Unapologetically Me

Pre-Draft NFL Power Rankings (Top 10)

Is it ever too early to start ranking teams in the NFL? No. The answer is no. Most of the noise in free agency has subsided with most of the hottest talent being picked up. A few major trades have panned out as well. As the countdown to the NFL Draft is on, I figured why not do an early power ranking preview. This is solely based on free agents and players retained.

10. Cleveland Browns

Key Additions: WR Jarvis Landry, RB Carlos Hyde, QB Tyrod Taylor, DB Damarious Randall
Key Departures: OL Joe Thomas (Retired), RB Isaiah Crowell 
Draft Picks: 9

I know, I know. It’s the Browns and you’re saying what crack pipe am I smoking? This is it though! They have been doing a great job setting up for this season. People can shit on them all they want. Things have to get worse before they get better. They just bolstered an offense that needed it. Taylor is formidable and good enough to get them to the playoffs. Hyde will share time with scat back Duke Johnson. Landry, Josh Gordon, Corey Coleman and Tight End David Njoku will give Taylor plenty of options. They also have 4 picks inside the top 40. I like the Browns this year. If you don’t, fuck you and the horse you rode in on. That is my story and I am sticking to it. Imagine if they actually pull the trigger and get Odell Beckham Jr.

9. Pittsburgh Steelers

Key Additions: S Morgan Burnett
Key Departures: DB Mike Mitchell
Draft Picks: 7

We will see how the Le’Veon Bell franchise tag plays out. He threatened to retire if he got tagged. Clearly, that wasn’t the case. His personality pretty much goes hand in hand with the Steelers locker room and why they can’t win the big games. Mike Tomlin has no control over his team and the patients are running the asylum. Despite all that, having a top 10 QB, THE top RB and THE Top WR has to account for something. Bank on them getting out-coached by someone this year.

8. San Francisco 49ers

Key Additions: DB Richard Sherman, RB Jerrick McKinnon, DL Jeremiah Attaochu, G Jonathan Cooper
Key Departures: RB Carlos Hyde, DB Eric Reid
Draft Picks: 9

The first order of business was extending QB Jimmy Garoppolo, which they did in a big way. GM John Lynch and Head Coach Kyle Shanahan are making moves. Despite losing Hyde and Reid, they added a top corner (assuming no set backs because of injury), McKinnon (formidable back), Attaochu (great plug and play for rotation) and Cooper (Vet lineman). They are sold on Jimmy G and robbed the Patriots blind. You don’t hear that happening often. The 49ers are going to be this year’s Rams.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars

Key Additions: WR Donte Moncrief, TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, G Andrew Norwell 
Key Departures: WRs Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson, TE Marcedes Lewis, LB Paul Posluszny (Retired) 
Draft Picks: 7

Well, the Jags could be much higher than 7 had they signed Kirk Cousins, but they didn’t. They are stuck with Blake Bortles. That will always be their downfall. Defense can only carry you so far. At some point, you need a quarterback to put up points. I am not certain Blake Bortles is ever going to be that guy.

6. Green Bay Packers

Key Additions: TE Jimmy Graham, DL Muhammad Wilkerson, CB Tramon Williams
Key Departures: S Morgan Burnett, WR Jordy Nelson
Draft Picks: 8

As long as Aaron Rodgers stays healthy, they are in the mix. He is one of the few QBs in the league who can carry a team no matter what. They added Jimmy Graham which is huge! When Rodgers went down, it was evident that Jordy Nelson lost a step. He had just two catches of over 10 yards beyond the line of scrimmage with Rodgers. Not very Jordy like. That departure looks worse on paper than it actually is.

5. Los Angeles Rams

Key Additions: CBs Aqib Talib, Marcus Peters, Sam Shields, DL Ndamokung Suh
Key Departures: WR Sammy Watkins, LB Alec Ogletree, LB Robert Quinn, OL Greg 
Draft Picks: 8

Well holy shit, that defense is already bad without the added talent, but good fucking luck throwing on them. That team is going to have a serious no-fly zone on defense. If Goff can perform like he did last year to open things up for Gurley, watch out.

4. New Orleans Saints

Key Additions: LB Demario Davis, CB Patrick Robinson, S Kurt Coleman, TE Ben Watson 
Key Departures: G Senio Kelemente
Draft Picks: 8

My biggest concern with the Saints is a bunch of stars who are second year players. That means plenty of game film to try and exploit. This is going to be the year we find out how good these rooks really are. With that being said, I am very optimistic for them, obviously if I have them slated at 4. One thing I will say about their free agents, it is not AS good as people think. Davis is a great pick up. Coleman is a decent plug and play and savvy vet. Watson is better than any tight end they have, but he’s not Jimmy Graham. Robinson had one great season and balled out in a contract year.

3. Philadelphia Eagles

Key Additions: WR Mike Wallace, DL Haloti Ngata 
Key Departures: RB Legarrette Blount, DB Patrick Robinson, LB Nigel Brabham, DL Vinny Curry 
Draft Picks: 6 

LeGarrette Blount looks like a big loss on paper, but they will be ok with Jay Ajayi and Corey Clement. No one really screams at me in terms of free agents signed, but that team is still loaded. They won a Super Bowl without their starting QB. Nick Foles is solid, but come on.

2. Minnesota Vikings

Key Additions: QB Kirk Cousins, DL Sheldon Richardson 
Key Departures: QBs, Case Keenum, Teddy Bridgewater, Sam Bradford, RB Jerick McKinnon, CB Tramaine Brock 
Draft Picks: 5

If it wasn’t because of Brady and Belichick, Vikings would be one. I am banking on them this year now that they have a great QB. Yes, I said great. Cousins played in a dumpster fire in Washington and played well all three years without much help. Keenum was fools gold. A respectable run game and amazing defense is the main reason for the Viks going deep. In the game against the Saints, receivers Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs bailed out Keenum on entirely too many throws including the game winning touchdown. Now that they have a real franchise QB, good luck beating them.

1. New England Patriots

Key Additions: RB Jeremy Hill
Key Departures: OL Nate Solder, RB Dion Lewis, WR Danny Amendola, CB Malcolm Butler

Draft Picks: 7

You would think with the players they lost, I would say that is trouble. But it is Brady and Belichick. All they do is win games. They will never fall from number 1 in the preseason until those two are gone.





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