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TDN’s 2022 NFL Roster Power Rankings

  • Kyle Crabbs
  • September 8, 2022
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The 2022 NFL regular season has arrived, with the reigning Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams kicking off the year with a showdown against the AFC’s favorite to represent the conference this year in the big game, the Buffalo Bills. The days that follow will offer matchups across the NFL for the rest of the 32 NFL franchises; a chance to make an early statement and generate some momentum for the marathon ahead. 

To celebrate the occasion, Draft Network is rolling out our very first edition of NFL Roster Power Rankings. 

Amid our film study of the collegiate prospects eligible for next spring’s 2023 NFL Draft, our scouting staff has spent this summer studying each of the 32 NFL franchises as well, with this being the end result. Here’s how it works:

Rostered players at every position are studied and classified within one of several classifications: 

  • Elite roster cornerstones
  • Quality starters
  • Adequate starters
  • Quality depth
  • Replacement level 
  • Rookies
  • Incomplete evaluations
  • Practice squad caliber
  • Non-roster caliber

There are corresponding numerical values assigned to players placed within each bucket meant to quantify their value to the overall roster. Values are adjusted in accordance with positional value; TDN used the franchise tag/transition tag cost in descending order to dictate positional value. Players classified as ‘rookies’ and ‘incomplete evaluations’ are scored as a net zero value—they either did not have a large enough sample size or had zero sample size to confidently bucket that player within a more definitive bucket.

As a result of this scoring approach, teams that offer a lot of youth may find themselves lower than fans expect. We understand your optimism—please know that these player grade assignments can evolve and as players perform up to YOUR expectations as a fan, we will be adjusting accordingly in order to better reflect their play and the caliber of your favorite team’s roster.

We would like to acknowledge that this is indeed a subjective exercise. Each of our scouts on staff is responsible for up to seven NFL franchises. To acknowledge this subjectivity, we did engage in a cross-check process to try to quality check the grades assigned. But at the end of the day, players were scored based on a study of the film.

It is also important to note that this is not an all-encompassing forecast for NFL teams. It does not account for coaching, nor does it account for strength of schedule, travel, or upcoming injuries. It does, however, account for current injuries. Players scheduled to miss the entire season (Tennessee’s Harold Landry, for example, who was graded a quality starter) were scored as a zero despite their status and presence on the roster layout. Players scheduled to miss a portion of the season (Tampa Bay’s Ryan Jensen, for example, who was graded as an elite roster cornerstone) were docked a fraction of their total score to reflect their limited ability. Players suspended for a portion of the 2022 NFL regular season (such as Arizona’s DeAndre Hopkins, who was graded as an elite roster cornerstone) were deducted the fractional total of their roster score equal to the number of games they are scheduled to miss due to suspension. 

This isn’t necessarily meant to tell you who is going to win the Super Bowl in the winter, but it is meant to tell you who has positioned themselves best to do so over the course of the offseason. This is the launch point for the NFL season ahead. 

And with that in mind, here it is: Draft Network’s first-ever NFL roster Power Rankings. 

(EDITOR’S NOTE: NFL rosters were locked for this exercise at 9 a.m. EST on Monday, Sept. 5)

Click here for enlarged NFL rankings image

Tier 1

Buffalo Bills—27.75 Score

 

  • QB Room Rank: T-2nd
  • Supporting Cast Rank: 14th
  • OL Room Rank: 3rd 
  • DL Room Rank: 13th
  • LB Room Rank: 3rd
  • DB Room Rank: 8th
  • ST Room Rank: T-1st

Regional scout: Joe Marino

Scoring as the top overall NFL roster is pretty easy when you’ve got a top-flight quarterback and two other position groups that offer you a top-three placement. Buffalo’s roster boasts seven elite roster cornerstones and an additional 10 quality starter assignments. 

The Bills aren’t a team that offers a lot of growth potential from now to the end of the year, but cornerback Kaiir Elam and running back James Cook are currently net zero players who can further raise Buffalo’s score as they write the early chapters of their NFL careers. Star cornerback Tre’Davious White will start the year on the PUP list, which docks the Bills a fraction of his elite franchise cornerstone value as well—they can net that back in 2023 to help bolster next year’s starting value. 

Perhaps the most exciting development for the Bills this season is replacing adequate level players (or worse) with quality starters or better, as they did at left guard with the addition of Roger Saffold and on the EDGE in upgrading from Jerry Hughes and Mario Addison to Von Miller. Right tackle Spencer Brown appears to still be fighting to gather the right tackle spot and his improvement from an incomplete evaluation is another spot where the Bills’ roster could see a bump as the season unfolds.

Cincinnati Bengals—27.04 Score

 

  • QB Room Rank: T-6th
  • Supporting Cast Rank: T-5th
  • OL Room Rank: T-9th
  • DL Room Rank: T-4th
  • LB Room Rank: T-12th
  • DB Room Rank: 5th 
  • ST Room Rank: T-3rd

Regional scout: Joe Marino

The Bengals are a bit more consistent in their scoring than the Bills, offering top-10 placements in every position group other than linebacker (T-12th). The supporting cast is an embarrassment of riches of players who move the needle as quality starters or better and the team’s revamped offensive line offers a rookie in Cordell Volson (net zero score), two adequate starter scores in Ted Karras and Alex Cappa, and a quality starter in La’el Collins. That kind of overhaul to an Achilles heel of years past helps fortify the Bengals to ensure last year’s Super Bowl run was no fluke. 

Few defensive fronts score as well as the Bengals’ too. Trey Hendrickson’s continued development as a pass rusher gives the team a featured weapon off the edge and physical players in the middle like DJ Reader and BJ Hill give the Bengals the punch they need to win the point of attack in the physical AFC North. Rookies Daxton Hill, Cam Taylor-Britt (IR to start the season), and Volson are the biggest potential needle movers for upward mobility with plus play as the Bengals look to defend their crown in the AFC.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers—26.86 Score

 

  • QB Room Rank: T-3rd
  • Supporting Cast Rank: 1st
  • OL Room Rank: 15th
  • DL Room Rank: 12th
  • LB Room Rank: 2nd
  • DB Room Rank: 14th
  • ST Room Rank: T-15th

Regional scout: Kyle Crabbs

The Buccaneers are well positioned in these roster power rankings despite the injuries suffered to the interior offensive line early on this summer and the retirement of Ali Marpet. What is even scarier to consider is where Tampa Bay would be had Jensen and Aaron Stinnie not gone down to injury (spoiler alert: they’d have supplanted the Bills for the highest roster score in the Power Rankings). 

Tampa Bay may start the year with a limited or unavailable Chris Godwin but his return is imminent at this point. With Tom Brady well adjusted to making quick decisions and getting his offense into the right play, expect the Buccaneers to take these losses in stride. They have the talent across the board to do so and ensure they’re highly efficient. 

Second-year pass rusher Joe Tryon-Shoyinka is perhaps the biggest wildcard to improving Tampa Bay’s roster score—he’s classified as an incomplete evaluation and therefore a net-zero score who could be a needle mover. So too, of course, are rookies Logan Hall (DL),  Luke Goedeke (LG), and Rachaad White (RB).

Los Angeles Chargers—26.62 Score

 

  • QB Room Rank: T-6th
  • Supporting Cast Rank: 12th
  • OL Room Rank: 14th
  • DL Room Rank: T-1st
  • LB Room Rank: T-16th
  • DB Room Rank: 1st
  • ST Room Rank: T-3rd

Regional scout: Brentley Weissman

Adding EDGE Khalil Mack and CB JC Jackson to the mix this offseason gives the Chargers seven elite roster cornerstones—an impressive total that pushes them into the end of the Tier 1 grades. The quick success of recent NFL draft selections in QB Justin Herbert and OT Rashawn Slater guarantees the Chargers a lofty score—both are among the best at their respective positions despite their relative youth. If there is no regression from either player, this ranking will be warranted. 

The most interesting storyline for the Chargers is the defensive interior. The team boasts depth in a lot of places but the inside of the front seven offers just two players scored as quality starters or better: IDL Sebastian Joseph-Day and Drue Tranquill. Tranquill was quite good in space but needs to be better against the run; can the interior of the front keep him clean to help? Third-year linebacker Kenneth Murray is a big variable this season. He could help stabilize the front or fuel its inconsistency. Offensively, the right side of the offensive line is the mystery with rookie guard Zion Johnson and right tackle Trey Pipkins, who ideally would serve as a depth player.

Tier 2

Green Bay Packers—25.32 Score

 

  • QB Room Rank: 1st
  • Supporting Cast Rank: 29th
  • OL Room Rank: T-17th
  • DL Room Rank: T-1st
  • LB Room Rank: T-8th
  • DB Room Rank: T-6th
  • ST Room Rank: T-15th

Regional scout: Kyle Crabbs

You can’t talk about the Packers without acknowledging the departure of WR Davante Adams. Without Adams, the value of the skill group falls onto the shoulders of the Packers’ 1-2 punch at the running back position in Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon (both graded as quality starters). Can they shoulder the load? Will an aging Randall Cobb (ideally quality depth at this stage) be able to handle a bigger workload? With Adams in the mix, this would be a top-15 unit from a scoring perspective. But the Packers don’t have Adams. 

Additional questions exist on the interior of the offensive line, where youth leaves a lot of net-zero-graded players in the mix (Jon Runyan Jr., Zach Tom, Josh Myers, Royce Newman, and Sean Rhyan). The Packers’ defense, on the other hand, is loaded with adequate and quality starters, plus two elites in Kenny Clark and Jaire Alexander. The question on that side of the ball is with the depth on the edge—there’s not a lot behind Preston Smith and Rashan Gary. 

Don’t sleep on this safety duo, as both Darnell Savage and Adrian Amos are quality starters. The former feels to be on the cusp of pushing himself into elite roster cornerstone territory as he continues to develop. If we get plus versions of Eric Stokes Jr. and Quay Walker this year, the Packers’ defense may well be the best in the NFL.

Kansas City Chiefs—23.82 Score

 

  • QB Room Rank: T-2nd
  • Supporting Cast Rank: 16th
  • OL Room Rank: T-5th
  • DL Room Rank: 19th
  • LB Room Rank: T-5th
  • DB Room Rank: T-22nd
  • ST Room Rank: T-3rd

Regional scout: Joe Marino

The Chiefs enter the 2022 season as a team in a bit of transition—trading away WR Tyreek Hill is of course going to change how they go about their business offensively. But this team is positioned to take the change in stride thanks in large part to some booming hits on the offensive line in recent years. Joe Thuney was added to the roster via free agency and played as an elite roster cornerstone. Second-year interior linemen Creed Humphrey and Trey Smith quickly established their footing as quality starters. 

The Chiefs now begin the delicate tightrope act of churning away big contracts in favor of cheaper talent in their bid to extend their winning window. The team did so successfully with Justin Reid coming to fill in for Tyrann Mathieu and the team hopes that JuJu Smith-Schuster and rookie Skyy Moore can help fill the void left by Hill. Time will tell. But the Chiefs still boast a slew of elite players in Patrick Mahomes, Thuney, TE Travis Kelce, and DL Chris Jones. Rookies Moore, DL George Karlaftis, and DB Trent McDuffie can push this team higher and are well positioned to do exactly that.

Miami Dolphins—22.79 Score

 

  • QB Room Rank: T-19th
  • Supporting Cast Rank: 3rd
  • OL Room Rank: T-17th
  • DL Room Rank: T-1st
  • LB Room Rank: T-22nd
  • DB Room Rank: 4th
  • ST Room Rank: T-3rd

Regional scout: Kyle Crabbs

The Dolphins check in as the highest-scoring team without an established quarterback that qualifies as either a quality starter or elite roster cornerstone. As a matter of fact, only one other team checks into Tier 2 without having a top-12 ranking quarterback room (although one additional team in this tier has their starter suspended for two-thirds of the season). 

Tua Tagovailoa has been a hot-button topic this offseason but we do believe he is a player you can win with in the right environment, qualifying him as an adequate NFL starter classification. The goal of the Dolphins’ offseason has been to provide him with that environment. And boy, did the team swing hard. 

Miami’s ranking is a testament to the quality collected defensively under former head coach Brian Flores and now offensively with the skill positions. Miami doubled its total number of elite roster cornerstones this offseason, adding WR Tyreek Hill via trade and OT Terron Armstead via free agency. With another season like last year, WR Jaylen Waddle and FS Jevon Holland would likely join their ranks. Second-year pass rusher Jaelan Phillips appears poised for a big jump as well—he’s currently listed as an incomplete evaluation and could serve as another big boost to Miami’s roster grade. Young linemen Austin Jackson and Liam Eichenberg need to elevate to push Miami higher in the rankings but the biggest question is of course Tagovailoa. Can he prove to be more than an adequate NFL quarterback? If he becomes an asset, the Dolphins become a contender.

Baltimore Ravens— 22.67 Score

 

  • QB Room Rank: 5th
  • Supporting Cast Rank: 22nd
  • OL Room Rank: 21st
  • DL Room Rank: 18th
  • LB Room Rank: T-18th
  • DB Room Rank: T-2nd
  • ST Room Rank: T-12th

Regional scout: Damian Parson

How high can a former NFL MVP lift his offense? That’s the question facing not just Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay but also the one facing Lamar Jackson this season. Jackson himself is a top talent but he’ll be throwing to a trio of incomplete evaluations at the receiver position between Rashod Bateman, James Proche, and Devin Duvernay. Mark Andrews is a cornerstone and the glue that keeps this unit from stumbling into dwelling among the lowest scoring in the NFL in this exercise. Ronnie Stanley’s health is paramount—he’s one of two starters (Kevin Zeitler the other) scoring as quality starters. 

Defensively, a healthy secondary gets more teeth with the addition of a top-flight talent in Marcus Williams, but the growth and performance of the linebackers are going to go a long way in determining the ceiling for the unit. The EDGE rushers fall into the DL room, leaving some questions about the ceiling for the front seven. Can new DC Mike McDonald get a lot of run out of this group?

Philadelphia Eagles—22.18 Score

 

  • QB Room Rank: 18th
  • Supporting Cast Rank: T-5th
  • OL Room Rank: 1st
  • DL Room Rank: T-4th
  • LB Room Rank: 27th
  • DB Room Rank: 10th
  • ST Room Rank: T-21st

Regional scout: Kyle Crabbs

The Philadelphia Eagles check in as the second Tier 2 team without a quality starter graded at quarterback. Jalen Hurts, like his former teammate Tagovailoa, has a strong supporting cast and roster around him in many critical spots—including the NFL’s top-rated offensive line according to Draft Network’s scouting team. An upgrade at wide receiver with AJ Brown brings an elite roster cornerstone to the skill group and should help Hurts find more production in areas of the field that eluded him in 2021. 

Defensively, additions like Kyzir White and Chauncey Gardner-Johnson offer much-needed upgrades to go along with some Georgia Bulldog rookies in Nakobe Dean and Jordan Davis—that duo could push the tides higher in Philadelphia defensively. Don’t sleep on the addition of James Bradberry as the second cornerback, too—he’s still a quality player. How well can Marcus Epps play this season? That’s another one of Philadelphia’s incomplete evaluation players who, with plus play, could further move the needle for Philadelphia’s roster. 

At the end of the day, Hurts has what he needs on both sides of the ball. Philadelphia’s roster total is seventh highest in the NFL if you omit the quarterback position.

Los Angeles Rams—21.98 Score

 

  • QB Room Rank: 10th
  • Supporting Cast Rank: T-5th
  • OL Room Rank: T-9th
  • DL Room Rank: T-10th
  • LB Room Rank: T-18th
  • DB Room Rank: T-15th
  • ST Room Rank: T-21st

Regional scout: Kyle Crabbs

It may be a surprise to see the defending champions all the way down here at No. 10 overall and squarely in Tier 2 of the TDN 2022 NFL Roster Power Rankings, but consider this: Los Angeles lost a considerable amount of adequate and quality starters this offseason. The Rams no longer have Andrew Whitworth (retirement), Odell Beckham Jr, Austin Corbett, Von Miller, Darious Williams, Sebastian Joseph-Day, and Robert Woods. That’s a third of an NFL starting lineup! 

Now, with that in mind, the Rams are still very much positioned to be a contender for this coming season. The team promoted within to replace Andrew Whitworth, added Allen Robinson to take Beckham Jr.’s place, acquired Troy Hill to play in the slot, and added Bobby Wagner to the mix at MIKE linebacker. Let’s call it as it is; the floor for this team is only so low with as many impact cornerstone players as Les Snead has collected. 

The EDGE group is a big question, with Leonard Floyd the only truly established plus quality player among the group entering the season. And the team must hope that Robinson becomes the old version of himself sooner rather than later—otherwise, the options behind Cooper Kupp may be limited in their ceiling. In all, the Rams don’t have a lot of depth, but that’s what you’d expect from a star-studded lineup filled with players on second or third NFL contracts.

Indianapolis Colts—21.16 Score

 

  • QB Room Rank: T-11th
  • Supporting Cast Rank: T-23rd
  • OL Room Rank: 4th
  • DL Room Rank: T-20th
  • LB Room Rank: 4th
  • DB Room Rank: 19th
  • ST Room Rank: T-21st

Regional scout: Kyle Crabbs

The big storyline for the Colts this offseason is rightfully the addition of Matt Ryan at the quarterback position. The TDN scouting staff scored 22 quarterbacks as ‘adequate’ level starters or better this summer, including Matt Ryan (quality starter designation). Carson Wentz, the starter in 2021, was graded as a replacement-level player. That in itself should be a huge boost for a Colts team that squandered a 9-6 record to lose their final two games and miss the playoffs. 

Ryan will step into a situation that offers him a top-five-ranked offensive line and a defense that offers a strong front-seven and some promising but unproven youth in the secondary. Rookie safety Nick Cross is expected to start at strong safety and his play could serve as a boost—as could the continued emergence of either Brandon Facyson or Isaiah Rodgers at the CB2 spot. Offensively, Ryan’s big challenge will be the consistency of targets not named Michael Pittman Jr. in the passing game. 

The Colts are a bottom third of the NFL group currently but they’re housing several unproven players who are net zero grades to their roster score. How quickly can Jelani Woods, another rookie, find his footing? Can Kylen Granson take a step forward this year after a significant investment from the Colts? Can second-round receiver Alec Pierce be a big-play threat right away? If the answer here is yes and Ryan can pull productive versions of these players to the forefront, look for the Colts to rise when our first update drops.

Cleveland Browns—21.10 Score

 

  • QB Room Rank: 24th
  • Supporting Cast Rank: 8th
  • OL Room Rank: 13th
  • DL Room Rank: T-10th
  • LB Room Rank: T-14th
  • DB Room Rank: T-2nd
  • ST Room Rank: T-29th

Regional scout: Keith Sanchez

The final team credited with a Tier 2 roster score is a team that would be much more favorably scored if their starting quarterback were not scheduled to miss two-thirds of the coming season for egregious off-field behavior and conduct. The Browns have the sixth-highest roster score of all NFL teams when you omit the quarterback position from the equation—a testament to the caliber of the rest of the roster the Browns have assembled. 

Cleveland has impact players on all levels defensively. Myles Garrett is a roster cornerstone with few peers in his quality and caliber. Interior defenders Jordan Elliott, Perrion Winfrey, and Taven Bryan loom large in determining the ceiling of the Browns’ defense, especially considering how well-regarded the secondary is with Greg Newsome II, Denzel Ward, Greedy Williams, Grant Delpit, and John Johnson holding court on the back end. 

Offensively, the departure of center JC Tretter (free agency/retirement) will hurt; replacement Nick Harris is on injured reserve and Ethan Pocic, a quality depth designation, will be the man in the middle. Cleveland’s supporting cast in the run game might be the best in football. Nick Chubb is an elite back and Kareem Hunt is one of only four NFL running backs to not be the top option in his own backfield despite being scored as a quality starter (Tony Pollard in Dallas, Melvin Gordon III in Denver, and AJ Dillon in Green Bay are the other three). Cleveland does receive partial credit for an elite roster cornerstone in Deshaun Watson, but his 11-game absence means the Browns receive prorated points for his ability—and Jacoby Brissett showcased last season that he’s not a viable NFL starter. As a result, the forecast has the Browns in Tier 2 with the 24th-ranked quarterback room for the 2022 season.

Tier 3

Minnesota Vikings—20.91 Score

 

  • QB Room Rank: 14th
  • Supporting Cast Rank: T-10th
  • OL Room Rank: 28th
  • DL Room Rank: T-4th
  • LB Room Rank: T-5th
  • DB Room Rank: T-15th
  • ST Room Rank: T-12th

Regional scout: Damian Parson

The Vikings check in at the top of the Tier 3 rosters—and in the NFC, that should make them a firm playoff contender. The offensive line will play a heavy hand in determining the fate of this team, as young left tackle Christian Darrisaw (an Incomplete evaluation) looks to live up to his first-round status and rookie guard Ed Ingram starts at right guard. Both players on the line are a net-zero for the Vikings’ positional ranking standing—although center Garrett Bradbury scoring as a replacement level player doesn’t help either. 

The tight end position is a fascinating one to watch as well. Irv Smith Jr. is an incomplete evaluation himself with no snaps since 2020 to his credit. Veteran quarterback Kirk Cousins is a quality starter despite the questions about Cousins’ ability to defeat winning teams. With elite cornerstone weapons in Dalvin Cook and Justin Jefferson at his disposal, Minnesota should be dynamic intermittently on offense. 

Defensively, the secondary figures to be the critical area to watch. The Vikings have quality starters in the front seven between Za’Darius Smith, Dalvin Tomlinson, a healthy Danielle Hunter, and Eric Kendricks. The secondary has an aging Patrick Peterson, a young Cameron Dantzler, and two rookies outside. Can Peterson continue his quality play? Can either of the rookies level up their game quickly? Chandon Sullivan is a quietly solid add and was an adequate starter for the Packers last season. What value can first-round pick Lewis Cine add immediately? Upward mobility for Minnesota on defense will be tied to the secondary.

San Francisco 49ers—20.87 Score

 

  • QB Room Rank: 21st
  • Supporting Cast Rank: 2nd
  • OL Room Rank: 24th
  • DL Room Rank: T-13th
  • LB Room Rank: 1st
  • DB Room Rank: 27th
  • ST Room Rank: T-12th

Regional scout: Brentley Weissman

The 49ers have a roster that would check in ninth overall in the roster rankings when omitting the quarterback position from the equation. Of course, that’s not how these things work, but it is indeed a testament to the rest of the team. QB Trey Lance is designated as an ‘incomplete evaluation’ and therefore scores as a net-zero for the 49ers’ roster total—meaning that plus play could rise the 49ers comfortably into Tier 2. Or, alternatively, poor play behind center could sink the 49ers out of a very crowded Tier 3 altogether.  

Aside from Lance, the 49ers can hang their hat on an impressive group of skill players to help their young quarterback, featuring a pair of quality starters at wide receiver between Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk, plus an elite roster cornerstone player in George Kittle. Veteran offensive tackle Trent Williams, our top-rated lineman and an elite roster cornerstone, is the saving grace for an offensive line that lost quality starters at left guard (Laken Tomlinson) and center (Alex Mack). The players penciled into all three interior roles (Aaron Banks, Jake Brendel, and rookie Spencer Burford) are at best net-zero grades and there aren’t a lot of reinforcements behind them—although utility lineman Daniel Brunskil was a quality depth option based on his play last season. 

Defensively, elite cornerstones in Nick Bosa and Fred Warner give the team difference makers in the front and they’re complemented by quality starters in Arik Armstead and Dre Greenlaw. Starting safety Jimmie Ward will start the year on IR after a hamstring injury this summer—his short-term absence results in a minor deduction. Rookie Sam Womack III has been pegged as the starting nickel. His play could further help bolster the 49ers’ defensive standing amid all their impressive talent in the front seven.

Dallas Cowboys—20.47 Score

 

  • QB Room Rank: 9th
  • Supporting Cast Rank: 4th
  • OL Room Rank: 8th
  • DL Room Rank: 29th
  • LB Room Rank: T-5th
  • DB Room Rank: 28th
  • ST Room Rank: T-21st

Regional Scout: Keith Sanchez

The Cowboys enter this season having endured some significant losses to the roster from this past season. Gone are WR Amari Cooper, OT La’el Collins, IOL Connor Williams, EDGE Randy Gregory, and starting OT Tyron Smith is on IR and expected to miss the majority of the season with an avulsion fracture. Their scheduled replacements include a rookie lineman (Tyler Smith), a rookie wide receiver (Jalen Tolbert), and a rookie pass rusher (Sam Williams). Perhaps this youth movement will be a home run, but entering the season we have no snaps to score the players on—so each of these plus-value players is being replaced by net-zero players for the time being. 

The risky move to transition from Collins in favor of Terence Steele could pay off for the Cowboys, however. Steele was impressive in his second season and has developed on the job while logging more than 900 snaps in each of his first two NFL seasons. A bit of a leap of faith is being taken here. The bridge at left tackle should offer some optimism, too. Veteran tackle Jason Peters may be on the other side of 40 but he can still very much go. 

The heart of the defense is where many of the questions lie for Dallas. What kind of play will the team get from linebacker Leighton Vander Esch amid his growing list of injuries? Can any of the incomplete evaluations on the defensive interior up front step up to be quality players? That includes Trysten Hill, Neville Gallimore, and Quinton Bohanna. Second-year player Osa Odighizuwa was promising as a third-round rookie in 2021, can he level up his play and be more consistent? He, too, is an incomplete evaluation. 

The secondary is another area full of questions, specifically opposite the boom-or-bust play of Trevon Diggs. Dallas has been searching for another big body to play outside. Will second-year player Kelvin Joseph elevate his game as an incomplete evaluation? Can Anthony Brown prove he’s more than a depth option after taking on comfortably the biggest workload of his career in 2021? Free safety is also an area of concern. Damontae Kazee left in free agency leaving a shaky starter in Malik Hooker in the high post. Hooker has played 800 snaps just once in his five-year NFL career.

New Orleans Saints—20.42 Score

 

  • QB Room Rank: T-19th
  • Supporting Cast Rank: T-17th
  • OL Room Rank: 7th
  • DL Room Rank: T-16th
  • LB Room Rank: T-8th
  • DB Room Rank: 9th
  • ST Room Rank: T-29th

Regional scout: Keith Sanchez

The Saints would like to have you believe that their salary cap management is the best of both worlds—aggressive spending to field a competitive team and savvy enough to circumvent the long-term effects of being tight to the cap. Maybe that will be true, but it puts a lot of faith in the team’s ability to draft effectively and ensure the established talent being discarded is being replaced by talent that can sustain the roster. For example, the team is betting on rookie Trevor Penning (who is injured and will miss at least half the season) to replace an elite roster cornerstone in Terron Armstead. 

Safeties Marcus Williams and Chauncey Gardner-Johnson are gone as well—Williams a casualty in free agency and Gardner-Johnson traded on the eve of the season for a bag of balls. But yet, the Saints managed to secure quality starters in Tyrann Mathieu and Marcus Maye to the back end of the defense nonetheless—and the beat goes on. 

New Orleans can hang their hat on some high-caliber elite roster cornerstones, starting with right tackle Ryan Ramczyk and Cameron Jordan in the trenches. Let’s not sleep on Demario Davis as an elite ‘backer either, and he pairs with second-year player Pete Werner to give the Saints a one-two punch on the second level that can do a lot of damage. 

How well Jarvis Landry ages, how healthy Michael Thomas is, and how quickly Chis Olave can assimilate as a rookie will go a long way in determining the upward mobility (or lack thereof) in the Saints’ standing in these rankings. Defensive incomplete evaluations that could provide a boost include DL Payton Turner and rookie CB Alontae Taylor.

Denver Broncos—19.76 Score

 

  • QB Room Rank: 8th
  • Supporting Cast Rank: T-17th
  • OL Room Rank: 20th
  • DL Room Rank: 15th
  • LB Room Rank: 29th
  • DB Room Rank: T-6th
  • ST Room Rank: T-29th

Regional scout: Damian Parson

Denver has the right makings of a playoff contender between their quarterback, promising weapons, and standout defenders. But they don’t necessarily score well in this exercise on account of some unproven play in key areas. 

The Broncos have perhaps as much upward mobility as any team in Tier 3 given some of their promising young talent: WR Jerry Jeudy, OL Quinn Meinerz, LB Baron Browning, TE Albert Okwuegbunam, and WR KJ Hamler all figure to be key players for the Broncos this upcoming season and all were classified as incomplete evaluations—meaning they’re net-zero graded players who, with positive play, would gain footing for Denver and could rapidly cause a climb up the Power Rankings. Denver is a team that could be in the low-to-mid 21s before the season comes to a close, which would elevate them all the way into Tier 2. 

Of course, the presence of QB Russell Wilson figures to help the development of some of these incomplete evaluations. That’s a layer Denver has been missing and the team did as well as you could hope to assemble this offseason while simultaneously paying a handsome price for Wilson’s services. 

Concern does exist for the linebacker room. Denver’s group of Josey Jewell, Jonas Griffith, Alex Singleton, and Justin Strnad is a bottom-tier group at the position according to our film study. But Patrick Surtain II appears poised to join FS Justin Simmons as an elite roster cornerstone as well, offering some high-end upside to that group. 

Denver is one of the more high-variance rosters in this exercise. The play of the pivotal veterans and incomplete evals will go a long way in determining their fate.

Tennessee Titans—19.27 Score

 

  • QB Room Rank: 15th
  • Supporting Cast Rank: T-26th
  • OL Room Rank: 11th
  • DL Room Rank: T-24th
  • LB Room Rank: T-12th
  • DB Room Rank: 11th
  • ST Room Rank: T-15th

Regional Scout: Damian Parson

Tennessee is in a very interesting spot. The team appears to be teetering on the edge of a transition with the roster. Has the team exhausted its ceiling with QB Ryan Tannehill? Tannehill is an adequate-level NFL starter who was able to thrive in Tennessee upon his arrival thanks to a strong supporting cast and an effective offensive system, but the attrition has taken a toll on the Titans’ cast around Tannehill. 

RB Derrick Henry is still among the cream of the crop and one of the top backs in football, but star receiver AJ Brown is gone, traded this offseason amid a contract dispute. So, too, is tight end Jonnu Smith, who left after 2020 to play in New England on a big payday. Wide receiver Corey Davis, a big part of the 2020 offense, left as well. The replacements include rookies Treylon Burks and Kyle Phillips, Robert Woods, and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine at wide receiver and tight ends Austin Hooper, Geoff Swaim, and rookie Chig Okonkwo. That’s a lot of pressure on Tannehill, especially after Tennessee scored 72 fewer points in one extra game last season amid the departure of former OC Arthur Smith. Is the half-season absence of Henry to injury to blame? Perhaps. 

Defensively, the team has already taken a massive hit with the season-ending injury to EDGE Harold Landry. He tore his ACL last week and will miss the entire season, docking the Titans a quality starter before snaps are played for keeps. The pressure will fall on the highly-paid Bud Dupree and star tackle Jeffery Simmons to cover the loss of pressure. If anyone is capable of doing it, it is Simmons. 

Behind him on the front is one of the better back-sevens in football. Tennessee has an elite free safety in Kevin Byard, a grossly underrated partner in Amani Hooker, and an emergent Kristian Fulton at cornerback. Add in adequate starters at linebacker between both David Long and Zach Cunningham and then the upside of rookie corner Roger McCreary and the upside of second-year pro Caleb Farley and Tennessee can certainly hang their hat on this group in their bid for a fifth trip to the playoffs in the last six seasons.

New England Patriots—19.26 Score

 

  • QB Room Rank: 22nd
  • Supporting Cast Rank: T-19th
  • OL Room Rank: T-5th
  • DL Room Rank: 7th
  • LB Room Rank: T-22nd
  • DB Room Rank: T-15th
  • ST Room Rank: T-1st

Regional scout: Keith Sanchez

New England has caught a lot of grief this offseason for their approach to building a team, but yet, here they are, ducking into the tail end of Tier 3 with a roster filled with adequate and quality starters across a number of positions. There are a lot of sturdy players in place on this squad, but perhaps that’s where the biggest mystery comes into play. Where are the elite talents? 

Gone are the likes of CB JC Jackson and IOL Shaq Mason, arguably the two top talents off of last year’s team. Their replacements? Three rookies. By now you know the deal—those are net-zero players being plugged into gaps left by top-tier talents and the quality of the roster score suffers as a result. 

Yet, at the end of the day, most of the mystery and potential nuclear drama with the Patriots comes back to the assistant coaching staff—although the ceiling of Mac Jones, the wide receiver room, and the back seven do have some dynamics worth monitoring. DeVante Parker is a nice addition to the wide receiver room but he is admittedly a one-dimensional player who does not create separation or strong throwing windows for his quarterback. Second-round rookie Tyquan Thornton is out for approximately half the season with an injury. 

Defensively, the linebacker group risks being very one-dimensional. Ja’Whaun Bentley returns after a bigger role in 2021, in which he found success. But the rest of the group includes a depth player in Raekwon McMillan, a second-round flop from Matt Patricia’s time in Detroit in Jahlani Tavai, and Mack Wilson, who struggled to crack the starting lineup in Cleveland last season. The depth of the safeties helps to make up for some of the loss of talent at cornerback—few teams boast the versatility and dynamic ability of New England’s safety room from top to bottom. Don’t sleep on the interior group of Lawrence Guy, Christian Barmore, and Davon Godchaux, too—Guy is supremely underrated and would be a quality starter for many teams.

Tier 4

Carolina Panthers—16.77 Score

 

  • QB Room Rank: 16th
  • Supporting Cast Rank: T-23rd
  • OL Room Rank: T-16th
  • DL Room Rank: T-23rd
  • LB Room Rank: 21st
  • DB Room Rank: 26th
  • ST Room Rank: T-9th

Regional scout: Joe Marino

The Panthers enter this season doing more of the same in recent years: swinging for a solution at quarterback and addressing positions of need in the NFL draft. The results this year may have been the best version of a plan we’ve seen yet.

Carolina acquired QB Baker Mayfield via trade and drafted a left tackle in Ikem Ekwonu to fill their two most dire positions. This is a roster that appears to have enough pieces to make things interesting this season and perhaps push for a wild-card position if things break right. Mayfield is an upgrade and, when healthy, is an adequate-level starting quarterback who brings toughness to the field. Free agent center Bradley Bozeman is an upgrade as well, as is newly signed right guard Austin Corbett. Add in one of the Panthers’ franchise cornerstones in Taylor Moton and the infrastructure to be competitive exists in the nucleus of the offense. 

Can we get a full season of RB Christian McCaffrey? He, when healthy, is Carolina’s best player and it isn’t particularly close. The team will need another offensive weapon (or two) to elevate amid a group of incomplete evaluations, including Terrace Marshall, Laviska Shenault, and TE Tommy Tremble. 

Defensively, EDGE Brian Burns and SAF Jeremy Chinn lead the way as roster-cornerstone-caliber players, whereas LB Shaq Thompson continues to be a productive and quality starter. The defensive outlook will be determined by third-year tackle Derrick Brown (currently an adequate starter) and a pair of incomplete evaluations at cornerback in Jaycee Horn (injured as a rookie) and CJ Henderson (traded to Carolina in 2021 after one season in Jacksonville).

Arizona Cardinals—16.37 Score

 

  • QB Room Rank: 11th
  • Supporting Cast Rank: 13th
  • OL Room Rank: 19th
  • DL Room Rank: 31st
  • LB Room Rank: 26th
  • DB Room Rank: 21st
  • ST Room Rank: T-3rd

Regional scout: Damian Parson

If I told you that the Cardinals head coach was formerly of the Big XII, would you believe me just by looking at the NFL rankings in each position group? Arizona’s investments into a potent group of weapons for QB Kyler Murray have them well positioned for the year ahead—particularly when WR DeAndre Hopkins returns from his six-game suspension. If not for that suspension, Arizona’s ranking in the skill group would have been at least one spot higher, too. Regardless, the offensive weaponry in Arizona is not the problem. The team offers a quality starter at quarterback, tight end, wide receiver (Marquise Brown), and then a roster cornerstone in Hopkins. Even the offensive line has three adequate or better starters starting at center and working to the left through tackle DJ Humphries. 

Arizona’s hurdles to repeating a double-digit win season in 2022 fall on the defensive side of the football and Murray and company are going to be tasked with scoring a lot of points to help that happen. Arizona’s defensive unit is light on difference-making talent at this juncture. Safety Budda Baker is an impact player and a roster cornerstone, DL JJ Watt is no longer the menace he once was but is still a quality starter, and CB Byron Murphy is a quality starter as well, particularly when he plays inside in the nickel. But the rest of the group? We’re still waiting to see exactly what we have in LBs Isaiah Simmons and Zaven Collins, and CBs Trayvon Mullen and Marco Wilson. 

Two rookies loom as potential needed contributors on the edge amid the departure of Chandler Jones, too—Myjai Sanders and Cameron Thomas are total wildcards behind Markus Golden. Who else can step up to be a reliable defender on the interior? Can Rashard Lawrence or Leki Fotu command a prominent role and serve as consistent and quality players? The depth at linebacker is something to watch as well. There are a lot of questions here, and the forecast for these incomplete evaluations isn’t necessarily promising based on last year’s film review.

Las Vegas Raiders—16.04 Score

 

  • QB Room Rank: T-12th
  • Supporting Cast Rank: 9th
  • OL Room Rank: 31st
  • DL Room Rank: 22nd
  • LB Room Rank: T-22nd
  • DB Room Rank: 20th
  • ST Room Rank: T-21st

Regional scout: Brentley Weissman

The Raiders made a playoff run last season and then proceeded to add Josh McDaniels and star WR Devante Adams to the mix on offense, making the team a popular choice to return to the postseason in 2022. And perhaps they will. But if the Raiders are back in the postseason this coming year it will need to be heavily on the coaching of McDaniels to get it done as the Raiders are not represented well here in the TDN Roster Power Rankings. 

Las Vegas’ offensive line group is a troublesome collection, ranking 31st in the NFL in terms of available talent based on our film study. Some trio of John Simpson, Andre James, Lester Cotton, and Dylan Parham will man the interior three spots after the team cut 2021 first-round pick Alex Leatherwood. That group has a potential standout in Parham, but he’s a rookie and brings a net-zero score to the roster tally. The rest of the group is currently graded as quality depth or replacement-level players. As a matter of fact, when you include the tackles only Kolton Miller grades as an adequate starter or better on the offensive line. 

The powerful nucleus of weapons in Adams, WR Hunter Renfrow, and TE Darren Waller will have to do some heavy lifting to compensate and help out QB Derek Carr, who is himself graded as a quality starter. 

Defensively, the Raiders’ questions linger on the defensive interior. Maxx Crosby is an elite cornerstone player and Chandler Jones is, at this point, a quality starter at worst. But what about inside? Interior defenders Jonathan Hankins, Andrew Billings, Neil Farrell Jr., and Matthew Butler all bring zero positive points to the tally inside, leaving Bilal Nichols as the lone player grading as an adequate starter or better on the inside. Behind them at linebacker, the Raiders don’t have much more security. Denzel Perryman graded as an adequate starter but there are two rookies in Darien Butler and Luke Masterson plus an incomplete evaluation in Divine Deablo and a quality depth player in Jayon Brown. Safety Tre’von Moehrig, in year two, is the only defender not named Crosby or Jones to log a quality starter designation or better. 

Don’t sleep on Daniel Carlson’s impact, however. He’s one of the best in the game and gives the Raiders a chance for points any time they pass the 40.

Washington Commanders—15.59 Score

 

  • QB Room Rank: T28th
  • Supporting Cast Rank: T-10th
  • OL Room Rank: 12th
  • DL Room Rank: 9th
  • LB Room Rank: 31st
  • DB Room Rank: T-15th
  • ST Room Rank: 28th

Regional scout: Damian Parson

The Commanders are well represented in a number of position groups across the roster. A strong supporting cast is anchored by WR Terry McLaurin, a cornerstone talent. There’s upside too between first-round rookie WR Jahan Dotson and RB Brian Robinson Jr., who is expected to return this season after suffering a gunshot wound during a carjacking attempt against him. Curtis Samuel returning to form is essential for the Commanders’ supporting cast to holding this ranking, however. 

The line has a quietly sturdy left tackle in Charles Leno and the additions of Andrew Norwell and Trai Turner give the unit’s line a high floor of expectations as well. All of that sets up QB Carson Wentz with a desirable supporting cast, which he will need to capitalize on. Wentz himself was graded as a replacement-level quarterback last season off the film, putting the Commanders’ QB room toward the bottom of the spectrum in this exercise. 

You can’t say this team isn’t built to win in the trenches, however. The DL ranks even higher than the OL thanks to Jon Allen’s presence as a cornerstone player and promising flashes from both Montez Sweat and Chase Young. Neither has reached their ceiling and Young will start the year on the PUP list but both should be considered quality starters with upward mobility. Can linebacker Jamin Davis level up behind them? His tools are obvious but we’re waiting to see what kind of NFL linebacker he will ultimately become. Fellow LB Cole Holcomb has been a productive player but will need to be more proficient and consistent in coverage to continue warranting such a large role. 

The secondary offers plenty of adequate level starters, including Bobby McCain, Kamren Curl, and William Jackson III. Kendall Fuller is the best of the bunch but the depth of the group, including Benjamin St. Juste, Rachad Wildgoose, and rookies Christian Holmes, Tariq Castro-Fields, and Percy Butler will determine if the group rises from here.

Detroit Lions—15.07 Score

 

  • QB Room Rank: T-16th
  • Supporting Cast Rank: T-19th
  • OL Room Rank: 2nd
  • DL Room Rank: 32nd
  • LB Room Rank: T-29th
  • DB Room Rank: 30th
  • ST Room Rank: T-15th

Regional scout: Joe Marino

Say what you will about the rebuilding Lions, they’ve certainly taken care of the hard part first. The Lions’ offensive line ranking is bolstered by injuries to the Tampa Bay unit, which dropped them out of the top-three overall lines, but regardless there aren’t too many units that have at least an adequate starter on all five stations along the offensive line. The Lions do. That, plus a quality starter in TJ Hockenson at tight end, gives a firm nucleus for the offense to take a step forward in 2022 under a veteran QB in Jared Goff. 

Goff is considered to be an adequate starter himself and the Lions appear to have enough around him to be competitive offensively this season; particularly if rookie WR Jameson Williams hits the ground running when he takes the field. There’s ample upward mobility for the supporting cast around Goff between Williams and another young receiver in Amon-Ra St. Brown. 

Defensively, the Lions don’t tally particularly well thanks to all of the unestablished youth that exists on this side of the football. Aidan Hutchinson, Jeff Okudah, Kerby Joseph, Malcolm Rodriguez, Levi Onwuzurike, Josh Paschal (IR), Derrick Barnes, and Chase Lucas are all net-zero players as either rookies or incomplete evaluations, leaving Detroit with a lot of quality depth players as scoring talent on that side of the football. Consider them a team with a lot of upward (or downward) mobility this season based on the young talent on defense.

Pittsburgh Steelers—14.64 Score

 

  • QB Room Rank: 27th
  • Supporting Cast Rank: T-14th
  • OL Room Rank: 22nd
  • DL Room Rank: T-7th
  • LB Room Rank: 28th
  • DB Room Rank: 13th
  • ST Room Rank: T-29th

Regional scout: Keith Sanchez

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has never endured a losing record. That includes some superb coaching efforts in 2019 and 2021. But for the Steelers to get to nine-plus wins again this year, it would require perhaps his best work yet. 

The Steelers are not well represented on the offensive side of the football in key areas. QB Mitchell Trubisky is a total wildcard (we graded him as an incomplete evaluation due to the complexity of his shortcomings in Chicago) and rookie Kenny Pickett behind him gets no net points due to his status as a rookie. The offensive line swapped in James Daniels for Trai Turner (a parallel move from one adequate starter to another) and replaced 2021 rookie Kendrick Green with free agent Mason Cole. Cole is a more stable player and offers a marginal upgrade but the Steelers’ OL is considered to be adequate (four of five starters graded as adequate starters). Left tackle Dan Moore is an incomplete evaluation alongside Green from the 2021 class. 

The strength of the offense lies in the skill players, where Najee Harris and Diontae Johnson score as quality starters, and rookie WR George Pickens appears primed for a big season to drop more plus value into the group. 

The defense is anchored by three elite cornerstone players: DL Cameron Heyward, EDGE TJ Watt, and FS Minkah Fitzpatrick. That is as impressive of a nucleus as you can have; which is a good thing because the rest of the unit leaves something to be desired. Myles Jack looks to bring new life to the linebackers as a free agent addition amid the plateau of former 1st-round pick Devin Bush, who has struggled. DB Damontae Kazee is currently on injured reserve but could be a sneaky good add when the dust settles. Pittsburgh needs players to elevate their play in the back seven. Can Ahkello Witherspoon effectively step in for the departed Joe Haden? Can Terrell Edmunds live up to his first-round status? The Steelers need both to happen.

Jacksonville Jaguars—13.96 Score

 

  • QB Room Rank: 23rd
  • Supporting Cast Rank: T-26th
  • OL Room Rank: 23rd
  • DL Room Rank: 28th
  • LB Room Rank: T-18th
  • DB Room Rank: T-24th
  • ST Room Rank: T-15th

Regional scout: Joe Marino

Jacksonville is a team that appears to have the right coach in place to get the most out of their most important asset: QB Trevor Lawrence. Lawrence scores as an incomplete evaluation for us amid the chaotic and disorganized 2021 campaign under Urban Meyer—which scores Lawrence as a net-zero player and someone who can quickly ascend the quarterback room rankings as the season gets underway provided his play looks more like the player who anchored the Clemson offense. 

His supporting cast on offense in Jacksonville doesn’t necessarily have a huge ceiling but it does boast one of football’s biggest wildcards for 2022 in RB Travis Etienne. Looking for his first NFL action this season, Etienne is someone whose previous chemistry with Lawrence could allow him to become a primary weapon sooner rather than later despite his incomplete evaluation status. Brandon Scherff and Luke Fortner as additions on the offensive line give the group both experience and upward mobility to improve upon their current standing. 

Defensively, Jacksonville has a slew of young players who could make this a pretty exciting group fairly quickly. Rookies Travon Walker, Devin Lloyd, and Chad Muma are complemented by incomplete evaluations in DL Davon Hamilton, CB Tyson Campbell, and FS Andre Cisco to offer the Jaguars a lot of growth potential. The team also boasts a trio of quality starters between CB Shaq Griffin, DB Darious Williams, and LB Josh Allen. Lack of experience could cause some growing pains this coming year but there’s a lot of raw talent here on defense.

Atlanta Falcons—13.90 Score

 

  • QB Room Rank: 30th
  • Supporting Cast Rank: T-23rd
  • OL Room Rank: 25th
  • DL Room Rank: 27th
  • LB Room Rank: 11th
  • DB Room Rank: 12th
  • ST Room Rank: T-3rd

Regional scout: Damian Parson

The Falcons have a few stand-out defensive players that help keep them out of Tier 5. The presence of CB AJ Terrell alone as a roster cornerstone helps bolster the secondary, although fellow cornerback Casey Hayward Jr. can still ball too and offers value amid the rest of the defense. Safeties Richie Grant and Jaylinn Hawkins are both incomplete evaluations whose ceilings need to be determined. Their play could sink or elevate the ranking of the DB room fairly quickly. 

LB Deion Jones is entering the season on IR but his presence helps the linebacker room as he will pair with Rashaan Evans, an adequate level starter who struggled to live up to lofty expectations as a first-round pick in Tennessee. Nick Kwiatkoski is a valuable depth player who has started plenty of games and rookies Troy Andersen and Nate Landman offer intrigue for the young roster. 

Up front, Grady Jarrett is one of the best interior penetrators in football. He’ll be surrounded by a lot of unproven talent, including rookies DeAngelo Malone and Arnold Ebiketie, and incomplete evaluations in Ade Ogundeji and Ta’Quon Graham. 

The offense is looking at a significant hole left behind by the departure of veteran QB Matt Ryan. Marcus Mariota checks in as one of four quarterbacks in the NFL to be given a “replacement level” designation as a starter. How long can he stave off rookie Desmond Ridder? Standout wide receiver Calvin Ridley is granted quality starter status but he’s suspended for the entire 2022 season for gambling on NFL games during the 2021 season. Few players were able to secure roster cornerstone designations after just one season, but Kyle Pitts is among them. He’ll be the face of the offensive effort alongside rookie wide receiver and fellow top-10 overall pick Drake London. 

Depth in the skill group does leave you wanting more, as does the forecast up front. Atlanta must cling to its two proven quality starters in Jake Matthews and Chris Lindstrom. 

Tier 5

Seattle Seahawks—12.38 Score

 

  • QB Room Rank: 32nd
  • Supporting Cast Rank: T-19th
  • OL Room Rank: 30th
  • DL Room Rank: T-16th
  • LB Room Rank: T-8th
  • DB Room Rank: T-24th
  • ST Room Rank: T-15th

Regional scout: Brentley Weissman

Seattle’s expectations are tempered on account of the team trading away quarterback Russell Wilson this offseason—his absence leaves Seattle in relatively uncharted waters as an organization that has been a postseason staple for the better part of the last decade. And while the Seahawks did yield QB Drew Lock as a part of the trade package in return, you won’t find a quarterback room in the NFL that grades as poorly as this one. Both Lock and Geno Smith are scored as replacement-level passers. What they’re able to do in 2022 will be of great interest, however, as there’s actually quite a bit else to like for Seattle amid their rebuilding efforts. 

The offensive line secured bookend tackles in Charles Cross and Abraham Lucas. And although the duo is net-zero for their roster rating at this point because they have yet to play in regular season action, the pair is the root of a lot of optimism and would put the Seahawks’ offensive line in a position it hasn’t been since Russell Okung, Max Unger, and James Carpenter suited up. And, of course, the Seahawks do have a pair of quality starters at wide receiver between DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. Add in TE Noah Fant as a returning piece of the Wilson trade and the Seahawks actually have a lot of nice pieces in the passing game. But they sorely lack depth behind those pass catchers, which hurts their standing in the skill group.

The running backs run deep, but they run deep with unproven players. Rashad Penny flashed at the end of last year but he’s still an incomplete evaluation with 280 career carries in four seasons. Ken Walker III excited everyone coming out of Michigan State but he’s also in need of logging NFL reps before we declare him a true asset and someone who nets points for Seattle in this exercise. 

I actually like quite a bit of what Seattle has cooking defensively, too. Quandre Diggs and Jamal Adams are quality starters on the back end for the Seahawks and rookie CB Tariq Woolen claims a starting job. I wouldn’t bet against that kid in this system; they’ve had a lot of success grooming and developing corners with his body type in Seattle. Jordyn Brooks has developed well on his path to justifying his surprising status as a 1st-round linebacker—Seattle asks a lot of him as a three-down linebacker. The defensive front has a lot of talent and stout players, too. Poona Ford is a force in the middle while playing an unsexy role. Shelby Harris and Ford are both quality starters inside. Darrell Taylor is an impressive athlete on the edge as well and he and rookie Boye Mafe can become a potent pass rush duo. Some of this youth needs time but the foundation of established and developing young players is set for the future moving forward.

New York Jets—11.72 Score

 

  • QB Room Rank: 28th
  • Supporting Cast Rank: 28th
  • OL Room Rank: 26th
  • DL Room Rank: T-23rd
  • LB Room Rank: T-14th
  • DB Room Rank: 31st
  • ST Room Rank: T-21st

Regional Scout: Keith Sanchez

The Jets, like Seattle, are a team that boasts a lot of young talent that may not score particularly well in this exercise but has upward mobility to grow and rapidly accelerate the standing of the roster. The Jets have nine projected starters who are net-zero players: either rookies or incomplete evaluations as young players building their NFL careers in the early chapters. With nearly half of the starting players netting zero points, it is no wonder that the Jets don’t score particularly well. But they have massive amounts of upward mobility thanks to QB Zach Wilson, WR Garrett Wilson, WR Elijah Moore, RBs Breece Hall and Michael Carter, CB Sauce Gardner, EDGE Jermaine Johnson, IOL Alijah Vera-Tucker, and OT Mekhi Becton (IR). 

Of established players on the Jets’ roster, linemen is where you’ll find the highest ceiling players between IDL Quinnen Williams, EDGE Carl Lawson, and IOL Laken Tomlinson. The linebacker group scores most favorably for the Jets thanks to established talents in CJ Mosley and Kwon Alexander. Free-agent additions in the secondary in SAF Jordan Whitehead and CB DJ Reed should both be considered adequate level starters added into the mix this offseason as well. There’s been a healthy blend of NFL draft and free-agent talent tacked on, including at tight end between two adequate starter caliber players in CJ Uzomah and Tyler Conklin and rookie Jeremy Ruckert. 

The Jets have growing pains ahead of them, no doubt. But they’re a team that has given themselves a fair chance to invest in talent and manufacture a lot of growth in the next 12-18 months.

Houston Texans—10.48 Score

 

  • QB Room Rank: 25th
  • Supporting Cast Rank: 32nd
  • OL Room Rank: 27th
  • DL Room Rank: T-20th
  • LB Room Rank: 25th
  • DB Room Rank: 29th
  • ST Room Rank: T-9th

Regional Scout: Keith Sanchez

While the Seahawks and the Jets are two teams that have stacked some strong assets together in order to build promising outlooks moving forward, the Texans have really only started that process this offseason. The Texans are carrying a ton of rookies on this roster and will look to see them take the reins quickly as the future of the team. 

Houston’s roster boasts zero roster cornerstone talents and only three players who qualify as quality starters: OT Laremy Tunsil, IDL Maliek Collins, and WR Brandon Cooks. The team has more rookie starters than quality starters between RB Dameon Pierce, IOL Kenyon Green, FS Jalen Pitre, CB Derek Stingley Jr. and figures to add more before the end of the season with LB Christian Harris not expected to miss the full season while starting the year on IR. 

QB Davis Mills is in a “prove it” opportunity as an ongoing evaluation but he will have his hands full working with our lowest graded supporting cast of skill players and a bottom-six offensive line—although Tunsil, IOL AJ Cann, and Justin Britt are all considered to be suitable starting players in the NFL. Cann struggled mightily last season in Jacksonville but offers a reasonable resume as a long-term starter there. Can he bounce back? Mills will need him to. The tight end room added OJ Howard recently but his consistent lack of development tempers excitement that Houston has the key to his future. Young talents like WR Nico Collins and TE Brevin Jordan move the needle more as players with unknown ceilings and ongoing evaluations. Waiver claim WR Tyler Johnson could be a nice find as well but he needed opportunities; which he wasn’t going to get in Tampa Bay. 

The heart of the defense has a lot to prove. There are a lot of players who qualify as quality depth pieces who are filling larger roles—including LBs Garrett Wallow, Jalen Reeves-Maybin, and Neville Hewitt.

Tier 6

Chicago Bears—7.64 Score

 

  • QB Room Rank: 26th
  • Supporting Cast Rank: 29th
  • OL Room Rank: 29th
  • DL Room Rank: 30th
  • LB Room Rank: 16th
  • DB Room Rank: 32nd
  • ST Room Rank: T-21st

Regional Scout: Joe Marino

Chicago, like Houston, offers three quality starters on the roster: WR Darrell Mooney, EDGE Robert Quinn, and LB Roquan Smith. Two of those three have been a part of trade rumors this summer to one degree or another—which is not great. As a comparison, Chicago has five players who qualify as adequate starters (and zero roster cornerstones right now) in FS Eddie Jackson, OG Cody Whitehair, IOL Lucas Patrick, RB David Montgomery, and CB Jaylon Johnson. If you’re looking for clues to Chicago’s team life cycle, look no further than the rookies on board. WR Velus Jones, CB Kyler Gordon, SAF Jaquan Brisker, OT Braxton Jones, and P Trenton Gill are all starters but EDGE Dominique Robinson, and UDFA LB Jack Sanborn could push for starting roles before the end of the season as well. 

All of this builds to a lot of questions surrounding incomplete evaluation QB Justin Fields, who will throw to a bottom-four skill group while playing behind a bottom four offensive line. That’s not exactly how you’d like to offer support to a young quarterback but Fields has the tools to transcend. Is he made of the right stuff to do it across 17 games and elevate the team? 

2021 NFL Draft picks Larry Borom and Teven Jenkins weren’t picked by this regime and are looking to re-prove themselves as well but it isn’t a great sign for Borom that the team paid handsomely for veteran Riley Reiff amid their rebuild to take a starting job. The team also claimed 2021 NFL Draft flop Alex Leatherwood off waivers from the Raiders. Is a new scene what he needs to kickstart his career, too?

New York Giants—4.54 Score

 

  • QB Room Rank: 31st
  • Supporting Cast Rank: 31st
  • OL Room Rank: 32nd
  • DL Room Rank: 26th
  • LB Room Rank: 32nd
  • DB Room Rank: T-22nd
  • ST Room Rank: T-9th

Regional Scout: Kyle Crabbs

The Giants have their work cut out for them. That’s the bad news. The good news is that they clearly know it. When asked about expectations for this upcoming season, GM Joe Schoen conceded without formally conceding. “We’re just trying to get through today,” he said. “The situation we’re in is the situation. It’s the hand we were dealt. We’re going to do the best we can.” Tell us how you really feel. 

New York’s offense is poised to be a tough watch. RB Saquon Barkley, OG Mark Glowinski, and WRs Sterling Shepard and Kenny Golladay are the only players qualifying as adequate starters or better on that side of the ball. And even Golladay is getting the benefit of the doubt from his time in Detroit as compared to last season in New York. Rookies are set to start at wide receiver (Wan’Dale Robinson), tight end (Daniel Bellinger), and right tackle (Evan Neal) as QB Daniel Jones looks to shake his brutal turnover woes as a starting quarterback. The book is yet to be written on OT Andrew Thomas and WR Kadarius Toney as well, but the team will likely be handcuffed by replacement-level play on the offensive interior to the left of Glowinski at right guard. 

The best players on this team call the defense home. SAF Xavier McKinney, CB Adoree’ Jackson, and IDLs Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams qualify as quality starters. EDGE Azeez Ojulari and DB Julian Love qualify as adequate level starters and both have upward mobility with more development. But the linebacker room is frankly a disaster after cutting veteran Blake Martinez and the team must hope rookie EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux is everything he’s capable of being and more on the other side of Ojulari. CB Aaron Robinson is an incomplete evaluation but someone who once carried expectations as a high NFL draft selection. Rookies Dane Belton, Cordale Flott, and Micah McFadden all figure to have big roles as well. 

There’s plenty of youth but the Giants only laid the first layers of foundation this offseason with their supersized NFL draft class. It will be a long road ahead.

 

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Kyle Crabbs