The Cardinals had a tough offseason, losing safety Tony Jefferson and defensive lineman Calais Campbell. But add in the team’s offensive line worries and the concerns on Larry Fitzgerald’s tenure and Carson Palmer’s play and you have a litany of concerns heading into the NFL Draft. The Cardinals could go a ton of different places in the first round.
The Falcons’ glaring needs are at the defensive end and offensive guard positions — both should still have high-grade talent available at the end of the first round. Don’t be surprised if the Falcons go defensive tackle, though — Dontari Poe might have signed this offseason, but it’s only on a one-year deal.
Baltimore needs quite a bit going into this draft. They might have addressed their safety need in a big way by signing the aforementioned Jefferson, but they still need another pass rusher and interior defensive lineman, not to mention a replacement for retired linebacker Zach Orr and a big-play threat for Joe Flacco.
The Bills’ needs should be well met this draft. Buffalo might wait a year or two to draft a quarterback with a high pick after re-signing Tyrod Taylor, but he still needs players to throw to, and a tight end should be at the top of the team’s need list at No. 10. After the loss of Stephon Gilmore to New England in free agency, a cornerback is now a more glaring need than safety for the Bills as well, so that could be in play in the first round. But don’t be shocked if Buffalo trades down for an offensive tackle and tries to fill another need with the additional pick, either.
Timothy T. LudwigTimothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Needs: Running back, pass rusher, center
Carolina is in pretty good shape heading into this draft, which could make it one of the most interesting teams. The Panthers' lack of a glaring need could bring about some serious wheeling and dealing and an accruement of picks that could only augment a stronger-than-their-pick-suggests roster.
Kim KlementKim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Needs: Cornerback, wide receiver, offensive tackle, safety, tight end
The Bears’ problems aren’t limited, but they should be able to get a top-flight cornerback — their biggest need — with pick No. 3. If they don’t fall for any of the talented top-flight corners in this draft, they can trade down and select a replacement for Alshon Jeffery at receiver, an offensive tackle, or a game-breaking tight end.
With the No. 9 pick in the draft, the Bengals should seriously consider a defensive end, but a somehow more pressing need is on the offensive line, where they lost both Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler in free agency.
The Cowboys’ defense let them down last season, and they have an uphill climb in building a quality unit in 2017. To start, the Cowboys desperately need a viable, reliable pass rusher, and could use all the help they can get in the middle of the line as well. Serious upgrades at the cornerback position are needed, as well as a replacement for Barry Church at safety. After that, Sean Lee could use some help at linebacker and then the Cowboys can address the offense and either the wide receiver position or Jason Witten’s replacement at tight end.
Perhaps no team in the NFL has a bigger need than the Broncos’ requirement for an offensive tackle. At pick No. 20, they might have to trade up to land their man. If they can snag one (or two) bookends, then they can address the need along the interior of the defensive line and tight end — but only then.
Ron ChenoyRon Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Needs: Pass rusher, linebacker, cornerback, running back
The Lions’ defense was no good last year. With an offense that doesn’t have a glaring hole (though tight end is a concern) all the attention should be spent on upgrading on D this spring.
Matt MartonMatt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
Green Bay Packers
Needs: Pass rusher, cornerback, running back
The Packers don’t have many holes on the roster, but they need to build depth in both pass rushers and cornerbacks in this draft. Running back should be a late-round concern.
For a team with a great defense, the Texans have a surprising number of places they need to add depth on that side of the ball this offseason. While none of the needs stands out above the other, they should all be addressed in this draft. Then there’s the quarterback situation…
The Jaguars have several places where they need to at least build depth, but no need is more glaring than the lack of a viable offensive line. The Jags should select the best available offensive linemen early and often.
The Chiefs boast a surprising amount of needs for a team that was really good last year, but such is life in the NFL. Linebacker is the No. 1 need, but don’t be surprised that in a cornerback-heavy draft that’s light on linebackers, Kansas City opts to find Marcus Peters’ counterpart at cornerback.
The Chargers are in pretty good shape, depth-wise, at the moment (next year, not so much) and they hold the No. 7 pick in the draft, which should allow them plenty of flexibility to take the best available player. If that’s a defensive tackle or safety, all the better.
Needs: Wide receiver, pass rusher, cornerback, safety, guard, center
The Rams signed Robert Woods, but that’s not nearly enough to help them and “The Franchise” Jared Goff in 2017. The Rams need to load up on wide receivers this offseason. Then, they need to find a pass rusher after an offseason where they lost several. After that, they need to address the interior of the offensive line. Oh yeah, they need another every-down cornerback as well. And a safety wouldn’t hurt either. But yeah, the move is going great one year later.
USA TODAY SportsRobert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Needs: Linebacker, cornerback, pass rusher, guard
The ‘Phins need a versatile, every-down linebacker in the worst way, but they should have some good options at the end of the first round. After addressing that glaring need, Miami needs to find another viable pass rusher and add depth at cornerback and along the offensive line.
Steve MitchellSteve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Needs: Offensive guard, linebacker
The Vikings are in a pretty good situation, but they should be looking for a starter-caliber guard when they get on the clock in the second round (assuming they don’t trade up).
Brad RempelBrad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
New England Patriots
Needs: Pass rusher, running back, guard, safety
The Patriots are always two steps ahead of everyone, so there are no massive needs heading into the draft, but adding a pass rusher and pass-catching running back should be a priority. Depth on the offensive line is always a must, but especially this year for the Pats.
Mark J. RebilasMark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
New Orleans Saints
Needs: Pass rusher, linebacker, cornerback
The Saints’ offensive line could use some depth, but the remainder of the offseasons should be spent addressing the team’s glaring needs at both defensive end and linebacker. A cornerback, while not as immediately necessary, might be in play at No. 11 as well.
The Giants need to move on from Ereck Flowers at tackle and might be in the perfect position to do so in this draft. Needs at tight end and running back can be filled in the first few rounds, but an additional pass rusher might be worth a premium pick.
Brad PennerBrad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
New York Jets
Needs: Cornerback, quarterback, wide receiver, running back, guard, center, safety
Besides a direction? Yeah, the Jets have a ton of needs this offseason. Cornerback and (shudder) quarterback are the two most glaring, but at a certain point there are so many that the Jets can just select the best player on the board and be in good shape.
The Raiders’ defense isn’t good enough to compete in 2017, even with some of the most talented players in the league on that side of the ball for the Silver and Black. Immediate starters are necessary at defensive tackle, cornerback and inside linebacker. Depth at running back, offensive tackle and in the pass-rushing corps would be a bonus.
Jerome MironJerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Needs: Cornerback, pass rusher, defensive tackle, running back
The Eagles’ first, second, third and fourth need is cornerback. Then they should try to find someone to replace Connor Barwin at the defensive end.
Bill StreicherBill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Needs: Pass rusher, cornerback, wide receiver
The Steelers need to add multiple pass rushers and corners in this draft — while they don’t necessarily need an immediate starter, depth is weak at both positions. The same can be said of the wide receiver position, though it’s not as pressing as the other two spots.
The 49ers have done a decent enough job in free agency finding players that fit Kyle Shanahan’s eye, but they really couldn’t go wrong with any selection at No. 2 in the upcoming draft — such is their overwhelming amount of needs.
The Seahawks need a tackle in the worst kind of way. It’d be shocking if they exited the first round without one. After that, cornerback depth has suddenly become a big concern, as has the depth on the defensive line and at outside linebacker.
Chuck CookChuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Needs: Safety, pass rusher, offensive tackle, center, running back, tight end
The Bucs have some big needs, but a roster that’s in pretty decent shape if they can address those spots this offseason. Safety is the biggest concern, but Tampa Bay could go with a pass rusher or offensive lineman in the first round. And with all the tight end talent in this draft, it might behoove the Bucs to wait until the second day to pounce at that position.
The Titans need receivers for Marcus Mariota to throw the ball to and cornerbacks to stop the other team’s receivers. It’s really as simple as that. The outside is priority No. 1 in Nashville, and one player isn’t going to be enough at either spot.
Needs: Defensive line (every spot), pass rusher, cornerback, linebacker, safety, guard, center, quarterback, wide receiver
It's bad, really bad.
No team is in worse shape when it comes to depth than Washington. That’s not even close to a joke — even the 49ers and Browns have more than two positions they can count on in 2017 and beyond. Washington needs multiple players at literally every defensive position, and they aren’t exactly three-deep on offense either — outside of tight end and tackle, they’re running thin. Washington needs several Top-100 caliber defensive linemen and cornerbacks, but that’s just the start. It’s almost as if giving two players nearly a quarter of the actual salary cap hurts depth…