With the 2018 NFL Draft a couple of weeks in the books we are finally seeing the teams that will likely take the field in the fall. Our Post NFL Draft Reverse NFL Power Rankings looks at how we feel each team will do in a NFL Draft order.
Post NFL Draft Reverse NFL Power Rankings
- Arizona Cardinals
While the Cardinals had a good draft it could be foreseeable that they take a big fall this year. Sam Bradford will get the start but the offensive line is still a mess and there isn’t much for weapons. With big transitions on offense and defense it could be a long year for the Cardinals.
- Buffalo Bills
This a big change for the Bills who made the playoffs last year but could be in for a long year. Josh Allen will be starting at some point and with a poor offensive line and his learning curve could spell a long season in Buffalo.
- Cleveland Browns
Things are looking up for the Browns who brought in a lot of talent and they should be an improved team, but these are still the Browns. The offense should be much better, but there are some major questions about their defense that just haven’t been answered. Yes, they will be better, but Cleveland is still a work in progress.
- New York Jets
Getting Sam Darnold was huge for the Jets and he’ll likely see time at some point, mainly because the Jets don’t project to win many games. Sure the defense has some good young pieces, but they lost their second best defensive lineman, didn’t address the pass rush and the offense still lacks a talent along the offensive line and at receiver.
- Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis is another team that has done well adding young talent through the draft, but their roster was so depleted that there are still many holes to fill. Getting Andrew Luck back would really help, but it seems like he still has a way to go recovering from his shoulder injury.
- Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins were not a good team last year and then they jettisoned most of their top tier talent. Ryan Tannehill coming back will be big, but he’s shown that he cannot be counted on to stay healthy and the Dolphins really don’t have anybody great to back him up.
- Chicago Bears
Going all in on Mitchell Trubisky the Bears have a new head coach and went out to revamp the offense adding Allen Robinson and drafting Anthony Miller. Chicago should be much improved, but they have a tough schedule and growing pains should persist.
- Oakland Raiders
Sure getting John Gruden was a big get the for the Raiders but everything that has happened this offseason has been questionable at best. Whether it’s been adding washed up veterans or a draft that was filled with reaches and big risks, it wouldn’t shock me to see this team really struggle.
- New York Giants
Two years ago the Giants were NFC contenders while last year they were contending for the top pick in the draft. Sure injuries played a big part in their collapse last year and they added some good pieces and new leadership but this is still a flawed team.
- Cincinnati Bengals
For the longest time the Bengals were always in the playoffs but just couldn’t advance past the first round. The Bengals addressed the offensive line which was a huge issue and have added weapons which should mean the offense can get back on track, but the Bengals just seem to be in a rut. This may be Marvin Lewis’ last year as the Bengals head coach.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay spent the offseason building up their defensive line and secondary hoping to get the defense back on track. But it’s the run game that will be the catalyst to getting the Bucs into playoff contention. They’ve got pieces, but they seem like the clear 4th best team in their division.
- Washington Redskins
Going from Kirk Cousins to Alex Smith the Redskins shouldn’t see too much of a drop off because both quarterback are more distributors. The key to the Redskins moving out of this spot is improving the run defense. Adding Da’Ron Payne will help, but they really didn’t add much else.
- Seattle Seahawks
Could we see a changing of the guard in the NFC West as the Rams take a hold of being the best team in the division, while the 49ers seem to be trending up. Offensively the Seahawks look strong, but their vaunted defense is going through a huge transition. Don’t be surprised to see a down season for the Seahawks.
- Dallas Cowboys
Quite the transition this offseason for the Cowboys who revamped their coaching staff while seeing Dez Bryant and Jason Witten leave in the offseason. Dallas will always be a ball control team running behind Ezekiel Elliott but they’ll need guys like Michael Gallup, Terrence Williams and Allen Hurns to step up and be that go to receiver. I don’t know if there is a guy on this roster that they can trust to be the go to guy.
- Denver Broncos
The quarterback position has been a major liability for the Broncos the last several years as Trevor Seimian just couldn’t make plays when the run game wasn’t going. Adding Case Keenum should help but can he replicate last year’s success or was that just an abnormality? Because the defense will put them in a position to keep them in every game they play.
- Detroit Lions
Under new leadership it will be exciting to see if the Lions can get over the hump and back into the playoffs. The big key will be to get the defense playing at a higher level and in Patricia’s style of defense. Offensively they’ve really built up their offensive line and hope that adding some new blood at running back will get their nonexistent running game going.
- Baltimore Ravens
A make or break season for Joe Flacco will either elevate his game from the poor play the past couple of years or it could mean that first round pick Lamar Jackson sees the field much sooner than anticipated. Regardless the defense will continue to be good.
- Carolina Panthers
Carolina continues to retool their offense to be more explosive adding DJ Moore in the first round while also giving Christian McCaffery a bigger role. The bigger question will be whether they can replace Andrew Norwell at guard and have the line play better.
- Green Bay Packers
With a new regime running the Packers has been off to an interesting start as Aaron Rodgers wasn’t happen with the offensive coaching staff shake up and Jordy Nelson being cut while they are also breaking in a new defense. Green Bay should continue to be a playoff contender, but could they take a step back this year? I think so.
- Tennessee Titans
A couple years back the AFC South was a division that nobody wanted to win, but now they have three teams that are legit playoff contenders. If Tennessee wants to get back to the playoffs they need to get their running game back in order and develop their young players on defense. A change in coaching was much needed.
- Kansas City Chiefs
Trading away Alex Smith means the Chiefs are fully in the Patrick Mahomes era which may be huge offensive outputs, but could also lead to more inconsistencies. In a weak AFC the Chiefs still have the firepower to make the playoffs, but this team doesn’t seem to have the same talent on defense that has helped them the past couple of years.
- San Francisco 49ers
While I don’t see the 49ers going on the huge run that they did when Jimmy Garoppolo took over late last season, the 49ers are still a much improved team. The 49ers schedule sets up well for them to make a playoff run and be one of the surprise teams of the year.
- Houston Texans
Once Deshaun Watson took over the Houston Texans took off and put them into a position to be a wildcard contender. That being said, Watson has to prove that he can continue that momentum over the course of a whole year, stay healthy, and continue to develop as defenses are more familiar with him. That being said, if the Texas stay healthy at QB and on defense they are still one of the better playoff teams in the AFC.
- Atlanta Falcons
Somehow despite nearly winning the Super Bowl a couple years back and going to the playoffs again last year the Falcons seem to be the forgotten team in the NFC. Adding Calvin Ridley to the offense should take some of the pressure off of Julio Jones and make the unit even more explosive.
- Los Angeles Rams
After a strong first year under Sean McVay the Rams didn’t rest on their laurels and proceeded to add talent all over their defense. Having Ndaukong Suh and Aqib Talib could either help this team turn into an instant Super Bowl Contender, or it could blow up the chemistry this team had built last year.
- New Orleans Saints
The Saints had a tremendous year and were a missed tackle away from playing to go to the Super Bowl. Going all in the Saints moved up to get Marcus Davenport to hopefully get their missing piece. If Davenport can provide that edge pass rushing help off the edge to go with good interior rushers and a strong secondary, this could be a scary team.
- Los Angeles Chargers
Finally staying healthy the Chargers were able to make a push towards the playoffs. Continuing to make strong additions and the rest of the division trending down, the Chargers are in a prime position to make a run at the AFC West.
- Jacksonville Jaguars
Last year may be called a fluke, but I don’t see it as this team is built to contend once again. Defense and running the ball was the game plan for the Jaguars and they continued to improve in both areas. If Bortels can make timely throws and not turn the ball over, the Jaguars should be viewed as legit contenders.
- Pittsburgh Steelers
Besides the Patriots the Steelers have been the class of the AFC as yearly Super Bowl contenders. Pittsburgh has seen some changes at offensive coordinator and with the defensive personal, which raises the question of whether those moves will get them over the hump?
- Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings were a game away from the Super Bowl last year and only got stronger with Kirk Cousins running the show and getting Dalvin Cook back The only question that remains for the Vikings is they really didn’t address their offensive line other than the developmental pick of Brian O’Neill. Could that be their undoing?
- Philadelphia Eagles
After winning the Super Bowl last year the Eagles continue to look like a strong contender to repeat getting back Carson Wentz from injury and adding more pieces to the defense that was so strong last year. If the Eagles were able to win it all with Nick Foles, why can’t they repeat with Wentz?
- New England Patriots
Call it lazy all you want, but until Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are with the Patriots they’ll be the favorites to win the Super Bowl. This year through the draft and in free agency the Patriots continued to get stronger and should continue to be the team to beat