NFL Draft News & Analysis

Biggest needs for all 32 NFL teams after free agency: Chiefs' offensive line, Jets' QB situation and more

Glendale, Arizona, US; General view down the line of scrimmage as Kansas City Chiefs center Creed Humphrey (52) prepares to snap the ball against the Philadelphia Eagles during Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

• Bears load up in free agency, still have needs in the trenches: They still need a dominant three-technique pass rusher in the middle and could stand to get a starting-caliber offensive tackle.

• As Aaron Rodgers trade hangs in the balance, Jets' QB need remains: Until that happens, quarterback is the team's top need.

• Chiefs left with a hole at offensive tackle: The departures of both Orlando Brown Jr. and Andrew Wylie will have Kansas City looking to draft offensive line talent.

Estimated Reading Time: 13 mins

With free agency and the tampering period a week old, we’ve seen team needs shift across the NFL landscape ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft.

Knowing there will still be more moves between now and draft night, this is how we see each team’s draft needs following the start of free agency.


ARZ | ATL | BLT | BUF | CAR | CIN | CHI | CLE | DEN | DAL | DET | GB | HOU | IND | JAX | KC | LVR | LAC | LAR | MIA | MIN | NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | PHI | PIT | SF | SEA | TB | TEN | WSH

Arizona Cardinals: EDGE, IDL, CB

After losing Zach Allen in free agency and J.J. Watt to retirement earlier this offseason, the Cardinals' defensive line, on paper, is one of the least inspiring in the league. They need a major talent boost at both edge defender and interior defensive line. And Byron Murphy Jr.‘s departure in free agency also leaves them with holes at inside and outside cornerback.

Read more: 2023 free agency grades for all 32 teams

Atlanta Falcons: EDGE, IDL, WR

The Falcons have been busy this free agency period, signing the likes of David Onyemata and Jessie Bates III, as well as bringing back their big guns on the offensive line by re-signing Kaleb McGary and Chris Lindstrom, but this is still a team that needs more to make the postseason jump. A dominant edge player is at the top of the list for them, as would be a good pass-rushing interior defensive lineman. They could also use another reliable receiver to go along with Drake London (though they could also just use Kyle Pitts more, or both).

Read more: The best free agent signings so far

Baltimore Ravens: CB, WR

We won’t put a quarterback on this list because Lamar Jackson still occupies that spot for now. The Ravens haven't yet signed anyone who wasn’t already on their roster, so their post-free agency needs look similar to their pre-free agency needs. They need another reliable receiver with Rashod Bateman. And with Marcus Peters not under contract, they need a starting-caliber cornerback opposite Marlon Humphrey

Read more: Biggest surprises of 2023 NFL free agency

Buffalo Bills: OL, LB, RB

The Bills signing Connor McGovern helps out their offensive line needs, but they could still use a potential upgrade at right tackle. With Tremaine Edmunds gone, linebacker goes higher on the needs lost. Though running back isn’t a major need, perhaps they look to add a power back in the middle rounds.

Read more: 2023 NFL Free Agency Tracker — Cuts, trades and signings for all 32 NFL teams

Carolina Panthers: QB, WR

The Panthers traded up to No. 1 overall to pick a quarterback. They signed Andy Dalton in free agency, but that was more to mitigate any time needed for their rookie to be ready for NFL action than it was to truly fill the need. And after Carolina lost D.J. Moore in the trade-up with the Bears, wide receiver is right behind quarterback as a major need.

Read more: 2023 free agency grades for all 32 teams

Chicago Bears: IDL, OT, CB

The Bears have brought in a ton of talent since free agency opened. They’ve signed Tremaine Edmunds, T.J. Edwards, Nate Davis, Andrew Billings, DeMarcus Walker, Robert Tonyan and D’Onta Foreman. They also acquired D.J. Moore in their trade-down with the Panthers. They’re not quite a complete team yet, though, even despite the positive outlook of those additions. They still need a dominant three-technique pass rusher in the middle and could stand to get a starting-caliber offensive tackle. Though their secondary is already pretty young, another solid outside cornerback could be a target for them on Day 2 of the draft.

Read more: Breaking down the Bears-Panthers trade — Bears walk away as easy winners

Cincinnati Bengals: TE, CB, S

Signing Orlando Brown Jr. to play left tackle was a major move by the Bengals. Losing Hayden Hurst signals a tight end being on the board for them with one of their first few picks of the draft. And a secondary pick, whether at safety to mitigate losing Jessie Bates III or at outside cornerback to bolster the rotation with Chidobe Awuzie and Cam Taylor-Britt, could also be high on their priority list.

Read more: The best free agent signings so far

Cleveland Browns: DL, WR

The Browns' defensive line has to get stronger on the interior. The Dalvin Tomlinson, Trysten Hill and Maurice Hurst additions were needed, but Cleveland could continue to target the position in the draft. On the back end, Juan Thornhill was a good signing, as well. They also have to get a new receiver (or two) into their rotation from last year. Amari Cooper cannot carry this group alone.

Read more: Most improved position groups from 2023 NFL free agency

Dallas Cowboys: RB, IDL

The Cowboys have done a nice job rounding out their roster this free agency period. They traded for veteran starters Brandin Cooks and Stephon Gilmore, and shed Ezekiel Elliott’s contract. Elliott’s exit opens up a potential running back selection in the first two rounds of the 2023 NFL Draft, especially with Tony Pollard coming back on the franchise tag and off injury. Dallas could also add some extra beef on the interior of their defensive line to compliment Micah Parsons and Demarcus Lawrence on the edge. 

Read more: Most improved position groups from 2023 NFL free agency

Denver Broncos: LB, WR

The Broncos have been busy this offseason, signing Mike McGlinchey, Ben Powers and Zach Allen to starting spots, as well as Samaje Perine, Chris Manhertz, and Tremon Smith to contributing roles. Their linebacker room could use extra athleticism, even with the Alex Singleton re-signing. And depending on what happens with their wide receivers amid trade rumors surrounding that corps, they could be in need there, too.

Read more: McGlinchey can be an elite run-blocking force for Broncos

Detroit Lions: IDL, S, WR

The Lions are surely hoping Levi Onwuzurike can be a consistent contributor for their defensive line in 2023 and beyond, but his back injuries make it hard to have blind faith in that. With that in mind, the Lions need a dominant three-technique defensive tackle. Cornerback was a glaring need on their depth chart before free agency, but with the additions of Emmanuel Moseley and Cameron Sutton, they at least don’t have to pick one in the first round (though they still could). The back end could use another impact player, and they could also target a big-bodied receiver to pair with Amon-Ra St. Brown and Jameson Williams.

Read more: Most improved position groups from 2023 NFL free agency

Green Bay Packers: TE, WR, S

The Packers have been quiet this free agency period, as all focus is on the Aaron Rodgers situation and getting the right deal done there. They do need some new talent at both tight end and wide receiver, though it isn’t a total desert in either category. Their lone defensive signing has been safety Tarvarius Moore, but they could look to draft another one in the later rounds.

Read more: Aaron Rodgers intends to play for Jets — Longtime Packers QB breaks silence on trade rumors

Houston Texans: QB, WR, DL

The Texans are another team with a major need at quarterback, and we expect that to be the position they target at No. 2 overall. But despite acquiring Jimmie Ward, Sheldon Rankins, Robert Woods and Shaq Mason in free agency, this is still a roster that needs help in a handful of areas. With Brandin Cooks on the way out via trade, the wide receiver room becomes in need of new talent, as does the pass rush. The Texans do have an extra first-round pick at No. 12 overall, so look for those two positions to be on the table.

Read more: RB Austin Ekeler granted permission to seek trade — Texans among best fits

Indianapolis Colts: QB, OL, CB

Despite signing Gardner Minshew in free agency, the Colts' biggest need is to find a young franchise quarterback. Their offensive line was also incredibly disappointing last year and could get some new looks. But following their trade of Stephon Gilmore, they’ll surely be doing their due diligence on the strong 2023 cornerback class.

Read more: 2023 NFL Three-Round Mock Draft — Colts snag QB Anthony Richardson

Jacksonville Jaguars: CB, OL, RB

With the expected release of Shaquill Griffin, the Jaguars solidified their top need being a starting caliber outside cornerback. They also lost starting right tackle Jawaan Taylor, though they do have Walker Little, who can step in right away, so perhaps they don’t see that as a major need for this draft. Travis Etienne is the go-to- starter for them at running back, but they may look to add another young back in the middle rounds.

Read more: 2023 free agency grades for all 32 teams

Kansas City Chiefs: OT, EDGE, WR

Even after signing tackle Jawaan Taylor, with both Orlando Brown Jr. and Andrew Wylie departed, the Chiefs will need to continue to look for new offensive tackle talent in the draft. Frank Clark’s release also opens up a need for speed at edge rusher along the defensive line (though we did like the Charles Omenihu signing). They could also use another big-bodied offensive weapon not named Travis Kelce.

Read more: 2023 NFL Free Agency Grades — Signings, trades and latest transactions

Las Vegas Raiders: QB, OL, CB

The Raiders signing Jimmy Garoppolo means they could go into the 2023 season without an abysmal offense, but they still need a young franchise quarterback. Their offensive line could also use a major boost, especially on the interior. Plus, don’t count out a cornerback pick for the Raiders at No. 7 if there’s no quarterback on the board they like.

Read more: 5 signings that earned a below-average grade

Los Angeles Chargers: IDL, WR, EDGE

It’s well-documented that the Chargers need more speed at the wide receiver position; that remains a need after free agency. They also need to get stouter in the middle of their defensive front when it comes to run defense. Their depth at the edge spot in 2022 was also exposed when Joey Bosa was hurt.

Read more: RB Austin Ekeler granted permission to seek trade

Los Angeles Rams: All of Them

The Rams’ fall from Super Bowl grace has been quite the spectacle. Going into the 2023 season, they have two of the best players at their positions in the league in Aaron Donald and Cooper Kupp, but that’s about it. They traded away Jalen Ramsey, released Leonard Floyd, lost Greg Gaines and haven’t brought in anyone other than Hunter Long. This team has major needs in both trenches, at linebacker and in the secondary. Not to mention, quarterback Matthew Stafford dealt with a lot of injuries last season. This is the case of a team with a lot of needs and not a lot of premium draft picks to help.

Read more: The 100 best remaining free agents

Miami Dolphins: OL, TE

On paper, this is a really good football team. They lost Byron Jones but added Jalen Ramsey, and they were able to bring back a lot of their speed on offense. At this point, it's a matter of the offensive line playing better. On defense, the David Long addition was a good one. This feels like one of the most complete rosters in the league, one that just needs to go out and execute.

Read more: 2023 NFL Three-Round Mock Draft

Minnesota Vikings: WR, CB, LB

Adding Byron Murphy Jr. and Marcus Davenport certainly helps mitigate two of the Vikings' biggest projected needs heading into the draft. But cornerback remains a major need for them, as does linebacker. With the release of Adam Thielen, they could also stand to upgrade their WR2 spot. 

Read more: 2023 free agency grades for all 32 teams

New England Patriots: OT, CB, WR

The Patriots’ offensive line was their biggest liability last season. While they signed veteran Riley Reiff, they need a lot more than that. They also re-signed Jonathan Jones, but that secondary needs more than one pick worth of new talent. They did sign tight end Mike Gesicki and JuJu Smith-Schuster, but they shouldn't be done adding offensive weapons.

Read more: Biggest surprises of 2023 NFL free agency

New Orleans Saints: OLB, IDL

The Saints lost Shy Tuttle, David Onyemata and Marcus Davenport from last year's defensive line. They signed Nathan Shepherd and Khalen Saunders to help with the loss of bodies on the defensive line but could still use an impact player there.

Read more: Biggest surprises of 2023 NFL free agency

New York Giants: CB, WR, S

The Giants brought back a lot of their guys from last season while also adding Darren Waller, Parris Campbell and Bobby Okereke. As of now, their depth chart is solid; it doesn’t have a ton of glaring holes. But that’s not to say there aren't areas to upgrade. Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale could also use more top-tier cornerbacks, so that is on the list. The Giants lost Julian Love to free agency, so another safety selection could be in order. For as much as this team has bodies along the wide receiver depth chart, it still lacks a WR1-caliber player. 

Read more: 5 signings that earned a below-average grade

New York Jets: QB, OT

Aaron Rodgers has yet to officially become a member of the New York Jets. Until that happens (and the whole reason it’s happening in the first place), quarterback is the team's top need. Once they address that, they’ll need to make some investments along the offensive line, particularly getting some insurance at both offensive tackle spots.

Read more: Aaron Rodgers intends to play for Jets — Longtime Packers QB breaks silence on trade rumors

Philadelphia Eagles: EDGE, DB, IOL

As you might expect for a team that just made the Super Bowl, there aren’t a ton of needs the Eagles have to address. They brought back both James Bradberry and Darius Slay, so the outside cornerback isn’t the pressing need we thought it might be. They also brought back veterans Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox. With two first-round picks, the Eagles are in a great spot to draft the best player available at both spots. They’ll likely look toward the trenches, as they often do, but could also eye an extra secondary pick.

Read more: Free agency gains and losses — Tracking WAR lost, gained by each NFL team

Pittsburgh Steelers: OL, CB

The Patrick Peterson signing certainly helps the Steelers' secondary, but it doesn’t take cornerback off the table for them in Round 1. They signed interior offensive lineman Nate Herbig in free agency but could still use another offensive tackle.

Read more: 2023 free agency grades for all 32 teams

San Francisco 49ers: CB, LB, OL

The Niners have one of the strongest teams in the league, and then they added Javon Hargrave to that in free agency. They did lose Azeez Al-Shaair, who was a good LB3, as well as Samson Ebukam and Emmanuel Moseley. Look for them to hit those positions with their three late third-round picks.

Read more: Biggest surprises of 2023 NFL free agency

Seattle Seahawks: EDGE, IOL, CB, WR

We knew the Seahawks were going to be aggressive in trying to upgrade their defensive line from Pete Carroll’s post-season press conference. And they did that in free agency by adding Dre’Mont Jones and Jarran Reed. But they still need a dominant edge presence, a position we expect them to target with their No. 5 pick. The next three positions on the list are lesser needs, but they are all areas where Seattle could use an injection of talent. They have plenty of potential to attack those holes with their extra first-round pick and their two second-round picks.

Read more: The best free agent signings so far

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: QB, OT

The Bucs signed Baker Mayfield to a one-year deal, but like many other teams that signed veterans, that doesn’t change their need to hit on the quarterback position. They also moved on from left Donovan Smith, so addressing that hole remains paramount.

Read more: Free agency gains and losses — Tracking WAR lost, gained by each NFL team

Tennessee Titans: OT, EDGE, WR

Even with the addition of Andre Dillard, the offensive line is still the primary need for the Titans. They made some good moves on defense, bringing in Arden Key and Azeez Al-Shaair, but could use more talent on the edge. They also need to continue to invest earlier picks into their pass-catching unit.

Read more: The 100 best remaining free agents

Washington Commanders: QB, CB, OT

The Commanders have done a nice job addressing some of their most pressing needs this free agency period. They signed Andrew Wylie to play right tackle in order to kick Sam Cosmi inside. They also signed Jacoby Brissett to compete with Sam Howell for the starting quarterback job. But quarterback could obviously be in play for them with their first-round pick in the draft. As far as their biggest need right now, cornerback seems to be the obvious choice. That could very well be where they end up going with their first-round pick if there isn’t a quarterback or offensive lineman of preference available.

Read more: 2023 free agency grades for all 32 teams

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