. Cleveland Browns

Cleveland's talent acquisition under general manager John Dorsey has been fantastic, and they continued to improve this offseason. With former #1 overall pick Baker Mayfield leading the way, Cleveland has found a quarterback with top 5 potential for the first time since the organization was reborn. Their weapons have potential beyond anything previously seen in Cleveland, with elite wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and a host of talented supporting cast mates. Add in tight end David Njoku, whose ceiling is nearly indescribable, and running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, and this offensive skill group is stacked. Up front, they've pieced together quite the unit with Greg Robinson, Joel Bitonio, JC Tretter, Austin Corbett and Chris Hubbard.

Matching the talent of the offense, the Browns focus on defense through recent drafts has resulted in a bunch of young pieces. Myles Garret is on the cusp of ascending to be one of the best EDGE's in the NFL. The rest of the defensive line is loaded with Sheldon Richardson, Larry Ogunjobi and the addition of Olivier Vernon. On the backend, second-year cornerback Denzel Ward flirted with elite cornerback play last season, and draft pick Greedy Williams oozes potential. With free safety Damarious Randall patrolling behind them, the Browns cornerbacks could really burst on to the scene in 2019.

11. Green Bay Packers

The Green Bay Packers start with quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who is already one of the all-time greats, but quietly the strength of the roster has become the front-7. The interior defensive line should dominate once again in 2019 with Kenny Clark and Mike Daniels, and the Packers drastically improved at EDGE through free agency. Za'Darius Smith and Preston Smith will provide a boost against both the run and pass, while Blake Martinez and Kyler Fackrell have proven more than capable at linebacker. Behind them, the secondary can be one of the best in the league with cornerbacks Jaire Alexander and Kevin King and safeties Adrian Amos and rookie Darnell Savage.

Looking at the Packers offense around Rodgers, and the top players are the usual suspects. David Bakhtiari is one of the best pass protecting offensive tackles in the game, and Davante Adams is a top 10 wide receiver. While they don't have much depth at receiver past Adams, Green Bay will be able to lean on the running game when necessary. Aaron Jones is a supremely talented running back, and center Corey Linsley and right tackle Bryan Bulaga help solidify the offensive line. The Packers roster is one with minimal holes with impressive strengths at the most important positions.

10. Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta underachieved last season after suffering through a host of defensive injuries. As long as those players are back at 100% this season, it could become a potentially dominant unit. Grady Jarrett is one of the best interior defensive lineman in the NFL, and Vic Beasley, Deadrin Senat and Takk McKinley have all flashed at various times. Deion Jones is quietly one of the best linebackers across the league, giving their front-7 a unique dynamic. The Falcons secondary should be much improved this season, as the cornerback combination of Desmond Trufant and Isaiah Oliver could become lock down. The returns of Keanu Neal and Ricardo Allen will drastically help the safety situation.

The Falcons have had one of the best offenses in the league for years, and for good reason. Matt Ryan is consistently a pro bowl level quarterback, and the Falcons have the best group of pass catchers in the NFL with wide receivers Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, Mohamed Sanu and tight end Austin Hooper. Running back Devonta Freeman returning from injury is another boost to their roster. Up front, left tackle Jake Matthews and center Alex Mack are some of the best at their respective positions, and rookies Chris Lindstrom and Kaleb McGary should improve the right side.

9. Indianapolis Colts

Indianapolis' run to the divisional round of the playoffs last season was highlighted by quarterback Andrew Luck and rookies Quenton Nelson and Darius Leonard. In a way, that has underrated the rest of the roster.

I ranked Indianapolis as the best pass catching group in the AFC with wide receivers T.Y. Hilton, Parris Campbell and Devin Funchess alongside the tight end duo of Jack Doyle and Eric Ebron. The Colts had one of the best offensive lines in football last season with the additions of rookies Quenton Nelson and right tackle Braden Smith. However, veterans Anthony Castonzo and Ryan Kelly were as good as ever in 2018. Andrew Luck is, obviously, one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL and raises the level of play of those around him.

Indianapolis' defense was one of the biggest surprises in the league last season, and could continue to improve in 2019. Their defensive line was stout, with defensive tackle Margus Hunt leading the way. The presence of Darius Leonard put an elite talent in the middle of the defense, and the free agent addition of Justin Houston is going to improve the pass rushing unit. Cornerbacks Pierre Desir and Kenny Moore II's ascension last season was unexpected, but their fit in the Colts defensive scheme is ideal. Malik Hooker's ceiling may be that of the best free safety in the entire league.