|Date & Time||Wednesday May 14, 2014, 8:00 PM (EDT)|
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With the 2014 NFL draft in the books, let's take a look at the updated power rankings and see how each team stacks up.
1. Seattle Seahawks – The Seahawks are not only the defending Super Bowl champs, but they also return all of their key guys and should be the early favorite to win it all once again. Wide receiver Paul Richardson was a steal in the draft.
2. Denver Broncos – Peyton Manning and company make this Broncos team still the top team in the AFC right now. There’s just too much offensive firepower. Snagging Bradley Roby in the first round is a high risk high reward for Denver.
3. San Francisco 49ers – The 49ers are the poor man’s Seahawks. The 49ers are as physical as they come and improved their offense with the trade for Stevie Johnson. This team just needs its players to stay out of off-the-field issues.
4. New Orleans Saints – Drew Brees has a new weapon in wide receiver Brandin Cooks. If the Saints defense can hold up its end of the bargain, New Orleans will have a big bounce back season in 2014.
5. New England Patriots - I still have my doubts about the Patriots due to the lack of weapons. However, the Pats still have some guy named Tom Brady leading the way. The Patriots also got a steal in the draft with defensive tackle Dominique Easley.
6. Indianapolis Colts – I’m real high on the Colts this season, not because of what they did in the draft, but the fact that this team is getting a ton of injured players back. Look out for future bets on the Colts.
7. Green Bay Packers – A healthy Aaron Rodgers goes a long way for the Packers. Rodgers is one of the few quarterbacks in this league who can mask a lot of a team’s weaknesses. Safety Ha-Ha Clinton Dix will also help fix an inconsistent Packers secondary.
8. Philadelphia Eagles – I’m not sure about the Eagles first round pick, but I do know Chip Kelly has this team moving in the right direction. Even without DeSean Jackson, the Eagles offense is going to be tough to stop for any defense in the league.
9. Kansas City Chiefs – The Chiefs have everything you look for in a playoff contender from the elite defense to a reliable offense. One of my favorite picks in the draft is pairing De’Anthony Thomas with Jamaal Charles.
10. Arizona Cardinals – Did the Cardinals find their quarterback with Logan Thomas? I have no idea. However, I do know that the Cardinals are a quarterback away from seriously competing for a championship.
11. Cincinnati Bengals – There may not be a team in the NFL that has more potential and talent than the Bengals. However, potential doesn’t win games. Time for Andy Dalton to step up.
12. Chicago Bears – The Bears have all of the offensive talent to be an elite football team. Now, the Bears helped patch their defense throughout the draft and free agency.
13. Carolina Panthers – Cam Newton is going to need more than Kelvin Benjamin at wide receiver for the Panthers to turn the corner. Still, the Panthers have an elite defense, and defense still wins championships.
14. Atlanta Falcons – Unlike some, I’m chalking last season up to a fluke for the Falcons. The Falcons are still a respectable team with more than enough talent to make the playoffs. Drafting Jake Matthews will help keep Matt Ryan on his feet.
15. Baltimore Ravens – The Ravens may have found the replacement to Ray Lewis in C.J. Mosely. Now it’s up to Joe Flacco and the Ravens offense to find its groove and get Baltimore back in the playoffs.
16. St. Louis Rams – Forget about the Michael Sam talk for a second. The Rams added one of the top interior defensive linemen in Aaron Donald to an already loaded defensive front. If the Rams can get anything from their offense, this is a scary team.
17. Miami Dolphins – The only real issue the Dolphins had last season was their offensive line. Miami likely fixed those concerns with Branden Albert and Ja’Waun James. The pieces are there for the Fins to threaten the Patriots for the AFC East crown.
18. Detroit Lions – Maybe I’m overreacting a little, but adding tight end Eric Ebron with Calvin Johnson is going to turn the Lions into an offensive juggernaut. The only reason the Lions aren’t higher is because their secondary is swiss cheese.
19. New York Giants – No more excuses for Eli Manning now that he has Victor Cruz and Odell Beckham on the field. The Giants have more talent than what they showed last season with a 7-9 record.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers – The Steelers added linebacker Ryan Shazier to their defense, which will help tremendously. Now, it’s up to the Steelers running game to get going for this to be a turnaround season.
21. San Diego Chargers – The Chargers showed at times last season just how dangerous they can be. In the draft, the Chargers fixed their defense by drafting Jason Verrett and Jeremiah Attaochu.
22. Houston Texans – The Texans are a playoff caliber team if they can just find a quarterback. Adding Jadeveon Clowney makes Houston’s defense that much scarier. However, the Texans won’t go far until somebody can throw touchdowns to Andre Johnson.
23. Dallas Cowboys – Zack Martin should help protect Tony Romo and give him the time he needs to spread the ball around. I just refuse to overrate the Cowboys this season, as they always fall apart when it counts the most. It’s like clockwork.
24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – The Buccaneers fixed their offensive line in free agency and added Mike Evans to play on the opposite side of Vincent Jackson. The Bucs are improving fast. We just need consistency before Tampa Bay can move up any further in the rankings.
25. New York Jets – Michael Vick and Geno Smith have their weapons now in Chris Johnson and Eric Decker. The Jets are a team that can make a strong run this season and move quickly up the rankings. It’s just last season was so bad at times that the Jets are hard to trust until we actually see things come together.
26. Tennessee Titans – Bishop Sankey will replace Johnson’s production for a lot less money. Other than that, I’m not sure the Titans have much to compete with the big boys in the NFL this season.
27. Buffalo Bills – The Bills added their explosive playmaker in wide receiver Sammy Watkins. Now the Bills just need to find their quarterback and a few defensive players who can stop the run.
28. Minnesota Vikings – The Vikings may have ended up with the steal of the draft with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. However, the Vikings defense was brutal last season and besides Adrian Peterson, there aren’t many weapons for the rookie quarterback to throw to.
29. Washington Redskins – Until Robert Griffin gets healthy, it’s hard to believe the Redskins are going to go anywhere. Not to mention the Redskins defense wasn’t exactly great in stopping the run or pass a year ago.
30. Oakland Raiders – The Raiders have more pieces in place than they did last season with the additions of Justin Tuck, MJD and Khalil Mack. But it’s going to take more than that for the Raiders to become a playoff team.
31. Cleveland Browns – Johnny Manziel will make the Browns worth watching this season. The possible suspension to wide receiver Josh Gordon really crushes any hope of this team doing anything special in Manziel’s rookie season.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars – Quick, name five players on the Jaguars roster. That’s why the Jags are last on the list.