No NFL depth chart or projected starting lineup is perfect. Here's a look at the biggest remaining weak spot for every AFC team:
Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens have too many get by positions. As in, "We can get by at running back once Kenneth Dixon returns from suspension and if Danny Woodhead is healthy." Or, "Breshad Perriman and Mike Wallace can help us get by at wide receiver, where we have zero depth, if Perriman's OTA buzz translates." Or even, "We can get by with four backup tight ends instead of having a true starter." Mostly, these are on offense. Add it all up, and it feels like the Ravens are hoping to get by on an entire side of the ball, just like in the old days.
Buffalo Bills: Since coach Sean McDermott was a wizard at spinning safety straw into gold in his old job as the Panthers' defensive coordinator, let's ignore the question marks in the secondary. The larger concern for the Bills remains at wide receiver, even if they intend to be a run-first team. The Bills don't trust Sammy Watkins as their No. 1, saying as much when they chose not to pick up the fifth-year option in his rookie contract. The team is counting on second-round pick Zay Jones to start, a tricky proposition highlighted by the sprained knee he suffered in OTAs. The team's No. 3 receiver candidates are as unestablished as those of any team in the league. Good luck on that prove-it year, Tyrod Taylor!
Cincinnati Bengals: I'd like to pick a position other than offensive tackle for the Bengals, because incessantly writing about the offensive line bores most humans, and half of NFL teams have a pass-protection problem. But it's the right choice here, even if the Bengals have questions about who will rush the passer opposite Carlos Dunlap. Cincinnati is the AFC's answer to the Giants. If totally untested young tackles Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher deliver, this is a playoff team. If not, the Bengals could top out at six wins again.
Cleveland Browns: The numbers say Cody Kessler was a promising starter as a rookie. The game film and Cleveland's offseason maneuvering suggest that Hue Jackson wants more. In an otherwise positive offseason, the idea of Kessler as QB1 and Brock Osweiler as an offseason hype bunny must be unsettling for Browns fans. It's likely that Kessler, Osweiler and rookie DeShone Kizer all get turns behind center during the season, distracting attention from a secondary and overall defense that is further behind in its rebuild than the offense.
Denver Broncos: If it's true that football is won up front, the Broncos could be in trouble. The offensive line woes are well-documented, but new coach Vance Joseph should be just as concerned with the team's defensive front. John Elway tried to solve the team's sagging run defense by signing nose tackle Domata Peko, the 32-year-old longtime Bengals role player. His backup is his unheralded cousin, Kyle Peko. Next to them, the team is hoping someone steps up at defensive end from a group that includes youngsters Adam Gotsis and DeMarcus Walker. This team still misses Malik Jackson, who defected to the Jags last offseason.
Houston Texans: The safety position and offensive line have issues, but the Texans' biggest weak spot is the same as it was in Foxborough in January, or against Kansas City the previous January, or basically during any date you choose in the Bill O'Brien era. Tom Savage was better in his three appearances at quarterback last year than he's given credit for, but he's just keeping the seat warm for rookie Deshaun Watson. If O'Brien can't get this marriage right, it's time to wonder if the coach's exacting system is actually the problem here.
Indianapolis Colts: New Colts general manager Chris Ballard looked at old GM Ryan Grigson's handiwork from the previous five years and basically said, "Yeah, this isn't going to work." Tinkering with the offense will have to wait, but Ballard has essentially erased an entire defense in one offseason. It's to his credit that finding the weakest spot is tough. Nearly every starting job on defense is up for grabs, with defensive end looking the most unfinished. Coach Chuck Pagano will try to get quality snaps out of Kendall Langford, Hassan Ridgeway and Margus Hunt, but there isn't a ton of upside here.
Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jaguars' defense is more loaded with talent at every level than it's been at any time in its history. The expensive new left side of the offensive line should be an upgrade, paving the way for a foundational running back in fourth overall pick Leonard Fournette. The top three wideouts can match any trio in the league in terms of youth, talent and continuity. Yet, all of this optimism feels like a diversion from the only real Jaguars question that matters: Can quarterback Blake Bortles play football well? It was not so long ago that I was certain the answer was yes.
Kansas City Chiefs: GM John Dorsey has built a roster that reflects the Chiefs' head coach (Andy Reid) and quarterback (Alex Smith). After four full seasons with Dorsey in the position, there are few spots on this roster that are true problems. Even the less flashy spots (inside linebacker, running back and offensive line) perform at a professional level. Dorsey's biggest concern could be with his cornerback depth chart. The draft didn't bring any help to a group that was giving Steven Nelson, Terrance Mitchell and Phillip Gaines snaps behind star Marcus Peters. It's not close to the worst group in the league, but as with the rest of the Chiefs' roster, the question is, is it good enough to take the next step in January?
Los Angeles Chargers:Philip Rivers' offensive line looks far better on paper after the team drafted two promising guards early in the draft and replaced previous free-agency mistakes at left tackle with Russell Okung. That means there will be at least three new starters, however, and it's hard to trust GM Tom Telesco can fix the offensive line when he's struggled to do it so often before.
Miami Dolphins: Back Jay Ajayi had to earn every yard last season. The Dolphins were soft as a run-blocking group, especially when center Mike Pounceywas out. There's no guarantee Pouncey will ever be the same player again after multiple hip injuries; they may not even let him play until the regular season starts. Combine his injury risk with a shaky group of guards, and the Dolphins could have a squishy interior offensive line once again.
New England Patriots: Don't cry for the Patriots' pass rush, which won a Super Bowl with a middle-of-the-road group. (They finished 16th in sacks and 24th in pass rushing in Pro Football Focus' numbers.) Still, this unit never quite replaced Chandler Jones (traded away last March) and Jamie Collins (traded last October). Third-round pick Derek Rivers and trade acquisition Kony Ealy were brought in with the hope of providing Bill Belichick with players who can win one-on-one matchups on the edge.
New York Jets: The predictably optimisticChristian Hackenberg pieces have arrived, along with the articles extolling Josh McCown's "coach on the field" credentials. It's mentioned less often that McCown's playing style resembles a poor man's Ryan Fitzpatrick, irrational confidence overriding any game plan. The Jets have had some ugly quarterback rooms over the years, but they haven't entered a season this century with so little hope at the position.
Oakland Raiders: GM Reggie McKenzie has done a fantastic job acquiring some of the NFL's most valuable assets: a franchise quarterback, a pair of edge rushers and a quality offensive line. Yet, McKenzie keeps whiffing in his attempts to find a traditional middle linebacker to anchor his 4-3 defense. The team watched a street free agent (Perry Riley) take over midway through last season, and the options don't look much better this season. Cory James and Tyrell Adams, both second-year players, are splitting first-team reps in OTAs. A fifth-round pick, Marquel Lee, is another option. McKenzie is hoping one of them sticks, or he'll have to dumpster dive again.
Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers have a few trademarks under GM Kevin Colbert, like rolling with a cornerback group fans don't trust. The unit is deeper than usual, led by last year's first-round pick, Artie Burns, and veteran Ross Cockrell. But the depth chart, which also includes William Gay and third-round pick Cameron Sutton, lacks a difference-maker. When the AFC playoffs arrive and the Patriots or Raiders show up, will that be enough?
Tennessee Titans: GM Jon Robinson recognized Tennessee's two biggest weak spots when he drafted receiver Corey Davis and cornerback Adoree' Jackson in April's first round. History says that one draft won't solve the issues all at once. Fixing the cornerback depth chart is the bigger hill to climb. The Titans are asking former Patriots cornerback Logan Ryan to transform from a role player to a No. 1 corner. Jackson will have the usual steep learning curve of an undersized rookie, and there is not much depth after that. Don't be surprised if the offense stays ahead of the defense in Tennessee.