ESPN.com's NFL pre-draft Power Rankings
2012 Power Rankings: Pre-Draft
So much has happened since we last convened.
Eli Manning led the Giants to a stirring victory in Super Bowl XLVI. Big brother Peyton now plays for the Broncos. Tim Tebow's a Jet. The Saints received unprecedented penalties for operating a bounty program.
Those are just the headlines.
With action like that, and with the first wave of free agency in the books, it was a no-brainer to get the team (ESPN.com's John Clayton, ESPN.com's Ashley Fox, AFC South blogger Paul Kuharsky, NFC West blogger Mike Sando and AFC East blogger James Walker) back together for a special edition of our Power Rankings.
Not surprisingly, the champion Giants vaulted from No. 9 in our previous installment to the top spot. The Saints, also not surprisingly, tied with Oakland for the biggest tumble. New Orleans fell nine spots to No. 11.
|The Giants have lost significant pieces from their Super Bowl team and won only nine regular-season games in 2011, but they are the defending champs. They will be the team to beat. (Fox)|
|Adding deep-threat receiver Brandon Lloyd could give the Patriots the NFL's most versatile passing attack. (Walker)|
|Yet another quiet offseason for Ted Thompson as the Pack await help in the draft. (Clayton)|
|All 11 defensive starters return from last season, with Aldon Smith expected to crack the lineup after 14-sack rookie season. (Sando)|
|QB Joe Flacco's strong finish in the playoffs gives the Ravens hope they can get over the championship hump. (Walker)|
|Have lost a great deal: Mario Williams, Eric Winston, DeMeco Ryans and Mike Brisiel. (Kuharsky)|
|The Lions have spent their free-agency period re-signing key free agents. (Clayton)|
|If healthy, Peyton Manning should lift all of the Broncos' boats. We've already got them as tops in the division and they'll still be adding pieces around him. (Kuharsky)|
|The salary cap crashed hard on the Steelers. But you can never count out this consistent franchise. (Walker)|
|The Jay Cutler-Brandon Marshall combo will be hard for defenses to stop. (Clayton)|
|Saints fell nine spots in rankings from last season, tied with Oakland for the biggest drop of any team. (Sando)|
|The Eagles finally have a quality middle linebacker in DeMeco Ryans, whom they stole from Houston. And they have a happy DeSean Jackson. (Fox)|
|Falcons have to like their chances with the Saints reeling from sanctions levied in the bounty scandal. (Sando)|
|The Cowboys have filled some holes through free agency, but they have more work to do. Atop the list: finding another pass-rusher. (Fox)|
|They did a nice job recovering from Vincent Jackson's departure. But the head coach is still the same and until Norv Turner breaks through with the Chargers, a lot of people are going to presume he cannot. (Kuharsky)|
|Added one veteran to both lines, but still need more help. (Kuharsky)|
|Getting healthy will make a big difference for the Chiefs, who are under new leadership with Romeo Crennel. But is that enough to make up ground in the AFC West? (Kuharsky)|
|Can Cam Newton shatter expectations for a second season in a row? (Sando)|
|The Bengals haven't had back-to-back winning seasons in 30 years. But young guns Andy Dalton and A.J. Green aim to end the streak. (Walker)|
|Tim Tebow-mania invades the Big Apple. But will Tebow help the Jets win games or cause a distraction? (Walker)|
|Cardinals still hoping to win their bet on Kevin Kolb, but John Skelton will compete for the starting job. (Sando)|
|Matt Flynn's acquisition in free agency gives the Seahawks fresh hope at quarterback for the first time in years. (Sando)|
|The Bills are not done making improvements, but DE Mario Williams was a huge step in the right direction. (Walker)|
|Buccaneers jumped five spots in our rankings from last season after moving aggressively in free agency. (Sando)|
|By trading for the No. 2 pick in the draft, the Redskins and Mike Shanahan will finally have a legitimate quarterback around which to build. (Fox)|
|A new GM and a new coach are overseeing a roster that's been dented by a lot of salary-cap cuts. Carson Palmer's a question mark as they try to get it together. (Kuharsky)|
|The defense is near championship caliber. The offense is an entirely different story. (Kuharsky)|
|This once-promising team has been gutted by the front office. (Walker)|
|Jeff Fisher, Dave McGinnis and Chuck Cecil fill the void left by defensive coordinator Gregg Williams' indefinite suspension. (Sando)|
|The Browns can't run, throw or catch on offense. Other than that, they're fine. (Walker)|
|The Vikings officially are in rebuilding mode. (Clayton)|
|Indianapolis could draft first again in 2013. Matt Barkley could bring a nice trade package. (Kuharsky)|
1:00 PM ET Indianapolis Cincinnati 1:00 PM ET Atlanta Green Bay 1:00 PM ET Cleveland New England 1:00 PM ET Oakland New York 1:00 PM ET Detroit Philadelphia 1:00 PM ET Miami Pittsburgh 1:00 PM ET Buffalo Tampa Bay 1:00 PM ET Kansas City Washington 1:00 PM ET Minnesota Baltimore 4:05 PM ET Tennessee Denver 4:25 PM ET St. Louis Arizona 4:25 PM ET New York San Diego 4:25 PM ET Seattle San Francisco 8:30 PM ET Carolina New Orleans