Every NFL Team's Biggest Red Flag Heading into 2022 Draft

Gary Davenport@@IDPSharksNFL AnalystApril 7, 2022

Every NFL Team's Biggest Red Flag Heading into 2022 Draft

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    Well, it's been quite the offseason across the NFL.

    Free agency is an annual frenzy of player movement. Hundreds of millions of dollars change hands. Dozens of players change teams. And the landscape of the league is altered in a major way.

    But 2021 was even wilder. Arguably the top two wide receivers in the NFL were dealt. So was a Super Bowl-winning quarterback, as well as a league MVP.

    That list only just scratches the surface of all the deals that went down.

    After everything that has happened over the last month or so, some NFL teams are substantially better than they were at the close of last season. Others have treaded water. And some…well, some have had a rough go of it.

    But regardless of how the offseason has gone to date, every team has something in common. There's still a hole that must be addressed. A red flag flying, signaling the potential for danger ahead.

Arizona Cardinals: Edge-Rusher

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    This one is kind of tricky because there are a few issues facing the Arizona Cardinals as the NFL draft at the end of the month approaches—not the least of which is a young quarterback who has made it no secret he wants to get paid.

    But Kyler Murray's contract is a problem for another day. Arizona has more immediate concerns on both sides of the ball. On offense, the departure of Christian Kirk and potential loss of the still-unsigned A.J. Green leaves the Redbirds thin at wide receiver behind DeAndre Hopkins. But Rondale Moore had his moments as a rookie, and Arizona should be able to land some depth with upside at the position on Day 2.

    The team's biggest Cardinal red flag is on defense. Markus Golden had an outstanding 2021 season, amassing a team-leading 11 sacks. But Chandler Jones and his 10.5 sacks are with the Las Vegas Raiders now, leaving the team in need of some pop off the edge.

    That puts edge-rushers like Purdue's George Karlaftis and even Michigan's David Ojabo squarely on the team's radar at No. 23.      

Atlanta Falcons: Everything but Kyle Pitts

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    This might appear facetious. Or even mean. 

    But the Atlanta Falcons have so many red flags they should go back to the old helmets.

    The quarterback (Marcus Mariota) is a placeholder who hasn't started a game since 2019.

    The running back (Cordarrelle Patterson) is a 31-year-old gadget player with one good season under his belt in Atlanta.

    The wide receiver corps is headlined by Olamide Zaccheaus. Seriously.

    The offensive line ranked 27th in the NFL last year, according to Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus.

    Atlanta's pass rush tallied a league-low 18 sacks last year. That total was 4.5 fewer than T.J. Watt of the Pittsburgh Steelers managed by himself.

    The Falcons were 26th in total defense, 27th in run defense and 29th in scoring defense.

    The moment that quarterback Matt Ryan was traded to the Indianapolis Colts, it became clear that Atlanta was beginning a ground-up rebuild. 

    And the first year of it is going to be excruciating.

Baltimore Ravens: Edge-Rusher

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    The Baltimore Ravens might have several red flags this year.

    The first is at cornerback. When healthy, Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters are a formidable duo. But both are coming off injury-wrecked seasons, and with them on the shelf, Baltimore's pass defense imploded, ultimately allowing the most yards (278.9) in the league.

    The second is at offensive tackle. When healthy (there's that caveat again), Ronnie Stanley is one of the best in the business. Morgan Moses was a good get in free agency. But Stanley has missed a staggering 26 games over the past two years.

    However, there's one area in which the Ravens know they need help. It's why they tried (and failed) to bring back Za'Darius Smith in free agency. Baltimore managed just 34 sacks last season (a bottom-10 mark), and right now, the team's starters on the edge are a relatively unproven youngster in Odafe Oweh and Tyus Bowser, who is coming off an Achilles tear.

    If Oregon's Kayvon Thibodeaux somehow fell to pick No. 14, general manager Eric DeCosta would probably pull a hammy racing to turn the card in with his name on it.

Buffalo Bills: Cornerback

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    The biggest red flag for the Buffalo Bills might be one waved by Bills Mafia in the season opener. Buffalo sports one of the most stacked in the NFL.

    But there are some holes to patch, and the most important one is likely at cornerback. Star Tre'Davious White tore his ACL last season, and fellow starter Levi Wallace joined the Pittsburgh Steelers in free agency.

    This isn't to say the cupboard is bare. Taron Johnson has started 26 games over the past two seasons, and Siran Neal has shown potential when afforded playing time in the past.

    But there's a reason why so many draftniks, including Kevin Hanson of Sports Illustrated, see the Bills taking a cornerback like Florida's Kaiir Elam at No. 25 overall.

    "The Bills' top corner (Tre'Davious White) is recovering from a torn ACL, and their 2021 CB2 (Levi Wallace) signed with Pittsburgh," he wrote. "Elam's father (Abram) and uncle (Matt) both played safety in the NFL. Elam has an ideal combination of size and speed (4.39 40-yard dash)."   

Carolina Panthers: Quarterback

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    Breaking news flash: The Carolina Panthers need to get better under center.

    Almost from the moment David Tepper bought the team, he made it clear that he coveted a high-end option. The team tried signing Teddy Bridgewater in 2020—and that failed miserably. Last year, the Panthers traded for Sam Darnold, and per Joseph Person of The Athletic, the decision-makers in Charlotte appear ready to chalk that up as a sunk cost as well.

    "As far as what players think, [Christian] McCaffrey and Darnold are friends, and McCaffrey has had nice things to say about him. Other players aren't as sold on Darnold as the answer. But the only opinions that really count are those of [Matt] Rhule, [Scott] Fitterer and [David] Tepper, and they've given every indication that they're ready for an upgrade."

    After missing out on Deshaun Watson, the Panthers are widely rumored to be looking at a quarterback with the No. 6 pick. Even Liberty quarterback Malik Willis thinks Carolina could use a new signal-caller.

    He'd better be careful what he wishes for.

    He just might get it.

Chicago Bears: Wide Receiver

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    Some might expect to see second-year quarterback Justin Fields here. "Rocky" would be a kind assessment of his rookie season. But Chicago Bears and Fields are stuck with one another for at least one campaign—maybe two.

    The problem is that he's seemingly being set up to fail.

    The Bears weren't exactly overflowing with wide receiver talent before the offseason began. Now, with Allen Robinson cashing a fat check with the Los Angeles Rams in free agency, things are even worse.

    Darnell Mooney isn't without talent. He posted the first 1,000-yard season of his career in 2021. But calling the third-year pro a true No. 1 wideout is pushing it. And the depth chart behind him, with the likes of Byron Pringle and Equanimeous St. Brown, isn't keeping defensive coordinators up at night.

    The 2022 draft class is at least deep at the position. But without a first-rounder in 2022 as part of the trade to land Fields at No. 11, the Bears almost have to use a Day 2 pick on a wideout.

    And hope against hope that they hit.

Cincinnati Bengals: Cornerback

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    Heading into the offseason, there was no question what the biggest red flag was for the defending AFC champions. The team allowed a staggering 74 sacks last year, including the postseason.

    But the Cincinnati Bengals attacked that leaky offensive line with aplomb in free agency, signing guard Alex Cappa, center Ted Karras and right tackle La'el Collins to contracts. None of those players is an elite talent. But they are capable starters with considerable experience.

    Adding depth up front in the 2022 draft isn't a bad idea. But the team's biggest red flag now lies on the other side of the ball.

    Chidobe Awuzie was a revelation at cornerback in 2021, allowing a passer rating of just 75.1. But the Trae Waynes experiment was a two-year fiasco, and the person who replaced him (Eli Apple) is an average player on a good day and a liability on a bad one.

    Thanks to Cincy's success on the offensive line in free agency, it doesn't have a glaring need to address with the No. 31 pick.

    But a talented cornerback like Auburn's Roger McCreary would be a strong start to the draft class.

Cleveland Browns: Wide Receiver

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    For better or worse, the Cleveland Browns are all-in on Deshaun Watson as the leader of the franchise. As things stand, the team won't pick in Round 1 until at least 2025. Watson's $46 million average annual salary is eventually going to put quite a strain on the team's salary cap.

    The quarterback could also be disciplined under the NFL's personal-conduct policy after the league completes its investigation. There are 22 civil lawsuits filed against him by women alleging sexual assault, misconduct or harassment. 

    For the foreseeable future, the Browns are going to have to be thrifty in free agency and prudent with their Day 2 picks. 

    They have maybe the best edge-rusher in the league in Myles Garrett. But they have little around him—at end or tackle. Bringing back Jadeveon Clowney would help, but the defensive line is a sizable need.

    So is wide receiver. The Browns have a new No. 1 wideout after trading for Amari Cooper, and Donovan Peoples-Jones has shown a flash or two. There has also been speculation that Jarvis Landry could return to Cleveland.

    But given how deep the wide receiver class is this year, Cleveland could land a player like the University of Cincinnati's Alec Pierce in Round 2. The sure-handed, big-bodied wideout (6'3", 211 lbs) is capable of making a Day 1 impact.

    That gives the red (orange) flag edge to wide receiver.

Dallas Cowboys: Offensive Line

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    Not that long ago, the Dallas Cowboys had arguably the best offensive line in the NFL. Pro Football Focus slated the unit as the league's best in 2022, at least in the regular season.

    However, in last year's playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers, Dak Prescott was sacked five times and hurried countless others. Two starters from last year's O-line (right tackle La'el Collins and left guard Connor Williams) left in free agency.

    Now, Dallas still has a pair of Pro Bowl-caliber linemen in left tackle Tyron Smith and right guard Zack Martin. It's possible that Terence Steele and Connor McGovern will be up to the task of replacing Collins and Williams. And Randy Gregory's departure to Denver opened a sizable hole in the team's pass rush.

    But one of the things that made the Dallas line so stout in recent years was its depth. The Cowboys could afford to lose a player to injury without the entire line imploding.

    That's not necessarily the case now, so team owner Jerry Jones needs to make an early investment in the trenches at the end of the month.

Denver Broncos: Cornerback

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    The Denver Broncos most assuredly addressed one glaring need when they traded for veteran quarterback Russell Wilson.

    Now the priority is building a team around Wilson.

    Denver already addressed a below-average offensive line, signing Billy Turner to replace the departed Bobby Massie. And there aren't a lot of massive needs that stand out on the roster—save one.

    The Broncos have a potentially solid one-two punch at cornerback in veteran Ronald Darby and second-year pro Patrick Surtain II. Denver also added a new nickel cornerback in K'Waun Williams, with spent the last five campaigns with the San Francisco 49ers. But all three missed time with injuries last season, and the depth chart behind them becomes sparse quickly.

    The AFC West has the makings of a brutal gauntlet. All four teams appear to be more than capable of shredding opponents through the air.

    The division may come down to which team can best withstand those aerial onslaughts.

Detroit Lions: Linebacker

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    Let's be clear: The Detroit Lions are not going to invest the second overall pick in an off-ball linebacker. That player will be an offensive tackle. Or maybe an edge-rusher. Or a difference-making defensive back.

    They probably also won't take one with the last pick in Round 1 unless a prospect like Georgia's Nakobe Dean or Utah's Devin Lloyd somehow falls that far.

    But that doesn't mean the team doesn't need at help at the position. Big time.

    Right now, Detroit's starters inside are journeyman veteran Alex Anzalone (who finished last season fourth on the team in tackles) and second-year pro Derrick Barnes. The former is a journeyman veteran and an average player. The latter is an unproven youngster with only six NFL starts under his belt.

    The Lions fielded the fifth-worst run defense in the NFL, largely because the team's linebackers lack the speed to range sideline-to-sideline and close quickly in pursuit.

    That needs to change. Or this year's defense is going to look a lot like last year's.

Green Bay Packers: Wide Receiver

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    This one should be narrated by Captain Obvious.

    Frankly, even with Davante Adams on the roster, the wide receiver position was one of the biggest needs facing the Green Bay Packers. After the Pack dealt Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders, that need became overwhelming. It was only exacerbated by the departure of Marquez Valdes-Scantling in free agency.

    While speaking to reporters at the annual NFL owners meetings, Green Bay head coach Matt LaFleur admitted that there's a lot of work to be done:

    "You can never have enough great players, enough guys that can make those big explosive plays. It's not going to be easy to replace, by any stretch. We're going to have to do a great job. Let's face it, there's six months before we have to [play]. I would envision a lot is going to happen between now and opening day."

    This may be a more difficult problem than just filling holes with players. Rodgers hasn't always been especially kind to younger receivers. He targets wideouts he has a rapport with. And there's isn't a more interception-averse quarterback in the league. Rodgers isn't going to just let it rip and let his wideout go get it. That's not how he rolls.

Houston Texans: The Whole Kit and Kaboodle

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    Let's be honest. The Houston Texans are the worst team (on paper) in the NFL.

    Granted, they are also flush with a ridiculous amount of draft capital after dealing Deshaun Watson to the Browns. But they have glaring holes all over the place.

    Davis Mills showed a flash or two as a rookie, but the 23-year-old quarterback is probably slated for a career as a backup. The team's leading rusher in 2021 (Rex Burkhead) was a 31-year-old scatback. There's been speculation that Houston could trade its best wide receiver (Brandin Cooks) at some point this year. The offensive line was a bottom-five unit in 2021, per Pro Football Focus.

    The defense wasn't any better. Only the Jets allowed more yards per game. Only the Pittsburgh Steelers surrendered more rushing yards. Houston allowed 26.6 points per game, the sixth-most in the league.

    The Texans have the third and 13th pick in this year's draft and multiple first-rounders in both 2023 and 2024.

    They are going to need every one of those selections.

Indianapolis Colts: Left Tackle

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    There has been quite the quarterback carousel in Indianapolis since Andrew Luck's sudden retirement. Jacoby Brissett and Brian Hoyer were under center in 2019. Then Philip Rivers in 2020. Carson Wentz in 2021. And after the Colts swung a trade with the Atlanta Falcons, Matt Ryan will helm the offense in 2022.

    For most of that run, the team has sported one of the NFL's better offensive lines. But last year, that unit slipped to 12th, per Pro Football Focus, and it's possible the O-line will be worse in 2022.

    That's less than ideal given Ryan's mobility (or lack thereof).

    The biggest issue is on Ryan's blind side. After rolling out veteran Eric Fisher in 2021, the Colts elected not to re-sign him. As things stand, fourth-year veteran Matt Pryor will start at left tackle after playing 438 snaps last season.

    The good news is that Pryor didn't allow a sack in those snaps. The bad news is that he committed six penalties, and as a 10-game starter for the Eagles in 2020, Pryor allowed six sacks.

    A proven quality starter he is not.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Offensive Line

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    After finishing with the worst record for the second consecutive season, the Jacksonville Jaguars attacked free agency with vigor. Big contracts were handed out on both sides of the ball, including to linebacker Foyesade Oluokun, wide receiver Christian Kirk and cornerback Darious Williams.

    A chunk of that change went toward upgrading the offensive line. The Jaguars slapped the franchise tag on 26-year-old tackle Cam Robinson and handed veteran guard Brandon Scherff a three-year, $49.5 million contract.

    However, improvement up front isn't guaranteed. Scherff is capable of playing at a Pro Bowl level, but he's missed at least three games each of the last four seasons. Even with Robinson having easily the best season of his career in 2021, the Jags fielded a bottom-10 unit, according to Pro Football Focus.

    In theory, quarterback Trevor Lawrence has the weapons around him to make a big Year 2 leap.

    But in order for that to happen, the line play has to be substantially better.

Kansas City Chiefs: The Pass Rush

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    For the rest of the AFC West, the 2022 offseason has seen a dizzying number of impact additions. Thanks in large part to cap considerations, the Kansas City Chiefs didn't do a lot. In fact, the biggest transaction for the six-time defending AFC West champions was a loss—the trade that sent Tyreek Hill to Miami.

    However, the Chiefs were able to offset that somewhat with the signings of JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. What they weren't able to do, however, was upgrade a pass rush that managed just 31 sacks last year, the fourth-fewest in the league.

    Defensive tackle Chris Jones was solid again in 2021, pacing the team with nine sacks. But he was the only player to have at least five. 

    And there's precious little behind that duo.

    In a division that includes Russell Wilson, Derek Carr and Justin Herbert, that's a real problem.  

Las Vegas Raiders: Offensive Line

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    The Las Vegas Raiders have been busy this offseason. In many respects, that's a good thing. They added maybe the NFL's best wide receiver (Davante Adams) in a trade with the Packers. Another trade brought in a solid cornerback in Rock Ya-Sin, who's just 25. Vegas paid big bucks to edge-rusher Chandler Jones, who has 107.5 sacks in his NFL career.

    But all those moves left the Raiders with little cap space, no picks in the first two rounds of this year's draft and a fairly sizable problem. The right side of the offensive line is garbage.

    The team spent a 2021 first-round pick on Alex Leatherwood, who turned out to be such an unmitigated disaster that he was kicked inside to guard. He was just as terrible there, ultimately allowing eight sacks in his rookie year. The man tabbed to replace him at right tackle (Brandon Parker) wasn't any better. Parker surrendered eight sacks and committed nine penalties in 881 snaps.

    This is a major problem for the Raiders given all of the high-end edge-rushers in the AFC West. 

    And it's one with no simple solution. 

Los Angeles Chargers: Offensive Line

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    You may experience some deja vu reading this entry because in many respects the Los Angeles Chargers' offseason has mirrored that of their AFC West rivals in Las Vegas.

    They brought in edge-rusher Khalil Mack to pair with Joey Bosa. They made one of the biggest splash signings of the offseason, inking shutdown cornerback J.C. Jackson to a five-year, $82.5 million deal. They kept their potent wideout corps intact by re-signing Mike Williams.

    There is one difference. The Chargers still have their first-round pick at No. 17 overall. And depending on how Day 1 plays out, it may make sense for the team to take an offensive lineman in the first round for the second straight season.

    The left side of the line is pretty set, with second-year pro Rashawn Slater at tackle, Matt Feiler at guard and Corey Linsley in the pivot. But the right side consists of a guard in Brenden Jaimes who played five snaps as a rookie and a tackle in Storm Norton who gave up a whopping nine sacks a year ago.

    There is a reason why Northern Iowa tackle Trevor Penning is such a popular pick in the Chargers mock draft community.

Los Angeles Rams: Edge-Rusher

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    The Los Angeles Rams are in the position every team wants to be in: atop the NFL mountain. And they haven't played around in the offseason, making impact additions such as linebacker Bobby Wagner and wide receiver Allen Robinson.

    But they have significant losses as well. Veteran left tackle Andrew Whitworth retired. Cornerback Darious Williams and edge-rusher Von Miller departed in free agency. And with no pick in either of the first two rounds of this year's draft, filling holes won't be easy for Rams general manager Les Snead.

    Among the positions of need, the pass rush is probably the biggest concern. The Rams have all-everything defensive tackle Aaron Donald and edge-rusher Leonard Floyd, but there isn't another player who had even five sacks last season.

    The Rams may not be able to find someone on Day 2 who's capable of making an immediate impact. But as Cameron DaSilva wrote for Rams Wire, there are young pass-rushers like Sam Williams of Ole Miss who could add at least some situational pop who could be there when the Rams make their first pick at No. 104.

Miami Dolphins: Offensive Line

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    It's tempting to put quarterback Tua Tagovailoa here. The fifth overall pick in the 2020 draft has been underwhelming over his first two seasons, and after an offseason of big acquisitions highlighted by the trade for Tyreek Hill, the Miami Dolphins have in theory given him everything he needs to succeed in 2022.

    Part of that haul has been along the offensive line. They signed guard Connor Williams, who started 51 games over the past four seasons for the Cowboys. The team also gave $15 million per season over five years to Pro Bowl tackle Terron Armstead.

    So why is the offensive line still a red flag?

    Per Pro Football Focus, the Dolphins fielded the worst offensive line in the NFL last season. 2020 first-round pick Austin Jackson (the projected starter at right tackle) was so bad on the left side that the Dolphins were forced to move him inside. He committed a dozen penalties last season. Center Michael Deiter is average on a good day. And Armstead has struggled to stay healthy of late, missing 11 games the past two seasons.

    Just because Miami's line is better, doesn't make it good.

Minnesota Vikings: Cornerback

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    Last season, the Minnesota Vikings surrendered 252.9 yards per game through the air. Only four teams allowed more.

    The team did sign Chandon Sullivan away from the Packers. But in each of the last two seasons, Sullivan has allowed a completion percentage of at least 65 in coverage and a passer rating north of 90.

    Other than that, though, there are disappointingly familiar faces. Patrick Peterson's days of being a perennial Pro Bowler are long gone. Cameron Dantzler was a healthy scratch to start the 2021 season. Now the 23-year-old is slated to be a weekly starter.

    Given this predicament, the majority of mock drafts have the Vikings looking at a corner with the 12th overall pick, whether it's LSU's Derek Stingley Jr., Washington's Trent McDuffie or Clemson's Andrew Booth Jr.

New England Patriots: Interior Offensive Line

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    The recent trade that brought DeVante Parker to New England doesn't necessarily fix all ails the Patriots wide receiver corps. But it was enough to knock that particular red flag down a couple of shades into, say, a fuchsia.

    Similarly, the loss of J.C. Jackson was a massive blow to the Patriots secondary. But assuming that Malcolm Butler can return to form after sitting out the 2021 season, he and Terrance Mitchell are at least capable veterans. So that flag is a bit more cerise.

    What? I had the box of 64 crayons as a kid too.

    With that said, the interior of the offensive line is positively maroon. It's not just the departure of Ted Karras in free agency. The Patriots also surprisingly all but gave Shaq Mason away in a trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Youngster Michael Onwenu is waiting in the wings to man one of those spots, but the other is a major question mark.

    That's a big deal for a team as dedicated to establishing the run as the Patriots.

New Orleans Saints: Wide Receiver

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    New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis has a history of aggressively targeting players he wants in the NFL draft, and he's not afraid to sacrifice significant draft capital. He did so with Marcus Davenport in 2018. And given this week's trade with the Philadelphia Eagles that in part netted New Orleans the Nos. 16 and 19 selections, it appears he's doing so again in 2022.

    There appear to be two holes that Loomis is looking to fill, with the possibility of a third. That dark horse is a quarterback, although an early run at the position could make that problematic at 16.

    With Terron Armstead now in Miami, left tackle could be an issue. But James Hurst was quietly decent in his 941 snaps last season, giving up just three sacks. Using one of the Saints' two first-rounders on a tackle is certainly a consideration. But there's a more pressing issue.

    Right now, the Saints' top wide receiver is Michael Thomas, who set a single-season record with 149 catches in 2019. The problem is that Thomas has missed a whopping 26 games in the two years since, including all of last campaign. Outside of Thomas, the pool of talent at wide receiver is more like a puddle.

    That's not going to make things easy for quarterback Jameis Winston in 2022.  

New York Giants: Quarterback

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    Like it was going to be anyone else.

    One of the reasons the New York Giants brought in Brian Daboll as head coach this year was the hope that he could work the same magic with Daniel Jones that he did with Josh Allen in Buffalo.

    Per ESPN's Jordan Ranaan, Jones said he's excited about the arrival of Daboll—and the admission by the organization that Jones hasn't exactly been put in a position to succeed to this point in his career.

    "I'm excited. I'm excited to get going here. I appreciate the support," he said. "But it's my job to do my role, to prepare this team, to prepare myself to play as well as I can and put this team in position to win games. So I take that responsibility very seriously and that is what I'm focused on."

    The reality is that after some early "Danny Dimes" hype, Jones has won just 12 of 37 starts. In 38 career games, he has turned the ball over 49 times.

    Unless there's a marked turnaround in 2021, New York will be quarterback-shopping in 2023. And it can't be entirely ruled out that the team will use an early pick on one this season.

New York Jets: Cornerback

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    You might not believe this, but on paper, at least, the New York Jets aren't a bad-looking team.

    The Jets have a decent array of offensive skill players, a sneaky-good offensive line and a front-seven with talent on the defensive line and at linebacker. If Zach Wilson can take a Year 2 step forward, this team could be much more competitive in 2022.

    There is a problem, though—the secondary.

    The Jets have made an effort to bolster that group, signing cornerback D.J. Reed and safety Jordan Whitehead. But as things stand, Bryce Hall would open the season as the No. 2 corner despite allowing a passer rating against of 106.6 in 2021.

    That is…not ideal.

    Fortunately for Gang Green, thanks to the Jamal Adams trade and a miserable 2021 season for Seattle, the Jets have two top-10 picks in this draft.

    They could use one of those selections on Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner of Cincinnati, who is widely regarded as the top prospect at his position in this draft class.

Philadelphia Eagles: Wide Receiver

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    The Philadelphia Eagles were originally slated to have three picks in the top 20 this year, but they traded two of those picks—No. 16 and 19—along with a sixth-round pick to the New Orleans Saints. They received pick No. 18, a third-rounder, a seventh-rounder, a first-rounder in 2023 and a second-rounder in 2024 in return.

    Get all that?

    By most estimations, it's a windfall for the Eagles. There's a cost in the short term but a substantial reward in the long run. And the Eagles still have a pair of picks in Round 1 this year.

    One of those first-rounders needs to be spent upgrading the passing-game weaponry around Jalen Hurts.

    The team appears to have chosen well when they selected DeVonta Smith in Round 1 last year, but they most assuredly did not with Jalen Reagor in 2020. The rest of the depth chart at the position consists of the likes of Quez Watkins, Greg Ward and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside.

    The Eagles need more than just a body.

    The team needs a difference-maker.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Offensive Line

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    Some may be expecting to see the quarterback position here. However, the reality is that Mitchell Trubisky, for all the problems and limitations he may have, is still an upgrade over the sliver of Ben Roethlisberger that was left last year.

    If Trubisky and the Pittsburgh Steelers have any chance of competing in a division with Joe Burrow, Lamar Jackson and Deshaun Watson, though, the franchise's new quarterback needs a better offensive line.

    Not just in pass protection, too—Pittsburgh hasn't finished higher than 29th in rushing since 2017.

    To be fair, the Steelers have made an effort to improve the line, bringing in center Mason Cole and guard James Daniels and re-signed tackle Chukwuma Okorafor. However, left tackle remains a looming question mark, with Dan Moore Jr. slated to start after surrendering seven sacks over a shaky rookie season.

San Francisco 49ers: Quarterback

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    Captain Obvious rides again!

    The San Francisco 49ers mortgaged the team's future to move up to draft Trey Lance third overall last year, only to see Jimmy Garoppolo start most of the season and lead the team to the NFC Championship Game.

    After an offseason replete with trade rumors regarding Garoppolo, general manager John Lynch told reporters that the Niners aren't just going to give the veteran quarterback away. But the team is committed to Lance as the signal-caller of the future.

    "We brought Trey here to be that eventually, and I think that will be sooner than later, but when Jimmy gets his surgery, and we can't upgrade our team by getting some good picks until people feel good about that [surgery], I'm all right with that," Lynch said. "We're not just getting rid of him to get rid of him. Jimmy is a good player that we all really like as a person and as a teammate, and we're going to wait to see whatever helps the Niners the most."

    Will the 49ers find a trade partner willing to pay what the Niners are asking? Would San Francisco consider keeping him into the regular season? If that's the case, could we be looking at a quarterback controversy in San Francisco?

    Those are big questions for a team with Super Bowl aspirations.

Seattle Seahawks: Quarterback

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    As Brady Henderson reported for ESPN, Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll believes that his team can succeed with Drew Lock under center:

    "We loved him in the draft. Our guys were thrilled with him ... He goes into his first year, finally plays his first five games and goes 4-1 in his rookie season. All of the promise, all that you had hoped to see, the numbers and stuff showed that he was going to have a great run in his career. The next two years didn't work out very well. He battled his tail off and competed his tail off, but it didn't work out. Is this a second chance for Drew Lock? Heck yeah it is. It's an absolute clear second chance for him to take us back to where we knew him to be. We'll find out."

    It's those last three words that send up the old red flag.

    The reality is that since winning four of five as a rookie, Lock is 4-12 as a starter in Denver. Over that span, he has thrown 18 touchdown passes and 17 interceptions. Does Lock have arm talent? Sure. But he struggles reading the field past his primary read and turns it over way too much.

    Whether it's a rookie or a veteran (looking at you, Baker Mayfield), the Seahawks have to add competition for Lock because if he's the unquestioned starter in 2022, it's not going to end well.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Interior of the Line(s)

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    Adam Hunger/Associated Press

    This is a hard one to pin down. As soon as Tom Brady decided that he wasn't quite ready to call it a career, players started flocking back to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    Not only did the team retain Chris Godwin, but they added to the wide receiver corps with the signing of Russell Gage. The losses of Alex Cappa and Ali Marpert at guard were offset by the trade that brought Shaq Mason to town. When safety Jordan Whitehead left, the Bucs simply replaced him with Logan Ryan and Keanu Neal.

    This isn't a team with many holes.

    However, "not many" and "none" are not the same thing.

    Mason will man one of the starting guard spots, but the other remains a question mark—one that could make a player like Boston College guard Zion Johnson a possibility with the 27th overall pick.

    On the other side, Ndamukong Suh remains unsigned, so a big body on the defensive line is another priority early in the draft. If Tampa chooses to hit the defense first, a space-eater like Georgia's Devonte Wyatt could be a great fit.

Tennessee Titans: Offensive Guard

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    Matt Patterson/Associated Press

    The Tennessee Titans were the top seed in the AFC playoffs last year, but after a disappointing one-and-done postseason, there's considerable pressure on the team to take "the next step."

    Doing so requires the Titans to improve the middle of the offensive line.

    Tennessee appears to be relatively well off at left tackle with veteran Taylor Lewan. At right tackle, it's possible that David Quessenberry could still be brought back, and center Ben Jones allowed just one sack in over 1,100 snaps a year ago.

    But poor guard play played a significant role in Tennessee allowing the seventh-most sacks in the league last year, and that was before the Titans released Rodger Saffold. Saffold is slated to be replaced by Aaron Brewer, who allowed half a dozen sacks on just 257 pass-blocking snaps last season.

    Those are not numbers that inspire confidence.

    Also, Dillon Radunz is penciled in to start at tackle as things stand today, and head coach Mike Vrabel indicated the second-year pro would be afforded an opportunity to start. But in the same breath Vrabel said Radunz isn't ready to be a starter yet, so tackle could also be an area of need in Nashville.

Washington Commanders: Quarterback

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    Manuel Balce Ceneta/Associated Press

    That's right. Quarterback. The position the team just made a trade to fill.

    The Commanders have an excellent young running back in Antonio Gibson, one of the league's most dangerous wide receivers in Terry McLaurin and a top-10 offensive line. They also have arguably the most stacked defensive front in the league, some young talent at linebacker and a decent (if unspectacular) secondary.

    Per recent mocks, it appears quite a few draftniks expect the Commanders to add a running mate for McLaurin at wide receiver. But even more believe that the team will draft one of this year's top quarterback prospects.

    That's because Carson Wentz isn't close to a sure thing.

    On one hand, Wentz's raw numbers weren't that bad in Indianapolis last season. He recorded 3,563 passing yards, 27 touchdowns, just seven interceptions and a passer rating of 94.6. 

    But when Wentz was bad, he was really bad, including a horrific outing in a season-ending loss to the lowly Jaguars that cost the Colts a postseason berth.

    There's a reason why Wentz is on his third team in as many seasons. Without better play from him in 2022, the Commanders aren't going anywhere.