NFL News & Analysis

NFL Team Needs Tracker: One upcoming free agent, one 2024 NFL Draft prospect for all 32 teams after Week 12

2T1198A Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) reacts after a play during the first half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Oct. 8, 2023 in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Stacy Bengs)

It’s never too early to start planning for the next NFL season. Scouts are traveling across the country to see as many college prospects as possible, and front offices are working to identify potential free agent targets for the upcoming offseason.

With that in mind, we’ll be running a “team needs tracker” that examines where each club could stand to improve going forward. Every few weeks, we’ll highlight one college prospect at the position group selected along with one pending free agent who should represent a good fit from a financial and schematic perspective.

Click here for prior versions:

Week 1 | Week 3 | Week 5

As the 2024 PFF Big Board grows, we will not just discuss the same first-round prospects that you’ll hear mentioned all over draft coverage. Perhaps we’ll take a look at some potential Day 2 and Day 3 players at a position that has a future need but not necessarily an immediate 2024 need.

Projected win totals are pulled from PFF’s Power Rankings, which are updated weekly. Projected draft position is based on Vegas odds and can be found on the PFF Mock Draft Simulator. Grades, stats and write-ups on all of the top college prospects can be found on PFF’s 2024 Big Board. Finally, as we advance through the season, the 2024 free agency landing page will have grades, stats and analysis on top players across every position.


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: Guard

  • Projected win total (per PFF Power Rankings): 3.1 (31st)
  • Projected draft position (inverse of standings): 2nd
  • Unit grade through Week 13: 53.1 (27th)

Arizona lacks offensive line stability but is on its way to a brighter future in that regard after selecting offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr. in the 2023 NFL Draft. Now, it's time to address the interior.

Prospect: Kansas State G Cooper Beebe

Beebe has lined up at both tackle spots for stretches this season but is primarily the left guard in Kansas State's offense, flashing shades of fellow Kansas State Wildcat Cody Whitehair in his skill set and positional flexibility. Beebe is good in every facet of play no matter where he lines up, earning a 90.2 pass-blocking grade, an 81.9 zone run-blocking grade and a 73.2 gap run-blocking grade. The Cardinals rank in the top three in the NFL in their usage of counter and pull lead concepts, and Beebe’s 78.2 grade on a very large sample of 151 plays ranks second among guards in the FBS.

Free agent: Tennessee Titans G/C Aaron Brewer

Brewer is lining up at center this season for the Titans after Tennessee drafted Peter Skoronski 11th overall to take over the left guard spot. Brewer brings extensive experience at both guard spots, though. He has earned run-blocking grades above 60.0 in four straight seasons while lining up all over the place in a zone-heavy rushing scheme similar to what Cardinals offensive coordinator Drew Petzing has installed in Arizona.

Atlanta Falcons: Quarterback

  • Projected win total (per PFF Power Rankings): 7.8 (20th)
  • Projected draft position (inverse of standings): 19th
  • Unit grade through Week 13: 55.1 (29th)

The Falcons remain well in the playoff hunt despite shaky quarterback play from Desmond Ridder and Taylor Heinicke in 2023. Both have made more turnover-worthy plays than big-time throws this season.

Prospect: Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy

McCarthy’s tools are impressive, and while he could very well play his way out of Atlanta’s range through the Big Ten Championship and College Football Playoff, he could also slide down draft boards due to a lack of volume when he’s not asked to do much in expected passing situations. McCarthy has earned grades of 92.0 or better when throwing to the intermediate and deep parts of the field. His evaluation is complicated by how much — or, rather, how little — has been put on his plate. Nevertheless, Arthur Smith could use McCarthy's athleticism as an asset in the run game as he develops in the passing game.

Free agent: Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins makes all the sense in the world here if he recovers with no setbacks from his torn Achilles. The Falcons have a setup akin to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when they brought in Tom Brady, with a good offensive line, some exciting young pass-catcher, and a defense that improved dramatically in 2023.

Baltimore Ravens: Offensive Tackle

  • Projected win total (per PFF Power Rankings): 12.2 (2nd)
  • Projected draft position (inverse of standings): 31st
  • Unit grade through Week 13: 68.7 (14th)

The Ravens are always thinking about the present and the future, and right tackle Morgan Moses enters a contract year in 2024 while left tackle Ronnie Stanley has struggled to complete a full season since his torn ACL, which has caused some up-and-down play this season.

Prospect: Houston OT Patrick Paul

Paul is tall and long at 6-foot-7 and is one of the best pass protectors in the country. Paul has a 92.8 pass-blocking grade on the season, a top mark among tackles, and a 90.7 such grade on true pass sets. These are the types of tackles that Baltimore looks to draft and develop, and while he may not start right away in 2024, right tackle Morgan Moses will be in a contract year and Ronnie Stanley is prone to missing a few games a year as he continues to recover from injuries.

Free agent: Cincinnati Bengals OT Jonah Williams

Williams made his NFL debut at right tackle in Week 1 and got off to a bit of an ugly start, but he has settled in and put together a handful of solid games at a position he hasn’t played since college at Alabama. Williams’ ability to play on both sides could be beneficial to Baltimore going forward, as well. Williams earned pass-blocking grades of 63.9 or better in each season from 2020 to 2022. When healthy, he is a capable starter.

Buffalo Bills: Wide Receiver

  • Projected win total (per PFF Power Rankings): 8.9 (13th)
  • Projected draft position (inverse of standings): 16th
  • Unit grade through Week 13: 76.1 (8th)

The Bills' offense certainly hasn’t been the problem this season as the defense continues to struggle, but Gabriel Davis is a pending free agent and the team needs to continue to add weapons for quarterback Josh Allen going forward.

Prospect: South Carolina WR Xavier Legette

The Bills' remaining schedule is brutal and they currently sit at 6-6, so maybe they end up in the range of an even better prospect who goes off the board within the first 15 picks. However, Legette looks like a potential first-rounder and a top-40 lock at this rate. His 13 receptions and 554 yards on passes thrown 20-plus yards downfield are both top-10 marks among FBS wide receivers, and he has serious top-end speed to pair with a 6-foot-3, 227-pound frame. If Buffalo lets wide receiver Gabriel Davis depart in free agency, they can replace him immediately with Legette.

Free agent: Carolina Panthers WR D.J. Chark

Chark’s field-stretching ability at 6-foot-4 with a 4.34-second 40-yard dash would help out any offense, with his average depth of target and yards per reception numbers always near the top of the league. Bills quarterback Josh Allen can maximize that skill set as well as any quarterback in the NFL.

Carolina Panthers: Interior Defender

  • Projected win total (per PFF Power Rankings): 3.0 (32nd)
  • Projected draft position (inverse of standings): 1st (33rd)
  • Unit grade through Week 13: 61.5 (16th)

Outside of 2020 first-round draft pick Derrick Brown, the Panthers' interior defender unit is the face of mediocrity. The unit has produced the fourth-fewest pressures (56) in the NFL, buoyed largely by Brown accounting for more than 40% of that production.

Prospect: Miami (FL) DI Leonard Taylor III

Taylor earned an 87.3 overall grade in 2022 with 25 quarterback pressures on 159 pass-rush snaps (15.7% pressure rate) and has carried that into 2023 with a 14.7% pass-rush win rate and an 82.4 pass-rush grade on true pass sets. The former five-star recruit could be the disruptive three-technique who pairs perfectly in Carolina opposite Derrick Brown, adding much-needed juice to the overall pass rush on this defensive front.

Free agent: Baltimore Ravens DI Justin Madubuike

Madubuike generated a career-high 32 quarterback pressures in 2022 and is having a career year in 2023 with a 73.4 pass-rush grade, 45 pressures a 12.6% pressure rate and 10 sacks — all career highs through just Week 13 of the season. He has arguably earned himself as much money this season as any player based on where they were heading into the year.

Chicago Bears: Center

  • Projected win total (per PFF Power Rankings): 6.3 (27th)
  • Projected draft position (inverse of standings): 4th
  • Unit grade through Week 13: 49.7 (31st)

The Bears figure to have two top-10 draft picks come April but sent their second-rounder to the Washington Commanders in exchange for edge defender Montez Sweat. So, barring a trade-down or perhaps a move involving quarterback Justin Fields, they won’t be on the clock again until the third round. Chicago’s offensive line at all four of the other spots is brimming with potential, so a center to complete the unit could go a long way.

Prospect: West Virginia C Zach Frazier

Frazier broke his leg in West Virginia’s final regular season game, which will keep him out for a prospective bowl game and perhaps impact the draft process, but he proved both his toughness and situational awareness on that play when he crawled and limped his way to the sideline to avoid a 10-second runoff at a critical juncture in the game with just 0:23 seconds remaining.

Frazier is a three-year starter at center and figures to be a late Day 2 or early Day 3 prospect, with the aforementioned injury a factor. However, Frazier earned a 78.6 pass-blocking grade in 2023 with grades above 67.0 in both gap and zone rushing schemes.

Free agent: Las Vegas Raiders C Andre James

Credit to the Raiders for being proactive in trading longtime center Rodney Hudson back in 2021, with James emerging as a young center behind him on the depth chart and turning out to be a solid player who outperformed his early extension. James is earning career-best pass-blocking and run-blocking grades in 2023, with 69.9 and 71.0 marks, respectively.

Cincinnati Bengals: Wide Receiver

  • Projected win total (per PFF Power Rankings): 7.9 (19th)
  • Projected draft position (inverse of standings): 15th
  • Unit grade through Week 13: 73.7 (10th)

Cincinnati will have to make decisions on pending free agent wide receivers Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd this upcoming offseason, so even after using fourth- and sixth-round picks in 2023 on wideouts, perhaps they take advantage of an earlier draft slot and attack a very strong class at the position.

Prospect: Ohio State WR Emeka Egbuka

Egbuka is the forgotten name in a talented Ohio State offense because Marvin Harrison Jr. looks the part of a generational prospect, but Egbuka could have made a stronger case as the No. 2 wide receiver in this class if he stayed healthy. He earned an 84.0 receiving grade in 2022 with 74 receptions for 1,151 yards and 10 touchdowns. Injuries derailed his 2023 campaign, but a seven-catch, 96-yard performance against Notre Dame as Harrison dealt with an ankle injury was the difference in the game for the Buckeyes.

The Bengals could get a prospect who should never have been available to them following an injury to quarterback Joe Burrow, just like when they landed Ja’Marr Chase. Egbuka can play in the slot and out wide, so he could replace the potential departure of either Tyler Boyd or Tee Higgins.

Free agent: Washington Commanders WR Curtis Samuel

Samuel very quietly tallied 64 receptions in 2022 and earned a 70.2 receiving grade, carrying that momentum into 2023 with a 73.2 receiving grade — the second-best mark of his career. The injury bug has been an issue throughout his career, which may be something Cincinnati tries to avoid at the wide receiver position, but we could also see the Bengals liking the idea of diversifying looks by adding a player they can line up in the backfield, slot or out wide with how frequently they deploy 11 personnel. Samuel had a nine-reception, 100-yard outing on Thanksgiving against the Dallas Cowboys and brings a skill set the Bengals haven’t had in recent years.

Cleveland Browns: Wide Receiver

  • Projected win total (per PFF Power Rankings): 10.1 (10th)
  • Projected draft position (inverse of standings): 24th (56th)
  • Unit grade through Week 13: 60.3 (30th)

The Browns traded for Elijah Moore to be an after-the-catch weapon out of the slot with downfield ability, and they drafted Cedric Tillman in the third round last year to be a big-bodied vertical threat to replace Donovan Peoples-Jones. But it never hurts to add more dynamic speed.

Prospect: Texas WR Xavier Worthy

Speed kills in the NFL, and the Browns could use another vertical threat who can also erase pursuit angles when he gets the ball near the line of scrimmage. Worthy has great vision in the open field and knows how to use his speed to evade defenders, averaging 6.9 yards after the catch per reception. He can win out of the slot and out wide.

Free agent: Chicago Bears WR Darnell Mooney

Mooney’s past two seasons have been forgettable, to say the least, but a 2021 campaign with 81 receptions for 1,055 yards wasn't long ago. The Browns also currently lead the NFL in projected cash expenditure for 2024 and need to be smart with how they deploy additional resources. Adding Mooney’s inside-outside versatility, speed and ability to separate downfield could be a very nice pairing with Deshaun Watson and help him get back to producing at a high level.

Dallas Cowboys: Running Back

  • Projected win total (per PFF Power Rankings): 11.4 (7th)
  • Projected draft position (inverse of standings): 26th
  • Unit grade through Week 13: 68.5 (20th)

Dallas has not had a downfield, between-the-tackles runner in 2023 after moving on from Ezekiel Elliott, and the lack of a back who can win in short-yardage situations has led to some stalled-out drives in the red zone.

Prospect: Notre Dame RB Audric Estime

Estime is a physical, angry runner who would pair well with a home-run threat. The Notre Dame product’s 4.27 yards after contact per attempt is among the best in the FBS, his 892 total yards after contact ranks fifth and he has also forced 63 missed tackles, which ranks tied for ninth.

Defenders cannot go high or arm-tackle Estime. Otherwise, he’ll run right through them. He could be a good complement to Tony Pollard in 2024 in beyond if Pollard is ultimately retained in Dallas.

Free agent: Chicago Bears RB D’Onta Foreman

Foreman has been an effective bruising, downhill runner between the tackles over the past two seasons with the Carolina Panthers and now in Chicago. Foreman signed a one-year flier with Chicago and is generally a healthy scratch when Khalil Herbert and Roschon Johnson are both healthy, which leads one to believe he won’t be retained but also keeps him fresh for another opportunity in 2024. Foreman’s 0.2 forced missed tackle per attempt rate is a top-25 mark at the position, and his 2.8 yards after contact per attempt is in the top 40.

Denver Broncos: Cornerback

  • Projected win total (per PFF Power Rankings): 9.2 (11th)
  • Projected draft position (inverse of standings): 18th
  • Unit grade through Week 13: 62.6 (20th)

Patrick Surtain II is among the best cornerbacks in the game already, but his compatriots have struggled all season long. Adding a defensive back early in the 2024 NFL Draft could round out this secondary and, more importantly, remove the weak link.

Prospect: Iowa CB Cooper DeJean

The Broncos traded up in the 2023 NFL Draft for Iowa cornerback Riley Moss, so why not go back to the well here and add another Hawkeye defensive back with game-breaking ability? DeJean earned an 81.5 coverage grade and an 85.8 run-defense grade in 2022, and he has a 74.5 coverage grade through 10 games in 2023.

Free agent: Houston Texans CB Steven Nelson

Nelson has extensive playtime in zone and man coverage concepts from his time in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Houston, and he has excelled this season in a Cover 3 and Quarters-heavy defense similar to Denver. Nelson earned a pay raise this offseason after earning a 72.0 coverage grade in 2022 but was not extended. So far this season, his 74.5 coverage grade is the second-best mark of his career. He has notched three interceptions and four pass breakups in 2023.

Detroit Lions: Edge Defender

  • Projected win total (per PFF Power Rankings): 11.1 (8th)
  • Projected draft position (inverse of standings): 27th
  • Unit grade through Week 13: 79.3 (8th)

The Lions' edge rush unit outside of Aidan Hutchinson has generated very little production, and teams are now neutralizing Hutchinson with doubles and chips as a result.

Prospect: Washington EDGE Bralen Trice

Trice hasn’t gotten as much weekly recognition as one would imagine, given he was a known commodity coming into 2023 and has produced at an elite level. His 91.9 pass-rushing grade on true pass sets and 17.3% pass-rush win rate are among the top marks in the FBS.

Free agent: New York Jets EDGE Bryce Huff

The Jets have not made much of an effort to sign Huff to an early extension as he continues to rack up pressures, producing a career-best mark of 49 through Week 13 on a 23.4% pressure rate. Huff is on pace to play the most snaps of his career and is not just a third-down rushing specialist, but he may never be a true three-down contributor throughout a full season. Nonetheless, the Lions adding this exact skill set would push their pass-rush unit to new heights immediately.

Green Bay Packers: Offensive Tackle

  • Projected win total (per PFF Power Rankings): 8.2 (18th)
  • Projected draft position (inverse of standings): 13th
  • Unit grade through Week 13: 74.0 (8th)

Green Bay has Swiss Army knife Elgton Jenkins in the fold for the foreseeable future, but Jon Runyan Jr. and Yosh Nijman are pending free agents and David Bakhtiari‘s future is a giant question mark. Realistically, Green Bay still has a lot of options across the offensive line with all of their position-flex talents like Zach Tom, who is excelling at right tackle in 2023, but they should continue to invest in the trenches.

Prospect: Oregon State OT Taliese Fuaga

Stop us if you’ve heard this before: Green Bay adds a position-flex offensive lineman who can play tackle or guard and excels in a zone scheme. Zach Tom has emerged in 2023 at right tackle, where Fuaga plays in college, but the Packers wouldn’t let that stop them from adding a top prospect in the trenches. Fuaga has earned a 91.6 zone run-blocking grade so far in 2023 and has also allowed only four quarterback hits and zero sacks over more than 700 pass-blocking snaps since 2022.

Free agent: Miami Dolphins OL Isaiah Wynn

Wynn started the first seven games for the Dolphins in 2023 at guard before going down with an injury but could still kick back out to tackle if needed. His ability to play on the inside is just a bonus. He has earned a 67.5 pass-blocking grade this season over 224 snaps.

Wynn has dealt with injuries throughout his career but posted pass-blocking grades above 70.0 in each season from 2019 to 2021. Green Bay doesn’t spend a ton in free agency and may not view Wynn as a fit at tackle, given his measurements, but he could be an attractive buy-low option for them as they continue to navigate the overhauling of this unit.

Houston Texans: Cornerback

  • Projected win total (per PFF Power Rankings): 8.8 (14th)
  • Projected draft position (inverse of standings): 17th (24th via Cleveland)
  • Unit grade through Week 13: 76.8 (7th)

Houston has had a bit of a revolving door in the secondary, both out wide and in the slot, and chose to give veteran Steven Nelson a raise this past offseason but not extend him. Another solid outside cornerback with a healthy amount of experience in a Cover 3 system would be a nice addition opposite Derek Stingley Jr. going forward.

Prospect: Toledo CB Quinyon Mitchell

Mitchell is a name that many college football fans may not yet be familiar with, but he is firmly on the radar for NFL teams after he earned the best grade in the FBS among 907 cornerbacks in 2022 (92.5). So far this season, Mitchell’s 90.7 grade ranks second and his 16 forced incompletions are tied for fourth. He is a very sound tackler in space, earning a 79.2 run-defense grade. We like the fit in Houston due to Mitchell’s 85.1 coverage grade in Cover 3 and Quarters looks on a sample size of 233 coverage snaps in 2023.

Free agent: Cincinnati Bengals CB Chidobe Awuzie

Awuzie hasn’t had his best season as he recovers from a torn ACL suffered in 2022, but he excelled in Lou Anarumo’s zone-heavy defense from 2021 to 2022, earning an 84.2 coverage grade while lining up primarily on the right side. Awuzie could pair well opposite Texans 2022 first-round pick Derek Stingley Jr. going forward, though both carry injury concerns.

Indianapolis Colts: Wide Receiver

  • Projected win total (per PFF Power Rankings): 9.1 (12th)
  • Projected draft position (inverse of standings): 20th
  • Unit grade through Week 13: 69.6 (18th)

The Colts have a big decision to make on wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr., especially with the security he could provide to quarterback Anthony Richardson going forward. Even if Indianapolis retains Pittman, another pass-catcher would make sense for this offense.

Prospect: Washington WR Ja’Lynn Polk

If the Indianapolis Colts were to ultimately move on from Michael Pittman Jr., this is our thinking here in replacing a strong hands-catcher with another extremely sure-handed prospect who is a good but not great athlete. Polk has an above-average 50% contested catch rate and a lower 6.8% drop rate, with the ability to both box out at the catch point and win through press coverage/jams at the line of the scrimmage thanks to a strong frame, even if he doesn’t necessarily burn defensive backs off the line.

Polk has also been deployed out wide and as a big slot, which adds some interesting versatility to this offense amid recent draft picks Alec Pierce and Josh Downs having very defined roles.

Free agent: New England Patriots WR Kendrick Bourne

Bourne is recovering from a torn ACL that may impact the early portion of the 2024 season but was in the midst of a strong 2023 campaign as the top receiving option in New England and on pace for a career year of production. Bourne has dropped zero passes in 2023 on 55 targets, averaging 5.6 yards after the catch per reception despite a 10.5-yard average depth of target that is among the highest of his career. He’d be a good tertiary receiving option if Pittman is retained, creating separation with sharp route running and making defenders miss in space at a decent clip.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Cornerback

  • Projected win total (per PFF Power Rankings): 11.5 (T-5th)
  • Projected draft position (inverse of standings): 28th
  • Unit grade through Week 13: 74.8 (10th)

The Jaguars have gotten great play from cornerback Darious Williams this season, but he enters a contract year in 2024 and will be 31 years old. Long term, this team needs reinforcements around 2022 second-round pick Tyson Campbell, and the slot position hasn’t been a strong suit over the past few years and could use an immediate upgrade.

Prospect: Michigan CB Mike Sainristil

Sainristil followed up a strong 2022 with an equally strong 2023 campaign that put his ball production on display, snagging five interceptions after having just one for his college career entering the year. Sainristil has mainly been deployed out of the slot, an area where Jacksonville could use help. The Jaguars primarily deploy Cover 2 and Cover 3 looks, where Sainristil earned an 82.9 coverage grade in 2023, one of the top marks among FBS cornerbacks.

Free agent: Indianapolis Colts CB Kenny Moore II

If the Jaguars want to address the slot cornerback position in a major way while adding a player who has been deployed in a similar coverage scheme in recent years, Moore comes from the most Cover 3-heavy defense in the NFL and is having a bounceback 2023 with a career-best 79.7 coverage grade. Moore is also willing to throw his body around in the run game, earning a run-defense grade above 80.0 last year. His 26 defensive stops this year put him on pace to set a new career high.

Kansas City Chiefs: Tight End

  • Projected win total (per PFF Power Rankings): 12.1 (3rd)
  • Projected draft position (inverse of standings): 29th
  • Unit grade through Week 13: 72.2 (4th)

Kansas City and head coach Andy Reid have always loved to deploy 12 personnel and must prepare for an eventual life after Travis Kelce. Blake Bell is also a pending free agent at 33 years old, and the Chiefs could stand to add more inline blocking at the position — with receiving upside just an added benefit.

Prospect: Michigan TE A.J. Barner

Barner transferred from Indiana to Michigan ahead of the 2023 season and has had a great year. His 86.7 overall grade is the No. 2 mark among tight ends in the FBS. Barner’s 6-foot-6, 251-pound frame makes him a force as a run blocker, as he has earned an 81.8 run-blocking grade in Michigan’s downhill run-heavy offense. He has also shown solid chops as a receiving outlet, recording three contested catches and just one drop on 27 targets.

Free agent: Denver Broncos TE Adam Trautman

Trautman was traded from the New Orleans Saints to the Denver Broncos this offseason, where he reunited with head coach Sean Payton. He earned run-blocking grades above 60.0 across his first three NFL seasons and would be the inline blocker to pair with the pass-catching move tight ends in Travis Kelce and Noah Gray, enabling Kansas City to run more 12 personnel and have fewer wide receivers on the field until they find more capable options at that position.

Las Vegas Raiders: Quarterback

  • Projected win total (per PFF Power Rankings): 7.0 (t-23rd)
  • Projected draft position (inverse of standings): 11th
  • Unit grade through Week 13: 61.9 (25th)

Las Vegas has gotten some solid play from fifth-round rookie Aidan O’Connell but should consider taking a swing at quarterback once and for all if they find themselves in a position to do so. They reportedly tried to make a move up in 2023, but this time around maybe they entertain the idea of sitting back and letting the options not named Caleb Williams and Drake Maye fall to them. A dynamic playmaker like Jayden Daniels would offer huge upside and a ton of experience.

Prospect: LSU QB Jayden Daniels

Daniels is not only making a very strong case to be the Heisman winner in 2023 but also the No. 3 quarterback prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft. The LSU star’s 8.4% big-time throw rate ranks third in the FBS, his 79.9% adjusted completion percentage ranks sixth and his 1.9% turnover-worthy play rate is tied for 11th. Daniels’ extensive experience may be highlighted during the draft process as a negative somehow — he’ll be 23 on draft night — but the opposite should be true.

In 2019 as a true freshman at Arizona State, Daniels went 22-of-32 for 408 yards and three touchdown passes in a win over Justin Herbert’s Oregon Ducks squad. He’s not still playing because he wasn’t dynamic right out of the gate; he is both an early breakout player and a guy with nearly 2,000 dropbacks and 1,500 pass attempts.

Free agent: N/A

Las Vegas should focus on adding a prospect to be the quarterback of the future, not go back to the free agent well.

Los Angeles Chargers: Tight End

  • Projected win total (per PFF Power Rankings): 6.7 (25th)
  • Projected draft position (inverse of standings): 9th
  • Unit grade through Week 13: 52.6 (26th)

The Chargers still need to add weapons for Justin Herbert wherever they can find them, with Mike Williams’ future uncertain following an ACL tear and rookie Quentin Johnston struggling mightily in 2023. An after-the-catch outlet at tight end could be a nice addition to the unit.

Prospect: Kansas State TE Ben Sinnott

Sinnott’s 84.1 grade in 2023 ranks fourth in the FBS, his 14 missed tackles forced are tied for fourth and he places in the top 40 in the nation in both average depth of target and yards after the catch per reception among tight ends. Sinnott is averaging more than two yards per route run and can win both deep and underneath, with a 4.0% drop rate that is all the more impressive considering he is not just a check-down outlet. Another pass-catcher in this offense is sorely needed.

Free agent: Seattle Seahawks TE Noah Fant

Fant has had an up-and-down start to his career after the Denver Broncos drafted him in the first round in 2019 but has tallied at least 40 receptions in every year of his career thus far with just four drops on 264 targets since 2020. Fant is more capable of creating explosive plays than any other tight end set to be available in free agency, and this Chargers offense desperately needs explosiveness.

Los Angeles Rams: Offensive Tackle

  • Projected win total (per PFF Power Rankings): 7.5 (21st)
  • Projected draft position (inverse of standings): 14th
  • Unit grade through Week 13: 58.4 (24th)

The Rams got quality safety play from largely late-round picks throughout their run of the past few years, but injuries and attrition have caught up to them in 2023. Jordan Fuller is also a pending free agent. However, the trenches need to be the priority while the team continues to use Day 3 picks on defensive backs.

Prospect: Notre Dame OT Joe Alt

If the Rams find themselves picking in the top 10, and if quarterbacks and pass-catchers perhaps push Alt down the board enough, Los Angeles should run this pick in. At a massive 6-foot-8 and 322 pounds, Alt earned a 91.0 run-blocking grade in 2022 and has all the nimbleness required to still work in a zone-heavy offensive scheme. So far through 2023, he is once again earning pass-blocking and run-blocking grades of at least 80.0, with his 87.4 zone run-blocking grade among the best in college football.

Free agent: Houston Texans OL Josh Jones

Jones was traded from the Arizona Cardinals to the Houston Texans this past offseason after a strong 2022 of filling in at left tackle for D.J. Humphries, earning a 75.9 pass-blocking grade with a pressure rate allowed of 6.5% and a 74.0 run-blocking grade. Jones played primarily on the right side in 2021 and has also spent time at both guard spots in his career. With an injury to Texans offensive lineman Tytus Howard, Jones could get another opportunity for more reps at left guard to finish the season, though there is competition. The Rams got to face Jones within the NFC West division for three years, so there’s some familiarity, as well.

Miami Dolphins: Offensive Tackle

  • Projected win total (per PFF Power Rankings): 11.5 (T-5th)
  • Projected draft position (inverse of standings): 25th
  • Unit grade through Week 13: 69.0 (13th)

The Dolphins look to have finally found a home for former first-round pick Austin Jackson at right tackle. He has been a pleasant surprise so far in 2023, but he is also a pending free agent. Left tackle Terron Armstead has missed time with injury, something that doesn’t figure to stop happening over the remainder of his career. Several other offensive linemen on this team are pending free agents, so any prospect or free agent with the ability to play tackle or guard should be on the Dolphins' radar.

Prospect: Washington OT Troy Fautanu

Like other recent early draft picks in Miami, Fautanu could play tackle or guard, bringing continued positional flexibility to the Dolphins, who will be looking to retain or replace a lot of their offensive line talent. Fautanu has earned an 87.4 pass-blocking grade in 2023 while playing within arguably the most dynamic downfield passing attack in college football. He has also earned a 77.6 mark on true pass sets. For whatever it’s worth, in this hypothetical, he’d be going from blocking for a lefty college quarterback in Michael Penix Jr. to a lefty in Tua Tagovailoa.

Free agent: New York Jets OT Mekhi Becton

Becton may refuse to sign without the clear opportunity to play left tackle, which should be Terron Armstead’s job until he’s done, but perhaps he could be coaxed to move back to the right side and be an absolute road grader in this rushing attack after earning a 73.9 run-blocking grade as a rookie in a similar rushing scheme. Becton wants to be a left tackle eventually but would presumably be open to kicking back over to the right side and biding his time. He would immediately upgrade the pass protection at either tackle spot.

Minnesota Vikings: Edge Defender

  • Projected win total (per PFF Power Rankings): 8.7 (15th)
  • Projected draft position (inverse of standings): 21st
  • Unit grade through Week 13: 59.8 (25th)

Minnesota still has a big decision to make on pending free agent Danielle Hunter and, beyond that, needs to add a ton of talent at edge defender to bolster this pass rush and enable the front four to get home without blitzing at a league-leading rate.

Prospect: Ohio State EDGE JT Tuimoloau

Tuimoloau hasn’t quite played up to the preseason hype in 2023, facing the highest of expectations at Ohio State while being compared to recent prospects like Nick Bosa and Chase Young, but a key matchup with Penn State tackle Olu Fashanu illustrated the ceiling his strength can provide. Tuimoloau registered seven quarterback pressures and a sack, including a highlight-reel play or two against one of the better pass protectors we’ve seen at the college level in a few years.

Free agent: New England Patriots EDGE Josh Uche

Uche has been remarkably efficient rushing the passer since a breakout 2022 season, but he is still logging around only 25 snaps a game as more of a rotational player. Uche has notched at least one quarterback pressure in every game this season on his way to a 17.7% pressure rate, picking up where he left off last season with 56 pressures on 285 pass-rush reps.

Uche may be too good for the Patriots to let go, but if they do, the Vikings could bring in a designated pass-rushing specialist without breaking the bank. Defensive coordinator Brian Flores is as good as anyone at utilizing different body types and skill sets along the defensive front.

New England Patriots

  • Projected win total (per PFF Power Rankings): 4.0 (30th)
  • Projected draft position (inverse of standings): 3rd
  • Unit grade through Week 13: 57.3 (28th)

Josh Uche is a pending free agent and Matthew Judon will be entering a contract year in 2024 at 32 years old, so this team needs to address the edge position in a significant manner this offseason.

Prospect: Penn State EDGE Chop Robinson

Robinson has a case as the burstiest and bendiest edge rusher in the entire draft class, getting upfield in a hurry and bending around the corner with great ankle flexion and upper body contortion. Robinson has earned a 93.0 pass-rush grade against true pass sets and has a 20.8% pass-rush win rate in 2023, both among the top marks in the FBS. And he was equally impressive in 2022.

Free agent: Houston Texans EDGE Jonathan Greenard

Greenard put together what appeared to be a potential breakout second season in 2021, earning an 89.2 pass-rush grade with 27 quarterback pressures and eight sacks on just 215 pass-rush snaps, but took a step back in 2022 with injuries and a decline in performance. Now in his contract year, Greenard is an every-down player, plus he has Will Anderson Jr. and Sheldon Rankins on the line alongside him. His pressure rate is once again above 10%, and he has hit a career-high 35 total pressures while on pace for his first double-digit sack season.

New Orleans Saints: Offensive Tackle

  • Projected win total (per PFF Power Rankings): 8.4 (17th)
  • Projected draft position (inverse of standings): 12th
  • Unit grade through Week 13: 62.4 (22nd)

2022 first-round pick Trevor Penning has been removed from the starting lineup at left tackle or left guard at this point, and Andrus Peat has slid back outside to left tackle but is a pending free agent. The Saints have built depth on the interior, which may eventually include Penning again, but shouldn’t be afraid to take another swing at tackle.

Prospect: BYU OT Kingsley Suamataia

Suamataia is still just 20 years old, and the Oregon transfer looks the part of a high-upside tackle with first-round traits, starting at left tackle in 2023 and earning an 83.2 pass-blocking grade. New Orleans may view 2022 first-round pick Trevor Penning as a guard, so the team still needs to address left tackle with an early draft pick if that is the case.

Free agent: New England Patriots OT Trent Brown

Brown is a massive tackle at 6-foot-8 and 370 pounds and is having a career year in New England despite the offense around him being a complete disaster. His 86.3 overall grade is a career high, and he is on pace for a 73.0 pass-blocking grade for the fifth year in a row. Brown’s pressure rate allowed is just 4% in 2023, with Saints left tackles this season surrendering a pressure rate double that number through Week 13.

New York Giants: Interior Defender

  • Projected win total (per PFF Power Rankings): 5.8 (28th)
  • Projected draft position (inverse of standings): 6th
  • Unit grade through Week 13: 37.1 (31st)

The Giants traded interior defender Leonard Williams to the Seattle Seahawks at the deadline and now have a void alongside Dexter Lawrence. Adding an interior pass-rusher to pair with the dominant force that is Lawrence at nose tackle could create one of the best interior duos in the NFL once again.

Prospect: Illinois DI Jer’Zhan Newton

Newton was downright dominant in 2022, earning a 91.2 run-defense grade and an 84.1 pass-rush grade with 34 defensive stops and 55 quarterback pressures. Newton has 44 quarterback pressures and a 15.2% pass-rush win rate in 2023, and while there may be size concerns at the next level, no team is better equipped to make that work than the New York Giants with defensive force Dexter Lawrence at nose tackle wreaking havoc up the middle.

Free agent: Houston Texans DI Sheldon Rankins

Rankins signed a one-year contract with the Texans in free agency and is earning a career-high 73.0 pass-rush grade through Week 13. Rankins was productive in two seasons playing at MetLife with the New York Jets, so he could transition back to New York fairly seamlessly playing for the Giants.

New York Jets: Tight End

  • Projected win total (per PFF Power Rankings): 7.0 (23rd)
  • Projected draft position (inverse of standings): 8th
  • Unit grade through Week 13: 62.3 (T-11th)

Jets tight end C.J. Uzomah has effectively been benched over the past two weeks, playing just 10 total snaps, as have wide receivers Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb. This Jets offense features one legitimate pass-catcher at this point — Garrett Wilson — and needs to add all the weapons they can ahead of 2024.

Prospect: Florida State TE Jaheim Bell

Bell is not quite an all-around tight end with great blocking ability, but the Jets have 2022 third-round pick Jeremy Ruckert to fill that role. At South Carolina in 2021 and 2022, Bell earned 88.8 and 76.4 receiving grades with 11.8 and 8.1 yards after the catch per reception figures, respectively. On a Florida State offense loaded with quality pass-catchers in 2023, Bell is still averaging more than two yards per route run, and his 12 missed tackles forced and 8.1 yards after the catch per reception are both top-10 marks among tight ends in the FBS.

Free agent: Los Angeles Chargers TE Gerald Everett

Everett offers a very high floor as a pass-catcher, with at least 35 receptions and 400 receiving yards from 2019 to 2022 across three different teams. His 58 receptions and 555 receiving yards in 2022 were both career highs. Everett has averaged at least five yards after the catch per reception in every season since 2020, and his 38 missed tackles forced since 2021 are second to only Travis Kelce among tight ends.

Philadelphia Eagles: Running Back

  • Projected win total (per PFF Power Rankings): 14.4 (1st)
  • Projected draft position (inverse of standings): 32nd
  • Unit grade through Week 13: 59.7 (31st)

The Eagles traded for D’Andre Swift before the 2023 campaign, and perhaps they keep the Philadelphia native in town with an extension. But Swift, Boston Scott and Rashaad Penny are all pending free agents who may need replacing.

Prospect: Ohio State RB TreVeyon Henderson

Henderson has now missed time over each of the past two seasons after looking like the next great Ohio State running back in 2021, and this is exactly why we think Philadelphia may look to buy low on a very talented player who could be available later than his skill set suggests.

Henderson is a proficient runner on zone and gap looks, averaging 3.78 yards after contact per attempt in 2023, and has also shown the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. His 1.61 yards per route run is a top-20 mark in the FBS at the position.

Free agent: Indianapolis Colts RB Zack Moss

Moss has made the absolute most of his opportunities in Indianapolis amid various injuries to Jonathan Taylor dating back to the end of 2022. From Week 15 of last season through Week 13 of this season, Moss’ 78.9 rushing grade is a top-20 mark among running backs with at least 100 carries, his 3.2 yards after contact per attempt ranks ninth and his 0.23 missed tackles forced per attempt ranks tied for sixth.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Linebacker

  • Projected win total (per PFF Power Rankings): 10.3 (9th)
  • Projected draft position (inverse of standings): 23rd
  • Unit grade through Week 13: 67.5 (19th)

Cole Holcomb looked like a strong free agent signing before, unfortunately, sustaining a season-ending knee injury. Pittsburgh has more questions than answers when it comes to long-term options at off-ball linebacker.

Prospect: NC State LB Payton Wilson

Wilson has been one of the nation’s best coverage linebackers in 2023, with his 26 defensive stops in coverage ranking as the top mark at the position, his 47.2 passer rating allowed ranking 17th and his 90.1 coverage grade placing among the FBS' best. Wilson’s 4.6% missed tackle rate is one of the lowest at the position, as well, and he boasts a very strong 83.2 run-defense grade to boot.

Free agent: Cleveland Browns LB Anthony Walker Jr.

Walker has been impressive so far in 2023, considering the severity of the injury he was returning from, earning a coverage grade above 60.0 for the third straight season after what appeared to be a breakout 2021 campaign. Walker would work well with Elandon Roberts, if Roberts is retained, as the roaming coverage backer and Roberts as the thumper.

San Francisco 49ers: Edge Defender

  • Projected win total (per PFF Power Rankings): 12.0 (4th)
  • Projected draft position (inverse of standings): 30th
  • Unit grade through Week 13: 89.1 (3rd)

San Francisco traded for Chase Young at the deadline, and he may be the easy answer here on an extension, but the 49ers bringing in a high-end rental in a contending season and then recouping a compensatory pick while targeting cheaper free agents along with draft prospects at edge defender could make a ton of sense.

Prospect: Ohio State EDGE Jack Sawyer

Sawyer finished out the regular season on a high note, racking up 14 quarterback pressures and 15 defensive stops over the final five games. His 91.2 overall grade over the stretch was the fourth-best mark among FBS edge defenders. Sawyer is explosive off the line and can convert speed to power, also making pursuit plays consistently. He will need to add more refinement with his hand usage and turning the corner at the top of the arc at the next level, though. Where better to hone your craft than with defensive line coach Kris Kocurek in San Francisco?

Free agent: New York Jets EDGE Carl Lawson

Lawson has fallen down the New York Jets‘ depth chart this season, and former 49ers defensive coordinator turned Jets head coach Robert Saleh is running the defense. However, there’s no indication a problem exists between the player and the organization, and perhaps a fresh start in a familiar system could get him back on track. Lawson tore his Achilles in 2021 and hasn’t quite looked like the same player since, but he still earned a 72.8 pass-rushing grade with 49 pressures and eight sacks in 2022.

The 49ers have a lot of major financial commitments to figure out going forward, so continuing to get a lot out of rotational pieces will provide a huge benefit. Lawson could be a perfect buy-low candidate and boost his stock in San Francisco.

Seattle Seahawks: Linebacker

  • Projected win total (per PFF Power Rankings): 8.6 (16th)
  • Projected draft position (inverse of standings): 22nd
  • Unit grade through Week 13: 78.5 (7th)

Both of Seattle’s starting linebackers — franchise legend Bobby Wagner and 2020 first-round pick Jordyn Brooks are pending free agents after the Seahawks declined Brooks’ fifth-year option. Brooks was recovering from a torn ACL at the time and looks great considering the recovery timeline. Nevertheless, reinforcements at linebacker will be needed, no matter what Seattle does with Wagner and Brooks.

Prospect: Michigan LB Junior Colson

Colson is a decent-sized off-ball linebacker in today’s game at 6-foot-3 and 247 pounds, and he covers well enough for his size, earning a 77.3 coverage grade so far in 2023.

Colson is also as reliable a run defender and tackler as you’ll find in the FBS, with 31 defensive stops and a 6.7% missed tackle rate in 2022, followed up with 26 defensive stops and a 3.8% missed tackle rate in 2023 —one of the best marks in the country.

Free agent: Tennessee Titans LB Azeez Al-Shaair

Al-Shaair was largely an injury replacement and a rotational player in San Francisco, but that’s to be expected when Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw are on the depth chart, so he followed Titans general manager Ran Carthon from San Francisco to Tennessee and has been productive as a full-time starter at the Mike linebacker position.

Al-Shaair had his best season in 2022, earning a 79.7 run-defense grade, and he has followed that up with a 74.8 mark so far in 2023. Al-Shaair gives max effort on every snap and attacks upfield, as evidenced by his 35 defensive stops — a top-20 mark at the position on the season.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Safety

  • Projected win total (per PFF Power Rankings): 7.1 (22nd)
  • Projected draft position (inverse of standings): 7th
  • Unit grade through Week 13: 70.9 (11th)

Antoine Winfield Jr. is a pending free agent, but it would appear he’s played his way into being retained. The lack of talent at safety otherwise has caused the Buccaneers' defense to get killed by explosive pass plays in 2023.

Prospect: Georgia S Javon Bullard

Bullard shifted from playing almost exclusively in the slot in 2022 to playing more than 300 snaps as a deep safety in 2023, earning overall grades above 80.0 in each season. In 2023, Bullard’s 23.8% forced incompletion rate is among the best marks in the FBS at the position. His resume includes two interceptions and just a 35.3 passer rating allowed.

In single-high looks, which Tampa Bay runs about as much as any defense with Todd Bowles calling the shots, Bullard’s 78.0 coverage grade is a top-40 mark in the FBS. Possessing the versatility to play in the slot or deep, with Antoine Winfield Jr. a pending free agent who has shown prowess in both roles, Bullard looks like a good potential fit in this system.

Free agent: Baltimore Ravens S Geno Stone

Geno Stone has had an exceptional 2023 season, with Baltimore running as many three-safety looks as any team in the NFL. Stone has a league-leading six interceptions and an 89.6 coverage grade, and he would be the ball-hawking deep safety with Antoine Winfield Jr. getting to roam more near the line of scrimmage and in the slot if Winfield is retained.

Tennessee Titans: Edge Defender

  • Projected win total (per PFF Power Rankings): 6.6 (26th)
  • Projected draft position (inverse of standings): 10th
  • Unit grade through Week 13: 66.1 (22nd)

Tennessee’s pass rush outside of Jeffery Simmons and pending free agent Denico Autry leaves a lot to be desired. Harold Landry is working his way back from a torn ACL and hopefully returns to form going forward. Even so, the Titans could use more juice up front to get after opposing quarterbacks.

Prospect: Alabama EDGE Dallas Turner

Turner popped up on tape when watching No. 3 overall pick Will Anderson Jr. last season, and he looks to have hit the weight room before the 2023 campaign. Turner earned a 73.1 pass-rush grade with a 12% pressure rate in 2022 and has boosted those numbers significantly in 2023 to an 88.8 pass-rush grade and a 19.4% pass-rush win rate. He may not be drafted in the top five like Anderson, but he should be a top-20 pick.

Free agent: Dallas Cowboys EDGE Dante Fowler Jr.

Fowler had a career resurgence in 2022 with the Dallas Cowboys, earning a 77.0 pass-rush grade with a 15.8% pressure rate as a rotational pass-rusher. He has followed that up with 26 pressures on just 142 pass-rush snaps in 2023. The Titans could add Fowler as a designated pass-rusher without breaking the bank as they undergo what figures to be a multi-year rebuild.

Washington Commanders: Edge Defender

  • Projected win total (per PFF Power Rankings): 5.6 (29th)
  • Projected draft position (inverse of standings): 5th
  • Unit grade through Week 13: 69.1 (19th)

The Commanders traded former first-round pick edge defenders Montez Sweat and Chase Young at the deadline, creating an obvious need at a premium position that, for the past few years, was a strength when Young was healthy. Washington may prioritize offense early, but the team now has five picks in the first three rounds and a ton of cap flexibility.

Prospect: UCLA EDGE Laiatu Latu

Latu has been the best edge defender in college football this season, with his 95.3 overall grade ranking as the top mark among FBS edge defenders. Latu’s 94.1 pass-rush grade on true pass sets and 23.3% pass-rush win rate are at the top of the charts, as well. He possesses an arsenal of moves and good bend plus contact balance for his 6-foot-5, 265-pound frame. The only question here will be medicals, but Latu could step in and replace a lot of what was lost at the trade deadline when Washington moved on from both Montez Sweat and Chase Young.

Free agent: Minnesota Vikings EDGE Danielle Hunter

If the Vikings do ultimately let Hunter walk, he could be a veteran cornerstone for a reshaped Commanders defense that can take advantage of a rookie contract at quarterback, whether that’s Sam Howell or another player. Washington’s brass may not want to turn around and spend at the position right after letting internal players leave, but Hunter is earning a pass-rush grade above 75.0 for the fourth straight season with a second consecutive season of at least 50 pressures and double-digit sacks.

Perhaps the thinking is Washington couldn’t turn down a top-40 pick from Chicago for Montez Sweat, but now they spend a bit less on a veteran contract and have that additional ammunition to get younger.


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