The Super Bowl might be over, but that doesn’t mean America’s obsession with the NFL will take a break just because there won’t be another regular season game until September.
All eyes will turn to the free agency period and of course, the NFL Draft in April.
The draft is always popular because it offers hope for the future for just about every fan base, whether it’s a downtrodden franchise looking to turn things around, or a winning one looking to maintain success. There’s a reason why there are seemingly millions of mock drafts leading up to the event, because fans are so interested.
In looking ahead to the draft in Detroit from April 25-27, here are the teams that look in best position to dominate it.
1. Arizona Cardinals
Arizona has gone 8-26 the last two years, but is equipped with the best draft capital of any team in the league in hopes of making a quick turnaround.
The Cardinals own 13 picks, including two in the first round (No. 4 and No. 27) and six of the first 90 selections. Arizona also still has Kyler Murray in the fold as its starting quarterback, so it likely can focus all that draft capital on improving every other part of the team, including a defense that was 25th in the NFL.
2. Green Bay Packers
Making the playoffs, winning a Wild Card game at Dallas and giving San Francisco all it could handle in the next round with the youngest roster in the league isn’t the only reason why Green Bay has a bright future.
The Packers are also loaded up for the draft, with 11 total picks. Of those selections, three are in the top-58 and five are among the first 91. The Packers have two picks each in the second and third rounds. Green Bay also doesn’t have to invest any of those picks on a quarterback, with Jordan Love showing he can be a franchise player late in the season.
3. Chicago Bears
The Bears don’t necessarily have a lot of quantity when it comes to draft capital, given they only have six picks. But Chicago definitely has quality.
By virtue of last year’s trade with Carolina that resulted in the Panthers taking Bryce Young with the No. 1 overall pick, Chicago owns Carolina’s first round pick this year, which ended up being No. 1 overall. Add Chicago’s own first rounder at No. 9, and the Bears are the only team with two top-10 selections.
If Chicago decides to keep starting quarterback Justin Fields, who is entering his fourth season, it can use the picks to shore up its defense and offensive line. If the Bears decided to draft a quarterback No. 1 overall and the cheap five-year rookie wage contract that comes with it (Fields is set to hit free agency in two years), it can likely trade Fields for additional draft capital.
4. Washington Commanders
After years of quarterback problems, the Commanders finally appear to be in position to get the franchise quarterback they have desperately needed since they own the No. 2 overall pick.
But there’s quantity just beyond the quality of that selection. Overall, Washington has nine selections, three of which are in the top-40 and six of which are in the top-102. All that capital should help not only get a franchise quarterback, but reconstruct a defense that gave up the most points in the league.
5. San Francisco 49ers
The rich will likely get richer. It might not seem possible for a Super Bowl participant to also be in position for massive success in the draft, but that’s the luxury the 49ers enjoy.
The 49ers own 11 picks, including four in the top-98. San Francisco owns two picks each in the third and fourth rounds and three in the sixth round, which are great assets to trade in any attempts to move up at any part of the draft.
With starting quarterback Brock Purdy still under a dirt cheap contract for two more years, the 49ers can add depth to a roster that’s already elite.