Bills, Broncos highlight Cowherd’s post-draft Herd Hierarchy

NFL free agency, combined with the draft, shifted the trajectory for a number of teams, some of which were contenders from last season, and some of which are on the come-up.

But now that the draft is officially in the books, Colin Cowherd sat down and ranked his top 10 teams heading into the 2022-23 season. 

Herd Hierarchy: Colin’s Top 10 teams post NFL Draft, free agency

With the 2022 NFL Draft and free agency in the books, Colin Cowherd shares his top 10 squads heading into the 2022-23 season.

10. San Francisco 49ers
2021-22 record: 10-7, lost in NFC Championship 

Colin’s thoughts: “Out of the teams I considered, I think they have the best coach, the best offensive system, and it’s an offensive league. Can Trey Lance play? I think that he can. I’m betting on the culture, the coach, and the roster.”

9. Arizona Cardinals
2021-22 record: 11-6, lost in NFC Wild Card 

Colin’s thoughts: “Look at what they’ve done over the last couple of years in September, October, and November. Then, they added Hollywood Brown and the best tight end in the draft. … And don’t be worried about Deandre Hopkins. He’ll be fresh and ready to go by the end of the year.”

8. Las Vegas Raiders
2021 season: 10-7, lost AFC Wild Card 

Colin’s thoughts: “We know what’s around this league right now: You have to be able to score points. I got Derek Carr, Josh Jacobs, Darren Waller, Hunter Winfrow, and Davante Adams. Folks, there’s not much better than that in the league. That’s the best tight end, arguably the best slot receiver, and a top wide receiver on one team.”

7. Los Angeles Chargers
2021 season: 9-8, missed playoffs

Colin’s thoughts: The Chargers were the best team in the league that didn’t make the playoffs, and they strengthened the two areas their coach — a defensive coach — wanted to: ‘Get us a Jalen Ramsey, get us a big-time corner, and let’s improve our pass rush.'”

6. Cincinnati Bengals
2021 season: 10-7, lost in Super Bowl

Colin’s thoughts: “I like their defense. They had a playmaking defense with a pass rush. We all like Joe Burrow, and we all thought last year that he had elite weapons. Now Burrow’s getting another second to throw the ball with these young wide receivers. Also, we don’t know about the division. We don’t know who’s starting at quarterback for Pittsburgh, or for the opening month, Cleveland. Baltimore doesn’t have the wide receivers now after they lost Hollywood Brown.”

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2021 season: 13-4, lost in NFC Divisional Round

Colin’s thoughts: “I do think this is their last run, and this is Tom Brady’s last year. But in that division, they’ll probably go 6-0 in the division, they’ll be able to rest guys going into the playoffs healthy, and that’s why I have Tampa at No. 5.”

4. Kansas City Chiefs
2021 season: 12-5, lost in AFC Championship

Colin’s thoughts: “I love that they added JuJu Smith-Schuster, drafted Skyy Moore, and Ronald Jones at running back. I do think this has a chance to be one of the better defenses they’ve had, but listen: They’re in a tough division. I don’t think that hurts them, but it’s the reality of where they’re at. I think Kansas City is really good, but I don’t think they’re as good as the team right above them.”

3. Los Angeles Rams
2021 season: 12-5, won Super Bowl

Colin’s thoughts: “It’s a pretty low ego team in Los Angeles, Matt Stafford’s contract is extended, and the Rams are good where you have to be good: receiver, edge rush, cornerback, quarterback, and head coach.”

2. Denver Broncos
2021 season: 7-10, missed playoffs

Colin’s thoughts: “I think Denver is the most improved team in the league. I know you think I’m nuts. What they did to their defensive line, between D.J. Jones, Randy Gregory, and Nick Bonitto from Oklahoma — transformed their pass rush, which I thought needed a lot of work. I think Denver is loaded and inches better than the Rams.”

1. Buffalo Bills
2021 season: 11-6, lost in AFC Divisional Round

Colin’s thoughts: “There’s an argument to be made that they’re as good a front office as the league has. They draft well, develop well, and play well. They were 13 seconds from getting past Kansas City, I love their draft, and I love their additions. I thought they were the best team in the league most of last season, they just had some rough edges. I think they’ve refined them with another excellent draft.” 


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