Having a late first-round pick in the NFL Draft doesn’t mean you’re sitting pretty.
On the contrary, there are several teams that come to mind with glaring positional gaps —gaps they need to fill quick, fast and in a hurry.
The following franchises aren’t in terrible shape, but they have very specific needs they must meet if they want to improve in 2013.
And they’ll have to make moves in the draft to do it.
New England Patriots
The Patriots secondary has been beaten like it stole something over the past few seasons, and with 2012 draft pick Alfonzo Dennard facing up to six years in prison, their chances of improving just dropped again.
Drafting defensive backs has obviously been a perilous affair for Bill Belichick, but if the team won’t shell out for free agents like Charles Woodson or Terrence McGee, they need to move up from their 29th position and pick Dee Milliner before the Lions do.
Sitting 24th in the drafting order, the Indianapolis Colts are missing out on a chance to pick up the elite-level talent they need to reinforce their flimsy pass-protection.
Andrew Luck was sacked 41 times over the course of the 2012 season, and if the Colts want to make it deep into playoffs, they need to trade up and pick a starting-quality offensive lineman who can become an immediate impact for them.
It’s not sexy, but they need to make it happen.
The Texans started the 2012 season with a red-hot 12-1 record, but injury problems on the defensive side of the ball caused the Texans to falter down the stretch.
The Texans don’t have a glaring positional gap at defensive end, but Antonio Smith is 31 years old. That being said, Houston could stand to move up from their 27th pick and secure another elite defensive end like LSU’s Barkevious Mingo in order to nail down the future of the team’s defensive line.
The Bears need an offensive line, and they need it yesterday.
Chicago’s o-line allowed 38 sacks on Jay Cutler in last season, and if they don’t want to end 2013 like they did 2011 (with their quarterback injured on the bench being hated by the entire city) they need to make moves.