Every NFL Team's Biggest Need This Late in Free Agency

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistMarch 29, 2020

Every NFL Team's Biggest Need This Late in Free Agency

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    Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

    With roughly two weeks of NFL free agency in the rearview, teams are running out of premium options—and many of them are running out of cap space. However, they are not running out of holes to fill.

    Some big-name players remain on the open market, Cam Newton and Jadeveon Clowney chief among them. However, several teams are already looking toward budget options and next month's draft because of the dwindling free-agent pool as well as cap situations.

    Not every franchise faces these constraints, and we could still see some eve-popping contracts handed out in the coming days. Regardless of where teams sit financially, though, each has a glaring need that stands out above the rest.

    Whether because of 2019 results, free-agent departures or a lack of long-term stability at a particular position, there's a hole on each team that desperately needs to be filled before the 2020 regular season.


Arizona Cardinals: Edge-Rusher

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    Cardinals Edge Chandler Jones
    Cardinals Edge Chandler JonesRoss D. Franklin/Associated Press

    The Arizona Cardinals did a tremendous job of filling key needs early in free agency. Most notably, they transition-tagged running back Kenyan Drake and then traded fellow back David Johnson, a second-round pick and a 2021 fourth-rounder for All-Pro wideout DeAndre Hopkins.

    Defensively, Arizona needs to address its pass defense, which ranked 31st in the NFL last season. Acquiring a cornerback to pair with Patrick Peterson would be a smart move, but adding an edge-rusher opposite Chandler Jones might be an even better one.

    Jones had the second-most sacks in the league with 19.0. The rest of the Arizona defense compiled 21 sacks combined. Adding a pass-rushing presence opposite him would make life more difficult for opposing quarterbacks and easier on the guys covering on Arizona's back end.

    It's also worth noting that Jones is 30 years old and has just two years remaining on his contract. In addition to helping the defense now, a young edge-rusher could give the Cardinals a succession plan.

Atlanta Falcons: Cornerback

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    Former Falcons CB Desmond Trufant
    Former Falcons CB Desmond TrufantJohn Bazemore/Associated Press

    The Atlanta Falcons had a couple of notable losses early in the free-agency period—they cut running back Devonta Freeman and saw tight end Austin Hooper leave for Cleveland—but the one they didn't subsequently address is at cornerback.

    Atlanta traded for Hayden Hurst to help replace Hooper. It signed Todd Gurley II to take over as the lead back. However, the Falcons have not found replacements for starting cornerback Desmond Trufant, who was released and then signed with the Detroit Lions.

    Releasing Trufant was a cap-saving decision, not a luxury move. He was a reliable, above-average starter for a team that ranked 22nd in pass defense in 2019. According to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport, his release came after the Falcons failed to find a trade partner.

    With Trufant out of the building, the Falcons need to find a reliable starter to play opposite third-year man Isaiah Oliver.

Baltimore Ravens: Non-Rush Linebacker

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    LSU LB prospect Patrick Queen
    LSU LB prospect Patrick QueenKevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    The Baltimore Ravens did a sound job of addressing their pass rush in free agency. They franchise-tagged Matthew Judon, traded for Calais Campbell and re-signed Jihad Ward. While there's still room to add to the pass rush in the draft, the need for a non-rush linebacker is bigger.

    The Ravens lost middle linebacker C.J. Mosley to the New York Jets last offseason and never fully replaced his impact. Baltimore acquired L.J. Fort during the season, and while he was serviceable, he was not the same playmaker Mosley was.

    As a result, Baltimore's run defense suffered. Though the Ravens finished fifth in rushing yards allowed, this was largely due to their ball-control offense and regular presence ahead on the scoreboard. Only 10 teams allowed more than the 4.4 yards per rush surrendered by the Ravens defense. With Mosley in the lineup in 2018, that number was 3.7 yards per rush allowed.

    With few quality middle linebacker options still available in free agency, the Ravens will likely look to fill this need in the draft. Prospects like LSU's Patrick Queen and Oklahoma's Kenneth Murray could make sense at the bottom of Round 1.

Buffalo Bills: Edge-Rusher

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    New Bills pass-rusher Mario Addison
    New Bills pass-rusher Mario AddisonJacob Kupferman/Getty Images

    The Buffalo Bills addressed their biggest need by acquiring standout receiver Stefon Diggs from the Minnesota Vikings. The trade was costly—Buffalo surrendered first-, fifth- and sixth-round picks in 2020, plus a 2021 fourth-rounder—but it gives Josh Allen a reliable No. 1 receiver for the foreseeable future.

    What the Bills still lack is a reliable pass-rusher who will be around for the foreseeable future. They signed Mario Addison in free agency. He and Jerry Hughes should form a solid duo in 2020, but their shelf life is limited.

    Hughes will turn 32 in August. Addison will turn 33 a month later.

    This isn't an immediate need for Buffalo, which posted 44 sacks as a team in 2019. Looking long-term, though, the Bills need a sack artist who can develop alongside offensive centerpiece Allen.

Carolina Panthers: Cornerback

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    Former Panthers CB James Bradberry
    Former Panthers CB James BradberryMike McCarn/Associated Press

    It's been an interesting offseason for the Carolina Panthers, largely because they parted with longtime starter Cam Newton. However, they did sign Teddy Bridgewater to a three-year deal, meaning quarterback is not Carolina's biggest need.

    While the Panthers figured out a replacement plan at quarterback, they have yet to do so at cornerback. Starter James Bradberry left for the New York Giants, leaving Carolina with a major hole on the back end of its defense.

    Bradberry, though not a Pro Bowler, was a consistent and reliable starter for his four seasons in Carolina. He has appeared in all but four games since joining the NFL and started all 60 he has played in. While the Panthers may still be able to add depth at the position in free agency, they're not likely to find a high-level starter.

    Bradberry's replacement will have to arrive through the draft.

Chicago Bears: Guard

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    Former Bears guard Kyle Long
    Former Bears guard Kyle LongWill Newton/Getty Images

    After seven seasons—the two most recent hampered by injuries—Chicago Bears guard Kyle Long decided to call it a career this offseason.

    This leaves guard as a major position of need, though it already has been one over the last couple of years—Long played just 12 games in that span. The Bears experimented with shifting Cody Whitehair from center to guard but moved him back after center James Daniels struggled to replace him.

    This is arguably the only significant question mark on Chicago's offense aside from the quarterback position. The Bears potentially addressed that, however, by trading for Nick Foles. While Foles won't be handed the starting job, he'll have a chance to snatch it away from incumbent Mitchell Trubisky.

    Chicago did recently add former Seattle Seahawks offensive lineman Germain Ifedi, according to Rapoport. After a disappointing early career in Seattle, however, there's zero guarantee that Ifedi can be the answer Chicago needs.

Cincinnati Bengals: Quarterback

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    LSU QB prospect Joe Burrow
    LSU QB prospect Joe BurrowGerald Herbert/Associated Press

    The Cincinnati Bengals are widely expected to select LSU quarterback Joe Burrow with the first pick in next month's draft. Until they do, though, and until he pans out as a pro player, quarterback remains Cincinnati's biggest need.

    The Bengals do still have three-time Pro Bowler Andy Dalton on the roster, and he could return in 2020.

    "All options are still on the table, and that includes bringing him back potentially for 2020 and having him serve as the backup for whoever they draft," Rapoport said on NFL Network's NFL Total Access.

    However, Dalton, who is only under contract through the 2020 season, is not a long-term answer. Though insurance options are available on the open market—notably Cam Newton and Jameis Winston—Cincinnati is likely to try to find that answer at the top of the draft.

Cleveland Browns: Left Tackle

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    Former Browns LT Greg Robinson
    Former Browns LT Greg RobinsonRick Scuteri/Associated Press

    The Cleveland Browns upgraded the right side of their offensive line considerably by swooping up Tennessee Titans tackle Jack Conklin. Now, they only need to address the left tackle spot to have a solid blocking unit in front of third-year quarterback Baker Mayfield.

    That unit allowed 41 sacks last season.

    2019 starter Greg Robinson was arrested on felony drug charges this offseason, but the Browns had no interest in retaining him anyway, according to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. With Robinson out and Conklin in, left tackle is the most obvious hole on Cleveland's roster.

    Presumably, the Browns will look to use the 10th overall pick in the draft on a new left tackle. The free-agent market is devoid of enticing options, though trading for Washington Redskins tackle Trent Williams remains a possibility. However, a Williams trade may only be something Cleveland seriously considers if it misses out on a top tackle prospect in Round 1.

Dallas Cowboys: Cornerback

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    Former Cowboys CB Byron Jones
    Former Cowboys CB Byron JonesPaul Sancya/Associated Press

    The Dallas Cowboys have a few notable needs after free agency—including cornerback, defensive end and tight end, where Byron Jones, Robert Quinn and Jason Witten departed, respectively.

    Replacing Jones is the biggest priority. He was a Pro Bowler in 2018 and the team's best cover man, and the Cowboys have done little to fill his role. They did re-sign Anthony Brown, but he isn't likely to simply pick up where Jones left off.

    Dallas hasn't exactly replaced Quinn or Witten either. However, they aren't entering their primes—they'll be 30 and 38 respectively this coming season—as the 27-year-old Jones appears to be. Witten is nearing the end of his career, and Dallas did bring in defensive tackle Gerald McCoy to help bolster the front.

    The Cowboys will likely need to replace Jones in next month's draft.

Denver Broncos: Left Tackle

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    Broncos LT Garett Bolles
    Broncos LT Garett BollesRick Scuteri/Associated Press

    The Denver Broncos bolstered one part of their offensive line, adding guard/center Graham Glasgow in free agency. Their next step needs to be finding a replacement for left tackle Garett Bolles.

    Bolles, a first-round draft pick in 2017, is under contract for one more season. However, it's hard to believe Denver views him as a long-term answer at the position. In 2019 alone, he was responsible for 17 penalties and four sacks allowed, according to Pro Football Focus.

    If the Broncos hope to develop second-year quarterback Drew Lock into a quality NFL starter, they need more reliability out of the line's most important position.

    Fortunately, Denver owns the 15th overall pick in the draft, and this year's class is believed to be deep at tackle.

Detroit Lions: Cornerback

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    Ohio State CB prospect Jeff Okudah
    Ohio State CB prospect Jeff OkudahPaul Sancya/Associated Press

    The Detroit Lions had the league's worst pass defense in 2019, allowing 284.4 yards per game. Detroit has responded by trading away Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay.

    Slay's departure makes cornerback an immediate need for the Lions, though it was arguably a major need even with him on the roster. Detroit did bring in Desmond Trufant, but he represents a step down from Slay, and he isn't going to turn the pass defense into a top-tier unit.

    The good news is that Detroit should have its pick of cornerback prospects in the draft—assuming it doesn't trade out of the No. 3 slot. Ohio State's Jeff Okudah, the No. 1 corner on Bleacher Report draft analyst Matt Miller's big board, would likely be that pick.

    The Bengals are expected to take a quarterback at No. 1, and the Washington Redskins are likely to draft Ohio State edge-rusher Chase Young at No. 2.

Green Bay Packers: Wide Receiver

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    New Packers WR Devin Funchess
    New Packers WR Devin FunchessAssociated Press

    The Green Bay Packers need to find a deep-threat receiver who can make defenses pay for overcommitting to Davante Adams. Devin Funchess, whom the Packers signed in free agency, is not that receiver.

    Realistically, Funchess will serve in more of a tight end role for the Packers. That's the position he played at Michigan, and that's the role his 6'4", 225-pound frame is suited to fill. Funchess is not a burner, but he can be the big-bodied red-zone threat Jimmy Graham was supposed to be.

    Even if Funchess doesn't actually play in the position, he'll be the de facto tight end with Graham now in Chicago.

    This leaves the Packers with a need for a No. 2 receiver opposite Adams. It was a need throughout the 2019 season, and it remains one two weeks into free agency.

Houston Texans: Wide Receiver

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    Former Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins
    Former Texans WR DeAndre HopkinsMichael Wyke/Associated Press

    Like the Packers, the Houston Texans need a receiver. Unlike the Packers, the Texans need a receiver because they traded away one of the best in the game.

    Though Houston did sign Randall Cobb in free agency, that isn't going to make up for the loss of Hopkins. Neither is the addition of David Johnson at running back. Hopkins is a three-time first-team All-Pro who racked up 4,115 receiving yards and 31 touchdowns over the past three seasons.

    To say he was a security blanket for quarterback Deshaun Watson is an extreme understatement.

    Now that Hopkins is gone, Watson is without a true go-to receiver. That's a major problem, compounded by the fact that Houston does not own a first-round draft selection. While this is a deep receiver class, the Texans cannot expect to land a player of Hopkins' caliber on Day 2 of the draft.

    To be fair, they shouldn't expect to stumble into another Hopkins at all.

Indianapolis Colts: Quarterback

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    New Colts quarterback Philip Rivers
    New Colts quarterback Philip RiversCharlie Riedel/Associated Press

    Entering the offseason, the Indianapolis Colts weren't sold on quarterback Jacoby Brissett.

    "The jury is still out," general manager Chris Ballard told reporters.

    After signing Philip Rivers to a one-year deal early in free agency, the Colts have made it clear they don't view Brissett as a long-term answer under center. The problem is that Rivers isn't going to be a long-term answer either.

    Indianapolis should consider potential long-term options—be it Dalton, Newton, Winston or a draft pick—for the remainder of the offseason. Unfortunately, the Colts are also without a first-round pick after trading the 13th overall selection for DeForest Buckner.

    Even if they can only grab a developmental prospect, it would be wise for the Colts to secure someone other than Rivers and Brissett—both will be free agents in 2021. Otherwise, Indianapolis could sit in a precarious quarterback position next offseason.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Cornerback

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    Former Jaguars CB A.J. Bouye
    Former Jaguars CB A.J. BouyeMichael Conroy/Associated Press

    Heading into the 2019 season, the Jacksonville Jaguars had arguably the NFL's best cornerback duo in Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye. However, the Jaguars traded Ramsey to the Los Angeles Rams in October and dealt Bouye to the Broncos this offseason.

    Now, cornerback may be Jacksonville's biggest need.

    Even with Ramsey in the fold for half the season, Jacksonville only finished with the 16th-best pass defense. Replacing him and Bouye in one offseason won't be easy—and the addition of 30-year-old corner Rashaan Melvin is likely only a stopgap measure.

    If Jacksonville hopes to climb back into the AFC South picture, it will have to add another starting-caliber cornerback at a minimum. The Jaguars should be able to grab one with one of their two first-round draft picks.

Kansas City Chiefs: Cornerback

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    Ohio State CB prospect Damon Arnette
    Ohio State CB prospect Damon ArnetteDarron Cummings/Associated Press

    The Kansas City Chiefs didn't start the 2019 season with one of the league's best cornerback duos, but their pass defense—which finished eighth in yards allowed—was more than serviceable. Unfortunately, it is also set to lose cornerbacks Kendall Fuller and Bashaud Breeland.

    Fuller has already signed with Washington, while Breeland remains unsigned in free agency.

    The Chiefs did sign former New York Giants backup Antonio Hamilton, but he isn't a premier addition.

    Kansas City could also use a run-stuffing linebacker to bolster its 26th-ranked run defense. However, it's worth noting that their reliance on sub-packages in the secondary often caused the Chiefs to be good against the pass and poor against the run. The defense was in either nickel or dime coverage 80 percent of the time, according to Sports Info Solutions (h/t Steven Ruiz of For the Win).

    With better talent in the secondary, the Chiefs should have more balance on defense. Kansas City can find it, likely by targeting a corner like Ohio State's Damon Arnette or Virginia's Bryce Hall at the bottom of Round 1.

Las Vegas Raiders: Wide Receiver

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    New Raiders receiver Nelson Agholor
    New Raiders receiver Nelson AgholorBrynn Anderson/Associated Press

    The Las Vegas Raiders didn't have a true No. 1 wide receiver in 2019. Tyrell Williams was the team's top wideout in terms of yardage, and he finished with just 651 yards and six touchdowns.

    The Raiders still don't have a No. 1 on their roster, even after signing Nelson Agholor. While the USC product can help stretch the field, he is a complementary receiver at best. Along with Williams and second-year man Hunter Renfrow, the Raiders have their fill of complementary guys.

    Las Vegas also has an elite tight end in Darren Waller and a top-notch receiving back in Jalen Richard. All the Raiders receiving corps lacks is that No. 1 guy.

    The Raiders will have a prime opportunity to find their new No. 1 receiver in the draft. They have two first-round draft picks, including the 12th overall selection. There's a chance that Las Vegas will have its pick of wideout prospects in that No. 12 slot.

Los Angeles Chargers: Quarterback

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    Oregon QB prospect Justin Herbert
    Oregon QB prospect Justin HerbertMarcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    When the Los Angeles Chargers made it clear that they weren't bringing back Philip Rivers, it immediately made quarterback a major long-term need. Though the Chargers have not taken any steps to address the position for the short term, that doesn't appear to be a priority.

    "I like our internal options," general manager Tom Telesco told AM 750 LA Sports (h/t The Athletic's Daniel Popper).

    Those internal options, presumably, are Tyrod Taylor and Easton Stick. Stick is very much unproven, while Taylor has largely only proved that he is a placeholder at quarterback.

    The Chargers need a long-term option—unless, of course, they are that high on Stick's NFL potential. While adding Newton or Winston to the equation is entirely possible, it's more likely that L.A. will examine quarterbacks with the sixth overall pick in the draft. Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa or Oregon's Justin Herbert could make sense there, assuming one of the two is still available.

Los Angeles Rams: Interior Offensive Line

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    Rams guard Austin Blythe
    Rams guard Austin BlytheRick Scuteri/Associated Press

    Last offseason saw the departure of center John Sullivan and guard Rodger Saffold from the Los Angeles Rams offensive line. The Rams struggled to replace the duo, and the in-season results reflected that.

    As a team, Los Angeles averaged just 3.7 yards per carry and 5.7 yards per offensive play. In 2018, the Rams averaged 4.9 yards per rush and 6.4 yards per offensive play. The line was not as good this past season at springing the running game or the offense in general.

    Los Angeles traded for guard Austin Corbett during the season and re-signed Austin Blythe this offseason, but the interior still needs to be addressed. If the Rams hope to revitalize the running game in the wake of releasing Todd Gurley II, they'll need more talent at the guard and center positions.

    Unfortunately, the Rams don't have a first-round selection because of their trade for Jalen Ramsey. Therefore, guard and center will have to be Day 2 priorities.

Miami Dolphins: Quarterback

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    Alabama QB prospect Tua Tagovailoa
    Alabama QB prospect Tua TagovailoaVasha Hunt/Associated Press

    After spending the 2019 offseason tearing down their roster, the Miami Dolphins have been hard at work revamping it this offseason. They have added notable free agents like Byron Jones, Kyle Van Noy, Emmanuel Ogbah and Shaq Lawson.

    Miami should be relevant in the AFC East this season. If the Dolphins can identify and add a franchise quarterback, they should be set to contend in the division for the foreseeable future.

    They have a steady journeyman in Ryan Fitzpatrick, so they don't necessarily need a day-one starter. What they do need is a quarterback who can hold down the starting job for more than a season or two. That quarterback could be a reclamation project like Newton or Winston or one of the draft's top prospects.

    Miami is armed with three first-round draft selections, including No. 5 overall. If Tagovailoa or Herbert is available, the Dolphins could pull the trigger.

Minnesota Vikings: Cornerback

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    Utah CB prospect Jaylon Johnson
    Utah CB prospect Jaylon JohnsonRick Bowmer/Associated Press

    The Minnesota Vikings did it to themselves. They need a cornerback desperately, but only because they parted with most of their key corners from the 2019 season. Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander were both allowed to leave in free agency, while Xavier Rhodes was released.

    Given Minnesota's cap situation, this may have been the best course of action. Even after releasing Rhodes, Linval Joseph and David Morgan, the Vikings have just over $11 million in cap space.

    The Vikings have enough available cash to make a run at a depth corner in free agency. According to Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Vikings have interest in New York Jets castoff Darryl Roberts.

    If the Vikings hope to add another starter, however, they may have to target a cornerback early in the draft—possibly with the 22nd overall pick. A prospect like Alabama's Trevon Diggs or Utah's Jaylon Johnson would make sense in Round 1.

New England Patriots: Quarterback

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    Former Patriots QB Tom Brady
    Former Patriots QB Tom BradyBill Sikes/Associated Press

    It feels strange to write this, but the biggest need for the New England Patriots is at quarterback. Tom Brady is a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and there isn't a proven starter on the roster.

    New England does have second-year man Jarrett Stidham. It also brought back former Brady backup Brian Hoyer. However, Stidham is unproven, while Hoyer has never been able to carry a team. His career win-loss record is just 16-22.

    Bringing in a guy like Newton or Dalton could be an option. However, it would be financially difficult, as the Patriots have just under $2 million in cap room.

    The Pats aren't in prime position to draft a signal-caller either. They hold the 23rd selection in Round 1, too low to get one of the top prospects. It's likely that if New England does draft a quarterback, he will be a developmental prospect who sits behind Hoyer and/or Stidham for the time being. It's also possible the Patriots are confident enough in Stidham that they don't draft a quarterback.

    Unless and until Stidham proves that he isn't a significant step below Brady, quarterback will remain a need for New England.

New Orleans Saints: Cornerback

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    Former Saints CB Eli Apple
    Former Saints CB Eli AppleWill Vragovic/Getty Images

    The New Orleans Saints don't have many needs in the short term. In the long term, they'll need a successor to quarterback Drew Brees. However, he's under contract for two more seasons, and the Saints seem to like what they have in backup Taysom Hill.

    A more pressing need is depth at cornerback. The Saints have two viable starters in Janoris Jenkins and Marshon Lattimore—though they only added Jenkins just before the end of the 2019 regular season. However, they parted with cornerback Eli Apple in free agency.

    Jenkins is largely a replacement for Apple, and the Saints ranked just 20th in pass defense this past season. In a division with Matt Ryan, Teddy Bridgewater and Tom Brady, additional depth will be important.

    The Saints have just over $14 million in cap space, so finding that depth in free agency is still a possibility. If that approach fails, though, New Orleans will need to look to the draft.

New York Giants: Left Tackle

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    Giants LT Nate Solder
    Giants LT Nate SolderSteven Ryan/Getty Images

    If the New York Giants hope to get the most out of quarterback Daniel Jones, they need to field a better offensive line than they did in 2019. That line ranked just 25th in adjusted sack rate, according to Football  Outsiders.

    New York took a big first step by adding right tackle Cameron Fleming in free agency. Their next step needs to be replacing left tackle Nate Solder.

    Solder has been a disappointment since arriving in 2018 free agency. He signed a four-year, $62 million deal and has not come close to living up to it. This past season, he allowed an alarming 11 sacks, according to Pro Football Focus.

    Unless the Giants want to try to trade for Washington's Trent Williams, this is probably a position they'll need to address in the draft.

New York Jets: Cornerback

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    New Jets cornerback Pierre Desir
    New Jets cornerback Pierre DesirDarron Cummings/Associated Press

    The Jets finished the regular season a respectable 17th in passing yards allowed. However, they then parted with cornerbacks Trumaine Johnson and Darryl Roberts.

    While New York did bring in former Colts starter Pierre Desir, that likely won't be enough for the defense to improve on last year's numbers. Even if New York considers Desir a starter—which the Colts, who released him one year into a three-year deal, did not—there isn't a legitimate cover corner on the roster.

    There aren't many starting options available on the open market, though players like Prince Amukamara and Ronald Darby remain unsigned.

    It would be smart for the Jets to continue adding cornerback depth over the next few weeks and then target a cornerback prospect as early as is reasonable on draft weekend.

Philadelphia Eagles: Wide Receiver

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    LSU WR prospect Justin Jefferson
    LSU WR prospect Justin JeffersonDanny Karnik/Associated Press

    The Philadelphia Eagles took steps to shore up their secondary this offseason. They re-signed safety Rodney McLeod, re-signed defensive back Jalen Mills, traded for cornerback Darius Slay and signed nickel corner Nickell Robey-Coleman.

    With the secondary in a good spot, wide receiver becomes the biggest need for the defending NFC East champions. They struggled to put healthy receivers on the field in 2019, and they've lost Nelson Agholor in free agency.

    Philadelphia also failed to work out a deal to acquire DeAndre Hopkins from the Texans, which obviously worked to Arizona's advantage but left the Eagles wanting.

    If the Eagles hope to dramatically upgrade Carson Wentz's collection of pass-catchers, they'll likely have to do so in the draft, where a prospect like LSU's Justin Jefferson or Baylor's Denzel Mims could be waiting at pick No. 21.

    Though the Eagles have more than $27 million in cap space, the free-agent market is down to the likes of Paul Richardson, Demaryius Thomas and Chester Rogers.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Guard

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    Former Steelers OG Ramon Foster
    Former Steelers OG Ramon FosterDon Wright/Associated Press

    Though never a Pro Bowler, guard Ramon Foster was an underrated and a vital piece of the Pittsburgh Steelers offense for more than a decade. Signed as an undrafted free agent in 2009, Foster appeared in 160 games and started 145 of them. He started every game in which he appeared since 2012.

    Unfortunately for Pittsburgh, Foster retired this offseason, leaving a 6'5", 328-pound hole along the line.

    Though the Steelers did sign former Chiefs and Eagles interior lineman Stefen Wisniewski in free agency, the 31-year-old is likely more of a short-term option than a long-term fixture. He started just nine games over the last two seasons and hasn't started a full 16-game slate since 2015 with the Jaguars.

    Armed with just under $6 million in cap space, the Steelers will likely have to look to the draft for Foster's long-term replacement.

San Francisco 49ers: Left Tackle

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    49ers LT Joe Staley
    49ers LT Joe StaleyTed S. Warren/Associated Press

    In terms of immediate needs for the San Francisco 49ers, wide receiver probably tops the list. Though San Francisco did sign wideout Travis Benjamin, it needs to replace the reliability and the veteran presence of Emmanuel Sanders.

    In terms of a long-term need, however, nothing stands out as much as the left tackle position.

    San Francisco currently has six-time Pro Bowler Joe Staley at left tackle. However, Staley will turn 36 in August and has just two years remaining on his contract. With two first-round picks in their arsenal, now is the time for the 49ers to secure his successor—a possibility San Francisco may be considering.

    "A position that fans aren't thinking of? Maybe offensive tackle," The Athletic's Matt Barrows wrote. "The 49ers definitely are doing research on some of the top tackles in this year's draft."

    Seeing how Staley missed nine games in 2019, this could become an immediate need in the near future.

Seattle Seahawks: Edge-Rusher

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    Former Seahawks Edge Jadeveon Clowney
    Former Seahawks Edge Jadeveon ClowneyChris Szagola/Associated Press

    There isn't a more glaring need on Seattle's roster than the need for a pass-rusher—and that will be true even if the Seahawks manage to bring back Jadeveon Clowney.

    Though he battled through a sports hernia, Clowney had some strong games during the 2019 season—notably in the first matchup with the rival 49ers. However, even if he had added 10 more sacks to his total of three, the Seahawks would have had a disappointing pass rush.

    Seattle tied for the second-fewest sacks in the league with just 28.

    There's a good chance the Seahawks are able to bring back Clowney, but they still need to consider top edge-rushing prospects on draft weekend. A mediocre pass rush won't be good enough against the likes of Green Bay and San Francisco in the postseason.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Right Tackle

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    New Buccaneers QB Tom Brady
    New Buccaneers QB Tom BradyCharles Krupa/Associated Press

    The Buccaneers have themselves a new quarterback in six-time champion Tom Brady. What they don't have is an elite offensive line with which to protect the soon-to-be 43-year-old. This could be a major issue, as Brady wasn't an escape artist even in his youth.

    The weakest link on Tampa's offensive line is at right tackle. Though left tackle Donovan Smith is no Pro Bowler, there isn't really even a starter on the right side. The Buccaneers signed Joe Haeg, a 2019 backup with the Colts, but he hasn't started since a six-game stint in 2018—when he played both tackle spots and at guard.

    Haeg is likely, at best, a high-end depth option. This leaves right tackle as a premium draft target for the Buccaneers, though head coach Bruce Arians believes otherwise.

    "I don't see it as a glaring need, but you're always looking to upgrade somewhere," Arians told reporters.

Tennessee Titans: Edge-Rusher

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    Former Titans  Edge Cameron Wake
    Former Titans Edge Cameron WakeJeff Haynes/Associated Press

    The Titans weren't the worst team at getting to the quarterback in 2019. They produced 43 sacks, though that number is a bit deceiving.

    Of those 43 sacks, 4.5 came from cornerback Logan Ryan, who remains unsigned in free agency. Another 5.0 came from defensive tackle Jurrell Casey, who the Titans traded to Denver, and another 2.5 came from edge-rusher Cameron Wake, who was released this offseason. Tennessee needs a quality edge-rusher badly.

    The Titans did add Vic Beasley Jr. in free agency, but he is not a surefire answer. Yes, he had a solid 8.0 sacks in 2019, but he also totaled just 10.0 sacks in the previous two seasons combined.

    If the Titans hope to contend with the likes of the Chiefs and the Texans in the AFC, they'll need to do a better job of pressuring the quarterback. That will likely require drafting a prospect capable of chasing down signal-callers.

Washington Redskins: Tight End

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    Former Redskins TE Jordan Reed
    Former Redskins TE Jordan ReedAdam Hunger/Associated Press

    Will new Washington head coach Ron Rivers stick with second-year quarterback Dwayne Haskins, or will he roll with his 2019 starter from Carolina, Kyle Allen? This became one of the biggest questions surrounding Washington after the team acquired Allen from the Panthers.

    Regardless of which quarterback he decides to start in 2020, Rivera needs to get him better receiving weapons.

    Adding a No. 2 receiver opposite Terry McLaurin is a necessity. Washington did add Cody Latimer in free agency, but he's not a legit No. 2. An even greater need is a reliable pass-catching tight end.

    A tight end can be a young quarterback's best friend in the passing game. Washington parted with Jordan Reed and lost Vernon Davis to retirement this offseason. Jeremy Sprinkle, who had all of 26 receptions and 241 yards last season, is not projected to be the starter.

    While Washington isn't going to use the second overall pick in the draft on a tight end, it would be wise to address the position at some point in the first few rounds.


    All contract and cap information via Spotrac.