NFL Draft News & Analysis

2023 NFL Draft: Every team's biggest need ahead of the first round

Atlanta, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Stetson Bennett (13) throws a pass against Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Will Anderson Jr. (31) during the SEC championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Alabama won 41-24. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

As we enter 2023 NFL Draft week, it's important to understand the positions all 32 NFL teams will be looking to target early on.

While there are multiple directions each team could go throughout the draft, these are our top needs heading into Round 1.


DET | GB | HOU | IND | JAX | KC | LVR | LAC | LAR | MIA | MIN | NE
NO | NYG | NYJ | PHI | PIT | SF | SEA | TB | TEN | WSH

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Arizona Cardinals: Defensive Line

The Cardinals' roster tells the story of a team in rebuild mode, so their list of needs is extensive. Whenever that’s the case, the trenches are often the first area to attack. After losing J.J. Watt and Zach Allen from last year’s team, they need a major difference-maker along the defensive line. Expect them to look there with their first selection in the draft. 

Recent PFF Mock Draft Pick: EDGE Will Anderson Jr., Alabama

Atlanta Falcons: Edge Defender

The Falcons did a nice job bringing in new talent via free agency. David Onyemata, Jessie Bates III, Calais Campbell, Bud Dupree and Jeff Okudah will make for a new-look group, but Atlanta still needs an impact pass rusher on defense. 

Recent PFF Mock Draft Pick: EDGE Tyree Wilson, Texas Tech

Baltimore Ravens: Cornerback

After adding Odell Beckham Jr., the Ravens are hoping to have a nice trio of receivers between him, Rashod Bateman and Mark Andrews, when healthy. Their secondary room, specifically cornerback, still needs a boost. Baltimore has only five picks right now, and just one in the first two rounds, so if their plan is to attack that need, they’ll do it early. 

Recent PFF Mock Draft Pick: CB Emmanuel Forbes, Mississippi State

Buffalo Bills: Offensive Line

The Bills could use some insurance upgrades at both interior offensive line and offensive tackle. While the no-brainer players at those spots might be gone by the time Buffalo is on the clock at No. 27, those positions should still be high on their priority list. 

Recent PFF Mock Draft Pick: G O'Cyrus Torrence, Florida

Carolina Panthers: Quarterback

The Panthers are not in the midst of a big rebuilding project; their roster is close to competing. They just need the most important part to show that: quarterback. As the team with the No. 1 overall pick, you know that’s where their head is at. 

Recent PFF Mock Draft Pick: QB Bryce Young, Alabama

Chicago Bears: Defensive Line

The Bears could certainly hit the offensive line with their first few picks in the draft, but the defensive line seems to be their most pressing need. They need star-powered pass rushers at both interior defensive line and edge rusher. 

Recent PFF Mock Draft Pick: DI Calijah Kancey, Pittsburgh

Cincinnati Bengals: Tight End

After losing C.J. Uzomah and Hayden Hurst in back-to-back offseasons, the Bengals could use a difference-making tight end. Irv Smith Jr. and Devin Asiasi could get it done, but a team in a Super Bowl window should want more than that from the position.

Recent PFF Mock Draft Pick: TE Michael Mayer, Notre Dame

Cleveland Browns: Defensive Line

Much like last year, the Browns will enter the regular season with one of the NFL's more complete rosters. Even after the addition of Dalvin Tomlinson, they could use more impact defensive linemen around Myles Garrett

Recent PFF Mock Draft Pick: DI Byron Young, Alabama

Dallas Cowboys: Running Back

Dallas has some defensive line needs to attack, and losing Dalton Schultz could push tight end up the priority list. But with Ezekiel Elliott gone and Tony Pollard coming off injury, running back is their biggest need — one they could address in Round 1.

Recent PFF Mock Draft Pick: RB Bijan Robinson, Texas

Denver Broncos: Edge Defender

Like the Browns, the Broncos have one of the more complete rosters in the NFL; they just need to play better. They spent a ton of money in free agency on both the offensive and defensive line. Denver doesn’t pick until the third round, so the team's first selection will likely be a rotational player, which sets up well for the front office to take another edge rusher to help fortify that group. 

Recent PFF Mock Draft Pick: N/A

Detroit Lions: Interior Defensive Line

Alim McNeill is a good nose tackle, while Aidan Hutchinson and James Houston IV proved they can get after the quarterback from the edge. What the Lions are missing is a true difference-making three-technique along their line.

Recent PFF Mock Draft Pick: DI Jalen Carter, Georgia

Green Bay Packers: Tight End

We assume Green Bay will no longer have Aaron Rodgers by the time the regular season rolls around. With that said, they desperately need an upgrade at tight end for Jordan Love once he gets out there. In the middle of the first round, they could have their pick of any tight end in the draft. 

Recent PFF Mock Draft Pick: TE Dalton Kincaid, Utah

Houston Texans: Quarterback

Houston believes it has a long-term head coach in Demeco Ryans; now the team needs a franchise quarterback. They have plenty of ammo, with two first-round picks, to make it happen.

Recent PFF Mock Draft Pick: QB C.J. Stroud, Ohio State

Indianapolis Colts: Quarterback

The Colts have been shopping in the bargain bins at quarterback since Andrew Luck retired. The rest of their roster is pretty set. They just need a young signal-caller to truly invest in. 

Recent PFF Mock Draft Pick: QB Will Levis, Kentucky

Jacksonville Jaguars: Cornerback

Depending on how the Jaguars want to play their current cornerback room, they could use an upgrade at nickel back or outside corner. Darious Williams seems to play better on the outside, so an addition to the nickel spot could be Jacksonville's best play, especially since there are a handful of good such prospects in this class.

Recent PFF Mock Draft Pick: DB Brian Branch, Alabama

Kansas City Chiefs: Edge Defender

Even with the Charles Omenihu addition, the Chiefs would be best served to secure edge defender depth early in the draft. As a team looking to make a deep playoff run and defend their title, they’ll need more than just the current edge rushers on the roster. 

Recent PFF Mock Draft Pick: EDGE Felix Anudike-Uzomah, Kansas State

Las Vegas Raiders: Cornerback

Though an argument can certainly be made for quarterback as the Raiders' biggest need, signing Jimmy Garoppolo means they could at least get by in 2023. What they can’t do is say the same for their cornerback room. They need another starting outside cornerback to keep up in the AFC West. 

Recent PFF Mock Draft Pick: CB Christian Gonzalez, Oregon

Los Angeles Chargers: Defensive Line

When Joey Bosa missed a significant amount of time last season, it exposed the Chargers' lack of pass-rushing depth. That, along with a revamped interior defensive line, remains their biggest need moving forward.

Recent PFF Mock Draft Pick: EDGE Myles Murphy, Clemson

Los Angeles Rams: Everything (Trenches, Specifically)

Pick any position on the roster, and it is likely a need for the Rams. They don’t pick until the second round, but one thing is for certain: That pick should be used on a trench player. Their offensive and defensive lines are in bad shape. 

Recent PFF Mock Draft Pick: EDGE BJ Ojulari, LSU

Miami Dolphins: Offensive Line

The Dolphins have one of the more complete rosters in the league outside of their offensive line. If they can shore up their starting five with a good prospect in the second round of the draft, when they first come on the clock, the playoffs will again be well within reach.

Recent PFF Mock Draft Pick: C Luke Wypler, Ohio State

Minnesota Vikings: Cornerback

Cornerback remains a glaring need for the Vikings. While they hold the No. 23 overall pick, it is one of only five selections for them in the draft. They could be a candidate to trade back and acquire more picks later on Days 2 and 3, but regardless, cornerback will be high on their priority list. 

Recent PFF Mock Draft Pick: DB Clark Phillips III, Utah (Round 3)

New England Patriots: Offensive Tackle

The Patriots have needs at cornerback they could address, but the offensive line takes priority. It’s hard to expect more from this team until that unit plays better. Offensive tackle should be near the top of their priority list.

Recent PFF Mock Draft Pick: OT Darnell Wright, Tennessee

New Orleans Saints: Defensive Line

The Saints lost Shy Tuttle, David Onyemata and Marcus Davenport to free agency. They brought in Nathan Shepherd and Khalen Saunders to help mitigate the departures, but that could be where they target in the first round.

Recent PFF Mock Draft Pick: DI Mazi Smith, Michigan

New York Giants: Cornerback

Wide receiver could be listed as the Giants' biggest need, but they have a handful of pass catchers who can produce — they just don’t have that big-bodied receiver on the line of scrimmage. Instead, cornerback feels like the biggest deficiency they could upgrade.

Recent PFF Mock Draft Pick: N/A

New York Jets: Offensive Tackle

If Mekhi Becton comes back and is a franchise or even a starting-caliber offensive tackle for the Jets, that would be ideal. But they shouldn’t go into the season without an insurance plan there. Whether it’s a future starting left or right tackle, that should be their priority in Round 1.

Recent PFF Mock Draft Pick: OT Paris Johnson Jr., Ohio State

Philadelphia Eagles: Edge Defender

Having just reached the Super Bowl, the Eagles don’t have a ton of roster needs. But one area where they could use some extra depth is edge defender. They’ll need all the pass-rush help they can get as they aim for another deep playoff run.

Recent PFF Mock Draft Pick: EDGE Lukas Van Ness, Iowa

Pittsburgh Steelers: Cornerback

Signing Patrick Peterson was a good start, but the Steelers' cornerback room needed multiple upgrades going into the offseason. The good news is that they’ll be right in the middle of a strong cornerback run with the No. 17 pick in the first round.

Recent PFF Mock Draft Pick: CB Deonte Banks, Maryland

San Francisco 49ers: Offensive Line

The Niners lost Mike McGlinchey in free agency, and if they intend to keep their winning window open, they’ll need to make sure they have sufficient talent in the trenches. They don’t pick until the end of the third round, but they have three picks at the very end of Day 2. 

Recent PFF Mock Draft Pick: C Olu Oluwatimi, Michigan

Seattle Seahawks: Edge Defender

Defensive line remains the Seahawks' biggest need heading into the draft. They did a nice job adding some new talent to their interior, but they need a takeover-type pass rusher. 

Recent PFF Mock Draft Pick: EDGE Will Anderson Jr., Alabama

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Offensive Tackle

The Buccaneers' offensive line was the catalyst for Tom Brady’s underwhelming final season at quarterback. And it will continue to be their Achilles heel if they don’t address the tackle position with a starting-caliber player. 

Recent PFF Mock Draft Pick: OT Anton Harrison, Oklahoma

Tennessee Titans: Offensive Tackle

You could argue that quarterback is the Titans' biggest need, but with Ryan Tannehill still on the roster, we have to say offensive tackle is their most pressing weakness. They’ll be in a good spot to get a day-one starter at pick No. 11, if that’s the direction they want to go.

Recent PFF Mock Draft Pick: OT Paris Johnson Jr., Ohio State

Washington Commanders: Cornerback

You could make a case that, with Washington not having an incumbent quarterback, signal-caller is the Commanders' biggest area of need. But it seems unlikely they will draft one in the first round. Cornerback feels like their biggest weakness, and it's a position many mock drafts have them addressing in Round 1.

Recent PFF Mock Draft Pick: CB Joey Porter Jr., Penn State

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