NFL Power Rankings 2022: Post-free agency 1-32 poll, plus predicting next offseason move for each...

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Monday, March 28, 2022

With the initial wave of free agency having crested, it's time for another edition of the NFL Power Rankings. It's also time to look forward to the next chapter of the offseason.

Sure, this offseason has had a lot to talk about so far, from quarterback trades (Russell Wilson, Deshaun Watson and Matt Ryan were major parts of a chaotic signal-caller carousel), trades of other star players (Davante Adams) and big-ticket free-agent signings (too many to mention). But there's still more important work to be done between now and when training camps start in late July.

With that in mind, we asked our group of NFL Nation reporters to pick the next move the teams they cover need to make this offseason. The responses below run the gamut, from focusing on building through the draft (or rebuilding, as is the case for the Ryan-less Atlanta Falcons and the Watson-less Houston Texans), pulling off expected moves that have yet to be made (where will Jimmy Garoppolo end up?) or taking advantage of the next wave of free agency to fill in their rosters.

How we rank: Our power panel -- a group of more than 80 writers, editors and TV personalities -- evaluated how teams stack up throughout the season.

Jump to a team:




NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | PHI | PIT | SF


1. Buffalo Bills

Way-too-early ranking: 2

Next offseason move:Find help at cornerback

The Bills could be without both of last year's starting cornerbacks for Week 1, with Tre'Davious White rehabbing a torn ACL and Levi Wallace leaving for the Steelers in free agency. Entering his third season, Dane Jackson should have an opportunity to compete for the starting role opposite White, but the depth at the position is limited, especially for what should be a top defense in the NFL. Adding a veteran corner through free agency and investing in the position at the draft makes sense for Buffalo. -- Alaina Getzenberg

2. Los Angeles Rams

Way-too-early ranking: 3

Next offseason move:Get a new deal done with Aaron Donald

General manager Les Snead said recently that Donald -- who was noncommittal after the Rams' Super Bowl victory about continuing his Hall of Fame career -- has told the team he'd like to keep playing. The two sides have talked about an extension, per Snead, who described that situation as "in progress." While the Rams have the rest of the offseason to extend Donald, the prospect of lowering his scheduled cap charge of $26.75 million gives them incentive to do it sooner rather than later. They've got around $10 million in cap space right now and still want to re-sign Odell Beckham Jr. while still leaving some money for other offseason expenses. -- Brady Henderson

3. Kansas City Chiefs

Way-too-early ranking: 1

Next offseason move:Acquire an edge pass-rusher

The Chiefs did retain Frank Clark on a reduced contract, but still need to provide more pass-rush help for Chris Jones. Melvin Ingram III filled the role nicely last year, but he's a free agent. The Chiefs could re-sign him -- otherwise, they'll need to make the position a priority in the draft to bolster a unit that finished 29th in the NFL in sacks. -- Adam Teicher

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Way-too-early ranking: 14

Next offseason move:Address interior pass rush

A goal for the Bucs this offseason was to get a quicker, more explosive interior pass rush. Granted, they extended Vita Vea at the end of the season, but whom will he be paired up with as Ndamukong Suh remains unsigned? They need to choose whether to bring him back, sign another free agent or reload with a high draft pick. -- Jenna Laine

5. Cincinnati Bengals

Way-too-early ranking: 5

Next offseason move:Find some depth

Cincinnati did all the hard work during the early portion of free agency. The Bengals revamped their offensive line, added tight end Hayden Hurst and re-signed cornerback Eli Apple and defensive tackle B.J. Hill, two reasons the defense was so good in 2021. Now, it's about finding some quality depth. Among the Bengals' needs: WR, CB, FS and SS. If Cincinnati can find those guys, the roster -- fresh off a Super Bowl appearance -- will be in much better shape than it was in 2021. -- Ben Baby

6. Green Bay Packers

Way-too-early ranking:4

Next offseason move:Replace Davante Adams

OK, so there's probably little or no chance they can replace the All-Pro receiver with someone who can come close to matching what Adams did. No one is going to walk through the doors at Lambeau Field and have the connection Adams had with Aaron Rodgers. But they still need help, which was highlighted more by the loss ofMarquez Valdes-Scantlingto the Chiefs. In fact, with the collection of Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb, Amari Rodgers and others, an argument could be made that the Packers don't even have a top-tier No. 2. -- Rob Demovsky

7. Los Angeles Chargers

Way-too-early ranking: 11

Next offseason move:Settle on a right tackle

The Bryan Bulaga experiment didn't work out, as the veteran played in just 11 games over two injury-marred seasons after signing that three-year, $30 million deal two years ago and then getting cut this month. So do they rely on Storm Norton? Trey Pipkins III? Justin Herbert is one of the NFL's young star QBs, but he needs protection. Especially in a division where every team has stocked up on elite pass-rushers. -- Paul Gutierrez

8. San Francisco 49ers

Way-too-early ranking: 6

Next offseason move:Trade Jimmy Garoppolo

The Niners thus far have been unable to unload Garoppolo, in part because other, bigger quarterback dominoes set off a chain of events that has limited interest, and also because of a right shoulder surgery that makes acquiring him a riskier proposition. But this still needs to happen for all parties involved. The Niners could use the $25.55 million in cap space they'd create by trading him to sign their draft class and work out extensions for end Nick Bosa and receiver Deebo Samuel, while also clearing the decks for Trey Lance. This could take some time, but Garoppolo could use the fresh start, also. -- Nick Wagoner

9. Dallas Cowboys

Way-too-early ranking: 7

Next offseason move:Help on the offensive line

The Cowboys released right tackle La'el Collins, who joined the Bengals. They did not try to retain left guard Connor Williams, who joined the Dolphins. While they believe in Terence Steele as their right tackle, they don't have the same level of confidence in Connor McGovern. They have to find some veteran help for the interior of the offensive line (center and guard) and potentially a swing tackle because last year's fourth-round pick, Josh Ball, did not play as a rookie because of an ankle injury. Without finding that help, the Cowboys are boxing themselves into having to draft a couple of offensive linemen early and needing them to perform their first season. -- Todd Archer

10. Denver Broncos

Way-too-early ranking: 21

Next offseason move:Secure more help in the secondary

The Broncos signed cornerback K'Waun Williams, who will get the first look as the team's nickel cornerback, but they entered free agency with three cornerbacks who started games last season -- Bryce Callahan, Kyle Fuller and Nate Hairston -- who were unrestricted free agents, as was safety Kareem Jackson. Williams does mitigate some of that with his versatility as a defender in the run game, in coverage as well as his work as a spot pass-rusher. But the Broncos still need to do some work there to build depth, and if Caden Sterns isn't going to inherit Jackson's safety spot, they need to bring back Jackson or someone like him. -- Jeff Legwold

11. Tennessee Titans

Way-too-early ranking: 8

Next offseason move:Shore up the offensive line

The offensive line lost two starters from last season. Not placing a tender on restricted free agent David Quessenberry created a void at right tackle. The Titans also have a hole to fill at left guard after releasing Rodger Saffold III to clear up cap space. Second-year offensive lineman Dillon Radunz figures to start at one of the positions. Beyond Radunz, there aren't many proven options. Aaron Brewer has filled in at left guard in the past. Another possibility is free-agent addition Jamarco Jones, who has seven career starts. Tennessee will likely address the offensive line with an early draft pick. -- Turron Davenport

12. Baltimore Ravens

Way-too-early ranking: 12

Next offseason move:Add a pass-rusher

Finding a proven pass-rusher remains a huge need since Za'Darius Smith backed out of his four-year, $35 million deal on March 17 and then signed with the Vikings. The Ravens' current top two outside linebackers -- Odafe Oweh and Tyus Bowser -- are coming off offseason surgeries and have a combined 22.5 career sacks. It's been a void in Baltimore for a while; the team hasn't had a player reach double-digit sacks in a season since Terrell Suggs in 2017. The Ravens have to land an edge rusher who can get to the likes of Deshaun Watson and Joe Burrow. -- Jamison Hensley

13. Las Vegas Raiders

Way-too-early ranking: 15

Next offseason move:Address the offensive line

Yeah, it's great and all that Las Vegas added the best receiver in the NFL (and Derek Carr's college bestie) in Davante Adams. But if Carr has no time to find him downfield, what's the point? Carr was sacked 40 times in 2021 and, as it stands now, it looks like the Raiders' new regime is prepared to run it back with the same offensive line. Granted, Denzelle Good is coming back from a knee injury, but the Raiders aren't done here, are they? -- Paul Gutierrez

14. Indianapolis Colts

Way-too-early ranking: 13

Next offseason move:Get some receivers

The cupboard in the receiver room isn't stocked. Veteran T.Y. Hilton is a free agent. Zach Pascal is now in Philadelphia. Parris Campbell hasn't proved that he can stay healthy long enough to become a factor. That leaves Michael Pittman Jr. looking around for help at receiver. Adding pieces at receiver will not only help ease the transition to Indianapolis for new starter Matt Ryan, but it'll also do wonders for the leading rusher in the NFL, Jonathan Taylor. -- Mike Wells

15. New England Patriots

Way-too-early ranking: 9

Next offseason move:Add a starting left guard

Nothing should be more important than protecting Mac Jones, and in turn opening holes for running backs Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson. Now there's a major void at left guard after Ted Karras signed with the Bengals in free agency. In 2016, the Patriots drafted Joe Thuney in the third round and he was a plug-and-play starter from day one. Finding this year's version of Thuney would be ideal in a draft that appears deep with interior linemen. -- Mike Reiss

16. Cleveland Browns

Way-too-early ranking: 16

Next offseason move:Re-sign Jadeveon Clowney

The one remaining glaring weakness on the Cleveland roster is a pass-rusher opposite of Myles Garrett. Jadeveon Clowney filled that role admirably last year, giving the Browns one of the top pass-rushing units in the league. Clowney has been looking around, with hopes of getting a big-money deal. The Browns need to convince him that Cleveland is where he needs to be after he shined there in 2021. -- Jake Trotter

17. Miami Dolphins

Way-too-early ranking: 17

Next offseason move:Get in the lab

Miami bolstered its offensive line and completely revamped its skill-position talent -- highlighted by receiver Tyreek Hill, tackle Terron Armstead and running back Raheem Mostert. This should be one of the fastest teams in the NFL. Besides depth at linebacker, this roster is about as set as it's going to be. All that's left to do now is build chemistry and learn the playbook. -- Marcel Louis-Jacques

18. Arizona Cardinals

Way-too-early ranking: 10

Next offseason move:Get a No. 2 receiver

After letting Christian Kirk go in free agency and with A.J. Green still a free agent, the Cardinals don't have a true No. 2 receiver to complement DeAndre Hopkins. Rondale Moore is capable, but he's not a No. 2. Arizona let a number of receivers go by in free agency, but in order for Kliff Kingsbury's offense to work, it needs a No. 2 who causes defenses to game-plan around him -- and at the very least is able to make plays when Hopkins gets coverage rolled to him. -- Josh Weinfuss

19. Philadelphia Eagles

Way-too-early ranking: 19

Next offseason move:Bolster the secondary

With Rodney McLeod and Steven Nelson no longer under contract, the Eagles are still without a starting safety and starting cornerback for 2022. They took a swing at a couple of the top free-agent safeties, but were unable to land one. Instead, they brought back Anthony Harris on a one-year deal. While that helps fill out the secondary picture, it doesn't complete it. Cornerback Darius Slay still needs a counterpart. The Eagles seem to like a few of the young CBs on the roster like Zech McPhearson, Tay Gowan and Kary Vincent Jr., but need to continue to add. They'll look to the second wave of free agency and the draft -- where they hold three first-round picks -- to address those needs. -- Tim McManus

20. Pittsburgh Steelers

Way-too-early ranking: 18

Next offseason move:Sign a starting safety

Minkah Fitzpatrick is one of the best safeties in the league, but he needs a running mate. The Steelers declined Terrell Edmunds' fifth-year option, making him a free agent. He is still available after the first wave of free agency, but so is Tyrann Mathieu. But the Honey Badger doesn't fit the mold of a Steelers free agent. At 29 years old, Mathieu is older than most of the Steelers' free-agent signings, and he would probably command a higher-priced contract. -- Brooke Pryor

21. Minnesota Vikings

Way-too-early ranking: 20

Next offseason move:Rebuild the secondary

At the moment, the Vikings are essentially down three starters from 2021. Cornerback Patrick Peterson and nickelback Mackensie Alexander are free agents, and safety Xavier Woods signed with the Panthers in free agency. It's possible the Vikings will promote backup safety Camryn Bynum into a more prominent role, but they'll also have to take into account that safety Harrison Smith is 33. The team hasn't made a prominent addition to the secondary during free agency and will need to find more help in the draft. -- Kevin Seifert

22. New Orleans Saints

Way-too-early ranking: 22

Next offseason move:Add a top receiver

Heck, maybe even add two. The Saints plummeted to 32nd in the NFL in passing yards last season, largely because of major injuries to quarterback Jameis Winston, receiver Michael Thomas and the offensive line. Getting Thomas back from his ankle injury should provide a huge boost. But the Saints need to add at least one more premium pass-catcher in free agency or the draft, if not both. They should have some excellent options with the 18th pick. -- Mike Triplett

23. Washington Commanders

Way-too-early ranking: 25

Next offseason move:Add a middle linebacker

Washington wants to use Cole Holcomb and Jamin Davis, last year's first-round pick, on the outside and needs someone to fill the middle. While Holcomb can play there, the Commanders want someone who is a more natural fit, resulting in more decisiveness -- but also allowing the other two to play where they're more suited. The draft has several strong candidates. Washington also needs to find someone who can fill the Buffalo nickel -- a hybrid linebacker/safety role -- that Landon Collins played so well last season. Both spots are vital. -- John Keim

24. Chicago Bears

Way-too-early ranking: 26

Next offseason move:Embrace the rebuild, but prioritize Justin Fields' growth

The Bears have taken a prudent approach to free agency with Ryan Poles, as the first-year general manager hasn't made any splashy signings. That patience could end up paying off, as Chicago could sign some veterans for cheap later this offseason, but the team needs to bring in at least one starting-caliber offensive tackle, another guard, a receiver and a corner. Year 2 of Fields' career is the most important for his development and in showing Chicago whether it has a franchise quarterback or needs to start thinking about taking another swing at one in 2023. The only way to find that out is by giving Fields an adequate amount of support to succeed this season. -- Courtney Cronin

25. New York Giants

Way-too-early ranking: 27

Next offseason move:Fix the offensive line

Signing Mark Glowinski to start at guard and adding Jon Feliciano at center isn't anywhere near enough to fix a line that might need four new starters. The Giants still must find a high-end lineman. Of course, that is not likely to come through free agency. They never had the money this year to make that happen given their salary-cap crunch. So it's on to the draft, where the Giants have the No. 5 and No. 7 overall picks and the options are plentiful. -- Jordan Raanan

26. Seattle Seahawks

Way-too-early ranking: 23

Next offseason move:Find competition for Drew Lock

The Seahawks are higher on Lock than you might think and want to give him a shot to show he can be Russell Wilson's long-term replacement. But they aren't going to hand him the starting job. They want to re-sign Geno Smith to compete with Lock and could further add in April's draft -- though probably not with a first-round pick. Baker Mayfield is available, but the Seahawks don't want to take on his $19 million salary. That's a prohibitive cost for someone who would be competing for the QB job. Besides, they have to set aside a good chunk of their remaining cap space to extend DK Metcalf's rookie contract, which will be pricey. -- Brady Henderson

27. Jacksonville Jaguars

Way-too-early ranking: 32

Next offseason move:Add another pass-rusher

The Jaguars didn't add a pass-rusher in free agency, so it has to be a priority in the draft. Josh Allen had his best season as a rookie (10.5 sacks in 2019) when he was playing with Calais Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue. But since then, he has 10 sacks in the 24 games. Whether it's Aidan Hutchinson or Kayvon Thibodeaux at No. 1 overall or another rusher in the second or third round, the Jaguars have to get Allen some help. -- Michael DiRocco

28. Carolina Panthers

Way-too-early ranking: 29

Next offseason move:Find a franchise quarterback

This really hasn't changed since the offseason began. The Panthers made a run at trading for Deshaun Watson, but the Browns acquired him. With a weak group of free-agent quarterbacks, the focus should be on drafting a quarterback -- whether it's Liberty's Malik Willis, Pittsburgh's Kenny Pickett or Ole Miss' Matt Corral. If Carolina is convinced any of them can be a long-term solution, then take a QB with the No. 6 pick and continue to build with a young player at a low cap number. Left tackle remains a concern, but the top two likely will be gone by the time the Panthers pick. -- David Newton

29. Atlanta Falcons

Way-too-early ranking: 24

Next offseason move:Delineate a long-term plan

With Matt Ryan now in Indianapolis and Atlanta paying $62 million in dead money for 2022, almost everything the Falcons need to do has to be with a longer-term plan in mind. With the money they have left for this season, they need to figure out everything in more of a two-year window -- including whether or not they pursue a quarterback in this draft or not. There are also bigger questions at receiver and pass-rusher, where massive holes remain. -- Michael Rothstein

30. New York Jets

Way-too-early ranking: 28

Next offseason move:Add an edge rusher

Robert Saleh's defense can't function without a strong pass rush and needs another threat on the edge. Carl Lawson will return from an Achilles injury, but that's not enough. The Jets signed Jacob Martin in free agency, but he is just a rotational piece. They flirted with Chandler Jones,but nothing came of it. Their last hope is the draft, so look for an edge player with the fourth or 10th overall pick. The names to watch are Travon Walker, Jermaine Johnson II and Kayvon Thibodeaux. -- Rich Cimini

31. Detroit Lions

Way-too-early ranking: 30

Next offseason move:Draft a receiver

Yes, the Lions did address their deep-threat need in free agency by signing Pro Bowler DJ Chark Jr. to complement Josh Reynolds and Amon-Ra St. Brown, but they're still taking a risk in projecting that Chark can actually thrive in that role. Detroit should still consider grabbing another strong receiver high in the draft, as it has three picks in the top 34. Lions receivers coach Antwaan Randle El enjoyed a successful NFL career as a player and is itching to develop a young prospect, much like he did with St. Brown, who was a fourth-round selection in 2021. -- Eric Woodyard

32. Houston Texans

Way-too-early ranking: 31

Next offseason move:Find a running back

The Texans signed Rex Burkhead to an extension at the end of last season and added Dare Ogunbowale in free agency, but they're in need of an impact back -- which is something they haven't had in several seasons. The Texans' best bet now looks to be adding to their backfield in the draft, although Houston has so many needs on its roster that it's hard to pick just one spot to prioritize. -- Sarah Barshop

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