The 2014 NFL Draft is a wrap, and the regular season is less than four months away. Naturally, that made it time for the first power rankings of the season! ESPN and NFL.com both put together some power rankings, and with updated Super Bowl odds arriving this past Monday, why not take a look at them? Wait, maybe don't answer that.
ESPN and NFL.com both posted power rankings on Tuesday, and naturally the Seahawks are sitting at the top. The two then diverge with their No. 2/3 teams. ESPN went with the Broncos No. 2 and the 49ers No. 3, while NFL.com went with the reverse. Here's what each had to say about the 49ers:
Jonathan Goodwin, who's still a free agent, played 98 percent of the 49ers' snaps at center in the past three seasons. They found a capable replacement in third-round center Marcus Martin from USC.
The draftniks all like what Niners general manager Trent Baalke accomplished in the great college marketplace. It should be interesting to see what safety Jimmie Ward (first round) and inside linebacker Chris Borland (third round) deliver for coach Jim Harbaugh this year. Ward should play in the nickel and Borland should play on any downs that don't require the nickel. Can Borland help fill in while NaVorro Bowman recovers from knee surgery? I love that NFL Media's Mike Mayock called Borland "a thundering hardhead." Just the right kind of guy to challenge Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch, no?
This all comes as we have some new Super Bowl odds following the draft. Our friends at Bovada.lv continue to place the 49ers at 15/2 odds. They opened at 15/2 following the Super Bowl, remained that way a week into free agency, and are still there following the draft.
The Bengals and Falcons have both come down a fairly decent amount, both dropping from 40/1 to 25/1. The Patriots are the biggest mover at the top, dropping from 14/1 to 15/2 over the last three months. In looking through the long-shots, the Rams (50/1) and Cardinals (40/1) are both fairly interesting. The 49ers and Seahawks deserve to be heavy favorites in the division, but the Cardinals hung around last year, and the Rams have continued to add to a developing roster. One of the Rams biggest questions is at quarterback, and that could dictate just what they do with this talent in 2014.
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