The 2020 NFL Draft shifted the positioning of some teams in the latest NFL Power Rankings. While the order remained similar toward the top of the list, teams imbued with youth began rising toward the middle of the order. With so many impressive rookies entering the league, this coming season should be the most entertaining in years.
Unless something happens to Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City deserves this spot. The team continued building their offense by adding Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the first round of the draft.
The Ravens have a favorable schedule this year. Even if the Chiefs are a better team, Baltimore could still claim the first seed in the AFC. John Harbaugh’s team also put on a master class in maximizing draft picks this year, adding multiple backup linemen, two starting linebackers, and future starters in J.K. Dobbins and Justin Madubuike.
The 49ers found their replacements for DeForest Buckner and Emmanuel Sanders in Brandon Aiyuk and Javon Kinlaw. The team also acquired Trent Williams to replace the retiring Joe Staley at left tackle. Assuming there’s no Super Bowl hangover, San Francisco should come out as the favorites to win the NFC.
New Orleans put in work with their four draft picks. The team took Cesar Ruiz to replace Larry Warford and still found a way to land Zack Baun and Adam Trautman in the third round. Sean Payton’s squad also signed Jameis Winston to a one-year backup quarterback deal. New Orleans found great value this offseason.
Maybe the Seahawks added two or three starters in the draft, or maybe they just added some flashy bench players. It’s impossible to tell with that front office. Luckily, Russell Wilson always keeps Seattle in contention.
Never bet against Tom Brady, especially when his team adds Tristan Wirfs and Tyler Johnson to an already stacked offense. Tampa Bay should wipe out its skeptics this season.
7. Green Bay Packers
Adding Jordan Love probably did nothing but set Aaron Rodgers off. He’s out to stick it to Green Bay’s front office this year.
With Brady out in New England, Buffalo could sweep their six divisional games this season. The team built a great defense, but Josh Allen might hold the offense back.
The combination of Doug Pederson and Carson Wentz always keeps Philly in contention. The Eagles completely rebuilt their wide receiver corps in the draft, adding tons of speed and ensuring they won’t go through a repeat of last season.
Mike Vrabel enjoys coaching, and his players love him for it. If Derrick Henry repeats his monster season, the Titans can take pressure off of Ryan Tannehill and make another playoff run.
Dallas started the offseason by saying goodbye to half of its defense and then impressively rebuilding it with veterans. Jerry Jones’ team also drafted incredibly well, adding future starters in Tyler Biadasz, Trevon Diggs, Neville Gallimore, and CeeDee Lamb. The Cowboys will go as far as the offense takes them in 2020.
After parting ways with their top three cornerbacks this offseason, Minnesota used their 15 picks to fill the plethora of holes opening on the depth chart. Despite their insane number of new additions, the Vikings could take a step back on defense in 2020.
The Chargers had a big offseason, acquiring players like Bryan Bulaga, Chris Harris, Linval Joseph, and Trai Turner. In the draft, LA added its quarterback of the future in Justin Herbert and a starting middle linebacker in Kenneth Murray. If the Chargers don’t return to form in 2020, Anthony Lynn’s coaching seat could start heating up.
The Steelers always draft wide receivers and linebackers. Every single year, even when they don’t need more depth at those positions. Maybe it wasn’t a great draft, but Ben Roethlisberger and Mike Tomlin make the Steelers competitive.
Denver’s season comes down to Drew Lock’s development, but the Broncos seem eager to help their young quarterback. The team added KJ Hamler and Jerry Jeudy in the draft, along with Lloyd Cushenberry III. On top of the veteran additions of A.J. Bouye, Jurrell Casey, and Melvin Gordon, Denver’s 2020 draft class makes the team a fun contender.
The Colts focused on building their offensive depth in the draft by adding Michael Pittman Jr. and Jonathan Taylor. The team’s season rides on whether or not Philip Rivers can squeeze out one more Pro Bowl season.
While Deshaun Watson always makes the Texans competitive, it feels like it’s time for the team to take a step back. The losses of DeAndre Hopkins and Carlos Hyde on the offense matter more than fans believe. It’s about Bill O’Brien’s time to go.
Cincinnati also drafted well. The Bengals added plenty of talent, including quarterback Joe Burro and wide receiver Tee Higgins. With A.J. Green and Jonah Williams returning from injuries, Cincinnati should win between six to eight games in 2020.
Bill Belichick deserves a lot of credit for engineering two decades of Patriots dominance, but he can’t make New England competitive in 2020. This team is aiming for 2021 and beyond, and draft picks like Kyle Dugger, Anfernee Jennings, and Josh Uche prove the Pats aren’t in win-now mode.
The Browns arguably possess the most talented roster in football, which added Grant Delpit and Jedrick Wills Jr. in the draft. However, this team is capped at six wins until proven otherwise.
While I like the additions of Jaylon Johnson and Cole Kmet, we’ll see Nick Foles running Chicago’s offense by Week 5. Mitchell Trubisky’s time with the team is nearing an end, and not even Chicago’s defense can save the young quarterback.
The addition of Hopkins at wide receiver made Arizona better, but not to the point where the team is competing for a playoff spot. Drafting Josh Jones and Isaiah Simmons built on a strong offseason for Arizona, but this team is aiming for 2021.
The Falcons reached in the first round and found some value in the later rounds of the 2020 NFL Draft. However, the team didn’t get much better. In a division with the Buccaneers and Saints, Atlanta’s ceiling is eight wins.
The roster is aging. Jared Goff struggled last year, and Los Angeles did nothing this offseason to make me believe he’ll rebound in 2020. The Rams could fall to fourth in the NFC West.
Miami added a lot of new pieces on both sides of the ball, but the team didn’t draft particularly well. Until we see the Dolphins put a winning product on the football field, I’ll remain skeptical about their potential.
26. New York Jets
New York settled for the tackle (Mekhi Becton) and wide receiver (Denzel Mims) other teams passed over in favor of more talented prospects. While the Jets are more talented than Miami on paper, the team’s roster composition doesn’t fill me with hope.
The Raiders finally gave Derek Carr a reliable No. 1 option on offense, but did Damon Arnette deserve a first round selection? Jon Gruden and Las Vegas remain as unpredictable as ever.
New York made safe decisions that resulted in Xavier McKinney and Andrew Thomas joining the team. They’re good moves, but not enough to fix the team’s weak defense and secure the offensive line.
Matt Patricia was a great defensive coordinator in New England, but he can’t get anyone to play defense in Detroit. Drafting Jeffrey Okudah, Julian Okwara, and D’Andre Swift addressed needs, but won’t save the Lions.
Matt Rhule used all of Carolina’s picks to address the team’s defensive deficiencies. Between Derrick Brown, Jeremy Chinn, Yetur Gross-Matos, and Troy Pride Jr., he arguably added four new starters. Carolina is still two years away from competing again.
The Redskins made the obvious pick when they added Chase Young. However, the team’s defensive line stands out as the only strong unit in Washington.
Doug Marrone looks dead in the water with Yannick Ngakoue’s impending departure and the attempted trade of Leonard Fournette. Even the additions of K’Lavon Chaisson, C.J. Henderson, and Laviska Shenault Jr. can’t save Jacksonville.
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