Every year after the conclusion of the NFL draft, ESPN puts together a ‘post-draft’ power rankings. You can find this year’s edition here.
They rank the Patriots at number four, behind the Seahawks, Broncos, and 49ers. This is what they had to say on the Pats ranking:
Why did the Patriots take three linemen? Tom Brady had the highest sack percentage since his rookie year despite having the eighth-lowest average time in the pocket of 37 qualified quarterbacks.
That top four is exactly how I see the top four teams in the NFL as of right now. However I do disagree with the order. I would put the Niners at the top, followed by the Broncos, Patriots, and then the defending champs.
Seattle didn’t necessarily get worse this offseason, but the Niners have definitely gotten better, and playing as the defending Super Bowl champions is always hard, which is why I give San Francisco the nod. As for the AFC, Denver has given Peyton even more weapons to play with, in addition to actually upgrading their defense. Adding Aqib Talib, and T.J. Ward was nice, but selecting cornerback Bradley Roby in the first round of the draft makes that secondary a force to be reckoned with.
In order for New England to hop over Denver, they need another big-time weapon on offense. Bill Belichick has the better defense, but once again Denver’s offense looks like it will be extremely tough to stop.