Monday, May 16, 2022

San Francisco 49ers Post-Draft NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2021 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the San Francisco 49ers rank in terms of average, best and worst:

  • Average ranking: 9 (8th)
  • Best ranking: 5 (NFL.com)
  • Worst ranking: 14 (USA Today)

Below you will find a post-NFL Draft roundup for the 49ers in our consensus 2022 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 14

Player who benefited most from draft: WR Deebo Samuel

The Niners spent two of their first three picks on a running back and a receiver, which should be beneficial to quarterback Trey Lance. But, for as odd as it might sound, this draft could be equally beneficial to Samuel. Samuel accounted for 28% of the Niners' yards from scrimmage in 2021, which was the fourth most by a player in the NFL. Of course Samuel wants to keep getting the ball and playing a significant role, but if part of his dispute with the Niners is over his potential longevity, it stands to reason that adding help at the skill positions -- particularly running back -- could help lighten his load and settle his issues with the team. -- Nick Wagoner

NFL.com -- Rank: 9

In our post-free agency Power Rankings -- published on March 22-- I led my Niners entry thusly: "Jimmy G is still hanging around." Well, it's now May 2 -- and Jimmy G, like a college dropout at a high school kegger in the woods, continues to linger. This isn't Garoppolo's fault, of course -- shoulder surgery very clearly mucked up his market. Meanwhile, the Niners don't seem at all eager to move superstar wide receiver Deebo Samuel, trade demand be damned. Kyle Shanahan said on Friday the 49ers have yet to receive an offer that was "even remotely close" to what they'd consider fair. One explanation for that, as a prominent NFL reporter recently said to me, is that San Francisco has been "really unreasonable" in trade conversations. This entire scenario boils down to the team having no interest in parting ways with its most explosive player.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 5

The quarterback situation is still unsettled, and if it's Trey Lance as the starter they might have to be patient early on. There is still an abundance of talent on this roster to make it a lot easier for him.

USA Today -- Rank: 8

We think Trey Lance will be QB1, though it's not clear how ready he is. We think All-Pro Deebo Samuel will remain on the roster, though it's not clear how much of a distraction he'll be. We think this team will be pretty good, though it's not clear how many off-field issues coach Kyle Shanahan and GM John Lynch will have to manage, especially if QB Jimmy Garoppolo remains in the background.

The Athletic -- Rank: 9

This was supposed to be the offseason the 49ers moved forward with their plan to build their offense around second-year quarterback Trey Lance and do-everything receiver Deebo Samuel. That might still be the desired plan, but it's been, well, complicated. The 49ers haven't found a trading partner for 2021 starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and Samuel wants out. With all that drama, it's easy to forget just how close the 49ers were to winning the NFC last season.

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New Orleans Saints Post-Draft NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2022 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the New Orleans Saints rank in terms of average, best and worst:

  • Average ranking: 18 (18th)
  • Best ranking: 9 (USA Today)
  • Worst ranking: 22 (CBS Sports)

Below you will find a post-NFL Draft roundup for the Saints in our consensus 2022 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 22

Player who benefited most from draft: QB Jameis Winston

Instead of drafting a potential future replacement at quarterback, the Saints made aggressive trades to support Winston with two first-round picks in receiver Chris Olave and left tackle Trevor Penning. Throw in the healthy return of No. 1 receiver Michael Thomas, and we should get a much better idea of how well Winston fits in New Orleans this season. The offense was decimated by injuries in 2021 when Thomas missed all 17 games, Winston missed 10 games and the top four offensive linemen missed a combined 32 games. -- Mike Triplett

NFL.com -- Rank: 20

The Saints did strong work in the first round on Thursday night, landing an explosive complement to Michael Thomas in Chris Olave and a replacement for the departed Terron Armstead at left tackle in Trevor Penning. These were both necessary moves if New Orleans hopes to see sustained improvement from Jameis Winston -- currently rehabbing after reconstructive knee surgery. The team is on track to fill another pressing need, with All-Pro safety, and Louisianan native, Tyrann Mathieu expected to sign with New Orleans. The Bucs remain the favorite in the NFC South, but the Saints should not be discounted.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 18

The draft filled two major holes at left tackle and speed receiver. They feel they have enough to compete, and that means they believe in Jameis Winston in a big way.

USA Today -- Rank: 21

Let's not forget how close San Francisco came to reaching the Super Bowl courtesy of a stacked roster that could endure middling quarterback play. After a statement draft and signing of hometown S Tyrann Mathieu, New Orleans might have a better roster than those 2021 Niners -- and QB Jameis Winston showed a lot of promise prior to his ACL tear. But the main question is how this organization adapts to the departure of Sean Payton.

The Athletic -- Rank: 22

Are you ready for Year 2 of Jameis Winston in New Orleans? The Saints surveyed the quarterback market and, after missing out on Deshaun Watson, landed back on Winston. He threw 14 touchdowns and three interceptions for the Saints before suffering a torn ACL last October. Our panel picked the Saints as the second-best team in the NFC South. Will that be good enough for a playoff spot come January?

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Chicago Bears Post-Draft NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2022 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the Chicago Bears rank in terms of average, best and worst:

  • Average ranking: 28.2 (28th)
  • Best ranking: 24 (ESPN)
  • Worst ranking: 31 (USA Today)

Below you will find a post-NFL Draft roundup for the Bears in our consensus 2022 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 31

Player who benefited most from draft: S Eddie Jackson

The Bears came away from the second round with two starting-caliber defensive backs and hope to revive their secondary off the play of rookies, including Jaquan Brisker. Jackson hasn't recorded an interception since the 2019 season and might stand to benefit from playing farther away from the box, with Brisker starting opposite him at strong safety. Brisker is a physical, versatile defender who played 400 snaps at safety, 100 snaps at inside linebacker and 100 snaps at slot corner in 2021 at Penn State. With this season being dubbed a "clean slate" for Jackson, aligning him with a DB whose skill set complements his could lead him to rediscover the level of play that made him one of the league's best safeties three years ago. -- Courtney Cronin

NFL.com -- Rank: 24

How confident should we be about Justin Fields and the opportunity he is getting in Chicago? The Bears saddled the quarterback with a lame-duck head coach as a rookie, then took away his No. 1 wide receiver by allowing Allen Robinson to leave for the Rams this offseason. Absent a first-round pick (that went to the Giants in the Fields draft trade last year), Chicago opted to wait until the third round in Vegas to address the offense. Perhaps Tennessee wideout Velus Jones Jr. carves out a role as a rookie, but it's more likely Fields will be staring down a lot of blanketed receivers when he drops back to pass this fall. Give the kid a chance!

CBS Sports -- Rank: 30

They spent some draft capital on the defense, which you would expect with Matt Eberflus in as the head coach. They didn't do a lot early to help Justin Fields, which could be a concern and is somewhat strange.

USA Today -- Rank: 29

No issues with recasting your identity and potentially setting the stage for a big step forward in 2023. But couldn't we be doing more to fuel QB Justin Fields' development in 2022?

The Athletic -- Rank: 27

What exactly have the Bears done this offseason to make things better and easier for their most important asset, quarterback Justin Fields? A change in coaching staff and scheme should help Fields' development in Year 2, but a scan through the Bears' roster after the draft and free agency doesn't reveal a team that looks much better suited to win with Fields now than it did last year.

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Philadelphia Eagles Post-Draft NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2022 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the Philadelphia Eagles rank in terms of average, best and worst:

  • Average ranking: 14 (14th)
  • Best ranking: 11 (CBS Sports)
  • Worst ranking: 16 (Multiple)

Below you will find a post-NFL Draft roundup for the Eagles in our consensus 2022 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 16

Player who benefited most from draft: QB Jalen Hurts

The Eagles not only declined to draft a quarterback with either of their two first-round picks but traded a first-rounder to the Titans for receiver A.J. Brown, who is one of Hurts' best friends. He is also among the top receivers in the game. Hurts is entering a critical year in his career as he tries to prove he is the long-term answer at quarterback. With a solid offensive line and a group of playmakers that includes Brown, DeVonta Smith and tight end Dallas Goedert, Hurts will be able to put his best foot forward. -- Tim McManus

NFL.com -- Rank: 16

Howie Roseman is on a heater. Last month, the veteran GM pulled off an excellent draft capital swap with the Saints that set up the Eagles well in the years to come. In Vegas, Philly fortified its defensive front with first-round pick Jordan Davis, then pulled off what might be remembered as the Ocean's 11 heist of the draft by landing Georgia middle linebacker Naboke Dean in the third round. A day earlier, Roseman pulled off another heist by landing star wide receiver A.J. Brown in a trade with the Titans. Given all the factors at play -- Brown's age (24), his All-Pro ability, and the team's struggles to identify wideout talent in the draft (outside DeVonta Smith) -- yep, just call the Iggles GM Danny Ocean.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 15

They've had a heck of an offseason and really had a nice draft weekend. That means this season is all about Jalen Hurts and his growth, especially after adding receiver A.J. Brown in a trade.

USA Today -- Rank: 16

Captivating team that's set up to build on last year's playoff run with the acquisition of WR A.J. Brown and two Georgia defenders (DT Jordan Davis, LB Nakobe Dean) but could also make an interesting QB pivot in next year's draft.

The Athletic -- Rank: 11

Our takeaway from the Eagles' offseason is that this is a make-or-break season for quarterback Jalen Hurts. There should be no questions about the receiving weapons -- hello, A.J. Brown -- and the defense should be better equipped to play complementary football, which always helps a young quarterback. The Eagles snuck into the playoffs last season. Now the expectation should be to get back and be competitive.

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Las Vegas Raiders Post-Draft NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2022 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the Las Vegas Raiders rank in terms of average, best and worst:

  • Average ranking: 12.8 (13th)
  • Best ranking: 10 (NFL.com)
  • Worst ranking: 17 (CBS Sports)

Below you will find a post-NFL Draft roundup for the Raiders in our consensus 2022 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 17

Player who benefited most from draft: QB Derek Carr

Well for one, the Raiders did not draft his replacement. But for another, the new regime did add some depth to protect him with a pair of versatile offensive linemen in Dylan Parham and Thayer Munford. Now, neither guy jumps off the page immediately, but they do make a suspect O-line better in terms of competition, right? And in May, that's all you can really hope for when you don't make your first selection until late in the third round of the draft. Plus, the Raiders did use those first two picks to get wide receiver Davante Adams for Carr in trade, yes? Yes. -- Paul Gutierrez

NFL.com -- Rank: 13

Anybody else hyper impressed with Derek Carr's new haircut? Carr's gone on quite the lettuce journey during his NFL career, but the modified faux-hawk debuted at the start of the draft is an ace look that will only endear him further with the beautiful lunatics of the Black Hole. Meanwhile, the Raiders' draft class was significantly downsized by the Davante Adams trade, something Silver & Black fans can surely live with. The biggest news before the draft revolved around the announcement that the team would not be picking up the fifth-year option on any of its three first-round picks from 2019. It's actually impressive the Raiders are in such a solid position despite that hat trick of personnel misses.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 10

The new regime has done some really good things so far, but playing in the AFC West will make it a real challenge to get back to the playoffs. The passing game will be fun with Davante Adams on board.

USA Today -- Rank: 13

If the trade for Adams wasn't reminder enough, their decision to decline fifth-year options on all three of their 2019 first-rounders was a clear signal that the Silver and Black are under new management. Look for Round 4 RB Zamir "Zeus" White to eat into Josh Jacobs' touches.

The Athletic -- Rank: 17

The big trade for Davante Adams and signing of quarterback Derek Carr to an extension are indications the new regime believes the Raiders are ready to be serious competitors right away. Our panel clearly still has questions, picking the Raiders fourth among the AFC West teams.

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Jacksonville Jaguars Post-Draft NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2022 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the Jacksonville Jaguars rank in terms of average, best and worst:

  • Average ranking: 28.2 (28th)
  • Best ranking: 26 (Multiple)
  • Worst ranking: 31 (Multiple)

Below you will find a post-NFL Draft roundup for the Jaguars in our consensus 2022 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 31

Player who benefited most from draft: DE/LB Josh Allen

Allen had his best season as a rookie (10.5 sacks) in 2019 when he had Calais Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue on the field with him at the same time. Campbell and Ngakoue were traded before the 2020 season began, and Allen has had 10 sacks in the 24 games since without any meaningful help on the other side. Drafting DE Travon Walker with the first overall pick and adding LB Devin Lloyd with the 27th beefs up the pass rush and will keep opponents from focusing on Allen. -- Michael DiRocco

NFL.com -- Rank: 26

When you own the No. 1 overall pick in the draft -- the Jags' place in the NFL firmament for two years running -- you want to land a potential superstar. Trevor Lawrence was a no-brainer for Jacksonville brass in 2021, but the decision to tab Travon Walker this season is one of the biggest first-pick dice rolls in recent league history. In the end, the Jaguars banked on Walker's promise over the proven performance that Aidan Hutchinson put on tape for Michigan. It's a move that can make GM Trent Baalke and Jaguars brass look smart ... or get everybody fired. The stakes explain why the Jags reportedly hoped to hear from a team that wanted to trade into the first pick -- a phone call that never came.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 31

The offseason has been good to this team in terms of adding talent. Now comes the tough part: Can Doug Pederson bring it all together and get them to .500?

USA Today -- Rank: 31

With Doug Pederson calling the shots and RB -- not slot receiver -- Travis Etienne poised to make his NFL debut, it's almost like they're getting four first-round picks this year after getting DE/OLB Travon Walker and LB Devin Lloyd, both potential defensive rookie of the year candidates.

The Athletic -- Rank: 26

The best thing we can say about the Jaguars' offseason as they try to recover from the disastrous but short-lived Urban Meyer era is that Jacksonville was aggressive. Aggressive with its free-agent money (we're still not over that Christian Kirk deal) and aggressive in the draft, taking edge rusher Travon Walker at No. 1 based on physical traits and potential production.

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Cleveland Browns Post-Draft NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2022 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the Cleveland Browns rank in terms of average, best and worst:

  • Average ranking: 15 (16th)
  • Best ranking: 14 (Multiple)
  • Worst ranking: 17 (ESPN)

Below you will find a post-NFL Draft roundup for the Browns in our consensus 2022 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 17

Player who benefited most from draft: WR Donovan Peoples-Jones

The Browns entered the draft without a first-round pick, then traded out of the second round despite a need at wide receiver. Cleveland finally added one near the end of the third round, selecting David Bell from Purdue. Bell, who was ultra-productive in college, could play a big role in the Browns' offense. But he will likely be operating out of the slot and in underneath coverage. That should allow Peoples-Jones to remain a starter opposite Amari Cooper. And though the Browns could still add another receiver, they will be counting on DPJ to play significant snaps next season. -- Jake Trotter

NFL.com -- Rank: 17

The Browns remain an impossible team to rank in this exercise given what we don't know about Deshaun Watson. The quarterback remains in limbo on account of the 22 civil lawsuits alleging sexual assault and misconduct, as well as the ongoing league investigation. Will he even play in the 2022 season? And if he doesn't, how much can we realistically expect from a team -- 8-9 a year ago -- being led by Jacoby Brissett? Well, they do have Baker Mayfield, but the team will throw an anniversary halftime celebration for the 2000 Super Bowl champion Ravens before the former No. 1 overall pick plays another snap in Cleveland. The Browns have the chance to be an AFC superpower in the years to come, but they remain a messy proposition in the here and now.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 14

With Deshaun Watson now in as the starting quarterback, they feel like a team that can again make a deep playoff run. The talent is there to do it, even if Watson missed an entire season on the field.

USA Today -- Rank: 14

Still turbulence to navigate given the likelihood of a suspension for QB Deshaun Watson and lack of resolution around his predecessor, Baker Mayfield. But if Cleveland can tread water until Watson is ready to play -- assuming he integrates effectively -- this team should be dangerous.

The Athletic -- Rank: 15

Now here's a team with a dramatic offensive overhaul. In: Deshaun Watson, on a guaranteed $230 million contract. Out: Baker Mayfield .... at least if and when the Browns can find a trade partner. Still, Cleveland is a tricky team to rank given the uncertainty about Watson's availability. A lengthy suspension for the 2022 season would dramatically impact the Browns' on-field fortunes.

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