There is no better way to turn around the direction of a franchise than with a strong draft. Every GM knows it. It can make or break a season.
For certain teams that are not in the upper echelon of the NFL hierarchy, this upcoming draft will be much more important. There are franchises that are simply desperate and badly need things to go right for them this time around.
After recently ushering in a new logo to begin a new era of football in Jacksonville, this upcoming draft is of paramount importance to the young franchise that has fallen upon awful times.
Plain and simple, this fan base needs a jolt. The franchise does not sell out games, and the team is not winning. With a roster so devoid of legitimate talent from top to bottom, the Jaguars need to bring in a deep class of talented players with winning attitudes. If that means trading back in the draft to collect more assets, then so be it.
The face of their franchise, Maurice Jones-Drew missed the majority of this past season, leaving the team for dead. They need a ton of help, and should probably look for a dynamic pass rusher at the top of the first round, as well as a quarterback to replace Blaine Gabbert. New coach, new regime, new quarterback...that's the way it has always been.
With wide receiver likely being their only position not in serious need of an upgrade at the moment, they need to go with the best defensive players available, as well as taking a shot on a high upside quarterback. This team has a lot of needs moving forward, and they need to hit some home runs in this draft more than anybody to regain the trust of their fan base.
New York Jets
Where do you even start with this team?
The Jets were torn apart at the seams this year, with everything going wrong. Santonio Holmes and Darrelle Revis missed almost all of the season with injuries, Sanchez forgot how to play football and Tebowmania destroyed the locker room.
Talent is not the issue in New York. More than anything, they just need a quarterback to get them back on track. With much of the same roster they currently have, they made two consecutive appearances in the AFC title game just a couple of years ago, and that was with Sanchez just managing the game.
All things considered, the Jets will be doomed from the start if they go into next season with Sanchez having the starting job handed to him. They need to swing for the fences on a quarterback and trade up for one if they feel the need. At the very least, they need someone to push Sanchez and make him feel the pressure to fight for this job, which Tebow never did since Rex Ryan clearly never supported him.
The team could also use some serious help at running back to alleviate some of the pressure on whoever the quarterback is. A pass rusher on defense would be another need for them. All in all, the Jets are not too far off from being good, and this draft is very important for them to capitalize and bring in a few elite talents to complete the holes on their roster.
Despite the 5-11 record, this team has been quietly building up a roster deep with young talent. Their record was deceiving, as they were in almost every game. They only lost by more than 14 points twice.
This team needs a bit of fine tuning. They have big playmakers in Trent Richardson and Joe Haden, and they mostly just need to complement them with a few more hard-nosed players to bring this team back from the abyss.
Their big priorities should be acquiring a big-time wide receiver that can make tough catches and help out recent first round pick Brandon Weeden, and dynamic players in their front seven on defense. They have a number of decent pass-rushers, but not one single player that the other team has to really fear and game-plan for. In the later rounds, they need to look at secondary help, as they ranked 25th in the NFL against the pass. Also, fortifying the offensive line to maximize the abilities of Richardson is of utmost importance.
The Browns have a solid foundation, and are just a few big pieces away from making some noise. They need quality over quantity, and swinging for the fences should definitely be their plan of action.