2017 NFL Draft: Updated Needs and Fits for Every NFL Team

Justis Mosqueda@justisfootballFeatured ColumnistMarch 15, 2017

2017 NFL Draft: Updated Needs and Fits for Every NFL Team

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    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    The majority of splash free agents have already signed with the teams they are going to play for in the NFL next season. For the most part, every player who will impact a team's strategy at the top of this upcoming draft has already been established.

    Throw away all of those old mock drafts. The Jaguars won't be taking a cornerback or defensive lineman. The Vikings no longer need offensive tackles.

    A lot has changed in the NFL in less than a week, and we're here to explain how the league has shifted. Follow along as we break down each team's three biggest needs for the remainder of the offseason, or, in some extreme cases, two glaring needs which stand head and shoulders above other positions.

    This is your primer for what teams will look for in late April.

Arizona Cardinals

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    Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

    Needs: Defensive line, receiver, cornerback

    One of the biggest free agents in the 2017 offseason was former Arizona Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell, who signed a five-year deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars. In the Cardinals' 3-4 scheme, Campbell played everything from 3-4 defensive end to nose tackle for the team in 2016.

    Defensive line talent is a must, since Robert Nkemdiche, the squad's 2016 first-round pick, has barely seen the field. Replacing Campbell is going to be more difficult that you'd expect, due to his versatility.

    At receiver, Larry Fitzgerald will be a 34-year-old before the regular season kicks off. With John Brown, J.J. Nelson and Jaron Brown as the receivers opposite of Fitzgerald, it might be time for the team to look for a No. 1 pass-catcher to build around in the future. Losing a first-round investment in Michael Floyd didn't help them out in 2016.

    Patrick Peterson is a standout cornerback and Tyrann Mathieu may be considered a cornerback in the eyes of some, but the team needs to upgrade opposite of Peterson on the boundary. Brandon Williams, a converted running back, was the team's third-round pick last season, but he shouldn't be enough to sway the team's need for bodies at the position.

Atlanta Falcons

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    HANS PENNINK/Associated Press

    Needs: Pass-rusher, nose tackle, guard

    The Atlanta Falcons are coming off of a Super Bowl appearance, and they didn't lose much in free agency, but that doesn't mean that the team has no holes. Particularly on the defensive side of the ball, the Falcons could use a lot of help.

    The team wants to model itself after the Seattle Seahawks defense, which builds its team around rushing with four linemen in the passing game, but the team doesn't have four quality pass-rushers. Derrick Shelby, Adrian Clayborn, Jack Crawford and Brooks Reed aren't starting-caliber defensive ends who can free up Vic Beasley on third down.

    Grady Jarrett, one of the forgotten standouts in Atlanta's Super Bowl, is a great defensive tackle, but the explosive 3-technique-like body is being forced to play nose tackle in their scheme, as they lack a solid nose tackle up front. Drafting a nose tackle on Day 2 and pushing Jarrett to under tackle can make two positions on that defense better in one swipe.

    The Falcons have one of the better offensive lines in the league with Jake Matthews and Ryan Schraeder as bookends, Alex Mack at center and Andy Levitre at guard. They could go line as early in the first round, though, where they can plug and play a starter opposite of Levitre, the last open spot in their offense.

Baltimore Ravens

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    Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

    Needs: Receiver, pass-rusher, right tackle

    As of right now, the only significant receivers on the Baltimore Ravens roster are Mike Wallace and Breshad Perriman. That's a problem when your quarterback is Joe Flacco, and your receivers have to make up for your talent throwing to them.

    Elsewhere on the offensive side of the ball, offensive tackle can be an early selection. Eugene Monroe and Ronnie Stanley were projected to be the team's starting tackle pair coming out of the draft, but Monroe was cut in the offseason and eventually retired, while Stanley and James Hurst took over. Hurst isn't a starting-caliber bookend.

    Long-time Baltimore Raven Elvis Dumervil was cut earlier this offseason, and even older pass-rusher Terrell Suggs is declining, but the team can't move his contract yet. You win games by getting after the quarterback, and it has yet to be seen if Baltimore can do that with this level of talent. It would be wise of them to at least entertain the idea of drafting a pass-rusher in the first round.

Buffalo Bills

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    Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

    Needs: Receiver, quarterback, cornerback

    The Buffalo Bills return 42 wide receiver receptions from their 2016 season after Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin signed elsewhere in free agency. If you thought that quarterback Tyrod Taylor had nothing to work with before, he might have the worst receivers in football in 2017, and signing Corey Brown isn't going to fix a thing.

    If you're wondering which team might take a chance on Corey Davis of Western Michigan, despite the fact that he has no athletic testing due to injury and played four years in the MAC, it has to be the Bills early on in the draft.

    In the same breath, it seems clear after a contract restructure that the Bills are not committed to Taylor long term, no matter what us outsiders think of his talent relative to the likes of Mike Glennon or Brock Osweiler, who have cashed in on the open market recently. If Taylor isn't the long-term solution in Buffalo, then the team needs to at least give themselves enough credit to start looking at potential franchise faces.

    The team's biggest free agent was former first-round pick Stephon Gilmore, who signed with Buffalo's AFC East rival New England Patriots, who are coming off of a Super Bowl run. Some people have it all. Currently, the Bills' starting cornebacks are Ronald Darby, a young, up and down cornerback, and a question mark. That has to change.

Carolina Panthers

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    Butch Dill/Associated Press

    Needs: Right tackle, receiver, defensive end

    The Carolina Panthers threw a $55.5 million contract at Matt Kalil, who has been trending downward since his rookie year, so the team could pair the tackle with his brother, Ryan, who plays center for the team. That's left tackle money, which should tell you where the team stands on Michael Oher, who was given left tackle money recently but has had concussion issues.

    If Oher isn't playing right tackle for the team in 2017, the Panthers need a right tackle badly. In a vertical passing game, your line can only have so many holes.

    When the New Orleans Saints traded away Brandin Cooks, they replaced the speed receiver with Ted Ginn of the Panthers, poaching their NFC South rival. Carolina now has two big-body receivers in Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess. They need to add a speed element to their offense.

    The Panthers needed pass-rushing help last season, but instead of starting fresh the team extended the runs of Charles Johnson and Mario Addison in Carolina. The team needs a No. 1 defensive end, and signing a 37-year-old Julius Peppers probably isn't the answer to that problem.

Chicago Bears

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    Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images

    Needs: Tackle, cornerback, outside linebacker

    The Chicago Bears have a solid interior offensive line in Josh Sitton, Cody Whitehair and Kyle Long, but they could use help at both tackle positions. If the Bears for some reason trade back in the draft, they could be the perfect landing spot for the top offensive tackle on the board.

    Chicago was one of the teams in on Stephon Gilmore and A.J. Bouye, and if you're in the market for paying a second contract cornerback huge money, you're probably a fan of drafting one at the top of the draft when you miss out on those options.

    The team has Kyle Fuller, Tracy Porter and Prince Amukamara to throw out in 2017, but the Amukamara signing should mean nothing, as the Jacksonville Jaguars drafted Jalen Ramsey in the first round after signing Amukamara last offseason.

    A sleeper need for the Bears could be outside linebacker. Yes, the team just drafted Leonard Floyd as their edge-rusher in 2016, but the team could still use an upgrade opposite of him. Pernell McPhee has always been more of a power rusher than a true edge-bender, and playing him more as an end than linebacker could go a long way for the team.

    Outside of McPhee, the idea of Lamarr Houston and Willie Young shouldn't influence if a team will or won't draft a top-100 talent at the outside linebacker position.

Cincinnati Bengals

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    Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

    Needs: Receiver, offensive line, defensive line

    Last year, two of the Cincinnati Bengals' top three wide receivers left the team in free agency. One year later, the team's replacements in those two slots are still Brandon LaFell, Tyler Boyd and Cody Core. Boyd is a slot receiver, but LaFell and Core battling for a starting role on the outside opposite of A.J. Green isn't ideal for a team quarterbacked by Andy Dalton.

    The team also has questions on the offensive line, with Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler leaving in free agency. Four of the five players on the Bengals line are on their rookie contracts still, and it has yet to be seen if Jake Fisher or Cedric Ogbuehi were actually worth the top-60 picks that the team spent on the tackle pairing in 2015.

    Depth, in case of emergency, is more important on the offensive line for the Bengals moving forward than trying to find a plug-and-play surefire starter. They need to keep their options open and play their best five in 2017. The problem right now is that they really only have five to choose from.

    On the defensive line, the team lost Domata Peko, their starting nose tackle, to the Denver Broncos. Peko wasn't a great player for the team, but that opens up a hole on their depth chart either way. They could also use a pass-rushing defensive end opposite of Carlos Dunlap, as Michael Johnson is the projected starter at the moment and Margus Hunt signed with the Indianapolis Colts.

Cleveland Browns

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    Sam Craft/Associated Press

    Needs: Quarterback, pass-rusher, defensive line

    The Cleveland Browns are going through a slow rebuild, but their three biggest needs are all at positions that cost the most in the NFL and rarely see top talent hit free agency. The team traded for a Brock Osweiler contract and cut Robert Griffin, but would likely start Cody Kessler heading into 2017, as of right now.

    The team has no premier pass-rusher at this point, which is why everyone expects the Browns to select Myles Garrett of Texas A&M with the first overall pick. Garrett is the second-most productive pass-rusher in college football history with only three years under his belt, and he's significantly more athletic than Tennessee's Derek Barnett, who ranks slightly ahead of him in career sacks. That pick should be a layup.

    On the defensive line, the team has Emmanuel Ogbah, Danny Shelton and Carl Nassib, but that trio shouldn't keep the team from going up to bat for linemen. None of those players have performed to the level where you can assume they're going to be starters at the end of their rookie contracts.

Dallas Cowboys

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    Young Kwak/Associated Press

    Needs: Defensive end, cornerback

    This one is simple. Leave the Dallas Cowboys offense alone. They lost right tackle Doug Free due to a retirement, but Chaz Green, a 2015 top-100 pick, did well as a replacement in his two years in the NFL.

    This team absolutely needs help in the defensive passing game, though. At defensive end, they have Tyrone Crawford, Charles Tapper, Demarcus Lawrence and Benson Mayowa, with David Irving playing a hybrid tackle role. That's not going to cut it.

    At cornerback, a position that the team wasn't great at in the first place, Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne are free agents. The team may need a plug-and-play starter in their secondary via the draft this year. The need for that and potentially two starting pass-rushers, with Randy Gregory suspended again, is a bad ecosystem for a 2017 defense to be in.

Denver Broncos

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    Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

    Needs: Offensive line, inside linebacker, running back

    The Denver Broncos have made some additions to their offensive line, but don't believe for a second that signing players like Menelik Watson means that he'll be a 16-game starter in the NFL. Assuming that could lead the team to missing the playoffs for a second-straight season.

    Overall, their line has a lot of names but few surefire starters. Don't be surprised if their first two picks are used on securing that line.

    On the defensive side of the ball, the only real need that the team has is inside linebacker, where the squad has been trying to replace Danny Trevathan for a year. If they can add another body to the competition for a starting role there, their 2017 team could look like their 2015 team.

    The team needs to make a decision on the offensive side of the ball, though: Will they build around their quarterback situation with a quality running back or will they keep taking shots at a quarterback? It was clear last year that the C.J. Anderson and Trevor Siemian combination just wasn't going to be sustainable for a team with playoff aspirations.

Detroit Lions

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    Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

    Needs: Defensive end, linebacker, defensive tackle

    Ezekiel Ansah was banged up last season, so it's hard to grade Ansah's future based on 2016, but he's about to be in a contract season, which is big for the Detroit Lions. Is the defensive end going to be retained by the team?

    If not, they need to prepare a year in advance, as the market for pass-rushers is similar to that of quarterbacks in today's NFL. Either way, the team still needs to figure out who is starting opposite of Ansah, as Cornelius Washington, who was signed from the Chicago Bears, has never been an NFL starter and Kerry Hyder is more of a hybrid player in the mold of Adrian Clayborn than a three-down end.

    At linebacker, the team has a massive need. Along with the New York Giants, it may be the biggest in the NFC. The team signed Paul Worrilow this offseason, and he's expected to start, despite his struggles in Atlanta.

    The Lions front seven also could use some stability at defensive tackle. Khyri Thornton plays up and down, while Haloti Ngata is playing year-to-year and A'Shawn Robinson doesn't look like the safe, consistent, low upside tackle that he was billed as coming out of Alabama last season.

    This team has never totally recovered from letting Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley both walk as former first-round defensive tackles in free agency.

Green Bay Packers

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    Roger Steinman/Associated Press

    Needs: Defensive line, guard, cornerback

    With Letroy Guion suspended, the Green Bay Packers are currently heading into Week 1 of the season with Mike Daniels, Kenny Clark and Dean Lowry as defensive linemen with significant playing experience. Clark and Lowry were both rookies last season. For a 3-4 defense, you need six or more functional bodies to play on the line. The Packers have plenty of work to do there.

    The team also lost two Pro Bowl guards in less than a year when Josh Sitton was released and signed with the NFC North rival Chicago Bears and T.J. Lang signed with the NFC North rival Detroit Lions on the open market.

    Lane Taylor replaced Sitton fairly well last season, but his contract is coming up, and if the Packers don't want to pay guards, they need to find a replacement for both Taylor in 2018 and Lang in 2017.

    Cornerback is the weakest position for the Packers in terms of talent, as they've lost Sam Shields and Casey Hayward in the last year. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the squad signed Davon House, who had a run in Green Bay as a third cornerback who played outside, but they will likely add competition to the position through the draft to push House for a starting job opposite of Damarious Randall.

Houston Texans

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    Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

    Needs: Quarterback, right tackle, outside linebacker

    The Houston Texans got out of the Brock Osweiler contract by trading a future second-round pick to the Cleveland Browns, but that doesn't change the fact that they still need an answer to their quarterback problems. Their current slated starter is Tom Savage, who was benched for Osweiler after Osweiler was benched for Savage last season.

    The team also needs a right tackle, as they are a consistent offensive line away from being able to claim that they are just a quarterback away on the offensive side of the ball. Bringing in someone like Taylor Moton of Western Michigan on Day 2 would go a long way if the team leans quarterback on Day 1.

    On the defensive side of the ball, where this Houston front office spends most of their first-round picks, the team really only needs a pass-rushing outside linebacker. Jadeveon Clowney and J.J. Watt should be able to lock in as 3-4 defensive ends and Whitney Mercilus is one of the more underrated 3-4 outside linebackers in the league, but losing John Simon in free agency does hurt the Texans defense a bit in 2017.

Indianapolis Colts

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    Wade Payne/Associated Press

    Needs: Defensive line, outside linebacker, inside linebacker

    There may not have been a more faceless front seven than the Indianapolis Colts' in 2016. The shooting star of the unit, Henry Anderson, tore his ACL in 2015 and only came back during the season, which only hurt their perception even more.

    On defense, you need to have an identity. The Colts lacking that means that every NFL playbook is wide open on Sundays. This offseason, the team has signed some free agents at front-seven positions, but none of them are close to stars.

    On the edges, the team signed Jabaal Sheard and Barkevious Mingo, backup pass-rushers on the New England Patriots' Super Bowl team, and John Simon, who was a complementary rusher to J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus in Houston and is coming off a season-ending chest injury.

    The team also brought in soon-to-be 30-year-old Margus Hunt, who had 1.5 sacks in four seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals as a second-round pick. Hunt may play 3-4 defensive end for the Colts.

Jacksonville Jaguars

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    Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

    Needs: Offensive line, tight end, quarterback

    The Jacksonville Jaguars keep spending money on the defensive side of the ball, to the point where there's no real holes to point to on that quietly solid defense. The additions of cornerback A.J. Boue, defensive lineman Calais Campbell and safety Barry Church basically make it impossible for the team to invest a top-100 pick on the defensive side of the ball, unless they move pass-rusher Yannick Ngakoue from a starter to a part-time role after shining as a rookie.

    The offensive side of the ball still has a lot of work to be done, though. Their offensive line situation isn't great, particularly at right tackle where Jeremy Parnell is one of the more overpaid tackles in the league. The team is locked in at receiver long term, but they lack a top running back or tight end.

    Sitting with yet another top-five pick, in a class with no great tackle prospects, it's hard to imagine how the team would spend their selection on anything other than LSU's running back Leonard Fournette or Alabama's tight end O.J. Howard, unless they surprise everyone by rightfully pulling the plug on quarterback Blake Bortles earlier than expected.

Kansas City Chiefs

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    Ron Jenkins/Associated Press

    Needs: Quarterback, inside linebacker, cornerback

    At some point, the Kansas City Chiefs are going to get tired of Alex Smith at quarterback. It took time for the Chicago Bears to finally cut ties with Jay Cutler, but time eventually wears on coaching staffs. Smith is the opposite of Cutler in terms of volatility, but they are about the same level of quarterback on Sundays.

    Last year, the Denver Broncos jumped their division rival Chiefs to select quarterback Paxton Lynch of Memphis in the first round. In a class with four potential first-round picks, will this finally be the year when Kansas City and head coach Andy Reid see enough value in a developmental passer to take him in the first round?

    At inside linebacker, Derrick Johnson is a 34-year-old, and the position has never been particularly strong for the team in their 3-4 looks anyway. If Rueben Foster of Alabama or Haason Reddick of Temple last to their first-round pick, don't be shocked if they pull the trigger.

    At cornerback, the team has Marcus Peters, but playing opposite of him next year will either be Phillip Gaines or Terrance Mitchell as it stands today. Look for them to add competition to the position.

Los Angeles Chargers

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    Jay LaPrete/Associated Press

    Needs: Free safety, cornerback, right tackle

    The Los Angeles Chargers need help on their offensive line. Every year, it seems like Philip Rivers is being smashed by Week 4 due to injuries and a lack of talent up front. The team signed Russell Okung at tackle, but the offensive line is a unit where you're only as strong as your weakest link.

    Under new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, the Chargers defense is going to be reshaped. The team will need quality pass-rushers, in which they have two in Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram already. Ingram is only franchise-tagged, though, meaning Los Angeles may have to look at the position early for his replacement.

    The team also needs a middle of the field safety who can play sideline to sideline. There's a reason why Ohio State's Malik Hooker is often mocked to the Chargers: There aren't many of those safeties in the NFL, let alone college football.

    If Bradley buys into the Seattle-style cornerback mold, Jason Verrett and Casey Hayward may not be his type of cornerbacks. We'll find out early on if he sticks to what made him successful or if he will completely change his style of coaching for Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Rams

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    Needs: 3-4 outside linebacker, 3-4 defensive line

    The Los Angeles Rams dumped money into offensive talent in free agency, and it's fairly clear that they're going to use the draft to assist in their transition from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4 defense.

    Last year, the team's top four pass-rushers were Robert Quinn, William Hayes, Eugene Sims and Ethan Westbrooks. Hayes has been traded, Sims was released and Westbrooks is still untagged after his offseason arrest. For a team that will need to field two 3-4 outside linebackers, that's a massive requirement.

    On the defensive line, the team has Aaron Donald and Michael Brockers as surefire starters. Does the team think they can get away with two under tackle bodies with Donald and Dominique Easley at defensive end? If not, they need to add either an end or nose tackle, depending on what Brockers plays moving forward.

    There are a lot of questions on the line of scrimmage for a team that once looked like it had a top-five unit there a few seasons ago.

Miami Dolphins

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    Rob Foldy/Getty Images

    Needs: Guard, linebacker, defensive end

    With the long-term move of Laremy Tunsil from guard to left tackle, the Miami Dolphins have a bit of a talent issue at guard right now. It's not the most important position, but for a team running a Peyton Manning-style offense, it's important for offensive line talent to be a premium.

    Off-the-ball linebacker was an issue for the Dolphins in recent years, and the team has a trio of Kiko Alonso, Lawrence Timmons and Koa Misi, but none of those players are locked in long term with the team. Alonso is more of a blitzer than a read-and-react player, and Misi and Timmons are both 30-year-olds. The team can add talent there.

    Defensive end is an odd position for Miami. They just traded for William Hayes and extended Cameron Wake and Andre Branch, but Hayes and Branch are below-average 4-3 starters and Wake is a 35-year-old. This is another position like linebacker where it appears that a hole is filled, but everyone in the unit may be gone in two years.

Minnesota Vikings

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    Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

    Needs: Running back, under tackle, linebacker

    Longtime starting linebacker Chad Greenway retired from football this offseason, so the Minnesota Vikings will have to replace his reps. In Minnesota's scheme, Anthony Barr and Eric Kendrick are versatile, so looking for a specific type of linebacker for the Vikings to target at this point is useless, though they do need someone to come in and replace Greenway's reps.

    At the 3-technique defensive tackle position, the team has Sharrif Floyd and Datone Jones each in contract years. Jones signed a deal with the Vikings on Tuesday. It's hard to say if they will sign either of those 2013 draft picks to long-term deals, and it's rare for teams not to go into a season with a backup plan, especially at a heavily rotated position on the defensive line.

    With Adrian Peterson gone, the Vikings also have to replace one of the faces of their franchise at running back. If Jerick McKinnon, a former college quarterback who some thought was a cornerback prospect coming out of Georgia Southern, isn't a three-down back, they need to address the position sooner rather than later.

New England Patriots

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    Butch Dill/Associated Press

    Needs: Inside linebacker, defensive end

    The New England Patriots are loaded. They return almost everyone from a Super Bowl team and added receiver Brandin Cooks to their offense. In a lot of ways, it's hard to find a flaw in their roster, which is why they will be the favorites to win the AFC title yet again.

    They do have two positions of weakness, though. First, Dont'a Hightower is still a free-agent linebacker. They were able to mix and match linebackers to replace Jamie Collins in-season in 2016, but losing Hightower would mean that the team has to legitimately invest in the position moving forward.

    The other position of weakness is defensive end, where the team has lost Jabaal Sheard and Chris Long. The team traded for backup Kony Ealy and has a decent starter in Trey Flowers, who is more under tackle than true end, but that's about as deep as their depth chart goes. In a strong pass-rushing class, expect them to go up to bat early and often.

New Orleans Saints

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    John Raoux/Associated Press

    Needs: Defensive end, linebacker, cornerback

    With the replacement of Brandin Cooks with Tedd Ginn as a speed receiver and new investments on the offensive line, you can safely say that the New Orleans Saints are done spending top assets on offensive players.

    At defensive end, the team needs to find someone to pair with Cameron Jordan, as the Paul Kruger experiment went poorly last season. If the team plans on playing Sheldon Rankins and Nick Fairley both at 3-technique next season, they also need a nose tackle, but that plan of action hasn't been established.

    At linebacker, the team struggles to get Stephone Anthony on the field enough consistently. They also moved Hau'oli Kikaha, who has a history of knee injuries, from linebacker to end last season.

    At cornerback, the consistency of P.J. Williams has not yet been established. This team is getting better defensively, at least relative to their 2015 squad, but they need to get better rushing the passer and covering receivers before they can threaten teams in the playoffs.

New York Giants

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    David J. Phillip/Associated Press

    Needs: Linebacker, under tackle, running back

    It's the year 2017 and the New York Giants still need linebacker help. Whether the team ever addresses the position, despite throwing money everywhere else on defense, has yet to be answered.

    Johnathan Hankins was a second-round nose tackle for the team who moved to an under tackle role with the Giants when the team signed Damon "Snacks" Harrison last offseason. Hankins is still a free agent, and the team doesn't have many options at the position. It's a weak class for defensive tackle talent, but it may be New York's biggest flaw on paper.

    The team also could use a running back, unless they are certain that Paul Perkins and Shane Vereen are good enough to take a bulk of the carries in 2017. Eli Manning needs help on the offensive side of the ball, and with the team signing D.J. Fluker and receiver Brandon Marshall, it's unlikely that they double dip at those positions.

New York Jets

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    Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    Needs: Pass-rusher, cornerback, safety

    The New York Jets may have issues on the offensive line and at receiver, but if the team is investing in the long-term health of their team, they need pass-rushers and defensive backs. Point blank, the team lost in 2016 because they want to blitz and play man coverage on the back end, and they don't have the horses to do either.

    Playing that style of football means you need top end defensive backs across the board, as you're only as strong as your weakest link in man coverage. If the team is able to land Marshon Lattimore of Ohio State at cornerback, they should be able to cope better.

    If they want to change their philosophy on the defensive side of the ball, they need to bring in real pass-rushers. The Jets pride themselves on disguising blitzes and sending potentially anyone on the field, but in today's NFL, the easiest way to win for years is to find four quality pass-rushers and send them with seven dropping into coverage.

    The problem right now with the Jets is that the only plus-pass-rusher who has the body of a 4-3 defensive end is Sheldon Richardson, who has a list of off-field issues. They're three to four players away from that transition.

Oakland Raiders

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    Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

    Needs: Tight end, running back, under tackle

    The Oakland Raiders now have three solid receivers, a franchise quarterback, a solid defensive backfield, a pairing of hybrid pass-rushers and one of the better offensive lines in the NFL. They have very few needs, but the needs that they do have are large.

    They had no bell-cow running back in 2016, and someone has to replace Latavius Murray's reps in 2017. At tight end, they don't have someone who is a real threat in the passing game, and in a deep tight end class, that could shape up well for them in the first 60 picks of the draft.

    One position that they have been weak at for years, though, is 3-technique defensive tackle. They can't get pressure on the interior, and this isn't a deep class for pressure tackles. They may have to creatively develop someone, but they need bodies at the position.

Philadelphia Eagles

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    John Raoux/Associated Press

    Needs: Defensive end, cornerback, nose tackle

    With the cut of Connor Barwin, the Philadelphia Eagles have a massive need at the defensive end position. They have loaded up on offensive talent in recent years, but that could catch up to them in 2017.

    Right now, opposite of Brandon Graham, the team's top defensive ends are Vinny Curry, who may be on the worst 4-3 defensive end contract in football, and Marcus Smith, who at this point can be called a first-round draft bust. The team needs to add talent to the position quickly.

    Philadelphia also lost nose tackle Bennie Logan to the Kansas City Chiefs as a replacement for Dontari Poe. Having two holes on the defensive line, a position where you need seven to nine quality bodies on a given Sunday in heavy rotation, can be the Achilles' heel of the 2017 Eagles.

    The team also was in the running for A.J. Bouye in free agency. Based on their cornerback talent last season, they are correct to be in the market for a boundary defensive back.

Pittsburgh Steelers

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    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Needs: Inside linebacker, outside linebacker, cornerback

    The Pittsburgh Steelers are in the Dont'a Hightower sweepstakes, but they only need a 3-4 inside linebacker because Lawrence Timmons signed with the Miami Dolphins already. Without Timmons, the team needs a body to pair with Ryan Shazier in the middle of their defense.

    At outside linebacker, the team needs talent. Jarvis Jones, a former first-round pick, was allowed to leave town for the Arizona Cardinals, it was confirmed on Tuesday. James Harrison is a 38-year-old. Someone is going to have to play opposite of Alvin "Bud" Dupree while Harrison continues the aging process.

    The team just spent a first-round pick on Artie Burns last season, but that doesn't mean that they have both cornerback holes filled. Pittsburgh's scheme on the defensive end can be a bit complicated, and it's better if the team finds a player a year early in this particular situation. Being a cornerback away in Pittsburgh can mean being a cornerback away for another year or two with that learning curve.

San Francisco 49ers

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    Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

    Needs: Quarterback, pass-rusher, cornerback

    The San Francisco 49ers currently have Brian Hoyer slated as their starting quarterback in 2017. Last year around the same time, the Los Angeles Rams had Case Keenum in the same situation. The NFL draft should change that.

    In a Seattle-Jacksonville style defense, the 49ers are also going to need several pass-rushers. DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead may not even be on the field on some third downs, if the team follows the Seattle mold.

    That's unfortunate for San Francisco at the moment, as the only plus-pass-rusher that they have is Aaron Lynch, who was suspended last season and had a bit of a down year. They need to go up to bat several times at the position in 2017.

    Defensive back play is also a premium in the 4-3 under scheme with a single high safety, and there may not be an above-average starter for that scheme on the 49ers roster right now. This is a rebuild, and it needs to start at premier positions.

Seattle Seahawks

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    Needs: Offensive line, linebacker

    The Seattle Seahawks have been hemorrhaging offensive linemen for years, and it finally caught up to them in 2016. They signed Luke Jockel, the former top-five left tackle selection, from the Jacksonville Jaguars, but they still have a question mark at right tackle.

    Will Garry Gilliam or George Fant play right tackle next season? They shouldn't. Will it be project first-round pick Germain Ifedi? If so, they need a new starting guard.

    The team also needs a third linebacker to go with K.J. Wright and Bobby Wagner. If they can bring in Haason Reddick of Temple as a run and chase linebacker in the first round, that unit will go from having a large hole to being one of the best in the league immediately.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    Needs: Offensive tackle, safety, defensive end

    In 2015, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers spent a second-round pick on Donovan Smith of Penn State, and the results have been less than stellar at this point. The team is investing a lot on the offensive side of the ball with the addition of DeSean Jackson, which will hopefully improve Jameis Winston's efficiency moving forward, as the second-year passer was second in the NFL in combined interceptions and fumbles last season.

    The team need to shore up the offensive line if they want Winston to improve, though. Smith can't be looked at as a starting-caliber left tackle, and he may not be a starting-caliber right tackle, either. This should be their No. 1 priority moving forward.

    Elsewhere, J.J. Wilcox and Chris Conte are slated as the starting safeties in Tampa, but Conte's new contract has no guaranteed money after 2017. At his price, it wouldn't be a stretch to call him a backup plan, should the Buccaneers miss out on a better target in the draft.

    Tampa plays a lot of two-high safety looks to make life easier on their smaller cornerbacks, so the position is a premium to them, despite their talent level there. Defensive end is another position similar to safety for the Buccaneers, in terms of depth.

    The team has invested in William Gholston, Robert Ayers and Noah Spence, but the same trio wasn't able to get the job done in 2016. They need a No. 1 pass-rusher, which they lack. If everyone on their depth chart was one slot below where they currently stand, the Buccaneers would fare a lot better against the pass.

Tennessee Titans

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    Needs: Receiver, 3-4 defensive end, pass-rusher

    The Tennessee Titans are still looking for receivers after the Dorial Green-Beckham and Andre Johnson experiments didn't work out for the team under quarterback Marcus Mariota. Mariota has developed into a legitimate NFL quarterback two years into his career, but his deep passing is still a weakness in his game, though he doesn't have a receiver who can match his talent.

    The Titans are similar to the Buffalo Bills in that they want to build around their offensive line and running game, which means that they need outside receivers to have a certain mindset, which makes looking for deep threats even harder for them. If they can somehow land a receiver like Western Michigan's Corey Davis, that offense can hit another gear quickly.

    On the other side of the ball, the team lacks a 3-4 defensive end who can be paired efficiently with Jurrell Casey. Karl Klug isn't a bad talent, but he's a defensive lineman playing on a new contract worth $2.5 million per year, which tells you what the team thinks of him.

    Derrick Morgan and Brian Orakpo are a fine pass-rushing pair at outside linebacker, but the Titans could use a third pass-rusher to give those older linebackers a rest. Kevin Dodd was a second-round pass-rusher last season, but he's now a 25-year-old with one career sack.

Washington Redskins

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    Steve Helber/Associated Press

    Needs: Quarterback, running back

    By far the two biggest needs in Washington are a long-term answer at quarterback and running back.

    We're in Year 2 of tagging quarterback Kirk Cousins, and the Washington Redskins still can't see eye-to-eye with the passer. Now, the Redskins don't even have a general manager.

    The truth is that Cousins is the team's bridge quarterback. Washington needs to find its quarterback of the future.

    While the tries to figure out that situation, it could start building around its ground game, as the team has pieces on the offensive line but struggle with Rob Kelley, Matt Jones and Keith Marshall in the backfield. Washington needs to prepare for an offense without Cousins in 2018, after it lost some significant skill talent in the 2017 offseason.