Is it too early for power rankings?
No, we here at TST firmly believe that it's never too early for power rankings! And CBS Sportsline has obliged our thirst to be ranked and graded with their post-draft post free agent rankings from their in-house power ranking specialist, Pete Prisco.
Going down the list...mm hmm, ok...yep, agree with that one...
#13 Arizona Cardinals!?!? "Best team in the NFC West" what!?!? Has this guy spent the offseason sniffing glue and watching dog fights at Michael Vick's house? Here's what Prisco says:
The Cardinals do have some in-house talent with an offense led by Matt Leinart and a stellar receiving corps. Their free agent signings were less than noticeable, but should give them some depth with DEs Joe Tafoya and Rodney Bailey and CB Roderick Hood. Last season their defense allowed 349.4 YPG, 4th worst in the NFL, and 14 more YPG than the Rams often slighted defense. Teams passed for an average of 230.9 YPG and ran for an average of 118 YPG. Drafting Michigan DT Alan Branch should help those numbers as well, provided he removes the big question mark hanging over his head of just how quickly he can assimilate into the league and those ugly questions about his work ethic. The opportunities for late night parties in Vegas with Leinart and Paris Hilton won't help that.
On the other side of the ball they averaged 312 YPG, thanks in large part to the passing attack's 228 YPG. As anyone who drafted Edge James in their fantasy league will tell you, they need to improve the run, and adding Penn State OT Levi Brown should help the line all around.
Their best move, however, was dumping head coach Denny Green and bringing in former Steelers play caller Ken Whisenhunt. Calling them the best team in the NFC might be a little premature, but in all seriousness, they could prove to be a real spoiler this season and truly contend next season as their key offseason additions mature.
As for the Rams, Prisco puts them at #17 with the Seahawks at #15 and the Niners at #19. Rightfully so, questions about the Rams defense will linger until the season starts, but with a much more potent and well balanced offense and a defense that, on paper so far, looks to be improved, I suspect those rankings to shift with the Rams being, obviously, the TST pick for class of the division.