2022 Draft: Team Priorities

2022 Draft Team Priorities

1. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: For Year II of the Trevor Lawrence era, the Jaguars set out to find him some more explosive weapons if they were to have any hope of scoring more than 15 PPG, the second lowest total in the NFL this fall and signing Christian Kirk away from Arizona was a great start as starting WRs Marvin Jones and Laviska Shenault are decent enough complimentary receivers, but neither averaged more than 11 yards a catch and they have scored just four TDs between them. The Jags are also facing some major reconstruction on the OL, although they took a couple of huge steps in that direction when they franchised LT Cam Robinson and then signed Pro Bowl OG Brandon Scherff away from Washington, although there is probably still work to be done upfront. On the other side of the ball, OLB Josh Allen gives the Jags a burst off one edge, but they get almost no pass rush from the DL. Meanwhile, the secondary, which had only 5 interceptions all season, is journeyman territory pretty much right across the board.

Top priorities: DE; WR; OT; CB  Other needs: S, C/G, DT, TE, LB

2. DETROIT LIONS: The Lions obvious #1 priority is to find an ultimate replacement for QB Matt Stafford. Jared Goff did come the other way in the Stafford trade with the Rams, but he was generally considered more of a temporary placeholder added to the deal primarily for salary cap reasons. Goff, though, had a halfway decent season and could give the Lions a reason not to force a pick on the position in 2022 if they don’t see any of this year’s QB class as worthy of the #2 pick overall. The ‘good’ news for the Lions – and we say so only in facetious terms – is that they have plenty of other issues to address if a QB they like isn’t there. Start with the pass rush which gets some pressure from their OLBs, but almost none at all from the defensive line. They also have nothing that resembles a decent deep threat at WR and while 3rd year CB Armani Oruwaiye has emerged as one of the better young corners in the league – he had 6 of the team’s 11 picks this year – he’s the pretty much the only guy the Lions have back there who can cover anyone. In fact, the Lions could probably use upgrades right across the board including at ILB, safety and the interior of the offensive line.

Top priorities: QB; DE; WR  Other needs: CB; LB; S; C/G

3. HOUSTON TEXANS: Its hard to project where the NFL’s most dysfunctional team goes this off-season until the Texans are able to move on from QB DeShaun Watson who spent the season on the trading block after he became embroiled in a messy sexual assault scandal last summer. The Texans didn’t get what they were asking for prior to last year’s trade deadline – and they were asking for a lot including three first round picks – for Watson who, when he’s not getting massages, is one of the best young passers in the league. However the Watson situation is resolved, it appears that the Texans might be content to see how 2021 third rounder Davis Mills develops after a solid enough rookie season. And that should allow the Texans to look at other positions of what appears to be a massive rebuild that will likely begin with the OL if, as expected, LT Laremy Tunsil follows Watson out the door after pretty much choosing to sit out the year with a thumb injury. The Texans do have a decent receiver in Brandin Cooks, but no other wideout had more than 35 catches on the season, while their top TEs are likely headed for free agency. On the other side of the ball, DE Jonathan Greenard had a nice season, but got almost no help from anybody else up front, while the Texans created another vacancy at LB when they released Zach Cunningham, who led the league in tackles just a year ago, for failing to show up for a Covid test late in the season.

Top priorities: QB; OT, WR, DE  Other needs: LB; TE, RB, C/G, DT

4-10. NEW YORK JETS: The Jets hope they may have found their QB of the future in Zack Wilson, the second player selected at the 2021 draft, who had a decent rookie campaign. The Jets also think they may have gotten a gem in WR Elijah Moore, their second round pick, but he’s more of a slot guy and they still need a true #1 receiver, along with a feature RB and an improved offensive line. Unfortunately, for the Jets they have even bigger issues on the other side of the ball where the league’s 32nd rated defense allowed almost 30 points per game. The secondary, which had just 5 picks, with only two by a corner, was particularly vulnerable, while the Jets also lack a dominant edge rusher.

Top priorities: CB, WR, DE; S  Other needs: RB, C/G

5-7. NEW YORK GIANTS: The Giants entered the season with visions of being able to use their 2022 draft haul to finally address some major issues on defense. The team that coined the phrase ‘you can’t have enough people who can rush the passer’ hasn’t taken an edge rusher in the opening round in over a decade and it shows, although rookie OLBs Az Ojulari and Quincy Roche give them some hope for a future pass rush. At the same time, the Giants just have to get faster at ILB. However, the hoped for improvement from the offense just never came as the Giants averaged barely 17 PPG. On the one hand, they just couldn’t keep their skill position players on the field, while the revamped offensive line just never jelled. The Giants could ultimately address the interior OL in free agency, but may be forced to go back to the draft – again – to address the situation at RT. It also wouldn’t be a total shock if the Giants used one of their #1 picks this year on WR. Then there’s the question of what to do with QB Daniel Jones, who hasn’t made the kind of progress the Giants were expecting to see when they selected him with the 6th pick overall in 2019, although in truth, he has still never had much to work with, either on the OL or the skill positions.

Top Priorities: RT, DE, WR  Other needs: TE, C/G, ILB

6. CAROLINA PANTHERS: The Panthers gambled when they traded with the Jets for reclamation project Sam Darnold. It didn’t work; neither did bringing back Cam Newton which puts Carolina squarely in the market for a major upgrade at QB. And whatever they ultimately opt to do at QB, the e Panthers will also almost certainly be looking to upgrade the offensive line, especially OT, after conceding more than 50 sacks this fall. On the other side of the ball, Carolina could look to add another DE to complement rising stars Hassan Riddick and Brian Burns who combined for 20 sacks on the year, but no other defensive lineman had more than 4. They could also use an upgrade at CB after struggling with injuries at the position this fall.

Top Priorities: QB, OT, DE, CB  Other needs: TE, C/G, WR

7. CHICAGO BEARS: (Note: The 7th pick actually belongs to the NY Giants; see pick #5): The Bears have their collective fingers crossed that they found their QB of the future when they traded up with the Giants to grab Justin Fields with the 10th pick at the 2021 draft. Fields did flash at times this season, but just not enough times as he finished with a sub-60% completion rate, while throwing more picks than TDs. It would certainly help Fields going forward, though if the Bears could improve their OL which was one of the league’s worst and gave up almost 60 sacks. The Bears also have a big-time need at WR which could get even more urgent if Allen Robinson leaves via free agency. And while the Bears’ D was a top-5 unit this fall, they could still use some upgrades at CB, ILB and DE, especially the latter after Khalil Mack was traded to the LA Chargers.

Top Priorities: OT, DE, WR, C/G  Other needs: CB, ILB, DT

8. ATLANTA FALCONS: Another year; another round of questions whether the Falcons look to find a replacement for QB Matt Ryan, who’ll be playing in his 15th season next fall. The most likely answer is probably not, as Ryan is still reasonably productive. However, he could use some help on a unit that was 27th in scoring in the NFL in 2021. Rookie TE Kyle Pitts, the 4th pick in last year’s draft, was worth every penny, but elsewhere the Falcons got by with a leading rusher (Cordarelle Patterson) was is actually a WR, and no WR who gives them much of a deep threat, while the offensive line needs an upgrade, especially at RT, after giving up 40 sacks. However, the Falcons biggest need may actually on the other side of the ball where they simply couldn’t rush the passer. Indeed, the Falcons averaged barely a sack a game and didn’t have anyone at either DE or OLB with even 5 sacks, and only one with more than two. At the same time, the Falcons could also use upgrades at both LB and safety, but both those pale in comparison with the need upfront.

Top Priorities: DE/OLB, WR, OT  Other needs: RB, LB, S C/G, QB

9. DENVER BRONCOS: (Note the 9th pick now belongs to Seattle) The Broncos finally got serious at QB and traded multiple picks to Seattle for veteran Russell Wilson. It cost them their first round picks this year and next but they simply weren’t going to be able to compete in a division in which the other team’s QBs are named Mahomes, Herbert and Carr with the journeyman cast they had been playing with the past several years. When they do finally get on the clock in the second round, the Broncos could look to replace OLB Von Miller whom they traded to the Rams this season. They do get a pass rush from Bradley Chubb who has been good when healthy, but he has struggled mightily with injuries including an ACL in 2019 and ankle and shoulder problems this year. And while its maybe not quite as critical, Denver doesn’t have much speed or range at ILB and could also use an infusion of fresh legs pretty much right across the offensive line.

Top priorities: DE/OLB, ILB  Other needs: OT, OG

10. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS: (Note: The 10th pick actually belongs to the NY Jets; see pick #4). Was there a more disappointing team in the NFL this year than the Seahawks who were expected to be in the thick of the battle for the NFC West title, but instead bumbled and stumbled their way to a 7-win season made all the worse by the fact they had traded their #1 to the Jets last year. And the Seahawks obviously decided it was time for a major rebuild rather than a tweak or two as they traded star QB Russell Wilson to Denver for a package of picks including the 9th selection this year and an extra first in 2023. Needless to say with Wilson gone and not much in the cupboard behind him, the Seahawks’ top priority this off-season is to find a replacement. Certainly, they would be in range to land a QB at #9, but this year’s QB is a little iffy. And whoever ultimately is the Seahawks’ QB next fall the offensive line will need some reinforcements with as many as 3 starters from a unit that allowed almost 50 sacks are listed as potential free agents. At the same time, Seattle’s once-proud defense also needs an infusion of talent after allowing more yards than all but two other teams this year, especially at DE and CB. Indeed, the Seahawks had only two players with more than two sacks this year and none had more than 7. Meanwhile, the secondary was a very un-Legion-of-Doom-like 31st against the pass this year. They’ll also need to replace MLB Bobby Wagner, the long-time leader of the unit who was released earlier this winter.

Top Priorities: QB, DE, CB, ILB, OT  Other needs: C, LB

11. WASHINGTON COMMANDERS: The newly-named Commanders figured they had gotten about as much as they could out of veteran journeyman QB Taylor Heinicke and pulled the plug on a deal with Indianapolis to acquire veteran Carson Wentz who is talented but has now been run out of two other teams. Washington also needed to upgrade the interior offensive line, and that was even before veteran Pro Bowl OG Brandon Scherff bolted for Jacksonville. Meanwhile, they could also use a better option at their #2 receiver slot opposite Terry McLaurin. At the same time, the Commanders also have some concerns on the other side of the ball which ranked 27th in the league this year. It will certainly help to get DE Chase Young, the second player picked at the 2020 draft, back after he tore an ACL mid-way through the season, but the Commanders could also look to upgrade in the secondary at both CB and safety and at LB.

Top Priorities: OG, CB   Other needs: WR, LB, S

12. MINNESOTA VIKINGS: Another disappointing season for the Vikings who lost 8 times this fall by a TD or less. In order to get over the hump, the Vikings will probably look to address the NFL’s 31st ranked passing defense. It certainly didn’t help that star DE Danielle Hunter missed the second half of the campaign with a pectoral injury after averaging almost a sack per game through the first half. That should have the Vikings looking for a little security at DE as Hunter also missed most of the previous season with a herniated disc. They could also look to add some more speed at CB, while they could also to look at OLB if veteran Antony Barr leaves via free agency. The Vikings are a little more settled on the other side of the ball, but could look for upgrades at TE and OG.

Top priorities: DE, OLB, CB  Other needs: TE, OG

13. CLEVELAND BROWNS: The big question in Cleveland is whether QB Baker Mayfield is the right guy for the Browns going forward. His numbers this year, for example – 61% completion rate with just 17 TDs versus 13 picks – just isn’t the stuff championships are made of, but the early buzz is that the Browns opt to give him at least one more prove-it year. If they do decide to stick with Mayfield, though, the Browns will have a radically different receiver corps after releasing Jarvis Landry, but trading for the Cowboys’ Amari Cooper; however, even with Cooper in the fold, the Browns probably still need another target or two. They’ll also likely want to upgrade at RT. Meanwhile, there could be another major hole to fill on the other side of the ball if DE Jadevon Clowney isn’t retained.

Top priorities: WR, DE, OT  Other needs:: LB, DT, S, QB (?)

14. BALTIMORE RAVENS: The Ravens looked playoff bound after getting off to an 8-3 start, but came up short as a result a 5-game losing streak with star QB Lamar Jackson out with an injury. To get back into the mix next fall the Ravens have to address an untenable sack gap that saw them allow more than 20 more sacks this year than they manufactured. On the one hand, they need to address the offensive line which allowed 58 sacks, especially at OT, although re-upping versatile G/T Patrick Mekari certainly helped. On the other hand, the Ravens had only defender post as many as 5 sacks this season and need a DE and/or OLB who can get after the QB. Meanwhile, the offense could use a true feature back to take some of the ground-game pressure off QB Jackson, while the Ravens could also be interested in DTs and LBs on the other side of the ball.

Top priorities: OT (2); DE/OLB; RB  Other needs: C/G, DT, L

15. MIAMI DOLPHINS (Note: The 15th pick actually belongs to Philadelphia; see pick #19; the Dolphins will pick with the 49ers selection which is still TBD by playoff results): The $64K question around the NFL this past season was whether Miami would pull the trigger on a blockbuster trade for embattled Houston QB DeShaun Watson. All that happened, though, before the Dolphins rebounded to post a 7-game win streak that came up just short of a playoff berth, although a pretty good case can be made that it was the defense that actually keyed the rally. It also happened before the Dolphins unceremoniously fired head coach Brian Flores, the guy Watson wanted to play for in Miami. All this suggests that the Dolphins won’t be part of any deal for Watson going forward, and they almost certainly aren’t likely to be inclined to part with the huge package of picks the Texans are reportedly seeking. And whoever ends up calling the signals next fall, the Dolphins will likely focus their 2022 draft on upgrading the offensive line starting with the OTs. They would probably also like to add a true feature back. On other hand, the rising young defense is pretty well set for the next 2-3 years, but could be in the market for a pass-rushing end if free-agent-to-be DE Emanuael Ogbah takes his 9 sacks elsewhere this off-season.

Top priorities: OT, C, OG, RB  Other needs: DE(?), DT, LB

16. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS: (Note the 16th pick actually belongs to Philadelphia; see pick #19.) Curious situation evolving in Indianapolis which ended up giving up their first-round pick to Philadelphia in order to acquire QB Carson Wentz prior to the past season, but then traded him to Washington for what in effect was just a few cents on the dollar this off-season. For the moment that leaves the Colts with no one on the roster who has thrown more than a handful of passes in their career. And without a #1 pick, the Colts aren’t likely to be addressing the position in any serious way this coming April. Whoever, ends up taking snaps with the Colts will have two rising stars to work with in RB Jonathan Taylor, who should be very much in the MVP discussion after rushing for over 1,800 yards this fall, and WR Michael Pittman, who had over 1,000 receiving yards. However, the Colts could look to add another target or two as no other receiver had over 400 yards. The Colts could also have an issue at LT where incumbent starter Eric Fisher struggled after coming back from an Achilles’ injury. Meanwhile, on the other side of the ball, the Colts didn’t have a DE or OLB with as many as 6 sacks and could look to upgrade their outside pass rush.

Top priorities: QB, LT, WR, DE/OLB  Other needs: CB, TE, G/C

17. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS: The Chargers came oh-so close to making into the playoffs, but that dramatic last-second loss to Las Vegas in OT to wrap up the season, has them on sidelines once again. And to get over the hump and back into the playoff picture, the Chargers will have to address a leaky defense that allowed 27 points per game, tied for 29th in the league. The Chargers have to get more physical upfront at both NT and DE, plus they need to get OLB Joey Bosa, and his 10.5 sacks, some help rushing the passer as no other LA defender had as many as 5. At least on paper, the offense doesn’t have as many issues, especially after they resigned WR Mike Williams to a long-term deal and then went out and got star CB JC Jackson in free agency, although TE Jared Cook is still coming up on free agency. And then there’s pesky problem out at RT.

Top priorities: DT, DE, RT, WR  Other needs: TE, ILB

18. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS: The Saints took a chance and stayed in-house to try and replace QB Drew Brees who retired at the end of last season. It didn’t work as the Saints, a perennial offensive powerhouse with Brees at the helm, finished the year with the NFL’s 27th ranked offense overall and the 31st rated passing attack. Along the way the none of the three QBs who took turns replacing Brees completed over 60% of their pass attempts, although veteran Jameis Winston did throw 14 TD passes against just three picks. However, he’s not really a viable long-term option which likely have the Saints looking for an alternative somewhere in this year’s draft. It will certainly help if the Saints could get all-star WR Michael Thomas back next fall as he did not play at all this year because of an ankle problem. Given the uncertainty there, New Orleans could also be looking for a little more security at the position. The Saints could also look for a more dynamic option at TE, while they could use upgrades a long the offensive front and in the secondary, especially on the corner,

Top priorities: QB, WR  Other needs: TE, CB, OT, S

19. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: The Eagles figure to be the busiest team in this year’s opening round with three picks which certainly will give them lots of options. And they could conceivably go in one of several directions, although one would think that upgrading a pass rush that produced just 29 sacks will likely be a priority, especially with vet DEs Derek Barnett and Brandon Graham (who only played in two games) possibly on the move this off-season, although signing Hassan Reddick in free agency was a big step in the direction. The defense also has decent players at both safety and OLB, but don’t get many impact plays from anyone at those spots. At the same time, the Eagles would probably like to add a big, physical WR to play opposite 2021 first rounder DeVonta Smith who’s not. Center could also be a bit of an issue if, as expected, veteran C Jason Kelce retires or is released prior to the start of the 2022 season. All of this assumes, of course, that the Eagles don’t make some kind of splash move at QB. Jalen Hurts had a nice second half of the season as he lead the Eagles to 6 wins in their final 8 games to sneak into the playoffs. But he did a lot of his leading with his legs rather than his arm. Indeed, Hurts actually ended up leading the Eagles in rushing, but there are questions if he has the arm talent to win on a consistent basis against better teams.

Top priorities: DE, WR, QB  Other needs: S, OLB, C

20. PITTSBURGH STEELERS: The Steelers were able to address the loss of long-time QB Ben Roethlisberger who rode off into the football sunset after 18 years, at least in the short term by signing veteran Mitch Trubisky to  two-year deal.  although the offensive line needs some major repairs right across the board. The Steelers also have to be concerned about a very un-Steelerlike 31st ranked run defense and could look for an upgrade on the nose, as well as ILB.  The Steelers also only had 11 interceptions, with only one CB making more than one.

Top priorities: OT, C/G, CB; NT  Other needs: ILB

21. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: The Patriots got the last laugh at the 2021 draft when they sat tight at #15 where they selected QB Mac Jones, the 5th quarterback taken last April who turned out to be the best of the bunch, at least thru their rookie seasons. And #2 wasn’t all that close. However, the Patriots took a big hit in free agency when star CB JC Jackson, one of the best young cover corners in the league left for the other coast in free agency leaving a huge void in the secondary. In fact, what the Patriots end up doing this April year’s draft may very well be conditional upon who else leaves in free agency, especially on defense where MLB Donta Hightower and safeties Devin McCourty and Adrian Phillips are all also eligible to hit the open market. Obviously, the secondary could be the hardest hit with three top performers on the list. The Patriots could also look to upgrade the defensive front where no one had more than three sacks. One the other hand, the Patriots appear to be more set on offense, but still could use a true #1 WR.

Top priorities: CB, S, DE   Other needs: WR, DT, ILB

22. LAS VEGAS RAIDERS: There were whispers during the year that the Raiders might consider moving on from QB Derek Carr, but that seems unlikely after he threw for over 4,800 yards in leading the team into the playoffs despite all the turmoil that surrounded the franchise during the season. Carr does have a couple of terrific targets in WR Hunter Renfrow and TE Darren Waller, but is highly unlikely that WR Henry Ruggs, who was involved in that horrific auto accident during the season, ever plays again and he was the Raiders’ primary deep threat. The Raiders also had to deal with an unsettled situation in their interior offensive line and will also likely be looking for upgrades at both C and OG. Same at both LB and in the secondary on defense. The Vegas’ LB corps, in particular, provided almost nothing in terms of impact plays posting a combined 0.5 sacks and 0 interceptions, along with just 10 tackles for loss and 8 pass break-ups, while the secondary had just 6 picks combined.

Top priorities: C/G, WR, LB  Other needs: DT, S, CB, DT

23. ARIZONA CARDINALS: The Cardinals looked all the part of the NFL’s best team through the first three months of the season, but it didn’t end nearly as well as they lost 4 of their 5 final regular season games to lose out of home field advantage in the playoffs. And it certainly won’t be lost on the Cards’ management that their late season slump coincided with the injury to star WR DeAndre Hopkins. Hopkins hopefully will be back at 100% next fall, but the Cardinals’ receiver corps took a hit when Christian Kirk signed with Jacksonville whiele WR AJ Green and TE Zach Ertz are also still eligible for free agency this winter. Free agency could also play a role on the defensive front where DE Chandler Jones and his 10.5 sacks are also slated to be on the market. At the same time, the Cardinals’ biggest issue outside free agency is at CB where they need better options to complement Byron Murphy, while they could also look to upgrade at both DT as well as on the interior of the offensive line.

Top priorities: WR, CB, DE    Other needs: C/G, DT, RB

24. DALLAS COWBOYS: The Cowboys made out like bandits at the 2021 draft when they ended up selecting Micah Parsons, the defensive rookie of the year, AFTER trading down. Genius or just plain dumb luck? Who knows but if the Cowboys did in fact know how good Parson was going to be they never would have taken the chance of losing him after trading down. Needless to say the Cowboys would love to find lightning in a bottle for a second year in a row. However, like a number of other playoff teams, their immediate needs could be driven by free agent losses. TE Darren Schultz, who emerged as a reliable underneath outlet for QB Dak Prescott as he quietly piled up 78 receptions for over 800 yards and 8 TDs was franchised but the team parted ways with WR Amari Cooper. Meanwhile, defensive stalwarts Randy Gregory, the only Cowboy defender other than Parsons with more than 5 sacks, and ILB Leighton Vander Esch are up for free agency while the Cowboys have asked DE Demarcus Lawrence to take a pay cut without success so far. At the same time, the Cowboys haven’t gotten much production from their DTs of late and could look to add some extra depth at safety and in the offensive line, especially inside.

Top priorities: DE, DT, TE   Other needs: LB, S, C/G

25. BUFFALO BILLS: The Bills may have the most settled lineup in the NFL right now. They have indicated, though, that their top priority this off-season would be to upgrade of the offensive line which at this time includes no former first round picks; and the urgency there might be even greater with the release of both veteran OG Joe Feliciano and RT Daryl Williams. The Bills also might need a receiver to compliment Stefon Diggs if veteran Emmanuel Sanders leaves via free agency. But the Bills could truly be the team that can just take the best player on their board.

Top priorities: OG, OT, WR    Other needs: CB, DE, DT

26. TENNESSEE TITANS: Despite the fact that star RB Derrick Henry missed more than half the season, the Titans still finished with the best record in the AFC. However, even with Henry back, the Titans crashed out of the playoffs in the second round of the post-season. To get to the next level, the Titans have to get better in the passing game on both sides of the ball. On offense, they have an elite target in WR AJ Brown, but no other receiver had as many as 40 catches or 500 yards. Going the other way, the Titans were 25th in the league in passing yardage allowed and have to better on the corners, but did keep star edge rusher Harold Landry from free agency, although C Ben Jones could still leave.

Top Priorities: CB, WR   Other needs: LB, C, TE, OT

27. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS: Well, that didn’t last lng. Indeed, just 41 days after announcing his retirement, Tom Brady unretired which at least in the short term took the Bucs off the list of teams looking to fill a major gap at the position. The Bucs also have an unexpected hole on their offensive line after OG Ali Marpet surprisingly announced his retirement for the game. Indeed, who else comes and goes this off-season could drive much of the Bucs’ draft agenda as they have a number of key free agents right across the board.  In fact, its hard to know where to start but the list includes both RBs, two starting interior offensive linemen, leading receivers Chris Godwin and Rob Gronkowski, and veteran DE Jason Pierre-Paul. Take your pick because they will not be able to sign them all.

Top priorities: QB, C/G, RB, WR   Other needs: CB, TE, DT

28. GREEN BAY PACKERS: It was another ho-hum year for the Packers who won 13 games for the third straight season, QB Aaron Rodgers grumbled but still produced at an MVP level, but then crashed out of the playoffs early. The Packers also had what seems like the annual episode of the Rodgers-will-he-won’t-he soap opera, but did get him extended in good order. They also franchised his star WR Davante Adams and resigned MLB De’Vondre Campbell, the team’s leading tackler by far. However, even with Adams back for at least another year, the Packers could still be in the market for another WR as they don’t get much from their other receivers; or their TEs for that matter. And while neither is their most pressing off-season issue, the Packers would probably also like to upgrade at OT and CB.

Top priortities: WR, ILB (?)  Other needs: TE, OT, CB

29  SAN FRANCISCO 49ers: (Pick belongs to Miami; see #16) … It would appear that job #1 for the 49ers will be to decide on a starting QB: either veteran Jimmy Garoppolo or 2021 first rounder Trey Lance. And while Garoppolo actually had a pretty good year as the team’s primary starter this fall and is still more advanced that Lance, this may be the time for the 49ers to make a move and acquire some extra picks, especially given that they don’t have a #1 pick this year. Whatever picks they do end up with, the 49ers won’t lack for roster spots to fill with free agency threatening to decimate both the secondary and offensive lines. The secondary, in particular, wasn’t all that productive to begin posting just 9 picks on the season. However, the offensive line, which could lose as many as 4 starters in free agency, could still ultimately be the bigger problem.

Top priorities: CB, C/G, OT, S  Other needs: WR, RB

30 KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: The Chiefs will need to keep an eye on the offensive line where OG Kyle Long is eligible to enter free agency. However, the Chiefs biggest issues are on their 27th-rated defense. They don’t get much of a pass rush from anyone other than star DT Chris Jones, while they don’t match up all that well on the corners.

Top priorities: CB, DE    Other needs: WR, S, OG

31 CINCINNATI BENGALS: Just about everyone figured Cincinnati would select OT Penei Sewell with the 5th pick last April, but the Bengals crossed the analysts up by taking WR Ja’Marr Chase. Good move as Chase went on to win Rookie of the Year honors while propelling the Bengals from last to first and into the playoffs. However, passing on the OT last year did leave with the Bengals with something of a cobbled together OL that allowed almost 60 sacks and remains the team’s #1 weak spot that needs to be addressed at this year’s draft. The Bengals could also look to upgrade the secondary at both CB and safety, while a TE would be a nice complement to Chase and the rest of the Bengals receiving corps.

Top priorities: OT, OG, C, CB   Other needs: S, TE, DT, LB.

32 LA RAMS: (Pick actually belongs to Detroit; see pick #2); The Rams don’t have a pick until very late in the third round – and they only have 4 in total – so they aren’t going to be in a position to do much at this spring’s draft. When they do finally get on the clock, the Rams are probably going to be looking at the offensive line as all five starters are going to be free agents this year or next. And the biggest issue up front is probably LT where Andrew Whitworth will be 41 even if he did resign this off-season. Meanwhile, they could also look for upgrades at ILB and TE.

Top priorities: LT, OG, C    Other needs: ILB, TE

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