NFL: Post Draft Power Rankings Spots 22-32
A team looking to rebuild after last seasons horrible ending which saw them lose the last nine games of their season. There is hope for the Chiefs as many say they might've had the best draft out of any team in the NFL. If Larry Johnson can stay healthy and John Brody Croyle can come into this season as the starting QB and be effective the cheifs will be better then last year. Their defense is they key to whether or not they will be successful or not because the Chiefs have many weapons on offense including Tony Gonzalez and Dwayne Bowe who is coming off a great rookie season.
After a season that saw them underperform there is a lot of pressure this year on the Bengals to play football the way they can. Carson Palmer remains the starter and TJ Houshmandzadeh comes back after a stellar pro bowl season. Questions as always swirl around this team as now All Pro wideout Chad Johnson wants to be traded, he has stated he will not play at all this season if he doesn't get his wish. The Bengals may be ok especially if Rudi Johnson can stay healthy this season. If the defense can improve this season as well the Bengals could win 8 or 9 games this season.
24. Chicago Bears
The Bears return after an underperforming season. Rex Grossman is still the QB in Chicago but will he finally be effective? The Bears need more out of Cedric Benson who started to pick it up a bit at the end of the year last season before his season was ended early due to an injury. The defense as always will be the rock that holds this team up, Bears defensive leader Brian Urlacher wants a new contract, hopefully the Bears give him what he wants otherwise they could be in store for a long season with an unhappy Urlacher.
25. St. Louis Rams
This team is a good team, injuries before the season and early during the season doomed the Rams. Orlando Pace comes back after missing an entire season due to injury and should get back to his all pro form quick, that automatically helps the Rams offense, more importantly QB Marc Bulger. Steven Jackson even with injuries that sidelined him several weeks still managed to have a pretty good season. More importantly Torry Holt remains in St. Louis as the go to receiver. The Rams will definitely improve this coming season but nobody knows how much they will. If the defense can pick it up an play somewhat decent this season they could possibly win 8 or 9 games this season.
26. Detroit Lions
So Jon Kitna's 10 win guarantee didn't come true and the Lions ended up falling apart at the end of last season. Things are looking up for this Lions squad, Kitna might actually be the QB they need to lead the team and they have a great receiver core anchored by Roy Williams and Calvin Johnson. Questions surround the Lions running game which hasn't really been that stellar since the days of Barry Sanders, maybe this will be the year the running game can become a big asset on this team.
27. Baltimore Ravens
Will a new coach bring new success to a team that went from 13 wins to 5 last year, not to mention being the only team the Miami Dolphins defeated. Steve Mcnair retired leaving the starting position up for grabs between Kyle Boller, Troy Smith and rookie Joe Flacco. I think the Ravens will start Boller and then hand the reigns over to Flacco mid season should the team not win early. The Ravens also drafted Ray Rice out of Rutgers to back up Willis Mcgahee, that will become a great 1-2 punch. The defense seemed tired last year and wasn't as effective as they once were, this season could be the year that Ray Lewis and company take back the defensive side of the ball and become a scary defense to face.
28. San Francisco 49'ers
The Niners looked to have a great season last year and they seemed to go backwards. Alex Smith must become a leader this season for the Niners in order for them to be effective. The Niners went out and got Issac Bruce from the Rams in order to give Smith a legit #1 receiver to throw the ball to, will Bruce's age backfire on them? Frank Gore remains the starting back and looks to bounce back after what was a let down from his 2006 season. Rookie Pro Bowler Patrick Willis returns and hopes to guide the Niners into a scary defense this season, can Willis get more then the 174 total tackles he had last season? If he does that will be incredible.
29. New York Jets
The Jets still don't know who their quarterback is going to be this coming season, neither Pennington nor Clemens were that effective last season. The Jets are still rebuilding and I still see them being a year or two away from being able to win a lot of ball games. On the bright side the Jets do have a decent receiver core and a solid Running back core led by Thomas Jones, that is of course if Thomas Jones can pick up his yards per carry this season which fell to 3.6 ypc last season.
30. Oakland Raiders
What the Raiders lacked last season in a playmaker they made up in one pick in getting Darren McFadden. McFadden, Fargas (who gained over a 1000 yards last season) look to move the ball on the ground for the Raiders, don't forget they also have Lamont Jordan as a 3rd running back as well. Jamarcus Russell looks to prove why he was worthy of the #1 overall pick in the 2007 draft but who will he throw the ball to? Tight End Zach Miller is very sure handed but doesn't pose as a go to weapon on every passing down. The Raiders do have a pretty good defense even with the loss of Warren Sapp to retirement, they did add Deangelo Hall from the Falcons hoping he can proved a boost to the corners position. The Raiders are definitely going to be on the rise this year even though they rank 30th in my current power rankings.
31. Atlanta Falcons
So the 1st season without Michael Vick was a huge downfall, will the 2nd season be any better? Most likely a little bit but not much. Rookie QB Matt Ryan may not be thrown to the wolves so early in the season but he will play at some point I think. Michael Turner comes in from the Chargers to replace Warrick Dunn as the lead running back in Atlanta. The Falcons won't be good this year thats a definite, will they compete? Yes, will they win a lot of games? No, I predict around 3 or 4 wins for them this season. I will be surprised if they get more then that.
32. Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins didn't draft a QB this year, instead going with Jake Long from Michigan, Long is an absolute beast and will definitely pan out to be a good pro I think, maybe being as good as Orlando Pace, another fellow offensive lineman #1 overall pick. Bill Parcells was brought in to help the team and he definitely has done that, he isn't looking for a quick fix but rather rebuiding to team so that they can be extremely good in a couple years from now. This will be a make or break year for 2nd year QB John Beck on whether or not he can show that he is worthy of being a starting QB in this league. Jason Taylor is a key member of the Dolphins defense, especially now with the loss of Zach Thomas to the Cowboys, question is will Taylor be around once training camp rolls around? Another rough year is in store for the Dolphins I feel but they will definitely win more then the one game they did last season.
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