Is there anything that gets people's blood boiling more than NFL Power Rankings in May?
OK. Power Rankings at any time. But at this time of the year, they mean even less, which is why it draws the ire of many. But my bosses love them. So I do them.
Free agency is over, the draft has come and gone, which means aside from a few veteran signings here and there, these are your teams for the 2023 NFL season, no matter how much the fans like it — or don't.
With rosters pretty much set, it's time to do the post-draft Power Rankings, the first ones with a real look toward the 2023 season. The top remains the same, with the Kansas City Chiefs at No. 1 and the Philadelphia Eagles in the second spot.
The Chiefs will have to navigate a brutal AFC to get back to the Super Bowl and have a chance to repeat. With Patrick Mahomes still healthy and capable of carrying this team, they have to remain the top team.
The Eagles will have a much easier path to get back to the Super Bowl, where they lost to the Chiefs last February. The NFC isn't close to being as good as the AFC. Just look at the quarterbacks. In addition to Mahomes, the AFC has Joe Burrow, Aaron Rodgers, Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson, Justin Herbert and Trevor Lawrence. The NFC has Jalen Hurts, which is why the Eagles are the favorites, and then after that it's a group that includes Dak Prescott, Kirk Cousins and some others. It is not close to the AFC group.
But that doesn't mean a team can't emerge. I probably like Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff more than most, so the Lions are a contender with a good roster that was supplemented by a great draft. Coach Dan Campbell has a talented team that should be the favorite in the NFC North and push for even more. The Lions? It's weird just writing that. The Lions are up to 11th in my rankings.
Some will wonder why the Jacksonville Jaguars are sixth, but here goes: They have rising stars in guys like Lawrence and they've added a big dimension to the offense with Calvin Ridley. Plus, they will play six games against a division loaded with quarterback uncertainty and four more against the NFC South, which isn't exactly the best division in football. So the Jaguars should win 11-13 games this year. If they don't, something bad happened.
The bottom teams are both from the NFC West. I have the Arizona Cardinals last with the Los Angeles Rams just above them. Both teams are in rebuild mode and the Cardinals have a quarterback in Kyler Murray coming off a torn ACL.
A reminder, though, that just when we think we have a handle on this league, it reminds us we really don't. See my mock draft from last week.
So calm down. It is just May.
|They have some changes on their offensive and defensive lines, but as long as Patrick Mahomes is slinging it and Andy Reid is coaching it, they will be fine. The defending champs open in the top spot.||--||14-3-0|
|Their roster is even more loaded than it was after the Super Bowl loss. They killed the draft, which will make them even better. This team is clearly the best in the NFC.||--||14-3-0|
|Some have said the window is closing on this team, but I don't buy it. They had a good, solid draft, which will help Josh Allen. The change to Sean McDermott calling the defense should make it more aggressive.||1||13-3-0|
|The Bengals and Joe Burrow will be in the top 10 for the foreseeable future. They are so talented and they are coming off an impressive draft that will help keep the defense improving.||1||12-4-0|
|The team is as talented as any, but it's the quarterback situation that has uncertainty. When will Brock Purdy be ready to go? If he's out for a while, can Trey Lance or Sam Darnold hold it down?||--||13-4-0|
|They didn't do a lot in free agency, but this is based on the growth of a lot of young players, especially Trevor Lawrence. The schedule is also very favorable.||1||9-8-0|
|Mike McCarthy takes over play calling for Dak Prescott this season. Adding veterans Brandin Cooks and Stephon Gilmore is big, and they also had a good draft.||1||12-5-0|
|They've made a big leap up these rankings after getting Aaron Rodgers. The talent is all over this roster, but now comes the tough part for the young guys, which is handling expectations.||13||7-10-0|
|As long as Tua Tagovailoa stays healthy, they will be good on offense. The defense has improved by adding Jalen Ramsey on the corner. The problem is the division is brutal.||3||9-8-0|
|As usual, the Chargers will enter the season with high expectations. Is this the year that they live up those? The talent is there if they stay healthy.||2||10-7-0|
|This is a team on the rise with a lot of good, young players in a division that isn't great right now. That's usually a formula for success. Watch out for the Lions.||3||9-8-0|
|Now that Lamar Jackson is signed, they are back to being a contender in the AFC North. Adding Odell Beckham Jr., and Zay Flowers as receivers has to make new coordinator Todd Monken a happy man. It's time for Jackson to sling it around.||2||10-7-0|
|They were a playoff team a year ago and have a young roster moving in the right direction. The big question is whether quarterback Daniel Jones, who they signed to a big deal, can continue to grow.||4||9-7-1|
|If Deshaun Watson can revert to his old form, they will be a major factor in the division race. He looked bad last year, which has to be concerning. They have done a nice job adding to the roster through the draft and free agency.||9||7-10-0|
|In a weakened division, they have a chance to win it if San Francisco doesn't solve the quarterback position. Geno Smith has to play like he did last year.||2||9-8-0|
|If second-year quarterback Kenny Pickett can take the next step, they will be much higher than this. That's the main question hanging over this team. Improving the line in front of him is a must.||--||9-8-0|
|They were a playoff team last year, but the defense was bad. The change to go to Brian Flores as the coordinator will be a good one. They will be much more aggressive, which is needed.||6||13-4-0|
|They have enough talent to push the Eagles, with one big caveat: Sam Howell. If he's as good as Washington thinks he can be, they will be good. If not, they will draft a quarterback next year.||1||8-8-1|
|The Jordan Love era begins as Aaron Rodgers is gone to the Jets. Love flashed last season, so they have to be excited to see where he can go. Their draft was loaded with pass catchers who will help him.||4||8-9-0|
|Derek Carr is in as the quarterback, which is an upgrade. The roster has talent, although age is creeping in, so this might be the last chance for some of these guys - even in a bad division.||2||7-10-0|
|They will always be tough, feisty and play hard, which is the Mike Vrabel way. But do they throw it around well enough with Ryan Tannehill? When does Will Levis play? It's always the same story about their passing game.||1||7-10-0|
|Bryce Young will be the quarterback, which should be an upgrade over recent years. If he's really good, they will win the division. That's a big if for a rookie.||2||7-10-0|
|This is another team moving in the right direction. Justin Fields needs to improve as a passer, but they made moves this offseason to help that become a reality. They are a year away.||9||3-14-0|
|They think Baker Mayfield can get them to nine wins, which might win the division. They definitely added some much needed speed in the draft.||7||8-9-0|
|Jimmy Garoppolo takes over as the quarterback for Derek Carr. They did have a good draft, but they are the third or fourth team in the division - and it's not close behind the top two teams.||--||6-11-0|
|This is a big season for third-year coach Arthur Smith. They have belief in second-year quarterback Desmond Ridder, which will likely decide if Smith is back for a fourth year||--||7-10-0|
|The Mac Jones situation bears watching. Do they like him or not? One thing's for sure, coordinator Bill O'Brien will be better for this offense than the mess from last year.||9||8-9-0|
|Sean Payton takes over as coach with the job of turning around Russell Wilson's career after a bad 2022 season. The roster has talent, so it's all about Wilson.||2||5-12-0|
|Rookie Anthony Richardson will be the starter right away, and he has a ton of talent. But it might take some time for him to develop. That's OK. New coach Shane Steichen will be good for him.||1||4-12-1|
|This will be a growth year for new coach DeMeco Ryans. Rookie C.J. Stroud will be the quarterback and his development could take time. But this team is coming.||1||3-13-1|
|They are in rebuild mode, which will make for a long season. But with Matt Stafford, Aaron Donald and coach Sean McVay they do still have some stars.||2||5-12-0|
|The roster is one of the worst in the league and Kyler Murray is coming off a torn ACL. New coach Jonathan Gannon has a lot of work to do. At least they had a good draft and have a lot of picks - two in the first round - next year.||5||4-13-0|