NFL Power Rankings: Early Summer Rankings for Every Franchise
Is it football season yet? Crap, it's not even football preseason yet. I guess I'll just have to dream of the onrushing gridiron action by ranking all 32 NFL teams.
It's been another wild offseason of free-agent movement, trades and an exciting draft, and all of this has shaken up the power rankings.
So, while we wait for the return of the NFL, hopefully this list will help stem the tide.
Langford's 2013 Post-Draft NFL Power Rankings
No. 1: San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers were a late goal-line touchdown away from winning the Super Bowl last year, and they've had a strong offseason.
Adding players like Nnamdi Asomugha, Tank Carradine and Anquan Boldin, as well as drafting safety Eric Reid, have only given San Francisco a deeper and more complete team.
No. 2: Denver Broncos
The Denver Broncos were a talented and complete team last season, and they appear even stronger this year.
The additions of defensive tackles Sylvester Williams and Terrance Knighton helped ease Denver's biggest defensive weakness. And Wes Welker should make the offense even more potent.
No. 3: Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks have had an exciting offseason. Highlighted by the trade for Percy Harvin, this young and dangerous team added an element of explosion on offense that was the only real missing ingredient a year ago.
No. 4: New England Patriots
With the addition of Tim Tebow, New England finally has an answer to their quarterback problems. I kid. I kid.
I could care less about Tebow. However, until New England has a down year or two, I'm not moving the Patriots away from near the top of the power rankings.
No. 5: Green Bay Packers
The Packers looked to add more balance to their offense with the additions of running backs Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin.
The offensive line remains a bit of a concern, but the addition of the backs should help ease some of the pressure quarterback Aaron Rodgers routinely receives.
No. 6: Atlanta Falcons
The Atlanta Falcons grabbed much needed help at corner in the draft with Desmond Trufant at No. 22 overall and then taking corner Robert Alford.
While the Falcons lost some pieces via free agency, they have done a nice job of filling the holes.
No. 7: Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens are showing everyone why it is so hard to sustain success in the NFL. After winning the Super Bowl, their roster was raided in free agency.
This is still a talented team, but there will be more pressure than ever on quarterback Joe Flacco to produce.
No. 8: Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings had a fantastic draft. Taking defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd, corner Xavier Rhodes and wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, they got great value and three guys who should make a big impact right away.
If Christian Ponder, this is a big if, can string together a consistent season, this team will push for the best record in the NFC.
No. 9: Houston Texans
The Texans have had a nice offseason. Ed Reed, if he recovers well from his recent hip surgery, will help solidify the defense. Meanwhile, rookie wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins should help diversify the offense.
Only one question remains: Is Matt Schaub good enough to take this team to the Super Bowl?
I vote no, which is why I have the Texans checking in at No. 9.
No. 10: Chicago Bears
Much to Jay Cutler's delight, I'm sure, the Bears finally look to have a solid offensive line. They also addressed their need at linebacker in the draft by selecting inside linebacker Jonathan Bostic and outside linebacker Khaseem Greene.
No. 11: New York Giants
The Giants came up short of the playoffs last year largely because they couldn't cover anyone, and they will struggle in that area again this coming season.
New York must hope that restocking the defensive line with players like defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins and defensive end Damontre Moore will help, but it won't be enough.
No. 12: Cincinnati Bengals
The pressure will be on quarterback Andy Dalton this year. Entering his third year, he is surrounded by talent on offense, and this team has the makings of a fearsome defense. If the Bengals fail, expect Dalton to receive the bulk of the criticism.
No. 13: Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers have to get better protection for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. On paper, it's difficult to see where that is going to come from.
No. 14: Washington Redskins
Without a first-round pick and locked up against the cap all offseason, the Redskins couldn't do much to improve their roster.
However, as long as quarterback Robert Griffin is able to fully recover from knee surgery, this team should be right in the playoff mix.
No. 15: Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys didn't have the cap room to make drastic improvements to their roster. This team still has talent, but not enough to be a serious contender.
No. 16: New Orleans Saints
The Saints must hope that the return of Sean Payton brings consistency to the whole team, and no matter what he does, this defense will still be suspect.
No. 17: Philadelphia Eagles
It is really difficult ranking the Eagles right now. With Chip Kelly taking over coaching duties, it's hard to project how well the Eagles' offense will adjust to his spread style in the first year.
No. 18: Indianapolis Colts
The Colts will look for Andrew Luck to improve upon a good rookie season, and he will be able to do so with the addition of some badly needed help in the trenches.
The Colts added guard Hugh Thornton and center Khaled Holmes in the draft and right tackle Gosder Cherilus and left guard Donald Thomas in free agency.
No. 19: Detroit Lions
The Lions will be held back by their sub-par offensive line. This is an offense that needs to find balance, and it's hard to see the running game flourishing with inadequate blocking.
No. 20: Miami Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins have had an aggressive offseason. That included trading up to No. 3 to draft pass-rusher Dion Jordan.
Still, this team needs to improve along the offensive line before it can be considered a serious playoff contender.
No. 20: St. Louis Rams
The Rams will hope that first round draft pick Tavon Austin can bring some badly needed explosion to the offense. This squad has a nice young defense, and will be competitive, but it looks to me like the Rams are still a year away.
No. 21: San Diego Chargers
The Chargers need quarterback Philip Rivers to return to playing at an elite level if they want to return to the postseason.
He will need better blocking up front if he can even hope to turnaround his declining results.
No. 22: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers are another franchise hoping to get their quarterback back on track. This is a huge year for Josh Freeman, and if he stumbles early, he could be feeling the pressure of having rookie quarterback Mike Glennon behind him.
No. 23: Carolina Panthers
The Panthers made two shrewd selections with defensive tackles Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short. This helps eliminate a huge need for the franchise.
In order to make a playoff push, though, this team will need Cam Newton to take the next step in his development.
No. 24: Kansas City Chiefs
While this team is getting some love for being a dark horse playoff contender, I'll need to see how all these pieces fit before jumping on that train.
No. 26: Cleveland Browns
The Browns have the makings of a solid young defense. However, huge question marks still remain about this offense.
No. 27: New York Jets
No. 28: Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals made a much needed move for a quarterback by adding Carson Palmer, but with inferior talent at offensive tackle, is it going to matter?
No. 29: Buffalo Bills
If EJ Manuel or Kevin Kolb can emerge to give the Bills competent quarterback play this team could be dangerous.
As you can tell by my No. 29 ranking for this team, I'm not expecting that to happen.
No. 30: Tennessee Titans
The Titans are a mess. While they undoubtedly hope that offensive guards Andy Levitre and Chance Warmack will help return Chris Johnson to dominance, that will be hard to accomplish with the Titans' weak passing attack.
No. 31: Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars aren't going anywhere until they figure out their quarterback situation. Blaine Gabbert is most definitely not the answer, but it looks like he will be given the reigns for another year.
No. 32: Oakland Raiders
There is no way to look at the Raiders roster, and I say this as a lifelong Raiders fan, and think to oneself, "now this is a playoff team."
The Raiders are in the depths of rebuilding, and they should be assisted in that process by having one of the top selections in next year's draft.
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