Pre-NFL Draft NFC Division rankings

by | Apr 13, 2020 | General | 0 comments

Unlike the AFC, the NFC is filled with Super Bowl contenders or real good teams that can make their mark in the playoffs. It’s a conference loaded with good teams and talent around, so let’s take a look at where the each divisions stand before the NFL Draft in a few weeks.

NFC South

  1. New Orleans Saints
  2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  3. Atlanta Falcons
  4. Carolina Panthers
This division got a whole lot more interesting with the arrival of Tom Brady to the Buccaneers after two decades in New England. The Saints are still the favorites in this division, but Tampa is right behind them. The Bucs are a team that went 7-9 despite their previous quarterback, Jameis Winston, throwing 30 interceptions. This division will come down to these two teams with two Hall of Fame quarterbacks. That is must-see TV. The Falcons are going to have to put it together with Matt Ryan, who is still playing like a top-10 quarterback, soon, especially on their defense. Ryan still has weapons on offense, but it’s the defense that will need to step up if Atlanta wants to get to the playoffs again. The Panthers are in rebuild with new head coach Matt Rhule, and they hop Teddy Bridgewater carries over his momentum from New Orleans at quarterback. With Luke Kuechly retired, leadership in the middle of the defense is missing.

NFC North

  1. Green Bay Packers
  2. Minnesota Vikings
  3. Chicago Bears
  4. Detroit Lions
The Packers are back on top of this division after a 13-3 campaign with rookie head coach Matt LaFleur. With a good defense, a solid running game and of course, Aaron Rodgers, the Packers are back to being the cream of the crop in the NFC North. The Vikings are right behind them, but Kirk Cousins is going to have to prove he can beat out Rodgers for this division after winning his first playoff over game over Drew Brees and the Saints. The Bears are the most interesting team in this division. After a great 12-4 2018 season, Chicago went 8-8 in 2019, but that was despite their quarterback play from Mitch Trubisky. The Bears might’ve been a playoff team in 2019 if Trubisky played like his 2018 form. If Nick Foles can prove himself as a starting quarterback in this league for good, the Bears will be back in the playoffs. The Lions have the number three overall pick in this year’s draft and seem like they can go in any direction. The team gets Matthew Stafford back from injury, but the question remains how long will the Lions continue to go with Stafford at the helm after 11 years of zero playoff wins? To go with that, Detroit needs to figure out if Matt Patricia truly is their head coach moving forward. There is so many questions in Detroit, and it might take a few offseasons to figure them out.

NFC East

  1. Dallas Cowboys
  2. Philadelphia Eagles
  3. New York Giants
  4. Washington Redskins
This was division was too close to call, but I’m buying in yet again on the Dallas Cowboys as the best in the East. While they let the division slip through their grasp last year to Philadelphia, the Cowboys brought in Mike McCarthy as their new head coach. The teams also brought back wide receiver Amari Cooper and they signed kicker Greg Zurlein. With Dak Prescott and McCarthy entering big years, Dallas is in a big prove it year. The Eagles made a tremendous run to the playoffs last year and that is a testament to their quarterback Carson Wentz and head coach Doug Pederson. Questions on the Eagles regard their defense, especially their secondary, running game, and the injuries of Wentz. You also must wonder if Alshon Jeffery will be on another team in 2020. The Giants and Redskins seasons come down to their second-year quarterbacks Daniel Jones and Dwayne Haskins, respectively. Jones showed the most promise for the Giants and played at a good level, while Haskins struggled for Washington.

NFC West

  1. San Francisco 49ers
  2. Seattle Seahawks
  3. St. Louis Rams
  4. Arizona Cardinals
We now get to the toughest and best division in all the NFL. A division that has featured two of their teams in the last two Super Bowls and in all seven teams participate in Super Bowls over the last 15 years. The 49ers are as talented as any team in the league and were minutes away from getting their sixth Super Bowl championship until Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs put on an impressive comeback. Due to how complete they are, the 49ers are still the best team in this division, but the Seattle Seahawks make their road tougher. Seattle, on paper, isn’t as talented as the 49ers but quarterback Russell Wilson makes all the difference. There aren’t many quarterbacks who can really take a team to the playoffs with a lack of talent around them, but Wilson is the exception. If the Seahawks can get their defense back to where it once was, Seattle can win this division. To be honest, this was tough to choose who was next in this division between the Rams and Cardinals. Two years ago, that seemed incredible to even consider, but here we are. Two franchises facing opposite directions and one of them was in the Super Bowl just recently. The Rams have so many questions and have almost changed their roster. Brandin Cooks, Rodger Saffold, and Todd Gurley either left in free agency, were released, or traded. They traded Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib and didn’t get much out of Jalen Ramsey, who they traded two first-round picks for. Meanwhile, the Cardinals are only going to get better under Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray and they have the 8th overall pick in this years draft. They need help on the offensive line and the defense, but they gave Murray possibly the best wide receiver in the NFL in DeAndre Hopkins in a trade with the Houston Texans. I think the Rams are still better than Arizona right now, but it’s close.
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