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2014 NFL Draft: Needs and Targets for Teams After First Week of Free Agency

Eric GalkoFeatured ColumnistMarch 17, 2014

2014 NFL Draft: Needs and Targets for Teams After First Week of Free Agency

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    John Raoux/Associated Press

    The first week of free agency has come and gone with more than a handful of teams filling major needs and altering what their plans on draft day will likely entail.

    While a handful of top free agents are still remaining, the reshuffling of feature players has likely subsided for now, and for many teams that spent heavily in free agency, the draft will be their next step in turning their franchise around or keeping the team in playoff contention.

    Here's the updated top three needs for each team after the first week of free agency, with the potential early-rounder they can draft to fill that need. I sorted the needs by position (offense, then defense), outside of a few circumstances in which a team's need was clearly not on par with the others, in which case, it was listed last.

    In some cases, the prospects listed are immediate starters who have the talent and playmaking ability to be true difference-makers from Day 1. Other prospects have the upside to be impact players down the road, while others are fully capable of providing youthful depth to solidify a weak unit.

Houston Texans

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    Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

    Quarterback

    Draft Answer: Blake Bortles, UCF

    The Texans didn't go after any of the top free-agent quarterbacks, including passing on Josh McCown, who eventually signed with the Bucs. The longer they wait to address the position, the more it looks like they're banking on Blake Bortles. 

     

    Defensive Lineman

    Draft Answer: Stephon Tuitt, Notre Dame

    The defense is already in great shape, but adding depth to the front three would be wise, as Romeo Crennel will want big bodies up front. Stephon Tuitt has the size of a defensive tackle but the power as a rusher of an end, and he would fit well in Crennel's 3-4 scheme.

     

    Inside Linebacker

    Draft Answer: Yawin Smallwood, UConn

    In need of depth on the inside, Yawin Smallwood could quickly emerge as a starter by the middle of his rookie year. With the range to play the weak inside linebacker spot, Smallwood could be their target in Round 3.

Washington Redskins

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    Safety

    Draft Answer: Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State

    Bacarri Rambo proved last year that he isn't the long-term answer, and this team needs to protect the center of the field with the offensively talented Eagles and Cowboys in the division. Lamarcus Joyner can play multiple safety and cornerback spots.

     

    Versatile Linebacker

    Draft Answer: Carl Bradford, Arizona State

    A bit undersized, Carl Bradford can play both inside and weakside in the NFL after a productive college career. After losing London Fletcher this offseason, the Redskins need ample linebacker depth, and Bradford can provide that and more.

     

    Offensive Line Depth

    Draft Answer: Cameron Fleming, Stanford

    While they are proficient at most starting offensive line spots, they certainly need depth and probably a long-term upgrade at most spots outside of left tackle. Cameron Fleming played tackle in college, but at 6'6", he could make the move inside as well. 

Jacksonville Jaguars

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    Al Behrman/Associated Press

    Quarterback

    Draft Answer: Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville

    Even after re-signing Chad Henne, it's clear the Jaguars need a "quarterback of the future" on their roster. Teddy Bridgewater has long been linked to them and has the football IQ and arm talent to start Day 1.

     

    Offensive Guard

    Draft Answer: Jon Halapio, Florida

    A powerful interior presence, Jon Halapio could provide an immediate upgrade over Will Rackley. By staying in-state, the Jaguars can cure one of their biggest needs and keep whomever their quarterback is upright and the running game more productive.

     

    Outside Linebacker

    Draft Answer: Jeremiah Attaochu, Georgia Tech

    The Jaguars have been big winners in free agency, finding ideal fits for Gus Bradley's defense. However, they still need to upgrade their pass rush, and there's a chance the high-upside Jeremiah Attaochu slips to them in the early second round.

Cleveland Browns

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    Quarterback

    Draft Answer: Derek Carr/Jimmy Garoppolo/Johnny Manziel

    To no one's surprise, the Browns have made it all but explicitly clear that they'll be targeting a quarterback early in the draft. They've been linked to a variety of passers, including the three above. If they want Johnny Manziel, they'll likely target him in the top 10. If they wait until the late first or early second, Derek Carr and Jimmy Garoppolo are fits. 

     

    Running Back

    Draft Answer: Carlos Hyde, Ohio State

    The team clearly needs running back help, particularly when it comes to having size to help finish drives. Why not stay in-state and get one of the few runners in this class worthy of a first-round grade? Carlos Hyde can be an instant impact for this offense.

     

    Inside Linebacker

    Draft Answer: Chris Borland, Wisconsin

    Staying with the 3-4 defense, new head coach Mike Pettine likely wants to find leadership in the draft if at all possible with this young and turmoil-filled roster. Chris Borland can fit inside and has experience as a plus-leader throughout his college career.

Oakland Raiders

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    Quarterback

    Draft Answer: Teddy Bridgewater/AJ McCarron

    If Bridgewater makes it to the fifth overall pick, I'd be surprised if the quarterback-needy Raiders don't scoop him up. But if not, they could look for another NFL-ready passer. And after Bridgewater, AJ McCarron likely has the best chance to play Week 1 and can be had for a second-round pick.

     

    Defensive Lineman

    Draft Answer: Will Clarke, West Virginia

    They've been active in free agency and already have found some upgrades on their defense line, but youth is still a question mark. Will Clarke can play end in their 4-3 defense, and he has the length to be moved inside in certain packages. 

     

    Defensive Back

    Draft Answer: Antone Exum, Virginia Tech

    With needs for starting safety spots and cornerback depth, the Raiders would be wise to target players who can play both spots. Antone Exum has experience at both and could be an instant starter at safety if he's healthy.

Atlanta Falcons

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    Patric Schneider/Associated Press

    Offensive Tackle

    Draft Answer: Jake Matthews, Texas A&M

    The Falcons added Jon Asamoah to their offensive line, which should certainly help protect Matt Ryan in 2014. But the offensive line still needs ample work, and Jake Matthews can be a plug-and-play starter at tackle and probably either guard spot as a rookie.

     

    Defensive End

    Draft Answer: Trent Murphy, Stanford

    The Falcons signed (and overpaid for) Tyson Jackson in free agency, but he isn't the long-term answer. Trent Murphy can provide depth as a rookie, but odds are he'll be asked to start early in his pro career.

     

    Safety

    Draft Answer: Deone Bucannon, Washington State

    In need of a new free safety starter and depth overall, Deone Bucannon can step in and do one or both by the time his rookie season is over. Despite drafting multiple defensive backs last year, I'd expect them to do the same in 2014.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    David Cleveland/Associated Press

    Tight End

    Draft Answer: C.J. Fiedorowicz, Iowa

    Lovie Smith knows he has two talented, big-bodied receivers on the edge, so finding a tight end who can control the short area and help as a blocker seems right up his alley. Fiedorowicz does both of those things well and can start Day 1 in the NFL. 

     

    Defensive Line Depth

    Draft Answer: Justin Ellis, Louisiana Tech

    Gerald McCoy will likely produce at an even higher level with two talented defensive ends outside of him, but he'll need some depth and a nose tackle alongside of him on the inside. Ellis can play both nose tackle and situational 3-technique, providing the best of both worlds.

     

    Quarterback

    Draft Answer: Derek Carr, Fresno State

    After signing Josh McCown and having Mike Glennon in the fold, drafting a quarterback isn't a lock. However, with the team addressing all of its major needs in free agency, that could lead to a luxury pick in the first round. If it goes quarterback early, Derek Carr appears to be the best fit.

Minnesota Vikings

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    Linebacker

    Draft Answer: Ryan Shazier, Ohio State

    The team is banking on last year's Day 3 picks, Gerald Hodges and Michael Mauti, to be the starters this season, which is encouraging but far from a key to success as of now. Ryan Shazier is a plus athlete, fits Mike Zimmer's defense and can be an instant starter.

     

    Defensive End

    Draft Answer: Aaron Lynch, South Florida

    New head coach Zimmer has done wonders with defensive linemen in the past, and given Lynch's elite talent, there may not be a better coach to get the most out of him. Plus, they need the defensive end depth.

     

    Quarterback

    Draft Answer: Blake Bortles/Zach Mettenberger

    The Vikings need to address the quarterback position sooner rather than later, and finding a passer to develop behind Matt Cassel seems like a wise play this year. If Bortles doesn't go first overall, he may fall to the Vikings. If he's not there, the strong-armed Zach Mettenberger could be the option in the second or third round.

Buffalo Bills

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    Tight End

    Draft Answer: Eric Ebron, North Carolina

    The Bills need to provide weapons for EJ Manuel if they hope to see last year's first-round pick succeed in the NFL. Eric Ebron can develop into his best friend, with his pass-catching and developed route running skills in the middle of the field. 

     

    Offensive Line Depth

    Draft Answer: Billy Turner, North Dakota State

    Utilizing physical pass blockers and mauling run blockers, the Bills need depth and long-term starters on the offensive line. Billy Turner isn't ready yet, but has the upside to be one of the better tackles or guards in this draft class.

     

    Free Safety

    Draft Answer: Jonathan Dowling, Western Kentucky

    After seeing Jairus Byrd walk, the Bills clearly need help in the back end. If they pass on a free safety in the first round, they likely won't find a clear starter at the position. However, in the later rounds, Jonathan Dowling can be had and could develop into a plus center fielder in time.

Detroit Lions

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    Paul Sancya/Associated Press

    Safety

    Draft Answer: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Alabama

    With Louis Delmas gone and no in-house replacement ready, the Lions need to find a new safety early in the draft to fill his void. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is the best safety in the class and can take over his starting spot early in his rookie season.

     

    Cornerback

    Draft Answer: Keith McGill, Utah

    The Lions have invested in cornerbacks many times in recent drafts, but it remains a long-term need. Keith McGill can play the physical style the Lions want to play, and if he doesn't work at cornerback, he could provide plus safety depth.

     

    Wide Receiver

    Draft Answer: Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt

    Even after signing Golden Tate, the Lions still need to address a position that has plagued them for years. There's a good chance Jordan Matthews may even be had for a third-rounder, and grabbing a fringe starter at that point would be a steal for Matthew Stafford and the Lions offense.

Tennessee Titans

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    Offensive Tackle

    Draft Answer: Antonio Richardson, Tennessee

    The Titans need to find future replacements for the aging Michael Roos and David Stewart at both tackle spots, especially since both are in the final years of their contracts. If they pass on a first-round tackle, Antonio Richardson in the second makes a lot of sense.

     

    Cornerback

    Draft Answer: Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State

    Losing Alterraun Verner is tough for the defense, as he wasn't one of the more consistent playmakers on a solid defense. Justin Gilbert has a remarkable upside, but they'll clearly need to ease him into the starting role. 

     

    Running Back

    Draft Answer: Charles Sims, West Virginia

    Chris Johnson appears to be on his way out, either through release or trade, and they don't have a starter-ready running back on the roster. Charles Sims can be a starter as well as a valuable third-down option.

New York Giants

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    Offensive Tackle

    Draft Answer: Taylor Lewan, Michigan

    David Diehl retired, and William Beatty was far from consistent this past season. After not addressing the position in free agency, they'd be unwise to pass on Taylor Lewan if he's available at pick No. 12.

     

    Tight End

    Draft Answer: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington

    Eli Manning hasn't had a capable starting tight end in years, and it's time the Giants found him a new weapon in the middle of the field. The long, high-ceiling Austin Seferian-Jenkins could quickly resolve some of the passing game issues the Giants had last year.

     

    Linebacker

    Draft Answer: Demarcus Lawrence, Boise State

    Linebacker has long been an issue for the Giants, so finding a capable and long-term answer at the position would be ideal. Demarcus Lawrence would work best at strong-side linebacker and could provide the defense with added pass-rushing capability.

St. Louis Rams

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    Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

    Offensive Tackle

    Draft Answer: Greg Robinson, Auburn

    Greg Robinson has long been linked to the Rams, as the team could use long-term upgrades at both tackle spots, and they're picking high enough to land the draft's best tackle. 

     

    Safety

    Draft Answer: Calvin Pryor, Louisville

    After doing a fantastic job in recent years in drafting for the defense, the Rams have a loaded front seven. However, their secondary still needs work, particularly at safety. Calvin Pryor can help and likely start at both spots.

     

    Defensive Line Depth

    Draft Answer: DaQuan Jones, Penn State

    As I said, the Rams are set starter-wise in the front seven. But keeping that a strength long-term is crucial to giving the Rams a chance in a brutal NFC West, and DaQuan Jones can provide interior depth at both spots.

Chicago Bears

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    Defensive Tackle

    Draft Answer: Caraun Reid, Princeton

    The Bears put a premium on the defensive spot in free agency but have yet to add to their interior spots. Caraun Reid is best as a 3-technique, one of their biggest needs defensively, but he can provide third-down pass-rushing ability from the nose tackle spot as well. 

     

    Linebacker

    Draft Answer: Shayne Skov, Stanford

    The team's past linebacker success has faded, and they are in need of a new linebacker identity for the future. Shayne Skov can step in as an instant starter at inside linebacker and potentially give this defense a spark for the 2014 season.

     

    Cornerback

    Draft Answer: Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State

    Charles Tillman re-signed in Chicago, but the Bears can't expect him to be much more than a stop-gap at a crucial position in today's NFL. Darqueze Dennard can fill the eventual void and take away starter snaps from Tillman.

Pittsburgh Steelers

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    Offensive Tackle

    Draft Answer: Brandon Thomas, Clemson
    Kevin Beachum played well at left tackle last year and Maurkice Pouncey is a solid center, but outside of that, the Steelers could consider upgrades at every offensive line position. Brandon Thomas has the strength to play on the edge but also could provide starter upside at guard.

     

    Nose Tackle

    Draft Answer: Louis Nix, Notre Dame

    After not adding a nose tackle to the roster in free agency, the Steelers almost need to find a starter in this draft. Louis Nix is the best and most NFL-ready of the players at his position in the draft and has college experience working as a 3-4 nose tackle.

     

    Cornerback

    Draft Answer: Pierre Desir, Lindenwood

    In need of long-term cornerback options, the Steelers likely will target a handful of defensive backs on Days 2 and 3 of the draft. Pierre Desir has a very high ceiling, but needs work as a rookie. He'd fit perfectly in the Steelers locker room.

Dallas Cowboys

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    Offensive Tackle

    Draft Answer: Jack Mewhort, Ohio State

    The long-term Doug Free experiment hasn't worked out all that well for the Cowboys, and it's about time they consider his future replacement. Jack Mewhort looked solid at both guard spots and right tackle at the Senior Bowl and could provide instant value there.

     

    Defensive Tackle

    Draft Answer: Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh

    Barring the Cowboys getting Henry Melton in free agency, they should be praying that Aaron Donald is available when they pick at No. 16. An instant impact interior pass-rusher, Donald would do wonders for a defense desperate for a consistent pass rush.

     

    Safety

    Draft Answer: Ed Reynolds, Stanford

    With talent and money spent at cornerback, the struggling secondary likely won't experience any upgrade at that position. However, safety is still a strong option in the early rounds, and Reynolds has plus-football IQ and experience in Cover-2 defense to slide right into a rotation.

     

Baltimore Ravens

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    Safety

    Draft Answer: Vinnie Sunseri, Alabama

    The Ravens have always done a fantastic job of adding to their defensive back crop in the middle and late rounds. It's a need again, so getting the underappreciated Vinnie Sunseri, who is also coming off an injury, would be a savvy move. 

     

    Inside Linebacker

    Draft Answer: Yawin Smallwood, UConn

    Smallwood will be coveted by multiple teams looking for Day 2 inside linebacker help, so the Ravens may need to reach into the second round to fill this need. He's a plus athlete with range, explosiveness and body control through contact.

     

    Offensive Line Depth

    Draft Answer: Seantrel Henderson, Miami (Fla.)

    The Ravens have found stop-gaps in recent years along their offensive line, but they need some long-term starter options to protect Joe Flacco for the future. David Mims is currently slated as the right tackle, and while he has talent, he'll need some competition as a first-year starter.

New York Jets

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    Wide Receiver

    Draft Answer: Odell Beckham, LSU

    Even after Eric Decker in free agency, this team clearly still has holes in its receiving unit. Odell Beckham has the upside to be an eventual No. 1 option for Geno Smith for the future.

     

    Outside Linebacker

    Draft Answer: Howard Jones, Shepherd

    Rex Ryan loves finding high-upside pass-rushers to develop, and with the Jets needing new edge players, he'll likely ask for the team to target one early. Howard Jones is raw and from a small school, but he looks the part of a top-100 pick.

     

    Cornerback

    Draft Answer: Phillip Gaines, Rice

    A bit of a reach in the top 100 in my opinion, Phillip Gaines had a plus Shrine Game and NFL combine performance that should vault him into the second- or third-round discussion. He'll fill a need that Antonio Cromartie left for the Jets.

Miami Dolphins

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    Offensive Tackle

    Draft Answer: Zack Martin, Notre Dame

    The Dolphins have few capable starters or rotational players on their current offensive line, so adding as much depth as possible is important. Zack Martin is one of the best tackles or guards in this class and makes sense to target in the first round.

     

    Offensive Guard

    Draft Answer: David Yankey, Stanford

    As stated earlier, the Dolphins simply need offensive line talent for next year. David Yankey can start early in his college career and play left or right guard.

     

    Safety

    Draft Answer: Jonathan Dowling, Western Kentucky

    After offensive line, safety is the biggest need. With limited options on draft day after the first round, the Dolphins will need to strike it rich in the later rounds. Dowling is my pick for a sleeper safety to be an eventual NFL starter.

Arizona Cardinals

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    Outside Linebacker

    Draft Answer: Marcus Smith, Louisville

    In an NFC West that features Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson, finding pass-rushers to keep them off-balance is essential. The Cardinals don't have an impact rusher right now, but Marcus Smith could develop into that.

     

    Cornerback

    Draft Answer: Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech

    With Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu in the fold, the Cardinals secondary has play markets readily available. However, adding Kyle Fuller or another top cornerback will solidify the secondary as a strength moving forward.

     

    Quarterback

    Draft Answer: Logan Thomas, Virginia

    Carson Palmer isn't the long-term answer for the Cardinals, so you could imagine that Bruce Arians wants to start developing a passer now. Logan Thomas has his inconsistencies and poor film, but Arians may feel he can right the ship with the supremely talented Thomas.

Green Bay Packers

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    Tight End

    Draft Answer: Richard Rodgers, California

    With Jermichael Finley gone, the Packers need a new tight end threat. Richard Rodgers is a bit of a receiver-only and developmental player, but has the upside and positional versatility to be a worthwhile late Day 2 pick.

     

    Inside Linebacker

    Draft Answer: Jordan Zumwalt, UCLA

    Finding inside help has been a must-do for this team for a few years now, and it'd be wise to attack this inside linebacker class early because it lacks depth. Jordan Zumwalt has ideal size and plays with a mean streak. 

     

    Cornerback

    Draft Answer: Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State

    Adding to the defensive back group remains an important part of what the Packers need to do this offseason. Dennard is an instant plug-and-play starter who can turn the host of solid talents into quality depth behind him.

Philadelphia Eagles

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    Inside Linebacker

    Draft Answer: Jordan Zumwalt, UCLA

    Both Mychal Kendricks and DeMeco Ryans are capable talents at inside linebacker but haven't been consistent in slowing down the run. Adding a third linebacker to the mix could keep both fresh. 

     

    Outside Linebacker

    Draft Answer: Chris Smith, Arkansas

    Connor Barwin has been good but not great, and Trent Cole is getting up there in age. Adding a new face to the pass rush would be wise for Chip Kelly and the Eagles. 

     

    Safety

    Draft Answer: Jimmie Ward, Northern Illinois

    The Eagles already added Malcolm Jenkins to their safety crew, but strong safety is still a need. Jimmie Ward can add value at both safety and nickel cornerback.

Kansas City Chiefs

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    Wide Receiver

    Draft Answer: Allen Robinson, Penn State

    Andy Reid's offense needs help in the receiver area, and Allen Robinson is an instant starter in the mold of Keenan Allen. While it should be the pick in the first round, there's a chance Robinson slips into the second round.

     

    Defensive Lineman

    Draft Answer: Ra'Shede Hageman, Minnesota

    Dontari Poe has been an awesome surprise for the Chiefs, but they still need more defensive line talent. Ra'Shede Hageman has some question marks on and off the field, but he has the size and skill set to play the 5-technique.

     

    Safety

    Draft Answer: Deone Bucannon, Washington State

    Free safety is a glaring need for the Chiefs, and there aren't a ton of great options in the draft. Bucannon can play both safety spots, so he can fill in at free and provide depth at both for the future.

     

Cincinnati Bengals

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    Offensive Line

    Draft Answer: Joel Bitonio, Nevada

    The Bengals have consistently done a good job of keeping the offensive line cupboard full with talent, and Joel Bitonio would be a nice stash/situational starter for the Bengals.

     

    Defensive End

    Draft Answer: Kony Ealy, Missouri

    Similar to their offensive line, the defensive line has always had a handful of rushers in development. With Michael Johnson gone, look for the Bengals to find another elitely talented pass-rusher to develop.

     

    Safety

    Draft Answer: Dion Bailey, USC

    Only George Iloka is on the depth chart as a strong safety, so finding depth and competition for the former mid-rounder would be wise. Dion Bailey is a linebacker convert but looks to be a plus-strong safety in the NFL.

San Diego Chargers

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    Cornerback

    Draft Answer: Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State

    Cornerback is the Chargers' most glaring need, and they'll have a chance to find a good one early in the draft. Justin Gilbert is the top prize for cornerback-needy teams because of his upside, and he may not be around for the Chargers unless they trade up.

     

    Outside Linebacker

    Draft Answer: Chris Smith, Arkansas

    Pass-rushers aren't easy to find, and San Diego knows it. With Jarret Johnson and Dwight Freeney's best days behind them, finding a pass-rusher to pair with Melvin Ingram for the future would be wise.

     

    Offensive Guard

    Draft Answer: Gabe Jackson, Mississippi State

    The Chargers added D.J. Fluker last year, and it was a major success. However, their offensive line upgrades shouldn't stop there, and adding another mauling presence is likely their plan. Gabe Jackson could be an early starter at either guard spot.

Indianapolis Colts

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    Center

    Draft Answer: Weston Richburg, Colorado State

    The Colts are slated to start Khaled Holmes at center, which may not be the best option. Weston Richburg is a powerful, controlled center who would be a much better option for 2014 and beyond.

     

    Offensive Tackle

    Draft Answer: Morgan Moses, Virginia

    The Indianapolis offensive line as a whole needs work, including at tackle. With Anthony Castonzo and Gosder Cherilus slated as capable but not great tackles, finding a rookie to compete with both would be ideal. 

     

    Safety

    Draft Answer: Dion Bailey, USC

    On defense, finding more help for the secondary, particularly at safety, is a big need. Bailey can add talent to their strong safety group, and based on who they have the roster, he may be the Day 1 starter.

     

New Orleans Saints

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    GM Andrews/Associated Press

    Offensive Tackle

    Draft Answer: Seantrel Henderson, Miami (Fla.)

    The Saints have been known to develop high-ceiling offensive tackles in the past, so nabbing Seantrel Henderson in the middle rounds seems like a good fit. He could develop into their long-term left or right tackle.

     

    Outside Linebacker

    Draft Answer: Dee Ford, Auburn

    Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan needs more help on the edge, and he'd likely love to get to work with the elite quickness and body control of Dee Ford.

     

    Cornerback

    Draft Answer: Marcus Roberson, Florida

    The Saints defense was improved last year, but they still need top-tier depth if they hope to survive in an NFC South that has Matt Ryan and Cam Newton playing in it. Marcus Roberson has feature cornerback upside.

Carolina Panthers

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    Wide Receiver

    Draft Answer: Brandin Cooks, Oregon State

    With Carolina losing Steve Smith, why not find another deep threat with elite speed to work with Newton? That's exactly what Brandin Cooks can do, and he'll be routinely mocked to the Panthers because of that skill set.

     

    Offensive Tackle

    Draft Answer: Morgan Moses, Virginia

    Jordan Gross' retirement left the Panthers with a gaping hole at tackle, and they'll need to find a starter at some point in free agency or the draft. Moses isn't elite, but has the length, experience and hand strength to play at tackle early in his career.

     

    Cornerback

    Draft Answer: Bradley Roby, Ohio State

    While the offense needs help, losing Captain Munnerlyn leaves a big hole at cornerback with the Panthers. If they don't look at receiver early, they'll likely consider one of the top cornerbacks, with Bradley Roby fitting the defense best in the late first round.

New England Patriots

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    Offensive Guard

    Draft Answer: Cyril Richardson, Baylor

    The Patriots are OK for now on the interior of their offensive line, but they'll need help in that area for the future. Cyril Richardson ins't great laterally, but he fits size-wise to what the Patriots have been looking to build along their offensive line.

     

    Tight End

    Draft Answer: Troy Niklas, Notre Dame

    For a team that seemingly redefined the position a few years ago, the Patriots already have a glaring need at tight end. Troy Niklas can both block and has top-tier pass-catching potential. He'll likely be one of their prime first-round considerations. 

     

    Nose Tackle

    Draft Answer: Timmy Jernigan, Florida State

    With Vince Wilfork on his way out in New England, they'll need to find his replacement in the draft. Timmy Jernigan has some motor question marks, but he could fill a major void in the defense if he can play at 100 percent throughout his rookie season snaps.

San Francisco 49ers

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    Safety

    Draft Answer: Jimmie Ward, Northern Illinois

    The 49ers need help at safety pretty badly, so look for this team to strongly consider the position if one of the elite talents doesn't fall to them. Ward can play strong or free safety and provide depth at interior cornerback spots.

     

    Cornerback

    Draft Answer: Jaylen Watkins, Florida

    Along with safety, the 49ers need cornerback help, especially in the nickel and guys who can play early. Enter Jaylen Watkins, who can fill both voids.

     

    Wide Receiver

    Draft Answer: Davante Adams, Fresno State

    After re-signing Anquan Boldin, getting Michael Crabtree back from injury and drafting Quinton Patton a year ago, receiver isn't a crucial need. But giving Kaepernick another weapon will only help his development.

Denver Broncos

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    Wide Receiver

    Draft Answer: Davonte Adams, Fresno State

    After losing Eric Decker, it became clear that the Broncos have talent at their starting receiver spots but lack depth to keep this offense successful in the future. Davonte Adams could be a trendy coveted receiver in the second and third round.

     

    Offensive Line Depth

    Draft Answer: Travis Swanson, Arkansas

    The Broncos have done a plus job in keeping most areas of the offense young, but they still need interior offensive lineman depth and youth. Travis Swanson can play center or right guard for this team into the future.

     

    Cornerback

    Draft Answer: Jason Verrett, TCU

    With Champ Bailey gone, the Broncos needed to address the position in free agency. However, even after adding Aqib Talib, the team still needs capable starters at the opposite and nickel cornerback spot. Jason Verrett is as pro-ready as you'll find in this class.

Seattle Seahawks

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    Butch Dill/Associated Press

    Wide Receiver

    Draft Answer: Brandon Coleman, Rutgers

    With Sidney Rice and Golden Tate gone, the Seahawks need to start finding new receiver talent to develop for the future. Brandon Coleman is a high-upside receiver with No. 1 receiver potential if he can develop across the board.

     

    Offensive Tackle

    Draft Answer: Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama

    Despite the knee question marks, the Seahawks likely would be happy to take the mauling offensive tackle to fill one of the their bigger needs early in the draft. Cyrus Kouandjio fits the mean and physical style of play Seattle has become known for.

     

    Cornerback

    Draft Answer: Pierre Desir, Lindenwood

    Brandon Browner and Walter Thurmond are gone, and the team can't pay all of the cornerback talent on the roster after Richard Sherman in the future. Desir would be a nice developmental cornerback who fits the defense very well.

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