NFL Power Rankings: Chiefs remain in top spot, Buccaneers make big jump after signing Tom Brady
The Chiefs and Ravens earned the top two spots in Pete Prisco's pre-draft power rankings
With free agency over and the NFL Draft around the corner, it's time for another batch of Power Rankings, the first rankings that will take into account the movement of free agency.
Oddly enough, the team at the top of the rankings did little in free agency. The Kansas City Chiefs, the defending Super Bowl Champions, didn't add one player of note from another team. They did suffer some losses, such as corner-safety Kendall Fuller, but they remain the league's best team.
The reason is Patrick Mahomes. He is the NFL's best quarterback and he will have back 10 of the 11 offensive starters from the Super Bowl victory over the San Francisco 49ers, with the only loss being left guard Stefan Wisniewski, who was a fill-in anyway.
The Chiefs do need help at corner on defense, but they can address that in the draft. They made sure to keep defensive tackle Chris Jones, a force up front, by giving him the franchise tag.
The biggest movers in these rankings are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Indianapolis Colts, with both moving up nine spots. The Bucs were 19th in my post-Super Bowl rankings, but are now 10th because of the signing of Tom Brady. They can be a lot higher by November if the defense comes together.
The Colts were 20th in my last rankings, but are up to 11th in these rankings because of the signing of Philip Rivers.
The Patriots, Brady's old team, fell from seventh to 12th, which isn't a big fall. That's because of Bill Belichick. He will find a way to make his team competitive. You wait and see.
|1||Chiefs||Even though they did little in free agency, they are still the team to beat. Scary thing is Patrick Mahomes is just getting going.||--||12-4-0|
|2||Ravens||They added some nice pieces to the defense with Calais Campbell and Derek Wolfe up front. They still need to add a speedy linebacker and help at receiver.||1||14-2-0|
|3||Saints||With Drew Brees back, and few weaknesses, they are once again a top team in the NFC. It's hard to find a real trouble area.||2||13-3-0|
|4||49ers||They traded away defensive lineman DeForest Buckner and lost receiver Emmanuel Sanders, which will both hurt. But they have two first-round picks.||2||13-3-0|
|5||Packers||They didn't do much in free agency, but linebacker Christian Kirksey will help the defense. They will be better in the second season with Matt LaFleur and Aaron Rodgers working together.||1||13-3-0|
|6||Seahawks||With Russell Wilson a legitimate MVP candidate, they are always in the Super Bowl mix. Do they bring back Jadeveon Clowney?||--||11-5-0|
|7||Bills||They brought in a good free-agent class to help a team that is the division favorite. It's all about the growth of Josh Allen as to how far they can go.||2||10-6-0|
|8||Eagles||They were gutted by injuries last season, so health will be the key. Adding corner Darius Slay in a trade will really help the defense. Now they need to add a receiver.||4||9-7-0|
|9||Cowboys||They got hit some on defense in free agency -- losing Byron Jones is a big hit -- and then center Travis Frederick retired. They did bring back Amari Cooper for the offense.||4||8-8-0|
|10||Buccaneers||It's all about Tom Brady, right? Wrong. It will be about the defensive growth.||9||7-9-0|
|11||Colts||Adding Philip Rivers makes them the division favorite. Adding DeForest Buckner will make the defense much better, especially with all the young talent improving around him.||9||7-9-0|
|12||Patriots||Why are they this high up on the list? Easy: Bill Belichick. What if Jared Stidham is good? Are you going to doubt the greatest coach of all time?||5||12-4-0|
|13||Vikings||Kirk Cousins got a new contract after winning a playoff game last year, but more will be asked of him now with the defense depleted. They do have two first-round picks.||5||10-6-0|
|14||Steelers||Getting Ben Roethlisberger back changes the dynamic of this group. The defense will again be good, so it's all on the health of Roethlisberger.||--||8-8-0|
|15||Titans||They gave Ryan Tannehill a big contract, which will define their path the next three years. They will again be a feisty team that can get hot and make a push in the postseason - if they get there.||4||9-7-0|
|16||Broncos||If Drew Lock can play like he did late last season, they could be a playoff team. Maybe John Elway has found his quarterback.||--||7-9-0|
|17||Cardinals||They added DeAndre Hopkins to the offense, which will help Kyler Murray, and they made some nice additions to the defense. They could challenge for a playoff spot.||5||5-10-1|
|18||Falcons||Adding a pass rusher in Dante Fowler will help, but they need a corner and more pass rush. They also have to protect Matt Ryan better.||--||7-9-0|
|19||Rams||They made some changes to their coaching staff and suffered a few hits in free agency. It will be a challenge for Sean McVay to get this team back to a Super Bowl.||4||9-7-0|
|20||Raiders||They improved the defense in a lot of ways in free agency, which they had to do. But who starts at quarterback? Derek Carr or Marcus Mariota?||1||7-9-0|
|21||Chargers||For now, Tyrod Taylor is the quarterback but they will likely draft one in the first round. Should Cam Newton be considered?||3||5-11-0|
|22||Browns||Landing right tackle Jack Conklin was a good move in free agency, but now they need a left tackle to go with him. The biggest issue with the Browns is coach Kevin Stefanski instilling discipline, since that seemed to get away from them last year.||6||6-10-0|
|23||Texans||They traded away their best player in DeAndre Hopkins, which was strange, but they still have Deshaun Watson at quarterback. He's always a threat to take them to the postseason, even if there are issues at other spots.||13||10-6-0|
|24||Dolphins||This team is coming. They did a nice job in free agency and now have a ton of picks to continue to grow a young roster. Brian Flores has to be thrilled.||2||5-11-0|
|25||Bears||Will Nick Foles be the starter at quarterback ahead of Mitch Trubisky? Is he that much better? I don't think he is.||8||8-8-0|
|26||Jets||This is a team with a lot of holes, even though they filled a few in free agency. Patience is important in a lot of ways.||1||7-9-0|
|27||Bengals||They spent money in free agency, which is a change of sorts. They did add D.J. Reader up front on defense, which will help. Next up: Using the first pick on Joe Burrow.||5||2-14-0|
|28||Panthers||Teddy Bridgewater is now the quarterback after signing a three-year deal to replace the released Cam Newton. Is he better than Newton? I don't think he's better than a healthy Newton.||5||5-11-0|
|29||Giants||Their entire season will be about the growth of Daniel Jones. They do have to improve the line in front of him, but they didn't do much of that in free agency.||1||4-12-0|
|30||Lions||Matt Stafford is coming back, which is a good thing. But have they improved that much this offseason so far?||1||3-12-1|
|31||Jaguars||It's all about Gardner Minshew for now. He has to make strides after they traded Nick Foles. Will they bring in a veteran to challenge him? Should they?||4||6-10-0|
|32||Redskins||New coach Ron Rivera has to get Dwayne Haskins playing good football early in the season. Haskins has the tools, but it could take some time.||3||3-13-0|
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