The New York Jets fit right into the thick of the NFL Power Rankings now that the 2019 NFL Draft has concluded.
The 2019 NFL Draft has concluded which means we now understand the depth charts much more intently. Not until free agency and the draft conclude can anybody claim to have a feel for the upcoming season. It’s as impossible as an Odell Beckham Jr. Met Gala outfit.
— NFL (@NFL) May 7, 2019
Now that kilts are donned and each squad’s 53-man is clearer, it’s time to serve the power ranking tradition at the table.
32. Miami Dolphins
This offseason presents an extremely different feel pertaining to the bottom of the rankings; there really isn’t a clear-cut worst team in the land. The Miami Dolphins get the nod due to hierarchical changes and the incoming Josh Rosen, but nobody would be surprised if they surprised to the tune of 5-7 wins.
31. Cincinnati Bengals
With Marvin Lewis out and Zac Taylor in, the Cincinnati Bengals are a tough team to measure. A.J. Green is clearly on the back-nine of his career and Andy Dalton remains firmly on the franchise quarterback hot seat. From top to bottom, the roster is in the early stages of needing an overhaul.
30. Arizona Cardinals
The worst 2018 team bumps up two spots purely due to hype. With Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury in tow, the new Arizona Cardinals era officially begins. Incredibly, the Cards didn’t use the draft to improve their horrid offensive line. It’ll hold them back in year one of the new regime.
29. Washington Redskins
Dwayne Haskins, Montez Sweat and company brought rave reviews for the Washington Redskins during the draft. In the eyes of ESNY, the Ohio State product will have to prove it first. Simply talking a little smack after feeling slighted does nothing in the grand scheme of things.
28. Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills may be disrespected in the 28-hole a little bit, but again, they’ll have to prove it first. Ed Oliver, Josh Allen, Cody Ford and Josh Brown make for an interesting group for Josh McDermott in year two.
27. Detroit Lions
Matt Patricia’s influence is forcing the Motor City to focus on defense. Matt Stafford is still capable but pieces are needed. Rookie tight end T.J. Hockenson could provide substance immediately.
26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
It doesn’t matter who you are, the Bruce Arians hire is legit. If he can’t get the best out of Jameis Winston, nobody will. The defense still needs major work, even after Devin White. The offensive line does as well.
25. Denver Broncos
Don’t sleep on Joe Flacco; the man is a Super Bowl MVP. Still, what’s John Elway done, post-Peyton Manning? The O-line and edge draft strategy deployed in recent years is an excellent one. Bradley Chubb, Garett Bolles and Dalton Risner is the proper way to build from the trenches-out. But the secondary is hurting and the quarterback situation is still uncertain.
24. New York Giants
The narrative surrounding the New York Giants this offseason is so completely ridiculous that it rivals the 0-16 Jets predictions from a couple of seasons ago.
Nobody believes the Giants are playoff-bound, but to call them the laughingstock of the league is short-sided. Talent remains and the offensive line, which is most critical, will be improved. Leave it to Eli Manning to put together a filthy season as soon as the organization drafts his replacement. It’d be such an Eli thing to accomplish. If Lorenzo Carter takes the next step and secures one of the two edges, the defense will be alright.
23. Oakland Raiders
The Antonio Brown addition is not what’s important here. Instead, the Oakland Raiders filling in key depth spots up and down the depth chart ring truer. With Kolton Miller and Trent Brown as the bookends, Derek Carr has the opportunity to step it up in 2019.
22. Tennessee Titans
The Marcus Mariota experiment is nearly over. With an upgraded wide receiving group, there will be few excuses this coming season. Defensively is where the Tennessee Titans remain solid.
21. San Francisco 49ers
20. New York Jets
Mike Maccagnan’s outside-in building of the franchise defies football 101. For the third straight year, the New York Jets entered the offseason with desperate needs at O-line and edge. For the third straight year, little was done about it.
Kelechi Osemele replacing James Carpenter and third-round selection Jachai Polite account for the additions. It doesn’t get much better than Sam Darnold, the weaponry is content (especially with Le’Veon Bell), the middle of the defense is nasty with Quinnen Williams, Leonard Williams, C.J. Mosley and Jamal Adams, but if the offensive line ranks near the bottom of the league again and the edge presence isn’t there, not much improvement will be put forth.
19. Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota’s defense remains legit. The team’s skilled positions remain excellent. Kirk Cousins is still extremely solid (during the mundane parts of the regular season). So why does it feel like the Vikings are heading backward? Cousins’s bloated salary doesn’t allow for improvement. It’s a blessing they were able to snag Garrett Bradbury in the draft. That alone will help the cause for a horrid O-line.
18. Baltimore Ravens
Year two is when Lamar Jackson will really show us if he’s legitimate, and I have my doubts. We saw what a good defense in the playoffs can do to the kid. Can he figure it out from the pocket? Can he make every throw on the field when required?
The Terrell Suggs loss may not feel like a major hit in productivity, but it’ll certainly hurt the locker room and overall feel of the culture.
17. Cleveland Browns
Temper your enthusiasm for the Cleveland Browns. Shiny toys are better left for the NBA. The NFL is a value league, not a superstar one.
Odell Beckham Jr. will help, but the offensive line still remains shaky. Power ranking 32nd in the run game a year ago, via Football Outsiders, not much was done to remedy the situation. In fact, Kevin Zeitler was lost in the Olivier Vernon deal. Be careful when hopping on the Browns bandwagon; the infrastructure is not yet completed.
16. Green Bay Packers
The only reason the Green Bay Packers finish in the top 20 is due to No. 12. Without Aaron Rodgers, a depth chart loaded with average talent would shine through. It’s unlike this franchise to go crazy in free agency yet that’s exactly what they did when signing two edge players, Preston Smith and Za’Darious Smith.
15. Seattle Seahawks
The Seattle Seahawks are an interesting bunch. I expect a step back in 2019, but with Russell Wilson, it’s never clear. The man can lift an entire offense at any point.
14. Atlanta Falcons
The Atlanta Falcons did not mess around this offseason. By drafting two starting offensive linemen in Kaleb McGary and Chris Lindstrom, a statement had thunderously been made.
13. Houston Texans
Speaking of O-lines, the Houston Texans also did the right thing in the NFL Draft. Tytus Howard should immediately help the Deshaun Watson cause. Houston gets the nod over Atlanta due to the club’s defensive prowess.
12. Pittsburgh Steelers
Take notice of the consistent NFL franchises; what do they usually do? The answer is simple: not go crazy in free agency and overcoming bad offseason headlines when they allow superstar skilled players to walk.
The loss of Le’Veon Bell didn’t really affect things in 2018 and a similar story will follow in 2019 via Antonio Brown. An excellent O-line combined with an improving defense—now led by rookie signal-caller Devin Bush—will have the Pittsburgh Steelers still fighting for a tournament spot in 2019.
11. Jacksonville Jaguars
Tom Coughlin is an old-school mind. Just two years after taking Cam Robinson in the first round and a year removed from signing guard Andrew Norwell, they draft Jawaan Taylor early in the second. With Nick Foles in-house, watch out for a talented Jacksonville Jaguars team after a down year.
10. Carolina Panthers
The acquisition of Matt Paradis on the offensive line and drafting of Brian Burns defensively makes this team loaded with potential. I still have questions surrounding Cam Newton‘s overall pocket play, but it’s a talented roster.
9. Dallas Cowboys
The defense is still nasty and the offensive line should get back to its terrifying ways. It’ll once again come down to Dak Prescott‘s play.
8. Chicago Bears
The Chicago Bears roster is loaded, especially defensively. Mitchell Trubisky scares me. Most of his production in 2018 was an illusion, helped by a good O-line and tremendous defense. Like the Seahawks, I also expect a step back from the Bears but No. 8 seems fair at the moment considering how great the defense remains.
7. Kansas City Chiefs
The Tyreek Hill situation will greatly determine where the Kansas City Chiefs fall in the rankings; he just that damn good. Did they do enough defensively this offseason? I don’t think they did. A slight Patrick Mahomes fall-off—even with Hill in tow—can be expected and it shouldn’t surprise anybody.
6. Los Angeles Chargers
Can the Los Angeles Chargers repeat such an incredible season? I don’t think so. Nevertheless, the talent remains and Philip Rivers is running out of time. First rounder Jerry Tillery will add to an already potent defense.
5. Philadelphia Eagles
The surprise placement comes at number five with the Philadelphia Eagles coming in hot. Nick Foles is gone. Carson Wentz remains. That’s OK. The talent level across the depth chart is sneaky. We forget just how dominant Fletcher Cox is. We forget how many pass rushers are employed. We forget the O-line is as good as it comes (with Andre Dillard ready to be used).
4. Indianapolis Colts
The franchise that has built it the right way over the last couple of years is the Indianapolis Colts. Hammering the offensive line for Andrew Luck and now working on the defense has represented the path. Parris Campbell and Rock Ya-Sin should immediately contribute to an improved season.
3. Los Angeles Rams
The prime time questions surrounding Jared Goff will only ramp up moving forward. We do know his supporting cast is as great as any quarterback’s in the land. Defensively, the team has Clay Matthews incoming. Anything he provides would be gravy for an Aaron Donald-led unit sure to provide nightmares.
2. New Orleans Saints
Yes, the New Orleans Saints should rank ahead of the Rams. Just think about the organizational vision displayed in the draft.
Center Max Unger retired this offseason. Instead of resting on an excellent O-line, they immediately get their guy in Erik McCoy in the second round, understand just how critical the interior of the line is for Drew Brees, a guy who needs those interior passing lanes. A few more questions surround the defense, but not in a disaster-type fashion.
1. New England Patriots
Throw out the perceived talent. Forget any attempts of future visions. The New England Patriots are the top dog heading into 2019. If Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are still around, that’s all that matters. Oh yeah, adding N’Keal Harry and Chase Winovich can’t hurt, either.