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New Orleans Saints atop early pre-draft power rankings

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Makes sense.

NFC Championship - Los Angeles Rams v New Orleans Saints Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

ESPN just released their early 2019 power rankings, and take a guess at who has made the top of the list. Is it the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots? Nope. Is it their opponent, the NFC Champion Los Angeles Rams? Nope. What about the AFC runner-up and team with the reigning NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes, the Kansas City Chiefs? Nope again. It’s actually your New Orleans Saints.

1. New Orleans Saints

2018 record: 13-3

Three-words-or-less description: Replay last season. The Saints did just about everything right in 2018 -- right up until the non-call that helped to keep them out of the Super Bowl and led to groundbreaking replay rule changes. It’s a lot to ask them to do it all again and secure the NFC’s No. 1 seed, especially with Drew Brees now 40 years old, but they still have one of the NFL’s most talented rosters. -- Mike Triplett

The New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams, both of the participants in last year’s Super Bowl, come in third and second respectively. The aforementioned Chiefs are one spot below them, at fourth.

Across the NFC South, the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers are back-to-back at 17th and 18th, and the lowly Tampa Bay Buccaneers are all the way down at 29th.

Obviously, there are still tons of moves to be made by all teams in the NFL in free agency, and we’ve had to have the first pick of the 2019 NFL Draft, but as it stands now, the Saints are looking good.