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2012 NFL Power Rankings: Denver Broncos Rise To No. 8 In ESPN's Set Before Draft

If there's anything more useless than NFL Power Rankings during the season, it must be offseason power rankings that are done a little while after free agency starts but just a few weeks before the NFL Draft. ESPN takes a crack at ranking the teams at this time, placing the Denver Broncos at No. 8:

If healthy, Peyton Manning should lift all of the Broncos' boats. We've already got them as tops in the division and they'll still be adding pieces around him.

None of the teams ahead of the Broncos is all that surprising: the New York Giants, the New England Patriots, the Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers occupy the top four spots. The Baltimore Ravens, the Houston Texans and the Detroit Lions occupy the other three spots ahead of the Broncos.

The San Diego Chargers are the second-highest ranked team in the AFC West at No. 15, mostly because Norv Turner is still the coach. The Kansas City Chiefs check in at No. 17 with new head coach Romeo Crennel, but Matt Cassel is still the quarterback there. And the Oakland Raiders round things out at No. 26 as a result of having a new general manager (Reggie McKenzie), a new coach (Dennis Allen) and a questionable quarterback (Carson Palmer).

Denver does look well ahead of these teams right now just with the arrival of Peyton Manning (who isn't without his own risks).