Devereaux’s 2020 NFL Power Rankings: Pre-NFL Draft (16-32)by John Devereaux April 14, 2020 0 comments
The NFL season has yet to be halted. Teams have progressed past the free agency period, and they are now preparing for the 2020 NFL Draft. With the draft just a week and a half away, here is the lower half of our NFL power rankings after free agency.
16. Pittsburgh Steelers
2019 record (8-8): With Ben Roethlisberger coming back to the team after an elbow injury, the Steelers should find themselves back into the playoff spectrum. A third-string quarterback almost led the team to the playoffs. With Roethlisberger back and healthy again, there should not be any doubt that the Steelers will be back to what they once were.
17. Dallas Cowboys
2019 record (8-8): America’s team is struggling. They have not signed their star quarterback to a long term deal. They did sign Amari Cooper to a five-year, $100 million pact, which makes it hard for the team to spend more cap space on other positions. They will use what remains of their cap space to sign Dak Prescott to a long-term deal, leaving positions all over the defense to be filled by players only worth the league’s minimum.
2019 record (8-8): Nick Foles is not the answer at quarterback for Chicago. If they waited another week, they could have signed Cam Newton, who would have been a clear option for this team. The Bears’ defense is still one of the best in the league. But without a stable quarterback, will it just be another 8-8 season?
19. The New England Patriots
2019 record (12-4): Is this the end of an era? Possibly. But the Patriots still have the greatest coach in the NFL. Even though their starting quarterback is currently Jarrett Stidham, the Patriots still have a good defense. With Belichick and his mastermind-like ability, the team can still win games. Double-digit wins? Probably not. They’ll settle for six or eight.
20. Atlanta Falcons
2019 record (7-9): The Falcons will not fool us again. They may have added talents such as Hayden Hurst, Dante Fowler, Jr., and Todd Gurley, but they lost much more in free agency than many will believe. The depth in their defense is riddled with holes, especially in the secondary. It might be time to blow this team up and start a full-scale rebuild.
21. Los Angeles Rams
2019 record (9-7): Viewing from the outside, it looks as if the Los Angeles Rams are losing track of who they were in 2018. The team is slowly breaking apart from the team that made the Super Bowl. This offseason, they lost five prominent starters. It also looks as though last year might have been a wake-up call for Sean McVay as teams started figuring out their offense.
22. Carolina Panthers
2019 record (5-11): 2019 was riddled with injuries as the team saw three different quarterbacks start in the same season. The Panthers soon cleaned house, saying goodbye to Cam Newton and Ron Rivera. The team looked into a new approach as they signed Baylor University’s coach Matt Rhule to replace Rivera. The team also signed 28-year-old Teddy Bridgewater to take over at the quarterback position.
23. Arizona Cardinals
2019 record (5-10): The Cardinals made a great move this offseason as they acquired one of the best receivers to help out sophomore quarterback Kyler Murray. The Cardinals traded for DeAndre Hopkins, and it only took a second-round pick and David Johnson, who barely saw the field in 2019. This offense is growing fast, but the defense barely improved. Let’s not get started on the offensive line, either.
24. Miami Dolphins
2019 record (5-11): The Dolphins were the biggest winners of free agency. They retooled their horrific defense into what could be a top defense by Week 4. The team completely rebuilt one side of the football in a matter of two weeks. They also have a ton of early picks that could be used to improve their offense. The only position holding them down from being a top team at the moment is quarterback.
25. The New York Jets
2019 record (7-9): The Jets had major issues on the offensive line last season. They decided to use free agency to protect their young quarterback Sam Darnold, as they signed multiple linemen, hoping to complete their dire holes at the positions. However, this cost them heavily. Since they were very focused on the offensive line, they could not settle on a contract with wideout Robby Anderson, forcing them to sign speedster Breshad Perriman.
26. Jacksonville Jaguars
2019 record (6-10): The only reason that the Jaguars are ahead of the Broncos is that the offense is more talented. The NFL has proven that better offense is more important in games in recent years. Gardner Minshew is not perfect but rather suitable enough to win six games a season, and with a healthy Leonard Fournette, the team can move back into the power-rushing style that they succeed in.
27. Denver Broncos
2019 record (7-9): This Denver team could be a sleeper in the AFC this year. Much like the Tennessee Titans of last year, the Broncos could find themselves making a playoff push late in the season. Although Drew Lock is very young and raw at the quarterback position, the Denver defense could win the Broncos half their games. They also have a perfect running back combination in Phillip Lindsay and Melvin Gordon. Expect this team to rise in the rankings.
28. Las Vegas Raiders
2019 record (7-9): The Raiders had an interesting year in 2019. It seemed as though they were stuck between rebuilding and trying to make the playoffs. This cost them heavily. They do not have a top-10 draft pick but do have two-first rounders in the top 20. What they lack the most is offensive playmaking at the receiver position. A down year for this team coupled with improved rosters for the other three teams in the AFC West could hurt the Raiders in their first year in Las Vegas.
29. Detroit Lions
2019 record (3-12): If the Lions do not show improvement this year, head coach Matt Patricia will be seen applying for another job. With Matthew Stafford’s injury having time to heal, the Lions should be back on track to where they left off last year before his departure. The Lions may have traded their best defensive player in Darius Slay, but the team has the third overall pick to replace the need at secondary.
30. The New York Giants
2019 record (4-12): This team will be under sophomore quarterback Daniel Jones’s wings. The team will either succeed or flounder; that is dependent on how Jones progresses in his second year. The Giants may have added tackle Cameron Fleming in the offseason, but the offensive line will make the offense tough to watch this upcoming year.
31. Washington Redskins
2019 record (3-13): The Redskins’ defense has improved, as they added cornerbacks Kendall Fuller and Ronald Darby along with free safety Sean Davis. These moves come after the team decided to bring in head coach Ron Rivera, a known defensive-minded coach. Although they upgraded their defense and coaching, the team still lacks the firepower on offense.
32. Cincinnati Bengals
2019 record (2-14): The Bengals have filled very few holes in their roster. Even if they add Joe Burrow in the draft, the team still has to face three playoff contenders in their division twice. The team did not add anyone that would help their chances of exceeding last year’s win total. At least, not yet.