- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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ESPN.com’s post-draft NFL Power Rankings are here!
This is the first chance to get a sense for what the national perception is of all 32 teams. With the NFL draft in the books and free agency all but over, there will not be a lot of opportunities to improve your roster after this point.
So where does ESPN.com’s experts rank the Dolphins in May? The answer may disappoint Miami fans.
Power Ranking: No. 24
AFC East rank: Third
Analysis: The Power Rankings panel does not have much respect for Miami. After finishing 8-8 last season and one game away from the playoffs, this ranking at No. 24 suggests the Dolphins are trending down, not up. Even one panelist, ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert, voted the Dolphins at No. 30. Ouch! Miami believes it’s a team on the cusp of the playoffs and just needed a few pieces. Players such as left tackle Branden Albert, running back Knowshon Moreno and first-round pick Ja'Wuan James are expected to fill major weaknesses. But it's clear ESPN.com’s panel believes other teams improved as well, particularly in the AFC East. The New England Patriots are No. 4 in the Power Rankings and the New York Jets are No. 21, three spots ahead of the Dolphins. Even the Buffalo Bills (No. 27) made significant moves to improve this offseason. Every team is in "win now" mode in the AFC East, which should make for a competitive division. The Dolphins must win this season under third-year head coach Joe Philbin. Another third-place finish in the AFC East won't cut it.