Sports Illustrated’s lead NFL Draft expert Chris Burke has released his Preseason Power Rankings of all 32 teams — where do the Broncos sit?
“We can say with a degree of certainty that someone will start at quarterback for the Broncos,” Burke writes. “Mark Sanchez? Trevor Siemian? Paxton Lynch? John Elway, pulling himself out of retirement to one-up Peyton?”
Despite the QB uncertainty, the Broncos are fifth in the SI rankings.
That’s really not a bad place to start the year, and certainly better than Colin Cowherd’s prediction that the team would fall to 6-10 and miss the playoffs entirely.
The four teams to out-poll the Broncos are, in order from first to fourth, the Arizona Cardinals, Carolina Panthers, Pittsburgh Steelers, and the New England Patriots.
Burke concludes: “Winning the way Denver did last season, with its defense buoying a stagnant offense, makes for a difficult journey, but even with all o the uncertainty on offense, the Von Miller-led D is talented enough to pull it off again.”
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Among AFC West teams, the Broncos rank highest — with the Kansas City Chiefs following at number 8 on the list.
The much buzzed about Oakland Raiders are in at 11 and the lowly San Diego Chargers can be found all the way down at 28.
“Yes, this roster is stockpiled with talent, but much of it is young—even younger with future Hall of Famer Charles Woodson walking away,” Burke writes of the resurgent Raiders. “Jack Del Rio’s team plays three of its first four away from home, so the legitimacy of Oakland as a playoff contender will be revealed early.”
Take a look at the full list of all 32 teams. Do you agree with these initial power rankings? Sound off in the comments section below!