The NFL draft represents a perfect opportunity for teams to greatly improve their rosters. Whether it is finding new starters or acquiring depth, every team takes advantage of the opportunity.
However, not all teams get an equal number of picks, and some teams are left with less than others. Here’s a look a teams who wish they had more opportunity in the 2012 NFL draft.
The Oakland Raiders only have five picks in the 2012 NFL draft, with the earliest being a third-round pick. Unfortunately, the Raiders have holes throughout the roster, and the switch to the 3-4 defense only compounds this problem. The Raiders need a nose tackle and two rush linebackers in order for the defense to be successful. Unfortunately, they have neither.
Additionally, the Raiders need depth along the offensive line, especially at the guard position.
By not picking until the third round, the Raiders will have difficulty finding players who can start for them as rookies, let alone impact players. Due to the sizable roster needs that the Raiders have, and not enough picks to address them, the Raiders are going to leave the 2012 NFL draft wishing they had more opportunities.
The New Orleans Saints also have five picks in the 2012 NFL draft. While they are a considerably better team than the Oakland Raiders, they also are in a precarious position due to their lack of picks.
The Saints have a solid overall roster and have replaced many of the holes left by their departing free agents. However, the bounty scandal has left the Saints defense in flux. With Roger Goodell sure to dole out suspensions for many of the Saints' defensive starters, the front office needs as many draft picks as they can to plug the holes.
New Orleans is a bona fide Super Bowl contender and cannot roll over on this season. Since they only have five total picks, and none before the third round, it will be difficult to acquire starting-caliber talent. The Saints are in the middle of their Super Bowl window, and they need to draft impact players who can contribute immediately.
Additionally, they have needs on the offensive side of the ball, especially with offensive line depth, and will have to devote picks there. The lack of picks coupled with the imminent suspensions resulting from the bounty scandal will surely leave the New Orleans Saints wishing they had more opportunities in the 2012 NFL draft.
The Falcons have six picks in the draft, starting with a second rounder. The Atlanta Falcons are in a unique position to take control of the NFC South; The Saints are reeling from the bounty scandal, the Buccaneers are breaking in a new coach and the Panthers aren't a complete team yet. The Falcons need as many draft picks as possible to shore up their team and secure the NFC South.
The lack of a first-round pick really hurts the Atlanta Falcons. The team desperately needs a new left tackle and will have difficulty finding one capable of starting outside of the first round. The Falcons also need a defensive end, with free agent signee Ray Edwards being a disappointment.
Additionally, the team needs depth throughout the roster. Without a first-round pick, the Falcons will have difficulty wrestling control of the NFC South from the Saints and will unquestionably leave the 2012 NFL draft wishing they had more opportunities.