Patriots reclaim top spot with stellar draft



A whole lot of speculation. And with that, it’s an appropriate time to take a snapshot of how the league’s 32 member clubs stack up against one another with a post draft edition of the NFL Power Rankings.

We pulled off this exercise after the initial burst of free agency and caught some flak for elevating the Super Bowl runner up (Seattle) over the Super Bowl champion (New England). While the list below won’t necessarily predict how things will finish in 2015, it should provide
at least some perspective on who now has the strongest chance at competing for a slot in Super Bowl 50. (Yeah, right.) Speaking of Super Bowl 50, here’s my way too early, spring prediction for the big game:

I’m wavering on the latter. Like, teetering. (Seriously, spending the first round pick on another wide receiver, ?) For my extended thoughts on those two teams and the rest of the league take a gander below.

NOTE: The lineup below reflect changes from our March 17 Power Rankings, posted after the opening week of free agency.

I’m not sure any general manager knows what he’s doing more than Ted Thompson. Green Bay quite simply elevated its talent base this past weekend, while dotting some I’s and crossing some needs along the way. If we had to nitpick anything, we’d point out that

and

are CB/S tweeners. But the Pack needed a nickel, and I could see Randall filling that role just fine when

Green Bay opens at Soldier Field. (Oh, and by the way, I’m leaning toward Green Bay in

Super Bowl 50.) fall back to Earth, as part of the fallout from a so so draft. For the third year in a row, Seattle didn’t make a selection on Day 1. (In 2013 and ’14, the ‘Hawks traded their first round pick to Minnesota; this year, they sent the selection to New Orleans in the

trade.) While Seattle got leapfrogged by the team that

bested it in a classic Super Bowl three months ago, much of that had to do with New England’s college haul. Meanwhile, with Green Bay also having a better draft and

home field in this year’s head to head matchup, an advantage the

Seahawks thoroughly enjoyed in every recent bout against the

Seattle now resides in the three hole. Most draftniks thought the

Seahawks reached on their top selection, second round DE

. OK. But former K State star

could contribute right away. Here’s hoping

Darrell Bevell thinks he’s more aggressive to the ball than Ricardo Lockette.

It might be all the rage to say Seattle could get toppled in the NFC West this year, but we’re not there yet. Arizona had itself a fine draft, particularly with the selection of offensive tackleDavid Johnson, a running back nabbed in the third round, could end up playing the most snaps this season. All that said,

must put up a bigger or more efficient campaign than normal for the Cards to take the division. (How about 3,700 yards, 28 TDs and a 100 passer rating?) Cardinal to keep an eye on:Ugh. Nope. GM Ryan Grigson went all

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