Ranking the NFL's Best Teams at Every Position Group After Free Agency

With the NFL draft right around the corner, let's take a look at which teams boast the top talent at each position group.
Eagles star wideouts A.J. Brown (No. 11) and DeVonta Smith (No. 6) are among the top pass-catching duos in the NFL.
Eagles star wideouts A.J. Brown (No. 11) and DeVonta Smith (No. 6) are among the top pass-catching duos in the NFL. / Patrick Smith/GettyImages

With the football public waiting for the 2024 NFL draft, this seems like the right time to unleash rankings that will surely create debates on social media. 

We decided to list the best team at every position. For example, the Kansas City Chiefs can be penciled in at quarterback, like the free space on a bingo card, because they have Patrick Mahomes on their roster. The Chiefs also have Travis Kelce, but is that enough to say Kansas City has the best tight ends group in the NFL? There’s an AFC rival that might have a better case than the two-time Super Bowl champions. 

Now that we have annoyed Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills fans about the best quarterback argument (there’s really no argument), let’s stir the pot more by revealing the rest of the rankings for best team at every position. 

Quarterback: Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs have Mahomes. Enough said. But in case enough wasn't said, Mahomes just won the Super Bowl throwing many passes to Justin Watson, Skyy Moore, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Kadarius Toney. That alone should force the Hall of Fame to waive its five-year voting period when his career ends.

Detroit Lions running backs Jahmyr Gibbs and David Montgomery
Montgomery and Gibbs combined for 2,393 yards from scrimmage and 24 touchdowns last season. / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

Running back: Detroit Lions

After a slow start, the duo of David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs took off midway through the 2023 season to help the Lions advance to the NFC championship game. Once Gibbs found his footing as a rookie, offensive coordinator Ben Johnson opened up his playbook and found a rhythm for the two running backs to throw different looks at opposing defenses. 

Wide receiver: Philadelphia Eagles

This was tough. The Bengals, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings and Dallas Cowboys all have solid arguments. Even the Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers have cases. But ultimately, the combination of DeVonta Smith and A.J. Brown gets top billing, with each going over 1,000 receiving yards in 2022 and ‘23. 

Post-NFL Free Agency Power Rankings: Lions, Browns, Texans Closing in on Chiefs

Tight end: Baltimore Ravens

For the past few seasons, the Ravens have had the luxury of having Mark Andrews on the field, a reliable target and blocker for two-time MVP Lamar Jackson. But now they have two versatile tight ends after the emergence of Isaiah Likely, who stepped up for the injured Andrews last season. Once again, the Ravens showed why they’re one of the best teams at drafting players—Andrews was a 2018 third-round pick and Likely was selected as a ’22 fourth rounder. 

Offensive line: Detroit Lions

If Jason Kelce had returned to Philadelphia, the Eagles would have gotten another nod. But with Kelce in the rocking chair, the Lions take their place and earn their second positional group title. The tackles are elite with Taylor Decker and Penei Sewell, and while losing Jonah Jackson hurts at guard, the interior still boasts All-Pro center Frank Ragnow and veteran guard Graham Glasgow.

Defensive tackle: Washington Commanders

The interior duo of Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne has been the one constant presence for a franchise that has had plenty of turmoil in recent seasons. Allen has started all 101 games he’s played for Washington, with 39 career sacks and 111 QB hits. Payne has 92 career starts with 30 career sacks.  

Edge rushers: Philadelphia Eagles

If Bradley Chubb and Jaelen Phillips were slated to be healthy, the Dolphins might have won out. Instead, it's the Eagles, if only tenuously. Should Haason Reddick get traded, things change. But right now, it's Reddick joined by Josh Sweat and Bryce Huff, each of whom have enjoyed double-digit sack seasons. Great trio.

San Francisco 49ers linebackers Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw
Greenlaw and Warner have helped lead a 49ers defense that's allowed an average of 16.9 points per game over the past two seasons. / Michael Owens/GettyImages

Off-ball linebackers: San Francisco 49ers

This one wasn’t close, with the 49ers having Fred Warner on their side, but don’t overlook the playmaking machine Dre Greenlaw. Both elite linebackers can rush the passer, stop the run and are reliable in coverage, allowing the defensive line and secondary to play freely. Warner is regarded as the best off-ball linebacker in the game as a three-time first-team All-Pro selection. Greenlaw is vastly underrated on the national level and should have gotten a Pro Bowl selection by now. 

Cornerbacks: New York Jets

The Jets have arguably the league's best corner in Sauce Gardner, who through two seasons has established himself as a superstar. However, he has an underrated partner on the other side in D.J. Reed, who has become one of the better corners in football since coming over from the Seattle Seahawks in 2022.

Last season, Reed was a Pro Bowl snub while Gardner earned a first-team All-Pro nod for the second consecutive canpaign.

Safeties: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Buccaneers took the title of best safeties group after they placed the franchise tag on Antoine Winfield Jr., who was the best safety of 2023. He’s set to make about $17 million on the one-year tag, but the Buccaneers likely want to hammer out a long-term extension after Winfield’s prolific season, which included a first-team All-Pro selection. Tampa Bay got stronger at the position after reuniting with Jordan Whitehead, who started every game for the New York Jets the past two seasons. 

Kicker: Baltimore Ravens

The Cowboys and Chiefs can quibble with this based on the way Brandon Aubrey and Harrison Butler kicked in 2023, but Tucker will likely remain the standard here until he retires. Tucker is a five-time first-team All-Pro, and last year missed only six kicks between field goals and extra points. 

Punter: Las Vegas Raiders

AJ Cole has been one of the best punters in the NFL since landing with the Raiders as an undrafted free agent in 2019. He’s made the Pro Bowl three consecutive years and added his second first-team All-Pro selection last season. Cole has a sensational career average of 48.2 yards per punt attempt.

Nick Selbe


Nick Selbe is a programming editor who also provides MLB and college sports coverage for Sports Illustrated. Nick, who has written about the MLB postseason and All-Star Game for SI, previously worked for MLB Advanced Media, Yahoo Sports and Bleacher Report. He graduated from USC in 2014.