Gil Brandt knows talent.
The NFL Network contributor was a long-time talent evaluator and the Vice President of Player Personnel for the Dallas Cowboys for nearly 30 years. So it should go without saying that his appraisals of talent are well-respected.
And to that end, Brandt shared what he believed to be the 10 most talented teams in the NFL, which features the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles atop the list and the AFC Championship Game runner-up Jaguars hot on their tails. Also appearing on Brandt’s list are the Titans, Chargers, Saints, Falcons, and Steelers. That’s a group with four playoff teams and a squad that missed the postseason despite a 9-7 record.
Oh, and you’ll also find three Bears 2018 opponents hanging out among the elites, which, you know, isn’t great.
Brandt has the Rams (3) and Vikings (4) in the top-5, which makes a ton of sense. Both teams made the postseason last year and are widely viewed as Super Bowl contenders after a fruitful offseason of improvement. HOWEVER, what in the world are the Giants doing cracking the top-10?
Coming off a three-win season in 2017, you wouldn’t expect to see the Giants anywhere near here. But Brandt believes in the overall talent level of the team – three-win campaign be damned.
Sure, adding running back Saquon Barkley and left tackle Nate Solder to an offense that already has Odell Beckham Jr. and tight end Evan Engram makes for an intriguing group. But does Eli Manning have another prime season of production in him at age 37? Can a defense that allowed the league’s sixth-highest point total be relied upon to improve enough to compete in a highly competitive NFC East?
I don’t want to question Brandt’s extensive wisdom and knowledge, but there are clearly questions that the Giants have to answer despite some of their high-end pieces.
There are portions of the Bears’ schedule that aren’t as challenging as you might believe. But maybe some things might be more difficult than previously perceived. Chicago might need to round into form quickly if they want to be one of those teams that makes an unexpected jump into the playoff picture – especially since the Giants could conceivably be one of those teams, too.