Post-2021 NFL Draft Power Rankings

by Christopher Buonagura · NFL

The NFL offseason is in full swing with training camp underway and the 2021 draft in the books. PlayerProfiler is here to gauge the NFL landscape and determine the overall quality of each team entering the 2021 season. For a Divisional Break Down Check out Version 1 of the power rankings.

Elite (12+ wins)

“Elite” teams are expected to win on any given Sunday. These are the best teams in football and should be involved in any Super Bowl conversations.

1. Kansas City Chiefs

The Cheifs were ranked as the No. 1 team prior to the Draft and remain on top as long as Patrick Mahomes is healthy.

2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

Tom Brady (The GOAT) will continue to enjoy one of the strongest overall rosters in the NFL. An MVP season is on the table.

3. Green Bay Packers

This ranking can only assume that Aaron Rodgers is the starter come Week 1. If he leaves town, then this team drops to No. 24 just behind the Denver Broncos. Rodgers is that good, and any team he is on will be in the dance come January.

Above Average (10-12 wins)

This tier is comprised of teams that are not quite “elite,” but stand out above the pack for various reasons. These teams should be favorites in most matchups and present strong odds to be present in the playoffs.

4. Buffalo Bills

The Bills are undeniable after the emergence of Josh Allen as an upper level playmaker with freakish arm talent. The front office continues to make sound decisions by investing in big-bodied players upfront and not overspending on skill position players. The Bills are near elite and set to win 12 games in 2021.

5. Los Angeles Rams

Sean McVay and the Rams front office have created a legit football factory in Los Angeles. This coaching staff utilizes its players’ skillsets and overcomes lineup adversity when presented with injuries. The addition of Matthew Stafford introduces the one thing this team lacked: big-armed throws completed down the field. Star players Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey, Robert Woods, and Cam Akers further push the needle upward. Get excited for the 2021 Rams.

6. Cleveland Browns 

The Browns are for real and have been since acquiring a real coach with Kevin Stefanski. This roster is iron-clad after improvements to the defense this offseason. If this team remains healthy, a Super Bowl is in the range of outcomes. The only risk is that Baker Mayfield‘s play may fall off if the team around him starts to crumble. They enter the year as favorites to win the NFC North.

7. Baltimore Ravens 

The Ravens exist to ensure that Brown fans remain panicked through Week 18. The Ravens and Browns will likely battle for the division (and playoff seeding) in 2021. This team maintained its strengths while making massive improvements to the its biggest weakness: wide receiver. Lamar Jackson has the best weapons of his career and this roster is oozing with defensive talent. The Chiefs have serious competition in the AFC this season.

8. Seattle Seahawks 

A bullish Seahawks take feels contrarian after spending a few minutes on NFL Twitter. However, this team is always good with Russell Wilson under center. Power Rankings do not consider playoff performance, only regular season win totals and general ability to win football games. Both of which the Seahawks excel at. Many may not like it, but this team is good.

9. Indianapolis Colts 

Carson Wentz is an improvement over Philip Rivers. Wentz has MVP-level football in his range of outcomes, and the team environment in Indianapolis in perfect for nurturing this broken spirit. An average performance by Wentz in 2021 will be buoyed by strong defense and an elite running game. This team has its sights set on an AFC South title.

Average (Upper, 8-11 wins)

The “Upper Average” tier presents overage teams that are set to exceed expectations and finish with winning records. These teams should finish closer to the top of the league then the bottom, but at their core remain “average” overall. Keep in mind that most teams in the NFL are average, so this tier is still held in high regard.

10. Los Angeles Chargers 

The Chargers’ offseason moves will directly impact their win total in the best way. Justin Herbert is a proven stud with a loaded offense and major offensive line improvements. The defense hosts enough talent to perform the bare minimum needed to win games. This team’s tendency to lose one-score games will see positive regression with Anthony Lynn out of town. The improvement from lame duck coaching and an abundance of talent will yield a true competitor in the AFC West.

11. Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals return all major starters and coaches. Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray both enter their third year in the NFL. The added talent this offseason and established culture imply that this team will only build on its 8-8 finish in 2020. This team’s floor is 10 wins with healthy starters.

12. Pittsburgh Steelers 

Despite popular belief, the Steelers are a good football team. Even a washed up Hall of Fame quarterback can lead a team to 10 wins. Drew Brees, Philip Rivers, and Big Ben himself are living proof of this. The overall roster is strong and the offensive line woes are not enough to tank this dynasty’s 2021 outlook. This team will compete for a Wild Card, falling short of Ravens and Browns.

13. Tennessee Titans

The Titans move up multiple spots after the addition of Julio Jones. The concern was lack of versatility on offense with few playmakers and a return to their 9-7 form. Jones’ presence increases their chance to repeat their 11 wins in 2021 with elite efficiency on offense. A lack of identity on defense and loss of significant coaching will keep this team out of the Top 10.

14. Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins move down a few spots post-draft, but hopes remain high for this squad in 2021. Tua Tagovailoa was gifted the weapons he needs for a sophomore breakout. The culture here appears strong and the talent only improved this offseason. Cutting Kyle Van Noy and passing on Penei Sewell were questionable, but the overall decision making is excellent in Miami. This team has emerged.

15. Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys are truly an average team with a mixed bag of quality and concern. The offense appears elite and Kellen Moore brings innovation to the offensive playcalling. Mike McCarthy is no sure thing and this defense remains a massive question mark. Adding nine defensive free agents and multiple high profile rookies does not imply better play. If anything, they’ll be bad in new ways. Dak Prescott elevated this unit to upper average, but expectations should be kept in check concerning the win total.

16. Washington Football Team 

The Football Team gets bumped into “Upper Average” after being ranked in the “Lower Average” tier prior to the draft. The WFT will continue to creep up the rankings as my skepticism wanes. On paper, this team has everything one would want for a winning football team. I wouldn’t be so bold as to buy Ryan Fitzpatrick as a wholesale winning quarterback. He presents a strong history of glory in bursts, only to fall back to Earth once a team truly commits to him. The ranking of No. 16 overall makes them truly “Average.”


Average (Lower, 6-9 wins)

Lower Average teams are competitive and can win on any given Sunday. Overall, these team will finish near/sub- .500 and often fail to make the playoffs.

17. San Francisco 49ers 

The 49ers are an upper-level organization with strong culture and decision-making. The roster is strong at offensive line and on defense. 2021 presents more of a transition year for this team after losing multiple coaches and turnover at key positions. Trey Lance has high hopes in San Francisco, but expectations are in check for 2021. Overall strength of roster and scheme will keep the wins hovering around .500.

18. New Orleans Saints 

Major losses across the board and no significant additions depress this team from the days of winning the NFC. The loss of Drew Brees, multiples coaches, and an abundance of starters cannot be ignored. Expect this team to struggle to make playoffs. The exception would be if Jameis Winston takes an unlikely leap in his development.

19. New England Patriots 

The Patriots remain stuck in the middle of the pack since Tom Brady‘s departure. The addition of Mac Jones gives this team a strong option outside of Cam Newton at quarterback for this season. An otherwise strong roster with many additions suggests a competent team for 2021. The low ranking reflects the high offseason turnover and inherent brisk of a slow start due to poor team chemistry.

20. Chicago Bears 

The Bears are the biggest post-draft risers following a big trade up to acquire Justin Fields. This team has been a quarterback away since Matt Nagy came to town, and Fields is a worthwhile candidate to fill the role. He fell on draft day for the wrong reasons. His ceiling is high and he still warranted a massive trade up to acquire. The fear is that their window being missed and the gradual decay of talent over the years has resulted in a subpar overall roster.

21. Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings exist in franchise purgatory alongside Marvin Lewis’ Bengals of the 2010s. This front office makes sound decisions to maintain relevance in the NFL, but their sights are set on average. Continuous Kirk Cousins extensions and an abundance of “safe” roster moves have created the ultimate Wild Card team. The Vikings will flirt with a brief playoff appearance again in 2021, but the overall outlook is bland.

22. New York Giants 

The Giants move down a few places after an unexciting draft. This team is a projection for 2021. The pieces are all in place: a strong WR corps, a serviceable offensive line, and a disciplined defense. The projection for this team relies on a Daniel Jones breakout. The Giants will win the division or have a top five draft pick next year, there is no in between.

23. Denver Broncos

The Broncos remain buried in the Power Rankings with no quarterback of consequence heading into 2021. On paper, this roster is stacked with upper-level talent at every position group. However, we have years of evidence that this team will struggle to earn a winning record without a better quarterback. The current options are serviceable, but lack the traits needed to elevate this team over the top. If Aaron Rodgers or Deshaun Watson join this team, its safe to vault them into the top three.

Below Average (4-7 wins)

This tier is home to promising teams that have elements of hope but will finish 2021 closer to the bottom of the standings. Some will fall to the bottom five, and one or two may surprise and push for a Wild Card spot, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

24. Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars are kings of the bad teams. A fitting title for a routinely dysfunctional group. Trevor Lawrence is a can’t miss QB prospect and deserves to be treated as such. He alone can elevate this team to the 5-7 win mark. Temper expectations in a year following massive turnover at every organizational level and just enjoy the ride. Urban Meyer is bound to inspire some fun headlines in 2021.

25. Cincinnati Bengals 

The Bengals are taking baby steps in the right direction with the gradual addition of talent over the past few seasons. Shedding aging players like A.J. Green and adding a franchise quarterback last season are the right moves. This team will be fun for fantasy, but the win total will be throttled by an underdeveloped defense, shaky offensive line play, and Joe Burrow‘s recovery to 100-percent. This team is climbing the mountain, but has a long journey to the top.

26. Philadelphia Eagles  

The Eagles enter 2021 with many “tanking qualities.” They offloaded veteran players, traded away their franchise quarterback, and shed large chunks of their coaching staff. This team is not truly tanking with Jalen Hurts driving the decision to move on from Carson Wentz, but the signs are there. The major concern is the effect of drastic turnover and general organizational lag stifling the win total. The Eagles may be a losing team in 2021, but the potential for future years is high if Hurts pans out.

27. New York Jets

The Jets continue to have a consistent offseason with calculated decision-making and gradual improvements. This is the “black box” team in 2021 with truly no indication of how the win total will pan out. The safe bet is to assume the overall football product improves but the win total remains mediocre. Give Gang Green some time to recover from seven years of poor drafting and the Adam Gase effect.


28. Carolina Panthers 

Carolina doesn’t appear to have any definite direction or vision. This team entered the 2021 offseason with holes at multiple key positions and spread themselves a bit thin trying to address every position group at once. They cycled through some defensive players, added a questionable starter at quarterback, and neglected the offensive line. The moves indicate a positive direction for long-term building with the addition of young talent, but overall I am not expecting more than 5-7 wins.

29. Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta continues to their gradual decent into obscurity since losing the Super Bowl in epic fashion all those years ago. The loss of Julio Jones is the cherry on top of the failure sundae. This team has been bad and remains bad entering 2021. Target this offense for volume-driven fantasy production, but expect another year with a top five draft pick.

Bottom of the Barrel (4 or less wins) 

These are the worst teams in the NFL. Expect few wins and a poor football product overall.

30. Detroit Lions

The Lion’s are knee-deep in a full rebuild. Dan Campbell should be fun at he press box, but everyone knows what to expect from this team. Getting Penei Sewell was great for long-term success, but not enough to elevate this team in 2021 from their status as a dumpster fire. Look ahead to 2022 in Detroit.

31. Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders are the official 2021 dumpster fire of the NFL. Years of stagnant play, poor drafting, and subpar team building are bound to catch up to them. Tearing down their offensive line will ignite the end of Derek Carrs tenure in Vegas. The constant quarterback pressure and lack of any defense will yield a poor football product.

32. Houston Texans 

The Texans host the weakest overall roster in the NFL and enter 2021 with massive overhaul. Replacing the entire front office and bringing in over 25 players through free agency and the draft is a recipe for disaster. There will be poor cohesion in 2021. The lone bright side is that every position is truly in an open competition, and by 2022, this roster will comprise of players who earned their spot and want to be a Texan. If Deshaun Watson plays a full season, then this team will jump up at least six spots in the rankings.