News & Analysis

All 32 NFL team's draft needs post Round 1 of the 2018 NFL Draft

Apr 26, 2018; Arlington, TX, USA; Josh Rosen is selected as the number eleven overall pick to the Arizona Cardinals in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Senior Analyst Gordon McGuinness examines all 32 NFL teams and whether they answered our top needs for each team, refreshing fellow Senior Analysts Steve Palazzolo and Sam Monson's needs for each team as we let the dust settle on Round 1 of the 2018 NFL Draft.

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys

Quarterback: No

Top needs: DI, WR, TE

The Cowboys drafted talented linebacker Leighton Vander Esch in the first round, so their top needs remain unchanged heading into Day 2 of the draft. For years, the Cowboys have been searching for an impact player up the middle, even when they have been able to find solid edge rushers in that defense. Maliek Collins was supposed to be that guy, but he generated just 30 total pressures from 428 pass-rushing snaps in 2017. With Dez Bryant’s release, the team needs a receiver even with Allen Hurns signed to replace that production, and for the first time in years, this team needs to think about the tight end position as Jason Witten has now announced his retirement. That final need may be addressed internally if the team chooses to give an opportunity to Rico Gathers, a phenomenal athlete who flashed big-time potential in the past two preseasons.

New York Giants

Quarterback: Yes

Top needs: Edge, Interior O-Line

The Giants drafted running back Saquon Barkley at No. 2 overall, but while that takes care of one team need, it does mean they missed out on their choice of all but one of the top quarterback prospects to become Eli Manning‘s successor. Now that Jason Pierre Paul has been dealt, the Giants pass-rush is almost entirely dependent on Olivier Vernon, who missed time in 2017 after having played a monstrous total of 1,112 defensive snaps in his first year with the team. Vernon accounted for 38 total pressures in 698 snaps last year, but needs help elsewhere on the line. 

Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles

Quarterback: No

Top needs: WR, G, OT

The Eagles opted to trade down at the end of the first round, which will give them the chance to address their top needs on day two. They could stand to upgrade at receiver, but that upgrade could easily come from Mack Hollins in year two. Hollins flashed talent as a rookie, but never quite stepped up consistently. At guard, they could upgrade on Stefan Wisniewski, who himself solidified the position in 2017 by saving the team from Isaac Seumalo and Chance Warmack. Wisniewski allowed just one sack and was a solid run-blocker, but he is an average player and wouldn’t keep a star out of the line up. Another position they might look at finding a successor for Jason Peters at left tackle.

Washington Redskins

Washington Redskins

Quarterback: No

Top needs: CB, RB

The Redskins addressed their need for a standout against the run in Alabama’s Da’Ron Payne, leaving cornerback and running back as their remaining biggest needs. Josh Norman remains a good player, though he allowed 61.2 percent of passes thrown his way last season to be caught and gave up a passer rating of 114.1. He didn’t have an interception and surrendered three touchdowns, but the bigger problem is that the team needed to lose Kendall Fuller, who ended the season with an overall PFF grade of 90.0, to secure QB Alex Smith in a trade with the Chiefs. Replacing his production is the team’s biggest need right now, as slot coverage is key in the NFL.

NFC North

Chicago Bears

Quarterback: No

Top needs: Edge, G, WR

The Bears hit most of their biggest problem areas in a very active free agency period, including retaining their own players, which gave them more room to go best player available in the draft, which they did by drafting Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith. Edge defender is still a need, but in a weak edge defender class, Chicago will likely be hoping there is still the chance that the light goes on for Leonard Floyd, who notched 36 total pressures in 2017, the most among Chicago edge rushers. With Josh Sitton leaving, the Bears now need to plug a hole on the offensive line again, and replacing the best pass-blocking guard in the game will not be easy. Sitton surrendered just 12 total pressures in 13 games in what was, for him, a relative down year as a pass-blocker.

Detroit Lions

Quarterback: No

Top needs: CB, Edge

The Lions addressed their need on the interior offensive line by drafting our highest rated center in the class in Arkansas’ Frank Ragnow, leaving cornerback and edge defender as their biggest needs. Darius Slay is a quality player and the team’s No. 1 corner, as he allowed a passer rating of just 55.6 when targeted in 2017 and shared the league lead in interceptions with eight while also adding 13 pass breakups into the bargain. They brought back Nevin Lawson though and definitely need an upgrade opposite Slay. Lawson didn’t have a pick in 2017 and allowed 69.8 percent of the passes thrown his way to be caught. While the team’s defensive line has been solid, it has been unspectacular, and they could stand to find an upgrade at any spot along that front if the right player fell into their lap. Ziggy Ansah led the team in 2017 with 37 total pressures.

Green Bay Packers

Quarterback: No

Top needs: G, LB

We had cornerback as the Packers' clear biggest need heading into Day 1 of the NFL Draft and after trading down, then back up, they addressed that need with Louisville cornerback Jaire Alexander. That leaves their top need now at guard, where Lane Taylor (68.7) and Justin McCray (40.4) are currently pencilled in as starters, with neither grading well in 2017. Should they consider trading up early in round two, UTEP’s Will Hernandez, our highest guard left on the big board could be a target.

Minnesota Vikings

Quarterback: No

Top needs: Interior O-Line, OT

Cornerback was one of the biggest needs heading into the draft for the Vikings, and they took care of that by drafting UCF’s Mike Hughes on Thursday night. Offensive line is still the one area that threatens to prevent the Vikings from contending again in 2018. They have added bodies to the unit in recent seasons, but have not gotten a huge amount of quality production. No currently-slated starter earned an overall PFF grade higher than 70.0 last season, and this is a draft they need to nail to avoid struggling.

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons

Quarterback: No

Top needs: DI, G

The Falcons addressed one of their top needs when Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley fell into their laps late in the first round. That leaves interior defensive line and guard as their biggest remaining needs, with Dontari Poe moving across the division to the Carolina Panthers. Poe had 37 total pressures in 2017 as a nose tackle in that defense, and played 784 snaps, just 10 fewer than Jarrett did alongside him, so it is a significant loss to replace. Despite the signing of Brandon Fusco – who has the potential to address the problem – right guard would be an obvious position to address, as the team has struggled to get capable play at that spot for multiple seasons now. In 2017, the combination of Ben Garland and Wes Schweitzer allowed 46 total pressures over the year.

Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers

Quarterback: No

Top needs: Edge, CB, G

The Panthers landed talented wide receiver D.J. Moore out of Maryland in the first round, but they failed to address any of their key needs.Julius Peppers may have had 13 sacks in 2017, but he had just 31 total pressures, giving him the highest finish rate of pressure in the league at 41.9 percent. That rate is almost three times the average edge defender and more than twice his career baseline, making it a figure destined for a massive regression. His overall PFF grade declined sharply and suggests in spite of that sack figure the team would be well advised to find a competent replacement sooner rather than later, which is no easy task facing into a draft that is not stocked with quality pass-rushers. The Panthers also need corner help, having traded away a starter last season (Daryl Worley) as a makeweight for a below-average receiver, giving you all the indication needed of how much the team knew they need an injection of talent at the position.

New Orleans Saints

Quarterback: Yes

Top needs: LB, TE, C

The Saints traded up in the draft, giving up next year’s first-round pick, to land UTSA edge defender Marcus Davenport. As has often been the case recently though, the Saints still need linebackers. It’s not that they haven’t tried to add them over recent seasons, it’s that they continually swing and miss on the ones they bring in. A.J. Klein came over from the Panthers, where he had been Luke Kuechly’s backup, and earned an overall PFF grade of just 36.8 in starting last season, good enough to rank 80th in the league. Rookie Alex Anzalone looked to have talent, but quickly repeated his college propensity for injuries and was lost for the year. Demario Davis – newly-signed this free agency period – is coming off a career year that ranked more than 10.0 PFF grading points higher than his previous best, having posted three seasons with a grade under 50.0 in his career to that point. The Saints could really use a sure thing at the position to solidify the middle of what is a very good defense either side of linebacker.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Quarterback: No

Top needs: CB, S, LT

The Buccaneers further addressed their defensive line on Thursday night, adding Washington’s Vita Vea to a group that have quickly gone from one of the weakest on paper in the NFL, to one of the strongest. They still need to address the defensive backfield though, with former first round draft pick Vernon Hargreaves allowing a passer rating of 104.6 when targeted in 2017, and he wasn’t the only corner getting game time to surrender a rating over 100, with Javien Elliott and Ryan Smith joining him there. Brent Grimes was the best corner on the roster, but he will be 35 years old when the season starts, so this team needs a new star in the secondary. The problems on the back end don’t end at corner, and the team could very much use an upgrade at safety as well. The other spot that is crying out for improvement is at left tackle, where Donovan Smith again ranked among the worst players in the league at that position. He earned an overall PFF grade of 51.9, 53rd among tackles. Smith allowed seven sacks and 42 total pressures over the season.

NFC West

Arizona Cardinals

Quarterback: No

Top needs: WR, CB, OT

The Cardinals were patient as quarterbacks came off the board at one, three and seven on Thursday night, then made their move up to Pick 10 to land potential franchise quarterback Josh Rosen out of UCLA. Beyond the most important position in the game, the team still needs to find a wide receiver whose name isn’t Larry Fitzgerald for any of their quarterbacks to throw to. Fitzgerald had 153 targets in 2017, 89 more than any other wide out. Tramon Williams was fantastic in 2017, but like Tyrann Mathieu, departed in the offseason, and the team is back to needing a starter opposite Patrick Peterson that can hold up to the weight of targets they will receive as teams avoid one of the best in the game.

Los Angeles Rams

Los Angeles Rams

Quarterback: No

Top needs: Edge, LB, O-Line

While the Rams have been making moves upon moves this offseason, their need at edge rusher is one of the most acute in the game. They are able to hide it to some degree given just how staggeringly dominant Aaron Donald is inside, but they need a complement to his rush on the outside. Last season, Robert Quinn led the team’s edge rushers with just 38 total pressures, and the leading holdover was Matt Longacre, who had 26 across 377 snaps. Even before Alec Ogletree was moved, the team needed an upgrade at linebacker, but that move just reinforced that they were aware of the issue themselves. The last area they could use an injection of youth is the offensive line, where players like Andrew Whitworth (36) and John Sullivan (32) are eventually going to start to decline.

San Francisco 49ers

San Francisco 49ers

Quarterback: No

Top needs: Edge, CB, LB

The 49ers selected the best offensive tackle in the class in Notre Dame’s Mike McGlinchey, and while it wasn’t a top need, with Joe Staley aging at left tackle, it makes sense. It leaves their top needs unchanged however, with edge defender the biggest of those. Of the team’s three primary edge rushers last season, two were those aforementioned interior rushers playing out of position, and the other was Elvis Dumervil, who is currently a free agent. Dumervil led that group in total pressures, with 52 on just 341 snaps. The off-field issues surrounding Reuben Foster make linebacker an acute need once again, months after the team thought they had found one of the future stars of the franchise. Foster finished an injury-marred rookie year with an overall PFF grade of 90.7, but his involvement in domestic violence charges could result in his NFL career being curtailed.

Seattle Seahawks

Quarterback: No

Top needs: O-Line, CB, TE

With needs at cornerback, tight end and the offensive line, the Seahawks opted to go with who they thought was the best player available and select big-play running back Rashaad Penny. Seattle’s offensive line still needs more work, but they have at least found one quality starter in Duane Brown, who came over mid-way through the 2017 season via trade. Brown allowed just one sack over nine games for Seattle and 17 total pressures, but what is maybe even more critical, the entire line’s performance improved with his arrival. That being said, there are still four players that could be upgraded upon with even capable, average play, so it should remain one of their primary areas of focus. With Richard Sherman no longer in town, the team needs to find his replacement, as corner looks ugly on paper outside of second-year player Shaquill Griffin. Playing opposite Sherman, Griffin allowed just 52.9 percent of passes thrown his way to be caught as a rookie, and could become a very good player, but he needs help.

AFC East

Buffalo Bills

Buffalo Bills

Quarterback: Yes

Top needs: O-Line, WR

The Bills were aggressive in the first round, moving up twice. Once for potential franchise quarterback Josh Allen, and then to secure linebacker Tremaine Edmunds. The offensive line needs help everywhere though after they sent solid left tackle Cordy Glenn to the Cincinnati Bengals, though there’s hope that 2017 second-rounder Dion Dawkins and RT Jordan Mills can form at least an average pair of tackles. Starting LG Richie Incognito’s questionable status doesn’t help matters, leaving them weak on the interior as well. Buffalo also has one of the worst group of playmakers at wide receiver, though 2017 second-rounder Zay Jones can bounce back from a rough rookie campaign and WR Kelvin Benjamin can be a contested-catch option. They still need a better all-around receiver capable of getting open at all levels of the field.

Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins

Quarterback: Yes

Top needs: DI, LB, TE

The Dolphins were able to grab the No. 10 player on our Big Board at Pick 11 in Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick, giving them an impact defender who should help them from Day 1. They will certainly still be looking to upgrade on the interior of the defensive line, especially after stepping away from Ndamukong Suh’s monster contract. Linebacker has been a need for a while in Miami, especially a three-down presence with strong coverage ability. The third need could have been guard where the right side is still a major question mark, though the signing of the best pass-blocking guard in the game, Josh Sitton, has eased that burden on the interior. The tight end position can use an upgrade where MarQueis Gray and A.J. Derby likely best fit as complementary pieces and the Miami passing attack needs to put weapons all over the field in order to get the best out of QB Ryan Tannehill.

New England Patriots

Quarterback: Yes

Top needs: LB, CB

One of the big questions of the first round was whether or not the Patriots would look to draft Tom Brady’s successor at quarterback, but instead the drafted Georgia offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn, who crucially was announced as a tackle, not a guard, and then running back Sony Michel. With Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph and Richmond’s Kyle Lauletta still on the board, perhaps this will happen on Day 2. The Patriots’ linebackers will be better with Dont’a Hightower returning, but adding athleticism in the middle of the defense should be a top priority on day two. At cornerback, Malcolm Butler departs and Jason McCourty steps in opposite Stephon Gilmore, but that shouldn’t prevent the Patriots from further addressing the position this weekend.

New York Jets

New York Jets

Quarterback: No

Top needs: Edge, O-Line, CB

Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good, and if it was indeed just luck that saw USC’s Sam Darnold fall to them at pick No. 3, I doubt you’ll find many Jets fans complaining. They still have a need at edge rusher, though in a weak class they may look to other needs first. The offensive line needs talent and an influx of youth, so they can use help across the board. At cornerback, Morris Claiborne has one PFF grade above 49.0 since 2012, a solid 84.0 season in 2016, but he’s not going to keep the Jets out of the cornerback market in the draft, even with the signing of Trumaine Johnson on the other side. Talent upgrades and depth are needed for the Jets’ man-heavy scheme.

AFC North

Baltimore Ravens

Quarterback: No

Top needs: LB, Edge

The Ravens provided one of the most exciting moments of the night, trading back into the first round to nab Louisville’s Lamar Jackson at Pick 32. He not only gives them a potential quarterback of the future, but gives them the exciting, do-it-all playmaker at quarterback that they have lacked since entering the league in 1996. With Willie Snead arriving as a free agent this week, and the drafting of South Carolina’s Hayden Hurst earlier in Round 1, their needs now shift away from playmakers. There are plenty of questions at linebacker beyond C.J. Mosley and another athletic coverage presence could really solidify that back-seven. On the edge, the Ravens can’t count on Terrell Suggs forever, and while they did invest in Tim Williams and Tyus Bowser last year, they combined for only 286 snaps and there is still room for another pass-rushing presence.

Cincinnati Bengals

Quarterback: No

Top needs: OT, LB

The Bengals were able to draft to fill their top need, landing Ohio State’s Billy Price in the opening round of the draft. PFF’s Mike Renner described Price as “one of the rare offensive line prospects who can claim starting experience at all three interior positions.” They have tried to attack the linebacker position with the addition of Preston Brown, but there are still enough question marks in that group that a coverage-first linebacker should be a priority. Then it’s back to the offensive line where the tackle position could be upgraded on the right side. They are also the sort of team who could consider one of the top remaining quarterbacks if one falls to them on day two.

Cleveland Browns

Quarterback: No

Top needs: OT, Edge

You can’t fault the Browns for their opening day to the 2018 NFL Draft, drafting our top player at No. 1 in Baker Mayfield, then drafting a playmaker at a position of need in cornerback Denzel Ward at Pick 4. They still have holes to fill though, with left tackle the biggest after Joe Thomas’ retirement. OT Shon Coleman is not good enough to prevent Cleveland from kicking the tires on the top remaining tackle options in the draft. Pass-rusher is also a top priority as the Browns as they look for a complement to last year’s No. 1 overall pick, Myles Garrett. Defensive playmakers and pass protectors for Baker Mayfield. That’s where the Browns should look to go now.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Quarterback: Yes

Top needs: LB, Edge

All teams with Class of 2004 quarterbacks were teams who could have considered quarterbacks in Round 1, but none of them selected one, so they again remain potential considerations for Round 2. Pittsburgh drafted safety Terrell Edmunds in the first round, who was just the 196th ranked player on our Big Board, but has a strong athletic profile. They still need help at linebacker, where Ryan Shazier’s unfortunate injury created a massive hole in the middle. A chase-and-run linebacker should be an early target. Plenty of resources have been used on the edge, but the Steelers still have a need for pass-rushers as Bud Dupree has disappointed while last year’s first-rounder T.J. Watt got off to a solid start.

AFC South

Houston Texans

Houston Texans

Quarterback: No

Top needs: Interior O-Line, Edge, OT

After allowing 36 more pressures than any other offensive line last season, the Texans need an influx of youth and talent up front, especially at offensive tackle. Their moves in free agency added depth, but they still have a major need on the line. At receiver, DeAndre Hopkins is a star and Will Fuller is a fine deep threat, but Houston needs another player capable of producing on the outside or in the slot. The cornerback position took a big step back last season and they may be able to find a potential starter despite not having first or second-round picks in the draft.

Indianapolis Colts

Quarterback: No

Top needs: CB, LB, Edge

The Colts didn’t address any of our top needs for them in Round 1, but they did grab the best offensive line prospect in the draft in Notre Dame’s Quenton Nelson, who should help keep quarterback Andrew Luck upright. It’s all about defense for the Colts now who simply need talented playmakers on that side of the ball. Cornerback is a major question mark and Indianapolis could use multiple players with versatile skill sets in the secondary. The linebacking corps has limited experience while Antonio Morrison is coming off a 35.8 overall season, so look for linebacker to be targeted early in the draft. Then it’s all about creating havoc off the edge where the Colts got a fine season from veteran Jabaal Sheard, but they need to get better and younger with their pass-rushers.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Jacksonville Jaguars

Quarterback: Yes

Top needs: WR, TE, G

The Jaguars didn’t look to an immediate need when the drafted Florida’s Taven Bryan, but instead a potential future one should they look to make cap savings on the defensive line in coming years. Quarterback is still a need, and they are another contender to select a signal-caller in Round 2. Receiver is a need with Allen Robinson moving on and the inconsistent Donte Montcrief joining a number of mid-tier options on the outside. Tight end still has questions despite Niles Paul and Austin Seferian-Jenkins topping the depth chart. A true mismatch tight end should not be denied if available. Up front, the Jaguars did a fine job with the addition of Andrew Norwell at left guard, though right guard hasn’t been great with A.J. Cann as the starter as the best grade of his career is a 65.8 from 2016. Jacksonville can look for an upgrade at that spot in his solid interior offensive line class.

Tennessee Titans

Quarterback: No

Top needs: Edge, Interior O-Line

The Titans landed the linebacker we saw as a great fit for them in the first round of the draft, selecting Alabama’s Rashaan Evans. He can play on all three downs, and can contribute as a blitzer and wreak havoc up the middle. The edge position has been solid for years, but Tennessee needs a young player or two in order to spell and eventually take over for Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan. Up front, the Titans’ line took a step back last season and the overachievers on the interior came back down to Earth. They should pounce if the value matches up for a good guard or center on day two.

AFC West

Denver Broncos

Quarterback: Yes

Top needs: G, RB, TE

The Broncos opted to aim for an impact defensive player in Bradley Chubb out of NC State with the fifth overall pick in the draft, and after passing on a quarterback in Round 1, they could look to address the position on Day 2. The offensive line was poor last season, but they look better on paper at tackle and it’s the right guard spot that needs immediate attention. After releasing RB C.J. Anderson, the Broncos are left with Devontae Booker as the projected starter, so adding a complement or a three-down option should be a priority. The tight end position is not a major need with Jeff Heuerman at starter, but he’s more of a run-blocker and he will not keep the Broncos from targeting a mismatch pass-game weapon if given the opportunity.

Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs

Quarterback: No

Top needs: Edge, CB, DI

With Justin Houston’s game taking a step back, Tamba Hali being released and Dee Ford being inconsistent, the priority in Kansas City should be adding a havoc-creator on the edge. It could be difficult given their draft slot, but edge defender is an immediate and long-term need. The Chiefs needed a cornerback even before the Marcus Peters trade, and they’re still in the market for a top option to play on the outside. A little further down the list is the defensive interior where Chris Jones needs a complement who can get after the quarterback.

Los Angeles Chargers

Quarterback: Yes

Top needs: DI, LB, OT

The Chargers technically didn’t fill a major need in drafting Derwin James, but when you can land an impact defensive playmaker, and the fifth overall player on our Big Board at Pick 17, it’s always a great pick. Like the Steelers, the Chargers should at least keep their eyes open for the right quarterback today given Philip Rivers’ age. The middle of the Chargers defense still needs help, starting on the defensive line where a premium interior disruptor, which is a must for their scheme. The linebacker position isn’t a disaster if Denzel Perryman and Jatavis Brown are healthy and living up to their potential, but another true coverage option is preferred in order to take that back-seven to the next level. Los Angeles has invested heavily in the interior of the offensive line in recent drafts, but it’s time to add youth outside at tackle where Russell Okung and Joe Barksdale are a mid-tier pair of bookends.

Oakland Raiders

Oakland Raiders

Quarterback: No

Top needs: CB, LB

The Raiders missed out on the top tackle on our big board in Notre Dame’s Mike McGlinchey, who was drafted one pick before they traded down, but they did still leave the first round having filled a need at offensive tackle by drafting Kolton Miller at 15th. They have had plenty of moving parts in their secondary, but cornerback remains a top priority as 2017 first-rounder Gareon Conley has only 92 snaps to his name and he’s surrounded by underwhelming talent. Oakland’s defense has needed an influx of playmakers right through the middle for a while now and linebacker should be a top priority, especially if they can get their hands on a true three-down option with coverage ability.

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