Power Rankings

With the draft only two days away, fans around the country are hoping that their team uses the three-day selection meeting to rebuild, restock or reload their roster. It’s an event that can transform a franchise, for better or worse, if things aren’t handled in the proper way.

Being successful during the draft ultimately comes down to one thing: Making good decisions. When trade offers come a teams way, do they jump at the opportunity or decide to pass? When they are on the clock, do they pick the right player or reach to fill a need? Being on the right side of these types of questions are what separate the good teams on draft day from the bad ones.

How will your favorite team react and perform? Typically, the answer comes down to the guys in charge. What person, or group of people, is ultimately making those calls?

Heading into Thursday night, which fan bases should have faith in their franchise and which ones should be worried? The editors at cover32 rank the reliability of each team’s front office to answer that all-important question:


1. Seattle Seahawks – When a team wins a Super Bowl with a relatively young roster, which was primarily built through the draft, it’s a sign that their front office knows what it’s doing. John Schneider and Company earn high praise.

2. Baltimore Ravens – Ozzie Newsome is perhaps the best general manager in the NFL, having proven that he can build a Super Bowl winner on two different occasions, more than a decade apart. They have their way and they stick to it.

3. St. Louis Rams – The Rams have two picks in the top 13 this season because they pulled off one of the greatest fleecings in recent NFL history. The trade with Washington for RGIII, which earned St. Louis the No. 2 pick this season, was a steal.

4. Indianapolis Colts – Sure, Ryan Grigson somewhat stumbled into good fortune, having the No. 1 pick when Andrew Luck was on the board. But that’s not the only reason he transformed the Colts from the cellar to a playoff team in one season.

5. Green Bay Packers – Ted Thompson has been on the job for nearly a decade, which provides a unique stability in Titletown. As a result, the Packers tend to make very good decisions. Case in point: Grabbing Eddie Lacy in the second round a year ago.

6. Cincinnati Bengals – People like to scoff at the Brown family, claiming that they don’t know what they’re doing in the front office. But the results show otherwise. A young QB-WR combo has led them to the playoffs in three straight seasons.

7. Pittsburgh Steelers – Perhaps the most-stable franchise in all of professional sports, the Steelers know what they are, know what they want and they stick to the game plan. Kevin Colbert has built two Super Bowl winners that way.

8. New England Patriots – Yes, Bill Belichick hasn’t landed as many draft steals in recent years. Sure, his trick of constantly trading down to stockpile picks is growing stale. But it’s really hard to question the guy, given his overall track record.

9. Arizona Cardinals – Steve Keim might not have been a household name when he got the job in Arizona, but he’s proven to be effective. Hiring Bruce Arians was an outside-the-box idea, as was drafting Tyrann Mathieu. He’s a bold thinker.

10. Houston Texans – Coming off a horrendous season, it’s hard to think positively about the Texans. But close analysis of their roster, which is littered with talented players that they drafted, shows that Rick Smith knows what he’s doing.

11. New York Giants – People in New York will point to one blunder after another, finding plenty of ways to be unhappy with the job general manager Jerry Reese has done. But a pair of Super Bowl rings are the ultimate way to silence the critics.

12. Carolina Panthers – It’s hard not to be bullish on Dave Gettleman, considering the job he did during his first season in Carolina. He stuck with Ron Rivera, when most people were calling for the coach’s head, and won the NFC South title.

13. Denver Broncos – John Elway has been fantastic in free agency, but only so-so in the draft. Broncos fans need to hope that the skill in one area of personnel seeps over to the other side of the equation when the Broncos are on the clock.

14. Atlanta Falcons – Prior to last season’s debacle, the Falcons under Thomas Dimitroff’s leadership had won five more games than any other NFL franchise during a five-year span. That track record trumps one injury-plagued campaign.

15. Chicago Bears – Nobody quite knows what to make of Phil Emery, which is the way the Bears GM seems to like it. But his seemingly quirky moves tend to pay off. Hiring a CFL coach, Marc Trestman, transformed Chicago’s offense in season one.

16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – The body of work on which to evaluate Jason Licht and his staff is limited. But the early returns are positive. The Bucs hired a good head coach in Lovie Smith and have made some great moves in free agency.


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  1. The Rams at number three?? That’s obsurd. The basis is they have two picks in the top 13. The first pick that they received from Washington was thanks to a dumb move by the Redskins. The pick is so high because Robert Griffin was injured and the team as a whole severly underperformed. The fact that they have the second pick is pure luck. In regards to the 13th pick, they have it because the team the front office put on the field garnered them the 13th worst record in the leauge! Make the arguement that it was because Bradford was injured, but they were 3-4 with him as a starter. Clemons played servicably in his absence with a 4-5 (better) reacord. There’s no way the Rams should be close to the top of this list. This team hasn’t been good since Kurt Warner left.

    • Not Paul

      Paul, I hope you realize the Rams got exactly what they needed in the draft which is exactly why they deserve the 3rd spot. The RGIII trade allowed the Rams to get a number of blue chip players out of it and a first round pick this year. This year their first pick made their offensive line the best in the league because they filled the only hole on their O-line. I’m not a Rams fan but I know what I’m talking about and you don’t. Keep in mind the Rams have a young and swell defense along with Sam Bradford who might have been 3-4 but had stats of an elite quarterback during that stretch. The Rams also have Tavon Austin, who made his mark in the league this year. I’m sorry but you don’t really know your football.

  2. Saints at number 29… Is this Roger? Drew Brees was a stroke of a luck… Come one man.

  3. Faithful

    Saints at 29… How the… Bush, Meacham, Jordan, Vaccaro… All have been Gems, except Ingram, and his down performance was partly due to injury…

  4. Wow, I’m actually sorry I wasted 2 minutes to browse this list. It was obviously compiled by someone who doesn’t pay much attention to football and doesn’t truly understand what the front office is supposed to do.

  5. The Saints at 29? Let’s see, where do I begin? Post-Katrina……. Superbowl Win…..How many active GMs have one? in no particular order…….. Payton, Brees, Sproles, Sharper (ignoring legal issues), Galette, Jordan, Vilma, Harper, Colston, Graham, Thomas, Vacarro, Bush, Brown, Nicks, Evans, Bushrod, Goodwin, Strief, Greer, Lewis, Morestead, Dennis Allen (HC Oakland) , Doug Marrone (HC Buffalo), Curtis Johnson (HC Tulane), Rob Ryan, Williams (Rams DC), Aaron Kromer (Bears OC).

  6. Amateur hour.

    The entire basis for the Rams’ position is 1 trade? How about their long run at losing records?

    Packers are absolutely third due to continuing a trend of not overpaying players, drafting and development, the use of undrafted FA, all while having one of the best records in a decade including a super bowl

    Same could be said for the Saints.

  7. Ummm?…yea…this list is a complete Joke. This idiot clearly has no idea what makes a good front office.

  8. rdsknzfan

    Cover 32 gets it wrong again. Texans go 2-14 are ranked No. 10. Falcons ranked on the first page. Dallas ahead of Washington. Redskins won the East in 2012 and played 2013 with a wounded Griffin who IMHO will shut the mouths of this waste of skin web site for football coverage.

  9. Bajabound

    The 49ers at 24? Are you for real? Ok, this is your opinion. But a team that goes to the play off 3 years in a row, one of those years to the SB, and you say #24? Because of some lame articles about Harbaugh and Ballke “butting heads”? Which they both have denied btw. It may be true. It may not be true. But the 49ers are still contenders for the SB this year. And looking at how they drafted the last 3 years, make your opinion look pretty stupid.

  10. Really ???? i’m not a Bronco’s fan but , dang . also Bears at 15 ? Wrong notice no one put a signature on this? just Staff writing brain dead

  11. Chuck Clausen

    Owners are spending more money to hire and keep a quality scouting staff – sat in the draft room of three teams over 18 seasons. I found that most scouts have strength and weakness. Over time we have found most scouts have position area where they had great strength. And weaknesses. The good GM knows who to listen to when it got down to a couple players. I coached linebackers and defensive linemen,

  12. Trinidad Jack

    Gotta agree with most of the posters here, especially Brad. I just wasted several minutes of my life I can never get back.

  13. J.Gilmore

    If I end up wasting much more my time on crap like this, I’m not coming back to this site.

  14. SnBAttack

    Hodgepodge huh? Spending a lot of money? Do you actually keep track of off-season NFL news or just make an uneducated guess? Reggie McKenzie is doing exactly what he needs to do and doing it at minimal cost. And I see you didn’t mention that the majority of the “hodgepodge” players he has acquired all have Super Bowl rings, a few pro-bowlers, and NO lengthy contracts. This list is way off on a lot of teams, not just the Raiders.

  15. REALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Byrd wanted OUT OF BUFFALO, PERIOD!
    No amount of $$$$ would have changed that & I think they did the best thing, cut bait & move forward. You have no clue! We finally have it right! Give us two more years.

    • tdg1010

      And speaking of Jairus Byrd…
      According to this guy, Loomis doesnt know what he is doing and is “lucky”. Yet he was smart enough to get aruguably the best veteran safety in Byrd and pair him with arugably the best young safety in Vacarro. If we can get anywhere close to the production you guys got when Byrd first showed up in Buffalo, I’m pretty sure our #5 defense just got a whole lot better. But according to the pinhead writing this article, the Saints front office is wholly reliant on a lucky signing from 2006.

      And Swaz not trying to pile on because I think you are 100% correct. The situation between Byrd and the Bills had gotten so bad, they had to cut bait and move on.

  16. ThisBelongsInTheTrash

    “Perhaps the most-stable franchise in all of professional sports, the Steelers know…” Hmm. Wonder what makes them so stable and constantly a contender? Cant be the front office, because theyre apparently behind such super bowl packed front offices as Cinci, Indy, and St. Louis. You know your article is a gem when not a single comment agrees with you.

  17. Questionable

    Let’s think about this for a second. You have the 49er’s at 24? The Patriots at 8? The RAMS at 3? First of all, when was the last time the Rams made the playoffs you idiot? The Patriots haven’t won less than 9 games in a season in 14 years (and they only did that ONE time) and won THREE Super Bowls and have been to FIVE. Not to mention 7 AFC title games in 14 years. This automatically gives them the best front office because the front office’s job is to give the team enough talent to win. Clearly, you know NOTHING about football when you put the Jaguars and the Jets ahead of the Saints and the 49er’s. I just want to know your basis for this? I mean lets look at Cincinnati for instance….Can you name ONE player they signed in free agency? AND they lost Andrew Hawkins for literally nothing to an in conference rival. I mean what the hell are you talking about. They SUCK. Front offices job- Manage cap, draft talent,SIGN AND RETAIN talent. Someone please explain this reasoning to me.

  18. ur always going to have neg. comments about raiders, every ones a bust . Media, no nothing neer did nothing

  19. Dave Gettleman has a eye for talent and his approach of best player available is a Great!!!!! one so watch out for my Panthers

  20. Rudely, I agree. And yet they rank the Texans front office ahead of Carolina/Gettleman. And this after the panthers go from sub-500 and over the cap, to 12-4 (beating saints, 49′s, Pat’s and almost the Seahawks in the opener) and brought them way below the cap AT THE SAME TIME! And it was Gettlemans first year folks!

  21. I wish I could get my 5 minutes back. The Niners at 24? They supposedly have the 9th WORST front office and have put up 36 reg season wins in the last 3 seasons, to go along with 5 playoff wins, 3 consecutive champ game appearances and a super bowl appearance. They have actually been better than Seattle up until this year, and finihsed ONE game behind them in the regular season and lost to them by 6 on their much hyped home turf. But Seattle’s front office ranks 23 better. LMAO. What a pathetic excuse for journalism.

  22. I’ll remind you that the Colts gave up a #1 pick for Trent Richardson (after he demonstrated how much of a bum he really is), so I’m thinking on that trade alone anything above #20 is charity.

  23. the rams???? they haven’t been relevant in over a decade. this list is pathetic at best. The packers have been a superbowl or playoff contender basically every year since 1992. and how about the pats, why aren’t they in the top 5?