Here are my power rankings for Week 1 of the NFL season.
I thought it would be fun to have a theme for these first rankings of the season. Every September I inevitably start watching a football game and say “I had no idea ____ played for ____ now!” Guys who weren’t among the highest profile free-agent signings sometimes end up in places without you realizing it. Sometimes a player you wanted the Ravens to target after the first round of the draft didn’t go to Baltimore, so you just stopped paying attention to where they might be.
As such, I figured I’d try to help prepare you by looking over the rosters and letting you know the players you might not know played for each team.
1. Kansas City Chiefs (3-0 preseason record, No. 1 preseason ranking)
Veteran tight end Blake “The Belldozer” Bell is back. They snagged Oklahoma center Creed Humphrey late in the second of the draft and Baltimore native Joshua Kaindoh (Mount Carmel) in the fourth. Veteran running back Jerick McKinnon could be someone you snag off the waiver wire later in the season.
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-2, No. 2)
This one is actually quite tough because they brought back almost the entirety of the significant players on their Super Bowl roster. MAYBE you missed that Giovani Bernard signed there? Perhaps you tuned out of the draft after the Ravens made their second pick and forgot they took Joe Tryon? If you remember they were a Buc last year, they’re almost certainly a Buc again this year.
3. Buffalo Bills (3-0, No. 3)
Former No. 2 overall pick Mitchell Trubisky is now backing up Josh Allen. Former 49ers and Dolphins running back Matt Breida is now in the mix in their backfield. Veteran wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders is there and got absolutely no attention in the preseason. Carlos “Boogie” Basham, whom the Bills took in the second round this spring, was an edge rusher Ravens fans liked.
4. Green Bay Packers (0-3, No. 5)
Aaron Rodgers basically forced Randall Cobb back on the roster. Former “Last Chance U” star Chauncey Rivers made the roster after spending last year with the Ravens. Rookie receiver Amari Rodgers is the son of Ravens assistant Tee Martin. They’re going with former Bill Corey Bojorquez as their punter.
5. Tennessee Titans (2-1, No. 4)
Ravens long snapping legend Morgan Cox is continuing his career in Nashville. Perhaps you forgot that they added Steelers edge rusher Bud Dupree, Sam Ficken won their kicking job and did you know that veteran cornerback Jackrabbit Jenkins is there now, too? Also did you know that there was a Jackrabbit Jenkins? We will miss you, Janoris.
6. Seattle Seahawks (1-2, No. 7)
You might have been bummed to learn that the Seahawks signed Ravens training camp standout Nigel Warrior to their active roster. Plus, former Terps tight end Tyler Mabry was elevated to the active roster, and veteran cornerback Sidney Jones is back in the Pacific Northwest after playing collegiately at Washington.
7. Baltimore Ravens (3-0, No. 6)
If you skipped the preseason games, you’ll probably be surprised to learn that there’s someone named “Nick Moore” on the roster. He’s the long snapper replacing Cox. Other guys who some of you might not know if you haven’t been paying particularly close attention? Linebacker Kristian Welch, offensive lineman Trystan Colon, cornerback Chris Westry.
8. Los Angeles Chargers (1-2, No. 7)
After having Aaron Rodgers’ hands under his butt for the first eight years of his career, center Corey Linsley will be snapping to Justin Herbert. Veteran tight end Jared Cook is now in the mix as a weapon for Herbert. Rookie tight end Tre McKitty was a player a lot of Ravens fans liked coming out of Georgia. So was former Tennessee wide receiver Joshua Palmer.
9. Cleveland Browns (3-0, No. 10)
Former Terps offensive lineman Michael Dunn made their 53-man roster after making his NFL debut last year (following stints in both the XFL and AAF). Former Broncos Super Bowl champion defensive lineman Malik Jackson signed in Cleveland this offseason, and former first round pick Takkarist McKinley is giving it another shot with Cleveland this year. And maybe you forgot they signed John Johnson III, too?
10. Los Angeles Rams (0-3, No. 9)
Wide receiver DeSean Jackson will spend his 14th (!) NFL season catching balls from Matthew Stafford in Inglewood. And their rookie class includes both former Maryland running back Jake Funk as well as popular Louisville receiver Tutu Atwell, whose freshman season was the year AFTER Lamar Jackson departed.
11. Arizona Cardinals (1-1, No. 11)
I’m guessing that at least someone has forgotten Bengals legend A.J. Green ended up here this offseason. Veteran offensive lineman Rodney Hudson will spend his 11th NFL season in Phoenix and kicker Matt Prater his 15th! And Colt McCoy will hold a clipboard for his 11th! Former Ravens practice squad receiver Antoine Wesley made the Cards’ roster and if that wasn’t enough, their rookie class includes former Purdue speedster Rondale Moore and Boys’ Latin alum Victor Dimukeje.
12. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-1, No. 12)
Newcomers on the offensive side of the ball include former first-round pick Dwayne Haskins, running back Kalen Ballage and rookie tight end Pat Freiermuth. Meanwhile, edge rusher Melvin Ingram will spend his 10th NFL season with the Steelers and linebacker Joe Schobert his sixth.
13. New England Patriots (3-0, No. 20)
You probably remember their huge offseason spending spree on tight ends Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith as well as receivers Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne and former Ravens edge rusher Matt Judon. You might have forgotten that it also included former Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills and the return of linebacker Kyle Van Noy. They also drafted Alabama defensive tackle Christian Barmore (a player many thought was a logical target for the Ravens) and Oklahoma running back Rhamondre Stevenson. Plus they recently acquired former Navy quarterback Malcolm Perry and traded for Ravens fifth-round pick Shaun Wade.
14. Washington Football Team (1-2, No. 18)
Their big offseason acquisitions were receivers Adam Humphries and Curtis Samuel as well as cornerback William Jackson. They also brought in one-time Ravens camp body DeAndre Carter, brought back veteran offensive lineman Ereck Flowers and brought in veteran tight end Ricky Seals-Jones. And their rookies include former North Carolina receiver Dyami Brown and former Buffalo running back Jaret Patterson (Pallotti).
15. Miami Dolphins (2-1, No. 13)
There’s a lot on this roster too. The Colts probably miss their former quarterback Jacoby Brissett, who will back up Taulia Tagovailoa’s older brother. Veteran safety Jason McCourty joined the Fish for his 13th season. Former Rams running back Malcolm Brown joined him. They acquired veteran offensive lineman Greg Mancz after he spent a few weeks in training camp with the Ravens. Their rookies include former Boston College tight end Hunter Long and former Notre Dame offensive tackle Liam Eichenberg.
16. Chicago Bears (2-1, No. 15)
This list is headlined by offensive tackle Jason Peters, who will spend his EIGHTEENTH NFL season in Chicago. Other veterans who have found their way to the Windy City include linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu, wide receivers Damiere Byrd and Marquise Goodwin, tight end Jesse James, linebacker Alec Ogletree and running back Damien Williams. Former Raven Breshad Perriman is in Chicago after things didn’t work out in Detroit and former Steelers cornerback Artie Burns will make his Bears debut after missing last year with a knee injury.
17. San Francisco 49ers (2-1, No. 17)
Newcomers in San Francisco include six-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman Alex Mack, outspoken cornerback Josh Norman, 10th-year receiver Mohamed Sanu and veteran defensive linemen Arden Key and Samson Ebukam. One-time Maryland defensive lineman Zach Kerr is in San Francisco now, too.
18. Dallas Cowboys (0-4, No. 19)
Here are some more guys! On the 2021 Cowboys roster you’ll find former Colts safety Malik Hooker, former Vikings and Lions safety Jayron Kearse, former Falcons safety Damontae Kazee, former Falcons linebacker Keanu Neal, former Panthers quarterback Will Grier, former Jets defensive end Tarell Basham and veteran punter Bryan Anger. Corey Clement might have been a nice addition for the Ravens with the injuries to J.K. Dobbins and Justice Hill. And speaking of the Ravens, former defensive lineman Brent Urban is in Dallas for his eighth NFL season and Maurice Canady will make his Cowboys debut after opting out last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
19. New Orleans Saints (1-1, No. 16)
Chris Hogan’s retirement from the NFL to play professional lacrosse didn’t last long, as he’s back and with the Saints. Trevor Siemian will be among Jameis Winston’s backups this year, as will rookie Ian Book out of Notre Dame.
20. Las Vegas Raiders (2-1, No. 20)
Yannick Ngakoue isn’t the only former Raven you’ll see when they open the season in Las Vegas. Willie Snead and Jermaine Eluemenor are there as well. Other veterans who have found their way to the desert include running back Peyton Barber, cornerback Casey Hayward, three-time All-Pro defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, former 49ers defensive tackle Soloman Thomas, 11th-year linebacker K.J. Wright and former Terps defensive lineman Quinton Jefferson.
21. Minnesota Vikings (0-3, No. 23)
Defensive end Everson Griffen returns to Minneapolis after spending the first decade of his career there. Defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson is back where he spent the 2018 season. Veteran wide receiver Dede Westbrook and cornerback Bashaud Breeland are in Minnesota now along with a new kicker (Greg Joseph) and punter (former Steeler Jordan Berry). And former Ravens defensive tackle Michael Pierce is set to make his Vikings debut after sitting out last year due to the pandemic.
22. Cincinnati Bengals (1-2, No. 22)
They made some splashes on defense you might have forgotten about, including edge rusher Trey Hendrickson after a monster season in New Orleans. Former Falcons safety Ricardo Allen is in Cincy now, too, and former Michigan running back Chris Evans could make an impact as a rookie.
23. Indianapolis Colts (3-0, No. 14)
Admittedly, there are far fewer of these players on the Colts roster. The only one that stands out is former Chiefs offensive tackle Eric Fisher.
24. Atlanta Falcons (0-3, No. 24)
The Falcons more than make up for the lack of these players on the Colts roster. Their newcomers include linebacker Brandon Copeland (Gilman), running back Wayne Gallman, safety Duron Harmon, tight end Lee Smith, former Cardinals first-round quarterback Josh Rosen and lethal return man Cordarrelle Patterson.
25. Philadelphia Eagles (0-2-1, No. 25)
Obviously, you know that former Raven Joe Flacco is there to back up Jalen Hurts, but perhaps you might have missed that they traded for Gardner Minshew as well? Plus four-time Pro Bowler Ryan Kerrigan is in Philly after a decade in D.C. Rookie Landon Dickerson was another interior O-line option a lot of Ravens fans were interested in.
26. Carolina Panthers (1-2, No. 30)
The Ravens wanted veteran running back Royce Freeman; the Panthers just beat them to him in the waiver order. Veteran edge rusher Haason Reddick and rookies Terrace Marshall Jr. and Tommy Tremble were all players Ravens fans had their eyes on this offseason. Other newcomers include tight end Dan Arnold and offensive linemen Cameron Erving and Pat Elflein.
27. New York Giants (0-3, No. 27)
Edge rusher Quincy Roche (New Town) made the team after being let go by the Steelers. Former Raven Ben Bredeson was traded to New York just a week ago. Veterans spending their first year with the G-Men include running back Devontae Booker, quarterback Mike Glennon and tight end Kyle Rudolph (after a decade in Minnesota). Rookies include edge rusher Azeez Ojulari (who many Ravens fans were interested in) and running back Gary Brightwell (St. Frances).
28. New York Jets (2-0-1, No. 28)
Veterans now with Gang Green include wide receiver Keelan Cole, running back Tevin Coleman (you PROBABLY knew that), safety Lamarcus Joyner, tight end Tyler Kroft, defensive lineman Shaq Lawson, offensive tackle Morgan Moses, defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins and quarterback Mike White. Plus, former Raven C.J. Mosley is finally set to return after missing all of last season and all but two games in 2019.
29. Denver Broncos (3-0, No. 29)
The Ravens might have elevated Nate McCrary after Justice Hill’s injury, BUT the Broncos had already claimed the running back off waivers. Offensive lineman Quinn Meinerz was the player seemingly everyone wanted in the NFL Draft, Ravens fans included. Baltimore native Kyle Fuller (Mount Saint Joseph) signed in Denver after making two Pro Bowls as a Bear. Veteran cornerback Ronald Darby and offensive tackle Bobby Massie are now there as well.
30. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2, No. 26)
Tavon Austin (Dunbar) found his newest NFL home in Jacksonville, where he’s joined by former Raven Jihad Ward. Their punter is Kaare Vedvik AKA “why Broderick Washington is a Raven.” Veteran running back Carlos Hyde is James Robinson’s primary backup, C.J. Beathard is helping back up Trevor Lawrence and former “Last Chance U” star Dakota Allen is there now, too.
31. Detroit Lions (0-3, No. 31)
Some of the new faces in Detroit include wide receivers Tyrell Williams and KhaDarel Hodge, running back Jamaal Williams, edge rusher Charles Harris and the return of tight end Darren Fells. And Ravens fans certainly seemed intrigued by rookie receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown.
32. Houston Texans (2-1, No. 32)
Tyrod Taylor and Mark Ingram weren’t the only former Ravens to find their way to Houston. Former second-round pick Terrance Brooks is now there as well. The complicated running back picture also includes Phillip Lindsay and Rex Burkhead. Other veterans now in Houston are wide receivers Chris Conley and Andre Roberts, offensive lineman Marcus Cannon and linebacker Christian Kirksey. And rookie receiver Nico Collins and tight end Brevin Jordan were players who interested Ravens fans.
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