Sports: NFL power rankings: How have free agency, trades reshaped 2022 pecking order in offseason?

Deshaun Watson trade winners, losers: Browns' deal with Texans shifts NFL landscape

  Deshaun Watson trade winners, losers: Browns' deal with Texans shifts NFL landscape Deshaun Watson's decision to join the Browns sent shockwaves through the NFL, and his trade from the Texans could reverberate for some time.First rule of the offseason, never count out the Cleveland Browns – a team that has not appeared in the Super Bowl but typically causes numerous February-to-August headlines, never more so than Friday afternoon when the club shockingly acquired quarterback Deshaun Watson from the Houston Texans.

NFL power rankings as teams shift focus from free agency to upcoming 2022 draft (post-Super Bowl 56 rank in parentheses):

1. Rams (1): They've lost a few key cogs from the Super Bowl 56 lineup – OLB Von Miller (Bills), LT Andrew Whitworth (retired), WR Odell Beckham Jr. (unsigned and injured) – but it happens just about annually to defending champs, the Brady Bucs notwithstanding. But LA also effectively made a noteworthy wideout swap, signing Allen Robinson before trading Robert Woods, while reloading the O-line. And more important? Many of the NFC's prominent would-be contenders have taken more concerning broadsides than the Rams have.

NFL mock draft 2022: How Deshaun Watson, Davante Adams trades reshape first round

  NFL mock draft 2022: How Deshaun Watson, Davante Adams trades reshape first round The Deshaun Watson and Davante Adams trades created a new outlook near the middle of the first round in the 2022 NFL draft.Deshaun Watson is suddenly headed to Cleveland. Davante Adams is leaving Green Bay for Las Vegas after all. The Broncos' acquisition of Russell Wilson and Commanders' deal for Carson Wentz are official, while the Adams-less Packers move forward with re-enriched QB Aaron Rodgers and more draft assets as they try once again to get over a Super Bowl hump they haven't surmounted in 11 years.

Watson, Ryan, Wilson © Evan Russell, USA TODAY Sports Watson, Ryan, Wilson

2. Bengals (2): They've done such a good job upgrading QB Joe Burrow's protection during free agency – La'el Collins, Alex Cappa, Ted Karras – that they've opened up their draft options ... and Cincinnati has quietly been one of the league's better talent evaluators in recent years.

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3. Bills (4): The shocking coup to land former Super Bowl MVP Miller was their offseason headline grabber. However several nice pickups with G Rodger Saffold and slot WR Jamison Crowder plus the return of CB Tre'Davious White from his ACL tear. This lineup looks decidedly superior to the one that barely came up short at Arrowhead Stadium two months ago.

NFL free agency's 10 most regrettable contracts in 2022: Jaguars' spending spree goes awry

  NFL free agency's 10 most regrettable contracts in 2022: Jaguars' spending spree goes awry NFL free agency can be a platform to transform a team or create long-term problems with costly investments in the wrong places.In the waning moments of the season, some look ahead to March as a time when teams can dramatically remake themselves through their own spending sprees. Yet while both the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals proved this year that a few key signings can either lift an existing competitor to a new level or accelerate a rebuild, the available options tend to thin out over time thanks to franchise tags and extensions.

4. Buccaneers (20): Why the huge jump? Don't forget, Tom Brady was retired at the conclusion of Super Bowl 56. Tampa Bay wasn't able to bring back the entire band this time, but when the frontman decides he actually does want to cut another album or two, you can replace a bass player and keyboardist without losing a beat. And shouldn't be overly difficult adapting to new stage manager Todd Bowles.

5. Packers (6): Aaron Rodgers, Matt LaFleur and Co. look well positioned to win 13 games and the NFC North for the fourth consecutive year ... and probably not much beyond that.

6. Chargers (13): Read the warning label prior to drinking powder blue Kool-Aid. But a team that fell one bad decision shy of the playoffs last season has added OLB Khalil Mack, CB J.C. Jackson and interior D-line beef while retaining WR Mike Williams and the 17th pick of Round 1. Plenty of upward mobility for QB Justin Herbert, coach Brandon Staley, et al. – a group that's proven it can compete with and beat Kansas City – after enduring valuable experiences in an ultimately disappointing 2021 campaign.

NFL mock draft 2022: Impact of Tyreek Hill trade could go beyond Chiefs and Dolphins in first round

  NFL mock draft 2022: Impact of Tyreek Hill trade could go beyond Chiefs and Dolphins in first round The Chiefs' move to trade Tyreek Hill to the Dolphins helped shine the light on some potential emerging changes in the 2022 NFL draft.Just when complacency might have been setting in two days after Matt Ryan seemed to be the last consequential quarterback to change addresses, the Kansas City Chiefs shattered the calm by sending perennial Pro Bowl WR Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins on Wednesday for a bundle of five draft picks, including a first- and second-rounder in the 2022 draft.

7. Chiefs (3): The stunning trade of WR Tyreek Hill could mean a step back in 2022 before two or three subsequent steps forward – given the draft capital and cap space his departure created.

8. Colts (21): They could once again reside on the playoff bubble. They could also run away and hide with the AFC South crown given the stability Matt Ryan should finally provide under center. He's definitely not losing to the Jags with money on the table in Week 18.

9. Raiders (9): Given what this organization endured in 2021 – to say nothing of their average margin of defeat of 17 points in the regular season – it's amazing Silver and Black reached postseason. There are gaps to fill, especially in the trenches, but the arrivals of WR Davante Adams, DE Chandler Jones and coach Josh McDaniels should make these Raiders higher rollers.

10. Patriots (8): They've been as quiet in free agency this year as they were audacious in 2021. But oh to be a fly on the wall in the offensive meeting room as Matt Patricia and Joe Judge – neither with much coaching experience on that side of the ball – try to fill McDaniels' void.

NFL's offseason has been crazier than ever – but what's driving trend of blockbuster trades?

  NFL's offseason has been crazier than ever – but what's driving trend of blockbuster trades? The NFL's offseason has been defined by a frantic run of trades, marking a clear change in approach by several teams looking to win now.The blockbuster deal continued a trend that has seen teams fork over premium draft picks in exchange for veteran stars they hope will strengthen their Super Bowl aspirations.

11. Titans (5): Division winners the past two years, they've also been one-and-done in the playoffs both times and don't appear to be getting appreciably better in a conference absorbing so much high-priced talent.

12. Ravens (12): Don't forget, they were the AFC's projected No. 1 playoff seed at one point last December before the injuries and gut-wrenching losses finally overtook them. The only time newly extended coach John Harbaugh has missed successive postseasons was 2015-17.

13. Browns (17): Dropping QB Deshaun Watson into this roster – from a football perspective – should make this a Super Bowl-caliber group. It remains to be seen how Watson's off-field luggage and the suspension he's likely facing alter matters – and the locker room – in a division with little margin for error.

14. 49ers (7): Tough to downgrade a team that barely lost the NFC title game this much. But a hazy quarterback situation and lack of a first-round pick are reasons to wonder if the Niners, who haven't reached postseason in back-to-back seasons under coach Kyle Shanahan and GM John Lynch, might regress.

15. Cowboys (11): Plenty of headlines this offseason ... though talent depletion due to salary cap issues is well down the list, much to owner Jerry Jones' chagrin. But maybe they'll get a guy with that 24th pick who ends a 27-year title drought, saves Mike McCarthy's job and puts a smile on beleaguered Jones' face.

Bruce Arians' handoff to Todd Bowles is fitting capstone for coach who pushed NFL to think differently | Opinion

  Bruce Arians' handoff to Todd Bowles is fitting capstone for coach who pushed NFL to think differently | Opinion Bruce Arians' decision to step down and turn the Bucs over to Todd Bowles served as punctuation to a theme that has defined the coach's career.Bruce Arians, an undeniable straight shooter who for years has championed diversity for the NFL coaching ranks more passionately than any other white coach in the league, stepped down as Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach and passed the torch to Todd Bowles, a Black man ready for another shot.

16. Vikings (15): With offensive-minded head coach Kevin O'Connell on board – he was QB Kirk Cousins' position coach in Washington in 2017 – Minnesota is a team that could take a quantum leap. (And how much worse can the defense be than it was under Mike Zimmer the past two years?)

17. Saints (19): They're probably a playoff team in 2021 if QB Jameis Winston doesn't get hurt in Week 8. Given their (regular-season) dominance of the Brady Bucs and playmakers on both sides of the ball, Winston should get them over the hump in 2022 if – big if – this organization adapts post-Payton.

18. Broncos (23): QB Russell Wilson has justifiably restored a Rocky Mountain high in Colorado. But he still has to jell with his new teammates and rookie head coach Nathaniel Hackett – to say nothing of some defensive issues that need ironing out in what shapes up as an ultra-competitive AFC West.

19. Eagles (14): A team coming off a surprise playoff appearance in 2021 is scheduled to pick 15th, 16th and 19th in the 2022 draft. Don't bet on GM Howie Roseman standing pat in Round 1 but bank on this roster getting even better with Roseman potentially creating further options for next year's draft.

20. Cardinals (10): They lost seven of their final 11 games, including an embarrassing playoff loss to the Rams, have an unhappy quarterback and hemorrhaged talent in free agency. Otherwise, no issues.

21. Dolphins (22): Eventful offseason with Hill and LT Terron Armstead, among several others, coming aboard. But Tua Tagovailoa better take a big step in 2022 because Miami has two first-round picks at the ready for a 2023 draft that should have better quarterback options.

NFL draft 2022: Which teams could be most likely to trade up, down in first round?

  NFL draft 2022: Which teams could be most likely to trade up, down in first round? The first round of the NFL draft has already been drastically reshaped by a rash of trades, but more deals could be ahead in the coming weeks.The first round of this year's draft has already been markedly altered by swaps made nearly two years ago and several two weeks ago. The Eagles currently hold a trio of first-round selections, one of seven teams with multiple picks in Round 1. Eight teams (Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, Indianapolis Colts, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Rams, Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers) presently aren't scheduled to pick April 28, opening night of the annual "Player Selection Meeting.

22. Steelers (16): Draft night should be fascinating given how Pittsburgh is perpetually linked to Liberty's Malik Willis. No denying Steelers are well behind rest of AFC North when it comes to the quarterback position.

23. Commanders (24): Carson Wentz better play his butt off, otherwise this brain trust will be constantly skewered with second guessers invoking the names of Matty Ice, Jimmy G. and maybe even Baker Mayfield, whose 2022 base salary is more than $3 million shy of Wentz's.

24. Seahawks (18): They're coming off a last-place finish in what's still the NFC's toughest division and won't have Wilson, MLB Bobby Wagner or (apparently) either of last year's starting tackles this time around. One of the NFL's loudest stadiums could get pretty quiet in 2022.

25. Jets (27): Despite the spending power at their disposal, not much to get excited about after free agency. Barring a blockbuster for a wide receiver – Hill passed – QB Zach Wilson will have to hope GM Joe Douglas makes excellent use of those four selections among the draft's first 38 picks.

26. Lions (29): Another squad poised to make a draft splash with three of the top 34 picks, including No. 2 overall. Detroit finished 3-3 last season after going winless in its first 11 games – momentum that could portend relevance in a playoff chase amid a seemingly weakened conference.

27. Jaguars (28): Their fiscal habits in 2022 appear nearly as dubious as those of 2021. But even with QB Trevor Lawrence positioned to progress significantly under new coach Doug Pederson, you have to overpay to bring teal chip-caliber talent to Duval County.

28. Bears (25): No first-round pick and no apparent strategy – in terms of coaching hires or free agent signings – to foster an environment conducive to developing QB Justin Fields.

29. Giants (30): With two top-10 selections (and five of the first 81), new GM Joe Schoen and coach Brian Daboll can put the extra pieces around QB Daniel Jones that they couldn't afford in free agency.

NFL mock draft 2022: Projecting more trades that could create first-round chaos

  NFL mock draft 2022: Projecting more trades that could create first-round chaos The NFL draft's first-round order has been repeatedly reconfigured by a rash of trades. More deals, however, could provide additional twists.Yet it's also often the point when smokescreens begin to bloom as clubs discuss trades of players and/or draft selections – DK Metcalf anyone? – a process that often leads to leaks ... and, sometimes, disinformation dissemination. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who moved down last year yet still landed Defensive Rookie of the Year Micah Parsons, said Wednesday: "I would trade up this draft.

30. Panthers (31): Is this the team that went 4-3 with RB Christian McCaffrey – he's missed 23 games the past two seasons – or the one that went 1-9 without him, including a seven-game skid to end 2021? Carolina's O-line looks better, but its outlook with QB Sam Darnold remains dour.

31. Falcons (26): Cap-strapped GM Terry Fontenot admitted after trading Ryan, "We're taking it on the chin this year." Love the candor. Atlanta also desperately needs receivers, safeties, linebackers and pass rushers.

32. Texans (32): Enriched, from a player acquisition perspective, now that it's finally moved Watson, Houston can finally move forward with the business of attempting to revive its on-field product.

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Follow USA TODAY Sports' Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NFL power rankings: How have free agency, trades reshaped 2022 pecking order in offseason?

NFL mock draft 2022: Projecting more trades that could create first-round chaos .
The NFL draft's first-round order has been repeatedly reconfigured by a rash of trades. More deals, however, could provide additional twists.Yet it's also often the point when smokescreens begin to bloom as clubs discuss trades of players and/or draft selections – DK Metcalf anyone? – a process that often leads to leaks ... and, sometimes, disinformation dissemination. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who moved down last year yet still landed Defensive Rookie of the Year Micah Parsons, said Wednesday: "I would trade up this draft.

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