SB Nation has released a final version of NFL Power Rankings for the 2011-12 NFL season, and while the Super Bowl champion New York Giants are on top and the runner-up New England Patriots are next, the St. Louis Rams are down at No. 31 overall. After a disappointing 2-14 season the Rams are certainly don't deserve a premium spot in the rankings, but apparently the hiring of head coach Jeff Fisher and the No. 2 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft weren't enough to move them up a couple spots:
31. St. Louis Rams (2-14, LW: 31): How much of a difference does a coach make? The Rams hired Jeff Fisher this season and he'll be tasked with taking one of the worst rosters in the league -- but a promising future at quarterback -- and figuring out a way to make it work.
Is it possible that St. Louis could jump the Cleveland Browns (No. 30), Washington Redskins (No. 29) or Tampa Bay Buccaneers (No. 28) after the draft process is over and free-agent signings are finalized? Much of the movement will depend on who is taken in the draft and on Jeff Fisher's plans to optimize Sam Bradford in the offense. The team much choose whether to prioritize offensive tackle over wide receiver, unless of course they get creative and trade their pick to select multiple players a bit lower in the draft. The Rams can't do anything to erase their terribly disappointing 2011-12 campaign, but the journey starts now to make sure those failures never happen again.
For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation St. Louis. For more on the Rams, check out Turf Show Times, SB Nation's St. Louis Rams blog. For more details on the upcoming 2012 NFL Draft, be sure to drop by Mocking the Draft.