Dustin Baker’s 2024 NFL Power Rankings | Post-Draft

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The NFL regular season begins in four months — like to the day, September 5th. The frontrunners to win the chip next February are familiar names, including the Kansas City Chiefs, San Francisco 49ers, and Baltimore Ravens.

The league’s pecking order — or folks’ perceptions of it — will fluctuate during the summer. That’s the nature of the beast.

Dustin Baker’s 2024 NFL Power Rankings | Post-Draft

But one week removed from the 2024 NFL Draft, these are current power rankings. Teams are ranked from worst to first.

Please note: The principal criteria for any team ahead of another is “Would Team X defeat Team Y on a neutral field?”

32. New England Patriots

Draft
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The Patriots probably should’ve listened to trade offers from the New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings to fill out their roster holes while possibly drafting J.J. McCarthy at pick No. 6 or No. 11. But nope — they’ll roll into 2024 with all those roster holes and hope Drake Maye succeeds with a puny weapon stable and suspect offensive line. Him or Jacoby Brissett.

31. Carolina Panthers

Carolina may be much higher on lists like these by midseason or so, but that all depends on Bryce Young’s development. If it’s “more of the same,” the Panthers will bottom-feed this season.

30. Denver Broncos

A three-way quarterback competition between Bo Nix, Jarrett Stidham, and Bo Nix doesn’t sound ideal. But hey, maybe Sean Payon can make it work.

29. Las Vegas Raiders

Las Vegas was scrappy and hungry down the stretch of 2023, and its defense will perform well in 2024, almost no matter what. However, trusting Garner Minshew and Aidan O’Connell with the QB1 baton is currently the most meh quarterback solution in the sport.

28. New York Giants

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Brian Daboll will be on the hot seat in 2024 — if he isn’t already — so he’ll hope Malik Nabers and Devin Singletary do the trick as playmaker additions.

27. Tennessee Titans

We still don’t understand why Mike Vrabel got fired. Out of befuddlement, the Titans remain in the NFL’s bottom-six bowl.

26. Chicago Bears

If Caleb Williams plays like C.J. Stroud from 2023, the Bears can rocket into the Top 10 or 12 in power rankings. But, you know, Williams has to actually play that well first. Matt Eberflus, like Daboll above, is another coach on the hot seat.

25. Washington Commanders

Washington, almost secretly, had a fantastic draft and also conducted a productive free agency. We’ll trust Dan Quinn to turn that thing around quickly in the nation’s capital.

24. Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) is introduced before playing against the San Francisco 49ers at State Farm Stadium in Glendale on Dec. 17, 2023. © Michael Chow/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK.

The Cardinals lived near the cellar of everyone’s 2023 power rankings, but when Kyler Murray returned last season, they weren’t half bad. Arizona will finish between 6-11 and 10-7 this year.

23. New Orleans Saints

New Orleans will soon understand that Derek Carr isn’t the savior — probably after a 7-10 or 8-9 season — and try Spencer Rattler on for size or a rookie from next year. Their defense is a Top 8 or Top 10 gang, though.

22. Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota is prepared for a transformational season, eyeing a 7-10 or 8-9 campaign if Sam Darnold starts the entire time. The NFC North is simply too brutal after being rather lousy in 2022, for example. There’s always a chance that Darnold scripts a Baker Mayfield story from 2023, but those are best-case scenarios.

21. Seattle Seahawks

The offensive and defensive personnel are quite marvelous for Seattle, but how far can Geno Smith take them? Let’s be realistic. Sam Howell could get a look by the time 2024 is all said and done.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers

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With Russell Wilson and Justin Fields running things, we know for certain that the Steelers can finish no worse than 9-8. Ergo, they’ll finish 9-8, and that’ll be that. Like the NFC North, the AFC North is brutally competitive.

19. Jacksonville Jaguars

What a year on tap for Trevor Lawrence. He will decide if he’s a Top 12 passer or a Sam Bradford type who never fully launched. Doug Pederson will get the best from this group, likely in the neighborhood of 9-8.

18. Indianapolis Colts

Anthony Richardson is the keymaster here, and if his health is intact, the Colts can contend for the AFC North as early as now. The rest of the rost is spiffy, and Garnder Minshew’s Colts from 2023 proved as such.

17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

We’re not counting out the Buccaneers again; we won’t make that mistake twice. Tampa Bay, on paper, should not be significantly worse than last year. They live right in the middle of the league per power rankings.

16. Atlanta Falcons

Bijan Robinson Slyly
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Kirk Cousins will unlock the Falcons’ offense, and Atlanta can win the NFC South. But Cousins’ new team doesn’t have the juice on defense to tunnel deep into the NFC playoff picture.

15. Los Angeles Chargers

We trust Jim Harbaugh to make the Chargers relevant again, even if the playmaking corps is kind of a joke. Hopefully you’re picking Kimani Vidal in your rookie Dynasty drafts.

14. Los Angeles Rams

Down the stretch of Matthew Stafford’s career, the Rams have a couple more hurrahs, and in 2024, their offense and defense have the talent to finish around 10-7.

13. Cleveland Browns

Cleveland’s defense was the stuff of dreams in 2023, so much so that it hoodwinked the national media into believing Joe Flacco was a stud. Negatory — that was the Browns’ defensive group carrying the enterprise. Browns fans hope Deshaun Watson will finally return to 2019-2020 form this season, but the only problem is that was about five years ago.

12. Miami Dolphins

CB with Familiarity
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Miami will do the same thing every until it gets scrappier and meaner: produce a decent regular season, get folks’ hopes up, and crumble on the road in the postseason. Yet, in the regular season, it’s got the offensive firepower to finish 10-7 or 11-6.

11. New York Jets

The Jets truly were “a quarterback away” from everything last season; it was criminal that Aaron Rodgers fell out of the picture so swiftly. Now, we wait to see if Rodgers plays like Rodgers — or a soon-to-be 41-year-old man.

10. Dallas Cowboys

We all know how the Cowboys’ next chapter will end. They’ll perform well in the regular season and lose before the NFC Championship. It’s a tradition. The team is still quite formidable, however.

9. Green Bay Packers

Green Bay was supposed to encounter a transformational year in 2023 but reached the postseason Divisional Round instead. Accordingly, it’s a Top 10 squad heading into 2024.

8. Philadelphia Eagles

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Philadelphia totally disintegrated down the stretch of 2023, and all eyes will be on them to determine if the slump is longstanding. No matter how one dices it, though, the Eagles’ roster is quite remarkable.

7. Buffalo Bills

Josh Allen and friends will start the post-Diggs era in September with pass-catchers like Keon Coleman, Khalil Shakur, Curtis Samuel, and Dalton Kincaid. Is that enough?

6. Detroit Lions

Dan Campbell said it himself after the mind-numbing collapse to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship. It will never be as easy as 2023 because the Lions now have a target on their backs. That doesn’t mean they’ll struggle, though. They just won’t fly under the radar anymore, nor is Detroit an underdog story.

5. Cincinnati Bengals

We all know how this story will go. The Bengals will start about 2-3 or so and then turn on the jets in October through January. Cincinnati should at least reach Round 2 of the postseason this year. They’re that good.

4. Houston Texans

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Houston is every team’s blueprint for completing a rebuild in no time. Get the right head coach, draft the game-ready quarterback, and spend the free-agent piggybank. The Texans are a bit like the Lions in that they have a target on them, but C.J. Stroud is a more talented quarterback than Jared Goff.

3. Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore severely disappointed everyone but Missourians in the AFC Championship, but it will be hungry to rebound in 2024. Lamar Jackson probably has about three seasons to get it right and win a chip before his body shows signs of extreme wear and tear like Cam Newton in 2016 and 2017.

2. Kansas City Chiefs

The world champions only place at No. 2 because it’s a foregone conclusion that they’ll coast through the regular season. They did so in 2023, and it somehow worked. Why change a good thing? The Chiefs will finish 12-5 or so, look pedestrian at times, and press the turbo button in January.

1. San Francisco 49ers

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San Francisco 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw returns an interception back for a touchdown against the Detroit Lions on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, at Ford Field. © Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK.

The 49ers are a finely tuned machine that just needs someone competent to throw the ball. One of these years, they’ll face a non-Mahomes team in the Super Bowl and bring home a title. They probably have a silent countdown that aligns with Christian McCaffrey’s internal clock to win the big one.


Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.

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