NFL draft: Early look at team needs shows big demand for QBs, O-linemen (Shutdown Corner)

Perhaps even more so than the 2016 NFL prospects themselves, the 32 NFL teams’ needs right now are very much up in the air. There are a number of extenuating factors: Will there be a coaching or front-office change? Which players will come or go in free agency? Will there be injuries to change the situation entering the draft? [ Yahoo Daily Fantasy Football: First place wins $100K in our $600K contest for Week 8 ] Still, we have an idea of which pressing needs could be addressed by teams at some point in this coming offseason — via trades, free agency or, yes, the draft — regardless of any other changes. One common theme has emerged: Quarterbacks and offensive linemen will be in high demand, even if the draft supply won’t match that need. That could help push up, say, Michigan State’s Connor Cook into a top-10 pick and force a run on offensive linemen in Round 1 that perhaps belies the talent at both positions. Here’s our team-by-team look at how the needs stand, in order, with perhaps a bit more of a lean toward potential position targets in the draft. Team Need 1 Need 2 Need 3 Skinny Detroit Lions OL CB DL Both lines of scrimmage and secondary could use some new blood. Baltimore Ravens DB pass rusher WR Which is in worse shape: the pass rush or the coverage? Both bad. Tennessee Titans OL S LB Could also be in the mix for a running back, depending on David Cobb’s play. Cleveland Browns QB WR DE We’ll assume that they overlook a receiver, but finding a QB is crucial. Houston Texans QB RB S Would be stunning to see them pass another QB in Round 1 again. Jacksonville Jaguars OL CB LB Almost certainly will help Blake Bortles with better blocking talent early. San Francisco 49ers OL QB WR All of this, of course, depends on what they do with Colin Kaepernick. San Diego Chargers OL pass rusher S The third need is assuming that Eric Weddle walks in free agency. Kansas City Chiefs OL DL WR You could add QB to the list, but we think they’ll fortify up front first. Tampa Bay Buccaneers OL pass rusher WR Jameis Winston needs more help, and he’s almost sure to receive some. Chicago Bears OL QB CB Defense actually needs lots of help, but hard to pass up on right QB. Dallas Cowboys RB DT QB Loss of DeMarco Murray, injury to Tony Romo exposed major depth issues. Buffalo Bills LB S OL This defense should be better; the O-line needs a little fine-tuning. Washington Redskins QB S OL Look for Scot McCloughan to continue building a tougher, stronger roster. New Orleans Saints CB WR pass rusher Don’t overlook wide receiver as a top target position in the spring. Seattle Seahawks  OL DT CB Russell Okung might be cut, making this a major concern for Russel Wilson’s health. Philadelphia Eagles  OL QB pass rusher Top two needs happen to be two spots Chip Kelly might ignore again. Miami Dolphins  OL DL CB Both lines could use a little more youth, but need bigger on offense. Oakland Raiders CB S LB Will be big players in free agency, so needs could change dramatically. St. Louis Rams WR OL DE More likely they’d look for a receiver than OL help in draft. Pittsburgh Steelers CB TE QB Missed on 2015 help with two cornerback draft picks. Minnesota Vikings OL LB WR Depth up front was slaughtered early in the season by injuries. New York Jets pass rusher TE OL More pass-rush help would make a great defense even better. Atlanta Falcons LB DL TE Still need more front-seven snarl to build Dan Quinn-style defense. Indianapolis Colts OL DL pass rusher Simply put, this team is not nearly good enough in the trenches. New York Giants pass rusher S CB Defense needs a facelift to help slow down quality passing games. Arizona Cardinals pass rusher LB OL More fine tuning, but this startling lineup just could use a few small upgrades. Denver Broncos OL QB RB Offensive makeover will continue with or without Peyton in Gary Kubiak’s eye. Cincinnati Bengals LB OL WR Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu both in contract seasons, which makes it a need. Green Bay Packers pass rusher DL OL Ted Thompson takes the best player, and it has borne good results overall. Carolina Panthers CB OL S Age in secondary, Josh Norman’s free-agent status are concerning. New England Panthers CB LB RB Corner appears by far the biggest need, but they’re without a first-rounder. – – – – – – – Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Eric_Edholm

from Yahoo Sports



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