With the 2013 NFL season completed, the next big thing happening is the NFL combine and not to long after that is the start of free agency (March 11th). Teams will start to fill some of their needs through free agency,  then teams will select players through the NFL Draft on May 8th through the 10th. 

Here is a look at the top three needs for all 32 teams in the NFL as it stands. The order of the draft is decided by record, strength of schedule being the first tiebreaker and alphabetical order being the second. The last eleven teams on this list all made it to the post season, and their order is determined by the outcome of the postseason. 

 

 

1. Houston Texans

Record: 2-14

Team needs: QB, DT/DE, LB.

Analysis: 2013 was supposed to be the year The Texans proved themselves as power house. Obviously, that did not happen. The Texans need help in quite a few places, but their biggest need is quarterback, and Case Keenum is not the long or short term solution. Fortunately for them, they have some options, either through the 2014 NFL draft or via free agency.  Look for The Texans to ink a quarterback this off-season.

 

2. St. Louis Rams (From the Washington Redskins)

Record: 7-9

Team Needs: OG, WR, CB.

Analysis: The Rams played better than expected in 2013, but are still a few pieces away from really competing. Unfortunately for the Rams, this offseason both of their starting Guards will become unrestricted free agents. The Rams will only have a little more than a million dollars in cap space, so look for them to draft a Guard with the second overall pick in the draft.

 

3. Jacksonville Jaguars

Record: 4-12

Team needs: QB, DE, OT.

Analysis: The Blaine Gabbert era ended in 2013 when he was benched for Chad Henne, who also has struggled at the QB position and not just in Jacksonville. Luckily the Jaguars have the third overall pick in the draft and have nearly 48 million dollars in cap room to sign additional players through free agency. But bringing in a quarterback should be their primary concern and expect them to do so either with their first pick or in the second round.

 

4. Cleveland Browns

Record: 4-12

Team needs: QB, OG, RB.

Analysis: Even though Brian Hoyer played well, going 3-0 as a starter, the Browns have had a lot of changes in recent weeks and according to sources at ESPN, people in the front office are not Hoyer’s biggest fan. Hoyer is also coming off of an ACL tear and may not even be ready for the start of the 2014 NFL season. With the Browns having 10 picks this year, two of those coming in the very first round of the draft, do not bet shocked when they draft a quarterback. The Browns also finished 28th in the NFL, only averaging 86.4 yards per game on the ground, with only a few options at running back in free agency, count on them taking a running back in the draft.

 

5. Oakland Raiders

Record: 4-12

Team needs: QB, DE, FS.

Analysis: Since 2002 and Rich Gannon’s MVP performance, the Oakland Raiders had 17 different quarter backs taking snaps. This includes last year’s starters, Pryor, Flynn and McGloin. None of these guys are the long term answer for the Silver and Black. The Raiders need to look elsewhere and lucky for them, this year’s draft and even free agency could be the answer.

 

6. Atlanta Falcons

Record: 4-12

Team needs: DE, DT, OL.

Analysis: Just by happenstance the falcons top three defensive tackles are all set to become unrestricted free agents come March 11th. More than likely the Falcons will attempt to re-sign Jonathon Babineaux. But it would still behoove the Atlanta Falcons to bring in a much bigger, more powerful nose tackle to play alongside the agile, permeating Babineaux.

 

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Record: 4-12

Team Needs: DE, TE, OT.

Analysis: The Buccaneers defense is stout up the middle, but could use enhancements at both defensive end locales. The Buccaneers suffered after they lost Michael Bennett in the previous offseason. The Jaguars are looking to trade up for picks according to John Clayton at ESPN and the Buccaneers should trade up with the Jaguars if Jadaveon Clowney is still there when the Jaguars pick.

 

8. Minnesota Vikings

Record: 5-10-1

Team needs: QB, DE, OG.

Analysis: The Vikings had three quarterbacks at the helm last year, all of which were mediocre. If they are going to compete in the NFC north in 2014, the Vikings should look elsewhere.

 

9. Buffalo Bills

Record: 6-10

Team needs:  OG, TE, FS.

Analysis: The Buffalo Bills starter at offensive guard for 2013, Colin Brown’s play was so poor they released him mid-season. The Bills immediately replaced him with Doug Legursky, while he was a modest upgrade, Legursky is not the answer.

 

10. Detroit Lions

Record: 7-9

Team needs: WR, CB, FS.

Analysis: After releasing Nate Burleson, the Lions already week receiving core (except Calvin Johnson), gets even weaker. The Lions should bring in a veteran receiver via free agency to take some defensive pressure off of Megatron.

 

11. Tennessee Titans

Record: 7-9

Team needs: RB, DE, S.

Analysis:  According to reports from NFL Network’s Mike Silver, the Titans are going to release running back Chris Johnson, who is set to make 8 million dollars in 2014. If this does happen, watch for them to take a running back on day two of the NFL draft.

 

12. New York Giants

Record: 7-9

Team needs: LB, OL, CB.

Analysis: All three of the Giants starting linebackers are going to be unrestricted free agents on March 11th. The Giants could potentially replace all three linebackers, as not a single one played well enough to receive a long term contract.

 

13. St. Louis Rams

Record: 7-9

Team needs: OG, WR, CB.

Analysis: The Rams played better than expected in 2013, but are still a few pieces away from really competing. Unfortunately for the Rams, this offseason both of their starting Guards will become unrestricted free agents. The Rams will only have a little more than a million dollars in cap space, so look for them to draft a Guard with the second overall pick in the draft.

 

 14. Chicago Bears

Record: 8-8

Team needs: S, DL, OL.

Analysis: The Chicago bears safeties Chris Conte and Major Wright were a burden in 2013, consistently giving up the deep ball and average at best against the run. The Bears do not have very much cap room as of right now. Lucky enough for them, this year’s draft is deep with quality safeties.

 

15. Pittsburgh Steelers

Record: 8-8

Team needs: DE, CB, OT.

Analysis: Brett Keisel is not getting any younger and Ziggy Hood has not lived up to expectations. Both of these defensive ends are also unrestricted free agents in 2014. Not to mention the Steelers will only have one defensive end on the roster if they are unable to resign either player. With the Steelers expected to be over the cap in 2014, drafting some depth at this position will more than likely be the answer.

 

16. Baltimore Ravens (pending a coin flip)

Record: 8-8

Team needs: WR, CB, OT.

Analysis: The Baltimore Ravens offense was terrible in 2013, only one year after winning the Super Bowl. The Ravens need to take some pressure off of wide receiver Torrey Smith and maybe even try and bring back Anquan Boldin back via free agency.

 

16. Dallas Cowboys (pending a coin flip)

Record: 8-8

Team needs: DT, CB, S.

Analysis: The Dallas Cowboys gave up a league worst 415 yards per game on defense in 2013. And it all starts in the trenches, where Nick Hayden a defensive tackle, is weak at best. The Cowboys are also expected to be 24 million dollars over the cap in 2014. Look for the Cowboys to fill all their holes via the NFL draft.

 

18. New York Jets

Record: 8-8

Team needs: WR, TE, OL.

Analysis: 31st in passing yards per game last season mostly due to the fact that the Jets had no real weapon at wide receiver. This year should hopefully be different for them, with over 22 million dollars in cap room, the Jets have the money to go out and get a wide receiver through free agency.

 

19. Miami Dolphins

Record: 8-8

Team needs: OT, OG, DT.

Analysis: The Dolphins offensive line was a large story last year in the NFL and not for the reasons a team would want. With the Dolphins offensive tackle Jonathon Martin not expected to return, they will need to look elsewhere. Having nearly 33 million dollars in cap room, the only problem they will have is finding the right one.

 

20. Arizona Cardinals

Record: 10-6

Team needs: OT, CB, S.

Analysis: Carson Palmer could use some more time in the pocket, and that starts with his offensive line. Bradley Sowell is the achilles heel of the line and the right tackle that the Cardinals inked on a one year deal (Eric Winston) under performed. The Cardinals have some money to test the free agency market, but expect them to draft some depth at the offensive tackle position.

 

 

21. Green Bay Packers

Record: 8-7-1

Team needs: FS, CB, TE.

Analysis: Not too long ago, the safety position for the Packers was a strong point. That is not the case now, with M.D. Jennings as the starter. Jennings is a free agent this year and cheese heads should expect to see a new face this year at free safety.

 

22. Philadelphia Eagles

Record: 10-6

Team needs: S, CB, WR.

Analysis: The Philadelphia Eagles gave up the most yards in the air last year, 290 yards per game. Rookie safety Earl Wolff was playing well before he was injured in the second half of the season. But even if he is back in time for week 1, the Eagles will still need to add some depth at that position. The Eagles currently have 20 million dollars in cap space and could bring a safety though free agency. But this year’s NFL draft is stacked with safeties and the Eagles should take a chance and bring in another rookie.

 

23. Kansas City Chiefs

Record: 11-5

Team needs:  WR, OG, S.

Analysis: With Dexter McCluster set to be an unrestricted free agent, the Chiefs should look to bring in another stud to play opposite Dwayne Bowe. Reid would love to be able to throw the ball down the field more, even though that is not Alex Smith’s strength. The NFL draft this year is full of receivers capable of getting down the field and snatching the ball out of the air. With only two million dollars in cap space to spend, the Chiefs should draft one of the many wide receiver prospects.

 

24. Cincinnati Bengals

Record: 11-5

Team needs:  C, CB, OT

Analysis: The Bengals have one of the most talented rosters all the way around, with only a few players needing to be replaced. Their current center Kyle Cook is one of them and with most games being won and lost on the line, Cook is a pretty big problem. With another one of the Bengals lineman becoming an unrestricted free agent, look for them to add some depth on the offensive line, via the NFL draft.

 

25. San Diego Chargers

Record: 9-7

Team needs: CB, OG, LB.

Analysis: The Chargers biggest need this offseason is at the cornerback position. They brought in Derek Cox last year, giving him a four year, 20 million dollar deal, ten million of which was guaranteed. Saying Cox did not live up to his contract would be quite the understatement and the Chargers 5 other cornerbacks played just as bad, if not worse. The Chargers will more than likely cut Cox according to the San Diego Tribune, saving 4.25 million dollars, which will only leave them a little over three million dollars in cap space. Meaning, the Chargers should look to get some depth at cornerback through the draft.

 

26. Cleveland Browns (from the Colts)

Record: 4-12

Team needs: QB, OG, RB.

Analysis: Even though Brian Hoyer played well, going 3-0 as a starter, the Browns have had a lot of changes in recent weeks and according to sources at ESPN, people in the front office are not Hoyer’s biggest fan. Hoyer is also coming off of an ACL tear and may not even be ready for the start of the 2014 NFL season. With the Browns having 10 picks this year, two of those coming in the very first round of the draft, do not bet shocked when they draft a quarterback. The Browns also finished 28th in the NFL, only averaging 86.4 yards per game on the ground, with only a few options at running back in free agency, count on them taking a running back in the draft.

 

27. New Orleans Saints

Record: 11-5

Team needs: OT, LB, CB.

Analysis: Two of the Saints offensive tackles are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents and with the Saints only being three million dollars under the cap. The Saints should use one of their six picks in the draft to add some depth at the offensive tackle postion.

 

28. Carolina Panthers

Record: 12-4

Team needs: WR, CB, OT.

Analysis: Steve Smith is still a solid option at wide receiver, but he is 34 years old and Brandon LaFell will be an unrestricted free agent. LaFell, according to sources at ESPN is not expected to be back. Panther fans need not worry. This year’s draft is full of young talent at wide receiver.

 

29. New England Patriots

Record: 12-4

Team needs: DT, TE, OL.

Analysis: When Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly both departed due to injuries, teams started to jam the ball up the middle, keying in on the Patriots weak defensive tackle spot. Making the patriots run defense 30th in the league, giving up 130 yards on the ground per game. With Wilfork set to be 33 and Kelly to be 34, and on the last year of their contracts. The Patriots ought to add some depth by bringing in young talent at the defensive tackle spot through the draft.

 

30. San Francisco 49ers

Record: 12-4

Team needs: CB, WR, DL.

Analysis: The 49ers are set to lose two of their starting cornerbacks, Carlos Rogers and Tarell Brown. The 49ers attempted to resign Brown midway through the season but Brown declined, likely wanting to test the market. Carlos Rogers is set to earn 7.25 million dollars this year and according to sources at ESPN, the 49ers are going to cut Rogers to save some money. The 49ers have 13 draft picks this year and will conceivably trade some of them to move up in the draft and take one of the higher rated cornerback prospects.

 

31. Denver Broncos

Record: 13-3

Team needs: CB, OG, DL.

Analysis: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is set to be an unrestricted free agent and according to sources at ESPN they will not place the franchise tag on him. With both Demayrius and Julius Thomas in the last year of their contract, the Broncos should look to go younger at cornerback and add depth through the draft to play alongside Chris Harris and Kayvon Webster.

 

32. Seattle Seahawks

Record: 13-3

Team needs: WR, TE, OL.

Analysis: The Seahawks two leading receivers Doug Baldwin and Golden Tate are going to hit free agency come March 11th.  Although Tate did say according to ESPN, that he was willing to give the Seahawks a hometown discount. The Seahawks should still look to the draft and bring in one of the plethora of young, talented wide receiver prospects.

 

 

Teams that don’t have a first round draft pick

 

1. Indianapolis Colts (traded to the Browns)

Record: 11-5

Team needs: OL, ILB, WR.

Analysis: The Colts only bright spot is that Donald Thomas should be back off of injured reserve and ready to start the season in 2014 at the offensive guard. The bad part, the Colts might have the worst offensive line in the NFL. Andrew Luck was sacked 41 times, and if it weren’t for his ability to evade incoming pass rushers, that number would have been much higher. The Colts also are currently 33 million dollars under the cap. Giving the Colts the ability to fill their needs as they see fit, be it through free agency or the draft.

 

2. Washington Redskins (traded to the St. Louis Rams)

Record: 3-13

Team needs: CB, DE, LB.

Analysis: It is a good thing the Redskins are 24 million dollars under the cap, because they traded away their first round draft pick and they need help all over the field. Their most glaring hole is at cornerback, while they did bring in David Amerson last year, who performed strongly and has a very high ceiling. The three other starting cornerbacks are all set to become unrestricted free agents. None of which should be brought back anyways. The draft is where the Redskins should look to for the future. 

 

Written By: Trent Davis Follow him  on twitter @Trentasaru

 

Be sure to like us on Facebook at NFL Draft Insiders for all your NFL new and information all year long.