How has the 2022 draft changed the landscape of the league heading into next season?

NFL Power Rankings After Draft 2022 reshapes the league lists again (post-free agency rank in parentheses):

1. Rams (1): If they could cheer up OL Cole Strange with this 104th choicewe could have crowned them champions in Super Bowl 57. Alas… LA’s championship core returns largely intact, despite some key losses (OLB Von MillerWR Odell Beckham Jr.?) and with some intriguing additions (LB Bobby Wagner, W. R. Allen Robinson). It should also be noted that they are the only team in the NFC West without a quarterback problem or some form of major drama in the offseason.

2. bengals (2): Had they had next season’s offensive line for last season’s Super Bowl, Cincinnati is likely hoisting its first Lombardi Trophy. The Bengals are expected to remain among the AFC’s elite after a deep strengthening draft, although it looks like the rest of their division is closing the gap.

3. Invoices (3): Miller might be the guy putting them above. So it could be CB Kaiir Elam in the first round or RB James Cook in the second round. It won’t be rookie Matt “Punt God” Araiza, as he won’t be playing much.

4. Buccaneers (4): Still awaiting verdicts on free agents Rob Gronkowski and Ndamukong Suh, although the draft provided insurance for each, including DL Logan Hall in the second round. The path to the NFC’s No. 1 seed could go through Tampa… or Munich.

5. Packers (5): They were never going to replace WR Davante Adams‘ producing a hit and were wise not to hit a wide in the first round. Maybe a beefed up defense could propel a team that wins 13 games every year but just can’t get to the 15 or 16 needed to win the Super Bowl.

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6. Crows (12): Baltimore, which started 5-1 in 2021 with wins over the ChargersChiefs and Colts, had their stellar annual draft and should move up the AFC with new talent and an influx of depth that should better protect this roster in 2022.

7. Chargers (6): Of course, one of the most talented teams in the league filled the few holes they had at the end of last season. And the Bolts were already good enough to face Kansas City before WR left Tyreek Hill.

8. Heads (7): A sort of version of the AFC Packers, making necessary defensive improvements rather than racking up outlandish expectations in a first-round widening to replace Hill. (But second-round gem Skyy Moore could do a lot of damage instead of Hill.)

9. Saints (17): Let’s not forget how close San Francisco came to reaching the Super Bowl thanks to a stacked roster that could handle an average quarterback game. After a draft declaration and signature of hometown S Tyrann MathieuNew Orleans might have a better roster than these 2021 Niners – and QB James Winston showed a lot of promise before his ACL tear. But the main question is how this organization will adapt to the departure of Sean Payton.

10. Foals (8): They had a sneaky good draft on the heels of acquiring QB Matt Ryan and CB Stephen Gilmore and might have erased the gap on a Tennessee team that appears to be in transition.

11. Raiders (9): If Adams’ trade wasn’t enough of a reminder, his decision to decline fifth-year options on his three first-round players in 2019 was a clear signal that the Silver and Black are under new management. Look for Round 4 RB Zamir “Zeus” White to eat Josh Jacobs‘ touch.

12. Eagles (19): An exciting team that is set to build on last year’s playoffs with the acquisition of WR A.J. Brown and two Georgia defenders (DT Jordan Davis, LB Nakobe Dean) but could also make an interesting QB pivot in next year’s draft.

13. Patriots (10): How best to sum up their “Strange” draft? A team that can’t develop first-round receivers took one in the second round from a school — Baylor — that doesn’t produce NFL-caliber receivers.

14. 49ers (14): We think Trey Lance will be QB1, although it’s unclear how ready he is. We believe All-Pro Deebo Samuel will remain on the roster, although it’s unclear how much of a distraction he will be. We think this team will be pretty good, although it’s unclear how many off-field issues coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch will have to deal with, especially if QB Jimmy Garoppolo remains in the background.

15. Browns (13): Still some turbulence to navigate given the likelihood of a suspension for QB Deshaun Watson and the lack of resolve around his predecessor, Baker Mayfield. But if Cleveland can tread water until Watson is ready to play — assuming he integrates effectively — this team should be dangerous.

16. Titans (11): They drafted some impressive players, but dealing with Brown and taking on Malik Willis as the presumptive successor to QB Ryan Tannehill – and everything that goes with it — hints that Tennessee might be heading for a cocoon before morphing into something very different.

17. Vikings (16): New general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has quietly but wisely improved a 30th-ranked defense since free agency opened, and that could be enough to row this franchise into a dark horse spot in the playoffs.

18. Broncos (18): Can they reach the playoffs for the first time since 2015 with a new coach and quarterback while trying to navigate the AFC West gauntlet? Just maybe. Maybe even a playoff sweep if those four teams don’t fight too hard.

19. Cowboys (15): The 2004 Eagles are the last team to repeat as NFC East champions … and that streak is likely going to stay intact given the limited impact it seems Dallas will reap from the draft and free agency.

20. Steelers (22): First-round QB Kenny Pickett could be an upgrade juxtaposed against the declining play of now-retired Ben Roethlisberger. Still, Pickett may not be an upgrade to Mitch Trubisky at all or the long-term impact Willis could have. It’s going to be fascinating to see how this unfolds.

21. Dolphins (21): With Hill, Jaylen Waddle and Cedrick Wilson, Miami’s three-receiver set can be better than anyone. But can QB Tua Tagovailoa leverage it enough to make this team anything more than better to not make the playoffs?

22. Cardinals (20): the six-game suspension for WR DeAndre Hopkinswhose absence at the end of last season coincided with the collapse of this team, explains the suspicious affair for WR Hollywood Brown … short-sighted because it still seems given that Arizona spat its first round .

23. Jets (25): By all accounts, they “won” the repechage, capitalizing on the remaining picks pulled from trades Jamal Adams and Sam Darnold. Now, can a team that hasn’t made the playoffs in 12 years or topped .500 in seven years actually win football games?

24. Leos (26): After following last year’s winless start with a 3-3 finish, Detroit looks to be charging well and should be ready to transition from biting kneecaps to body shots.

25. Seahawks (24): Quick history lesson – last season (2011) Pete Carroll didn’t have QB Russell Wilson or Wagner…he still had a hungry young team that featured top-10 defense and went 7-9 with Tarvaris Jackson throwing most of the passes.

26. Commanders (23): Their draft completes what is really a nice core of talent. It’s hard to predict what lies ahead for a team that has such a large X-factor at quarterback, a position where fifth-rounder Sam Howell could end up entering the mix this season.

27.Jaguar (27): With Doug Pederson in charge and RB – no slot receiver – Travis Etienne set to make his NFL debut, it’s almost like they’re getting four first-round picks this year after getting DE/OLB Travon Walker and LB Devin Lloyd, both potential Defensive Rookie of the Year candidates.

28. Panthers (30): With their skillful players healthy and first-round LT Ickey Ekwonu stabilizing the offensive line…Darnold and, most likely, coach Matt Rhule are pretty much at a loss for excuses when it comes to progressing to the before.

29. Giants (29): Speaking of progression and apologies, the table also looks set for QB Daniel Jones in Year 4…even if a fifth-year contract option isn’t on the menu.

30. Texas (32): Headlined by No. 3 overall pick Derek Stingley Jr., the top six picks in this draft class could provide Week 1 starters for Houston, which appears to be out of drydock as the franchise finally out of controversy Watson and former coach Bill O’Brien’s gross mismanagement of the roster.

31. Bear (28): No problem recasting your identity and potentially setting the stage for a big leap forward in 2023. But couldn’t we do more to fuel the development of QB Justin Fields in 2022?

32. Hawks (31): General manager Terry Fontenot had previously acknowledged that they’re “taking it on the chin this year,” and a draft full of players who could take longer to blossom than most suggest Atlanta play a longer game.


Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NFL Power Rankings: 2022 Draft helps Ravens, Eagles and Jets

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