2013 NFL Draft Team Needs
With the 2013 NFL Draft finally upon us, we’re breaking down what each team will be looking for when they are on the clock this weekend:
Current Picks: 7, 38, 69, 103, 140, 174, 219
Team Needs: QB, RB, OL, LB, S
Don’t let the arrivals of Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton fool you; the Cardinals still would take a QB, should the right fit arise. But the most obvious and pressing need is up front on offense, where Arizona has done next to nothing to address the league’s worst line.
Current Picks: 30, 60, 92, 127, 133, 163, 198, 236, 243, 244, 249
Team Needs: TE, OL, DE, CB
Even for a team in the Super Bowl mix, it’ll be hard to replace John Abraham, Dunta Robinson and Tyson Clabo. Plus, the Falcons need to prepare for Tony Gonzalez’s retirement, which, we assume, actually will come at some point after this season. The defense has to get better, both up front and in the secondary.
Current Picks: 32, 62, 94, 129, 130, 165, 168, 199, 200, 203, 238, 247
Team Needs: OL, WR, LB, CB, S
An offseason of huge turnover for the defending champs has left Baltimore thin at offensive tackle and inside linebacker, for starters. The latter might be the position of choice early. And that secondary certainly could use a boost.
Current Picks: 8, 41, 71, 105, 143, 177
Team Needs: QB, WR, OL, LB, S
Are the Bills prepared to give Kevin Kolb a shot or will they roll the dice on a QB at No. 8? Pretty much everything’s in play there, because Buffalo is in need of impact players at several positions.
Current Picks: 14, 44, 108, 148, 182
Team Needs: OL, WR, DT, CB, S
Cam Newton certainly would not object to the addition of a playmaking receiver — will Tavon Austin make it this far? The Panthers also could benefit if Star Lotulelei falls, because they could drop him right into their thin defensive front.
Current Picks: 20, 50, 117, 153, 188
Team Needs: WR, OL, LB, CB
Even with the free-agent additions of Jermon Bushrod, Matt Slauson and Eben Britton, the Bears cannot feel fully confident in their offensive line. Same goes for the linebackers, despite D.J. Williams’ and James Anderson’s arrivals.
Current Picks: 21, 37, 53, 84, 118, 156, 190, 197, 240, 251
Team Needs: RB, OL, DE, LB, S
James Harrison’s signing makes linebacker less of a trouble spot, though Cincinnati could stand to add some youth there. Running back is the wild card — are the Bengals prepared to go with BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Bernard Scott as their 1-2 punch next season?
Current Picks: 6, 68, 104, 139, 164, 175, 227
Team Needs: QB, WR, LB, CB
Finding another edge rusher for their new 3-4 will be high on Cleveland’s list, but receiver and cornerback should take center stage. A second elite corner to pair with Joe Haden would elevate Cleveland’s secondary. We also cannot rule out a QB pick at some point — Brandon Weeden’s leash figures to be short in 2013.
Current Picks: 18, 47, 80, 114, 151, 185
Team Needs: RB, OL, DE, S
The Cowboys simply have to improve their offensive line, and they should have the opportunity to do so in this draft. DE could be another focus, if the Cowboys don’t plan on keeping Anthony Spencer long-term. Running back is a need for later rounds, where the Cowboys could find some help for DeMarco Murray.
Current Picks: 28, 58, 90, 125, 161, 234
Team Needs: RB, DT, DE, LB
The Broncos mostly need minor touch-ups, especially on defense where the line is relatively thin and middle linebacker could be a trouble spot. Denver has about a half-dozen running backs as it is, but it’s an aging and underwhelming group.
Current Picks: 5, 36, 65, 132, 137, 171, 211, 245
Team Needs: OL, WR, DE, LB, CB
Detroit is in prime position to deal with either its void at offensive tackle or cornerback at No. 5 overall, but might the Lions go for broke on a player like Tavon Austin instead? Whether there or later, this team needs to find more help for Calvin Johnson.
Green Bay Packers
Current Picks: 26, 55, 88, 122, 159, 167, 193, 232
Team Needs: RB, OL, DE, CB, LB
The Packers’ playoff exit made it perfectly clear that they need to get better and faster on defense. That’s true at all three levels, starting up front where the production just has not been there. Elsewhere, it seems like we talk about the Packers’ need for a running back just about every season at this time. Will they answer the call here?
Current Picks: 27, 57, 89, 95, 124, 160, 195, 201, 233
Team Needs: WR, OL, NT, LB, CB
Houston has a handful of young receivers to pair with Andre Johnson — Lestar Jean, Keshawn Martin and DeVier Posey (who’s coming off an Achilles tear). But none has grabbed the bull by the horns yet, so the Texans may make sure they land an impact player at that position. The Texans also really need to create some depth at linebacker, inside and out.
Current Picks: 24, 86, 121, 192, 230, 254
Team Needs: RB, LB, DT, CB
Securing Gosder Cherilus and Donald Thomas in free agency made the Colts’ O-line situation a lot more comfortable. Still, with those later picks, the Colts ought to focus on an interior lineman or two. The goal for Round 1 should be to bolster the front seven, either with an edge rusher or versatile lineman.
Current Picks: 2, 33, 64, 98, 135, 169, 208
Team Needs: QB, OL, DE, CB, S
The great unknown here is at quarterback. Do the Jaguars trust Blaine Gabbert and/or want to give him another shot? If those answers are no, then that No. 2 or No. 33 selection could bring a QB to Jacksonville. But the Jaguars also need a lot more athletes on defense — even more so with new coach Gus Bradley’s system.
Kansas City Chiefs
Current Picks: 1, 63, 96, 99, 134, 170, 204, 207
Team Needs: OL, DE, LB, S
The Chiefs will have a hard time passing on Luke Joeckel or Eric Fisher at No. 1, with Eric Winston gone and Branden Albert on the trading block. Andy Reid also needs to beef up his defensive front, though Mike DeVito’s arrival helps. There’s a chance, too, that Reid nabs a receiver to add to his current crop.
Current Picks: 12, 42, 54, 77, 82, 111, 146, 166, 217, 224, 205
Team Needs: RB, OL, CB
Tight end is on the fringes of Miami’s needs, as well — the Dolphins signed Dustin Keller, but the rest of their group there is uninspiring. This team has to think about adding a tackle (if it doesn’t trade for Branden Albert). Cornerback also warrants attention, despite the pickup of Brent Grimes.
Current Picks: 23, 25, 52, 83, 102, 120, 155, 189, 213, 214, 229
Team Needs: WR, DT, LB, CB
Percy Harvin’s out and Greg Jennings is in on Minnesota’s receiving corps — that’s not a horrible trade-off, though it still leaves the Vikings searching for a threat or two. The D-line needs to get younger, and cornerback might keep the Vikings’ coaching staff up nights now that Antoine Winfield is in Seattle.
New England Patriots
Current Picks: 29, 59, 91, 226, 235
Team Needs: WR, DE, DT, CB
If it wasn’t already obvious, the Patriots tipped their hand on a huge need by trying to steal restricted free agent WR Emmanuel Sanders from Pittsburgh. The D-line mostly needs depth. Same for cornerback, though the Patriots need to make sure the wheels don’t come off if Aqib Talib struggles or suffers an injury.
New Orleans Saints
Current Picks: 15, 75, 109, 144, 183
Team Needs: OL, WR, LB, CB, S
The Saints’ shift from a 4-3 to a 3-4 leaves them tracking some more help at OLB. They might be in even worse shape on the offensive line, with Charles Brown currently slated as the starting left tackle. Keenan Lewis will bolster the struggling secondary, yet there’s definitely room to add a cornerback out of this year’s deep class.
New York Giants
Current Picks: 19, 49, 81, 116, 152, 187, 225, 253
Team Needs: OL, LB, CB
It’s the linebacking corps here that is in the worst shape — New York might commit multiple picks, including that 19th-overall selection, to that position. New York could live with its line and cornerbacks as they are, if it had to, but at least finding an extra body or two would ease their concerns.
New York Jets
Current Picks: 9, 13, 39, 72, 106, 141, 178, 215
Team Needs: QB, RB, WR, TE, OL, LB, CB
In case the lengthy list of needs doesn’t tip you off, the Jets are a bevy of parts away from contention. Quarterback’s an obvious one, but Mark Sanchez’s job would be easier with a better line and more productive skill-position players. The cornerback depth chart took a major hit with last week’s trade of Darrelle Revis.
Current Picks: 3, 66, 100, 172, 176, 205, 209
Team Needs: QB, TE, WR, OL, DT, LB, CB
Another team swimming against the current here. The Raiders have just three picks in the top 100, which is bad news considering this roster is in the midst of a total overhaul. Will Oakland gamble on a QB after trading for Matt Flynn or wait for a loaded 2014 class? The D-line cannot get much worse than it was in 2012.
Current Picks: 4, 35, 67, 101, 136, 210, 212, 218, 239
Team Needs: QB, OL, NT, DE, LB
Who knows what Chip Kelly will do in his inaugural NFL Draft. Though QB could be the play at No. 4 or No. 35, Kelly has to acquire a few bodies on the defensive side of the football — doubly true with Philadelphia sliding from a 4-3 to 3-4. The offensive line, battered and bruised in 2012, may not quite fit Kelly’s needs right now either.
Current Picks: 17, 48, 79, 115, 150, 186, 206, 223
Team Needs: RB, TE, WR, OL, NT, LB, S
We’re not used to seeing the Steelers in this dire a situation. Mike Wallace’s exit for Miami and Heath Miller’s devastating late-2012 knee injury leaves the offense down a couple key elements. Will Pittsburgh prioritize that situation in lieu of bolstering its offensive or defensive lines? Finding another pass-rusher for this aggressive 3-4 will be high on the list, too.
San Diego Chargers
Current Picks: 11, 45, 76, 110, 145, 179, 221,
Team Needs: WR, OL, NT, LB, CB
San Diego must, must, must fix its offensive line — the signings of King Dunlap, Rich Ohrnberger and Chad Rinehart only get the Chargers so far. Philip Rivers also would not complain with another option at WR. The lacking CB and inside linebacker positions add to new coach Mike McCoy’s headaches.
San Francisco 49ers
Current Picks: 31, 34, 61, 74, 93, 128, 131, 157, 173, 180, 237, 246, 252
Team Needs: TE, DE, LB, S
The 49ers have Vernon Davis at tight end, Justin Smith and Ray McDonald at DE and a linebacking unit of Ahmad Brooks, NaVorro Bowman, Patrick Willis and Aldon Smith … so … this is a long way from, say, the Raiders’ conundrums. San Francisco needs depth, though, and with Dashon Goldson headed to Tampa Bay (tentatively replaced by Craig Dahl), safety’s of need.
Current Picks: 56, 87, 123, 138, 158, 194, 220, 231, 241, 242
Team Needs: QB, OL, DT, LB
That’s quarterback as in: Brady Quinn can’t backup Russell Wilson, can he? Seattle might opt to look for another mid- to late-round QB that better fits its scheme (Arizona’s Matt Scott?). The O-line remains a little shaky on the right side, while at least one DT spot looks to be up for grabs.
St. Louis Rams
Current Picks: 16, 22, 46, 78, 113, 149, 184, 222
Team Needs: RB, WR, OL, LB, CB, S
The safe money might be on St. Louis using its pair of Round 1 picks to address receiver and safety — getting better there would be a nice step toward staying in the hunt in the tough NFC West. A strongside linebacker and running back would round out this roster well.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Current Picks: 43, 73, 112, 126, 147, 181, 196
Team Needs: TE, DT, CB
Yes, even with a trade for Darrelle Revis, the Bucs should look for a cornerback — for insurance against Revis having a setback in his injury recovery, if nothing else. Either tight end or wide receiver (possibly both) must ramp up their production in 2013, and the former position looks worse on paper.
Current Picks: 10, 40, 70, 97, 107, 142, 202, 216, 248
Team Needs: TE, OL, DE, DT, CB
Bringing in free agent Andy Levitre might leave the Titans a guard away from having an elite offensive line. Versatile Delanie Walker was a solid signing following Jared Cook’s departure, but can Walker produce enough offensively? The defensive line is better in name than actual production.
Current Picks: 51, 85, 119, 154, 162, 191, 228
Team Needs: WR, OL, DE, LB, S
Without a pick in the top 50, the Redskins will be hard-pressed to make any huge splashes. Still, finding a multi-position offensive lineman and depth on defense would go a long way toward a repeat playoff berth. A big-play receiver could be just what the offense is missing.