32 Souls for the Taking: Pre-Draft Power Rankings

Number 32: Arizona Cardinals (ELO: 1322)

Still the worst team in football, the Cardinals are in a sticky predicament based on deciding between Josh Rosen and Kyler Murray.

Number 31: Denver Broncos (ELO: 1381)

Joe Flacco is probably not the answer to the quarterback carousel in Denver, but at least the Broncos are not Arizona.

Number 30: New York Giants (ELO: 1382)

In recent weeks, the Giants have made it known that they may not pursue Dwayne Haskins with the sixth overall pick. Another year with Eli at the helm could spell disaster.

Number 29: San Francisco 49ers (ELO: 1392)

Dee Ford is a really nice player, but Jimmy Garoppolo is the necessary ingredient for the 49ers to escape the bottom section of the power rankings.

Number 28: Cincinnati Bengals (ELO: 1394)

The Bengals could be the worst team in football in 2019. The Bengals are safely in the cellar of the AFC North.

Number 27: Oakland Raiders (ELO: 1397)

Antonio Brown helps the offense in a significant manner, but the other 52 players on the roster must be better in 2019.

Number 26: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (ELO: 1405)

Bruce Arians and Jameis Winston could work magic together, but if they are unable to, it may be time for the Buccaneers to look at a quarterback in the 2020 or 2021 NFL drafts.

Number 25: Jacksonville Jaguars (ELO: 1407)

The Jaguars have an incredibly high defensive ceiling, and if Nick Foles plays like playoff hero Nick Foles, the Jags would pressure the top 10 of the power rankings.

Number 24: Buffalo Bills (ELO: 1409)

The Bills have a really strong defense, but Josh Allen holds the keys for the Bills moving up in the rankings. He needs some help, but steady improvement for Allen could mean a playoff berth in the near future.

Number 23: Carolina Panthers (ELO: 1415)

While this ranking is contingent on Cam Newton missing a portion of the season, the Panthers would leap up a few spots if the former MVP is deemed 100 percent healthy moving forward.

Number 22: Washington Redskins (ELO: 1420)

Case Keenum is probably not the answer for the future, but the Redskins have enough pieces for them to not be a dumpster fire in 2019.

Number 21: New York Jets (ELO: 1422)

The Jets added C.J. Mosley and Le’Veon Bell, but Sam Darnold will be the difference between another terrible Jets season and a potential playoff berth.

Number 20: Detroit Lions (ELO: 1427)

After an uncharacteristically bad season in 2018, the Lions will look to avoid the NFC North cellar in 2019. With the eighth pick in the draft, the Lions cannot afford to miss on an early selection.

Number 19: Green Bay Packers (ELO: 1433)

Aaron Rodgers keeps the Packers from being even lower, but the former Super Bowl MVP must be better in 2019. After his worst season since 2008, Rodgers must return to his elite form for the Packers to make the playoffs.

Number 18: Miami Dolphins (ELO: 1438)

Miami has high dumpster fire potential, but they have enough defensive talent to stave off a multitude of losses. If the explosive plays continue, the Dolphins could tank their chances in the 2020 draft.

Number 17: Atlanta Falcons (ELO: 1489)

The Falcons were ravaged by injuries in the 2018 season, but a healthy 2019 could yield another playoff appearance. The full returns of Deion Jones, Devonta Freeman, and Keanu Neal could find the Falcons hosting a playoff game come January.

Number 16: Pittsburgh Steelers (ELO: 1494)

This is the generic “make-or-break season” prediction, but the Steelers require a productive season in order to “win” the Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell scenarios. If the Steelers are able to make the playoffs without the former All-Pros, it would contribute heavily to conversations of Bell and Brown being overrated.

Number 15: Tennessee Titans (ELO: 1522)

Given that the Titans were a home loss away from playing in January, they must rebound in 2019. A mediocre season from the Titans could result in a fourth-place finish in the AFC South, but an inspired season could net a strong playoff run.

Number 14: Minnesota Vikings (ELO: 1547)

The Vikings enter 2019 after an incredibly disappointing 2018 campaign. Moving into Year 2 of the Kirk Cousins experiment, the Vikings must make a push for the playoffs, a push which should occur if the likes of Dalvin Cook and Laquon Treadwell play as well as they were drafted to be. The Vikings will sport one of the NFL’s premier defenses, and they will look to replicate their historic success from the 2017 season.

Number 13: Seattle Seahawks (ELO: 1567)

With Russell Wilson locked up for the near future, Seattle will be right in the thick of the NFC playoff picture come December. While not the most glamorous team, Seattle has a knack for winning the big game, especially when they play in the confines of CenturyLink Field.

Number 12: Houston Texans (ELO: 1571)

If Houston can protect Deshaun Watson and stay healthy, they could be the No. 1 seed in the AFC. Watson and DeAndre Hopkins have a stake as the best QB-WR duo in the NFL due to the former’s explosion into the NFL and the latter’s presence as probably the best receiver in the NFL.

Number 11: Cleveland Browns (ELO: 1580)

The Browns have leaped into the realm of the playoff teams due to their offense moves in the acquisitions of Odell Beckham, Olivier Vernon, and Kareem Hunt. While the Browns could be more hype than substance, they have a variety of winnable games on their schedule and should be in the playoff hunt in December.

Number 10: Indianapolis Colts (ELO: 1582)

After starting the 2018 season 1-5, the Colts rattled off nine wins in 10 games and clinched a playoff berth with a throttling of Tennessee. Despite a horrific loss at the hands of the Chiefs, the Colts are in a position to succeed moving forward with young stars Quenton Nelson and Darius Leonard poised to replicate their dominant 2018 seasons.

Number 9: Baltimore Ravens (ELO: 1588)

Despite the defensive losses, the Ravens sport tremendous depth. With a draft to replace any minor holes, the Ravens hope to convert their schedule into another 10-win season. Earl Thomas and Mark Ingram add major star power to a cast of undervalued players.

Number 8: Dallas Cowboys (ELO: 1597)

Prior to the potential chaos of Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper’s next contracts, the Cowboys will certainly contend for a playoff spot in 2019. With an impressive defense, the Cowboys could work out 10 or 11 wins from their schedule.

Number 7: Philadelphia Eagles (ELO: 1612)

After a loss to the Saints in the playoffs, the Eagles made a critical decision in choosing Carson Wentz over Nick Foles. If Wentz returns to his 2017 form, a possibility given he is now almost two years removed from tearing his ACL, the Eagles could be looking at the best record in the NFC.

Number 6: Los Angeles Chargers (ELO: 1617)

With Philip Rivers nearing retirement, the Chargers will look to compete heavily in 2019 and potentially steal the division from the Chiefs. The likes of Derwin James and Joey Bosa breed excitement for the Chargers.

Number 5: Chicago Bears (ELO: 1618)

One of the best defenses in the NFL, the Bears can send out an elite front seven with a stellar secondary full of playmakers. While Khalil Mack and Eddie Jackson receive much of the spotlight, sophomore Roquan Smith will look to improve on a promising 2018 season.

Number 4: New Orleans Saints (ELO: 1629)

It was probably a pass interference, but the Saints must put that behind them moving into 2019. As Drew Brees’s sublime career comes to a close, the Saints desperately want to send No. 9 out with a second Lombardi

Number 3: Kansas City Chiefs (ELO: 1640)

With Dee Ford and Eric Berry gone, the Chiefs must look to address the defense at some point in the draft. Tyrann Mathieu and Frank Clark certainly help, but one of the worst defenses in 2018 requires a bit of a boost.

Number 2: Los Angeles Rams (ELO: 1641)

The Rams are in a position to lock in a stranglehold on the NFC for the next few years. With an exceptionally talented offense and a star-studded defense, the Rams should be penciled in as an NFC championship game team and a strong bet to secure the No. 1 seed in the NFC.

Number 1: New England Patriots (ELO: 1662)

The six-time Super Bowl champion New England Patriots no longer have the services of Rob Gronkowski, but the Patriots are still in prime position to contend for the 2019 season as the rest of the division has major questions and youth concerns.

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