The folks at NFL.com released power rankings Wednesday morning, marking their first such rankings since immediately after the 2015 NFL Draft. After the draft, they ranked the San Francisco 49ers No. 25. Three months later, they dropped the 49ers one spot to No. 26.
In discussing the ranking, the author focuses on the loss of Aldon Smith. I would think some mention of Anthony Davis would make sense as well, given his retirement following their last power rankings. But in the world of NFL.com, I am not surprised they have quickly forgotten about that departure. Here is what they had to say in this ranking:
Losing pass rusher Aldon Smith, who was released last week after being arrested for a hit and run, DUI and vandalism, was a rather significant development, but what was the organization to do? The Niners simply have to lean on Aaron Lynch and Ahmad Brooks for their pass rush now. It really makes you think about how deep this linebacker corps was when former coach Jim Harbaugh was in town -- in addition to Lynch and Brooks, he had Smith, Patrick Willis, a healthy NaVorro Bowman and an unretired Chris Borland at his disposal. Feels like current coach Jim Tomsula went to the dealership to finally get that new car and came out with the metallic pea family truckster Clark Griswold didn't order.
The teams below the 49ers include Washington, Raiders, Jaguars, Browns, Titans and Buccaneers. You can't really drop anybody new behind those teams at this point. Of that group, I think the Raiders are the most intriguing, and could surprise some people this year. But for now, they are not going to get any benefit of the doubt.
The author is really high on the Dallas Cowboys, ranking them No. 5, behind the packers, Seahawks, Colts and Patriots. I do think Dallas is talented, but I'm a little surprised they would be ranked that high. These are only for discussion, and hold no predictive value, but it is still interesting. The perception of the Cowboys is always a tough one to figure out.