(Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE)

Bills 23rd in ESPN's NFL Pre-Draft Power Rankings

I guess a great offseason isn’t quite enough to get the Bills some respect.

ESPN released its post-free agency, pre-Draft set of NFL power rankings yesterday, and our own Buffalo Bills ranked 23rd. That’s barely out of the bottom quarter of the league.

At least the related comment was positive: “The Bills are not done making improvements, but DE Mario Williams was a huge step in the right direction.”

My first thought: “That’s ridiculous. That’s way too low.” After all, the Bills have had a great offseason and have yet to lose a single player of note from last season’s roster.

However, if you at the list more closely…it makes sense. I mean, what team would you put below the Bills? Here’s the five teams just above Buffalo in the Power Rankings:

22) Seahawks – Finished 7-9 last season. Really good young defense. Just signed Matt Flynn to take care of QB, the team’s biggest weakness.

21) Cardinals – Probably the team you can make the best case Buffalo should be ahead of…but this team did go 8-8 last year despite Kevin Kolb’s inability to stay healthy.

20) Jets - Yes, their offseason has been a total nightmare. But there’s still a ton of talent here. Plus they swept the Bills last season.

19) Bengals – Young, pretty good, made the playoffs last season. Plus they beat the Bills in 2011.

18) Panthers – They have Cam Newton. They’ll be good.

And that’s just the teams right above the Bills.

The bottom line? The Bills have some work to do to get into playoff contention. The NFL is freaking tough.

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