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Post-draft Power Rankings: Top 3 remain the same; Steelers move up

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Draftees who can help their teams climb (0:55)

Impact players such as Carolina's Christian McCaffrey and Tampa Bay's O.J. Howard have their teams' outlooks on the rise. (0:55)

Dan Graziano breaks down the latest release of the ESPN.com NFL Power Rankings, which were voted on by a group of ESPN's NFL experts.

Power Rankings? In May? Are we nuts?

Maybe, but what else do you want for NFL coverage in May? Game recaps?

The NFL draft is over, and teams are heading into the meat of their offseason programs. This feels like as good an opportunity as any to assess where they all rank in relation to each other. And be honest. You know you can't look away.

Check out our post-free agency Power Rankings here, and our post-Super Bowl Power Rankings here.

1. New England Patriots

2016 record: 14-2
Post-free agency ranking: No. 1

Unchanged at the top, where the champions of January and February also emerged as the champions of March and April. No months off! No months off! New England's aggressive trade and free-agency approach was that of a team determined to win as many Tom Brady titles as it can while it can.

2. Atlanta Falcons

2016 record: 11-5
Post-free agency ranking: No. 2

No truth to the rumor that the Falcons had a 25-spot lead with a day and a half to go and coughed it up. Too soon? Well, so was the Falcons' slow-down game plan in the second half of the Super Bowl. In all honesty, they should be fine, unless Kyle Shanahan's playcalling was the key to the whole thing.

3. Green Bay Packers

2016 record: 10-6
Post-free agency ranking: No. 3

They handed Aaron Rodgers a Martellus Bennett signing in March before spending their first four draft picks on the defense. Rodgers seems like a big-picture guy, so he probably understands that helping the defense helps him indirectly. And if he complains, Ted Thompson will just say, "Martellus Bennett though."

4. Pittsburgh Steelers

2016 record: 11-5
Post-free agency ranking: No. 5

The Steelers' biggest offseason addition might be a guy they already had. If Martavis Bryant can stay off suspension, the offense gets even more dynamic and next offseason's Ben Roethlisberger retirement hints become a little bit easier to handle.

5. Dallas Cowboys

2016 record: 13-3
Post-free agency ranking: No. 4

The Cowboys went 8-8 three years in a row from 2011 to 2013. Their win totals the past three years are 12, 4 and 13. That pattern doesn't bode well, but that offensive line travels, so I guess that keeps the Cowboys here. Nobody seems to care that no one in their secondary is finished with finals yet.

6. Seattle Seahawks

2016 record: 10-5-1
Post-free agency ranking: No. 6

Earl Thomas didn't retire. Richard Sherman didn't get traded. Russell Wilson has probably healed from all the injuries he suffered last season behind John Schneider's revolutionary four-man offensive line. So all that is good news. The bad is that the Seahawks didn't do much about the line. Again.

7. Oakland Raiders

2016 record: 12-4
Post-free agency ranking: No. 7

Jared Cook and Marshawn Lynch add some attitude to the offense. Derek Carr looks to build on his breakout season. The Raiders went 12-4 but washed out early in the playoffs because of Carr's ill-timed broken leg. So they're all-in for a title before they head off to Las Vegas in a couple of years.

8. Kansas City Chiefs

2016 record: 12-4
Post-free agency ranking: No. 8

How many times do you have to beat a team in a season before you can rank ahead of them in the following May's Power Rankings? Apparently, the answer is more than two. The Chiefs are so good that they traded this year's and next year's first-round picks for a quarterback who isn't going to play this coming season.

9. New York Giants

2016 record: 11-5
Post-free agency ranking: No. 9

The Giants brought back almost the exact same defense that dominated for them last season, which is good. They added Brandon Marshall and Evan Engram to the passing game, which is good. They didn't do much at running back or offensive line, which is potentially disastrous. But at least they know how to beat the Cowboys.

10. Denver Broncos

2016 record: 9-7
Post-free agency ranking: No. 10

How good a job is coach Vance Joseph walking into? The next-highest-ranked team that changed coaches this offseason is ranked 25th. If Garett Bolles can start right away at left tackle, that's good news for Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch, Trevon Synch, Paxtor Lymian ... whoever their quarterback ends up being.

11. Houston Texans

2016 record: 9-7
Post-free agency ranking: No. 13

Two of the quarterbacks the Texans considered -- Tony Romo and Jay Cutler -- took broadcasting jobs instead. They ended up with Deshaun Watson, and given Bill O'Brien's quarterback-shuffling proclivities, Watson is sure to start six or eight games this year -- just maybe not in a row.

12. Tennessee Titans

2016 record: 9-7
Post-free agency ranking: No. 14

Two AFC South teams in the top 12? Feels like a stretch, but the Titans sure did load up with new faces (Logan Ryan, Adoree' Jackson) in the secondary and a first-round wide receiver (Corey Davis) for quarterback Marcus Mariota. They were last season's surprise, which sometimes means you have to take a step back before moving forward again. But it's not as if they're in the AFC West.

13. Miami Dolphins

2016 record: 10-6
Post-free agency ranking: No. 15

Last season was big for the Dolphins, as first-year coach Adam Gase seemed to figure out how to minimize Ryan Tannehill's weaknesses. They added some important pieces at linebacker to solidify the defense. But it all comes down to the offensive line, and there has been some shuffling there. We'll see how it all comes together.

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2016 record: 9-7
Post-free agency ranking: No. 17

It was as if the Bucs and the Titans were having a contest to see who could gather more weapons for their third-year star quarterback. Jameis Winston picked up DeSean Jackson in free agency and O.J. Howard in the draft's first round. Not bad. What Mariota still has over Winston is someone to take his handoffs.

15. Detroit Lions

2016 record: 9-7
Post-free agency ranking: No. 12

The Lions trailed in the fourth quarter in eight of their nine wins last season. They went 9-7 and could easily have been 1-15. That's astounding, and it makes them impossible to predict in 2017. But they seem to have improved the defensive line, and first-rounder Jarrad Davis is a nice fit at linebacker. Put together a pass rush and you've got something here.

16. Baltimore Ravens

2016 record: 8-8
Post-free agency ranking: No. 11

Baltimore is another team that used its first four picks on defense. Which is fine, when you have to play the Steelers twice a season. But man, are they seeing something in this wide receiver corps that the rest of us aren't? Like, for instance, wide receivers?

17. Carolina Panthers

2016 record: 6-10
Post-free agency ranking: No. 18

With all due respect to Christian McCaffrey, Curtis Samuel and anybody else the Panthers added, the most important people in this Carolina offseason are the surgeons who worked on Cam Newton's shoulder last month. When and how effectively Cam can return is the only story here.

18. Arizona Cardinals

2016 record: 7-8-1
Post-free agency ranking: No. 16

We did this a year ago. The Cardinals were No. 5, and I ranted about how crazy it was that they weren't higher. I was ... wrong. So while I like what they did on defense with their first couple of picks, prove to me that quarterback Carson Palmer has something left before I buy in again, please.

19. Indianapolis Colts

2016 record: 8-8
Post-free agency ranking: No. 22

The Colts appear to have upgraded at general manager, and new guy Chris Ballard justifiably went defense heavy in the draft. Keeping Andrew Luck off the field a little bit more isn't a bad way to try to keep Andrew Luck safe.

20. Washington Redskins

2016 record: 8-7-1
Post-free agency ranking: No. 20

They went in a bit of a different direction at general manager, replacing Scot McCloughan with ... no one at all. Hard to call that an upgrade, but you do you, Dan Snyder. Jonathan Allen and Ryan Anderson look like a sweet couple of high draft picks, but the loss of DeSean Jackson is going to hurt this offense.

21. Minnesota Vikings

2016 record: 8-8
Post-free agency ranking: No. 19

The Vikings think they upgraded at offensive tackle, and I guess you could make the argument that they could have signed two recliners and not been any worse off there than they were last season. But Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers are in the prove-it zone, and the success of Latavius Murray and Dalvin Cook is tied to theirs.

22. Philadelphia Eagles

2016 record: 7-9
Post-free agency ranking: No. 21

Howie Roseman is still playing the long game with very young draft picks and one guy (Sidney Jones) who might not help until 2018. But the Eagles feel like they hit on Carson Wentz, and they got him Alshon Jeffery to help his second year along. So, there's nothing wrong with the long game. Fans just have to be patient. Is that a problem?

23. Cincinnati Bengals

2016 record: 6-9-1
Post-free agency ranking: No. 23

Really? Way down here at No. 23? I mean, I guess the offensive line is an issue minus Kevin Zeitler and Andrew Whitworth. But it's easy to forget that this team made the playoffs five years in a row before last season's crater, and the crater could well turn out to be an aberration.

24. New Orleans Saints

2016 record: 7-9
Post-free agency ranking: No. 24

No team treads water like the Saints. Did you know they've been 7-9 three years in a row and four of the past five? They're something like a non-team at this point, stuck here in Power Rankings purgatory without Brandin Cooks, without Malcolm Butler, without a pass rush and somehow with the husk of Adrian Peterson. And you wonder why coach Sean Payton seems to want out every year.

25. Los Angeles Chargers

2016 record: 5-11
Post-free agency ranking: No. 25

Every other team in the AFC West is in the top 10. None of their quarterbacks is as good as this team's is. Philip Rivers needs help, and the Chargers got him some with Mike Williams and a couple of guards in the first three rounds of the draft. This team blew a lot of fourth-quarter leads last season; hold half of them and this ranking is way too low.

26. Buffalo Bills

2016 record: 7-9
Post-free agency ranking: No. 26

New head coach run! Sean McDermott has consolidated power in a very short time. And he came out of the first two rounds with a new cornerback, a new wide receiver and one of the draft's top guards. Buffalo likes both of its lines, and if quarterback Tyrod Taylor is reliable, the Bills could surprise. One of these years, they'll surprise. Right?

27. Jacksonville Jaguars

2016 record: 3-13
Post-free agency ranking: No. 27

The annual kings of free agency try once again for that elusive six-win season. Was A.J. Bouye a one-year wonder or a cornerstone signing? Is Leonard Fournette this year's Ezekiel Elliott? Is Cam Robinson ready? Lots of questions in Jacksonville, where the answers always seem elusive.

28. Los Angeles Rams

2016 record: 4-12
Post-free agency ranking: No. 28

The Rams added 31-year-old head coach Sean McVay and 69-year-old defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. They got a blindside protector for Jared Goff in Andrew Whitworth, and they drafted a couple of guys for him to throw it to. The big questions, however, still revolve around Goff and whether the new coaching staff can advance him beyond where the old one did.

29. Chicago Bears

2016 record: 3-13
Post-free agency ranking: No. 29

Sign the Buccaneers' backup quarterback and trade a cartload of picks to move up to No. 2 and draft a quarterback? The Bears look like they're trying to replicate last year's Eagles quarterback moves, except with worse players. If Mitchell Trubisky is a franchise QB, the price won't have mattered. In similar news, if I pick the correct six lottery numbers, this will be my final column.

30. New York Jets

2016 record: 5-11
Post-free agency ranking: No. 30

Jamal Adams should be a great player. He is not, however, a quarterback. The Jets are forever the Jets, the rare team that finds itself (A) rebuilding and (B) with its coach and general manager somehow on the hot seat at the same time. Maybe owner Woody Johnson will bring some nice Tower of London souvenirs back.

31. San Francisco 49ers

2016 record: 2-14
Post-free agency ranking: No. 31

Sure, the 49ers fleeced the Bears in the draft and came up with top-10 players at picks 2 and 31. But they still don't have a quarterback. What coach Kyle Shanahan and GM John Lynch do have is time. With a pair of six-year contracts in hand, they know their quarterback could still be in high school.

32. Cleveland Browns

2016 record: 1-15
Post-free agency ranking: No. 32

When you can triple your previous season's win total and still have a good shot at the No. 1 overall pick, you're in a ... good spot? Not sure, but the Browns got three fun players in the first round of the draft and somehow kept Jamie Collins from leaving in free agency. I say give Brock Osweiler a shot, but they probably won't.