Wednesday, June 11, 2014

2014 NFL Power Rankings: Post-Draft (32-21)

21. New York Giants: Even though the New York Giants lost their first 6 games of 2013, they were still in the race for the Division Title until the last few weeks of football. New York is a dangerous team, but Eli Manning needs to avoid throwing costly interception in order to have a consistent passing game. Hakeem Knicks has left for Indy, but receivers Victor Cruz and recently drafted Odell Beckham Jr. are able to provide Manning with plenty of weapons on offense. 

22. Dallas Cowboys: 2014 will bring another chapter in the Dallas Cowboys chronicles. For the second year in a row, Dallas was one win away in Week 17 from a spot in the postseason, yet was unsuccessful in converting. Dallas drafted Zack Martin, an offensive lineman out of Notre Dame, to help benefit the passing game led by quarterback Tony Romo and wide receiver Dez Bryant. The NFC East has been one of the weaker divisions as of late, so the Cowboys have the opportunity to earn a playoff spot in this upcoming season.

23. Houston Texans: With the first overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Houston Texans decided to not select a quarterback, but rather boost their defensive line by drafting star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and defensive tackle Louis Nix III. The Texans' pass rush will be incredible next season as Clowney and Nix join JJ Watt and young pass rusher Whitney Mercilus. Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins had a notable rookie season, but in the event that Andre Johnson leaves Houston before the season opener, Ryan Fitzpatrick will likely struggle in 2014.

24. Buffalo Bills: Sammy Watkins, now a member of the Buffalo Bills, is the most talented player of the 2014 NFL Draft, and will join Mike Williams and Marquis Lee offensively to provide young quarterback EJ Manuel with many new weapons. Buffalo's pass rush ranked 2nd in the league last season, where three defensive passers had 10 sacks or more during the year, and it is also important to mention their incredibly talented rushing-duo of CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson. The Bills are a dark horse to do well in 2014.

25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Buccaneers did plenty during this offseason to boost their offensive depth chart. Mike Evans, a 6'5"receiver out of Texas A&M, and Austin Seferian-Jenkins, a 6'6" tight end from Washington, will join Vincent Jackson (6'5") to create one of the tallest receiving corps in the league. Josh McCown proved he can win games when he took over in Chicago, so the Bucs may be competitive in the race for a spot in the Wild Card Round.

26. Tennessee Titans: 2014 is bound to be Jake Locker's last season if his game does not improve from last year, and Tennessee is doing their best to supply Locker with talented, yet relatively cheap, wide receivers. Nate Washington, Kendall Wright, Dexter McCluster, and Justin Hunter are all good offensive weapons, but not enough to bear the burden of this entire offense.

27. Minnesota Vikings: I am a huge fan of the Vikings selecting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater with the 32nd overall pick. Bridgewater is a very talented passer who can take pressure off of Adrian Peterson, quite possibly the best player in the NFL today; on the other hand, if Matt Cassel and Christian Ponder continue to take the majority of the snaps in 2014, there is no way the Vikings will manage to crack .500. Anthony Barr was selected defensively in order to fill the pass rushing void left behind by All-Pro defensive end Jared Allen, another great selection for Minnesota.

28. Miami Dolphins: Miami managed to sign cornerback Cortland Finnegan and Randy Starks within the past few months, but apart from that, Miami had a relatively quiet offseason. Ryan Tannehill likely has one more year before he is on the hot seat, seeing how he managed to improve in 2013 from his rookie year. This lackluster franchise is unlikely to improve much in 2014.

29. Washington Redskins: After their miraculous road to the postseason in 2012, Robert Griffin III clearly suffered from a sophomore slump, where even though RGIII had more attempts on offense, his statistics suffered. With 12 interceptions and a 20.2 point drop in his passer rating compared to the rookie season, many Washington fans were disappointed with their quarterback's performances week in and week out. The Redskins had to give up their second overall pick because of their decision to trade up for RGIII two years earlier, yet they did manage to get Trent Murphy in the draft, as well as wide receiver DeSean Jackson in the offseason. Still, things aren't looking good for Washington in 2014.

30. Oakland Raiders: The Raiders made several sneaky transactions during the offseason. Defensively, the Raiders took a step in the right direction by adding Justin Tuck, Charles Woodson, Antonio Smith, and Khalil Mack all within this past offseason. On offense, rookie quarterback Derek Carr and wide receiver James Jones were both added to the depth chart; however, the inconsistencies of Matt Schaub at quarterback will hinder their progress next year. Looking forward, Raiders fans should remain hopeful.

31. Cleveland Browns: The biggest storyline coming out of the draft was clearly Johnny Manziel falling to the 22nd overall pick in the draft to Cleveland. Although this new selection gave Cleveland fans a glimmer of hope for next season, Josh Gordon faces a looming suspension due to substance abuses. Justin Gilbert at cornerback was a great selection in the draft, and  both Miles Austin and Nate Burleson will be two great weapons for Manziel, in the event that he wins the starting job.

32. Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jaguars are hoping that rookie quarterback Blake Bortles will be able to send Jacksonville to the postseason for the first time since 2007. Unfortunately for the rookie quarterback, Jacksonville has an extreme lack of talent on their depth chart, so much so that not a single player was selected to play in the Pro Bowl last season. Jacksonville has many more years before they will be a competitive football team.

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