NFL Power Rankings: Where Every Team Stands After the 2024 Draft

Sizing up all 32 teams now that we know which rookies will be added to the mix. And, oh yeah, the Bears, Commanders, Patriots, Falcons, Vikings and Broncos have their quarterbacks.
Worthy gives the Chiefs more speed on offense, something they've needed since trading Tyreek Hill to the Dolphins.
Worthy gives the Chiefs more speed on offense, something they've needed since trading Tyreek Hill to the Dolphins. / Sara Diggins / USA TODAY NETWORK

This was the most difficult set of power rankings I’ve done since taking over the franchise at Sports Illustrated. I think post-NFL draft is the toughest time of year because we are blinded by expectations and are flying high on the magnanimous language used throughout the process by experts and scouts and coaches who lead us to believe that every single one of these players are going to immediately improve the prospects of their franchise when the reality is always more complicated. About half of these players aren’t going to make a tangible impact on the NFL, which is harsh but true. We just don’t know which half. And, some teams are going to have an entire class of contributors, while some teams will not have any.

So, this explains your inevitable outrage. There are going to be teams that made the playoffs who are not in the top 14. There are going to be other teams in the top 10 who, you feel, probably don’t belong. It’s guesswork, sure, but it’s also betting on established coach-and-quarterback combinations, then supplementing those bets with initial thoughts on the draft class which, again, we ultimately have no idea about.

With that in mind, here goes nothing. Love it? Hate it? Let’s talk.

1. Kansas City Chiefs

It’s funny how the conversation has shifted from the Chiefs staving off some kind of decline to a sort of inevitability that they will reach a third consecutive Super Bowl. Despite picking late each year, general manager Brett Veach has done a great job of finding quality starters, be it DE George Karlaftis from a few years back, or WR Xavier Worthy this year. The Chiefs have now sidled up next to the Miami Dolphins in terms of best linear speed wide receiver tandems in the NFL. And OT Kingsley Suamataia could most certainly develop into a quality starter with time and seasoning.

2. Detroit Lions

The Lions had an issue with their secondary heading into the draft, then hammered the position like a piece of old drywall. Terrion Arnold and Ennis Rakestraw Jr. are both rangy, physical cornerbacks who can parse through complicated offensive sets with bunched wide receivers. While the learning curve for a defensive back is steep in the NFL, we’ve also seen some pleasant surprises. Even if Detroit hits on 50% of its cornerback haul, the team has become all the more dangerous.

3. San Francisco 49ers

When Kyle Shanahan drafts a wide receiver, we should take note. This is no different than when Andy Reid takes a quarterback, or the Eagles take an offensive lineman (for the most part). Shanahan is clearly not infallible, but Ricky Pearsall gives me some strong Cooper Kupp vibes and I think he can help diversify San Francisco’s offense, which Shanahan has desperately needed to do. I also wonder, how come we keep letting the 49ers get great man-cover corners who are super aggressive such as Renardo Green?

4. Baltimore Ravens

I actually liked Rakestraw for Baltimore, but Nate Wiggins’s speed is a necessity at this point for any team. The Ravens also got a bump-inside tackle in the second round which helped them alleviate some departures at guard. Baltimore always finds useful contributors during the draft process, and I wonder if it’ll fare better in the later rounds simply because its process is strong.

5. Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals begin a run of teams that did not make the playoffs last year but have to be considered top 10 this year. I loved the pick of OT Amarius Mims, who I thought for certain was destined to become a Pittsburgh Steeler. This takes them out of having to start Trent Brown on the right side this year, and potentially end up using Brown as a swing tackle who could be more useful in different, bigger formations. Also, the selection of DT Kris Jenkins Jr. does not replace D.J. Reader, but it gives the Bengals some heft up front, which is necessary in the AFC North.

6. Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Cooper DeJean
DeJean was one of the better value selections in the NFL draft. / Lily Smith/The Register / USA TODAY

The Eagles and Lions were both clinical in addressing their needs in the secondary, with Cooper DeJean being, potentially, one of the better value selections in the whole draft. While I do like the big swing at edge rusher in the third round (Jalyx Hunt), my only question mark is how the Eagles are planning to supplement for the future losses on the offensive line and, really, throughout their defensive front seven with a few stalwarts nearing retirement age.

7. Buffalo Bills

WR Keon Coleman and S Cole Bishop were selections of need. My friend, Tyler Dunne, over at Go Long changed my mind on the Coleman pick. While I thought it was foolish for the Bills to invite Kansas City to the top of the draft to select a wide receiver, he saw it as a bit of a “come and get it” declaration, a message that the Chiefs don’t scare the Bills in particular and that they’ll treat them like any other team. This is a good year to see how Sean McDermott can refresh his coaching chops and get his staff to hit the ground running. The Bills are getting younger, but don’t want to spend time not winning the AFC East.

8. Los Angeles Rams

The Rams made a first-round pick! While I’m biased because L.A. just kept continually selecting some of my favorite players in this draft, I thought the Rams were as good as any team in the NFL in Rounds 1–3. And based on how GM Les Snead has found contributors during his streak of no first-round picks, there are high hopes for DE Jared Verse, DT Braden Fiske and RB Blake Corum. Corum in particular is scary to me. Sean McVay with another heady back and another year developing this newly tooled run game could be dangerous.

9. Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers are changing their offensive profile drastically. While OT Joe Alt won’t be an elite right tackle on Day 1, the Chargers will be tougher and more physical than they ever were during the Tom Telesco era. This was a point of emphasis for Jim Harbaugh. Justin Herbert will have a highly dependable and bruising running game, kind of like the one Brandon Staley preached at the outset of his arrival but never got. Ladd McConkey folds into this profile as well, and will be a physically imposing receiver despite his initial size and appearance.

10. New York Jets

This is an Aaron Rodgers-quarterbacked team, and I know that many of you view the Jets as perpetually superfluous. But I think if everyone remains healthy, this team is going to be seriously good. OT Olu Fashanu didn’t change my mind all that much. Hopefully he can be developed and eased into a starting role, or Morgan Moses can play guard until someone is pressed into playing one position out of necessity. I liked that the Jets invested in physical backs and receivers who can help alleviate the backfield pressure on Rodgers. When offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett and Rodgers were at their best together, Rodgers had a stable of dependable backs and receivers who would break tackles off quick catches.

11. Houston Texans

Notre Dame OT Blake Fisher stands out as the Texans’ top selection, which gives them a major amount of positional versatility on the offensive line and should provide more of an ability for Houston to bring along its running game and protect C.J. Stroud, which is the ultimate goal moving forward. Adding CB Kamari Lassiter as a potential starting corner with their first pick isn’t shabby, either.

12. Cleveland Browns

The Browns have built, without question, the best defensive line in the NFL on paper. Michael Hall Jr. is a stylistic complement to the rest of the Browns’ front, and should provide DC Jim Schwartz with some real ammunition. Questions about playmakers are valid, though the Browns are far higher on the hidden developments of Deshaun Watson that we don’t see (even when he’s playing) than the rest of us. Perhaps that is informing their decision to ride heavily on Nick Chubb and Amari Cooper in 2024.

13. Pittsburgh Steelers 

Pittsburgh Steelers left tackle Troy Fautanu
Fautanu should help solidify the Steelers' offensive line in front of Russell Wilson. / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers continue to remake themselves wholly, which, I would guess, invigorates the tenured Mike Tomlin as he reaches a point in his career where many wondered if he’d be better off coaching elsewhere. Starting a new left tackle and center in the same season can be terrifying, but when that center is draft favorite Zach Frazier, along with the sturdy Troy Fautanu, I like my chances. This may be the offseason to finally buy big on running backs Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren.

14. Indianapolis Colts

From a pure value perspective, it’s fair to wonder if GM Chris Ballard and the Colts didn’t have the best pure draft of any team. WR Adonai Mitchell and edge Laiatu Latu have incredible upside, and while there is something about each of them—be it personal or medical—that scared other teams off, a good organization can embrace anyone and everyone. If the ceiling on both of these players hits, watch out.

15. Green Bay Packers

The Packers crushed this draft and took my favorite tackle, Jordan Morgan, out of Arizona. I think Morgan has tremendous potential and fits ideally in the kind of offense head coach Matt LaFleur is trying to build. I know there were coaches in the same system on other teams who also coveted Morgan. Nestled at the bottom of the draft was quarterback Michael Pratt out of Tulane, who I think could be an NFL contributor at some point. Now that he’s in Green Bay, we’ve all but assured Pratt will develop into a capable NFL passer at some point.

16. Jacksonville Jaguars

Jacksonville disappointed me a bit, although I don’t know what the team’s private pre-draft evaluation of Brian Thomas Jr. looked like. Getting a top target for Trevor Lawrence has obviously been their goal for three consecutive offseasons, which made it seem like a move up to the top 10 for either Harrison, Nabers or Odunze would have made the most sense (it would seem like Atlanta was willing to move down, given the pick). Instead, they let WR4 come to them, which, again, may end up working out given what they thought of Thomas. I like the selection of a placekicker (Cam Little) deep in the draft in hopes of developing one. The back end of this year’s talent pool was poor, and so kicker becomes a value spot if you get the pick right.

17. Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota Vikings edge Dallas Turner
The Vikings traded up six spots to land Turner in the first round. / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

I think I will be the most wrong about the Vikings out of any team. I came out fairly strongly against the J.J. McCarthy pick, which is a foolish stance given how good Kevin O’ Connell is at tutoring the quarterback position and the fact that McCarthy has two elite wide receivers and a great tight end. If Kwesi Adofo-Mensah hits on McCarthy and Dallas Turner, we could be looking at another GM with offensive and defensive rookies of the year potential. For the record, I hated Houston’s draft a year ago, too, so Adofo-Mensah is in good company.

18. Dallas Cowboys

All in? Not quite. Jerry Jones is trying to run off the fumes of the gasoline tank as he tightens his belt in preparation for CeeDee Lamb and Micah Parsons paydays. The Cowboys will end up being like a Las Vegas act, which draws due to some name recognition and branding power but is ultimately a fairly hollow experience. Their first-round pick, OT Tyler Guyton, will be a great player. Does he help the Cowboys reach championship level this year? I don’t think so. This may seem like a rough placement of Dallas, but the team lost Dan Quinn, is forcing Dak Prescott (it seems) to play on a one-year deal, has saber rattled about this being a prove-it year, and has not provided any additional resources. Maybe I’m wrong, but this doesn’t seem like the healthiest situation.

19. Chicago Bears

The Bears hit this draft with the entire barrel. Pairing QB Caleb Williams and WR Rome Odunze was a dream scenario I did not see possible when I did my mock draft last week. Yale OT Kiran Amegadjie is a sneaky mauler who I think will contribute down the road and has the determination to make the difficult leap from the Ivy League to the NFL.

20. New York Giants

The Giants had no business drafting a quarterback with Drake Maye off the board and I maintain that they’ll have more success with either Daniel Jones or Drew Lock and WR Malik Nabers than they would with a combination of Michael Penix Jr., Bo Nix or McCarthy and no weapon. Additionally, their focus on friendly mid-range targets for Jones—and in building the core of the defense—shows a smart approach to the long term.

21. New Orleans Saints

I liked this draft for New Orleans because it very much fit the style of new OC Klint Kubiak. The Saints invested in athletic tackle Taliese Fuaga in the first round, and a vertical threat wide receiver in the fifth (Bub Means), giving Kubiak some of the very basic pieces necessary to run the scheme popularized by both his father, Gary, and his former boss, Kyle Shanahan.

22. Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons still find themselves nestled in this middle tier because they didn’t exactly get better with the selection of Michael Penix Jr. —at least not yet. Penix is a long-term play, but the Falcons did also pound the edge (Bralen Trice) and defensive tackle positions (Brandon Dorlus and Zion Logue) in the following rounds, giving new head coach Raheem Morris some pieces to experiment with. This was an absolute necessity given the age and health of his front seven.

23. Seattle Seahawks 

Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Byron Murphy II
Murphy gives the Seahawks an explosive run defender. / Ricardo B. Brazziell/American-Statesman

This may seem too low for the Seahawks, and there are a couple teams on this list that, I’ll admit, I have no idea where to put them. Seattle, Dallas and Miami are all playoff contenders or fringe contenders from a year ago that I feel have not gotten significantly better this offseason. That said, feeding new head coach Mike Macdonald an explosive run defender (Byron Murphy II) and a tackle machine at off-ball linebacker (Tyrice Knight) is a good foundation for the season ahead.

24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Getting an athletic center (Graham Barton) helps put together a profile of offensive players that will be well suited for OC Liam Cohen to bring some Rams flavor to Tampa Bay. That was an important part of Tampa Bay’s offseason needs list, and center is typically a high success rate pick which makes sense if there’s a glaring hole in the lineup. I also appreciate GM Jason Licht’s continued insistence on not ignoring reality at the wide receiver position (Jalen McMillan), setting the foundation for a future not so far off in the distance.

25. Miami Dolphins  

I know I’m going to get waxed for this, and I’m prepared to accept it. However, if Rodgers stays healthy for an entire season, it’s difficult for me to not anticipate another team in the AFC East getting knocked off their block a little bit. Miami is looking at Tua Tagovailoa in a contract year, Tyreek Hill now at 30 years old and an explosive running game as their forward-facing weapons. Mike McDaniel is a genius and a true people person, but I don't know if personnel decisions outside of the Hill trade have done him any favors. Can they get immediate production out of edge Chop Robinson and develop a large-wingspan tackle over the course of an offseason? The latter is more likely given that McDaniel is working with offensive line guru Butch Barry. We’ll see.

26. Washington Commanders

The Commanders could be this year’s Texans. QB Jayden Daniels was thought of in high regard and has a ton of experience. Washington was also methodical in the way it worked the early to middle rounds, with a tight end/H-back (Ben Sinnot) from “superback” powerhouse Kansas State who can diversify the Commanders offense, and another defensive tackle (Jer’Zhan “Johnny” Newton) to beef up an already impressive defensive line.

27. Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals may not make the playoffs in 2024, but they are going to wallop some teams who don’t come prepared. I loved this draft, especially the way they bookended the first four picks with offensive playmakers (WR Marvin Harrison Jr. and RB Trey Benson) and, in the middle, handed Jonathan Gannon some versatile defensive pieces such as versatile edge Darius Robinson and Max Melton, who will provide value both in the slot and when working outside.

28. Denver Broncos

A team can do the right thing in the draft but still drop in the power rankings, if that makes sense. The Broncos are going to possibly start QB Bo Nix, which I think is great and the right course of action. But Sean Payton is starting over for the first time in a long time. There are going to be some hiccups, especially in a division that continues to get better and a slate of teams that can rush the passer well.

29. Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders, like the Broncos, made the right pick. The issue is that a lot of other teams seemed to have gotten much better. TE Brock Bowers is going to create a lot of difficult moments for defensive coordinators and OT Jackson Powers-Johnson feels like a 10-year investment in the second round. However, Las Vegas was boxed out at quarterback and, also like Denver, we wonder if the team can swim in a difficult division full of opponents that will light up the scoreboard.


30. Tennessee Titans 

Tennessee Titans offensive tackle JC Latham
Latham was the favorite offensive tackle in the draft for some teams. / Gary Cosby Jr. / USA TODAY NETWORK

This feels a little unfair to the Titans, but they’re another team I have no idea where to put. On paper, investing in Calvin Ridley, Tony Pollard and new first-round offensive tackle JC Latham makes Tennessee a candidate for immediate improvement, but we’ve also seen these kinds of splashy, high-priced investments fail to yield much. Latham was the favorite offensive tackle for some, and giving Jeffrey Simmons a space-eating nose tackle to work off shows that GM Ran Carthon is willing to help his elite playmakers.

31. New England Patriots

I hope I’m wrong, but the Patriots will struggle this year. On draft night, I wondered if it wasn’t a better option to get the QB later and use the trade equity to build up the roster. Still, if you are in love with Drake Maye, you have to take him. Getting him a receiver (Ja’Lynn Polk) who stands out in 50-50 ball situations is a nice bonus as well.

32. Carolina Panthers

The Panthers begin this season where they ended the last. I liked Carolina’s draft and its continued insistence on making life easier for Bryce Young. The selection of a few high-character, aggressive offensive players (WR Xavier Legette and RB Jonathon Brooks) shows a desire for the Panthers to punch back throughout games this year. Young is still going to have to shoulder a huge burden, but that burden got significantly lighter through free agency and the draft.

John Pluym


John Pluym is the managing editor for NFL and golf content at Sports Illustrated. A sports history buff, he previously spent 10 years at ESPN overseeing NFL coverage. John has won several awards throughout his career, including from the Society of News Design and Associated Press Sports Editors. As a native Minnesotan, he enjoys spending time on his boat and playing golf.