NFL Power Rankings: Plenty of risers after NFL Draft but Pats still No. 1

What a wild time it's been in the NFL.

In the past few weeks, we had the Tom Brady suspension being upheld, Josh Norman dissed by his own team, then signing a mega-deal, the draft led by two teams trading to the top to get passers, the drop out of the first round by the draft's best player (Myles Jack ... and a draft-night gas-mask video that will be hard to forget.

What offseason?

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The NFL has done a remarkable job of making sure it's always in the news. The insatiable appetite of the fans makes it that way. We wouldn't have it any other way, either.

It's why post-draft Power Rankings, like the ones I have here, get so much interest. They might mean about as much as team's pre-draft public stance, but they are fun to do, and fun to discuss. Or at least I think they are.

The Patriots, even with Tom Brady facing a four-game suspension to open the season, remain in the top spot of these rankings, which means they will almost certainly be there when the next batch comes out before camp.

I think the Patriots can go 2-2 without Brady and with Jimmy Garoppolo, which means they will again win at least 12 games. The division is theirs. Then it becomes about the postseason, and we know how good Brady has been in the postseason.

The Arizona Cardinals are in the second spot, and they've made some major improvements on defense this spring. They traded to get pass rusher Chandler Jones from the Patriots and drafted Robert Nkemdiche in the first round. If they hit on those two, the defense might be able to match the explosive offense in terms of rankings.

That's good enough to make them the top NFC team in these rankings. There is a lot of competition, including in their own division with the Seattle Seahawks and, of course, the Green Bay Packers and Carolina Panthers.

It's mini-camp and OTA time now, and then a little short break before training camp, which is right around the corner.

Offseason? There isn't any. And that's just the way we like it.

Biggest Movers
13 Jaguars
4 Lions
Rk
Teams
 
Chg
Rcrd
1 Patriots They are always going to be in the mix with Brady and coach Bill Belichick. They've done some nice adding in the spring as well. -- 0-0-0
2 Cardinals They were close last year and adding Chandler Jones and Robert Nkemdiche to the defense will help them get even better. The offense will once again be top-notch. -- 0-0-0
3 Bengals This is a deep, talented team that had another nice draft. They just have to stay healthy. 1 0-0-0
4 Packers As long as Aaron Rodgers is chucking it around, the Packers will be among the league's best. Getting Jordy Nelson back healthy will be big. 5 0-0-0
5 Seahawks They used the draft to fortify both lines, which was a smart thing to do. Now they have to figure out who runs it behind Russell Wilson. -- 0-0-0
6 Panthers Letting Josh Norman go will be felt some, but this is a team that wins up front, not on the back end. Cam Newton and the offense will love having Kelvin Benjamin back. 3 0-0-0
7 Steelers They should again feature a big-play offense with Ben Roethlisberger. They also made some nice moves on defense in the draft. The Steelers will be in the Super Bowl mix again. 3 0-0-0
8 Broncos It's all about quarterback for this team, and that means Mark Sanchez. They did draft Paxton Lynch from Memphis, but he might take some time to play. 2 0-0-0
9 Raiders They have improved their roster greatly this offseason, both in free agency and the draft. Could they push Denver for the division title? 4 0-0-0
10 Chiefs Losing Justin Houston will hurt, but this is a talented team that will again be a potential wild-card team. 3 0-0-0
11 Vikings It's all about the growth of Teddy Bridgewater for the Vikings. They've added help on the line and getting receiver Laquon Treadwell should help the passing game. 3 0-0-0
12 Cowboys If they get Tony Romo back healthy, they are the team to beat in the NFC East. It looks like he is and getting Ezekiel Elliott will be a nice help. But that defense? 1 0-0-0
13 Jaguars They were dynamic on offense last season, and now they might be just as good on defense. Adding Jalen Ramsey, Myles Jack and four others over the weekend will elevate that unit. 13 0-0-0
14 Colts I like what they did in the draft, adding center Ryan Kelly in the first round. The key to their season, as always, is making sure Andrew Luck stays healthy. 2 0-0-0
15 Giants They've improved the defense in the draft and through free agency. If it comes together, they can push Dallas for the best team in the NFC East. 1 0-0-0
16 Texans They got new quarterback Brock Osweiler and some new toys in the draft, led by first-round receiver Will Fuller. The schedule will be much tougher. 1 0-0-0
17 Redskins They added a big-play receiver in the first round in Josh Doctson and also picked up Norman two weeks ago. None of it will matter if Kirk Cousins regresses. 1 0-0-0
18 Bills They addressed defense early in the draft, which was the right thing to do. They're still a ways away from competing with the Patriots. 1 0-0-0
19 Jets I like the pick of Christian Hackenberg in the second round, but can he start? What do they do with Ryan Fitzpatrick? 1 0-0-0
20 Bears The Bears had a great draft and will be much improved on defense. They are being built just like John Fox likes: With defense as the focal point. 2 0-0-0
21 Falcons They addressed defense in the draft, which they had to do. Coach Dan Quinn is trying to build his version of Seattle's defense in Atlanta. 1 0-0-0
22 Rams They got their franchise passer in Jared Goff, but when does he start? I say put him in there right away. Let the process begin. 1 0-0-0
23 Lions The first year without Calvin Johnson will be interesting in terms of how it changes the dynamic of the offense. They added a tackle in Taylor Decker in the first round, maybe an indication of a move to the run game. 4 0-0-0
24 Dolphins They took a chance on Laremy Tunsil in the first round, and it will be a move that pays off big. The Dolphins had a nice draft haul, but still might be a year away from competing for the division title. 4 0-0-0
25 Eagles When do they play Carson Wentz? When should they? My answer? Right away. Get on with it. 1 0-0-0
26 Buccaneers They are a team to watch in 2017. I think 2016 will be a year of growing for a lot of young players. They did add some nice pieces on defense in the draft. Oh, they also got a kicker in the second round. 3 0-0-0
27 Ravens There are so many key players coming back from injury, but the draft helped re-stock the roster. That's key for the rebuild of this team. 2 0-0-0
28 Saints They added some help to a defense that badly needed it in the draft, getting Sheldon Rankins in the first round. But they need a lot of young players to take the next step on that side of the ball to get back to being a playoff team. 1 0-0-0
29 Chargers Getting Joey Bosa will help the defense, but this is the fourth-best team in the AFC West. Philip Rivers might be able to change that. -- 0-0-0
30 49ers Adding DeForest Buckner will help, but can he play quarterback? Until they fix that, this team will stay down here near the bottom. -- 0-0-0
31 Titans They've added some solid pieces, and they have a franchise passer. I just don't think they will take big steps forward in 2016. -- 0-0-0
32 Browns It's not about this year for the Browns. It's about the growth of the young players. Robert Griffin III will be the major story in 2016. -- 0-0-0
CBS Sports Senior Writer

Pete Prisco has covered the NFL for three decades, including working as a beat reporter in Jacksonville for the Jaguars. When he's not watching game tape, you can find Pete on Twitter or dreaming of an... Full Bio

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