- Jan 1, 2003
The Post’s Ryan Dunleavy ranks all 32 teams following a lot of action in the NFL offseason.
By Ryan Dunleavy
Here are The Post’s early 2021 NFL power rankings:
Rematch in the Making
1. Kansas City ChiefsPlaying with three backups, the Chiefs’ offensive line was exposed in Super Bowl 2021. Instead of waiting to get healthy, they started fresh by signing top free-agent guard Joe Thuney for $80 million and trading a first-round pick for top available offensive tackle Orlando Brown. Guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is expected back from his opt-out to provide medical care during the pandemic. Third-round rookie Creed Humphrey could start at center, too. That’s how you fix one weakness without creating others.
2. Tampa Bay BuccaneersHad about $24 million in salary cap space on March 1. Since then, they re-signed Tom Brady, Shaq Barrett, Rob Gronkowski, Ryan Succop, Ndamukong Suh, Leonard Fournette, Antonio Brown and more. They will be the first team in the salary cap era (1994) to bring back all 22 starters. Add in first-rounder Joe Tryon as a pass-rush specialist.
Super Bowl Contenders
3. Buffalo BillsYou can’t beat the Chiefs without sacking Patrick Mahomes and creating third-and-longs. The Bills’ first two selections in the draft were Greg Rousseau (15.5 sacks for Miami in 2019) and Carlos Basham (23 straight games with a tackle for loss at Wake Forest).
4. Baltimore RavensRun-first offense wasn’t appealing to the top free-agent wide receivers, so the Ravens settled for Sammy Watkins then drafted Rashod Bateman and Tylan Wallace. Jayson Oweh — their second of two first-rounders —landed in the perfect pass-rush situation. Replacing Brown with right tackle Alejandro Villaneuva — pried from the rival Steelers, no less — was brilliant.
5. Green Bay PackersIf Rodgers gets traded, the Packers will plummet into the 20s. Same goes if he sits out the season. If he plays, the Packers again are the second-best team in the NFC despite no major free-agent additions and ignoring Rodgers’ plea for another playmaker until the third round of the draft (WR Amari Rodgers).
6. Cleveland BrownsTop two free agents (pass-rusher Jadeveon Clowney and safety John Johnson) and top two draft picks (cornerback Greg Newsome and linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah) all play defense. The biggest addition for the offense would be a healthy and vintage WR Odell Beckham Jr.
Best of the Rest