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Post-NFL draft power rankings

5/14/2014

On one hand, most observers believe the Oakland Raiders had a good, bordering-on-great, draft. Even ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. awarded the Raiders a B+ after their haul of eight players included the likes of linebacker Khalil Mack and quarterback Derek Carr and addressed needs with value.

So how does a successful draft, combined with Oakland’s strategy of signing successful-if-older free agents, jibe with our offseason power rankings?

Well, not how you’d think ... or necessarily like.

The Raiders actually fell one spot from the season-ending power rankings, checking in at No. 31 on Tuesday. Only the Cleveland Browns were lower as they fell four spots from February.

The comment on the Raiders’ placing: “Justin Tuck, Antonio Smith, LaMarr Woodley, now Khalil Mack. ... The pieces are in place to improve Oakland’s anemic pass rush. The defense could quietly be solid next year.”

The Houston Texans, who drafted Jadeveon Clowney first overall, improved from 32nd to 26th, the third-best improvement in the poll.

You can see the entire rankings here. But if you don’t believe in such things as grading drafts before said draftees have taken one NFL snap, then an offseason power ranking based on such a thing should not get your goat either, right?