For me, one of the more interesting parts of sports is that it is played on both a short and long term timeline. While teams want to win in the immediate future, they also want to win down the line and create a sustainable winner. This is why we will see teams trade players for draft picks or vice versa based on their current situations.
While power rankings are regularly released for the current season to rank the quality of teams in the immediate future, it is less typical to see a ranking of how teams are positioned over a longer-term outlook. Recently, however, ESPN tried to do just that with what they called the “NFL Future Power Rankings,” which they release yearly. From a conceptual perspective, this ranking is intended to identify which teams are best positioned to succeed over the next few seasons rather than just this season and I think the idea was interesting at face value.
Given the rarity of such a ranking system, I wanted to give a summary of how they scored teams. Specifically, they had three in-house NFL experts (Dan Graziano, Louis Riddick, and Seth Walder) rate teams on a 0-100 scale that mimicked a typical academic course grading system (90+ = A, 80-89 = B, 70-79 = C, etc.) on five categories: roster, quarterback, draft, front office, and coaching. They then weighted the scores on these categories in the following way to capture the importance of each category:
After averaging the results from the panelists, each of the five categories was weighted to create the overall score: roster (30%), quarterback (20%), draft (15%), front office (15%) and coaching (20%).
As one might guess, teams that had a good young quarterback and had not traded away meaningful draft picks populated the top of the list, with the Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City Chiefs, Cincinnati Bengals, Baltimore Ravens, and Buffalo Bills making up the top 5.
In regards to the Jets, they ranked 15th, which is middle of the pack. Specifically, the Jets received the below scores:
- Overall score: 81.1 (NFL rank 15)
- Overall roster (minus QB): 85 (NFL rank 11)
- Quarterback: 87.3 (NFL rank 8)
- Coaching: 73.7 (NFL rank 24)
- Draft capital: 79.0 (NFL rank 14)
- Front office: 76.7 (NFL rank 22)
In looking at the scores, the ESPN raters did not seem to think particularly highly of Head Coach Robert Saleh or General Manager Joe Douglas. On the other hand, they did seem to think rather highly of Quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the general talent level of the roster, nor did they seem to dock the Jets much in the draft capital category for the future 2nd or 1st round draft pick in the 2024 draft that they traded for Rodgers.
Overall, a rank of 15 is probably a fair and rather positive on a long-term perspective for a team such as the Jets, who have made significant investments to succeed in the “now” at the expense of the “later.” Beyond that, I think this ranking acknowledges the Jets will always likely be at least reasonably competitive as long as cornerback Sauce Gardner, wide receiver Garrett Wilson, and defensive tackle Quinnen Williams continue to wear the green and white.
Do you think the Jets’ ranking of 15 in the NFL Future Power Rankings is fair?
This poll is closed
No, they should be ranked better
No, they should be ranked worse
Yes, this seems about right