Post-Draft NFL Power Rankings: No.’s 9-16

We’ve reached the top half of the league in part three of four of our post-NFL Draft power rankings; so it’s time to take a look into the teams that figure to be most relevant when it comes time to decide the makeup of the 2019 NFL Playoffs.

Have you been following with parts one and two already? If not, here they are so you can go back and take a look at how I’ve ranked the bottom half of the league

Part One: No.’s 25-32
Part Two: No.’s 17-24

2019 Post-Draft NFL Power Rankings

9. Philadelphia Eagles

Nick Foles was able to rally the Eagles to wins in their final three games last year to sneak into the playoffs with a 9-7 record. With Foles off to Jacksonville, the Eagles will be looking for Carson Wentz to return to his 2017 pre-injury form as he looked like one of the top quarterbacks in the league leading the Eagles to nearly 29 points per game. Philly selected offensive lineman Andre Dillard in the first round of April’s draft to help protect Wentz, and keeping him upright will likely play a large factor in how successful the Eagles are in 2019

Image result for carson wentz

10. Dallas Cowboys

Dallas flipped a switch in Week 10 last season, which sparked a run of winning eight of its next nine games before falling to the Rams in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. The tradition of the Cowboys featuring a trio of stars on the offensive side of the ball seems to be back in play as Zeke Elliott remains one of the best running backs in the game while Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper found early chemistry last year after trading for the former Raiders’ WR midway through the season. Continuing to be led by Elliott and the run game, while receiving a bump in production from second-year wide receiver Michael Gallup will put the Cowboys in a nice position to repeat as NFC East champions

Image result for zeke elliott

11. Green Bay Packers

Have the Packers finally done enough on the defensive side of the ball to carry their weight and assist Aaron Rodgers and the offense back into the playoffs? A new head coach in Matt LaFleur, three new edge rushers in Za’Darius Smith, Preston Smith and first-round pick Rashan Gary, and additional assistance in the secondary via the team’s second first-round pick, Darnell Savage, should provide a positive change for a team that seemed stuck in complacency under Mike McCarthy. After a two-year absence from the playoffs, Green Bay is starting to look like a complete team with the potential of ending its current playoff drought

Image result for matt lafleur

12. Minnesota Vikings

The primary mission for Minnesota this offseason was to secure reinforcements to help protect the large investment they made at quarterback in Kirk Cousins. While neither of these players are proven, the selections of Garrett Bradbury and Dru Samia in the 2019 NFL Draft were crucial moves for the future of this team if they want to compete with the solid core of offensive skill players they’ve been able to accumulate over the last few seasons. A strong defense and a healthy Dalvin Cook should provide a nice backbone for the Vikings in ’19, but they’ll need to find a way to keep Cousins on his feet if they have any plans of taking the division back from the Bears

Image result for dalvin cook

13. Seattle Seahawks

It’s been an interesting offseason for the Seahawks. Russell Wilson gave his ultimatum for getting a long-term deal done, which worked. Doug Baldwin is now rumored to have played his last down in the NFL. D.K. Metcalf stayed on the board until the last pick in the second round as the Seahawks made him one of three receivers they selected joining Gary Jennings Jr. and John Ursua. A team with this many headlines and question marks at this point of the season is typically a bad thing, but the Seahawks are built to handle some adversity with an experienced head coach in Pete Carroll, a Super Bowl winning quarterback in Wilson, and a defense that’s remained fairly solid despite significant turnover from the Legion of Boom days

Image result for russell wilson

14. Atlanta Falcons

The primary issue for the Falcons last year was their inability to perform on the defensive side of the ball. Atlanta finished 28th in the league allowing nearly 385 yards per game, and 25th in points surrendered allowing nearly 27 per game. While the defense was an issue, so was protecting Matt Ryan as the Falcons’ offensive line gave up 42 sacks last season. In an attempt to correct this issue, Atlanta spent two first-round picks on offensive lineman in Chris Lindstrom and Kaleb McGary. Relying on rookie offensive lineman to contribute in year one is risky business, but the Falcons did the right thing by adding protection for Ryan as they try to maximize his prime years with Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley

Image result for julio jones calvin ridley

15. Houston Texans

If the Texans’ offensive line can improve and give Deshaun Watson time to fully utilize all of his weapons, the Texans will be in the mix to compete in what’s shaping up to be a highly-competitive AFC South. The defense held opponents to under 20 points per game last season, Watson is another year removed from his knee injury, and a healthy trio of DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller and Keke Coutee gives the Texans one of the best core of WR’s in the league

Image result for deandre hopkins

16. Pittsburgh Steelers

For the first time in what feels like forever, we’ll see a Steelers’ team without the majority of the three B’s after the departures of Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown. Will the offense be as efficient with JuJu Smith-Schuster operating as the team’s true No. 1 WR? Is James Conner the real deal at RB, or was last year’s rookie season just a glimmer of hope? Pittsburgh will be one of the more interesting teams to follow in 2019, and with how different they’re expected to look compared to just two short years ago, the Steelers may truly be the most difficult team to project this upcoming season

Image result for juju smith schuster

Be sure to check out the latest episode of the Loaded Box Podcast as the guys recap the 2019 NFL Draft!

Ben Morgan is a co-host and blogger for the Loaded Box Podcast. Check out his article archive and find more from the Loaded Box on Twitter & Facebook

One thought on “Post-Draft NFL Power Rankings: No.’s 9-16

Add yours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: