2014 NFL Power Rankings: Post-Minicamps Edition

NFL Power Rankings After OTAs and Minicamps

Russell Wilson
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

OTAs and minicamps are officially in the books as the 2014 NFL regular season comes into view. With training camps about a month away, it’s time for the early power rankings to give us a glimpse at which teams are currently trending upwards, and which ones we shouldn’t be expecting much from this upcoming campaign.

With that in mind, here’s a look at our power rankings following the conclusion of OTAs and minicamps.

32. Houston Texans

Jadeveon Clowney
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

32. Houston Texans

Jadeveon Clowney
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

It’s just not looking good for the Texans right now. Ryan Fitzpatrick is still the starter coming out of minicamp, which isn’t a good sign. Andre Johnson still hasn’t shown up and might not give in anytime soon. Jadeveon Clowney is still battling injury issues. This season might not be any better for Houston.

31. Jacksonville Jaguars

Bortles Henne
Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

31. Jacksonville Jaguars

Bortles Henne
Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

While the Jaguars certainly made some upgrades this offseason, they still look like a team that’s a season or two away from competing. Especially with Chad Henne slated as the starter, it’s not looking good. At least fans will be able to watch games from pools, though.

30. Washington Redskins

Dan Snyder
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

30. Washington Redskins

Dan Snyder
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Not only are the Redskins coming off one of the worst seasons in recent team history, but they’re also in the midst of a political struggle to keep their nickname intact. Dan Synder continues his game of tug-of-war with the Native American community, which will ultimately be a distraction for a rebuilding team.

29. Tennessee Titans

Jake Locker
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

29. Tennessee Titans

Jake Locker
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

With a new coaching staff, rebuilt offense and new defensive scheme, it’s not looking pretty for the Titans heading into 2014. Not only that, but the quarterback position is a huge question mark. Unless Jake Locker suddenly figures it out, it’s going to be a rough year for Tennessee.

28. Miami Dolphins

Knowshon Moreno
Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

28. Miami Dolphins

Knowshon Moreno
Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off an 8-8 season, the Dolphins seem to be headed in the wrong direction. Despite upgrading the offensive line, they didn’t make any drastic moves this offseason. Their biggest free agent acquisition outside of the line was Knowshon Moreno, who showed up to camp out of shape.

27. Oakland Raiders

Khalil Mack
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

27. Oakland Raiders

Khalil Mack
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Raiders haven’t given fans much to be excited about in recent years, but they’re getting closer to being a team worth rooting for. The additions of Khalil Mack and Derek Carr has their stock rising ever so slightly, and a strong showing during training camp could return the Raiders to relevance.

26. Buffalo Bills

Sammy Watkins
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

26. Buffalo Bills

Sammy Watkins
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

They might not suddenly be contenders, but the Bills are headed in the right direction. The defense is finally looking noteworthy, and the addition of electric receiver Sammy Watkins has the Buffalo offense looking like a serious threat. Can E.J. Manuel grow in Year 2 and become a leader?

25. Cleveland Browns

Johnny Manziel
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

25. Cleveland Browns

Johnny Manziel
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

It’s not promising when your first-round pick can’t beat out a journeyman for the starting quarterback job. Johnny Manziel is struggling on the field, but flourishing off of it, and it’s giving the Browns a bad look. They need to buckle down and improve during training camp to salvage an uncertain 2014 season.

24. Dallas Cowboys

Brandon Weeden
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

24. Dallas Cowboys

Brandon Weeden
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

As of right now, the Cowboys’ starting quarterback is Brandon Weeden as Tony Romo works his way back from injury and Kyle Orton is still a no-show. To top it off, they have a huge issue at linebacker, and are still waiting for a dominant defensive lineman to emerge. Not a good start for Dallas.

23. Detroit Lions

Ndamukong Suh
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

23. Detroit Lions

Ndamukong Suh
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Unfortunately for the Lions, they did little to get better this offseason. Apart from a few solid signings and a decent draft class, there’s not much for Detroit fans to be excited about heading into 2014. The Ndamukong Suh trade rumors certainly don’t help, either.

22. New York Giants

Jon Beason
William Perlman-USA TODAY Sports

22. New York Giants

Jon Beason
William Perlman-USA TODAY Sports

No matter what they do, the Giants can’t seem to stay healthy long enough to see what they have this season. Even after an impressive free agency showing, they still look like a team missing a few pieces, and the recent loss of Jon Beason isn’t going to help their chances.

21. Minnesota Vikings

Teddy Bridgewater
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

21. Minnesota Vikings

Teddy Bridgewater
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings are trending upwards right now, with a strong offseason that included a restructuring of the coaching staff, a few free agency upgrades and another impressive draft class. If Teddy Bridgewater can separate himself in the quarterback competition, the Vikings could be contenders in 2014.

20. New York Jets

Smith Johnson
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

20. New York Jets

Smith Johnson
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

If it wasn’t for their ferocious defense, the Jets would have been mentioned a while ago. Even with Michael Vick in the mix, the quarterback situation is still a mess. Chris Johnson isn’t going to give New York the boost their running game needs either. It’s looking like another average year for Gang Green.

19. Atlanta Falcons

Devonta Freeman
Getty Images

19. Atlanta Falcons

Devonta Freeman
Getty Images

I’m one of the people who believes last year was a fluke for the Falcons. No team can overcome as many injuries as they had to deal with in 2013. This year will be better for Atlanta, but they still have to prove themselves. The emergence of Devonta Freeman as a weapon will certainly help on that journey.

18. Cincinnati Bengals

Darqueze Dennard
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

18. Cincinnati Bengals

Darqueze Dennard
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

I’m just not buying the Bengals as contenders after having to rebuild their coaching staff. Mike Zimmer isn’t in charge of the defense, which will certainly create issues in 2014. Darqueze Dennard was an excellent addition, but the presence of Andy Dalton under center will always limit Cincinnati’s offense.

17. Kansas City Chiefs

Alex Smith
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

17. Kansas City Chiefs

Alex Smith
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Chiefs are coming off of one the best season’s in franchise history, but could definitely be headed for a disappointing year. Alex Smith is looking for a big extension, which could become a distraction in the near future. The offense simply doesn’t have the weapons to keep up with the defense in 2014.

16. Baltimore Ravens

Ray Rice
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

16. Baltimore Ravens

Ray Rice
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Ever since they won the Super Bowl in 2012, the Ravens have been a shell of their former selves. They couldn’t even make the playoffs last season, and don’t appear to have gotten much better this offseason. The talent is there, but Ray Rice’s impending suspension is a big concern.

15. Carolina Panthers

Kelvin Benjamin
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

15. Carolina Panthers

Kelvin Benjamin
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Panthers were an outstanding team last season, but the offseason ravaged their roster, leaving them wondering where their offense will come from in 2014. Cam Newton is working his way back from ankle surgery, and his top target is an inconsistent rookie. Not a promising sign for Carolina.

14. St. Louis Rams

Sam Bradford
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

14. St. Louis Rams

Sam Bradford
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

It all comes down to how Sam Bradford can play in 2014. The Rams’ defense is looking like one of the best in the NFL, and the offensive weapons are in place. If Bradford can stay healthy and build off of his early 2013 showing, the Rams could be serious contenders in the race for the NFC West crown.

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Mike Evans
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Mike Evans
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

I’m a firm believer that the Buccaneers could be one of the biggest surprises of the 2014 campaign. They have a solid quarterback under center, two dominant receivers and a solid group of running backs. Plus, the defense received significant upgrades this offseason. The pieces are falling into place for Tampa Bay.

12. Philadelphia Eagles

Jordan Matthews
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

12. Philadelphia Eagles

Jordan Matthews
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles took some big steps in the right direction under Chip Kelly, and should continue to do so in 2014. Nick Foles is headed into his sophomore season, and has several weapons to work with, including up-and-coming rookie Jordan Matthews. Plus, LeSean McCoy is apparently the best back in the NFL.

11. Pittsburgh Steelers

Dri Archer
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

11. Pittsburgh Steelers

Dri Archer
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

If the Steelers can find a way to rely on the running game, it could be a big season for them. They have Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount to pound the defense into submission, and Dri Archer appears to be carving a niche as the speedster of the group. Plus, Ben Roethlisberger is always a reliable playmaker.

10. Indianapolis Colts

Andrew Luck
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

10. Indianapolis Colts

Andrew Luck
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

You can never discount a team led by Andrew Luck, who has helped this franchise move on from Peyton Manning in a big hurry. They’ve emerged as an annual contender, and should have no trouble doing more of the same in 2014 if they can stay healthy and get their young players involved.

9. San Diego Chargers

Philip Rivers
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

9. San Diego Chargers

Philip Rivers
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Last season, the Chargers surprised a lot of people with their unexpected playoff performance. To make matters better, they improved significantly this offseason, and appear to have most of their key players healthy again. Mike McCoy revitalized Philip Rivers, who will be hungry heading into 2014.

8. San Francisco 49ers

Vernon Davis
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

8. San Francisco 49ers

Vernon Davis
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

With training camp only a month away, the 49ers appear to be a distracted team. Players are thrown off by Colin Kaepernick’s big extension, evidenced by Vernon Davis’ holdout. Alex Boone is also waiting for a big deal. Now is the time to gain chemistry, and San Francisco isn’t taking advantage.

7. Chicago Bears

Kyle Fuller & Brock Vereen
Getty Images

7. Chicago Bears

Kyle Fuller & Brock Vereen
Getty Images

The reason behind the Bears’ meltdown last year was their horrid defense up front. A few free agent additions later, though, Chicago appears to have their dominant defense back, with two outstanding young defensive backs in Kyle Fuller and Brock Vereen added to the mix for good measure.

6. Green Bay Packers

Aaron Rodgers
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

6. Green Bay Packers

Aaron Rodgers
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Whenever a healthy Aaron Rodgers is at the helm, good things are bound to happen. The Packers consistently have one of the better rosters in the NFL, but expiring contracts and injuries will certainly be issues in 2014. The loss of Johnathan Franklin is also a definite blow to their offensive firepower.

5. Arizona Cardinals

Deone Bucannon
Getty Images

5. Arizona Cardinals

Deone Bucannon
Getty Images

It seems weird, but the Cardinals are actually in a great position right now. They barely missed the playoffs in 2013, and could be headed for another big year if Carson Palmer can deliver yet again. Plus, an already stout defense gets even better with Deone Bucannon, who could be a DROY candidate.

4. New England Patriots

Kenbrell Thompkins
Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

4. New England Patriots

Kenbrell Thompkins
Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

A strong offseason has the Patriots heading in the right direction. Obviously having Tom Brady is always a plus, but giving him weapons will be imperative if they’re going to be Super Bowl contenders in 2014. Kenbrell Thompkins is emerging as a reliable option, and could be headed for a huge sophomore season.

3. New Orleans Saints

Brandin Cooks
Getty Images

3. New Orleans Saints

Brandin Cooks
Getty Images

If there’s one team that could be a serious option to topple the defending champs in the NFC, it’s the Saints. They showed vast improvement last year, and only got better this offseason. Drew Brees has a new weapon in Brandin Cooks, and the defense is looking as ferocious as ever heading into July.

2. Denver Broncos

Peyton Manning
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

2. Denver Broncos

Peyton Manning
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Until the Broncos start to lose, you can’t drop them lower than No. 2. They have arguably the best quarterback of all time under center, and an offense that is simply dynamite. While there are certainly some defensive concerns heading into 2014, their pricey free agent acquisitions are ready to step up.

1. Seattle Seahawks

Richard Sherman
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

1. Seattle Seahawks

Richard Sherman
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The defending champions aren’t going to give up this position any time soon. They’re coming off a camp during which several young players have emerged as potential playmakers, and a recent fight during practice shows how hungry this team is for another ring. The Seahawks will be scary yet again in 2014.

Gil Alcaraz IV is the Director of Content for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @GilAlcarazIV, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.


Around the Web

  • SamDuhigiyn

    just before I looked at the receipt ov $8130 , I didn’t believe that my
    sister woz like actualy bringing in money part-time from there pretty old
    laptop. . there aunts neighbour has been doing this 4 only about 22 months and
    at present repayed the mortgage on their appartment and bought themselves a
    Chrysler . see here M­o­n­e­y­d­u­t­i­e­s­.­C­O­M­

  • Juanita Steve

    until&nbspI&nbsplooked&nbspat&nbspthe&nbspρ­­­­­­а­­­­Уcheck&nbspof&nbsp$­­­­­­­­4117,&nbspI&nbspdid&nbspnot&nbspbelieve&nbspthat…my…&nbspcousin&nbspwoz&nbsplike&nbsprealey&nbspreceiving&nbspmoney&nbspin&nbsptheir&nbspspare&nbsptime&nbspfrom&nbsptհ­­­­­­е­­­­­­r­­­­­­е&nbsppretty&nbspold&nbspl­­­­­­а­­­­­­ρ­­­­­­τ­­­­­­ο­­­­­­ρ..&nbsptհ­­­­­­е­­­­­­r­­­­­­е&nbspsisters&nbspneighbour&nbsphas&nbspdone&nbspthis&nbsp4&nbsponly&nbsp18&nbspΜ­­­­­­ο­­­­­­ո­­­­­­τ­­­­­­հ­­­­­­ѕ&nbspand&nbspjust&nbspcleard&nbspthe&nbsploans&nbspon&nbsptheir&nbsphouse&nbspand&nbspbourt&nbspRenault&nbsp4.&nbspwe&nbsplooked&nbspհ­­­­­­е­­­­­­r­­­­­­е,..&nbsphttp://CashConvertmark&#x32&#48&#x31&#52accord1ib51g6T

    ᏆᏆᏆ ᏆᏆᏆ� ᏆᏆᏆ ᏆᏆᏆ Ꮖ�ᏆᏆ ᏆᏆᏆ