With the free agency and the draft well in the rear-view mirror, I thought it would be fun to do a Power Ranking of all 32 teams and give my ever-biased opinion about each of them. This article is like two weeks late, but these are very fun to make so I could care less. Just as a heads up, this is my opinion and I’m bound to piss off some, or most of you. So just take this for what it really is: A fun and ultimately meaningless exercise that most of the time is not an accurate reflection of how well these teams will do this season. With that out of the way, here are my Post-Draft NFL Power Rankings!
Somebody’s gotta bring up the rear, and this year it’s the Arizona Cardinals. They’re gonna be without QB Kyler Murray for a good portion of the year, who suffered an ACL tear late last season. Meanwhile, the defense lost two key pieces in free agency with DL Zach Allen signing with the Denver Broncos and CB Byron Murphy joining the Minnesota Vikings. On the plus side, this will be a good opportunity for new GM Monti Ossenfort to evaluate Jonathan Gannon’s coaching ability without a talented quarterback there to bail him out.
31. Atlanta Falcons
The Atlanta Falcons made some good moves this offseason. They’re investing in what was a porous defense by signing S Jessie Bates, DT David Onyemata, OLB Kaden Ellis, and DE Calais Campbell in free agency. The Falcons also drafted a generational running back prospect in Bijan Robinson. Still, Desmond Ridder has a lot to prove if he wants to be the Falcons franchise quarterback, and I don’t have much faith in him to be anything more than a game manager. Overall, this is a team that is still a few years away from being a legitimate playoff contender.
The era of trading for washed up quarterbacks is over in Indianapolis. The Colts drafted Anthony Richardson with the 4th overall pick, who was one of, if not, the most athletic quarterback to ever test at the NFL Scouting Combine. Former Eagles OC Shane Steichen helped QB Jalen Hurts develop into an elite passer, and hopes to do the same with Richardson. Although, there’s questions on whether or not Richardson is ready to start, and if his game will even translate at the next level. The focus in Indy will be all about player development, which is why I don’t expect them to win a ton of games in 2023.
29. Houston Texans
Nick Caserio and DeMeco Ryans have done a nice job of kick-starting the Texans rebuild. They were able to get their franchise quarterback in C.J. Stroud and they traded up to the 3rd overall pick to select DE Will Anderson, who is the best defensive player in this year’s draft class. They even listened to Stroud by drafting WR Nathaniel “Tank” Dell, who he lobbied the Texans to get. While the roster as a whole still needs work before making a playoff run, the Houston Texans are on the right track to get there.
28. Chicago Bears
2023 is a make or break year for QB Justin Fields. The Bears had the #1 overall pick and could’ve selected Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud if they wanted to. Instead, they traded down and added WR D.J. Moore to a wide receiver room that includes Darnell Mooney, Chase Claypool and Velus Jones Jr; along with a bounty of picks from the Carolina Panthers. The Bears also made it a priority to fortify the offensive line by drafting OT Darnell Wright out of Tennessee with the 10th overall pick and signing OG Nate Davis. Other notable free agent additions include LB Tremaine Edmunds, LB T.J. Edwards, and DE DeMarcus Walker. Now that Fields finally has some weapons on offense, it’s put up or shut up for the former Ohio State quarterback.
Josh McDaniels is doing his best to re-create the New England Patriots by signing former Pats WR Jakobi Meyers who gave them a free win last season after a botched lateral pass. They also traded Darren Waller for a 3rd round pick and scapegoated Carr for all their problems, replacing him with a worse quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo. Now Davante Adams is disgruntled, and Josh McDaniels is still arguably the worst head coach in the league. Las Vegas deserves better than this.
Todd Bowles’ coaching was questionable last year, and now the Bucs are left to pick up the pieces in the post-Tom Brady era. The Buccaneers still have a talented, albeit aging roster. I expect Mike Evans and Chris Godwin along with their solid defense to keep them semi-relevant in a weak NFC South. If Baker Mayfield or Kyle Trask play above expectations, then maybe the Bucs could be a sneaky Wild Card team. Though, the odds of that happening are low.
The Commanders are going all-in on the Sam Howell experiment. Howell may have been drafted in the 5th round, but there was a time where he was projected to be a first round pick. If Sam Howell plays up to his potential, then the Commanders are a sneaky good team. They have the weapons on offense and the talent on defense to compete in the NFC East. It all depends on how good Howell is in 2023.
24. Tennessee Titans
The Tennessee Titans are like the Jeff Fisher Rams. A team that’s content to finish 7-10 or 8-9 every year. Ryan Tannehill is still projected to be the starter, even though they drafted Will Levis this year and Malik Willis the year before. Nothing really came of the Derrick Henry trade rumors either, so he’s likely staying. Overall, the Titans didn’t do much of anything that will move the needle in 2023. Just a very boring team.
The Carolina Panthers have found their franchise quarterback. They traded the 9th overall pick, a 2023 2nd rounder, a 2024 1st round pick, a 2025 2nd round pick and D.J. Moore to Chicago Bears to acquire Alabama QB Bryce Young with the #1 overall pick. They also signed D.J. Chark, Adam Thielen, Miles Sanders, and Hayden Hurst in free agency, which should help bolster their offense. In the meantime, Andy Dalton is penciled in as the starter, but I can’t image that’ll last very long. In a weakened NFC South, the Panthers have a decent chance to win the division for the first time since 2015 when Cam Newton won MVP and OPOY.
22. Los Angeles Rams
After winning the Super Bowl in 2021, the Los Angeles Rams have been on a downwards spiral. Most of the pieces from their Super Bowl run are gone, and Jalen Ramsey was traded to the Miami Dolphins for a 2023 3rd round pick and TE Hunter Long. They still have Aaron Donald and Cooper Kupp, along with a fully healthy Matthew Stafford and Sean McVay calling the plays. So you can’t completely count them out, but it does feel like the beginning of the end for Sean McVay in L.A.
Mike Tomlin has never had a losing record as head coach, but I still think Pittsburgh is the worst team in the AFC North. Kenny Pickett was serviceable as a rookie, but I don’t think he has the upside you want in a quarterback. The Steelers have to play Joe Burrow, Lamar Jackson, and Deshaun Watson twice a year, and I don’t think Kenny Pickett is good enough to beat those high powered offenses. Yet, I wouldn’t be surprised if Mike Tomlin stumbles his way into a Wild Card spot. I’m probably being too harsh here, but I don’t see anything special with this roster.
20. Cleveland Browns
As a Vikings fan, I’ll be the first person to tell you that Kevin Stefanski is a dang good coach. I know some Browns fans want Stefanski fired, but I think this is the year that the league’s perception of the Browns takes a complete 180 and Stefanski will be a critical part of that. Deshaun Watson will have the whole offseason to further acclimate himself to the playbook, and he’ll be starting the entire year. They also have some weapons on offense including Nick Chubb, Amari Cooper, David Njoku, Donovan Peoples-Jones, and Elijah Moore who they acquired from the Jets this offseason. With some defensive improvements, this could be a sneaky good team in 2023.
Everyone in the NFC North, including Packers fans are glad that Aaron Rodgers is finally gone; albeit for different reasons. Packers fans are excited for the Jordan Love era to start, and the rest of division is happy because they get to pretend that the Packers are way worse than they actually are. In all seriousness, the Packers have too good of a defense to simply wither away in the background while the rest of the division fights for NFC North supremacy. If Jordan Love can be slightly above average, then Green Bay will be firmly in the mix for the division title.
Call it hyperbole, but I can’t help but think that Bill Belichick is on the hot seat this season. Ever since Tom Brady left, the Patriots have struggled to rise above mediocrity. Now, they don’t even know if Mac Jones, their first round quarterback from 2020, is even gonna win the starting job. If New England finishes last in the AFC East and Belichick doesn’t make any significant changes, then I wouldn’t be surprised if the team decided to part ways with the legendary coach.
The Saints had the biggest signing of the offseason, agreeing to terms with QB Derek Carr on a 4 year, $150 million deal. That alone makes them the frontrunners to win the NFC South. New Orleans also boasts a very good defense and Michael Thomas is expected to be healthy but we’ll see if he can play a full season. One major unknown with this team is what happens with Alvin Kamara. Kamara pled not guilty on alleged battery and assault charges in March 2023, and he awaits a trial date scheduled for July 31st. Depending on how that shakes out, Kamara may or may not be suspended at some point this season. Overall, the Saints are still a safe bet to win the NFC South, regardless of Kamara’s availability.
16. Denver Broncos
After a disastrous 2022 season, the Broncos wooed former Saints head coach Sean Payton out of retirement. Denver sorely lacked leadership, and now they have a coach who will command respect from QB Russell Wilson and the rest of the team. The Broncos have a good defense, and most of their key pieces on offense are returning. Add in some investments to the offensive line including OT Mike McGlinchey and OG Ben Powers, and you have a team that is poised for a bounceback season in 2023.
15. New York Giants
After carving up Ed Donatell’s sorry excuse of a defense in the playoffs (Yes, I’m still salty about it), Danny Dimes got paid the big bucks this offseason. 4 years, $160 million for Daniel Jones, while Saquon Barkley, the real star of the Giants offense gets slapped with the franchise tag while the two sides continue to negotiate a new deal. The Giants overachieved last season, and the offense still doesn’t have a true WR1 (You can thank the Vikings drafting Jordan Addison for that). I expect the New York Giants to regress in 2023, but for the sake of this power ranking they’re barely above average.
14. Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks are a bit of an enigma. Nobody expected Geno Smith to have the kind of season he did last year. The Seahawks were pleasantly surprised and rewarded him with a 3 year, $75 million contract. The question is, can he maintain that level of play? Drafting Jaxon Smith-Njigba will certainly help. If Geno plays up to his contract, then the Seahawks are playoff contenders in the NFC with the amount of weapons they have on offense.
2023 may be Kirk Cousins’ last hurrah in Minnesota. The Vikings have been hesitant to extend Cousins, who turns 35 in August. They also drafted BYU QB Jaren Hall in the 5th round, who could end up being a draft day steal if the Vikings give him a chance to start in the post-Kirk era. As it stands currently, the Vikings have the NFL’s best WR in Justin Jefferson and an elite tight end in T.J. Hockenson. They also added former USC and Pitt WR Jordan Addison with the 23rd overall pick and hired Brian Flores to be their defensive coordinator. However, there are still questions surrounding the futures of Dalvin Cook, Za’Darius Smith, and Danielle Hunter with the team. Heading into Kevin O’Connell’s second year as head coach, the Vikings are a slightly above average team.
12. Detroit Lions
Dan Campbell has done something that several other coaches in Detroit have failed to do. Create a positive culture and have the players buy into it. That alone deserves credit. After cock-blocking the Packers out of a playoff spot at Lambeau Field, it feels like the Lions have some positive momentum they can carry over into this season. Even though they were criticized for overdrafting some players, they’re still the most improved team in the NFC North. They bolstered their defense by signing C.J. Gardner Johnson and Cameron Sutton, and drafted arguably the best ILB in this year’s draft in Jack Campbell. Which is why I have them ranked one spot above my Minnesota Vikings.
Justin Herbert alone is enough to make this an above average team, and they have a relatively talented defense. The problem is, the coaching in Los Angeles is highly questionable. Brandon Staley fired offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi, and defensive coordinator Renaldo Hill left to join Vic Fangio’s staff in Miami. The Chargers are hoping that these coaching changes will improve the team in 2023. Addition by subtraction, if you will. However, if they collapse like they did in the playoffs again, then Staley is a goner.
10. Miami Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins made a big splash by trading for All-Pro CB Jalen Ramsey, and they only needed to give up a 3rd round pick and a backup tight end to do so. They already had Xavien Howard manning one side of the field, and now they have another high end cornerback to slow down opposing offenses. Given that they play in the same division as Stefon Diggs and Garrett Wilson, this sounds like a wise investment. On offense, the Dolphins have assembled a bunch of track stars including Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, Raheem Mostert, and Mike Gesicki. They’re also rumored to be interested in Dalvin Cook, who could add yet another layer of athleticism to that offense. So long as Tua Tagavailoa stays healthy, the Dolphins are a top 10 team in the NFL.
After months of endless speculation, and negotiation the Jets finally traded for Aaron Rodgers. As we all know, this was a team that had all the pieces necessary to make a serious post-season run last season. Except at quarterback. Now that they’ve addressed that, they’re ready to do some serious damage in the AFC. Then again, I did feel the same way about the Denver Broncos last year when Nathaniel Hackett was their head coach. Hopefully he doesn’t kill any positive momentum the Jets gained last season in his role as offensive coordinator.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are a young team that’s on the rise with a Super Bowl winning head coach. They even made it to the second round down 27-0 in the playoffs. That’s impressive. However, the Jags nearly missed the playoffs altogether before catching fire late in the season against a weakened AFC South. Make no mistake, the Jaguars have a great future ahead of them, but they need to learn how to be a bit more consistent. That will come with time.
I’m probably higher on the Baltimore Ravens than most, but I see a team that has massively improved this offseason with the additions of Odell Beckham Jr. and Zay Flowers. This is an offense that already has Mark Andrews and J.K. Dobbins, and oh yeah, Lamar Jackson got paid! Just like the Jaguars, the Ravens also have a grizzled Super Bowl winning head coach. The difference is, Baltimore has far more playoff experience than Jacksonville. So that’s why I placed them above the Jaguars. Although, if the Ravens continue to come up empty when it matters most, a coaching change could be on the horizon. Still, they’re the favorites to win the AFC North.
The Dallas Cowboys are simply a well-rounded team. They’ve got an explosive offense, and they’ve got even more dominant defense. Questions regarding Dak Prescott’s upside aside, this roster is too talented not to make the playoffs. There’s not much more to say here. Just a very solid team.
The Buffalo Bills are an elite team, there’s no question about it. They have Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs, and their defense is still pretty decent even if they have a tendency to choke. The question I have with the Bills is: Will they ever make it over the hump? Being in the same conference as the Chiefs and Bengals has put a damper on their ceiling in the postseason. There’s only so many heartbreaking losses Diggs can take before he looks for a new beginning, ya know. I’m sure Trevon Diggs is chomping at the bit to try and get his brother in Dallas. Not that Dallas would be any better.
The Cincinnati Bengals have been the thorn on the Chiefs’ and Bills’ sides ever since Joe Burrow was drafted by his hometown team. Since Burrow’s arrival, they’re 3-1 vs Kansas City and 1-0 vs Buffalo. Joe Burrow may not play the flashiest style of football, but the dude is a winner. Cincinnati has also done a good job of surrounding him with young talented receivers like JaMarr Chase and Tee Higgins.
The San Francisco 49ers run like a well-oiled machine. When you have an elite defense along with an offense that features George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, Christian McCaffrey, and Brandon Aiyuk, you don’t need your quarterback to be extraordinary. He just needs to have two hands on the steering wheel and turn on cruise control. They have all the pieces necessary to make a Super Bowl run in 2023, so long as the injury bug doesn’t haunt them.
The Kansas City Chiefs are the closest thing the NFL has had to a dynasty since the New England Patriots had Tom Brady in his prime with a stacked roster around him. Case in point, the Chiefs have appeared in three of the last five Super Bowls, having won two of them. Although Travis Kelce is a future Hall of Famer, they can’t keep relying on him forever. At some point, they’re gonna need someone on their roster to establish themselves as a true #1 option on offense for life after Kelce. The Chiefs are hoping Skyy Moore or Kadarius Toney can be that guy. Some investment on the defensive side of the ball wouldn’t hurt either.
The Philadelphia Eagles may have lost the Super Bowl to the Kansas City Chiefs, but their offseason additions are enough to catapult them above the Super Bowl champs for the number one spot in my post-draft power rankings. Howie Roseman found a way to retain most of the team’s key players who were set to hit free agency including Jason Kelce, James Bradberry, Darius Slay, Brandon Graham, and Fletcher Cox. They also made it a mission to add as many Georgia Bulldogs as they could including Jalen Carter, Nolan Smith, Kelee Ringo, and D’Andre Swift who they acquired from the Detroit Lions on draft day for a 4th round pick. Thanks to these offseason additions, the Eagles are now well-equipped to make another Super Bowl run in 2023.