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NFL Power Rankings - Post-draft edition: Cardinals perched at top, Cowboys on the rise

Kyle Terada / USA TODAY Sports

The NFL Power Rankings are selected by a panel of theScore's NFL Editors, including Arun Srinivasan, Joe Thomson, Dan Wilkins, and David P. Woods.

1. Arizona Cardinals

Srinivasan Thomson Wilkins Woods
3rd 4th 1st 1st

Arguably the NFL's most complete team, the Cardinals should be considered a Super Bowl favorite heading into 2016. The offseason was spent further bolstering an already stacked roster, upgrading areas of need on both the offensive and defensive fronts. - Wilkins

2. Denver Broncos

Srinivasan Thomson Wilkins Woods
1st 1st 4th 6th

Denver returns the majority of the league-best defense that led the way last season, but there are now some significant questions at the most important position on the field. If Mark Sanchez or Paxton Lynch can simply avoid giving games away, this team should have every opportunity to challenge for a second consecutive title. - Wilkins

3. New England Patriots

Srinivasan Thomson Wilkins Woods
2nd 2nd 3rd 5th

New England is well-equipped to weather Tom Brady's four-game suspension, making a number of astute and cost-effective free agency signings this spring. Brady's value cannot be overstated, but the Patriots' coaching, depth, and experience will keep the club atop the AFC East, while Brady sits out the first quarter of the year. - Srinivasan

4. Carolina Panthers

Srinivasan Thomson Wilkins Woods
4th 5th 2nd 4th

Carolina's lone question going forward is whether it can withstand the loss of All-Pro cornerback Josh Norman, who signed with Washington after his franchise tag was rescinded. Cam Newton, Luke Kuechly, and Kawann Short are still in the prime of their careers, and the Panthers once again should make a strong push for the elusive Lombardi Trophy. - Srinivasan

5. Seattle Seahawks

Srinivasan Thomson Wilkins Woods
5th 3rd 5th 3rd

Seattle is coming off an up-and-down season, but it goes without saying that this club still has more than enough talent to chase down another title. The defense remains one of the league's best units in every facet of the game, and Russell Wilson is closing in on cementing his status as an elite-level quarterback. - Wilkins

6. Green Bay Packers

Srinivasan Thomson Wilkins Woods
6th 6th 6th 2nd

The Packers will have very little roster turnover, as usual, meaning they'll likely regain the NFC North if Aaron Rodgers can stay healthy. Addressing major needs in the draft on their defensive and offensive fronts, in addition to linebacker, should help them restock their slowly dwindling roster. - Thomson

7. Pittsburgh Steelers

Srinivasan Thomson Wilkins Woods
7th 7th 7th 7th

After a defensive-minded draft, the Steelers hope Markus Wheaton will continue to develop in Martavis Bryant's early absence. On the flip side, the league's most exciting offense will be getting Le'Veon Bell back. - Thomson

8. Cincinnati Bengals

Srinivasan Thomson Wilkins Woods
9th 8th 9th 8th

Losing two major contributors on offense in addition to a second offensive coordinator in three years will likely hurt the Bengals. It seems this roster's been a house of cards waiting to fall for a few years, but a top-five defense will likely keep them in contention in the AFC North. - Thomson

9. Minnesota Vikings

Srinivasan Thomson Wilkins Woods
8th 9th 8th 12th

The Vikings have no major holes, but regression from Teddy Bridgewater would be disastrous for this team on the rise. - Thomson

10. Dallas Cowboys

Srinivasan Thomson Wilkins Woods
12th 13th 10th 9th

The Cowboys are walking the tightrope between Super Bowl contention and disaster. If their offensive stars, including first-round pick Ezekiel Elliott, stay healthy, an NFC East title, and perhaps much more, is within reach. But those hopes are as flimsy as Tony Romo's thrice-shattered left collarbone. - Woods

11. Oakland Raiders

Srinivasan Thomson Wilkins Woods
11th 10th 12th 11th

After making some significant progress in the win column last year, Oakland put together one of the most productive offseasons of any team in the league. The mass organizational rebuild is one step closer to being complete, and this may be the year the Raiders finally re-emerge as a legitimate playoff contender. - Wilkins

12. Kansas City Chiefs

Srinivasan Thomson Wilkins Woods
10th 15th 11th 10th

A solid offseason in retaining talent has the Chiefs positioned to continue build on 2015's success. The defense should once again be a strength across the board, and a much-improved offense will only get better if Jamaal Charles can make his healthy return to a featured backfield role. - Wilkins

13. New York Giants

Srinivasan Thomson Wilkins Woods
15th 11th 13th 14th

The Giants were champions of March after spending more than $200 million to upgrade their defense in free agency. But the NFL's biggest spenders are often left with buyer's remorse, and the Giants still have yet to come up with an answer to the question of whether their offense is too reliant on Odell Beckham Jr. - Woods

14. New York Jets

Srinivasan Thomson Wilkins Woods
16th 12th 14th 15th

The Jets boast a top-heavy roster, but the progress of the team will remain stagnant if they don't make a serious commitment to the quarterback position. With Geno Smith, Bryce Petty, and Christian Hackenberg vying for a starting spot, the team's immense talent could be wasted in 2016. - Srinivasan

15. Washington Redskins

Srinivasan Thomson Wilkins Woods
13th 14th 17th 13th

Have the Redskins quietly assembled one of the best passing attacks in football? With Jordan Reed, DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon, newcomer Josh Doctson, and some tailbacks who can catch, Kirk Cousins must really "like that." - Woods

16. Chicago Bears

Srinivasan Thomson Wilkins Woods
18th 17th 15th 18th

The Bears got better in the offseason through free agency and the draft, but will it be enough to overcome Jay Cutler's propensity for making poor decisions? - Thomson

17. Houston Texans

Srinivasan Thomson Wilkins Woods
14th 18th 16th 22nd

The Texans reshaped their offense in a major way, giving the unproven Brock Osweiler a mega deal and adding speed (and lots of it) in the form of Lamar Miller and rookies Will Fuller, Braxton Miller, and Tyler Ervin. The Texans are aiming for a deep playoff run, but they must be careful not to look past a rapidly improving AFC South. - Woods

18. Jacksonville Jaguars

Srinivasan Thomson Wilkins Woods
17th 16th 20th 21st

You think the Jaguars are the NFL's most improved team after adding plenty of talent in free agency and scooping what might be the best two players in the draft? Welcome to the club. The trendiest of trendy playoff picks, the Jaguars may face more pressure to win than any bad team in recent memory. - Woods

19. Buffalo Bills

Srinivasan Thomson Wilkins Woods
20th 21st 22nd 19th

For the first time in years, the Bills improved significantly after the draft, addressing an underachieving defense with their first three picks. Concerns remain about whether Tyrod Taylor is a one-year wonder, however, and the only way this can be disproved is with a larger sample size come September. - Srinivasan

20. Indianapolis Colts

Srinivasan Thomson Wilkins Woods
23rd 26th 19th 17th

If Andrew Luck is healthy for 16 games, the Colts can overcome their glaring weaknesses on both lines, in the secondary and in the offensive backfield. It's no more complicated than that. With Luck on the field, they are a contender. Without him, this is a bottom-five roster. - Woods

21. Baltimore Ravens

Srinivasan Thomson Wilkins Woods
21st 29th 21st 16th

The Ravens' decline will continue as long as they make terrible personnel decisions like taking Ronnie Stanley over Laremy Tunsil. This roster's been in a tailspin over the three seasons and the return of Terrell Suggs and Steve Smith will do little to stop that. - Thomson

22. Los Angeles Rams

Srinivasan Thomson Wilkins Woods
19th 19th 25th 27th

While Los Angeles ought to be commended for doing what they needed to do to land a franchise quarterback, Jared Goff can't be expected to lead the turnaround as a rookie. The supporting cast remains a concern on the offensive side of the ball, and the Rams' typically strong defense has lost a number of key contributors. - Wilkins

23. Miami Dolphins

Srinivasan Thomson Wilkins Woods
25th 20th 24th 25th

Adam Gase and Chris Grier began their new regime with a series of high-profile, if somewhat ineffective, signings. If Ryan Tannehill and Mario Williams can snap out of slumps that plagued them in 2015, the Dolphins could once again be a compelling franchise to monitor. - Srinivasan

24. Philadelphia Eagles

Srinivasan Thomson Wilkins Woods
26th 22nd 27th 20th

The Eagles have a playoff-caliber defense and some of the biggest question marks in football on offense. If Sam Bradford shows up to play, this could be a sneakily competitive team. - Woods

25. Atlanta Falcons

Srinivasan Thomson Wilkins Woods
22nd 24th 23rd 28th

Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman are back to carry one of the NFL's most intriguing offenses, but they'll need more from a pass-rushing group that generated a league-low 19 sacks last year if they are to catch the Panthers atop the NFC South. - Srinivasan

26. New Orleans Saints

Srinivasan Thomson Wilkins Woods
28th 28th 18th 24th

Drew Brees remains one of the NFL's top quarterbacks, but the Saints did little to improve the roster around him. Eventually, Brees will break down and the Saints need to develop a contingency plan - quickly. - Srinivasan

27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Srinivasan Thomson Wilkins Woods
24th 23rd 28th 23rd

Jameis Winston showed immense progress during the latter half of his rookie year and is poised to make a massive leap during his sophomore campaign. The Buccaneers addressed their biggest woes on the offensive line and in the secondary, but whether they'll be better than the sum of their parts remains unclear. - Srinivasan

28. San Diego Chargers

Srinivasan Thomson Wilkins Woods
29th 25th 26th 26th

Some better luck with injuries would go a long way toward helping the Chargers bounce back this season. In particular, the starting offensive line staying on the field is imperative to capitalizing on Philip Rivers' continued high level of play. This team could be in for a few high-scoring affairs if the defense's issues continue. - Wilkins

29. Detroit Lions

Srinivasan Thomson Wilkins Woods
27th 27th 29th 29th

Standing pat at cornerback in both the draft and free agency will be a major storyline when the Lions get torched in the passing game week in and week out next season. At least Jim Bob Cooter still has a job. - Thomson

30. Tennessee Titans

Srinivasan Thomson Wilkins Woods
30th 31st 30th 30th

Can the bounty of draft picks the Titans received from the Rams for the first overall selection be the catalyst for a momentum swing in Nashville? The Titans have a roster that appears poised to take a step forward, but it's hard to get excited about a team that made retaining head coach Mike Mularkey an offseason priority. - Woods

31. San Francisco 49ers

Srinivasan Thomson Wilkins Woods
31st 30th 31st 31st

This may be another long year in San Francisco. Highlighted by the uncertainty under center, an underwhelming roster will make it difficult for Chip Kelly to make a substantial impact in his first year at the helm. Perhaps getting in position for a top quarterback in next year's draft represents the best-case scenario. - Wilkins

32. Cleveland Browns

Srinivasan Thomson Wilkins Woods
32nd 32nd 32nd 32nd

The Browns have very low expectations, as evidenced by turning to Robert Griffin III as their starting quarterback. A good draft, bringing a haul of 14 players, should help them build for the near future, but they're a few years away. - Thomson

NFL Power Rankings - Post-draft edition: Cardinals perched at top, Cowboys on the rise
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