May
20
2014
Power Rankings
By
35072 views
33 comments

The offseason is all but over – not in terms of duration, unfortunately, but based on the moves teams are going to make in order to improve their roster. They’ve made cuts. They’ve signed free agents. And now, they’ve drafted their class of 2014. Other than a few minor tweaks and cutting down rosters, each NFL franchise has what it is going to have heading into the upcoming season.

Thus, it’s a good time to take a look at each roster, evaluate the talent base and determine how teams stack up. For the first time since the Super Bowl, it’s an evaluation that isn’t based on incomplete data; the cards have essentially been dealt.

With that in mind, the editors at cover32 gathered to assemble this week’s Power Rankings, rating each NFL team from one to 32 based on their drafts. An important distinction to keep in mind is these are not traditional Power Rankings, as we did those last week. Here are today’s results based solely on the draft:

***

1. Houston Texans – While there are certainly reasons to be worried about Jadeveon Clowney, he was the best player available in the draft; that immediately helps a team’s draft grade. But adding Xavier Su’a-Filo, the guard out of UCLA, and Louis Nix III, the defensive tackle out of Notre Dame, gave the Texans two other players with first-round abilities. Plus, Tom Savage is a very intriguing quarterback prospect for a team in need of a signal caller.

2. Miami Dolphins – People contend that Ja’Wuan James went too high at No. 19. But if he’s an immediate starter at right tackle, who cares? That filled a big-time need for the Dolphins. Jarvis Landry gives Ryan Tannehill a sure-handed target, which is never a bad thing for a young quarterback. And Jordan Tripp, the linebacker from Montana, has a chance to be the steal of the draft. Miami got much better in three days time.

3. Pittsburgh Steelers – With their first two picks, the Steelers grabbed two players with first-round talent, adding pieces to Dick LeBeau’s defense that will surely be put to good use. Ryan Shazier is an athletic linebacker, which will make him very versatile in Pittsburgh. And Stephon Tuitt has the potential to be a terrific player in the middle of the defensive line, a place where the Steelers know how to get the most out of guys.

4. Cincinnati Bengals – The Bengals needed to add a cornerback, given the fact that they are getting longer and longer in the tooth at that position, and they did just that, adding perhaps the best one in the draft when they grabbed Darqueze Dennard at No. 24. That’s a great value at that spot. Plus, Cincinnati was able to grab A.J. McCarron in the fifth round, a quarterback who can provide some much-needed competition for Andy Dalton.

5. Atlanta Falcons – Jake Matthews is going to be the best offensive lineman from a draft that was stocked at that position, especially tackles. He will anchor Atlanta in the trenches for years to come, giving Matt Ryan plenty of protection. This was a smart pick for a team drafting higher than their talent level warrants. Ra’Shede Hageman was a solid choice in the second round, as well, given that a lot of people had him going on day one.

6. Green Bay Packers – In recent years, it’s been proven that the addition of a big-time safety can transform a defense. Look what Earl Thomas did in Seattle, as well as Eric Berry in Kansas City. So drafting Ha Ha Clinton-Dix at No. 21 was a no-brainer for the Packers. And in the later rounds, they did a nice job of restocking the shelves at wideout; Fresno State’s Davante Adams is a sleeper to have a nice rookie season.

7. San Francisco 49ers – If the 49ers group of draft picks was a college recruiting class, they’d earn high marks simply because of volume. San Francisco finished the three days with 12 new players, giving them plenty of competition heading into camp. Jimmie Ward is a solid No. 1 pick, as a hard-hitting safety is a good fit with the Niners. Carlos Hyde is the perfect heir apparent to Frank Gore. And Chris Borland is intriguing in the middle of the defense.

8. Cleveland Browns – This could become an A+, depending on what Buffalo’s first-round pick in 2015 turns out to be. If the Browns luck out like the Rams did, seeing Washington’s future No. 1 turn into the second-overall pick in the draft, that’d be a huge coup. In the meantime, Cleveland will have to judge this year’s crop of talent, which includes a great cornerback (Justin Gilbert) and the team’s new savior (quarterback Johnny Manziel). It’s gonna be fun to watch.

9. Jacksonville Jaguars – The Jaguars transformed their offense with their first three picks. On Thursday night, Jacksonville shocked everyone by taking Blake Bortles with the third-overall selection; he’s their quarterback of the future. And he’ll be throwing to a pair of talented receivers, as the Jags added USC’s Marqise Lee and Penn State’s Allen Robinson with two picks in the second round; that’s a trio that will determine J-Ville’s future.

10. Oakland Raiders – They were hoping that Khalil Mack would slip to the fifth pick, so the Raiders were thrilled when their turn came in the first round. But the outside linebacker from Buffalo still has to prove that he can make the leap. Derek Carr was a good pick early in the second round, giving Oakland a quarterback to groom under Matt Schaub. Ultimately, those two players – the cornerstones for the future on offense and defense – will define the 2014 draft for Oakland.

11. Chicago Bears – Few “experts” considered Kyle Fuller to be the best cornerback available in the draft, but that’s mainly because they can’t measure attributes like heart and work ethic with a stopwatch. Chicago did very well adding him to their defense, as Fuller will be a very good player for a decade. Going for defensive tackles in both the second and third rounds – adding Ego Ferguson and Will Sutton – shows that Marc Trestman knew he needed to fix his defense.

12. St. Louis Rams – Everybody is singing the praises of the Rams, talking about how they landed the best haul in the draft. Given that they had two of the top-13 picks, that shouldn’t have been that hard. But in a lot of ways, they blew it. Jake Matthews is a better tackle that Greg Robinson, who St. Louis took second overall. And Aaron Donald simply adds to a position of strength for Jeff Fisher’s teams. They didn’t help themselves become instant contenders in a tough division.

13. Arizona Cardinals – The Cardinals are quickly assembling one of the best defensive backfields in the NFL, at least outside of Seattle. Trading down in the first round and then adding safety Deone Bucannon at No. 27 was a good move, as it adds a hitter to a group that already includes three very good cover guys. And Logan Thomas, the quarterback from Virginia Tech, was a good fourth-round choice, as he can learn behind Carson Palmer for a couple of years.

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – If there was any question about what side of the ball Lovie Smith felt he needed to improve, after spending a lot of time during free agency retooling the Buccaneers defense, it was evident during the draft; every selection Tampa Bay made was on the offensive side of the ball. This includes two pass catchers – wideout Mike Evans and tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins – who both should really help out new quarterback Josh McCown.

15. New York Jets – The Jets landed a big-time safety in the first round, as Calvin Pryor will fit nicely into Rex Ryan’s defense, which is already the strength of the team. Then, they went out and picked two players who can be security blankets for Geno Smith. Jace Amaro should be the tight end of the future, while Jalen Saunders figures to be the slot receiver that every young quarterback likes to have as a safety valve.

16. Denver Broncos – The Broncos needed to add another cornerback, having lost two to free agency, so Bradley Roby was a good addition at No. 31. Cody Latimer seems like an odd second-round choice for a team with so much offense, but Wes Welker’s days in Denver are numbered; so the Indiana wide receiver figures to be the long-term replacement for Eric Decker. The Broncos inability to add an elite middle linebacker was a major head-scratcher.

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Comments
  1. BradyWolverine12

    Its easy to look on the outside an say.. Pats should have gotten a WR but let’s keep in mind the trenches is where superbowls are won and the Pats O line struggled badly last year, it’s the most sacks given up since 02,03 and drafting three stud lineman is gonna be huge for us protecting Brady and as for Easley I honestly think he’s one of the biggest steals in this years draft!… How so? Considering BB is evolving his D from 2 gap D line who r built for stuffing the run,to smaller but a lot more explosive D lineman an Easley is a “Geno Akins type” who can bring pressure up the middle an from the ends, an what’s the big deal u say? Look at the Conference Championship Game not 1 sack on Peyton… We didn’t even make him budge and as a Michigan fan I see a big sleeper in “Jeremy Gallon” who has great potential to be another great “Slot Receiver” plus! He’s good on the outside, don’t let his small size full u this man can catch the deep ball very well! Mark my words and 2 or 3 years u could redo the rankings an I bet the Pats would be in ur top 15 for this years draft…

  2. Ben Wilson

    So Tom Savage is intriguing, and Teddy Bridgewater is a bust, hence the disparity between #1 and #30 ranked draft? My money is on Teddy Bridgewater winning more games for the Vikings than Savage wins for the Texans. I’ll take the guy who has actually shown to be a good QB over his college career, the stats aren’t even close. Not everything is stats you say? I’ll take Teddy’s intagibles (intelligence, work ethic, toughness, competitiveness) over anyone in this draft. You are thinking way too hard.

    • Anonymous

      Agreed and what about the rest of the viking draft? This wasnt supposed to be based on 1st rd alone.. And what more can you ask for out of a “football player” than 20 plus sacks and 10 forced fumbles in 2 years from their #1 pick.. What an idiot

  3. I am a Vikings fan and I do read these things for fun and a laugh. You have one group of “experts” who give the Vikings an A for their 2014 draft , then another group of “experts” who give them a fail. And then others who say everything in between, This is their living and it does not matter if they are wrong or right, they

  4. Savage Played in a Pro set offense
    Bridgewater Played in Pistol offense
    Bridgewater has to beat out Ponder
    not sure if Vikes run Pistol O so I cant say if he ready to run a Pro set O
    Obrian and Savage have a trust, they know each other well.
    Personally I take Savage over Bridgewater guy reminds me of JoeNamath.

    • Hey lissa, Teddy ran a West Coast offense taking snaps from under center. That’s why he is Pro-ready. Compared to taking snaps from the Shotgun. And, no Norv Turner does not run a Pistol Offense, you need to get your facts straight.

    • justgetitright

      He reminds you of Joe ??? I guess he has a giant nose, he’s a drunk and runs around in his pantyhose like a little fairy !!!

    • I am thinking more than one team will regret passing on Savage, this was a good year to nab a discount at QB, most of the wrong QB talents emerged in college for whatever the reason it happens some years…. After you sort things out Bridgewater is probably overrated, the Lions, Packers are glad to see him in the NFC North where he will be introduced to the NFL pass rush, gentleman Suh

      • Mitch maybe you and Lissa should cozy up with a cup of know what your talking about,Teddy didn’t run the pistol as Lissa states,and as for Suh..(over rated)..he won’t to get to Teddy because the ball will be gone by the time he gets there.

  5. Anonymous

    Bridgewater is the most pro ready QB in the draft an that was universally recognized heading into the draft. Teddy B already has beaten out Ponder who now our 3rd string you may have meant Cassell but if you think Savage is the better QB canidate you may not even have heard of Cassell.

  6. Purple Blood

    What a joke, the Vikings at 30? The lowest grade I have seen before this article is Mel Kiper giving them a B-. I have seen grades as high as A+. So this guy puts them at 30? Wait 3 years and we can laugh at this guy. Like the Vikings fan above said “it doesn’t matter if they are right or wrong”.

    • Another ridiculous commentary by “Anonymous”. We’ll never know who wrote this article. And, Kiper is another idiot.

  7. ThompsonWay

    I will not argue about your results/opinion but IMHO the Packers blew it. I like Haha but I think the whole S draft class was over rated. Then when they grabbed a 6th to 7th round TE in the third, it confirmed by belief that Thompson is past his prime. The Packers have some great needs on D and they were not addressed at all. Good read, and have a better day.

  8. justgetitright

    Who cares about this article , most of the people drafted are gone in 3 years !!!

  9. I smell someone trying to be different. It’s funny how nearly everyone has the Rams pegged as having the best draft (and for good reason) and then this guy says it’s only the 12th best? Get outta here, Robinson is a better run blocker than Matthews, and guess what? The Rams are a running team, his pass blocking skills are a secondary concern. Donald, Joyner, Gaines, and Sam will all contribute to giving the Rams a top 5 D this year. Best draft by far.

  10. Rams blew it huh! lol Who says matthews is a better tackle than Robinson? He may have more experience in pass protection but isn’t Robinson the hands down best run blocker? Do those not cancel each other out? It’s not all about the passing game especially since the rams will be a run first team. The Dolphins at 2? This comment made me laugh out loud….”People contend that Ja’Wuan James went too high at No. 19. But if he’s an immediate starter at right tackle, who cares?”. “if”?!! you can make this statement about any player in the draft!! If robinson becomes a hall of famer who cares… right. lol no wonder your working for cover 32 and not espn.

    • That was the best comment on this blog! (And there were a lot of good ones). “IF” this anonymous cover32 staff member has a clue, he sure went out of his way to hide it. He used a lot of hypothetical arguments to keep select teams’ values high, while creating bogus hypothetical situations to knock down certain other teams.

      Are you a team that I cheer for? Then you get an A because everybody you picked might become a good starter in the future. Anybody else? Okay, the guy you picked looks good physically and in game situations, but my gut says he’s going to show up to the wrong stadium on game day.

    • I see the Rams with two legitimate starters 1,2 and then a bunch of 6th,7th round leftovers most of whom will be cut…. I don’t see them having done anything exceptional because that was the picks they had…. Donald will play ball and an OT
      is always a risk so Rams fans should cross their fingers and hope he can block the Big Dogs in this league but Aldon Smith is gone …. This is also why draft grades mean absolutely ditto nothing right now…. What if Kiper’s top 5 OTs all suck?? that means all the 2nd Round OTs are probably gems, nobody knows….

  11. Wow, nothing says confidence like an authorless article. Some of the worst analysis I’ve ever read. On anything, I wanna make it clear I’m not only referring to football. My nephew did a write up on his schools sports day, shit would have won a publisher compared to this.

  12. Anonymous

    Moronic article accompanied by some more moronic comments. Vikings at #30?! Meh…I ain’t even gonna waste my time with this nonsense.

  13. Anonymous

    Did you see TB play at all? He’s the reason Charlie Strong is now the head coach of The Longhorns. Your commentary leads me to believe you’re from WI. The kid has more poise in the pocket than ant other QB in the draft. Please tell me what’s wrong with his completion %, or his TD to. INT ratio.

  14. Who are the “Editors” of “Cover32,” and what are the credentials? Just curious because normally there’s at least a name given

  15. PANTTERA

    JDClowney as the best athlete. IDK bout that. He was fastest in 40 of DE/LBS but there were players with better mensurables, Dez Southward DB comes to mind. He was expected to be picked around 10th before the combine 40. Tenth is probably where he’ll be rated as a impact rookie.

  16. David Ellison

    What a joke of a commentary. Most thought the Vikes draft was from B to A and in the top 10. He’s the only one at the bottom and his years of experience in rating players is????

  17. Anonymous

    vikings fans hate to break it to you but until the lions packers and bear start falling off in 4 to 5 years yall are bottom of the barrel same with my team the titans and for those of you that think greg roberson was the best tackle in the draft you might want to watch michigan and south carolina in their bowl game where taylor lewan shut down what is probably the most althetic player thats come out of college in the last few years in DE JC but i do agree with you all this power ranking sucks (Titans should be number 1) LOL

  18. Al not working for espn is a compliment, espn has the biggest collection of IDIOTs gathered in one place EVER !!!!!!!!!!

  19. Anonymous

    Having said so much of other teams but when it gets to the vikings everything was a mistake? Let me take you to school for a bit. Biggest need on vikings team- LB,Qb. Got that done in the first round. Anthony Barr is a beast!!! He’s a working progress just like everyone else and with the top Def. Coach in the league he WILL bloom into one of the Best linebackers the nfl will ever see. I smell hard knocks with this guy. Teddy B. Well trained and yeah he had few balls get away from him but I see a young talented pocket passer who wants the edge on his opponents and with someone as well established as Norv Turner and in time he will become a complete player. T.B. Will do damage to teams in the near future and there is no bust on someone who has won consecutive bowl games in emphatic fashion being the underdog. Vision, accuracy, toughness, and plays best when he is needed. All I can say is the Vikings will shock the Nfl this year.

  20. footballfanatic

    This moron doesn’t know football… whoever put this trash online needs to get stop and get an intervention. This filth looks like someone who just studies others columns for just about 24hrs and thinks they are the guru of football. Stay closer to you mom and she might give you your evening sip from her nip for old time sakes. Pls stop this before you hurt yourself and what little brain you have left. Not to mention your a Texana fan idiot… leave you personal opinions to yourself ignorant prick.