Packers' roster ranked surprisingly low

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Getting NFL scouts to agree on a player evaluation is hard enough. So imagine how difficult it must be to rank entire rosters.

But in an ESPN Insider pieceInsider, Pro Football Focus did just that.

And you might be surprised where the Green Bay Packers were ranked.

Despite being a perennial NFC and Super Bowl favorite, the Packers' roster came out merely eighth out of the 32 teams in PFF's ranking.

That seems a tad low, especially considering which teams ranked ahead of the Packers. It's one thing to be behind last year's NFC title game contestants, the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers. Those teams ranked first and second, respectively.

It's also understandable that the Denver Broncos and New Orleans Saints, who ranked third and fourth, respectively, might be ahead of the Packers.

Here's where the debate could begin. The Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots both came in ahead of the Packers.

And then came a big surprise: the Cincinnati Bengals -- a team that has not won a playoff game in nearly 25 years -- were ranked one spot ahead of the Packers.

Here's what PFF’s Sam Monson wrote about the Packers:

Having one of the league's best quarterbacks is always going to put a floor on your roster rankings, that's just how important the position is in today's NFL.

Aaron Rodgers was at his best last year when healthy, and if you extrapolate his performance over the full season, he would have been looking at topping 5,000 passing yards with 34 touchdowns and just 12 picks. James Jones may have left in free agency, but Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb are formidable receivers who return, and Jarrett Boykin impressed in limited opportunities this past season, forcing missed tackles at a higher rate than any other receiver after the catch.

The team yet again tried to address the pass rush opposite Clay Matthews, this time with a veteran in Julius Peppers, but it would take a turnaround in his performance to prove that decision wise. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix was the 19th-best player on Mel Kiper's Big Board, and the best safety available in the draft, and should add to a talented secondary.

PFF also rated each team's projected starters using a color-coded system similar to what many NFL scouts use. We will break down those ratings in a separate post coming soon.