2013 NFL Draft: Teams Desperate to Find Secondary Help

Dan TalintyreSenior Analyst IIJanuary 15, 2013

FAYETTEVILLE, AR - SEPTEMBER 15:    Dee Milliner #28 of the Alabama Crimson Tide runs the ball against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Razorback Stadium on September 15, 2012 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  The Crimson Tide defeated the Razorbacks 52-0.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

The 2013 NFL Draft is rapidly approaching with the end of the current season, and with it comes plenty of teams who are desperate to improve their squad for the year ahead.

Players like Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck can have an instant impact on a franchise's future, as we've seen throughout the current season. Yet what several teams need the most this year is not offensive help but defensive help—particularly when it comes down to their secondary.

The 2013 NFL Draft is a great chance for teams to improve their secondary. For some, it's much more of a pressing need than for others. 

Read on to find the teams most desperate for secondary help this season and the players that they could be looking to pick up in the draft.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers

It's no surprise to see Tampa Bay feature prominently in this list here given that they ranked dead last in pass defense throughout the season.

The Bucs gave up 30 passing touchdowns and an average 65 percent completion rate against the rest of the league—numbers that simply aren't good enough for this team to be considered a potential playoff threat in 2013.

Unless they improve, that is, and the 2013 NFL Draft gives Tampa a great chance to find some extra assistance at either cornerback or safety.

Dee Milliner will most likely be already taken, but the likes of Johnthan Banks and Kenny Vaccaro should both still be available in the first round.

For a team that has to play Cam Newton, Drew Brees and Matt Ryan six times in the year, improving their secondary is a must for Tampa Bay in 2013. And, if done right, it's a move that could turn them back into a playoff contender.


Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions did get spanked around by Aaron Rodgers this year, but nowhere near as badly as some other years in recent history.

Having said that, their secondary still desperately needs some assistance from the 2012 NFL Draft—particularly in terms of players that have the ability to force turnovers.

Detroit had just 11 interceptions on the season and no touchdowns, and ranked very low in pass deflections as well. Considering the secondaries of Green Bay and Chicago both rank in the top 10 for those categories, the Lions could well do with some improvement there.

The Lions could splash out their first draft pick to get Dee Milliner, Eric Reed or Kenny Vaccaro, or they could opt to send that pick somewhere else. That means we'd likely see a second-round pick for someone like Logan Ryan or Matt Elam depending on availability.

Either way, the Lions desperately need to improve their secondary if they're going to keep pace with the rest of the NFC North next season.


Miami Dolphins

One of the only teams to take fewer interceptions than Detroit was the Miami Dolphins. For a team that plays the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills four times a year, that's simply not good enough.

The Dolphins' secondary needs to start making plays on the ball and helping out the rest of their defense, which was still not that bad in 2012. They allowed fewer than 20 points per game and had one of the best completion percentages against in the league, but just didn't have that extra dimension in their secondary to make big plays.

Being in the AFC East, Miami needs to make big plays in 2013—starting by picking up the best available corner in the draft, Dee Milliner.

I can't see Detroit spending such a high pick on Milliner, who should be available by the time Miami is on the clock—perfectly ripe for the picking.

He is a shut-down man who simply doesn't make big mistakes, and is the perfect guy to take advantage of whatever garbage Mark Sanchez or Ryan Fitzpatrick throws his way.


Tennessee Titans

Cortland Finnegan's departure at Tennessee has left a gaping hole in this secondary that simply wasn't filled well throughout the 2012 season.

The Titans averaged the second-highest completion rate against all year, gave up 31 touchdowns and the seventh-most passing yards per game—all without making too many big plays in the secondary.

Their roster really isn't that bad at the moment and could very well challenge again for a playoff spot in 2013, providing they get some assistance at the back.

Milliner is the obvious first-round selection if available, but I could also see the Titans making a move for Johnthan Banks early or even Matt Elam in the second round. Either player could find themselves with a starting gig at some point in 2013, and that would have to drastically improve the Titans' chances against the pass in 2013.

After all, defense does win championships.


Which teams do you think have the biggest need for secondary help?

Comment below or hit me up on Twitter: