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NFL Power Rankings



NFL Power Rankings: Pre-Free Agency
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My pre-free agency NFL Power Rankings.

I'm going to use these rankings as the order for my 2016 NFL Mock Draft. Follow @walterfootball.

I've gone from WORST to FIRST, so if you don't see reverse numbering (via Javascript), don't worry; the Rams, Buccaneers and Jaguars aren't my top teams.

Updated: Feb. 12







  1. Tennessee Titans (2-14) - Previously: --.
    I can't believe I was once optimistic about the Ken Whisenhunt hire in Tennessee. What was I thinking? I'll blame Derek Anderson for sneaking into my house and pouring some of the liquid in his flask into my morning orange juice.

    It's astonishing how uncompetitive the Titans were last year. Nine of their 14 losses came by two touchdowns or more. Their sole victory following Week 1 of the season was a 16-14 win over Jacksonville at home. Speaking of Week 1, what the hell happened in that Kansas City contest? It seemed to make sense at the time, but there's no explicable reason that the Titans were able to win in Arrowhead; let alone by the score of 26-10. I bet Derek Anderson had something to do with that as well.

  2. New York Jets (4-12) - Previously: --.
    I still can't believe how incompetent owner Woody Johnson was for firing Rex Ryan. The former head coach was the only thing the Jets had going for them, save for their defensive line and Nick Mangold. They had one of the worst rosters in recent memory, and most other coaches wouldn't have even squeezed out two victories. With Ryan gone, New York might even be worse than it was last year. The only hope for the Jets is for Marcus Mariota to fall to them at No. 6 in the 2015 NFL Draft, but that probably won't happen.

  3. Oakland Raiders (3-13) - Previously: --.
    The Raiders were competitive toward the end of the season, as Derek Carr played somewhat well at times. That will change with Greg Olson gone. Carr will have a sophomore slump, and making things worse, Oakland now has a coach who doesn't try hard. I can only imagine how that interview went...

    Mark Davis: So, Jack, why should I hire you?

    Jack Del Rio: Because I want to be close to the beach so I can catch some waves, bro.

    Mark Davis: Ah, OK, well I have other candidates to interview...

    Jack Del Rio: Dude, I'm loving your Captain Kangaroo haircut. Totally rad, man.

    Mark Davis: YOU'RE HIRED!!!

  4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-14) - Previously: --.
    The Buccaneers are standing pat at No. 1, and they currently prefer Jameis Winston, as you can see in our NFL Draft Rumors page. I actually think this is a mistake, as the only entity to benefit from Winston going to Tampa is Mons Venus. THe demon spawn of Johnny Manziel and JaMarcus Russell will single-handedly put the strip-club owner's kids through college, and the establishment might have to change its name to Mons Jameis.

  5. Washington Redskins (4-12) - Previously: --.
    I don't like Washington's chances as long as Robert Griffin is the quarterback. He's too much of a Prima donna, and he apparently doesn't put enough effort into preparing for the opposition. It's a shame because he was so great as a rookie. The turning point, as far as I'm concerned, was when Daniel Snyder began feeding him grapes. Pampering him like that was a huge mistake.

  6. Chicago Bears (5-11) - Previously: --.
    The Bears are screwed. They have the heartless Jay Cutler at quarterback, yet he doesn't give a damn whether the team wins or loses. He single-handedly capsized the team and got Marc Trestman fired, yet the Bears can't get rid of him because of his massive salary. As a result, they can't make too many upgrades this offseason. If I were the owner of the team, I think I'd stage a kidnapping by Isis so Cutler would disappear, and then I'd ask Roger Goodell for some cap relief. After all, there have to be exemptions made for teams that lose their starting quarterbacks to terrorist kidnapping, right? The only flaw in this plan is the fact that it's blatantly obvious that Isis wouldn't want anything to do with Cutler because he'd find a way to single-handedly bring down their organization.

  7. Cleveland Browns (7-9) - Previously: --.
    Say what you want about Johnny Manziel, he knows a bad play-call when he sees one...



    Does anyone else think that Manziel's trip to rehab is a PR stunt? His rookie year was so bad that his publicist almost had to recommend rehab to repair his image.

  8. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-13) - Previously: --.
    The Jaguars haven't won more than five games since 2010, but that could change this year. They made a great hire by bringing in Greg Olson, who has gotten the most out of every professional quarterback he has coached (Blaine Gabbert not being a professional). He even had Josh Freeman on a Pro Bowl level. I like Blake Bortles' chances of making a big leap in 2015 as long as Jacksonville can find some upgrades for the offensive line.

  9. Atlanta Falcons (6-10) - Previously: --.
    You know what's weird about the Falcons' noisegate story? The fact that this occurred in 2013 and 2014 - when Atlanta has sucked. Can't Arthur Blank argue that the noise was done as a handicap? He should call up Roger Goodell and say, "We were too good in 2012, so we wanted the NFC South to actually be competitive, ya know?" I think this would work, as long as Blank shows up to the commissioner's office and kisses Goodell's ring.



  10. New York Giants (6-10) - Previously: --.
    The Giants averaged 29.2 points per game following Week 11 last year, and they managed to win three of their final four contests. Odell Beckham was obviously the reason for their late surge, and it's only scary to think that he'll improve as he obtains more experience. I'm going to mention this in my impending Fantasy Football Rankings, but look at what he did in his final six games: 60 receptions, 842 yards, nine touchdowns. Extrapolate that over a full 16-game slate, and you'd get 160 catches, 2,245 yards and 24 scores. Holy crap.

  11. San Francisco 49ers (8-8) - Previously: --.
    I'm at a loss for words. Jerry Jones is so stupid for firing Jimmy Johnson. He was such a great coach, and his absence is going to cause the Cowboys to decline tremendously until they live in mediocrity for more than a decade.

    Whoops, I just had a flashback. Sorry, wrong decade. Just replace "Jerry Jones" with "Jed York," and "Jimmy Johnson" with "Jim Harbaugh," and "Cowboys" with "49ers." Either way, we're talking about a derp owner making a derp decision.

  12. St. Louis Rams (6-10) - Previously: --.
    The Rams always have this hype coming into the season, then they fall flat on their faces, and then they finish the year on a hot streak and once again have hype for the following campaign. It's an endless cycle. Fortunately for the people of St. Louis who don't go to the games, the Rams will be moving to Los Angeles in the near future, where they can play in front of other people who don't care.

  13. New Orleans Saints (7-9) - Previously: --.
    The Saints cost me so much money in 2014 that I started saving up cardboard boxes, just in case I would have to live out of one of them after depleting my bank account. I'll never forgive this team; how they went from a top-10 defense to an absolute abomination is beyond me, and I'll never understand how Drew Brees aged two decades in just one offseason. It's possible Brees and Rob Ryan's defense will rebound, but this team could be done.

  14. Houston Texans (9-7) - Previously: --.
    The Texans have J.J. Watt, so they'll be competitive as long as they play hard (they did not in 2013). Unfortunately, they don't have a quarterback, so they won't go far in the playoffs, if they even get there. I don't even know what they could possibly do either. If I were Bill O'Brien, I'd ask Watt if he could play the quarterback position. Considering that Watt does everything else for the team, it wouldn't surprise me if he happened to be an upgrade over Ryan Fitzpatrick.

  15. Miami Dolphins (8-8) - Previously: --.
    As if the Dolphins weren't stupid enough already, head coach Joe Philbin will now report directly to owner Stephen Ross. Sounds like a great plan. I can only imagine how some of their meetings will go...

    Stephen Ross: Joe, how's my team looking?

    Joe Philbin: Derp dee dep, good I guess, derp.

    Stephen Ross: Were any cool celebrities at practice today? Maybe Gloria Estefan or Lisa Turtle from Saved by the Bell?

    Joe Philbin: Derp dee dep, maybe, derp.

    Stephen Ross: Damn it, Joe, you're supposed to get them to come to the games so that other people do too!

    Joe Philbin: Derp dee dep, OK boss, derp.

    Sounds like a great plan. I still can't get over it. The guy who had NO clue that bullying was happening in his locker room is supposed to tell the owner everything that's going on? Derp!

  16. Detroit Lions (11-5) - Previously: --.
    The Lions struggled offensively for the most part in 2014, thanks to their woeful offensive line, but were able to reach the playoffs with their defense. That won't happen if Ndamukong Suh leaves. Should Suh walk as a free agent, Detroit will have to really bolster its blocking, since it won't be able to rely on its stop unit as much. That, and they also have to put one of the most crooked calls in NFL history behind them. I bet some Detroit fans see Chris Christie's belly giggle in their sleep each night. How horrifying.

  17. Buffalo Bills (9-7) - Previously: --.
    I love the Rex Ryan hire, but the Bills still need a quarterback more than anything else. I have no idea what they're going to do at the position. Trade for Jay Cutler? Sign Ryan Mallett? Try E.J. Manuel again? If I were a Buffalo fan, I would be vomiting right now.

  18. Kansas City Chiefs (9-7) - Previously: --.
    I don't know why people were surprised that Alex Smith didn't throw a touchdown pass to a receiver. It's Alex freaking Smith, and the Chiefs aren't going anywhere with him at quarterback. If he didn't throw a single touchdown to anyone in 16 games, I wouldn't have been shocked. In fact, he could've registered negative touchdowns, and I wouldn't have reacted. A stat line of 20-of-30, 80 yards, negative-2 touchdowns and two interceptions seems like a normal Smith game to me.

  19. Cincinnati Bengals (10-5-1) - Previously: --.
    Another year, another one-and-done performance in the playoffs. Cincinnati fans will remember this image all too clearly:



    Granted, Dalton didn't have much of a chance without A.J. Green and Jermaine Gresham in the postseason defeat, but it's not like he would've won with them anyway.

  20. Minnesota Vikings (7-9) - Previously: --.
    I like the Vikings to challenge for a playoff spot next year. They finished the year on a 5-4 streak, and their losses - two of which came against Green Bay and Detroit - were by an average of 3.8 points. Teddy Bridgewater made great strides in the second half of the season, and I don't see why he would suddenly decline.

  21. San Diego Chargers (9-7) - Previously: --.
    It's crazy that the Chargers, who were in desperate need of a playoff spot, lost to Chase Daniel in the final week of the season. I know Philip Rivers was completely banged up, but still. Rivers' health will go a long way in determining San Diego's 2015 playoff chances, so the offensive line absolutely has to be repaired this offseason.

  22. Carolina Panthers (7-8-1) - Previously: --.
    The Panthers' season was doomed from the start. The offensive line was an abomination, and the receiving corps wasn't much better. Cam Newton was hurt, while head coach Commander Adama was having a tough time dealing with the Cylons. Fortunately for the Panthers, the rest of the NFC South sucked, so they were able to sneak into the playoffs despite being 3-8-1 at one point.

    I think the Panthers will be much better in 2015, as long as Newton is healthy. They'll undoubtedly fix their line and receiving corps this offseason, and there's even talk that the Cylons have conceded the war.

  23. Philadelphia Eagles (10-6) - Previously: --.
    Philadelphia's offseason is the most interesting of all, as far as I'm concerned. Nothing Chip Kelly could do would surprise me. He could trade Nick Foles to the Titans/Texans/Rams (all of whom are interested in him); he could trade up for Marcus Mariota; or he could move back for Brett Hundley. Perhaps he'd even petition Roger Goodell to let him play quarterback and coach at the same time. Like I said, nothing would shock me.

    Having said that, I don't really see what the big fuss is. Foles wasn't the problem. If the Eagles had a quality secondary, they would've made the playoffs with a healthy Foles. I'm not sure trading him away is the best solution, especially if they can't get Mariota. I feel like drafting Hundley would be disastrous.

  24. Arizona Cardinals (11-5) - Previously: --.
    A year ago, I wrote that the Cardinals would've also beaten the Broncos in the Super Bowl. I can't say the same for their chances against the Patriots because despite their early record, they weren't as good, but they never even had a chance when both Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton went down. It's a shame that Arizona had to collapse with Ryan Lindley. It makes you wonder how bad Logan Thomas was that he didn't get a chance. What did he do, pull a Tim Riggins and show up drunk to every practice?

  25. Denver Broncos (12-4) - Previously: --.
    I wasn't a fan of the Gary Kubiak hire, but I love the fact that John Elway brought in Wade Phillips to coach his defense. How many sacks will Von Miller have in Phillips' scheme? Like 5,000?

    Having said that, the biggest factor is Peyton Manning's arm. I know he was playing with a torn quad last year, but he's 39. These injuries will just keep manifesting. And besides, Manning looked done even before he got hurt. Brett Favre suddenly fell off a cliff, and the same thing could be happening to Manning.

  26. Dallas Cowboys (12-4) - Previously: --.
    It's crazy how much the NFL has changed. Years ago, Dallas would've kept DeMarco Murray at all cost. Now, he's just an afterthought. Sure, he was the NFL's league-leading rusher by about 500 yards, but who cares? Running backs grow on trees nowadays, and they can easily be replaced. In fact, I bought a couple of running backs at Acme the other night. I signed them each to 1-week, $59.99 deals to clean my bathrooms and gutters.

  27. Indianapolis Colts (11-5) - Previously: --.
    D'Qwell Jackson was arrested recently for punching a pizza delivery boy. Many are condemning Jackson for this, but I'm here to praise him. Pizza delivery boys have gotten too arrogant over the years, and someone needs to put them in their place. Enter Jackson, who won't take sausage when he ordered pepperoni under any circumstances. You tell 'em, D'Qwell!

  28. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-5) - Previously: --.
    The Steelers are definitely a prime Super Bowl XL contender. They need to fix their secondary, but that's not the worst issue to have; the Steelers could be like the Bills and Texans and lack a franchise quarterback.

    One e-mailer, Andy R., disagrees: "The Steelers should look at Jameis Winston ... that way they can groom the next rapist behind their current rapist."

  29. Baltimore Ravens (10-6) - Previously: --.
    It's easy to forget that like the Seahawks, the Ravens blew an opportunity to beat the Patriots in the playoffs. Unlike Seattle, however, Baltimore did this in Foxboro, all while New England had the luxury of playing with deflated footballs. With Marc Trestman on board to coach up Joe Flacco, the Ravens have become one of my favorite Super Bowl XL favorites.

  30. Green Bay Packers (12-4) - Previously: --.
    I still can't believe the Packers found a way to blow the NFC Championship despite being up 16-0. So many things had to happen for them to lose, but Mike McCarthy, who has long been an overrated coach, bungled the end of the game, robbing us of a Tom Brady-Aaron Rodgers Super Bowl. Just think of how awesome that battle would've been. The game might have gone down to the wire and been super exciting.

  31. New England Patriots (12-4) - Previously: --.
    The good news: Tom Brady doesn't choke anymore, and he has cemented himself as Peyton Manning's superior. The bad news: The Patriots could lose draft picks because of Deflategate.

    Speaking of both Brady and Deflategate, if you haven't seen the Brady music video regarding the incident, you need to check this out:



  32. Seattle Seahawks (12-4) - Previously: --.
    So many memes, so little time...



    And another...



    MORE MEMES MORE MEMES MORE MEMES!!!



    AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH MEEEMEMMEEEESSSS!!!



    OK, now that I got that out of my system, the people who criticized my No. 1 ranking of the Seahawks aren't using simple logic. Seattle had the game in hand. Suppose the team actually ran the ball, scored with Lynch and prevailed. Would I get that same criticism? What if I then decided to put the Patriots No. 1? I'd get a lot of hate for that, right? Why, because the Seahawks won, right? Well, Seattle easily could have won, and was actually just one yard away from doing so despite losing two key defenders earlier in the evening.

    The fact remains that there's a strong case for both the Seahawks and Patriots to be No. 1, and criticizing either decision is homoclitic. Then again, those who did so might be under the influence. Damn that Derek Anderson.











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2016 NFL Mock Draft - March 6


2015 NFL Mock Draft - March 5


2015 NBA Mock Draft - Feb. 24


Fantasy Football Rankings - Feb. 18


NFL Picks - Feb. 1


NFL Free Agents







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2012 NFL Power Rankings. Week: Offseason Power Rankings | Final Preseason 2012 NFL Power Rankings | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | Final Reg. Season | 19 | 20 | 21 | Final |

2011 NFL Power Rankings. Week: Offseason Power Rankings | Final Preseason 2011 NFL Power Rankings | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | Final Reg. Season | 19 | 20 | 21 | Final

2010 NFL Power Rankings. Week: Offseason Power Rankings | Final Preseason 2010 NFL Power Rankings | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | Final Reg. Season | 19 | 20 | 21 | Final

2009 NFL Power Rankings. Week: Preseason Power Rankings | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | Final Reg. Season | 19 | 20 | 21 | Final |

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2007 NFL Power Rankings. Week: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21

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