2021 NFL Draft Needs For All 32 Teams Heading Into Round 1
Getty Images. Pictured: Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, 49ers general manager John Lynch, Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer
The 2021 NFL Draft is nearly here.
Whether you’re betting on results or simply curious which positions teams are likely to target, analysts Chris Raybon and Samantha Previte joined forces to give you a comprehensive look at needs for all 32 teams.
Let’s not waste anymore time — you’ll find their breakdowns for each below.
Note: Click on a team name in the the following table to skip ahead — they’re listed in order of Round 1 (though four don’t have first-round pick). The table also reflects needs as established by Raybon and Previte, though you’ll need to read each team to compare which needs they differ on. Pro Football Focus grades are cited as “PFF” throughout the analysis.
NFL Draft Needs
|Jaguars||QB, TE, OL, DL, CB||10|
|Jets||QB, RB, TE, OL, CB, S, OLB||10|
|49ers||QB, WR, OL, CB, S||9|
|Falcons||RB, OL, DL, LB, CB, S||9|
|Bengals||WR, TE, OL, DL, LB||8|
|Dolphins||QB, RB, OL, CB/S, DL||8|
|Lions||WR, OL, DL, LB, CB, S||6|
|Panthers||QB, OL, WR, TE, DL, CB, S||7|
|Broncos||QB, OL, CB, S, DL, LB||9|
|Cowboys||TE, OL, DL, CB||10|
|Giants||OT, OG, DE||6|
|Eagles||WR, OL, DL, CB, S||11|
|Chargers||WR, TE, OT, DL, CB, S||9|
|Vikings||OL, DL, K||11|
|Patriots||QB, WB, WR, CB, DL||10|
|Cardinals||WR, TE, DL, LB, CB||5|
|Raiders||WR, OL, DL, CB, S||8|
|Washington||QB, WR, TE, OL, LB, CB||8|
|Bears||QB, WR, OL, LB, CB, S||8|
|Colts||WR, OT, DE, CB||6|
|Titans||WR, TE, OL, DE/LB, CB||9|
|Steelers||QB, RB, OL, LB, CB||8|
|Browns||CB, S, DL||9|
|Ravens||WR, OL, LB||9|
|Saints||QB, WR, TE, OG, DL, LB, CB||8|
|Packers||WR, OL, DL, LB, CB||10|
|Bills||TE, LG, DL||7|
|Buccaneers||QB, RB, OL, LB, CB, S||8|
|Chiefs||WR, OL, DL, LB||6|
|Rams||OL, CB, DL, ILB||6|
|Seahawks||WR, OL, LB, CB||3|
|Texans||WR, OL, DL||8|
AFC East | North | South | West
NFC East | North | South | West
Buffalo Bills (13-3)
Picks (7): 30, 61, 93, 161, 174, 213, 236
- TE: Dawson Knox and Jacob Hollister are low-end receiving threats atop a depth chart that was 29th in receiving yards by tight ends (458). They also lost nearly 300 blocking snaps with the departures of Lee Smith and Tyler Kroft.
- LG: Projected starter Cody Ford was the No. 38 overall pick in 2019 but has graded outside PFF’s top 70 qualified guards in each of his two seasons as a pro.
- DE: The Bills were 15th in sacks (358) and 23rd in pressure rate (22.2%) last season. Top pass rusher Jerry Hughes also turns 33 in August.
- TE: The Bills used four tight ends in 2020: Knox, Kroft, Smith and Reggie Gilliam. Knox was the best of the group and caught 24 passes for 288 yards and three touchdowns. Suffice it to say they could use an upgrade at the position.
- DL: The Bills’ pass rush ranked middle-of-the-road last season in sacks and lost tackle Quinton Jefferson via free agency.
Miami Dolphins (10-6)
Picks (8): 6, 18, 36, 50, 81, 156, 231, 258
- QB Insurance: While it’s unlikely the Dolphins pursue a first-round QB two years in a row, I’m not ruling out the possibility they add one in a later round as an additional insurance policy. The team did ink Jacoby Brissett this offseason following Ryan Fitzpatrick’s departure to back up 2020 first-rounder Tua Tagovailoa, who may or may not be a long-term answer for Miami.
- RB: The Dolphins could use depth at running back, even after signing former Rams running back Malcolm Brown. Their depth chart is currently led by Myles Gaskin, a former seventh-round pick who dealt with a MCL sprain in 2020. Next up are Salvon Ahmed and Patrick Laird.
- CB/S: Miami ranked 22nd in passing yards per game allowed (251.5) and could certainly use help in the secondary.
- DL/LB: Miami’s pass rush was solid last season and tallied the 10th-most sacks per game (2.6). They did, however, lose linebacker Kyle Van Noy, edge rusher Kamu Grugier-Hill and tackle Davon Godchaux during free agency and will need to fill those roster voids going into 2021.
- RB: In terms of yards after contact, Gaskin (2.54), Ahmed (2.32) and Brown (2.18) all finished in the 25th-percentile or below. Gaskin is valuable as a receiver, but Miami needs a better complement.
- LT: Miami has to stay aggressive after last year’s 18th overall pick Austin Jackson graded 84th of 89 qualified tackles by PFF.
- C: The team replaced Ted Karras, who graded 20th of 38 centers, with Matt Skura, who was 36th and struggled to snap the ball.
- OLB: The departures of Van Noy and Shaq Lawson add up to 10 lost sacks and 70 lost pressures.
- CB: The No. 3 spot behind Xavien Howard and Byron Jones is an issue: Nik Needham (112th), Justin Coleman (120th) and Noah Igbinoghene (135th) all failed to crack the top 100 in PFF’s cornerback grades.
New England Patriots (7-9)
Picks (10): 15, 46, 96, 120, 122, 139, 177, 188, 197, 242
- QB: Cam Newton averaged just 177.1 passing yards with eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 15 starts and can’t be counted on to replicate his rushing production (592 yards, 12 TDs) at age 32.
- WR: Nelson Agholor, Kendrick Bourne and Jakobi Meyers are solid WR3/4s miscast in featured roles while Julian Edelman departed and N’Keal Harry never having arrived.
- CB: The Patriots should field an elite cornerback unit with Stephon Gilmore, J.C. Jackson and Jonathan Jones, but Gilmore turns 31 this season and is coming off his lowest PFF grade since 2013 (61.0).
- QB: The Patriots surprisingly re-signed Newton to a one-year deal after a lackluster 2020 season in which the team ranked 30th in passing yards per game (180.6) behind only the Jets and Ravens. Newton still feels like a stopgap until they find a long term replacement for Tom Brady, however.
- RB: The Patriots have not had a 1,000-yard rusher since LeGarrette Blount in 2016 (1,161 yards). They relied on an underwhelming cast of Damien Harris, Sony Michel and Rex Burkhead in 2020 and could certainly use an upgrade to compliment Newton’s rushing game.
- DL: The Patriots’ defense took a big hit after their outstanding 2019 season due to free agency departures and opt-outs. They ranked 27th in sacks per game (1.5) and allowed the seventh-most rushing yards per game (131.4).
New York Jets (2-14)
Picks (10): 2, 23, 34, 66, 86, 107, 146, 154, 186, 193
- QB: The Jets were expected to draft a quarterback well before they even traded Sam Darnold to the Panthers. They ranked second-to-last in passing yards (174.8) in 2020, and while they lost their chance at Trevor Lawrence after winning two games, they should do fine with another top prospect like BYU’s Zach Wilson.
- RB: After the failed Le’Veon Bell experiment, 37-year-old Frank Gore was their top rusher with 653 yards in 2020. The Jets’ last 1,000-yard rusher was Chris Ivory in 2015 (1,070).
- TE: The Jets utilized four tight ends last year: Chris Herndon, Ryan Griffin, Daniel Brown and Trevon Wesco. Herndon was the best of the bunch and finished 35th at the position in receiving yards (287) and while we continue to wait for his breakout,
- CB/S: The Jets lost safety Jamal Adams via trade in 2020 and the secondary allowed the fifth-most passing yards in the NFL (275.6).
- OL: In spite of drafting first-rounder Mekhi Becton in 2020, the offensive line allowed the ninth-most sacks per game (2.7). They’ll want to edify this unit to protect their first-round prize at QB.
- QB: The starter will be addressed with the No. 2 overall pick but the team could also use a veteran backup after losing Joe Flacco to the Eagles.
- G: Alex Lewis is a poor pass blocker who ranked 70th of 86 guards in Pass Blocking Efficiency (96.3) last season. Greg Van Roten is a poor run blocker who graded 64th who is now 31 years old. Both are expendable.
- C: Both starting options — Connor McGovern and Dan Feeney — tied for the league-lead among centers with 33 pressures allowed last season.
- TE: Over the past two seasons, Chris Herndon is averaging 9.2 yards per catch and 0.86 yards per route with more drops (5) than TDs (3).
- OLB: Shaq Lawson and Vinny Curry should improve a pass rush that ranked 21st in sacks (31) and 25th in pressure rate (21.7%), but Curry turns 33 in June and shouldn’t be expected to play more than 40% of the snaps.
- CB: The current starting options consist of Blessaun Austin, Bryce Hall, Corey Ballentine, Javelin Guidry, Lamar Jackson, Kyron Brown, and Zane Lewis. Who? Exactly.
Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4)
Picks (8): 24, 55, 87, 128, 140, 216, 245, 254
- RB: Free-agent acquisition Kalen Ballage ranked 53rd of 63 qualified running backs in yards after contact (2.46) last season, while holdover Benny Snell Jr. ranked 55th (2.44).
- OT: Alejandro Villanueva remains unsigned, leaving the Steelers with no above-average tackles on the roster.
- C: The retirement of Maurkice Pouncey leaves 2020 undrafted free agent (UDFA) J.C. Hassenauer, who struggled to the tune of a 57.7 PFF grade last season, and 2015 UDFA B.J. Finney, who failed to play a snap on offense for both the Bengals and Seahawks after getting let go by Pittsburgh after 2019.
- LB: The team lost Bud Dupree and chose not to re-sign Vince Williams while Devin Bush is coming off a torn ACL.
- CB: The team is thin behind Joe Haden and Cameron Sutton after losing Mike Hilton to the Bengals and choosing not to re-sign Steven Nelson.
- RB: The Steelers ranked dead-last in rushing yards per game (84.4) with a semi-healthy James Conner. Conner signed a one-year deal with the Cardinals, leaving the depth chart extremely shallow. They will have to make an addition this offseason either via the draft or otherwise or be left with Snell, Anthony McFarland Jr. and Ballage.
- QB: Ben Roethlisberger and the team re-negotiated his contract in March, meaning he’ll be back for at least one year. The declining 39-year-old was more of a liability last season than an asset, however, and the Steelers could be keeping him around to help groom a young quarterback.
Baltimore Ravens (11-5)
Picks (9): 27, 31, 94, 104, 131, 136, 171, 184, 210
- WR: The Ravens ranked dead-last in receiving yards per game (171.2) and surprisingly did not look to add depth at the position during the free agency frenzy. Their receiving corps was led by Marquise Brown (769 yards), Mark Andrews (701) and Willie Snead IV (432). The last time they had a 1,000-yard receiver was Mike Wallace in 2016 (1,017).
- OL: The Ravens ranked 18th in sacks allowed per game (2.3) in 2020 and could use help protecting former MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson.
- WR: Former Chief Sammy Watkins’ yard-per-catch average has dropped for six straight seasons and hit a career-low 11.4 last season. Youngsters Devin Duvernay and Miles Boykin struggle to get open, averaging a target on just 13.0% and 12.2% of their career routes, respectively.
- OT: After trading Orlando Brown, the team currently has 2020 third-rounder Tyre Phillips slotted in at right tackle. At 6-foot-5, 345 pounds, Phillips is massive, but he was also one of the worst lineman in the NFL last year. His PFF grade of 47.1 ranked 203rd of 212 qualifying offensive lineman, regardless of position.
- LB: Patrick Queen, the No. 28 overall pick in last year’s draft, failed to live up to expectations. His PFF grade of 29.7 ranked 98th of 99 qualified linebackers.
Cleveland Browns (11-5)
Picks (9): 26, 59, 89, 91, 110, 132, 169, 211, 257
- CB: Denzel Ward and Troy Hill give Cleveland a strong 1-2 punch, but Greedy Williams missed all of 2020 with a shoulder injury and failed to crack PFF’s top 100 corners in 2019.
- DE: By not re-signing Olivier Vernon (9.0 sacks in 2020) and Adrian Clayborn (3.5), the Browns leave 35% of their sacks from last season unaccounted for. Jadeveon Clowney gives them a higher-upside option than Takk McKinley opposite Myles Garrett, but Clowney is no sure thing.
- CB/S: The Browns ranked 22nd in passing yards allowed per game (247.6). They also lost cornerback Terrance Mitchell during free agency to the Texans.
- EDGE/LB: The team’s pass rush ranked middle-of-the-road last season with 2.2 sacks per game. They signed former No. 1 overall pick Clowney, but may look to add further depth in the draft, especially with Clowney’s injury history.
Cincinnati Bengals (4-11)
Picks (8): 5, 38, 69, 111, 149, 190, 202, 235
- OL: Pass protection was a serious pain point for the Bengals last season. The team allowed the sixth-most sacks per game and should look to add depth to protect 2020 No. 1 overall pick, Joe Burrow.
- EDGE/LB: Cincinnati ranked 32nd in sacks per game (1.1) and allowed the fourth-most rushing yards per game (148). The Bengals also lost edge rusher Carl Lawson to the Jets during free agency.
- WR: Tee Higgins, the Bengals’ 2020 second-round pick, showed promise last season and Tyler Boyd is under contract until 2024. They did lose some depth at the position from A.J. Green, who signed with the Cardinals, and may look to add another weapon for Burrow.
- TE: The Bengals utilized three tight ends in 2020: Drew Sample, C.J. Uzomah and Cethan Carter. Sample was the best of the bunch and reeled in 40 catches for 349 yards, which ranked him 28th at the position.
- OG: Currently atop the depth chart are Michael Jordan, Quinton Spain and Xavier Su’a-Filo, who each produced below-average guard play last season.
- WR: The Bengals are set at two spots with Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd, but need to replace A.J. Green, who saw a team-leading 30% of air yards last season.
- TE: As it stands, the top options are Sample, who averages 8.4 yards per catch with one touchdown on 45 career catches, and Uzomah, who was a replacement-level player before tearing his Achilles last season.
- DT: D.J. Reader is the only above-average player to speak of here after Geno Atkins was released and Larry Ogunjobi and Mike Daniels both failed to crack PFF’s top 100 interior lineman.
- LB: There may not even be one league-average starter among the likes of Germaine Pratt, Logan Wilson, Akeem Davis-Gaither, Jordan Evans and Markus Bailey.
Tennessee Titans (11-5)
Picks (9): 22, 53, 85, 100, 126, 166, 205, 215, 232
- WR: The team replaced Corey Davis, who finished fifth of 112 qualifiers in yards per route run (2.58), with Josh Reynolds, who finished 90th (1.26). Cameron Batson, Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, Marcus Johnson, Chester Rogers, Rashard Davis, Cody Hollister and Mason Kinsey represent a black hole on the depth chart for a team that can no longer depend on getting by without depth at the position after losing top tight end Jonnu Smith to New England.
- OT: LT Taylor Lewan posted a PFF grade of 61.8 — 12.5 points below his previous career low — before tearing his ACL in Week 6 and is entering his age-30 season. Projected starting RT Kendall Lamm has started more than four games once in six seasons, while Ty Sambrailo and David Quessenberry are backup swing-tackle material at best.
- DE/LB: Free-agent signing Denico Autry posted his worst PFF grade since 2015 (63.7) and is entering his age-31 campaign, while fellow acquisition Bud Dupree is coming off a torn ACL. The Titans need more pass-rushing depth after finishing 2020 30th in sacks (19) and 31st in pressure rate (17.6%).
- EDGE/LB: The Titans’ pass rush ranked 29th in the NFL in sacks per game (1.4). They will have to replace Clowney, who they acquired via free agency in 2020 on a one-year deal.
- CB: Tennessee’s pass defense allowed the fourth-most yards per game (277.4) last season. The secondary also lost cornerbacks Adoree’ Jackson and Desmond King during free agency.
- WR: The Titans will likely look to add depth to complement A.J. Brown after the departure of WR2 Corey Davis, who signed with the Jets this offseason.
- TE: Jonnu Smith was an early free-agent domino to fall after he signed with the Patriots. It’s possible this means Anthony Firkser could step up, but they also may seek to add young talent at the position in the draft.
Indianapolis Colts (11-5)
Picks (6): 21, 54, 127, 165, 206, 248
- CB: The Colts’ defensive unit was strong as a whole — especially their run defense. Their secondary was exploitable, however, and ranked 20th in passing yards per game.
- WR: In spite of a slow start, the Colts’ top receiver this past season was T.Y. Hilton, who reeled in 93 passes for 762 yards and five touchdowns. Next were Zach Pascal and 2020 second-round pick Michael Pittman Jr. The rookie dealt with injuries, however, and Hilton — who will return to the team in 2021 — appears to have lost a step.
- WR: Last year’s second-round pick Pittman finished strong with 51.4 yards from Week 10 through the playoffs but scored just once all season, and there are question marks beyond him. Hilton averaged 75.0 yards per game in his first seven seasons prior to turning 30, but just 50.5 in two seasons since. And 2019 second-rounder Parris Campbell has played just nine games in two years due to injury. Pascal is a solid WR4 type who has been stretched for 27 starts over the past two seasons.
- OT: RT is set with Braden Smith, but the LT options are free-agent signees Sam Tevi, who graded 83rd of 89 tackles last season, and Julie’n Davenport, who flopped as a starter with Houston in 2018 and Miami in 2019 before being relegated to 52 snaps in 16 games for the Dolphins last season.
- DE: Justin Houston (8.0 sacks last season) remains unsigned while Denico Autry (7.5) bolted for Tennessee, leaving the Colts without 39% of their sacks from a year ago.
Houston Texans (4-12)
Picks (8): 67, 109, 147, 158, 195, 203, 212, 233
- WR: Will Fuller signed with Miami after posting career-highs with 4.8 catches, 79.9 yards and 0.73 touchdowns per game last season — a hole that cannot be filled by the likes of holdover Keke Coutee and free-agent acquisitions Chris Conley, Alex Erickson, Chris Moore, Andre Roberts and Donte Moncrief.
- OG: Max Scharping graded out in the 14th-percentile among guards last season while Cole Toner and Hjalte Froholdt have combined for three starts in seven seasons.
- C: Justin Britt turned in below-average center play in 2018 and 2019 before failing to crack a roster last season.
- DT: Maliek Collins, Charles Omenihu, Brandon Dunn and Ross Blacklock all failed to crack PFF’s top 100 interior lineman last season.
- WR: The Texans have done next to nothing to strengthen their receiving corps since the departures of DeAndre Hopkins and Fuller. Their current depth chart includes oft-injured Brandin Cooks, Randall Cobb, Coutee and Chris Conley. They will likely miss out on the top tier prospects without a first-round pick.
- DL/LB: In addition to the high-profile departures of Hopkins and Fuller, the Texans also lost linebacker J.J. Watt this offseason and have yet to fill the void left by Clowney after the 2018 season. The team’s porous defense allowed the most rushing yards per game (160.3), the ninth-most passing yards per game (256.5) and had the fifth-worst turnover differential (-9) in the NFL.
- OL: Houston’s offensive line allowed the third-most sacks per game (3.1) behind only the Giants and Eagles. The Texans will have to make major upgrades at the position, regardless of which signal-caller starts come September.
Jacksonville Jaguars (1-15)
Picks (10): 1, 25, 33, 45, 65, 106, 130, 145, 170, 249
- QB: Quarterback has been a long standing pain point for the Jaguars, who looked to Gardner Minshew II, Mike Glennon and Jake Luton for answers last season. They are poised to address this roster void by drafting Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence with the No. 1 overall pick.
- OL: Jacksonville ranked 25th in the NFL in sacks allowed per game (2.8) last year. They would be wise to use one of their early picks on a player who can provide protection for Lawrence.
- CB/S: The Jaguars allowed the sixth-most passing yards per game (264.4). They signed free agent cornerback Shaquill Griffin and may look to add secondary depth in this year’s draft.
- DL: The defensive line allowed the third-most rushing yards per game (153.3) behind only the Cowboys’ and Texans’ permeable units.
- TE: Jacksonville utilized four underwhelming tight ends last season: Tyler Eifert, James O’Shaughnessy, Eric Saubert and Ben Ellefson. Eifert was the best of the bunch and ranked 29th in receiving yards at the position. He is a free agent, however, and isn’t a long-term solution at the position.
- QB: Presumptive No. 1 overall pick Lawrence will become Urban Meyer’s franchise quarterback.
- TE: Chris Manhertz, James O’Shaughnessy, Saubert, Ellefson and Tyler Davis populate the depth chart for a Jags team that finished last season 26th in receiving yards by tight ends (637).
- OT: Projected starters Cam Robinson and Jawaan Taylor finished 67th and 79th, respectively, among 89 qualified tackles in PFF’s grades last season.
- CB: There are questions behind free-agent signing Griffin. Last year’s first-rounder C.J. Henderson will start but graded out 80th of 136 qualifiers at the position and needs to make a second-year leap. Behind him, Tre Herndon and Chris Claybrooks each graded out in the bottom-third at the position while Sidney Jones surrendered 392 yards and three touchdowns on just 180 snaps in coverage.
Kansas City Chiefs (14-2)
Picks (6): 58, 63, 144, 175, 181, 207
- WR: After the departure of Sammy Watkins, the Chiefs are short on depth with only Mecole Hardman, Demarcus Robinson and Byron Pringle behind Tyreek Hill.
- DE: Frank Clark posted a five-year low in sacks (6.0) last season. He and Chris Jones (7.5) were the only Chiefs with more than three sacks.
- LB: Anthony Hitchens and Ben Niemann ranked 69th and 80th, respectively, of 99 qualifiers in PFF’s linebacker grades.
- OL: The Chiefs have already started to address their offensive line, which was a glaring pain point during the team’s Super Bowl loss to the Buccaneers. They’ve added guard Joe Thuney and tackles Mike Remmers and Orlando Brown to protect their $500 million quarterback Patrick Mahomes and may add additional depth in the draft.
- DL/LB: Kansas City was below-average in sacks per game (2.0), ranking 19th in the NFL. They also allowed the 12th most rushing yards per game (122.1).
Las Vegas Raiders (8-8)
Picks (8): 17, 48, 79, 80, 121, 162, 167, 200
- OL: The Raiders’ entire offseason has been head scratching. They traded three-time Pro Bowl center Rodney Hudson to the Cardinals, guard Gabe Jackson to the Seahawks and Trent Brown to the Patriots and will very likely have to add depth and retool this unit going into 2021.
- DL/LB: The Raiders’ pass rush has been anemic since Khalil Mack’s departure. They ranked 30th in sacks per game (1.3) and their run defense allowed the ninth-most yards per game (125.8). They will likely look to replace edge rusher Takk McKinley and linebacker Raekwon McMillan, who left in free agency.
- CB/S: Their secondary wasn’t much better and allowed the seventh-most passing yards per game (263.3). The team’s turnover differential (-11) tied for second-worst in the NFL.
- WR: Even after drafting Henry Ruggs III and Bryan Edwards last season and signing John Brown and Willie Snead this offseason, there are no true No. 1s in Las Vegas.
- RT: Projected starter Brandon Parker graded out 86th of 89 qualifiers at tackle last season.
- G: Richie Incognito turns 38 this season and appeared in only two games last season while Denzelle Good graded out 61st of 86 guards.
- C: Free-agent acquisition Nick Martin was average as a pass blocker but third-worst as a run blocker last season, and 31st of 38 centers overall.
- CB: Projected starters Trayvon Mullen (89th), Damon Arnette (126th) and Nevin Lawson (87th) all failed to crack PFF’s top 80 corners last season.
- S: Among 99 qualified safeties, Karl Joseph ranked 85th in PFF grade while Jonathan Abram ranked dead last.
Los Angeles Chargers (7-9)
Picks (9): 13, 47, 77, 97, 118, 159, 185, 198, 241
- T: Bryan Bulaga earned the second-worst PFF grade of his 11-year career last season (61.6, 69th of 89 qualifiers) and could be slowing down at age 32 while 2019 third-rounder Trey Pipkins regressed in Year 2 and finished 81st of 89.
- LB: The Chargers lost two linebackers who graded out well above-average in Denzel Perryman (2nd of 99) and Nick Vigil (35th), leaving two who graded below-average atop the depth chart in Kenneth Murray (52nd) and Kyzir White (63rd). Murray was the 23rd overall pick in 2020 and could take a step forward, and White was top-30 in 2019, but what once looked like a strength is now far from a sure thing.
- CB: Chris Harris Jr.’s PFF grade of 61.9 was 8.0 points below his previous career-low (set in 2019) and ranked in just the 47th-percentile among corners. With Harris seemingly in decline at age-32 and Casey Hayward Jr. not re-signed, Michael Davis (63.1, 57th percentile) and Tevaughn Campbell (52.4, 27th percentile) leave the Chargers with a below-average group on paper.
- S: The Chargers lost 24th-ranked safety Rayshawn Jenkins to the Jaguars, leaving 2019 second-rounder Nasir Adderley, who ranked 87th, and Derwin James, who has played only five games since his elite rookie year in 2018.
- WR: LA’s receiving corps is shallow after Keenan Allen. Next up on the depth chart are Mike Williams Jalen Guyton and Tyron Johnson. This year’s class is stacked with WR talent, any of whom should help with the development of 2020 first-rounder Justin Herbert.
- TE: The Chargers replaced Hunter Henry, 26, with 34-year-old former Saints tight end Jared Cook, who signed a one-year deal at the beginning of free agency. Cook ranked 18th in receiving yards among tight ends (504) in 2020 and is likely on the decline. The team will need to find a longer term solution at the position past 2021.
- DL: The Chargers’ pass rush was fairly anemic last season and finished 25th in sacks per game (1.7). They may look to add an edge rusher with one of their nine draft picks this year.
Denver Broncos (5-11)
Picks (9): 9, 40, 71, 114, 152, 191, 237, 239, 253
- QB: It feels long overdue to deem the Drew Lock Experiment a failure. The 2019 second-rounder ranked dead-last in completion percentage (57.3%) among 35 qualified quarterbacks, 21st in passing yards (2,933) and 29th in QBR (48.8). Without a vertical move up in the draft, however, they will likely miss out on the top names with the ninth overall pick.
- CB/S: The Broncos ranked dead-last in the NFL with a -16 turnover differential and were middle-of-the-road in passing yards allowed per game (237.9). It’s worth noting that they have added cornerbacks Ronald Darby and Kyle Fuller since free agency kicked off.
- DL/LB: The Broncos ranked eighth in sacks per game (2.6) and allowed the eighth-most rushing yards per game (130)
- QB: Drew Lock led the league with 15 interceptions last season despite missing three starts. Through two years, Lock is completing only 59.1% of his passes for 6.6 yards per attempt.
- C: Lloyd Cushenberry III was a disaster as a rookie, clocking in last among 38 qualified centers with a 40.5 PFF grade.
- G/T: The Broncos are set with Garrett Bolles and Ja’wuan James at tackle and Graham Glasgow and Dalton Risner at guard, but they need a sixth offensive lineman. Calvin Anderson (55.1), Austin Schlottmann (39.8), and Netane Muti (37.1) all graded poorly when pressed into action.
- S: With Justin Simmons and Kareem Jackson both playing 16 games last season, the Broncos didn’t have another safety play even 50 snaps. They could use some depth here, particularly at strong safety with Jackson set to enter his age-33 campaign.
Washington Football Team (7-9)
Picks (8): 19, 51, 74, 82, 124, 163, 244, 246
- QB: Ryan Fitzpatrick is a short-term fix entering his age-39 season.
- WR: The team signed Curtis Samuel and Adam Humphries, who saw upwards of 70% of their targets from the slot last season. Washington could still use a wide receiver with size who can win outside.
- TE: Logan Thomas balled out last season, but he has one starting-caliber season to his name, will be 30 this season and is the team’s lone viable option.
- LB: Weakside linebacker is their weakest spot on defense. Khaleke Hudson held his own on extremely limited snaps last season, but there is no telling if a player with a fifth-round pedigree will be a reliable option over the long term.
- CB: Projected starters William Jackson III and Kendall Fuller graded 26th and 43rd, respectively, out of 136 corners last season. Not only were projected No. 3 Jimmy Moreland (78th) and projected No. 4 Daryl Roberts (95th) not as good, but they were also primarily slot corners. Washington could still use more depth on the outside.
- QB: As much as I love the Fitzpatrick signing, the journeyman signal-caller is 38 years old and it’s unlikely he represents the team’s future at the position. They will likely have to make a trade to have a chance at any of the top prospects.
- OL: Washington could definitely use help on their offensive line, which ranked fifth-worse in the NFL in sacks allowed per game (3.1).
New York Giants (6-10)
Picks (6): 11, 42, 76, 116, 196, 201
- OL: The Giants’ offensive line has been a pain point over multiple seasons. In spite of adding 2020 first-round pick Andrew Thomas, the team ranked second-to-last in sacks allowed per game (3.1) and will need to address this issue in the draft. Hopefully Dave Gettleman can find another “hog molly” in this year’s draft.
- OT: Projected starting LT Andrew Thomas finished in the third-percentile of Pass Blocking Efficiency (93.2) as a rookie in 2020, and projected starting RT Nate Solder finished in the 15th-percentile (94.8) in 2019 before opting out last season. Rookie swing tackle Matt Peart was even worse (93.2).
- OG: Prospective holdover left guard option Will Hernandez graded 59th of 86 guards while Shane Lemieux was dead last. Free-agent acquisition and projected starting RG Zach Fulton was better overall (44th) but posted just a 17th-percentile mark in Pass Blocking Efficiency (96.1).
- DE: The Giants finished with 40 sacks last season, tied for 12th, but their only player to compile more than four sacks was Leonard Williams (11.5), who primarily lines up inside.
Dallas Cowboys (6-10)
Picks (10): 10, 44, 75, 99, 115, 138, 179, 192, 227, 238
- C: Last year’s fourth-rounder Tyler Biadasz was bad enough as a rookie (53.5 PFF grade, 33rd of 38 qualified centers) to warrant re-addressing the position. Joe Looney could be brought back, but he was even worse (50.7, 35th).
- DT: With the retirement of Tyrone Crawford, the highest-graded player on the roster is Brent Urban, a 30-year-old journeyman on a one-year deal who has made 27 starts since being drafted in 2014.
- CB: There’s not much to speak of behind 2020 second-round pick Trevon Diggs, who himself would do well to take a step forward after earning a middling 62.7 grade as a rookie, 60th among 136 qualified corners.
- OL: Dallas’ offensive line allowed the seventh-most sacks per game (2.8) and will need significant upgrades to protect quarterback Dak Prescott, who is returning from an ankle injury.
- DL: The Cowboys’ run defense was abysmal last season and ranked second-to-last in rushing yards per game (158.8) behind only the hapless Texans. The Cowboys’ pass rush was also below-average and recorded just 1.9 sacks per game, ranking 21st in NFL and the worst in the division.
- TE: Tight end is the weakest pass-catching position on the Cowboys’ superstar offense. Dalton Schultz was serviceable last season after Blake Jarwin went down in Week 1 and ranked 11th in receiving yards (615). They could use an upgrade at this position to be on par with their receiving corps and Ezekiel Elliott.
Philadelphia Eagles (4-11-1)
Picks (11): 12, 37, 70, 84, 123, 150, 189, 224, 225, 234, 240
- WR: The Eagles lost DeSean Jackson via free agency and the verdict is still up-in-the-air about Jalen Reagor, who was injured for much of his rookie season. Travis Fulgham finished as the team’s top receiver with 539 yards, followed by Dallas Goedert and Greg Ward. Philadelphia’s last 1,000-yard receiver was Jeremy Maclin in 2014 (1,318).
- OL: Philadelphia’s offensive line allowed the most sacks per game in the NFL (4.1) and needs talent and a serious makeover to help protect quarterback Jalen Hurts.
- DL: The Eagles’ run defense was highly exploitable last season and allowed the 10th-most rushing yards per game (125.8).
- CB/S: Philadelphia’s secondary was middle-of-the-road last season and lost cornerback Jalen Mills via free agency. The team also recorded the fourth-worst turnover differential (-10).
- WR: Travis Fulgham, Reagor and even Greg Ward can be solid complementary pieces, but there’s no bona-fide No. 1 in that group. The Eagles have to erase the sting of passing on Justin Jefferson for Reagor last year.
- OT: Longtime RT Lane Johnson was still elite in pass protection last season, finishing fourth of 89 qualified tackles in Pass Blocking Efficiency (98.7), but overall he turned in the worst PFF grade of his career (71.9) and is entering his age-31 season. At LT, prior mainstay Jason Peters is 39 and remains unsigned, which leaves 2019 first-rounder Andre Dillard, who missed all of 2020 with a torn biceps; 2018 seventh-rounder Jordan Mailata, who finished in the 22nd percentile Pass Blocking Efficiency; and 2020 fourth-rounder Jack Driscoll, who finished in the fifth-percentile.
- CB: After Darius Slay, the only cornerback on the roster to play at least 100 snaps in coverage last season was Avonte Maddox, who graded out 134th of 136 qualifiers.
Green Bay Packers (13-3)
Picks (10): 29, 62, 92, 135, 142, 173, 178, 214, 220, 256
- WR: Though Allen Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling each had their moments, neither is good enough to escape the wrath of Aaron Rodgers stare downs or make the failure to select a receiver in last year’s draft forgivable.
- OT: David Bakhtiari, who graded second of 89 qualified tackles last season, tore his ACL in late December and may not be ready for Week 1 while swing tackle Rick Wagner (25th) and veteran stopgap Jared Veldheer were not re-signed.
- G: Pro Bowl guard Elgton Jenkins will move to center to replace Corey Linsley, which leaves a hole at one of the guard spots opposite Lucas Patrick. Jon Runyan — a 2020 sixth-rounder who struggled in 160 snaps of mop-up duty — is the best option currently on the roster.
- ILB: Christian Kirksey failed to replicate the performance of Blake Martinez and was let go after one season while UDFA Krys Barnes graded out near the bottom of the league.
- CB: The Packers re-signed Kevin King, but he’s graded as a below-average starter in all four of his pro seasons, so they still need help on the outside opposite Jaire Alexander.
- WR: Time is truly a flat circle. General manager Brian Gutekunst is getting a second shot with this year’s wide receiver class being as stacked as 2020. Hopefully he doesn’t make the same mistake twice.
- LB/DL: The Packers’ run defense was middle-of-the-road last season and allowed 112.8 rushing yards per game. They will have to replace linebacker Christian Kirksey, who left during free agency.
- CB: Green Bay’s secondary is shallow after Alexander and could use additional young talent.
Chicago Bears (8-8)
Picks (8): 20, 52, 83, 164, 204, 208, 221, 228
- QB: After the failed Nick Foles experiment and Mitch Trubisky gone to snowier pastures, it’s safe to say that the team should look to this year’s draft for QB help. I don’t believer even Andy Dalton thinks he is the Bears’ long-term solution at quarterback, but his veteran presence will help whomever they eventually draft.
- WR: Darnell Mooney showed promise in the second half of the 2020 season, but the Bears are still thin after him and Allen Robinson on the wide receiver depth chart. It wouldn’t hurt for them to make a move in the draft for a receiver to help their anemic passing game, which tallied the 11th-fewest yards per game in the NFL (228.4).
- CB: Chicago’s pass defense was slightly above average and allowed 231.6 yards per game, but the Bears will need to replace cornerback Kyle Fuller, who left via free agency.
- OL: The Bears’ pass protection was middle-of-the-pack last season, allowing 2.2 sacks per game. They could use an upgrade at offensive tackle.
- QB: When confronted with the question of whether to start a 34-year-old Dalton or 32-year-old Foles, the only correct answer is “neither.”
- WR: The Bears figure to play a lot of 2TE sets with Cole Kmet and Jimmy Graham, but they still need someone to take the pressure off Robinson on the outside. Mooney caught 61 passes as a rookie, but he’s a 176-pound fifth-round pick who averaged just 10.3 yards per reception. Anthony Miller has regressed since his 2018 rookie year and could be traded.
- G: UDFA Alex Bars graded out as a bottom-25th percentile guard last season, so the Bears need a starting-caliber player there to allow Cody Whitehair and German Ifedi to play their natural positions of center and right tackle, respectively.
- LB: Danny Trevathan got destroyed in coverage last season, allowing the third-most yards (604) and the second-highest yards per reception (13.1) among 99 qualified linebackers. At age 30, he posted easily the lowest PFF grade of his career (39.9), and the Bears should be looking to decrease his role after he played 78% of the defensive snaps.
- CB: After losing top cornerback Fuller, the Bears are left with second-year man Jaylon Johnson, who graded out in the 33rd-percentile at the position, and veteran Desmond Trufant, who posted an abysmal second-percentile grade. Behind them are Day 3 talents (Duke Shelley, Kindle Victor, Xavier Crawford) and veterans who didn’t play a snap last season (Artie Burns, Teez Tabor).
- S: Eddie Jackson’s PFF grade dropped from 93.2 in 2018 to 67.0 in 2019 to 59.8 last season, representing a fall from First-Team All-Pro to below average at his position. With Tashaun Gipson not re-signed, Jackson is still the best safety on the roster, which is a concern.
Minnesota Vikings (7-9)
Picks (11): 14, 78, 90, 119, 125, 134, 143, 157, 168, 199, 223
- G: Dakota Dozier clocked in with a bottom-five PFF grade among 86 qualified guards last season. Trade acquisition Mason Cole is also an option but played similarly poorly at center for Arizona last season, grading 32nd of 38 qualifiers.
- C: Last year’s first-round pick Garrett Bradbury has failed to earn a top-25 PFF grade at center in his first two seasons, and as I just alluded to, Cole was even worse last season.
- DE: Danielle Hunter is elite when healthy but missed all of last season with a neck injury. Behind him are Hercules Mata’afa (who graded out 62nd of 125 EDGE players), Stephen Weatherly (106th) and D.J. Wonnum (116th).
- K: Dan Bailey kicked for the team since 2018 but was let go after whiffing on seven field goals and six extra points last season.
- OL: Minnesota’s offensive line allowed 2.4 sacks per game in 2020, which ranked 20th in the NFL. The Vikings will also have to replace Dozier and tackle Riley Reiff who left in free agency.
- DL/LB: The Vikings’ pass rush was extremely subpar last season, recording just 1.4 sacks per game which ranked 28th in the league. They signed tackle Dalvin Tomlinson and Weatherly, but should look to add an edge rusher to solidify this unit.
Detroit Lions (5-11)
Picks (6): 7, 41, 72, 101, 112, 153
- WR: The Lions’ glaring need is at receiver after the departures of Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones. Next up on the depth chart are Tyrell Williams, Breshad Perriman, Quintez Cephus and Geronimo Allison — none of whom inspire much fear. They’ll also be catching passes from former Rams signal-caller Jared Goff, who has been surrounded by strong receivers his entire career. Detroit will need to make a high-profile addition at the position heading into 2021.
- OL: Detroit’s offensive line allowed the 10th-most sacks per game (2.6) last season
- DL/LB: Detroit’s defensive line wasn’t any better and ranked 26th in the NFL in sacks per game (1.5) and 28th in rushing yards per game (134.9). The Lions desperately need an edge rusher and tackle.
- CB/S: In spite of using a high draft pick on Jeff Okudah in 2020, he missed nearly half the season due to injuries, and the team’s secondary was highly exploitable and ranked third-worst in the NFL in passing yards per game (284.9) last year.
- WR: Jared Goff was merely a league-average quarterback throwing to the likes of Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp, so a depth chart led by Perriman, Williams, Cephus and Kalif Raymond does not bode well. The Lions also don’t have a true slot receiver on the roster.
- RT: Tyrell Crosby has graded out as below-average tackle for two straight seasons, and Halapoulivaati Vaitai struggled to beat out Crosby and spent most of his time at guard.
- G: Vaitai and Jonah Jackson turned in subpar play in 2020, grading out 54th and 60th among 86 qualified guards. Jackson was the No. 75 overall pick in 2020 and should be given time to improve, so the Lions can’t afford another shaky year from Vaitai. They also have 2020 fourth-rounder Logan Stenberg, a project who didn’t play an offensive snap.
- DT: The Lions will likely rely on a nose tackle in certain packages, but they released Danny Shelton and could stand to upgrade from 2020 sixth-rounder John Pensini, who graded in the sixth-percentile among interior lineman as a rookie.
- LB: Jahlani Tavai graded out 86th of 89 linebackers last season and is a poor scheme fit, so the Lions need another piece alongside Jamie Collins (28th) and Alex Anzalone (33rd).
- CB: Okudah, the No. 3 overall pick in 2020, has to take a major step forward after grading 125th of 136 qualified corners in Year 1. And 2019 fifth-rounder Armani Oruwariye (108th) and veteran free-agent signee Quinton Dunbar (119th) also failed to crack the top 100. Former Panther Corn Elder (36th) should never be the highest-graded player on the depth chart.
- S: Projected starters Tracy Walker and Will Harris graded 86th and 88th among 99 qualified safeties last season.
New Orleans Saints (12-4)
Picks (8): 28, 60, 98, 105, 133, 218, 229, 255
- WR: Emmanuel Sanders’ departure has left the team too thin behind Michael Thomas, with Tre’Quan Smith the only established player.
- G: Andrus Peat (52nd of 86) and Cesar Ruiz (58th) were both below-average last season. Ruiz was the No. 24 overall pick last season and figures to improve, but Peat has been one of the NFL’s worst guards for three seasons and counting.
- LB: Demario Davis is elite, but the Saints have nothing behind him after releasing Alex Anzalone and Kwon Alexander.
- CB: The departure of Janoris Jenkins leaves a hole at No. 2 corner opposite Marshon Lattimore.
- QB: The Saints will enter the season with a QB competition between Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill, but it remains unclear if either of them could be the team’s long-term replacement for Drew Brees. It certainly wouldn’t hurt to add a young quarterback in the draft as an insurance policy in case neither Winston nor Hill work out.
- TE: Tight end is a weak spot on the Saints’ offense as it stands right now. Adam Trautman — who caught 15 passes for 171 yards last year — is currently listed as the team’s starter now that Jared Cook is a member of the Chargers.
- WR: Thomas is a star, but after him, their depth chart is very lean with the departure of Sanders. Next up are Smith and Marquez Callaway. Thomas could use some backup, especially with his checkered injury history.
- DL: The Saints’ defense was strong last season and recorded the ninth-most sacks per game (2.6), fourth-fewest rushing yards per game (93.9) and fifth-fewest passing yards per game (217). They’ll need to replace tackle Sheldon Rankins and edge rusher Trey Hendrickson — who left during free agency — on their depth chart.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11-5)
Picks (8): 32, 64, 95, 137, 176, 217, 251, 259
- RB: The running back tandem of Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette were a pain for fantasy football and weren’t even effective as a whole. Tampa Bay ranked fifth-worst in rushing yards per game (94.9) and have not had a 1,000-yard rusher since Doug Martin in 2015. It’s a glaring area of weakness in an offense that’s otherwise very strong and ranked third in total points last season (492).
- OL: GM Jason Licht was able to do some serious salary cap gymnastics and keep a majority of their free agents, but the Bucs will have to replace tackle Joe Haeg to protect their soon-to-be 44-year-old quarterback, Tom Brady.
- CB/S: The Buccaneers’ defense was elite against the run last season and allowed the fewest yards per game (80.6). They were exploitable through the air, however, and allowed a subpar 246.6 passing yards per game.
- Backup QB: Brady is the only quarterback on the roster, though last year’s backup Blaine Gabbert may be re-signed.
- LB: Devin White, the No. 5 overall pick in 2019, tends to struggle in coverage (he allowed a position-high 761 receiving yards last season) but excels as a pass rusher (he recorded nine sacks on just 130 pass-rushing snaps in 2020), so it would be ideal if the Bucs could add another coverage linebacker to give them more flexibility with White.
Carolina Panthers (5-11)
Picks (7): 8, 39, 73, 113, 151, 222, 226
- QB: When you bring in Sam Darnold as an upgrade on Teddy Bridgewater, it means you have no quarterback.
- WR: D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson are one of the league’s best tandems, but their value isn’t maximized unless the Panthers have a shifty player like the departed Curtis Samuel to take advantage inside. Samuel was second on the team with 77 receptions and seventh among wide receivers in yards from the slot (582). Signing perimeter specialist David Moore from the Seahawks doesn’t address this need.
- TE: Dan Arnold is an upgrade on Ian Thomas, but that’s not saying much: Thomas ranked 48th of 48 qualified tight ends in PFF grade (42.7), but Arnold was still below average at 37th (61.7).
- LT: Projected starter Cam Erving earned a bottom-15th percentile PFF grade in 2020 (58.0) — and it was somehow the best grade of his career by far. Both Darnold and Bridgewater ranked in the bottom-third of the league in passer rating under pressure last season, so fortifying this spot is key.
- G: John Miller graded out 50th of 86 guards, and former Viking Pat Elflein was 78th. Third-year man Dennis Daley could have the inside track to one of the interior spots, but he produced a bottom-10th percentile grade as a starting tackle in 2019.
- DT: After letting Kawann Short, Zach Kerr and Efe Obada walk, the Panthers have little beyond 2020 No. 7 overall pick Derrick Brown.
- CB: The Panthers let slot corner Corn Elder walk after a career year and chose not to re-sign perimeter corner Rasul Douglas, leaving them lacking for depth after Donte Jackson. Boundary corner A.J. Bouye was signed in free agency, but he posted a career-low 55.6 PFF grade and will be 30 years old this season, while 2020 fourth-rounder Troy Pride Jr. graded fifth-worst among 136 qualifiers at the position.
- S: Tre Boston was released, leaving Jeremy Chinn and Juston Burris atop the depth chart. Chinn is a versatile playmaker who may also see time at other positions, which only enhances the need for another starting-caliber safety.
- QB: Quarterback is a mess for the Panthers at the moment. They signed Bridgewater to a three-year, $63 million contract just over a year ago, but after a disappointing 2020 in which he threw 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, it appears they’re ready to move on. The team traded for Darnold, whom they’re hoping will have a post-Adam Gase metamorphosis. They could still move up in the draft to select one of the top prospects in the draft.
- OL: Carolina’s pass protection was below average last season allowing 2.2 sacks per game and could use an upgrade at tackle.
- TE: The Panthers have been lost at this position since the departure of Greg Olsen. They used six tight ends last season, the best of which was Thomas who caught 20 passes for 145 yards and a touchdown. The team did acquire Arnold, who reeled in 45 passes for 438 yards and four touchdowns for the Cardinals in 2020. The Panthers could definitely use an upgrade at this position.
Atlanta Falcons (4-12)
Picks (9): 4, 35, 68, 108, 148, 182, 183, 187, 219
- CB/S: The Falcons’ pass defense was the laughingstock of the league last season. The team finished dead-last in passing yards allowed per game (293.6) and will need major upgrades at cornerback and safety to stay competitive in games heading into 2021.
- RB: Atlanta did acquire former Panthers running back Mike Davis and former Bears hybrid player Cordarrelle Patterson this offseason, but neither Davis nor Patterson have bell cow potential. The Falcons would be wise to make a move for one of the running backs in this year’s draft.
- OL: The Falcons’ pass protection was subpar last year and allowed 2.6 sacks per game which ranked 22nd in the NFL.
- DL/LB: Atlanta’s run defense was good on paper last year, possibly because opposing teams focused on their exploitable secondary. The Falcons ranked 24th in sacks per game (1.8) and could use an edge rusher.
- RB: The top back on the depth chart is Davis, who has never carried more than 165 times in a season.
- LG: The top candidates on the roster are 2018 UDFA Matt Gono, who could kick inside after grading out as bottom-10th percentile tackle last season, and 2019 UDFA Willie Wright, who is yet to play an NFL snap.
- C: Losing Alex Mack to the 49ers leaves only 2020 third-rounder Matt Hennessy, who struggled mightily as a rookie, allowing 10 pressures on just 141 pass-blocking snaps.
- CB: Atop the depth chart are 2020 first-rounder A.J. Terrell, who allowed the most receiving yards (901); 2018 second-rounder Isaiah Oliver, who allowed the fourth-most (845); and 2019 fourth-rounder Kendall Sheffield, who allowed the 16th-most (688). Fabian Moreau, who has spent the majority of his career at safety, was also signed. Terrell may be the only one worth keeping around long-term.
- S: The Falcons lost their top three safeties entering Week 1 of last season (Keanu Neal, Ricardo Allen, Damontae Kazee) while adding only Erik Harris, who graded out 72nd of 99 safeties as a Raider last season.
Seattle Seahawks (12-4)
Picks (3): 56, 129, 250
- WR: The Seahawks are top-heavy at the position with D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett with little else after them.
- LB: K.J. Wright remains unsigned and 2020 first-round pick Jordyn Brooks ranked 98th of 99 linebackers in coverage as a rookie.
- CB: No. 2 corner Tre Flowers has failed to crack the top 90 in each of the past two seasons.
- OL: Pass protection is a vital issue Seattle needs to address this offseason for disgruntled quarterback Russell Wilson. The unit allowed the fourth-most sacks per game (3.1) behind only the Texans, Giants and Eagles. It’s worth noting that the team has the fewest draft picks this year and no first-round pick.
- CB: The Seahawks’ secondary allowed the second-most passing yards per game (285) behind only the Falcons’ exploitable unit. They signed corner Ahkello Witherspoon from the 49ers in March, but lost Shaquill Griffin during free agency. They will need a significant boost to keep games from getting out of hand.
Los Angeles Rams (10-6)
Picks (6): 57, 88, 103, 141, 209, 252
- OL: The Rams were above-average in most categories. They did rank 10th in sacks allowed per game (1.8) and may use one of their picks to protect new quarterback Matthew Stafford. (Note: The Rams — like the Seahawks — do not have a first round pick.)
- CB: LA’s pass defense was top notch last season and allowed the fewest passing yards per game (190.7). The Rams may look to replace cornerback Troy Hill, who left during free agency, to reinforce their secondary.
- DL/LB: The Rams’ pass rush was also stellar last season and recorded the second-most sacks per game (3.2). They are down one edge rusher, however, after Morgan Fox departed for Carolina during free agency.
- C: After letting Austin Blythe walk, the only center on the roster is Brian Allen, who graded 27-of-37 qualified centers in nine games 2019 before injuring his knee and playing two games since.
- ILB: Troy Reeder should hold down one ILB spot after grading 37th of 99 qualified linebackers, but the Rams could stand to upgrade on Kenny Young (89th) and Micah Kiser (92nd) at the other.
- CB: After losing Hill, the only cornerbacks on the roster after Jalen Ramsey and Darious Williams are Daivd Long Jr., Dont’e Deayon and Tyrique McGhee, with Long Jr. the only one of the three to play a snap last season.
Arizona Cardinals (8-8)
Picks (5): 16, 49, 160, 243, 247
- WR: At this stage in their respective careers, A.J. Green is an upgrade on Larry Fitzgerald (barely). But Andy Isabella and KeeSean Johnson never panned out, so the Cards will need to add at least one more WR in order to fully optimize the four-wide offense.
- TE: Dan Arnold left for Carolina, leaving block-first tight ends Maxx Williams and Darrell Daniels atop the depth chart.
- LB: Jordan Hicks has seen his PFF grade dip from 75.1 in 2018 to 61.0 in 2019 to 50.4 last season. Hicks was second on the defense in snaps (1,024), and the team also released De’Vondre Campbell, who was fourth (880).
- CB: Free-agent addition Malcolm Butler will take over as the No. 1 corner for the departed Patrick Peterson while Byron Murphy will start in the slot, but the team can’t feel comfortable with Robert Alford as the No. 2 outside corner. Alford is entering his age-33 season and hasn’t played a snap since 2018.
- CB: The Cardinals’ pass defense ranked 10th last season and allowed 226.4 passing yards per game. Peterson’s departure leaves a gaping void in the secondary, however, and Arizona will have to pursue a cornerback in the draft if the Cardinals wish to replicate or improve upon last year’s performance.
- TE: Arizona lost Arnold during free agency, which probably wouldn’t be noteworthy on its own. The issue is the Cardinals currently list Williams, Darrell Daniels and Ian Bunting as next up on their tight end depth chart. They’ll likely need to make a move during the draft to fill this roster spot heading into 2021.
- DL: The Cardinals’ run defense was a weak spot for the team last year and allowed the 11th-most rushing yards per game (125.5).
San Francisco 49ers (6-10)
Picks (9): 3, 43, 102, 117, 155, 172, 180, 194, 230
- QB: Jimmy Garoppolo may be a serviceable quarterback, but he isn’t the franchise signal-caller the 49ers may have hoped for. San Francisco made the move up to pick No. 3 via a trade with Miami and are poised to select a signal-caller — likely either Mac Jones, Trey Lance or Justin Fields — with that pick.
- CB/S: The 49ers’ pass defense was strong last season and ranked fourth in passing yards allowed per game (207.9). They lost two cornerbacks this offseason, however, in Ahkello Witherspoon and Richard Sherman who will need to be replaced.
- OL: San Francisco was below average in pass protection and ranked 21st in sacks allowed per game (2.4). They should invest in a lineman to protect whichever QB they select at No. 3.
- WR: With Kendrick Bourne gone, the 49ers are rather lean at the receiver position after Deebo Samuel — who missed 9 games last year — and sophomore Brandon Aiyuk.
- QB: Garoppolo is 22-8 as the 49ers’ starter but has missed 23 starts over the past three seasons. Trading up to No. 3 overall shows the 49ers are serious about addressing this need.
- RT: Mike McGlinchey has been elite as run blocker but below-average as pass blocker throughout his career. Adding a viable replacement would give the team flexibility to move him to guard and/or decline his fifth-year option.
- CB: The 49ers lost Witherspoon, who graded out fifth-best among 136 qualified corners, and Sherman, who ranked 38th. In Jason Verrett, Emmanuel Moseley, K’Waun Williams and Dontae Johnson, the 49ers still have enough to field an above-average unit, but they need insurance. Verrett was a top-10 corner last season but it was the first time he played more than four games since 2015. Moseley was 37th in 2019 but 79th last year. Williams has been above-average every year of his career, but played a career-low eight games last year and will be 30 this year. Johnson graded out above average, but it was the time he’d done so since 2015.