These are NFL’s Future premature 2011 NFL Power Rankings. The rankings are based on draft results and current rosters along with some major projections. Without further adieu:
32. Cincinnati Bengals – The Bengals added some nice pieces in the 2011 draft. But they are looking at starting either Andy Dalton or Jordan Palmer at this point. I suspect Cincinnati may move out of the bottom spot but right now I have no reason to believe they won’t be the worst team in the NFL.
31. Carolina Panthers – Carolina will either be starting Cameron Newton or Jimmy Clausen in 2011. Need I say more. The really bad part is they could win the Andrew Luck sweepstakes and be forced to trade away a chance at a franchise QB. Ouch, talk about adding insult to injury.
30. Washington Redskins – With Rex Grossman or John Beck as a starter this team will not win many games. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if they are not the winners of the Andrew Luck sweepstakes when it is all said and done.
29. Miami Dolphins – Chad Henne is not the long term answer in Miami. If Miami can pull a deal off for Carson Palmer that could thrust them into the lower 20’s but I don’t see much on that roster that would make me believe they are a playoff team.
28. Tennessee Titans – Jake Locker, Rusty Smith, or Kerry Collins. Pick your poison. Are you starting to notice a trend with the teams at the bottom of the rankings?
27. Seattle Seahawks – From playoffs to bottom of the barrel. I didn’t see much that would warrant more than 6 wins from this team led by Clipboard Jesus. The only positive working in their direction would be a sad conference schedule that could net them a few wins.
26. Buffalo Bills – The Bills make strides this season unfortunately for them it only nets them 5 wins.
25. Arizona Cardinals – I am sticking by my firm belief they are going to get Kolb. If they do obtain Kolb, I said in an earlier blog they were a QB away from a playoff run in that conference. Arizona could be a mover throughout the Power Rankings.
24. Minnesota Vikings – I don’t believe Minnesota’s starting 2011 QB is on their roster. Sorry Christian Ponder but you’re not ready to start…yet. Minnesota could get a stop gap veteran to mentor Ponder like a Marc Bulger. Exciting huh.
23. Denver Broncos – Denver still can’t stop the run and did nothing to help out the run defense in the draft. In a division with Darren McFadden and Jamal Charles, look for Denver to struggle up front on defense.
22. Jacksonville Jaguars – The Jags just can’t seem to put all the pieces together. One more year of Garrard equals a 6-7 win season for the Jaguars. Enter Blaine Gabbert.
21. Oakland Raiders – The Raiders got a starting center out of the draft but nothing else to speak of. Oakland will run Jason Campbell back out there to a 7 win season.
20. San Francisco 49ers – Easily could be in the 25-29 range based on their roster. This prediction is based on Harbaugh coaching up Alex Smith and a lights out defensive effort.
19. Cleveland Browns – The Browns make a significant step in the right direction with back to back solid drafts. If Colt McCoy plays well they could make it to 8-9 wins.
18. Chicago Bears – The Bears overachieved last season and find themselves out of the playoffs with a 9 win season
17. Detroit Lions – The Lions are getting younger and tougher through solid drafts and wise free agent pick ups. If Stafford can stay healthy, the Lions will be a team to be reckoned with.
16. Houston Texans – Every year I wait for the Texans to take the next step to be a playoff contender. This year they could get there.
15. St. Louis Rams – The Rams play in an awful division and should be able to make hay in the Division. Sam Bradford takes the next step towards being an elite QB in the NFL in 2011.
14. New York Giants – I liked what the Giants did in the draft, drafting BPA throughout the draft. Unfortunately, they didn’t do much to help out a line that is need of youth. I think they will target a free agent tackle to move Diehl inside.
13. Kansas City Chiefs – The Chiefs are another team on the rise. In a mediocre division they could compete with San Diego for a playoff spot.
12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – TB could in for a down season if they can’t find secondary help. They have done a nice job building a solid defensive line but there secondary is led by an aging Ronde Barber.
11. San Diego Chargers – KC and SD could battle it out for the AFC West playoff spot. I gave the slight edge to SD because of Phillip Rivers but wouldn’t be surprised to see KC take the AFC West crown.
10. Dallas Cowboys – I struggled with this one but a healthy Cowboys team tricked me into making a spot into the top 10. Dallas still needs secondary help but the offense should be back to full strength.
9. New York Jets – The Jets are a couple of players away from being a Super Bowl contender. Unfortunately, for Jets fans they won’t be able to pick those players up due to re-signing Braylon and Santonio.
8. Philadelphia Eagles – The Eagles will officially turn the reigns over to Michael Vick and usher out Kevin Kolb during the offseason (whenever that takes place). Vick will have another strong season and push the Eagles to the top of the NFC East.
7. Baltimore Ravens – The Ravens will need Joe Flacco’s best season of his career to stay at number 7 because I think finally they show their age on defense.
6. Atlanta Falcons – Atlanta mortgaged their immediate future to obtain another weapon for Matt Ryan in Julio Jones. While, I think Cleveland got the better end of the deal, the Falcons get a legitimate threat to take a burden off Roddy White.
5. Indianapolis Colts – Indy went OL heavy at the top of the draft and I think it pays off for them. If they can stay healthy this year they could make it back to the SB.
4. New Orleans Saints – I really like what N.O. did in the draft and helped their team (right now) more than any SB contender in this draft. Mark Ingram and Cam Jordan should both see significant playing time and N.O. will make a late run to the SB.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers – Expect another Steeler-esque season in Pittsburgh. They will contend for another chance at the crown.
2. New England Patriots – The Pats didn’t do anything in the draft that made me put them #2 but it’s a gut feeling. I am predicting a lights out season for Brady and a SB bid for New England.
1. Green Bay Packers – The Champs reign supreme.