NFL Power Rankings changed by draft decisions
When considering the NFL Power Rankings from Walter Football, released prior to the 2018-2019 season, it is important to remember NFL teams are already working on their boards for the following season’s draft. As teams were making last-minute decisions regarding the 2018 NFL draft, members of their scouting staff were already beginning to consider the 2019 draft based on the power rankings becoming available. Scouts use power ranking to decide which areas of a team need to be improved and where they may fall in the following season’s draft.
Looking back at the 2018 draft, Walter Football reported a number of scouts had expected the choices of defensive linemen to have improved with the arrival of three players from the Clemson Tigers. However, all three decided to spend another season in the college ranks in the hopes of achieving more for their academic institution. 2019 looks set to see a number of cornerbacks available in the draft, however, Walter Football is forecasting none have the ability to achieve standout status in the NFL. Perhaps the best available prospect will be Alabama’s, Trevon Diggs who must improve his consistency if he is to move up the boards to become a first-round draft prospect.
The coming season could see the fortunes of some teams improve with many hoping to add to their success with some impressive 2019 draft picks. One team which may finally have turned the corner is the much-maligned Cleveland Browns who could move from zero wins in 2017 to around seven in 2018. The Browns used their draft picks in a successful way to finally choose a quarterback who may have the ability to build a franchise around in Baker Mayfield. The Browns will be one of the few teams not looking to draft a corner in the 2019 draft after adding Denzel Ward to their squad.
In many of the divisions of the NFL, the division between the have’s and have not’s is becoming even more noticeable. One of the most difficult divisions for all to watch in 2018 will be the NFC East which features the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Washington Redskins, and the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles top the NFL Power Rankings for 2018-19 but could face a challenge from a resurgent Washington team which will be tough to beat as long as the injury crisis faced last year is not repeated in 2018. Washington comes in at number 12 in the rankings, with the Eagles tipped to come close to repeating their success in the coming season. However, the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys are ranked numbers 21 and 22 respectively as their dysfunctional nature continues to haunt them
Surprise teams in the NFL Power Rankings include the Houston Texans and New Orleans Saints who should both improve on their last seasons. The Saints are tipped to make a Super Bowl run while the Texans could finally become the play-off winners they threaten to be each season. The return of DeShaun Watson and J.J. Watt to full fitness coupled with the arrival of Jadeveon Clowney as a dominant force in the NFL should see Houston emerge as Super Bowl contenders.