Publish Date: 05/03/2017
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa
1) New England Patriots – As long as you have Brady and Belichick, you will be either at the top or near the top. The Patriots looked to add to their team through free agency by adding cornerback Stephon Gilmore, wide receiver Brandin Cooks, running back Rex Burkhead, and defensive end Kony Ealy. At this early stage, it looks like all roads to the Lombardi Trophy will travel through Foxborough once again.
2) Atlanta Falcons – I know, Super Bowl hangover you might say. But with what they have added to this team so far in the off-season, they look to be even better than last year. The Falcons defense especially improved by adding two-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Dontari Poe in free agency and added relentless pass-rusher Takkarist McKinley in the first round of the draft.
3) Pittsburgh Steelers – Anytime you have the three guys on offense that the Steelers have, you have a chance to beat anybody. The key to winning a Super Bowl for the Steelers will be the defensive secondary. If they improve, the Steelers have a chance to be special.
4) Seattle Seahawks- The Seahawks got some much-needed help on the offensive line in this draft and they looked poised to make another deep postseason run.
5) Oakland Raiders – Oakland took steps to fixing the back-end of their defense by adding cornerback Gareon Conley. But let’s face it, they have so much talent that they had to be top five even if they didn’t add anyone. My concern will be with the offensive line and the depth issues they could have. Let’s pray for the Raiders’ sake, and especially Derek Carr’s sake, that Marshall Newhouse will not be a starter. If he is, this ranking will drop.
6) Green Bay Packers – Not the greatest off-season so far, but as long as they have Rodgers they will always be top ten.
7) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – This team has had a great off-season so far, the only question for me is can Winston take his game to the next level?
8) New York Giants – I think they could have been in the top five with a better draft.
9) Dallas Cowboys – This team almost has to take at least a small step back from last season. They drafted well on defense, but they need those players to make an immediate impact to get to a Super Bowl.
10) New Orleans Saints – The Saints have had an outstanding off-season and are poised to make a playoff run and maybe more.
11) Arizona Cardinals – Improved themselves in the draft, the big question is does Palmer have another big year left?
12) Miami Dolphins – Clearly the second best team in the AFC East.
13) Kansas City Chiefs – It still makes no sense to me to trade up and draft a QB.
14) Tennessee Titans – A possible Super Bowl contender talent wise, the question with me will be if the coaching is good enough to get them over the top.
15) Cincinnati Bengals – Great draft, but lost their only two good offensive linemen before the draft. This is a Super Bowl contending team if they have any kind of offensive line play.
16) San Diego Chargers – Are they poised to make another run with Phillip Rivers?
17) Carolina Panthers – The Panthers added playmakers for Cam Newton, now can he figure out how to lead this team all the time? In the past, Newton has been a front runner and it’s time for him to step up.
18) Denver Broncos – They will be a contender if they can get solid QB play.
19) Baltimore Ravens – The Ravens drafted well, will it be enough to get them back to the postseason?
20) Washington Redskins – It would not shock me if this is a top 10 team by October.
21) Houston Texans – The Texans are a QB away from challenging the Patriots, the question will be is Watson that QB?
22) Minnesota Vikings – They are improving and with Zimmer at the helm, never overlook the Vikings.
23) Indianapolis Colts – The Colts drafted well on defense but it might take one more draft like this one to get the defense up to speed.
24) Philadelphia Eagles – This team is about another year away from being a huge factor in the NFC East.
25) Detroit Lions – They still need to upgrade the pass rush if they want to contend.
26) Jacksonville Jaguars – Once again, it will all come down to Blake Bortles.
27) Buffalo Bills – The Bills drafted well, but it won’t be enough this year.
28) San Francisco 49ers – The Niners have done ok in the off-season, but this will not be an overnight fix. But, they do seem to be headed in the right direction.
29) Los Angeles Rams – The progression of Jared Goff will tell you all you need to know about the Rams.
30) Cleveland Browns – Improved during the off-season, but they still have a long way to go.
31) New York Jets – Solid draft, but like the rest of the teams at the bottom this will take more than one year to fix.
32) Chicago Bears – They traded up from 3 to number 2 in the draft to pick QB Mitch Trubisky, that means they suck.