NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks sit above Super Bowl champs

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Positional breakdowns

You think there's been enough NFL news lately? Maybe enough to, oh, review and re-order 32 clubs all trying to build a team to reach Super Bowl 50?

The transactions, signings, retirements, extensions and visits must have your head spinning. Well, unless you've been catching up on "The Knick" or getting back into "Carcassonne" with your local gamer group. For everyone else, the offseason has been on, giving us more to sift through than any year in recent memory.

Of course, most people pay attention to new faces in new places. The Mark Ingram-re-signing-with-his-old-team stuff barely gets covered, but everyone is all over Sam Bradford getting traded to Philadelphia. It's a little odd, considering the difference in production for those respective players last year, but you get the point. Fans want to know how the new guys will get their team closer to where New England sat in February.

Speaking of, one of the biggest stories in this BREAKING NEWS bonanza was Darrelle Revis signing with the Jets. But does that mean Todd Bowles' group instantly becomes a threat in the AFC East? I don't think so, as you will see below. That said, your take on Gang Green, the world champion Patriots or any other team is welcome. @HarrisonNFL is the place. I tried not to overreact to anything that's transpired. Well, I'm freaking out over the California water supply. But other than that ... we'll see what you think.

Let the dissension commence!

RANK

1

SEAHAWKS

Seattle is the new/old No. 1. The Jimmy Graham trade certainly put this team a few nautical miles north of interesting. Now the pass rush could be bolstered if John Schneider can land Greg Hardy -- unless the Cowboys snag him first. Heck, Michael Bennett and Hardy would be quite the duo, and Bennett could teach him how to jump offsides as efficiently as he does -- unless, of course, Bennett ends up heading elsewhere. (UPDATE: Hardy agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the Cowboys on Wednesday.) Meanwhile, the biggest move the Seahawks made -- and why they are at the top of these rankings -- was keeping Marshawn Lynch in house. He is truly a difference-maker, a modern-day John Riggins. Between him and Graham, who do you defend from the 1-yard line? Ricardo Lockette, of course.

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2

PATRIOTS

Yes, despite winning the Super Bowl, the Patriots were leapfrogged by the very team they vanquished. To those of you who didn't pass Stats II, I'll explain that these Power Rankings represent a complex equation. Super Bowl-winning team - Darrelle Revis = 2. Losing Vince Wilfork hurts, as well. Ditto Shane Vereen. If I were the New England front office, I would've given Tramon Williams a long look. Bolster that secondary and play the kind of bubble defense that can keep you in games next season. I did like the Scott Chandler add, by the way. He makes up for Revis' exit.

Not really.

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3

PACKERS

While other teams are out there making their big splashes in the free agency pool, there sits Ted Thompson, reclining in his lawn chair, wearing Oakleys with the string wrapped around his neck, reading the 98th book James Patterson's written since 2004. Personally, I like that the Green Bay general manager tends to retain his own rather than going after tons of big-name players. Sure, there have been some smaller signings here and there by the Packers over the years, but Thompson's draft well-retain well strategy never gets old. By the way, with the money Bryan Bulaga is making now, he can afford those expensive Settlers of Catan expansion packs. They're pricey and you have to own the main game to play them. That's so unfair. #gamercomplaints

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4

COLTS

Man, if they were getting the 2009 versions of their free-agent signees, the Colts would be going 15-1. Of course, even if they aren't exactly in their prime, Frank Gore, Andre Johnson and Trent Cole should all help the team immensely. Let's make sure they have warm sweaters -- and pay no mind if they nap on the sideline. Actually, I'm all for signing older vets if they fill needs. The key here will be whether or not these guys can give GM Ryan Grigson full ROI, as in, a complete slate of games. That's the key with an older team. Gore will rush for around 800 yards and five touchdowns this year, which should be enough.

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5

CARDINALS

You did not read this wrong; the Cardinals are No. 5. Sure, they lost Dan Williams, Darnell Dockett, Larry Foote (as a player, anyway) and Antonio Cromartie. But they'll also be returning, like, nine key guys that they were without last year at one time or another. Oh, and they signed the best offensive lineman on the market. With GM Steve Keim and head coach Bruce Arians locked up, happy and working in tandem, this team isn't going anywhere.

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6

COWBOYS

DeMarco Murray's departure hurt, no doubt. But don't think for a second that Joseph Randle -- depending on what happens with the investigation of a recent off-the-field incident -- or Lance Dunbar or whoever they draft can't be productive behind the best line in football. Oh, and Darren McFadden should be productive, as well -- at least during the eight games he's healthy enough to play in. Alright, that wasn't fair ... McFadden wasn't hurt last year. He just wasn't good (534 yards, two touchdowns in 16 games).

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7

STEELERS

As long as the Steelers have Ben Roethlisberger, they'll be in contention. Apparently, that is precisely how management feels, too. Meanwhile, though Pittsburgh has suffered some losses on defense, you have to be excited about the development at the skill positions. I'm predicting 1,000 yards for Martavis Bryant. I am also predicting that Le'Veon Bell has a better year than DeMarco Murray. And finally, I'm predicting the Browns blurb won't be coming any time soon in these rankings, so keep reading (for awhile, really), AFC North followers.

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8

BRONCOS

Peyton Manning is back, baby! Wait ... why is no one excited?

Really, who's talking about the Broncos right now? Julius Thomas and Terrance Knighton will certainly be missed. Wonder if diehard Denver fans feel worse about the latter's defection than the stud tight end going to Jacksonville. (Thoughts? @HarrisonNFL.) Either way, I still like the Gary Kubiak hiring and what the Broncos can do on the ground. Expecting a lot of two-tight end looks with Virgil Green and Owen Daniels.

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9

CHIEFS

The Chiefs are nipping at the Broncos' heels in the AFC West after adding Jeremy Maclin and Ben Grubbs. Now, we've certainly heard all the wisecracks about whether Maclin will catch a touchdown, and how no wideout in Kansas City reached the end zone last year. Not to worry; we won't exhaust that joke. No, I think Maclin's 80-1,178-0 stat line will make him a truly valuable draft pick in fantasy. As far as the real draft goes, I have the Chiefs taking a safety or wideout at 18th overall. Maybe an ILB in the early rounds, as well.

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10

LIONS

Tough to rate the Lions. Wondering how their fans feel? You can't expect a team to lose a player like Ndamukong Suh and not have its supporters stomp their feet on something. It's frustrating. Nick Fairley going to the Rams didn't make it better. There is the newly acquired Haloti Ngata to ease matters. Yet, as big a force as he's been, Ngata is 31. I like Detroit to pick up another DT or a corner early in the draft. And I've noticed fans are less sad about the departure of Reggie Bush than they are about losing Suh. Shocking.

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11

EAGLES

Chip Kelly sure has been in the news a heckuva lot of late. Unreal how that roster has been made over in short order -- and the work continues. DeMarco Murray and Sam Bradford generated plenty of buzz, but one wonders how much the Green Bays, Dallases and Seattles of the world are quaking in their cleats about the prospect of facing Jordan Matthews and Riley Cooper at wideout. And with Evan Mathis on the block and Todd Herremans gone, will there be continuity up front? Will it be better than it was early last year, when the deck was reshuffled several times due to injury?

While everyone gets excited about Murray, and while Ryan Mathews takes his eighth tour of the facility, maybe we should focus on the defensive moves (which I think were stronger).

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12

BENGALS

If re-signing Rey Maualuga and Clint Boling are the kinds of offseason moves that get you fired up, the Cincinnati Bengals are the team for you. Boy, that Marvin Lewis was right about his organization being aggressive in free agency. It's, uh, really been ... something. Did you hear Cincy signed A.J. Hawk? Oh, and the Bengals are paying a guy who got four sacks last year $20 million over the next four years. There's your $40 million of cap space at work.

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13

RAVENS

Baltimore, despite being a quality playoff team that darn near knocked off the Patriots, is at 13. Why? Well, who's going to play on the defensive line? Who's even rotating in on the defensive line? The front seven lost several quality players this offseason. The offense lost Torrey Smith. How healthy is Dennis Pitta? These are tough questions.

You have to love Justin Forsett being re-signed, though. He merely asked for a team to "go" with him. He was tired of being stuck in the friend zone. You see, kids, this is why you don't take someone's -- I mean, a team's -- phone calls right after breaking up with them. Send it to voicemail. Make 'em wonder. OK, um, on to the Texans ...

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14

TEXANS

Hard to gauge how fans feel about the Andre Johnson departure. Though he was one of the best players since Y2K, I didn't really hear the outrage over the Texans' top all-time player not continuing his illustrious career with the team. Still, I like the club not only re-signing Ryan Mallett but also taking a flier on Brian Hoyer. Getting Rahim Moore, Vince Wilfork and Cecil Shorts in free agency was nice, too. Besides, it's not like Houston let Johnson go to a division rival or anything.

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15

PANTHERS

For the record, I think Carolina wins the NFC South this season. Not only did the Panthers become the first team in the history of the division (which was born out of realignment in 2002) to finish first back-to-back, now they will become the first to three-peat. All they need is a WR2, an RB2, O-line help, a DE and an SS. I would like an SS, as well. Give me a '68, blue with white stripes, man.

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16

CHARGERS

It should be mostly business as usual for the Chargers this season. Sure, fans will miss Ryan Mathews for the five games he might have played. And Nick Hardwick, Jarret Johnson and (if he goes elsewhere) Dwight Freeney are guys you would have liked to have around the young players in the locker room. That said, it will be nice to have Danny Woodhead back healthy. Oh, and add some offensive line help in the draft.

On a completely random note: We had a good debate in the NFL.com back offices (where Watergate happened) about whether you would rather have Philip Rivers or Russell Wilson to win one game tomorrow, no supporting cast included, everything else being equal. Thoughts?

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17

BILLS

It's hard not to be fired up for Bills football in 2015. Love the LeSean McCoy acquisition. Love re-signing Jerry Hughes. How about adding a true fullback in Jerome Felton, too? Yep, Rex Ryan is fired up. That is, following the good six-hour cry he had after hearing Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie signed with the Jets. That must be like your ex-fiancée deciding she wants to get married after you cancelled a $100,000 wedding. Not that I know anyone like that.

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18

DOLPHINS

The addition of Ndamukong Suh makes this team interesting. But how contender-ish are the Dolphins, really? They still need help at linebacker and in the secondary. Not that relinquishing Dannell Ellerbe and Philip Wheeler -- who signed on with the Dolphins as free agents just two years ago -- was a bad thing. On average, Wheeler was making over $5 million per year; Ellerbe was even more expensive than that. For all that money, Miami got less than 50 tackles, no sacks, and no interceptions out of Wheeler and Ellerbe last season. So you figure the draft can at least replace that level of production. But is Kenny Stills a WR2? Is Lamar Miller an RB1? Lots of questions, and not too much money left to throw at them. This is an important draft for this organization.

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19

VIKINGS

So the Vikings lost out on the Michael Johnson sweepstakes -- which means they won't be able to pay $5 million per year for a guy who makes a million dollars per sack. I think they'll be OK. The real deal is this: What's happening with Adrian Peterson? He's either really upset with the team, or he's screaming softly that he wants to have an opportunity in Dallas. Regardless, Minnesota would be smart to sign Stevan Ridley. He's a good back, someone they could team with Jerick McKinnon.

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20

RAMS

Either GM Les Snead will be getting rid of one of the Rams' defensive linemen, or they're about to have the most fearsome defensive front since, well, the Fearsome Foursome of Rams lore. Chris Long, Robert Quinn, Aaron Donald, Michael Brockers, Nick Fairley ... come on. The team might as well move back to Los Angeles, if only to make travel easier for NFC West rivals San Francisco and Arizona, who would surely be able to use the shorter flight after Reggie Bush and Carlos Hyde average 1 yard per carry for the Niners and Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer gets faceplanted 15 times in their respective visits. Still waiting to see what this offense can do, however.

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21

FALCONS

Still love the Dan Quinn hire. Don't love where the pass rush is coming from. Adrian Clayborn? Jerry Hughes -- the second-best 4-3 pass rusher on the market -- stayed with the Bills, while Michael Johnson -- probably a (very) distant third in that category -- signed with the Bengals. So Atlanta is either relying on the draft or hasn't completely ruled out Greg Hardy -- or maybe a trade is in the cards. Of course, D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported earlier this month that the Falcons' front office isn't interested in Hardy. We'll see. (UPDATE: The Cowboys agreed to terms with Hardy on a one-year deal Wednesday.)

On another note, I bet Falcons fans are really going to miss Harry Douglas, even if he wasn't the best wideout on the team.

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22

SAINTS

The video of the little girl getting darn near vitriolic, then sad, then mad, then fighting back tears over the trade of Jimmy Graham was the best entry in the "child getting worked up over the NFL" genre since this masterpiece. But she shouldn't be upset; what the Saints are doing makes a lot of sense. The top priority for the organization was to re-sign running back Mark Ingram. Done. We should point out New Orleans ranked sixth in the NFL in rushing in 2009, the season the Saints won the Super Bowl.

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23

49ERS

Imagine becoming a full-time, bona fide NFL head coach for the first time, and then in your first month on the job, watching your roster slowly come apart. Patrick Willis is done. Justin Smith is likely to follow him out the door. Frank Gore is gone. One of the best guards in football ( Mike Iupati) is gone. Both starting corners from last year have peaced out. And now Chris Borland retires. Although, in his case, I applaud the courage it takes to quit something you love, and to have the confidence to pursue something else. No matter what, Jim Tomsula is fielding a weaker team today than Jim Harbaugh did in December. That's why it is so important that the Torrey Smith and Darnell Dockett signings, as well as the 2015 draft, work out for the franchise.

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24

GIANTS

Mentioned this at the NFL Network studios the other day, but why not the Giants in the NFC East in 2015? What if Dallas has trouble running the ball with DeMarco Murray gone and Run DMC giving them, like, seven games? What if the Sam Bradford experiment fails miserably for the Eagles? Just saying. No matter what transpires in pro football's big-name division, Big Blue has to get a safety and some help on both lines.

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25

BEARS

Bears fans are all over the map about their team right now. Some wanted Jay Cutler to be released. Others aren't happy about Brandon Marshall being traded away. Some are fine with the latter being gone, while some are resigned to (or incredulous about) the fact that Chicago has no choice but to ride out the Cutler train. Through all of this, the free agency moves made by young GM Ryan Pace have been pretty solid. Pernell McPhee will help the transition to a 3-4. Eddie Royal provides the club with a clutch slot receiver. And, perhaps most importantly, Antrel Rolle gives the organization something that is tough to test for at the NFL Scouting Combine: leadership in the locker room. Think the Bears could've used a touch of that last year.

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26

JETS

The Jets have accomplished something this offseason that didn't look possible three months ago: getting people excited about the product. Sure, it's all potential at this point. But won't it be nice to go into the season with a feeling of, "Hey, these guys don't suck!"? Owner Woody Johnson deserves credit for hiring GM Mike Maccagnan, and for signing off on the monster Darrelle Revis-related accounting hit. Maccagnan deserves credit for the Brandon Marshall trade, among other moves. And new head coach Todd Bowles deserves a heap of credit for making guys want to play for Gang Green -- as well as for getting the Curmudgeony McCurmudgeonson fan base fired up for 2015.

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27

REDSKINS

Piece by piece, the Redskins are attempting to fix some ills, particularly in the front seven. They acquired Stephen Paea and Terrance Knighton -- younger free agents than Jason Hatcher, who didn't pan out last year. The oft-disappointing Brian Orakpo is gone. Meanwhile, Chris Culliver should make the secondary look better -- or make the much-maligned starting quarterback look worse in practice. That wouldn't be good.

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28

JAGUARS

Evidently, GM David Caldwell isn't playing around. The Jaguars signed tight end Julius Thomas and defensive tackle Jared Odrick, and they made a run at DeMarco Murray. Now, if they can get a pass rusher -- nearly all of our NFL.com draft experts have the Jags taking Dante Fowler, Jr., who had 8.5 sacks at Florida last season -- then this team is in bidness. One other thing not on the radar of most fans: The young wideouts in Jacksonville. If they take a step forward, look out.

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29

BROWNS

Josh McCown lines up at center, looking at Brian Hartline and Taylor Gabriel outside. Andrew Hawkins is ready in the slot. Tight end? Gary Barnidge, babe. And none of them could start for several teams in the league. No one needs to get the first round right more than the Browns -- not if mostly laying out is their free agency M.O.

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30

BUCCANEERS

As everyone fumbles over what the Buccaneers are going to do with the first overall pick in the draft, or whether Chip Kelly is going to make them an unbelievable offer for some college quarterback he says he doesn't have interest in trading up to get, call me whimsical ... I'm daydreaming about a Tampa team that is strong on the offensive and defensive lines. Becoming that -- as much as acquiring a quarterback -- is the highway to relevance in the NFC South.

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31

TITANS

While all of you were out there playing "Axis & Allies," those little Tennessee Titans made some sneaky acquisitions in the free-agent marketplace, adding Perrish Cox and Brian Orakpo and re-signing Derrick Morgan. Here's hoping they can trade down from the second overall spot and acquire several more players for Ken Whisenhunt's roster.

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32

RAIDERS

Kudos to the Raiders for not overpaying to get DeMarco Murray, especially considering the fact that Latavius Murray is younger, has tons of upside and should get the opportunity to be the lead horse. Of course, no matter what, Oakland is going to have to spend money on somebody. Per the collective bargaining agreement, teams must spend at least 89 percent of the salary cap from 2013 to '16 in cash. My buddy Jason La Canfora laid out Oakland's predicament beautifully last week. Trading for guys with bad contracts is the way to go, because coming up with guaranteed money for big-name free agents next year will be tough. Put another way, why couldn't a guy like Brandon Marshall have been a Raider?

Follow Elliot Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonNFL.

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