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.
1. Baltimore Ravens
2019 record (14-2): Lamar Jackson will be the best quarterback in the league. Yes, Patrick Mahomes is insane. Yes, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and Drew Brees are still in the league. However, Jackson is capable of throwing for over 4,000 yards, 30 or more touchdowns and rushing for over 1,000 yards and five touchdowns. Jackson can do that without a true WR1 that Mahomes has. Jackson is the future of the NFL. This Ravens team is the most complete team in the NFL as it stands at the moment. They have a top-five running game and passing game. They have arguably the best defensive line and the best secondary. This team is scary and should repeat their success from last year.
2. San Francisco 49ers
2019 record (13-3): The biggest asset that the 49ers brought in this off-season was the 13th overall pick. They traded star defensive lineman DeForest Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts for the 13th overall pick in this year’s draft. Since they lost out on retaining Emmanuel Sanders, the Niners will probably use their only pick in the first three rounds to draft another receiver. After a tragic loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl, the 49ers will need all the offensive firepower they can get to reach the big dance again.
3. New Orlean Saints
2019 record (13-3): The New Orleans Saints are going all-in for Drew Brees’s last rodeo. In the next year or two, the Saints will be throwing money at players that will help them reach and win the Super Bowl. This time around, they signed receiver Emmanuel Sanders to pair with Michael Thomas. The team also tried to fix their secondary problems by adding safety Malcolm Jenkins. The Saints have underperformed in the playoffs in recent years, but knowing that Brees is retiring after his contract will fuel this Saints team.
4. Kansas City Chiefs
2019 record (12-4): The Chiefs brought back Chris Jones this off-season but were otherwise quiet in free agency. They lost Kendall Fuller, Emmanuel Ogbah and Stefen Wisniewski. Although they kept the whole offense together, the biggest worry for the Chiefs is on defense. They played well in the playoffs, but can they replicate that same play for another 16 games?
5. Seattle Seahawks
2019 record (11-5): Russell Wilson is still among the best play extenders in the league and does not need playmakers at the receiving positions to win. With that said, D.K. Metcalf should become their best receiver this year and is a huge deep threat for opposing teams. The Seahawks were relatively quiet during free agency, as their biggest name came from the signing of a 35-year-old tight end in Greg Olsen. The team can still succeed for as long as Wilson stays healthy.
6. Buffalo Bills
2019 record (10-6): The Bills already boasted a top-five defense in the NFL last year. After free agency, they are making sure to grab the No. 1 spot. They added depth to every defensive region from the line to linebackers to the secondary and still need more offensive weapons (although they did land Stefon Diggs). In the draft, they should focus primarily on offensive skill positions. Even though they are not the best offensively, Allen is still taking big strides into becoming a franchise quarterback.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2019 record (7-9): Tom Brady is a Tampa Bay Buccaneer. One of the best and most efficient quarterbacks now has Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and O.J. Howard at his disposal; they are all capable of having over 1,000 receiving yards and double-digit touchdowns. The only misfire of this is that head coach Bruce Arians’s offense operates through airing the ball out. Brady is used to check-downs, screens, and slants. However, Brady has shown he can throw deep. At 42 (turning 43 this August), can Brady keep that offense flowing consistently with the deep ball?
8. Los Angeles Chargers
2019 record (5-11): Can one player really make a 5-11 team better? Absolutely. Tyrod Taylor is a very underappreciated quarterback. Taylor could have been the starter for multiple franchises last year and should have taken Phillip Rivers’s position halfway through last season. Taylor is very accurate and very protective of the ball. He rarely throws interceptions and can extend the play with his legs, which is something that Rivers could not do last season. The depth on this team is among the best, and they are filling their needs on the offensive line, where they struggled mightily last season.
9. Green Bay Packers
2019 record (13-3): The confidence is very low for this team. Last year, even with an awful defense and only a mediocre offense, the Packers managed to win 13 games. Aaron Jones was phenomenal during the 2019 campaign, but it will be hard to replicate that as teams are now aware of his abilities. Green Bay has yet to add playmakers on the defensive end and did not find reliable weapons to help Aaron Rodgers expand his arsenal outside of Aaron Jones and Davante Adams.
10. Minnesota Vikings
2019 record (10-6): The Vikings traded away disgruntled wideout Stefon Diggs, but the 2020 draft holds a plethora of receivers that can help Cousins out for the long run. The team also brought in more defensive line help as they signed Michael Pierce. The team did lose quite a lot of depth on their roster, but even with departures from Linval Joseph, Jayron Kearse and many others, the Vikings should still contend for the NFC North title. The Vikings are starting to get older though, and their window for a championship is closing rapidly.
11. Cleveland Browns
2019 record (6-10): Freddie Kitchens is gone and the Cleveland Browns finally hired what seems like a good choice to replace him. Kevin Stefanski is a much more respected and experienced coach than Kitchens was. In addition, the Browns also decided to spend again in free agency for the second year in a row. Although last year was very underwhelming for what they did in that off-season, this time around, it should work. The Browns added a backup quarterback who has proven to win games in Case Keenum in the off chance that Baker Mayfield struggles again.
12. Philadelphia Eagles
2019 record (9-7): The biggest problem that the Eagles had (outside of the injury bug) was their secondary. What they did this off-season was fix that problem. They traded for one of the best cornerbacks in the league in Darius Slay. They also added cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman and safety Will Parks. This should help the Eagles clinch their division handly, if the team stays healthy. What they need to address next for them to be a real contender is receivers, and hopefully they can do that through the 2020 draft.
13. Indianapolis Colts
2019 record (7-9): The Colts already have a great roster outside the quarterback position. They are one of the most well-rounded rosters in the league. They added an older Philip Rivers as their starting quarterback while he is coming off his worst years. The team believes that Rivers is a better option than Jacoby Brissett for a win-now approach. If Rivers can go back to his former self, the Colts could be a dangerous team. But if he does not, this will be another season of underachieving for them.
14. Houston Texans
2019 record (10-6): The Texans are on their last legs. In a matter of a year, they have traded away two great talents in Jadeveon Clowney and DeAndre Hopkins. It is also feeling as though DeShaun Watson and others are starting to question head coach Bill O’Brien’s decision-making as the general manager. O’Brien for the past few years has also been questioned by many people outside the organization. Several fans have been wanting him gone for the past two years, and if the team disappoints this year, those fans might get their wish.
15. Tennessee Titans
2019 record (9-7): The Titans made an incredible run in 2019, reaching the AFC title game. Nobody knew that this team would make it that far. What seemed like a Cinderella story now has its drawbacks. The team is not getting younger, and nobody is confident that Ryan Tannehill can rekindle the same fire and play that he had last season. The team did not add much firepower in free agency to make the extra push. In a weakened division, the Titans could find themselves the favorite.