NFL Predictions: Biggest Offseason Need for Every Single NFL Team
From the Green Bay Packers to the Carolina Panthers, every team has one need they have to address above all others.
Even the Packers have to address a potential problem on their team in 2011, but we'll get to that.
Between the draft, free agency and trades, teams try and fill as many holes as they can. Not every team can fill every hole in one offseason, and sometimes what you thought wasn't a problem becomes a big headache overnight.
We'll run down every team in the league and what each one's biggest need is this offseason.
1. Carolina Panthers
With a team like the Panthers, there is the problem of which need is the biggest. The Panthers have a lot of holes and won't be able to plug all of them this year.
The Panthers do not have a franchise quarterback. Jimmy Clausen looked terrible and doesn't appear anywhere near ready to be the quarterback the Panthers need him to be.
Because of Andrew Luck's decision to stay in college, Clausen gets one more chance. Assuming the 2011 season isn't interrupted, Clausen may prove he was the guy all along, or the Panthers will once again be in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes.
2. Denver Broncos
The Broncos are about to lose Champ Bailey and Perrish Cox is in pretty big legal trouble at the moment.
The Broncos need to either draft a young prospect, re-sign Bailey, or both.
3. Buffalo Bills
Ryan Fitzpatrick got the Bills through the 2010 season, but how much faith are you really going to put into the guy as the future of the franchise?
The Bills need a franchise quarterback, but they may not get him this year.
If the Bills decide to draft a project quarterback, then their next biggest need is some effective pass rushers.
4. Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals also need some pass rushers, especially in a division that features Ben Roethlisberger, Joe Flacco, and possibly an emerging Colt McCoy.
Da'Quan Bowers will be the draft pick should he fall to the Bengals.
Then there's the Carson Palmer situation, but we'll just go with the current situation. As long as Palmer is on the roster, the Bengals need to focus on generating a pass rush as their number one offseason priority.
5. Arizona Cardinals
What doesn't Ken Whisenhunt need on that team?
You can't go into the 2011 season with Derek Anderson as your starter and John Skelton just isn't ready for the job yet. I'm predicting Skelton can be the guy one day, but that day is not today.
Anderson and his Arm of Doom need to not play in the NFL anymore, so that makes a quarterback the Cardinals biggest need.
6. Cleveland Browns
The Browns have an emerging star quarterback in Colt McCoy, but his two top wide receivers, Mohamed Massaquoi and Brian Robiskie, couldn't run a proper route if you drew them a map and gave them a GPS system.
The awfulness of Eric Mangini's 2009 draft continues to haunt the Browns as two second-round picks probably won't be on the roster by the end of the 2011 campaign.
The Browns need a quality wide receiver. Many hope the Browns will end up with A.J. Green in the draft, but right now anything is better than what they have.
7. San Francisco 49ers
Another team, another quarterback.
Jim Harbaugh is going to have to decide if he thinks he can develop Alex Smith or if he has to blow it up and draft a rookie.
That's the decision he faces, and that will determine the future of the team.
8. Tennesee Titans
The Titans kept hoping Vince Young would mature, and that he would lead that team to the Super Bowl.
But Young is a head case who isn't going to magically find his inner leadership skills. Now the Titans join the growing list of teams who need a new quarterback going into 2011.
9. Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys need a cornerback. Michael Jenkins stunk like a two-day old diaper on the field and there was no excuse for his poor play. Whether he quit or his talent disappeared is irrelevant. There is no way this guy deserves to be on the field for the Cowboys in 2011.
The Cowboys have to address the gaping hole in the secondary with a draft pick this offseason.
10. Washington Redskins
Like most stupid rich people, Redskins owner Daniel Snyder thinks you can solve a problem by throwing money at it.
Smart rich people know money only is one part of the equation. That's why they're smart, and that's why they're rich.
How Snyder has maintained his wealth is a mystery considering his laundry list of bad decisions culminated in a witty newspaper article that spawned another bad decision by Snyder, who sued the newspaper for daring to summarize his complete lack of brains.
Enter Donovan McNabb. Exit Donovan McNabb.
Yep, the Redskins need a new quarterback.
11. Houston Texans
Wade Phillips is now in charge of the Texans defense, a unit that completely fell apart last year.
The Texans offense was very good, and if the defense could've stopped some teams, the Texans might have been a playoff contender.
If you ask me what their top need is on the defense, I'm going to say, "Yes."
If you decided to torture me to get a more specific answer, I'm going to say nose tackle.
12. Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings kept hoping Brett Favre would never get old and that Tarvaris Jackson would develop.
If Cam Newton falls to the 12th pick, expect the Vikings to take him. Otherwise they have to go out and find another veteran to get them through the next few seasons until they can develop Joe Webb or another prospect.
13. Detroit Lions
The Lions need a left tackle. Matthew Stafford can not keep taking hits that knock him out for multiple games.
In two years, he's spent way too much time on the bench recovering from injuries. The Lions drafted a franchise quarterback; it's time to start protecting him.
14. St. Louis Rams
Sam Bradford is the quarterback the Rams wanted him to be.
But Bradford has no legitimate downfield threat. The Rams top priority is giving Bradford a weapon to throw to.
15. Miami Dolphins
Tony Sparano and the Dolphins have a big decision this offseason, quarterback or running back?
The answer always is quarterback. You can't win in this league without a franchise quarterback, and neither Chad Henne or Chad Pennington is that guy.
16. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars need a pass-rushing defensive end if they are going to beat the Colts and win the division.
The only way the Jaguars make the playoffs is if they improve their pass rush.
17. Oakland Raiders
The Raiders need to rebuild their offensive line, but they need to pretty much rebuild the entire line, so it's not just one guy.
So to focus on one position there would be pointless. The only position of need the Raiders have to focus on is cornerback and re-signing Nnamdi Asomugha.
Asomugha said he's open to coming back to the Raiders, so we'll see what happens.
18. San Diego Chargers
The Chargers fell just short of the playoff and had a great team. The special teams unit is the exception to that, but you don't focus on special teams in player acquisition unless it's a kicker or punter.
The Chargers' biggest need outside of a better special teams unit is a rush linebacker to strike some fear into the Broncos, Chiefs and Raiders.
The lack of a good pass rush is what hurt the team the most outside of their atrocious special teams play.
19. New York Giants
Eli Manning has been under too much pressure the last two years, and a Manning under pressure tends to start making the Manning Face.
Whether it's left tackle or center, the Giants have to address the middle of the offensive line.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Let's review the situation. You play in the NFC South. You face Matt Ryan and Drew Brees twice a year and your team only had 26 sacks for the entire season.
It seems to me either a speedy defensive end or a good rush linebacker are the top priority.
Get it done.
21. Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs have Dwayne Bowe to catch passes from Matt Cassel.
Yep, that's about it.
If the Chiefs want Cassel to reach his full potential, they have to give him options.
22. Indianapolis Colts
The Colts top offseason need is a new head coach.
You can fill any hole on that team with the best players and Jim Caldwell will screw it up. Between getting out-coached in the Super Bowl in the 2009 season and then handing the game to the Jets this past postseason, the Colts biggest need is a head coach who isn't a complete idiot.
Good luck, Colts fans. You're going to need it.
23. Philadelphia Eagles
Michael Vick will be the quarterback for the Eagles for the next three years at the very least.
Vick is a lefty, which means the Eagles have to get an elite right tackle to protect Vick's blindside. This is the one other position on the team that the front office should spare no expense on.
24. New Orleans Saints
Sean Payton saw what the Saints needed as he watched Marshawn Lynch make the run of a lifetime in the playoffs against his defense.
A run-stopping defensive tackle is the Saints' main goal of the offseason, which they can get in April's draft.
25. Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks had a lot of problems in 2010, but if we're going to focus on one area that needs attention above all others, it would be the Seahawks' secondary.
Whether they go after a corner or a safety is irrelevant; an upgrade at either position would mean an overall improvement in the unit.
26. Baltimore Ravens
It's hard to believe a general manager like Ozzie Newsome hasn't given his star quarterback more weapons to work with before now, but he hasn't.
It's time to make that adjustment and the Ravens' quest to find a top wide receiver for Joe Flacco should be a short one.
27. Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons obviously had a good team last year because they finished 13-3. They consistently were one of the most complete teams in the league throughout the season but the playoffs exposed their big flaw—the secondary.
The Falcons need a new safety to anchor that secondary in 2011.
28. New England Patriots
Bill Belichick made it through the 2010 season with no quality deep-threat wide receiver and no quality pass rusher.
However, their No. 1 priority is re-signing Logan Mankins. Mankins has been franchised, so that's a good first step.
After that, the draft can cover the other two needs.
29. Chicago Bears
If Jay Cutler continues to be perceived as a quitter, the Bears will need a new quarterback before too much longer.
Until then, they need to protect Cutler so he doesn't end up with injuries that call into question his mental and physical toughness.
The offensive line needs an upgrade.
Which part, you ask?
30. New York Jets
The Jets need to get younger at the end of their line if they are going to stay competitive in the AFC East.
The pass rush has to be elite to keep Tom Brady on his toes, and if you are going to the playoffs, you have to expect to face Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Joe Flacco and possibly Aaron Rodger or Matt Ryan in a Super Bowl.
Rex Ryan knows what needs to get done, and keeping the youth and speed at the end of the line is a top priority.
31. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Pittsburgh Steelers have two glaring needs going into 2011—offensive lineman and a cornerback.
The Steelers have to upgrade the offensive line first. That's just the priority. The Steelers offense gets hamstrung because Roethlisberger spends too much time on the run.
There is a very deep class of cornerbacks this year and the Steelers can get a quality corner in the second round.
32. Green Bay Packers
The Packers don't have any huge holes that scream out to you, which is one of the main reasons they won the Super Bowl.
Despite the depth, though, Aaron Rodgers sustained two concussions last year, so if the Packers are going to prioritize their needs, then they look to the left side of the line.
Left guard has been identified as a weak spot, so upgrading that position and continuing to protect Rodgers' blindside should be put at the top of the Packers "to do" list.