Adam Caplan of FOXSports.com put together a post-draft power ranking of the 32 NFL teams, and the Patriots have slid down the rankings. Their slide is due, it seems, to their neglect of addressing their pass-rushing needs in the draft. Recall that Caplan also gave the Pats one of the lowest draft grades I found, assigning them a D. Dropping the Patriots in the power rankings seems a little harsh basing it just on the draft, considering the team went 14-2 last season with a tougher schedule (on paper) than what they will face this season, and is largely returning that roster with the additions they did make in the draft. As you’ll see after the jump, in addition to where the Pats are ranked, the power rankings are top-heavy with NFC teams.
Here’s Caplan’s reasoning for placing the Patriots 8th in the power rankings:
The Patriots surprisingly did not address their pass-rushing need in the draft despite their problems in that area last season. That area, if not addressed significantly in free agency, will be the reason why they don’t advance deep into the playoffs for the third straight season.
Here are the top 10 of Caplan’s power rankings:
8. New England Patriots
10. Chicago Bears