The new ESPN pre-draft power rankings are out and guess who's on top of the world... the New York Giants.
The power ranking rulers (ESPN.com's John Clayton, ESPN.com's Ashley Fox, AFC South blogger Paul Kuharsky, NFC West blogger Mike Sando and AFC East blogger James Walker) voted for the defending Super Bowl champs as the top team, up from No. 9 in the previous installment.
Here's Ashley's argument for the Giants being first: "The Giants have lost significant pieces from their Super Bowl team and won only nine regular-season games in 2011, but they are the defending champs. They will be the team to beat."
My take is that the Giants do deserve to be the top team after winning the Super Bowl. And as Ashley points out, they have lost two valuable contributors to the Super Bowl run in Mario Manningham and Aaron Ross in free agency and likely will lose a few more in free agency.
While the main core of playmakers remain intact, the Giants will need some young, unproven players to step up. There will be a new third wide receiver, perhaps a new backup running back if Brandon Jacobs signs elsewhere, likely a new right tackle (David Diehl?) and Terrell Thomas will be returning from a torn ACL. Those are all question marks and on top of all that, the Giants' schedule is expected to be brutal again. It will be difficult repeating. We have to see how Jerry Reese tinkers with the roster (here's the updated list of Giants' free agents).
But for now, the Giants sit atop the throne. Here's the power rankings. Tell us what you think of the Giants being first and how you feel about the team going into their title defense below.