1. San Francisco 49ers – How do the 49ers do it? This team was already a stacked team heading into the draft, but they found a way to get even scarier on both sides of the ball. This front office just knows how to build a great team. Eric Reid is a perfect fit, Tank Carradine will be a force if healthy, and Quinton Patton could be a sleeper. The NFC West will be very interesting
2. Seattle Seahawks – Even without a first round selection, the Seahawks found a way to have a very impressive draft. Christine Michael will provide competition behind star RB Marshawn Lynch and late-round selections Tharold Simon and Jesse Williams were great value picks. Unfortunately, these selections weren’t as great as their NFC West rival.
3. Atlanta Falcons – Well, the Falcons wanted to improve at the cornerback position, and they certainly did that by taking not one, but two corners within the first two rounds. Certainly one of them will provide consistency in the secondary, right?
4. Green Bay Packers – The Packers had a very good draft. Taking two running backs in Eddie Lacy and Jonathan Franklin will ensure a much improved running game. They didn’t stop there, however, They also took two offensive linemen back to back in David Bakhtiari and J.C. Tretter, guys that will help give Aaron Rodgers more time to deliver the football to his receivers.
5. Denver Broncos – The Broncos had the prime position in these power rankings last time around, but their draft class left me quite unimpressed. They were unable to acquire an inside linebacker and another safety, two team needs that will hurt the team if left unfilled when the season starts. We’ll see how the lack of talent in those positions affects the defense.
6. New England Patriots – For some reason, Bill Belichick once again decided to continue his tendency to trade out of the first round. I have no problem with that as long as you draft good players throughout the rest of the draft. The Patriots failed to do that. They’re going to regret taking Aaron Dobson over Keenan Allen in the long run.
7. Baltimore Ravens – Everyone’s expecting the Baltimore Ravens to be a worse team in 2013 than they were in 2012, and to refute that I say, look at their defense compared to last year. If you really look at it, the Ravens got better on defense throughout this offseason period, and the draft was a big part of that improvement. The selections of Matt Elam, Arthur Brown, Brandon Williams and John Simon, as well as the free agent acquisitions of Elvis Dumervil and Michael Huff outweigh the losses of Paul Kruger, Dannell Ellerbe, Ed Reed, and Ray Lewis to me.
8. Houston Texans – The most obvious thing the Texans had to do was draft a wide receiver in the first round, and they did just that by taking Clemson wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. If they can develop him, he will be the perfect complement to Andre Johnson. However, outside linebacker is still a position of need.
9. New York Giants – I love the Giants’ draft class. Sure, the Justin Pugh selection was a little strange, but after first round, the Giants make some spectacular selections. The two I love the most came in the second and third rounds as the Giants picked Johnathan Hankins and Damontre Moore, two first round talents. However, the linebacker position is going to need to be addressed before the season begins.
10. Minnesota Vikings – On draft day, the Vikings were able to something that is very rare in NFL history, and that is select three players in the first round. Sharrif Floyd and Xavier Rhodes were great value picks, but I’m not a big fan of what the Vikings gave up to trade back for Cordarrelle Patterson, mostly because I’m not a big believer in Patterson. If coached up correctly, Patterson could be great, but he’s still very raw and very risky.
11. Chicago Bears – I’m not a big fan of the Kyle Long selection, but picking up Jon Bostic in the second round was a wonderful pick. He’ll be the perfect replacement of Brian Urlacher in the middle of the linebacking corps. It will be interesting to see if they use fourth round selection Khaseem Greene inside.
12. Cincinnati Bengals – I killed the Bengals for not using any cap room in 2013 free agency, and I’m still shocked by it. However, the Bengals were able to get a good draft class. Tyler Eifert will give Andy Dalton another reliable weapon, and Giovanni Bernard will be a good complement of BenJarvus Green-Ellis. I’m not a fan of Margus Hunt because of the depth that is already there at defensive end.
13. Washington Redskins – The Redskins did the best they could this offseason without a first round pick and with the cap penalty that was asserted by the NFL. But we all know the most pressing issue for the Redskins is RG3’s health.
14. Miami Dolphins – Shockingly, the Dolphins traded up from the twelth overall pick to the third overall pick and didn’t take Lane Jonhson. Instead, they decided to take Dion Jordan. If he lives up to potential, Jordan could really be great, but if he doesn’t, the Dolphins will regret this decision for years.
15. New Orleans Saints – There you go, Saints. This is how you get back to the Super Bowl. Kenny Vaccaro should be a guy that is a force for a while to come, and Terron Armstead looks like a guy that will develop into a consistent starting offensive tackle in the NFL.
16. Indianapolis Colts – The Colts’ draft class left me very unimpressed. Bjoern Werner i the type of guy that Pagano loves to coach, but I’m not sold that he’s a good fit with the Colts. Hugh Thornton has a nice story, but he isn’t very consistent. Offensive line coach Joe Gilbert is going to have a tough task ahead of him.
17. St. Louis Rams – Sam Bradford needs weapons. The Rams knew that coming into the draft and they made every effort to give him those weapons. They got the best wide receiver in the draft in Tavon Austin and another decent prospect in Stedman Bailey. 7th round selection Zac Stacy could also contribute in the running game.
18. Pittsburgh Steelers – Jarvis Jones will be a great outside linebacker for the Steelers for years to come, but I’m left confused with the selection of Le’Veon Bell. He mirrors the style of current Steelers Jonathan Dwyer, and I’m not sold that Bell will be much better than Dwyer. Sharmarko Thomas and Markus Wheaton were good mid-draft picks.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – I wasn’t the biggest fan of the Buccaneers’ draft class, but they move up in these rankings solely because of the Darrelle Revis trade. Their biggest issue last year was pass defense, and they’ve done everything they can to fix that. However, they weren’t able to draft a tight end, something I fear they’ll regret as the season begins.
20. Tennessee Titans – What can I say? I love what the Titans were able to do in this year’s draft. Chance Warmack is the perfect guard to open up holes for Chris Johnson and he is also has the same mentality as coaches Mike Munchak and Bruce Matthews. But the pick I was most pleased with was the Justin Hunter selection in the second round. They did have to trade up to get him, but I believe that Hunter will soon become one of the NFL’s deadliest receivers as the years go by.
21. Dallas Cowboys – Oh, the Cowboys. On other Power Rankings, you may see the Cowboys much higher than this, prompting you to question my mental stability. Before you do that, hear me out. First, they decided to trade back with Sharrif Floyd still on the board. Then, they proceeded to overly reach for Travis Frederick. Next, they selected TE Gavin Escobar. Why? The cowboys already have a pro bowler in Jason Witten and a decent backup in James Hanna. I’m just not loving what they did in draft.
22. Kansas City Chiefs – We all knew they were going to select a tackle with the first pick, but I’m left wondering about their third round selection Travis Kelce. The Chiefs already have two good tight ends on the roster. Instead, I would have also liked to see the team draft a safety to play alongside Eric Berry.
23. San Diego Chargers – The DJ Fluker selection does make sense, but I felt they should have waited until later rounds so select a guy like Menelik Watson or Terron Armstead. However, I love the Manti Te’o and Keenan Allen picks. Taking players in the second and third round that were project first round picks is never a bad idea.
24. Detroit Lions – It’s hard to critique or praise the Lions’ draft class. They drafted a lot of boom or bust players, the biggest being Ezekiel Ansah in the first round. He has all the physical tools; he just needs to translate them to the football field. Darius Slay could be good if he stays healthy, and I’m a big fan of Larry Warford. He’ll be great for the Lions’ interior offensive line.
25. Carolina Panthers – I’m very disappointed with the Carolina Panthers. Star Lotulelei is the only good thing about their class. They didn’t need to get another DT in the second. They also completely ignored other needs in this draft. This team still needs another wide receiver, cornerback and safety. If those needs are not filled when the season starts, this team will finish last in the NFC South.
26. Philadelphia Eagles – The Eagles are another team that’s very difficult to place. We really have no idea how well this team is going to play in 2013. However, what I do know is that Lane Johnson will finally help the Eagles provide protection for their quarterbacks. I also know that Zach Ertz will be a very interesting player in this new offense.
27. Cleveland Browns -The Browns made so much progress in free agency. Now it seems that they’ve lost their minds once again. With Dee Milliner on the board, the Browns passed him up. Not only did they not draft Milliner, they decided to draft Barkevious Mingo at 6. Then, this team refused to pick in the middle of the draft. They ended up only drafting two players within the first five rounds of the draft. That’s unheard of.
28. Arizona Cardinals – Looks like the Bruce Arians era has begun in Arizona, and I am loving it. This was undisputed a great draft class by the Arizona Cardinals. They were able to get a lot of good value with their mid-late round picks. The ones I liked the most were Kevin Minter and Alex Okafor, two guys that can really help stop the offensive powerhouses in the NFC West.
29. Buffalo Bills – Well, the Buffalo Bills will have a pretty good offense in 2013. However, is putting points on the board their biggest issue? I don’t think so. Sure, it was a problem in 2013, but the Bills’ defense has allowed over 400 points over the last three seasons. What have they done in the past three seasons? Nothing.
30. Jacksonville Jaguars – Don’t get me wrong, the Jacksonville Jaguars had a very good draft. But there’s still a huge problem with the Jaguars, and that’s the quarterback position. Let’s face it, Blaine Gabbert just isn’t a starting-caliber quarterback in the NFL. It was very surprising for me to see the Jaguars elect to not draft a quarterback in this year’s draft. Maybe they’re waiting for Teddy Bridgewater…
31. New York Jets – After the first selection, I was feeling pretty good about the Jets. Then they returned to their normal foolish selves. Sheldon Richardson will not work with the Jets. It’s not that he’s a bad talent. He just doesn’t fit with the Jets at all, and he won’t receive much playing time either. The Geno Smith pick was a good move, but I’m not sure how he’ll pan out in the NFL.
32. Oakland Raiders – Ugh. The Raiders could have taken Sharrif Floyd, Sheldon Richardson, or Star Lotulelei at #12 and been happy. Instead, they decided to take a risk on a guy that may not last very long in the league. However, besides that, I was pretty impressed with the Raiders draft class. Unfortunately, this team still has way too many holes.