ESPN Insider's NFL Future Power Rankings are an attempt by our expert analysts to measure the confidence they have in each franchise as it projects three seasons ahead. It is not a predicted order of finish for the 2016 season, but rather a barometer tracking where each franchise is heading. And from our first installment of the project last summer to now, we've already seen some organizations make great strides towards becoming a Super Bowl contender, while others have slipped back towards square one.
In evaluating each team, our analysts broke down five facets deemed critical to the long-term health of a franchise:
• The roster (minus the QB) as it projects in 2016, emphasizing players 27 and younger
• The franchise quarterback as he projects in 2016
• The strength of a team's 2013 draft picks and their available picks in future drafts
• The reputation and performance of the front office
• The stability and acumen of a team's coaching staff
Our experts -- Herm Edwards, Mel Kiper, Mike Sando, Gary Horton, Matt Williamson and Field Yates -- ranked each franchise from 1-10 across the five categories, then provided a breakdown for each team. Former NFL GM Bill Polian abstained from the ranking, but offered his insights for the front office analysis below. Using a weighted formula (explained briefly in the sidebar to the right, and in more detail here) we generated our final rankings.
Here are the NFL Future Power Rankings:
And here is their blurb on the Jets (coming in at #32):
Quarterback: Adding Geno Smith in the draft gives the Jets a shot for the long term. And it gives them badly needed direction at the position. Those are things the Jets did not have one year ago, when they were oddly acquiring Tebow with no apparent vision for the future. Smith figures to face some upheaval during his first couple seasons, particularly if there's a coaching change following the 2013 campaign. Lots will happen to this roster in the next couple seasons. Mark Sanchez remains on the roster in name only. It's a very long shot to think he'll revive his career with the Jets and factor in 2016. -- Sando
Draft: I gave the Jets a very high grade for their 2013 draft, but that marks a change from a stretch where they simply didn't extract enough value. It wasn't a case of bad picks at the top, but there just wasn't enough depth created with later picks. If the 2013 draft is an omen of things to come, this team is headed in the right direction. And anybody who says this class will be defined by Smith misses the point. It doesn't have to be because the Jets used a second-rounder on him, and are in no way financially tied to him if he doesn't pan out. It was a good call, and hopefully we'll see more of the same. -- Kiper
Front office: New GM John Idzik has no track record. New offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg has been a proponent of the passing game. New defensive coordinator (and head coach) Rex Ryan is among the best in football. That said, questions abound. Will the addition of 2013 draftees Dee Milliner and Sheldon Richardson help a defense that, believe it or not, was playing well despite the loss of Darrelle Revis last season? This is a young group. With Rex at the helm it should continue to grow. On the other side of the ball though ...
This next sentence is echoes a familiar refrain, but who is the quarterback? Will the wide receiving corps be serviceable? Will the offensive line improve from last year's disastrous performance? And will new kicking game coordinator Ben Kotwica be able to sustain the magic performed by now-retired Mike Westhoff? We will know the answers by season's end in 2013 and probably not before. -- Polian
Coaching: I know what it's like to coach in New York. And Rex knows that he's on thin ice. He'll hand the offense over to Mornhinweg, but he needs to make a decision on a QB -- and soon. Rex also needs to fix this defense. He has some young playmakers and needs to put them in a position to succeed. He knows that if he doesn't win this year, he might be gone. -- Edwards