The start of training camps across the NFL has sparked plenty of questions as well as optimism.
In version 2.0 of the NFL Power Rankings (1.0 post-draft), Philadelphia still holds the top spot, followed by AFC teams in five of the next six slots.
Below are the team rankings 1-32 (post-draft rankings) and pre-camp FAQs.
1. Philadelphia Eagles (1): Will the Eagles miss tailback Miles Sanders? not much. Quarterback Jaylen Hurts is dynamic, but the Eagles want to lean back more. Sanders signed with Carolina, and the Eagles traded him for Detroit’s DeAndre Swift.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (2): Will the Chiefs have enough receivers in Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Kadarius Tony and Skye Moore? not much. They have tight end Travis Kelce and it’s good to see them continue to rack up Hall of Fame numbers.
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3. Cincinnati Bengals (3): Will quarterback Joe Burrow sign a contract extension in August? Yes. Bengals owner Mike Brown previously rewarded in-house quarterbacks Carson Palmer and Andy Dalton with hefty extensions, and Burrow is next. On average he is estimated to be above $50 million and below $55 million.
4. San Francisco 49ers (5): Who will start at quarterback in Week 1? Brock Purdy, who was injured in the NFC title game and had elbow surgery in the offseason, should be rated higher than Trey Lance if healthy.
The Bills will begin training camp on July 26 at St. John Fisher College in Pittsford. Here are the key questions for training camp, position pre…
5. Buffalo Bills (4): Who will win the middle linebacker spot? First AJ Klein and finally Terrell Bernard.
6. New York Jets (8): Who will be the Jets’ ‘Hard Knocks’ star? Cornerback Sauce Gardner will certainly do so. The fact that he’s also a star on the field makes it even better.
7. Miami Dolphins (7): Do the Dolphins need free agent tailback Dalvin Cook? not much. They have Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson, and the zone blocking scheme has highlighted countless unproven players.
8. Seattle Seahawks (6): Can the Seahawks survive QB Genno Smith’s inevitable return to normalcy? Last year, Smith had 30 touchdown passes (his previous record was 13) and won nine (the most since eight in 2013). The best way for Smith to avoid a big mistake is to throw at Tyler Rocket, DK Metcalfe and rookie Jackson Smith-Niziba.
9. Baltimore Ravens (10): Is it finally time for Lamar Jackson to play every game? The Ravens hired playcaller Todd Monken, signed receiver Odell Beckham Jr., and drafted receiver Zay Flowers to focus on pitching rather than pitching Jackson often (727 carries in 70 games).
10. Jacksonville Jaguars (9): How will the Jaguars replace suspended left tackle Cam Robinson (first four games)? No one in Jacksonville seems to care. The Jaggs plan to use second-rounder Walker Little at left tackle in 2021, and if he plays well, he’ll keep that job.
11. Minnesota Vikings (11): What will receiver Justin Jefferson’s new deal look like? Industry website Spotrac estimates that the deal will be worth $128 million over four years (an average of $32 million, beating Miami’s Tyreek Hill’s current record of $30 million). The Vikings drafted Jefferson with one of the picks they received from the Bills in the Diggs trade.
12. Los Angeles Chargers (13): What impact will new playcaller Kellen Moore have? Easy – the Chargers will actually take advantage of Justin Herbert’s downfield throwing ability to create big plays.
13. Dallas Cowboys (14): Can playcaller Mike McCarthy rescue head coach Mike McCarthy? The Cowboys stress the importance of doing it more often and effectively. That kind of thinking will doom them from the start, right?
14. Detroit Lions (12): Why the offseason celebrates the Lions? Because it’s convenient. The Lions compete for the wildcard, but not the division.
15. New York Giants (15): Will running back Sacwon Barkley be in Week 1? yes. Barkley didn’t sign a franchise bid, so he won’t be fined for not showing up at camp. But after Labor Day, he will be on the practice field.
16. Atlanta Falcons (16): Why are the Falcons the AFC South favorite? By default. The Falcons are spending a ton of money on free agency and have Desmond Ridder at quarterback. Expect Taylor Heinicke to take over in late October, when it feels like Arthur Smith’s coaching career is on fire.
17. Commander Washington (18): How will coach Ron Rivera survive after a change of ownership? A playoff run could make that possible. The Commanders haven’t won a postseason game since January 2006. However, there is no significant track record of retaining a head coach that the new owner did not hire.
18. Cleveland Browns (19): Is Myles Garrett destined to do well with bad team stats? It certainly looks that way, doesn’t it? Garrett has 7, 13.5, 10, 12, 16 and 16 sacks, respectively, while the Browns have made the playoffs once. If this were the NBA, Garrett would be planning to leave.
19. Pittsburgh Steelers (20): Kenny Pickett – Buy or Sell? Copout Response Alert – None… yet.
20. Las Vegas Raiders (17): Why does Dave Ziegler/Josh McDaniels’ third year feel like year one?
21. Tennessee Titans (21): What impact will new receiver DeAndre Hopkins have? minimum. Hopkins chose to sign with the Titans because there was no team considered elite with the cap space and desire to add him.
22. Carolina Panthers (23): Among first-round quarterbacks, is Bryce Young the right set-up to succeed? No question. The Panthers surrounded Young with coaching (Frank Reich and Josh McCown) and veteran skill positions (running back Myles Saunders and receiver Adam Thielen). And splits stink.
23. New England Patriots (22): Does Bailey Zappe have a chance of beating Mack Jones? i doubt it. The Patriots have invested a first-round pick in Jones, and it’s natural to see how he will benefit from the addition of offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien.
24. New Orleans Saints (24): Are the Saints okay with long-term residence in the middle of the league’s horror? Somehow it keeps chasing without resetting. Since 2006, the Saints have lost at least eight games in eight years, but have only lost 10 games once (last year).
25. Denver Broncos (25): Can Sean Payton save quarterback Russell Wilson? Over the past three years, Wilson’s touchdown passes have dropped from 40 to 25 to 16, and his win count has dropped from 12 to 6 to 4. Wilson will do better than last year’s blunder.
26. Green Bay Packers (26): Did the Packers lock in new quarterback Jordan Love with enough talent? Yes… into 2024. Green Bay’s offensive 2Deep has four rookies and two sophomores.
27. Los Angeles Rams (27): A team with Aaron Donald can’t end badly, right? correct. There aren’t many veterans left, but it’s a proud group led by Donald, quarterback Matthew Stafford and receiver Cooper Kupp.
28. Indianapolis Colts (28): Anthony Richardson or Gardner Minshew in Week 1? That depends on whether the Colts feel Richardson will benefit from just learning on the fly. They should start him at once.
29. Chicago Bears (29): Could Justin Fields add passing to his repertoire? His status as the Bears’ franchise quarterback depends on it. His 1,143 rushing yards last year led all quarterbacks, but playing that style isn’t sustainable. Carolina native DJ Moore provides a target for big plays.
30. Houston Texans (31): Are the Texans ready to work? The Demeko Lyons are the franchise’s fourth big whistle in several seasons, but they’re one of the most volatile in the NFL.
31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (30): Will the suffering of 2023 be worth it? absolutely. The Buccaneers knew what they were going for, going all out for the title during Tom Brady’s three-year tenure. They won the Super Bowl in 2020. Next is finding out which young players should be part of the foundation in 2024.
32. Arizona Cardinals (32): Can the Cardinals pull off the double feat of tanking USC quarterback Caleb Williams while also impressing quarterback Kyler Murray? It would act like a magic hat. The best case scenario is Murray recovering from an ACL injury and staying healthy while the Cardinals trade him for $1.50 to clear the deck with Williams.