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Ranking the rosters of all 32 NFL teams

For the second year in a row, we are ranking the entire rosters of each team in the NFL for ESPN.

We got together PFF's analysts and ran through the data, composing a ranking that incorporated our grading as well as football evaluation for added context -- allowing us, for example, to reward teams that have an excellent quarterback situation but a relative hole along the defensive line when it came to run defense. We have collected the number of elite or high-quality players each team can count among its starters (for these purposes we gave each team a starting side of 12 on each side of the ball to reflect both base and nickel/third-down defense), and you will see those figures in the chart at the bottom of the page.

Here is our 1-32 ranking of every roster in the NFL. The team at the top remains the same from a year ago, but nearly every other franchise made moves up or down the list.


1. Seattle Seahawks

2014 Ranking: 1

Top five players: Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Marshawn Lynch, Jimmy Graham, Russell Wilson

Starters who should be upgraded: Lemuel Jeanpierre, J.R. Sweezy, Justin Britt, Tony McDaniel

Analysis: The best roster in football belongs to the Seahawks. The team, which was littered with injuries at the time, came up one play short of winning back-to-back Super Bowls, and that had more to do with a questionable play call and a fantastic defensive play than any sort of roster weakness.

The offensive line remains below average at best, but Wilson, Lynch and now Graham give the Seahawks weapons perfectly suited to make up for any blocking issues, especially when their read-option plays are added into the equation. Lynch broke 130 total tackles last season, including the playoffs, while no other back got near 100.

The Legion of Boom was very banged up by the end of that Super Bowl, but Sherman and Thomas remain elite talents, and there are quality players all over the defense. Even free-agent pickup Cary Williams, much maligned in Philadelphia, could have a pretty good year in a defense that puts better talent around him and supports his aggressive play. With the roster in this kind of shape, the Seahawks aren't going anywhere for a while.


2. Green Bay Packers

2014 Ranking: 8