August 27, 2011; Englewood, CO, USA; Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider walks along the sidelines during the fourth quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field. The Broncos defeated the Seahawks 23-20. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

12th Man Rising Pre-Draft Power Rankings

Draft day is here and the NFL hype machine is in full force. Personally, since Seattle ostensibly took Percy Harvin I won’t be watching the draft coverage, but that doesn’t mean the writers here at 12th Man Rising haven’t put together their pre-draft power rankings.

The rankings have been updated as of yesterday so they account for all of the free agency acquisitions and releases that have taken place up to now. You will also see more daylight between teams’ highest and lowest rankings since there aren’t actually any games to help guide us.

The teams that have the biggest differences between their highest and lowest rank are:

  • Rams (16) – David 9th, Micah 25th
  • Vikings (13) – David 8th, Hanley 21st
  • Steelers (12) – Nick 9th, Micah 21st
  • Chiefs (12) – David 20th, Nick 32nd
  • Falcons (11) – Diane 2nd, David 13th
  • Colts (11) – Diane 8th, David 19th
  • Giants (10) – Micah 8th, David 18th
  • Buccaneers (10) – Hanley 12th, David 22nd
  • Cardinals (10) – Hanley 19th, David 29th

As can be expected of a division that includes both San Francisco and Seattle, the NFC West had the highest average ranking in the NFL with 11.5. The NFC North is next with an average ranking of 12.75. The worst division in the NFL is, not surprisingly, the AFC West with an average ranking of 21. The highest ranked team in the AFC West is Denver (3rd overall), with the other three teams 24th or lower.

Obviously, these rankings are very preliminary and will change once the draft happens. Draft day is overall a bad predictor of how good a team will be the next season. There aren’t many teams that are a top five pick away from a Super Bowl or even division dominance. Draft picks are more of an investment in a player’s future potential that, if successful, will explode in a player’s second or third season. Teams like Seattle and San Francisco cut some dead weight, and reloaded for the following season without the need to change much. Other teams like Jacksonville, Kansas City, Oakland, and the New York Jets have further to go.

Until the next rankings are published in August, enjoy these for what their worth – conversation fodder. And if draft day is your gig, enjoy that as well. The first pick that matters to me is the 24th pick of the second round.

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Tags: NFC West Power Rankings Pre-draft Seahawks

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