Welcome to the March edition of the NFL power rankings.
Previous Editions: February
No. 32: Jacksonville Jaguars (+0)
The Jaguars are one month away from drafting Trevor Lawrence and moving out of the No.32 spot.
No. 31: Detroit Lions (-1)
Detroit is in for a long-haul rebuild. Kenny Golladay, Detroit’s best player, is now with the Giants.
No. 30: New York Jets (+1)
No. 29: Houston Texans (+0)
Watson is slightly more likely to be a member of the Texans come September, so Houston stays out of the cellar for the time being.
No. 28: Carolina Panthers (-3)
Losing Curtis Samuel will hurt the offense, and the Panthers seem to be locked out of the top-three quarterback prospects after the 49ers traded up to No.3.
No. 27: Cincinnati Bengals (-1)
It has been a rough offseason so far for the Bengals. Cincinnati still has glaring needs along the offensive line, and they are almost forced to take Penei Sewell with the fifth pick in the 2021 draft.
No. 26: Philadelphia Eagles (+2)
Philadelphia landed Anthony Harris on one of the deals of the offseason. The Eagles should have a moderately better secondary in 2021.
No. 25: New York Giants (+2)
No. 24: Las Vegas Raiders (-1)
While the Raiders are not a bottom-tier team at the moment, their recent offensive line moves have them trending in the wrong direction.
No. 23: Atlanta Falcons (+1)
No. 22: Chicago Bears (-2)
Congratulations Bears fans, your yearly spin of pain landed on “watching Andy Dalton play quarterback.”
No. 21: Dallas Cowboys (-2)
Dallas had a fairly quiet offseason outside of re-signing Dak Prescott. Can the Cowboys have another strong draft class?
No. 20: Denver Broncos (+1)
No. 19: Washington Football Team (-1)
Ryan Fitzpatrick will likely be the Week 1 starter for Washington, not ideal for a team looking to make the playoffs. On the bright side, Curtis Samuel and Terry McLaurin are one of the most exciting duos in the NFL.
No. 18: Arizona Cardinals (-1)
No. 17: Seattle Seahawks (-5)
Shaquil Griffin and Jarran Reed are now in the AFC. Kerry Hyder and Ahkello Witherspoon head north from Santa Clara. Seattle did not necessarily get worse, but the teams around them are better positioned after free agency.
No. 16: Pittsburgh Steelers (-2)
Pittsburgh did not fall into the Bud Dupree trap, and they retained JuJu Smith-Schuster. Similar to the Seahawks, the Steelers are not necessarily a worse football team now, but two teams leap-frogged them.
No. 15: Miami Dolphins (-4)
The Kyle Van Noy experiment was a failure. The Isaiah Wilson experiment was a failure. Miami did add Will Fuller to stretch the offense, but it was an underwhelming offseason for the 2020 offseason champions.
No. 14: Minnesota Vikings (+2)
Dalvin Tomlinson, while expensive, is a solid signing for Minnesota. Patrick Peterson‘s best days are long gone, but he should be a strong veteran presence in an otherwise young defensive backs room. Expect the likes of Jeff Gladney and Cameron Dantzler to improve and push Minnesota into playoff contention.
No. 13: Los Angeles Chargers (+0)
While the Chargers downgraded from Hunter Henry to Jared Cook, they added the top center in the class. Corey Linsley is an immediate upgrade, and the Chargers are angling to add more offensive line capital in the draft.
No. 12: New England Patriots (+10)
New England did not add a star in the free agency class, but they added great scheme fits. Matt Judon and Kyle Van Noy will increase the depth in the linebacker room. Offensively, New England tossed four darts at Hunter Henry, Jonnu Smith, Nelson Agholor, and Kendrick Bourne. Even if one of the six additions falls flat, New England is a significantly better football team now.
No. 11: Indianapolis Colts (-2)
Indianapolis retained the likes of T.Y. Hilton, Xavier Rhodes, and Marlon Mack, but they were unable to convince Trent Williams to come to Indianapolis. With Tennessee bolstering the pass rush, the Colts might lag behind their rivals until they figure out a reliable left tackle.
No. 10: Tennessee Titans (+0)
To Tennessee’s credit, they have gone have a pair of pass rushers to help out the defense. The secondary has suffered in return with the likes of Adoree’ Jackson and Desmond King leaving, but the additions of Bud Dupree and Denico Autry should elevate the Titans from terrible pass rush to workable pass rush.
No. 9: New Orleans Saints (+6)
New Orleans kept the important pieces. Losing Trey Hendrickson and Emmanuel Sanders may appear as negatives, but they open the door for talented depth to flow in. New Orleans still needs to decide on a quarterback, but it will not be Drew Brees for the first time since 2005.
No. 8: Cleveland Browns (-1)
Cleveland added two pieces (John Johnson and Troy Hill) in the secondary, and they continue to trim the gap on Baltimore for the top spot in the AFC North. With a good draft, Cleveland can jump their rivals.
No. 7: Baltimore Ravens (-1)
Matt Judon and Yannick Ngakoue are the headline names that left, but Baltimore retained its most valuable edge defender, Tyus Bowser. Kevin Zeitler and Sammy Watkins are likely placeholders for Baltimore’s early-round draft picks, but the Ravens are in a good spot moving forward, even if the Browns eventually pass them in the power rankings.
No. 6: Buffalo Bills (-1)
Buffalo has had a quiet offseason, swapping John Brown for Emmanuel Sanders in a fairly neutral move. Sanders joins the Bills on a one-year deal, and he is more likely to keep Gabriel Davis‘ seat warm in 2021 than be a focal point of the offense.
No. 5: Green Bay Packers (-1)
Green Bay has had a spectacular failure of a free agency to this point. While they retained Aaron Jones, they prioritized bringing back Marcedes Lewis and NFC Championship Game meme Kevin King over keeping All-Pro Corey Linsley in-house. Green Bay still has No.12 under center, so they don’t fall out of the top five, but it was a misstep for Green Bay.
No. 4: San Francisco 49ers (+4)
Trent Williams? Back. Jason Verrett? Back. Kyle Juszczyk? Back. To make matters even better, San Francisco now holds the No.3 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, helping their future propositions. San Francisco’s only notable signing is Alex Mack, but San Francisco deserves an A+ for their efforts in March.
No. 3: Los Angeles Rams (+0)
The Rams lost John Johnson and Troy Hill from their top-tier secondary in 2020, and they did little to add to the current roster construction. However, Matthew Stafford has a new weapon to throw to in DeSean Jackson. Jackson will turn 35 during the season, but expect Stafford and Jackson to connect on several deep balls in 2021.
No. 2: Kansas City Chiefs (+0)
Kansas City replaced tackles Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz with guards Kyle Long (coming out of retirement) and Joe Thuney. The Chiefs are telegraphing their first pick in the 2021 draft (the best tackle available), but with Lucas Niang returning from a COVID opt-out, Kansas City should have a sturdy offensive line in 2021. Adding Jarran Reed to an interior defensive line that features Chris Jones helps as well.
No. 1: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+0)
Of Tampa Bay’s 22 starters in 2020, all 22 are still employed by Tampa Bay. It is the first time since 1979 that the reigning Super Bowl champion kept the entire starting lineup intact. Tampa Bay has the strongest roster in the NFL, and they are poised to repeat.