NFL Power Rankings

NFL Power Rankings: Post-Draft
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My post-draft 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 Raiders and Redskins aren’t my top teams.

Updated: May 8

  1. Oakland Raiders (3-13) – Previously: 31.
    Leonard Williams told the Raiders he wanted to play for them, so it’s odd that Oakland passed up on him. Well, I should say it was odd until a recording surfaced of this exchange between Williams and owner Mark Davis.

    Mark Davis: So, Leonard, why should I draft you?

    Leonard Williams: Because I’m a great player, and I’ve always wanted to be a Raider.

    Mark Davis: Let’s cut the crap and get to the important question. What do you think of my beautiful Captain Kangaroo haircut?

    Leonard Williams: To be honest, I’m not digging it. It’s hard to take you seriously with it.


  2. Washington Redskins (4-12) – Previously: 26.
    A guard in the top five? OK, then. I get that protecting Robert Griffin is important, so I don’t hate the pick, but why didn’t the front office address the secondary at all? It knows that its defense couldn’t cover any competent passing attack, right?

  3. Cleveland Browns (7-9) – Previously: 30.
    Chris Mortensen reported that the Browns were 90-percent done with Johnny Manziel, and I’m 90-percent sure that rumor was true. Mike Pettine said it was 90-percent false, but I’m 90-percent confident that he was 90-percent lying about the 90-percent rumor, and he’s probably 90-percent sure that Johnny Manziel’s trip to rehab was 90-percent bogus, as it was 90-percent conjured up by his agent, who could probably swindle Manziel and take 90 percent of his earnings because Manziel is 90-percent focused on rolling $20s up 90 percent of the way and snorting 90 percent of what happens to be in the $20s, which I’m 90-percent sure is true and 90-percent confident you know what I’m talking about.

  4. San Francisco 49ers (8-8) – Previously: 29.
    My editor, when compiling the 2016 NFL Mock Draft pages, remarked on how unusual it was that I had the 49ers picking No. 4 after they were No. 30 just last year. I pointed to the example of the Raiders, who went from No. 31 to No. 2 in just one season because of poor coaching and management – the same type of coaching and management San Francisco has right now. Niner fans vehemently disagree – they remind me of Jets’ fans last summer – but their team is going to be one of the league’s worst in 2015.

  5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-14) – Previously: 28.
    The Buccaneers picked Jameis Winston, but I believe it was the wrong choice, as you can see here in the NFL Draft Grades page. Speaking of that, I can’t remember who it was, but one snarky reporter on Twitter was like, “The Bucs picked Winston, and I’m not going to make any Mons Venus jokes.” F*** you, douche. Mons Jameis, I mean, Mons Venus jokes are freaking fantastic.

  6. Chicago Bears (5-11) – Previously: 27.
    How hilarious was it to hear that the Bears “entered” the Marcus Mariota sweepstakes by offering Jay Cutler? They had no chance. Imagine if the teams were little kids…

    Ruston: My mommy packed me a bag of Cheetos! Anyone want to trade?

    Tom: I might be willing to deal this ice cream sandwich because it’ll melt when I drive out to L.A. with my parents.

    Ray: How about these Chips Ahoy cookies?

    Tom: Never mind. I’m taking the ice cream sandwich with me to L.A. If it melts, yolo.

    Chip: Cheetos will go perfect with my lunch! I’m willing to give up Oreos, Doritos, Nutter Butter and next week’s snack!

    Ryan: How about this Tapioca pudding!!!

    Ruston: LOL you’re an idiot, Ryan! Sorry guys, I think I’m just going to eat these Cheetos myself.

    I imagine that the Titans wouldn’t have even taken Tapioca pudding Cutler for free because of his albatross of a contract.

  7. Tennessee Titans (2-14) – Previously: 32.
    I’m glad the Titans made the right decision and drafted Marcus Mariota. Had they gone into the 2015 season with Zach Mettenberger as the starting quarterback, the front office people might as well have begun updating their resumes during training camp. Ken Whisenhunt could have listed his references during the second quarter of the season opener.

    By the way, props to Charlie Campbell for being all over Tennessee picking Mariota months before anyone else. Charlie easily won the 2015 NFL Draft Rumors Results.

  8. New York Jets (4-12) – Previously: 24.
    Picking redundant players like Leonard Williams might be good for the future, but it won’t help the Jets win any games this year. But that begs the question: If New York is building for the long haul, why sign Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie, when both talented corners will help the Jets win enough games to be out of Christian Hackenberg/Cardale Jones contention, but not enough games to make the playoffs?

  9. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-13) – Previously: 25.
    The Jaguars will definitely be more competitive this year. They have a better offensive line and a talented edge rusher, while Blake Bortles finally has a competent running back to work with. And speaking of Bortles, there’s little doubt that new offensive coordinator Greg Olson will get the most out of him. I think an 8-8 record is definitely a possibility.

  10. New Orleans Saints (7-9) – Previously: 20.
    The Saints had a successful draft. Not because they avoided filling needs and took several rounds too early, but because they saved a man from being punched in his no-no special place:

  11. Atlanta Falcons (6-10) – Previously: 23.
    The Falcons figure to be more competitive next season with an improved pass rush (Vic Beasley) and running game (Tevin Coleman), but they could’ve had a better draft. They were lucky enough to have Maxx Williams gift-wrapped to them in the second round, yet they passed on him and watched the NFL’s best general manager snatch him at the end of Round 2. Derp!

  12. New York Giants (6-10) – Previously: 22.
    Nice job by New York shoring up the offensive line. The targets it hoped for weren’t there – Amari Cooper, Kevin White, Brandon Scherff – but Ereck Flowers was a fine selection. He’ll help an offense that averaged 29.2 points per game following Week 11 last year. 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 mentioned this in my Fantasy Football Rankings, which will be updated shortly: 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.

  13. St. Louis Rams (6-10) – Previously: 21.
    The Rams had a poor draft, unless you have the opinion that picking seventh-round tackles in the second frame is a successful strategy. Some are criticizing the Todd Gurley pick, but Gurley is the only prospect who saved St. Louis from a true Millen grade. Check out my NFL Draft Team Grades for more.

  14. Carolina Panthers (7-8-1) – Previously: 15.
    The Panthers sure love their players who have no real position. They reached on Shaq Thompson and then made a completely illogical trade to obtain Devin Funchess. If Carolina keeps drafting like this, why not add me to the team? I’m too slow to play any position and too fat to play any position, so I think I’d make the perfect Panther.

  15. Miami Dolphins (8-8) – Previously: 19.
    If you didn’t hear, 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, what happened during the draft? I was too busy following Gloria Estefan’s Twitter feed to pay attention!

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

    Stephen Ross: Did we get Johnny Manziel!? How about Michael Sam!?

    Joe Philbin: Derp dee dep, those were in last year’s class, boss, derp.

    Stephen Ross: Damn it, Joe, I didn’t pay you to not get stars like Johnny Football and Michael Sam! Make sure you draft them next year!

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

  16. Detroit Lions (11-5) – Previously: 17.
    Forum member and Lions’ fan Kirmie posted this in reaction to my 2016 NFL Mock Draft:

    You may want to consider changing the way you look at the Lions OT need for 2016 a bit. Washburn already said the Lions consider Robinson a LT (down to 318 lbs apparently) and they have been trying to work Lucas and Michael Williams as LT’s. That sounds like they really want to move Reiff to RT ASAP rather than draft a RT and keep Reiff at LT.

    Fair enough, though I remain skeptical. But as long as it doesn’t get Matthew Stafford killed, I’m sure he’s all for it.

  17. Kansas City Chiefs (9-7) – Previously: 16.
    Marcus Peters at No. 18 overall was a head-scratcher, but Andy Reid apparently conducted his own investigation upon visiting the prospect’s hometown. Kansas City fans better hope that there weren’t too many burger joints in Peters’ hometown; otherwise Reid would’ve gotten distracted upon investigating Peters.

  18. Cincinnati Bengals (10-5-1) – Previously: 14.
    The Bengals couldn’t do anything about the Andy Dalton situation, so it would’ve made sense to add a couple of players to help them take the next step the fans have been looking forward to for a couple of seasons. Dorial Green-Beckham and Carl Davis would’ve made more sense. Plus, I would’ve gotten those picks correct in my mock draft, so I could’ve felt better about myself.

  19. Houston Texans (9-7) – Previously: 18.
    The Texans seemingly had another successful draft. It’s a shame they don’t have a quarterback. If they had at least a tier-two signal-caller, they’d be a top-five NFL team. I have to imagine Bill O’Brien will be going all out to secure his former Penn State quarterback next spring after another 9-7ish season.

  20. Minnesota Vikings (7-9) – Previously: 13.
    I like the Vikings to challenge for a playoff spot next year. They finished the season 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. Plus, it’s now apparent that Adrian Peterson will be on the roster next year, and I loved the Vikings’ draft, which you can read about in the NFL Draft Team Grades page.

  21. Buffalo Bills (9-7) – Previously: 12.
    Rex Ryan doesn’t take crap from anyone. He’s not afraid to challenge Bill Belichick, and he sure as hell has no regard for the rules. That’s why he wasn’t scared to have dinner with La’el Collins despite the fact that coaches aren’t allowed to meet with him until after May 9 (so much for that). Good for Rex. Unfortunately, Ryan must not have tipped well because Collins, who actually would’ve made a ton of sense for the Bills had they owned the No. 19 overall pick, ended up signing with Dallas.

  22. Philadelphia Eagles (10-6) – Previously: 11.
    Chip Kelly has to be greatly disappointed that he failed to trade for a bag of Cheetos, erm, Marcus Mariota. Sam Bradford is not a good fit for the offense, and he’s bound to get injured anyway. In fact, the Eagles might have to eventually use Tim Tebow, where he’ll throw the ball in horrific fashion but still find ways to win games. Oh, how horrible of a quarterback he is!

  23. San Diego Chargers (9-7) – Previously: 10.
    It’s great that the Chargers were able to keep their ice cream sandwich, erm, Philip Rivers… or is it? LaDainian Tomlinson did say that Rivers’ reluctance to move to Los Angeles was “very valid.” What if Rivers retires after next season because he doesn’t want to get stuck in traffic, hang out with douchey celebrities and die in earthquakes? Won’t San Diego regret not dealing him for Marcus Mariota?

  24. New England Patriots (12-4) – Previously: 5.
    Why did the NFL need to wait four months to get results from an investigation? The proof was right in front of them, because if you rearrange the letters in “Patriots,” you get “Stop Air.”

    Stop Air drops a few spots because of Brady’s impending suspension.

  25. Arizona Cardinals (11-5) – Previously: 9.
    D.J. Humphries was slightly unexpected at No. 24, but I can’t blame the Cardinals for using a first-round pick on him. Humphries will be replacing Bobby Massie, who was responsible for Carson Palmer’s injury. Arizona needs to do everything in its power so Ryan Lindley doesn’t play quarterback again and I don’t lose more money by betting on him.

  26. Denver Broncos (12-4) – Previously: 7.
    Arizona’s acquisition of Humphries wasn’t bad, but Shane Ray was a better pick one selection earlier. He’ll provide great insurance just in case either Von Miller or DeMarcus Ware gets hurt. Even if they both stay healthy, Ray can be used in a great rotation, keeping both Miller and Ware fresh throughout the game.

    Having said that, this is all up to Peyton Manning. If he plays like he did last year – resembling a quarterback whose arm is falling off – the Broncos don’t stand a chance.

  27. Dallas Cowboys (12-4) – Previously: 8.
    Dez Bryant, Greg Hardy and Randy Gregory walk into a bar…

    I’ll work on a punchline before the season starts, and I’ll take all suggestions. But all kidding aside, I like the Gregory pick. And the La’el Collins signing. And the Byron Jones choice. At one point, all three were expected to go on Day 1 of the draft, so the Cowboys effectively obtained three first-round selections. Not bad.

  28. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-5) – Previously: 6.
    Another team that picked up a talented, falling pass-rusher! Alvin Dupree’s drop in the draft made no sense, but the Steelers weren’t complaining. However, getting Dupree or another edge rusher wasn’t Pittsburgh’s primary goal. As Charlie Campbell reported in the NFL Draft Rumor Mill, the Steelers were trying to trade up for Trae Waynes last weekend. It ended up being too difficult of a task, but Waynes would’ve been an awesome addition to the Steelers’ secondary.

  29. Green Bay Packers (12-4) – Previously: 4.
    I don’t think the Packers had a bad draft, as they selected some quality prospects for the future, but outside of Ty Montgomery in the return game, I’m not sure anyone they obtained will be able to help them win this year. It’s strange that they didn’t use an early choice on an inside linebacker so Clay Matthews could at least move outside right away.

  30. Indianapolis Colts (11-5) – Previously: 2.
    Did Matt Millen kidnap general manager Ryan Grigson and take over his post? Perhaps that’s an explanation for the receiver pick in the first round. What other reason is there for Indianapolis continuing to ignore the offensive line? No real general manager would employ this strategy. No, this is the work of a man who rides young stallions and inserts kielbasas into backsides of 100-percent USDA Men.

  31. Baltimore Ravens (10-6) – Previously: 3.
    ESPN’s Jamison Hensley wrote that Joe Flacco was a “winner” as a result of the draft because his front office gave him Breshad Perriman and Maxx Williams in the first two rounds. The Ravens were the overall winners, per my NFL Draft Team Grades. But yeah, Flacco’s fantasy outlook is pretty awesome, especially with Marc Trestman serving as his offensive coordinator.

  32. Seattle Seahawks (12-4) – Previously: 1.
    So, the Seahawks traded for Jimmy Graham, and their greatest threat in the division and conference – Cardinals and Packers, respectively – did nothing to counter this move? Seahawk fans, you might as well buy your Super Bowl tickets as soon as possible.

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