An offseason edition of our NFL power rankings entering the summer:
1. Baltimore: The league’s most complete team, led by MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson and three impact newcomers on defense (DL Derek Wolfe, DL Calais Campbell and LB Patrick Queen).
2. Kansas City: Let’s see if the status quo (could be 21 of the same 22 Super Bowl starters) equals the status quo atop the AFC West.
3. San Francisco: Trading DeForest Buckner to Indianapolis helped them draft DL Javon Kinlaw and they selected WR Brandon Aiyuk to replace Emmanuel Sanders.
4. Seattle: Get ready for two more Seahawks-49ers steel-cage matches in the regular season. QB Russell Wilson should remain concerned about his offensive line.
5. Tampa Bay: Yes, we’re buying Buccaneers Stock because Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and O.J. Howard will be difficult to contain.
6. New Orleans: In potentially his final season, QB Drew Brees will slice and dice opposing defenses in search of a second Super Bowl title.
7. Dallas: WRs Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup as the targets for QB Dak Prescott will propel the Cowboys past Philadelphia in the NFC East.
8. Minnesota: To replace WR Stefon Diggs, the Vikings drafted Justin Jefferson. Good move for QB Kirk Cousins — as is convincing Gary Kubiak to be the new play-caller.
9. Green Bay: The Packers played five games last year against teams that made the playoffs; they play seven games against ’19 playoff teams this year (plus Tampa Bay). Hello, small step back.
10. Tennessee: If RB Derrick Henry can come close to his 1,540 rushing yards and QB Ryan Tannehill comes close to his 117.5 passer rating, the Titans will repeat in the AFC South.
11. Philadelphia: Getting two games apiece against the Redskins and Giants will allow the Eagles to be in playoff contention.
12. Indianapolis: QB Philip Rivers arrives from the Chargers and will bounce back from his sub-par 2019 to put the Colts back in the playoffs.
13. Buffalo: A fashionable pick to improve after being a ’19 wild card team. Diggs is a huge addition and yes, the Bills will win the AFC East.
14. Pittsburgh: QB Ben Roethlisberger’s return will end the Steelers’ two-year playoff drought; they haven’t missed three straight years since 1998-2000.
15. New England: QB Jarrett Stidham won’t be the Patriots’ problem; the lack of dependable pass catchers will keep them out of the postseason.
16. Houston: Brandin Cooks, Kenny Stills and Randall Cobb at receiver? Fine. But counting on the offensive line to improve and RB David Johnson to return to form? Dicey.
17. Broncos: We predicted a 7-9 record last week, which puts them in the middle of the league.
18. L.A. Rams: A year of disappointment will be followed by a year of transition as the Rams implement a new defensive system and hope QB Jared Goff is more consistent.
19. L.A. Chargers: The Bolts added CB Chris Harris, DL Linval Joseph and LB Kenneth Murray to their defense. But QB Tyrod Taylor isn’t as good as Drew Lock, thus we rank them below the Broncos.
20. Arizona: Acquiring WR DeAndre Hopkins to help QB Kyler Murray will allow the Cardinals to score points, but not enough help was added to last year’s 32nd-ranked defense.
21. Cleveland: The bottom rung of the league starts with the Browns. If they are improved, a big reason will be RB Kareem Hunt being available and productive.
22. Las Vegas: Nine projected defensive starters were acquired since the 2019 offseason, including four 2020 free-agent additions. Too many moving parts to gel quickly.
23. Miami: The Dolphins have done a nice job mixing free agents with high-round draft picks. But they’re a year away from making things interesting.
24. N.Y. Jets: A non-descript franchise that spent nearly 20 years chasing the Brady-led Patriots. He’s out of the division, but the Jets remain a chaser.
25. Cincinnati: The Bengals had an out-of-character offseason … they spent money in free agency. The hope being an improved defense quickens QB Joe Burrow’s adjustment to the pro game.
26. Carolina: Seeing how new offensive coordinator Joe Brady uses RB Christian McCaffrey is the Panthers’ lone interesting sub-plot.
27. Atlanta: Owner Arthur Blank kept coach Dan Quinn after the Falcons finished ’19 on a 6-2 run. Fool’s good.
28. Chicago: WR Allen Robinson should play out the final year of his contract and hope a third NFL team equals playing with a good quarterback.
29. Jacksonville: A team with QB Gardner Minshew, RB Leonard Fournette, WR D.J. Chark and DE Josh Allen will do just enough to play the Jaguars out of the Trevor Lawrence Sweepstakes.
30. Detroit: The question shouldn’t be if QB Matthew Stafford finishes his career elsewhere, but how quickly he moves on.
31. Washington: The Redskins scored a league-low 16.6 points per game last season and made no significant additions to their offense. A big bet on second-year QB Dwayne Haskins.
32. N.Y. Giants: They won’t be able to blame Pat Shurmur.
Source: Read Full Article