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NFL AFC North: The Top 4 Potential Bust
July 27, 2023
As the NFL season approaches, both joy and disappointment await the fans. This division has a lot of questions,
starting with serious contenders like the Bengals and the Ravens who might be in trouble with the Steelers and
Browns hoping for a better year. Every team has its dark spots, and it’s essential to predict them to consider
when analyzing NFL Lines. Let’s dive into the potential busts in the AFC North.
Nick Scott’s disappointing season could benefit the Bengals. The Cincinnati Bengals signed Nick Scott to a
three-year, $12 million contract after losing Vonn Bell and Jessie Bates III in the offseason. This indicates
some level of expectation that Scott will be a starter alongside second-year player Daxton Hill. However, Scott
faces competition from Jordan Battle for the starting spot. Scott has only completed his first full season as a
starter for the Rams, surrendering a high passer rating of 118.5 despite recording two interceptions. If Battle
overtakes Scott before the season begins, Scott could be considered a free-agent bust for the Bengals.
David Ojabo’s health may hinder his performance for the Ravens. David Ojabo, a former Michigan Wolverine,
possesses incredible athleticism and had the potential to be a first-round selection before tearing his Achilles
at his Pro Day. The injury cost Ojabo most of his rookie season, and although he recovered to play in two games,
his playing time was limited to 21 defensive snaps. While he showed great effort in recording his first sack
against Jonah Williams, he lacked the explosive get-off seen during his time at Michigan. Ojabo was projected to
need time to develop as an NFL starter, and Achilles injuries typically require additional recovery time. The
Baltimore Ravens are somewhat reliant on Ojabo and Odafe Oweh to have breakout seasons, but it may be premature
to expect that from Ojabo in his first year.
Darnell Washington may take time to shine for the Steelers. The Pittsburgh Steelers may have found a steal in
Darnell Washington when they selected him in the third round of the 2023 NFL draft. However, it’s unlikely that
he will im
mediately make a significant impact as a rookie. Washington, with his rare size and athletic ability at
6’7″ and 264 pounds, possesses the tools to be a Pro Bowl tight end but needs time to refine his skills. He
excels as a blocker but still has much to learn about the route running and getting open in the NFL. The Steelers
have no urgency to rush Washington’s development, considering their other offensive weapons. While he has the
potential to contribute, expecting immediate results may lead to disappointment.
The new Browns’ roster might hinder Donovan Peoples-Jones. Donovan Peoples-Jones has shown improvement each
season as he enters the final year of his rookie contract. This season is expected to be a breakthrough for him,
leading to a second contract. However, his role last season was due more to the lack of depth in the receiver
room rather than his skill set. With the addition of Elijah Moore, who will command targets from the slot, and
the drafting of Cedric Tillman, a third-round pick with ideal size, Peoples-Jones may become less prominent
within the offense. Moore and Tillman are expected to play important roles, pushing Peoples-Jones into a less
prominent position. Expectations for immediate contributions from Peoples-Jones may not align with the evolving
Cleveland Browns’ offense.
By anticipating these potential busts in the AFC North, we gain insights into players who may disappoint and
impact NFL Odds throughout the season.
Thread carefully and wait for some of these issues to clarify as kickoff is just a few weeks ahead of us.