The avalanche started with the fifth pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. The Cincinnati Bengals selected Ja’Marr Chase from LSU, reuniting Chase with national-championship teammate and Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Joe Burrow, Cincy’s selection with the No. 1 overall pick in 2020. Those were far from the only reasons the Bengals parlayed two straight years with a top-5 NFL Draft selection to a near-Super Bowl victory 10 months later.
They’re the biggest reasons a 3-point loss to the Los Angeles Rams shop-’til-you-drop spending spree was even a logical thought, much less, reality. Can that surge be done again? We’re looking at each of the eight teams with top-10 picks (Giants and Jets each have a pair) and their current rosters. How long with the right draft picks, trades and free agent signings does each team need to appear in the Super Bowl?