NFL Power Rankings 2020: Offseason edition
|Sunday, April 5, 2020 10:24 AM- -|
While most of the sports world is on pause due to the nation's COVID-19 pandemic, the NFL's offseason is still taking shape. Free agency has provided some much-needed conversation and entertainment during this time of international crisis, and a vast majority of teams look much different than they did the last time they suited up juts a few short months ago.
Tom Brady left New England, Luke Keuchly has retired, Philip Rivers has changed teams, and Big Ben Roethlisberger is back — along with many other moves across the NFL, leave the league in a much different shape.
Here is our first offseason edition of power rankings based on moves that various teams have made ahead of the 2020 NFL season.
1. Chiefs - The reigning Super Bowl champions will remain at the top of our list until we have a reason to change. With Pat Mahomes under center and a formidable defense, this team could be any team on any day.
2. Ravens - Heading into the postseason last year, the Ravens appeared to be clear favorites to take the Lombardi Trophy to Baltimore. Lamar Jackson leads a high powered offense with one of the best defenses in the league — lookout for the Ravens in 2020.
3. 49ers - The 49ers lost last season's Super Bowl and a few essential pieces but still have a highly talented roster in one of the league's toughest divisions. Returning the leaders and the staff will pay dividends for the 2020 49ers.
4. Saints - After losing in the postseason in heartbreaking fashion three years in a row, Drew Brees resigned with one goal in mind: a Lombardi Trophy. Adding Malcom Jenkins to the secondary and Emmanuel Sanders to an already high powered offense should bode well for the Saints.
5. Packers - The Packers quietly went 13-3 last season and return Aaron Rodgers in his second season in Matt Lafleur's system — all things pointing in the right direction for Green Bay.
6. Seahawks - Seattle has yet to make their mark this offseason — but have added Greg Olsen and Phillip Dorsett to aid Russell Wilson offensively. The defense still needs a bit of improvement, and Jadeveon Clowney's decision may loom large.
7. Buccaneers - The Buccaneers have the most substantial improvement on our list because they have added six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady to quarterback an offense that had two of the top five receivers in the NFL a year ago. A lot of excitement in Tampa Bay for the year ahead.
8. Titans - A year after making the AFC Championship, the Titans look poised to take advantage of a division that has lacked a true contender. Tennessee was able to retain Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry, which was their bread and butter down the stretch. The Titans have a few defensive moves to go but come into next season as a top ten team without a doubt.
9. Vikings - The talent of the Vikings roster has never been in question, but their ceiling with Kirk Cousins under center has been. The Vikings impressed by beating the Saints in New Orleans last postseason, and despite losing a lot on the defensive side, are looking to make another run at the playoffs.
10. Bills - The AFC East is finally for the taking, and the Bills are trying to avoid the fate of the 2017 Jaguars and 2018 Bears by riding their young quarterback and talented defense to the playoffs in back to back years.
11. Cowboys - The Cowboys have an extremely talented team but have yet to be able to piece it all together fully. With Mike McCarthy now running things in Dallas and the Cowboys franchise tagging Dak Prescott and resigning Amari Cooper — the Cowboys are looking to put it all together this season.
12. Eagles - Philadelphia has battled injuries for the past few seasons, as we all are awaiting what Carson Wentz can do with a fully healthy team.
13. Colts - The Colts have upgraded the quarterback position with an aging Philip Rivers leaving San Diego /L.A. for the first time in his career. Rivers will lead what a loaded roster to what Indianapolis hopes is a spot back in the postseason.
14. Patriots - 2020 will be the Patriot's first crack at life without Tom Brady. While the AFC East does not appear to be loaded, this will be the most competitive the division will be in years — but if I have learned one thing in my time as a football fan, it is do not doubt Bill Belichick.
15. Texans - The Texans looked primed to contend for the division again, but they instead traded all-pro Deandre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals and got just David Johnson and a pick in return. What appears to be a historically awful trade leaves the Texans on the downfall.
16. Steelers - A healthy James Connor, Ju-Ju Smith-Schuster, Ben Roethlisberger, and the addition of Eric Ebron to pair with what was one of the league's top defenses — the Steelers have a chance to turn some heads next year.
17. Bears - The most significant problem the Bears have faced over the last few seasons has been having a quarterback that could put up enough points to support one of the NFC's best defenses. The Bears have traded for Nick Foles in hopes of fixing that position, and return the team to the postseason in 2020. A position battle between Foles and Trubisky is set to take place, and if the Bears can get steady production, Club Dub could be fun in 2020.
18. Falcons - The Falcons looked poised to have a good year in 2019, but underachieved. After adding Todd Gurley, Dante Fowler Jr., Hayden Hurts, and Laquon Treadwell — the Falcons are looking to turn heads in a loaded NFC South.
19. Rams - The Rams struggled after their Super Bowl appearance, only going 9-7 in 2019. Now, the Rams have lost Todd Gurley, Dante Fowler Jr., Cory Littleton, Nickell Robel-Coleman, and Clay Matthews. Expect the Rams to take a step back in 2020 potentially.
20. Cardinals - In Kyler Murray's rookie season, the Cardinals were able to win some impressive games. Take Kliff Kingsbury's offense and add all-pro DeAndre Hopkins to it, while also adding to the defense — the Cardinals suddenly appear as a team that could go from last place to the playoffs in 2020.
21. Raiders - The Raiders quietly almost made the playoffs last year, and have made five or six crucial acquisitions to their defense already this offseason. A solid draft could put the Raiders in a primed position to make a run in 2020.
22. Chargers - With health and a quarterback — the Chargers could shoot up our rankings. The defense was solid and got even better, with Chris Harris Jr. being added. Whether its the draft or the second wave of free agency, keep an eye on the Chargers to turn heads.
23. Broncos - The Broncos have quietly made substantial additions to their team, both on defense and offense already this offseason. A.J. Bouye and Melvin Gordon are former pro bowlers joining Denver's squad. If Lock turns out to be THE guy in Denver, the Broncos could compete in the AFC.
24. Browns - A roster that is loaded with both talent and question marks is the perfect way to describe Cleveland. If Baker Mayfield and the Browns can put it all together, they may be able to end Browns' fans misery.
25. Panthers - There's a new quarterback in Carolina, and his name is Teddy Bridgewater. The Panthers are in a bit of rebuild on the fly mode, and they are hoping Bridgewater can keep them afloat.
26. Jets - The Jets had a tough season in 2019 and lost a few critical pieces via free agency. With Sam Darnold looking to take the next step and the Jets looking to take advantage of a Tom Brady less division, the Jets will look to the draft and the next wave of free agency to improve their team.
27. Lions - A healthy Matt Stafford can lead the Lions to win any game — but the roster is simply not up to par to compete with the rest of the NFC. Rebuild now, win later, is probably the best way for the Lions to operate.
28. Dolphins - The Dolphins have stocked up on picks over the last few seasons, and are looking toward the draft to turn the franchise around. The Phins have added Byron Jones and Kyle Van Noy to the defense and are on the up in the league.
29. Giants - The Giants are in the middle of rebuild mode, but seem to have found their running back and quarterback for the future in Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones. However, there are just too many holes for the Giants to fill to be good in 2020.
30. Redskins - The skins will likely get top prospect Chase Young in the draft, and are looking to build around him and then Dwayne Haskins on the other side of the ball. If Haskins pans out, the Redskins are just a few years away from being back to prominence.
31. Jaguars - The Jaguars have struggled over the last few years and have done a bit of a sell-out in the previous few offseasons. The Jags have committed to the rebuild and traded Calais Campbell, A.J. Bouye, and Nick Foles — and a far from a playoff team. We'll see if Gardner Minshew can salvage their squad.
32. Bengals - Can Joe Burrow save the Bengals? We'll find out. Signing D.J. Reader and Trae Waynes certainly helps, and keeping A.J. Green on the roster will be an excellent target for Burrow - but there is still money to spend and holes to fill for the Bengals.
Keep an eye out as we will periodically update these rankings during the offseason.