The finale of our four-part series of post-draft NFL power rankings. We’ve reached the top tier of teams heading into the 2019 NFL season, which is highlighted by the team I personally think was the best in the league last season – despite not winning the Super Bowl.
So that you can get caught up on our rankings for the other 24 teams in the league, I’ve done the liberty of linking you to the three previous articles in case you haven’t seen them already. Be sure to check them out and let us know which teams you feel are ranked too high, and those you feel are ranked too low.
2019 Post-Draft NFL Power Rankings
1. New Orleans Saints
Despite losing in the NFC Championship game, the Saints were the best team in the NFL last season – and neither Rams or Patriots fans will change my mind on this. They lost Mark Ingram this offseason, but the offensive core of Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas will continue to thrive as the team has done a solid job adding crucial pieces to maximize the final years of Brees’ Hall of Fame-worthy career
2. Los Angeles Rams
The health of Todd Gurley is going to play a crucial role in how well the Rams play in 2019 after finishing second in the league with nearly 33 points per game last season. Assuming Gurley stays relatively healthy, the addition of third-round running back, Darrell Henderson, to go along with last year’s sixth-round draft pick, John Kelly, should provide the team with quality depth at RB while the return of Cooper Kupp will allow the offense to once again return to full strength in ’19
3. New England Patriots
Until another team actually proves they can knock off Tom Brady and the Patriots, New England will be my top-ranked AFC team. Rob Gronkowski is gone. Chris Hogan is gone. Trey Flowers is gone. But Bill Belichick always seems to have the answers when it comes to replacing players, and that started already in the 2019 NFL Draft as the Patriots added some potential early-impact players including N’Keal Harry, Joejuan Williams, Chase Winovich and Damien Harris
4. Los Angeles Chargers
Last year looked like it was finally going to be the year that Philip Rivers and the Chargers were going to be able to overcome the Patriots and represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. As we all know, that wasn’t the case as the Patriots stomped the Chargers, 41-28, in the Divisional Round. The Chargers have done a nice job surrounding Rivers with talent on the offensive side of the ball as he enters the final years of his career, and they addressed needs on the defensive side of the ball early in the 2019 NFL Draft with the selections of Jerry Tillery and Nasir Adderley. The pieces are in place for the Chargers to make a run in 2019, but as always with the Chargers, they need to find a way to keep all of their studs healthy throughout the season
5. Indianapolis Colts
Andrew Luck silenced any doubters last year about whether or not he’d return to being an elite-level NFL quarterback, and now he’s primed to lead the Colts with what appears to be the most complete team they’ve surrounded him with throughout his time in the league. The offensive line played much better last season, in large part due to the success of first-round draft pick Quenton Nelson, and the defense actually outperformed most expectations finishing 11th in yards allowed per game and 10th in points allowed per game. The Colts have the talent to compete for a Super Bowl, now they just need to build off the success they found in 2018 and let one of the game’s best QB’s lead the way and prove he belongs in the same breath as the likes of Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, and Patrick Mahomes
6. Kansas City Chiefs
Several have been down on the Chiefs recently with the negativity surrounding the team due to the Tyreek Hill situation; but a dynamic quarterback like Patrick Mahomes and the potential this offense possesses with or without Hill is too lethal to have the Chiefs ranked any lower. The defense may not be where they need it to be in order to be the clear favorite in the AFC, but they did add the likes of Frank Clark, Emmanuel Ogbah and Tyrann Mathieu, which will definitely help improve a defense that finished second to last in yards allowed last year, surrendering over 405 yards per game
7. Chicago Bears
The Bears’ defense led the way last year for a team that finished 12-4 and first place in a division that most thought would be decided by either the Packers or Vikings. Fast forward to 2019 and Chicago still has what looks to be a dominant defense, but also gets to see how Mitchell Trubisky performs in year two of Matt Nagy’s offense. The Bears quickly filled the hole that was created when they traded Jordan Howard to the Eagles by signing Mike Davis and drafting David Montgomery, and they still have one of the most dynamic playmakers in the league in Tarik Cohen. The ups and downs of Trubisky is what’s currently preventing the Bears from being ranked any higher, but expect them to be in the mix when discussing teams most likely to represent the NFC in Super Bowl 54
8. Cleveland Browns
Let me start by saying this, I never imagined the Browns would find their way into the top tier of my NFL power rankings – in my lifetime. But here we are, and not only are the Browns considered the favorite to win the AFC North, but they are also being mentioned among the top teams in the league. You won’t find a bigger Baker Mayfield supporter than yours truly, and if you listen to the podcast, you’ll know that I’m all in on the Odell Beckham Jr. / Jarvis Landry combination. It feels a bit aggressive to think that the Browns can step in an instantly compete for a Super Bowl with the roster they’ve assembled, but sign me up for witnessing as many Browns’ games as possible this season
Be sure to check out the latest episode of the Loaded Box Podcast as the guys recap the 2019 NFL Draft!