NFL Draft 2014: Pinpointing Top Position of Need for Every Team

Sean ODonnellContributor IIIFebruary 4, 2014

South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney warms up before the start of an NCAA college football game against Florida Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/ Richard Shiro)
RICHARD SHIRO/Associated Press

Super Bowl XLVIII has come and gone. Now it's time for all 32 NFL teams to focus on the offseason and prepare for the upcoming 2014 NFL draft in May. Each team has the same goal at this point in the year: get better.

Building through the draft is absolutely crucial for the success of any NFL franchise. Each team has holes that need filling—some more so than others. This could be due to players hitting the free-agent market or just simply not working out. Whatever the circumstance may be, bringing in a solid draft class is key.

No matter how deep each team's roster may be, every single franchise has one glaring position of need. Let's take a look at the position that is the absolute top priority for every NFL team heading into the draft.

Top Position of Need for Each NFL Team
Draft PositionTeamPosition of Need
1Houston TexansQB
2, 13St. Louis RamsOT
3Jacksonville JaguarsQB
4, 26Cleveland BrownsQB
5Oakland RaidersQB
6Atlanta FalconsDE
7Tampa Bay BuccaneersDE
8Minnesota VikingsQB
9Buffalo BillsLB
10Detroit LionsCB
11Tennessee TitansS
12New York GiantsLB
14Chicago BearsDT
15Pittsburgh SteelersOT
16Baltimore RavensWR
17Dallas CowboysS
18New York JetsWR
19Miami DolphinsOT
20Arizona CardinalsOT
21Green Bay PackersS
22Philadelphia EaglesLB
23Kansas City ChiefsWR
24Cincinnati BengalsCB
25San Diego ChargersCB
27New Orleans SaintsLB
28Carolina PanthersWR
29New England PatriotsOG
30San Francisco 49ersWR
31Denver BroncosOT
32Seattle SeahawksTE
34Washington RedskinsDE
58Indianapolis ColtsOG
Draft Order via


Cleveland Browns: Quarterback

The Browns have been in absolute disarray regarding the quarterback position for years. In 2013, the team started three different quarterbacks over the course of the season. Cleveland has now started multiple quarterbacks each season for the last 12 years.

The last time a Browns quarterback started a full 16-game season was Tim Couch in 2001. That absolutely needs to change for this franchise.

This year, the Browns are fortunate enough to have two first-round draft selections. Their first pick comes at No. 4 overall—a perfect spot for a top-tier quarterback.

With four quarterbacks who could possibly be top-10 selections, the Browns have a great chance to get their man. Whether that player is Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles or Derek Carr, the Browns will finally have a solid, young quarterback to build around.

Once their new quarterback is locked up, they can concentrate on other areas; however, a new signal-caller is priority No. 1.


Atlanta Falcons: Defensive End

Ever since the Falcons parted ways with John Abraham due to cap space, they have simply not been able to muster any kind of a pass rush. Atlanta attempted to put a band-aid in the form of Osi Umenyiora at right defensive end. He did finish the 2013-14 season with 7.5 sacks; however, the team failed to generate constant pressure.

As a team, the Falcons finished the regular season with just 32 sacks. Only the Chicago Bears and Jacksonville Jaguars finished with less.

Luckily for Atlanta, it holds the No. 6 overall selection in this year's draft.

Due to the need for quarterbacks ahead of the Falcons, there is a possibility of defensive end and freak athlete Jadeveon Clowney falling to them. That would absolutely be the best-case scenario for this franchise. If head coach Mike Smith was told he would be getting Clowney at six overall, it's easy to assume he would be overjoyed.

Even if Clowney does not fall to Atlanta, it still has other options in Khalil Mack and Anthony Barr—two pass-rush specialists who would surely be a huge upgrade.


Baltimore Ravens: Wide Receiver

The Ravens took a dramatic decline over the 2013-14 season. Going from Super Bowl champions to a .500 team that failed to make the playoffs must continue to sting for this club. Fortunately, Baltimore is in prime position to get back to its old ways through the draft.

After trading wide receiver Anquan Boldin to the San Francisco 49ers, the Ravens were left without a legitimate No. 1 target for quarterback Joe Flacco. After all, Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones are speedsters, and Tandon Doss and Marlon Brown are inexperienced. Not one of them is a true top target.

Due to insufficient weapons, Flacco had his worst career year last season. He completed 59.0 percent of his passes for 3,912 yards, 19 touchdowns and 22 interceptions for a passer rating of 73.1. A huge drop-off from his 87.7 rating one year prior.

At 16 overall, Baltimore will get a chance to grab its wide receiver of the future. Wide receivers Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans, Marqise Lee, Kelvin Benjamin, Allen Robinson, Odell Beckham and Brandin Cooks are all expected to go in the first round.

Take your pick, Baltimore.


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