News & Analysis

The state of every NFL team after Week 1 of free agency

Dec 24, 2017; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) shakes hands with fans while running off the field after the Redskins' game against the Denver Broncos at FedEx Field. The Redskins won 27-11. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The opening of the new league year has come and gone, and after a furious week of transactions big and small, the Pro Football Focus analysis team has sifted through the week's moves and breaks it down on a team by team basis. Below, find players added, players lost, each team's specific overview and with eyes towards the 2018 NFL Draft, each team's biggest draft need after the first week of free agency.

[Editor's note: The players added and players lost categories below include players re-signed, extended, options picked up or declined, restricted free agents tendered or not and by way of trades. Players who remained unrestricted free agents will not be included on players added nor lost until they sign contracts with a team.]

AFC East

Players added

QB AJ McCarron (n/a), RB Travaris Cadet (n/a), RB Taiwan Jones (n/a), Edge Trent Murphy (n/a), DI Star Lotulelei (49.5), DI Kyle Williams (79.7), LB Julian Stanford (n/a), S Rafael Bush (n/a), CB Vontae Davis (45.2), Edge Owa Odighizuwa (n/a), RB Chris Ivory (50.4), LB Ramon Humber (n/a), C Russell Bodine (46.8), OT Marshall Newhouse (46.4)

Players lost

OT Cordy Glenn (trade – n/a), QB Tyrod Taylor (trade – 83.0), OT Seantrel Henderson (n/a), CB Shareece Wright (69.9), LB Preston Brown (71.6), S James Ihedigbo (n/a)

Biggest draft needs

Quarterback, wide receiver, offensive line depth

Overview

Trading offensive tackle Cordy Glenn and quarterback Tyrod Taylor for added picks prior to free agency, it seems as if Buffalo attacked their top offseason priority head on with their efforts to move up high enough in the first round of the draft to select their signal-caller of the future. And through free agency, the Bills’ brass has done quite a lot to fill key roster holes and add much-needed depth, making it that much easier for the team to transition with a new face under center.

Lotulelei and Murphy stand out as strong signings for Buffalo, as both players have proven capable of elite play in the trenches in previous years. Offensively, the Bills still have a pressing need for skill position players at wide receiver and running back. Behind Kelvin Benjamin, Buffalo’s receiving corps lacks key attributes and experience, especially with Jordan Matthews still unsigned, while Buffalo’s backfield has possibly too much experience and not enough gas left in the tank. The youngest (Taiwan Jones) of Buffalo’s top-four running backs turns 30 years old this offseason. – Austin Gayle

Players added

WR Danny Amendola (80.1), WR Albert Wilson (77.7), OG Josh Sitton (86.0), Edge William Hayes (n/a), CB Walt Aikens (n/a), QB David Fales (n/a), LS John Denney (n/a)

Players lost

DI Ndamukong Suh (91.0), OG Jermon Bushrod (40.3), K Cody Parkey (n/a), WR Jarvis Landry (trade – 82.0)

Biggest draft needs

Linebacker, interior defender, cornerback

Overview

Returning from injury, Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill will have plenty of new weapons at his disposal in 2018 with wide receivers Amendola and Wilson both signing with Miami this offseason after the team franchise-tagged and traded Jarvis Landry. Tannehill should also rejoice in the fact that the team’s brass has signed former Chicago Bears guard Josh Sitton, easily one of the top pass-blocking offensive lineman in the NFL to bolster their offensive line.

Conversely, Miami’s defense has remained mostly intact from year's past this offseason. The Dolphins released Suh and have yet to address glaring weaknesses at cornerback and linebacker. The Dolphins off-ball linebackers to play 220-plus snaps in 2017 (Lawrence Timmons and Kiko Alonso) ranked outside the top-65 in terms of overall grades. Outside of Bobby McCain (80.1), Miami’s cornerbacks struggled significantly in coverage, as both Xavien Howard and Cordrea Tankersley earned sub-60.0 overall grades. – Austin Gayle

New England Patriots

Players added

Edge Adrian Clayborn (85.5), RB Rex Burkhead (n/a), S Nate Ebner (n/a), OT Matt Tobin (n/a), RB Jeremy Hill (n/a), S Brandon King (n/a), RB Brandon Bolden (n/a), DI Danny Shelton (trade – 81.5), CB Jason McCourty (trade – 83.2), WR Matthew Slater (n/a)

Players lost

TE Martellus Bennett (46.0), WR Bernard Reedy (n/a), OT Nate Solder (75.7), WR Danny Amendola (80.1), CB Malcolm Butler (79.2), RB Dion Lewis (87.2), CB Johnson Bademosi (n/a), LB Shea McClellin (n/a)

Biggest draft needs

Offensive tackle, wide receiver, cornerback

Overview

Left tackle Nate Solder leaving for greener pastures in East Rutherford opens a significant hole in the Patriots’ offense. Factor in that tackles Cameron Fleming and LaAdrian Waddle are still unsigned free agents, and that hole deepens. If unable to re-sign either Fleming or Waddle, New England’s brass will certainly need to attack the tackle position elsewhere in free agency or in the draft.

Losing wide receiver Danny Amendola and running back Dion Lewis should also have a lasting impact on the Patriots’ offense as Amendola ranked No. 1 in passer rating when targeted (134.9) and tied at No. 1 in yards per route run among wide receivers with 16-plus targets in the postseason. Lewis’ successful reign as the Pats’ feature back both in the regular season and the team’s postseason run was also quite impressive, finishing the 19-game stretch tying for fifth in yards after contact per attempt (2.98) and fourth in PFF’s elusive rating (61.7). – Austin Gayle

Players added

CB Trumaine Johnson (74.2), LB Avery Williamson (85.6), C Spencer Long (56.0), DI Mike Pennel (72.7), RB Isaiah Crowell (62.6), QB Josh McCown (77.1), CB Morris Claiborne (48.5), QB Teddy Bridgewater (n/a), S Terrence Brooks (n/a), OT Benjamin Ijalana (n/a), K Cairo Santos (n/a), DI Xavier Cooper (n/a), LB Brandon Copeland (n/a)

Players lost

DI Muhammad Wilkerson (79.8), LB Julian Stanford (n/a), LB Demario Davis (87.3), TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (47.7), K Chandler Catanzaro (n/a)

Biggest draft needs

Quarterback, interior offensive line

Overview

By trading up from the No. 6 spot to No. 3 in the first-round, the Jets are likely eyeing one of the top-three quarterbacks in the 2018 NFL Draft to add to the mix at quarterback with veterans Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater. A move that would, of course, address their top offseason need.

Outside of the quarterback room, New York signed former Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson to a monster deal worth up $72.5 million over a five-year span, filling their need at outside cornerback opposite Claiborne. Johnson has earned 74.0-plus overall grades in each of the past three seasons. The Jets also brought in former Titans linebacker Williamson, who earned a career-high 85.6 overall grade, to a three-year, $22.5 million deal.

Even with the addition of former Cleveland Browns running back Isaiah Crowell, the Jets lack high-end firepower and quality depth in the backfield. Though he did average 4.1 yards per carry in Cleveland last season, Crowell struggled to create yards on his own, tying at No. 25 in yards after contact per attempt (2.63) and No. 36 in PFF’s elusive rating (33.7) among running backs with at least 81 attempts. – Austin Gayle

AFC North

Players added

WR Michael Crabtree (71.4), WR John Brown (50.2)

Players lost

C Ryan Jensen (74.9), OT Austin Howard (71.6), RB Danny Woodhead (n/a), WR Jeremy Maclin (73.3), CB Lardarius Webb (44.9)

Biggest draft needs

Wide receiver, tight end, center

Overview

The Ravens have been as aggressive as their cap position has allowed when it comes to upgrading the wide receiver position, signing a deep threat in Brown and adding Crabtree after his release from the Raiders. Brown has been hurt by injuries throughout his career, but when healthy he can be an impact player, as highlighted by his 82.4 PFF grade in 2015, when he picked up 370 yards on throws 20-plus yards downfield, ranking 12th in the NFL. Crabtree has only produced one season with a PFF grade of 80.0 or higher, but his floor is solid, producing a grade above 70.0 in all but one season since entering the NFL.

That being said, it shouldn’t mean that the Ravens are done with additions when it comes to pass-catchers, and it’s likely that they will still target a playmaker early in the draft process. They had been rumored to have interest in former Detroit Lions tight end Eric Ebron, who was cut after producing his highest graded season, ranking 13th in the NFL with a PFF grade of 75.6, but he decided to sign with the Colts. – @PFF_Gordon

Players added

LB Preston Brown (71.6), DI Chris Baker (68.4), QB Matt Barkley (n/a), OT Bobby Hart (37.7), TE Tyler Eifert (n/a), P Kevin Huber (n/a), OT Cordy Glenn (68.1)

Players lost

QB AJ McCarron (n/a), Edge Chris Smith (67.1), OT Andre Smith (47.9), RB Jeremy Hill (n/a)

Biggest draft needs

Edge defender, interior offensive line, linebacker

Overview

It wasn't a matter of when or if McCarron was going to leave Cincinnati, it was to whom. McCarron heads to Buffalo while the team also lost running back Hill to another AFC East member in the Patriots, paving the way for the backfield to officially belong to second-year back Joe Mixon. Where offensive tackle Andre Smith wasn't a strong protector in the pass-blocking game, he was the lone Cincinnati offensive lineman to grade positively in run-blocking, immediately creating a need. Hart enters the fold after by far his worst season as a pro but prior to 2017 with the Giants, he had positive grades in the run game in both seasons. The draft may be where the Bengals head to find a strong run-blocker to allow Mixon and Giovani Bernard ample running room in 2018.

On defense, Cincinnati losses Chris Smith but brought in Baker to bolster their defensive interior. Longtime friends of swapping defensive linemen, Baker joins from Tampa where he had a down season after two extremely successful seasons in Washington. This team is still a ways off and news of another potential suspension to linebacker Vontaze Burfict will hurt this team once again. If Burfict's appeal is denied, they will start their fourth consecutive season without their linebacker in the starting rotation, and adding a likely replacement is something they could also look to address in the draft. @PFF_Cam

Cleveland Browns

Players added

RB Carlos Hyde (51.6), Edge Chris Smith (67.1), OT Donald Stephenson (n/a), CB Terrance Mitchell (52.3), WR Jarvis Landry (trade – 82.0), TE Darren Fells (72.4), CB T.J. Carrie (84.3), OT Chris Hubbard (69.6), CB Damarious Randall (trade – 70.9), QB Tyrod Taylor (trade – 83.0)

Players lost

RB Isaiah Crowell (62.6), OT Zach Banner (n/a), LB Jeremy Cash (n/a), WR Sammie Coates (n/a), QB DeShone Kizer (51.0), DI Danny Shelton (81.5), CB Jason McCourty (83.2), OT Joe Thomas (retirement – 86.4)

Biggest draft needs

Quarterback, left tackle, cornerback

Overview

No team was more active during the first week of free agency than the Cleveland Browns as new GM John Dorsey looked to reload a roster that went 0-16 into a team that should win games in 2018. The biggest moves happened prior to free agency starting when the Browns used some their massive draft capital to trade for Taylor, Landry and Randall while shipping out  Kizer and Shelton. Left tackle Joe Thomas called time on his NFL tenure, capping a Hall of Fame career he spent in its entirety with the Browns, creating a massive hole at left tackle.

The addition of Taylor (12 TDs, three interceptions when kept clean) and Landry (1.97 yards per route run since 2015) immediately gives the Browns two reliable and proven players in the NFL with added playoff experience. Add in Hubbard (74.0 pass-block grade) to upgrade at the right tackle position along with signing of Hyde (45 forced missed tackles, third-most in 2017), and this should give the Browns an offense capable of scoring points, especially in the passing game.

With Randall moving to free safety and bringing in Carrie, the Browns defense is adding young, talented players to their already young secondary. Overall, the team made huge strides to get back to winning games and should still look to add a quarterback at No. 1 overall and keep making moves to improve a middling (outside Myles Garrett and Larry Ogunjobi) pass-rush and a porous secondary. – @PFF_JohnKosko

 

Players added

RB Le'Veon Bell (franchised – 85.3), FB Roosevelt Nix (38.8), P Jordan Berry (n/a), S Morgan Burnett (77.2)

Players lost

OT Chris Hubbard (69.6), S Mike Mitchell (71.2), CB William Gay (n/a), S Robert Golden (n/a)

Biggest draft needs

Cornerback, offensive tackle

Overview

The Steelers were forced to remain relatively quiet during the opening week of free agency as their salary cap space dictated so. Even with their purging of the secondary in Mitchell, Gay and Golden, Pittsburgh has just under $3 million in cap space, 30th in the NFL. While retaining potentially the league's best running back in Bell was paramount to this team's offseason, they have yet to address any other needs during free agency and will likely look to the draft to do so. While they've tendered edge Anthony Chickillo and signed veteran linebacker Jon Bostic, look for the Steelers to add a few more playmakers either on offense or in the defensive secondary come April.

After the releasing of a good portion of their secondary to clear cap space, the Steelers addressed their issue at safety with the signing of veteran Burnett. After a down season compared to his standards, he has still graded at a 77.2 or above in all but two seasons of his career since 2010. – @PFF_Cam

AFC South

Houston Texans

Players added

CB Aaron Colvin (80.0), OG Zach Fulton (68.8), OG Senio Kelemete (48.3), CB Johnson Bademosi (n/a), S Tyrann Mathieu (77.0), OT Seantrel Henderson (n/a), WR Bruce Ellington (n/a), LB Brian Peters (n/a), DI Angelo Blackson (n/a), CB Johnathan Joseph (75.7), WR Sammie Coates (n/a)

Players lost

QB Tom Savage (71.1), S Marcus Gilchrist (77.2), LB Brian Cushing (n/a)

Biggest draft needs

Offensive tackle, guard, linebacker

Overview

Protecting second-year quarterback Deshaun Watson should be Houston’s top priority in 2018, especially given the fact that he’ll be returning from significant injury. As such, the Texans’ decision-makers will likely push offensive line ahead of everything else in terms of priorities in the 2018 NFL Draft.

In 2017, Texans veteran offensive tackles Breno Giacomini and Chris Clark – two unsigned unrestricted free agents – both earned sub-40.0 overall grades and allowed 107 total QB pressures as a duo. Also, all three Texans guards that played 260-plus offensive snaps last season ranked among the bottom-10 qualifying guards in PFF’s pass-blocking efficiency.

Early free agent signings Kelemete and Henderson will help Houston with depth as potential fill-in starters, but the team should still look to the draft for long-term solutions at guard and tackle. – Austin Gayle

Players added

DI Denico Autry (78.6), TE Eric Ebron (75.6), WR Ryan Grant (72.9), CB Pierre Desir (48.7), G Matt Slauson (45.0), OG Jack Mewhort (n/a)

Players lost

CB Rashaan Melvin (85.7), Edge Barkevious Mingo (72.1), WR Donte Moncrief (49.1)

Biggest draft needs

Linebacker, secondary, offensive line, running back

Overview

An otherwise whisper-quiet free agency period for the Colts was interrupted over the weekend with the news that the team had traded down from the No. 3 overall spot in the draft, acquiring the No. 6 pick, two second-rounders this year, and a second-rounder in 2019 from the New York Jets. The move takes the Colts out of the expected early run on quarterbacks, but likely leaves them available to still get one of their top targets in the draft while also loading up on other picks in the draft, a necessity for a team with as many needs as Indianapolis has.

That aside, the Colts have just about been non-factors this offseason. The team signed Denico Autry away from the Raiders, helping the defensive line, but as of Sunday, that's the only player acquisition the team has made. Autry offered quality run-stopping in limited play for Oakland in 2017, but should be an immediate starter in Indianapolis. The team had also been linked to WR Ryan Grant, as the two sides ultimately agreed to a one-year deal. The rest of the Colts' offseason has been marked by departures. CB Rashaan Melvin, maybe the team's best player in 2017, signed with the Raiders, while WR Donte Moncrief joined division rival Jacksonville.

The Colts still have a host of needs entering 2018, and that's before even addressing the question that is QB Andrew Luck's health. With plenty of needs on both offense and defense, the 2018 draft for the Colts could be as crucial as any team's single draft in some time. — @danieltkelley

Players added

OG Andrew Norwell (88.8), CB D.J. Hayden (50.7), S Don Carey (n/a), TE Nile Paul (42.6), TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (47.7), S Cody Davis (n/a), WR Donte Moncrief (49.1), WR Marqise Lee (77.1), Edge Lerentee McCray (n/a)

Players lost

WR Allen Robinson (n/a), RB Chris Ivory (50.4), QB Chad Henne (n/a), CB Aaron Colvin (80.0), OG Patrick Omameh (53.6), WR Allen Hurns (80.7), TE Marcedes Lewis (77.9)

Biggest draft needs

Offensive tackle, interior defensive line depth

Overview

Anchored by their star-studded defense, the Jaguars fell one-game short of a Super Bowl berth this past season. However, Jacksonville has since moved on from their AFC Championship loss and taken steps in the right direction to close the gap in 2018, filling key roster holes with strong signings in free agency.

Former Carolina Panthers guard Andrew Norwell, the cream of the crop in this year’s free agent class, provides Jacksonville with a notable starter at guard, and pass-catchers Moncrief, Lee and Seferian-Jenkins stand out as a collective solution to offense’s dearth of weapons in the passing game. – Austin Gayle

Players added

CB Malcolm Butler (79.2), RB Dion Lewis (87.2), DI DaQuan Jones (80.8), OG Josh Kline (75.8)

Players lost

LB Avery Williamson (85.6), RB Demarco Murray (71.2)

Biggest draft needs

Wide receiver, linebacker

Overview

Prioritizing quality over quantity, Tennessee pushed piles of cash into the pockets of big-name free agents Butler and Lewis. Both former New England Patriots playmakers, the duo have played at high levels in recent years and should have an instant impact in their respective roles. Butler has earned 76.0-plus overall grades in all four years of his career, and Lewis is coming off a career year, in which he ranked inside the top-five in PFF’s elusive rating, forced missed tackles and yards after contact per attempt en route to an 87.2 overall grade.

Though Lewis should benefit the passing game, Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota could still benefit from having another capable pass-catcher along the boundary opposite of second-year wide receiver Corey Davis. Mariota’s leading receiver in terms of targets, Rishard Matthews, ranked 68th in passer rating when targeted (80.2) and 30th in yards per route run among qualifying wide receivers. And, adding to the receiving deficit, veteran Eric Decker’s, who fell second in line behind Matthews in terms of targets in 2017, is currently an unsigned free agent. – Austin Gayle

AFC West

Players added

QB Case Keenum (85.3), LB Todd Davis (77.1), C Matt Paradis (tendered – 75.2), Edge Shaquil Barrett (tendered – 82.1), CB Tramaine Brock (n/a), OT Billy Turner (n/a)

Players lost

OT Donald Stephenson (n/a), TE Virgil Green (43.1), LB Corey Nelson (n/a), QB Trevor Siemian (trade – 53.2), CB Aqib Talib (86.2)

Biggest draft needs

Right tackle, tight end, linebacker, running back

Overview

Denver added their quarterback for the foreseeable future with journeyman and 2017 surprise Case Keenum. While they may look to bring in a franchise quarterback in the draft, Keenum is more than capable of playing solid football with a great supporting cast than any signal-caller the Broncos had on roster in 2017. Keenum benefitted greatly from wide receivers Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen last season and should do the same with the duo of Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, who should equally benefit from Keenum.

Their defense was hardly an issue, finishing as the sixth-highest graded unit in 2017 but the loss of Talib on the outside could prove costly. His likely replacement — Brock — played just 51 snaps a season ago and has given up a career passer rating of 93.3 when targeted since 2010. Bringing Davis back should go a long way, as should their tender on Barrett (and Paradis on offense). There are holes on this roster, but with the potential for plus-grades at the quarterback position for the first time since 2014 a real possibility, the playoffs are a legitimate goal for 2018 in Denver. @PFF_Cam

Kansas City Chiefs

Players added

WR Sammy Watkins (76.2), CB Kendall Fuller (90.0), LB Anthony Hitchens (80.8), CB David Amerson (n/a), QB Chad Henne (52.3), DI Stefan Charles (n/a), DI Xavier Williams (80.8)

Players lost

CB Marcus Peters (85.7), QB Alex Smith (87.2), S Ron Parker (40.1), OG Zach Fulton (68.8), LB Derrick Johnson (77.3), Edge Tamba Hali (n/a), LB Kevin Pierre-Louis (n/a), S Terrance Mitchell (52.3), WR Albert Wilson (77.7)

Biggest draft needs

Outside cornerback, interior defenders, safety, edge, offensive line depth

Overview

Brett Veach certainly hasn’t taken a passive approach to a Chiefs roster that had been strapped by the cap in recent offseasons. After trading for Pierre-Louis, Reggie Ragland and Cameron Erving in the weeks leading up to the 2017 season, Veach moved their longtime starting quarterback (Smith) and star cornerback (Peters) via trades and jettisoned defensive stalwarts in Johnson, Hali and Parker to position themselves toward acquiring Watkins and Hitchens once free agency opened in 2018.

Watkins’ price tag was steep, but he provides the Chiefs with yet another explosive playmaker to add to a group that includes Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, Kareem Hunt and Spencer Ware. Losing Fulton (3288 career snaps in four years) weakens their depth along the offensive line, but Parker Ehinger, Brian Witzmann return and there are a number of solid offensive line prospects that will be available in the middle of the draft.

Even the staunchest Chiefs' fans must be concerned about their defense moving forward however, after finishing 32nd in our defensive rating system in 2017. They addressed their biggest weakness (run defense) by acquiring Hitchens but losing Johnson, Pierre-Louis and Parker significantly weakens the Chiefs’ pass defense. As we said previously there are good fits still available including Tre Boston, Eric Reid and Morgan Burnett, which should allow them to focus on cornerback in the draft. @PFF_EricEager

Players added

TE Virgil Green (43.1), OT Michael Schofield (48.2), S Adrian Phillips (50.5), LB Nick Dzubnar (n/a), WR Geremy Davis (n/a), Edge Chris McCain (tendered – n/a), WR Tyrell Williams (tendered – 56.0), C Mike Pouncey (46.5)

Players lost

OG Kenny Wiggins (38.3), Edge Jeremiah Attaochu (n/a), G Matt Slauson (45.0)

Biggest draft needs

Offensive line, defensive line depth

Overview

The Chargers spent the legal tampering period and early part of free agency mostly securing their own depth players and working out an extension for CB Casey Hayward. They could still use an interior defender to stop the run, a starting free safety, several offensive linemen, and a coverage linebacker.

However, the safety free agent market has been remarkably slow and the Chargers have all of their draft picks with which to gain talent. Run-defending defensive linemen have become relatively cheap in terms of contracts and draft capital, and there should be plenty of solid linebackers and safety prospects for the Chargers to choose from in the draft. With Forrest Lamp and Dan Feeney on the interior and Russell Okung manning left tackle, the Chargers addressed their need for center by signing Mike Pouncey.  – Alejandro Chavez

Oakland Raiders

Players added

WR Jordy Nelson (74.9), LB Tahir Whitehead (79.6), CB Rashaan Melvin (85.7), TE Derek Carrier (n/a), Edge Tank Carradine (n/a), LB Kyle Wilber (n/a), CB Shareece Wright (69.9), S Marcus Gilchrist (77.2), RB Doug Martin (48.5), FB Keith Smith (40.3), TE Lee Smith (59.5), DI Justin Ellis (80.6), QB Josh Johnson (n/a)

Players lost

CB T.J. Carrie (84.3), WR Michael Crabtree (71.4), DI Denico Autry (78.6), CB David Amerson (39.7), CB Sean Smith (73.1), OT Marshall Newhouse (46.4), WR Cordarrelle Patterson (70.8), FB Jamize Olawale (trade – n/a)

Biggest draft needs

Interior defender, inside linebacker

Overview

In his first offseason with the team since 2001, new Raiders head coach Jon Gruden, along with general manager Reggie McKenzie, took a bit of a strength by numbers approach in free agency, signing a bevy of free agents to short-term, mutually beneficial deals to fill specific needs and add much-needed depth across the board. Veterans Melvin and Nelson both fill immediate needs at cornerback and wide receiver, respectively, as the two have high-end starter potential in this new-look Raiders regime.

Though Gruden & Co. were able to retain defensive interior Justin Ellis, new defensive coordinator Paul Guenther is still in desperate need for an attacking penetrator inside of edge defenders Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin. Ellis is one-dimensional in that he eats up blocks and plays the run well but can’t consistently put pressure on the quarterback. Thus, finding Guenther’s version of Cincinnati Bengals defensive interior Geno Atkins is a must for Oakland’s defense to push the pocket and thrive under Guenther’s tutelage. – Austin Gayle

NFC East

Players added

Edge DeMarcus Lawrence (franchised – 94.1), P Chris Jones (n/a), DI David Irving (tendered – 83.4), FB Jamize Olawale (trade – n/a)

Players lost

FB Keith Smith (40.3), LB Kyle Wilber (n/a), CB Orlando Scandrick (41.5), G Jonathan Cooper (67.0)

Biggest draft needs

Wide receiver, offensive tackle, linebacker

Overview

Historically quiet to start free agency, the Cowboys made their splash by tagging breakout star and the cream of the crop among defensive free agents in Lawrence while they work out a long-term deal in all likelihood. Like the aforementioned Steelers, Dallas has no room to make very many moves in free agency, and will likely move to the NFL draft to bolster their roster. Keeping their depth on the defensive line should allow the Cowboys the freedom to attack specific areas of need in the draft, such as wide receiver, where they had the league's 24th-highest graded unit a season ago. @PFF_Cam

Players added

LB Nigel Bradham (80.6), LB Corey Nelson (n/a), DI Haloti Ngata (n/a), Edge Michael Bennett (trade – 80.6)

Players lost

Edge Vinny Curry (84.8), DI Beau Allen (74.5), CB Patrick Robinson (89.8), TE Trey Burton (75.6), RB LeGarrette Blount (69.9), K Caleb Sturgis (n/a)

Biggest draft needs

Slot cornerback, offensive tackle

Overview

The defending Super Bowl champions will have a new look defense in 2018 after the loss of two members of their defensive front in Curry and Allen and PFF Second-Team All-Pro cornerback Robinson. The re-signing of Bradham brings back one of the league's best coverage linebackers in a 4-3 alignment as the veteran allowed a reception every 14.3 snaps he spent in coverage, a league-best among 4-3 OLBs. Replacing Robinson should head to the top of the offseason wish list in Philly as slot defenders have become increasingly important and Robinson's play from an inside alignment was a revelation in 2017.

The offense remains relatively intact with the hopeful return of Carson Wentz and Jason Peters at left tackle come opening day. Adding a playmaker to the mix or added offensive line depth can be achieved in this deep draft class at both positions, and something we'll likely see in April.@PFF_Cam

Players added

Edge Kareem Martin (75.2), OG John Greco (n/a), LB Mark Herzlich (n/a), OG Patrick Omameh (53.6), RB Jonathan Stewart (51.5), CB Teddy Williams (n/a), OT Nate Solder (75.7), Edge Kerry Wynn (n/a), CB B.W. Webb (n/a), WR Cody Latimer (76.1), DI Josh Mauro (46.1)

Players lost

C Weston Richburg (n/a), OT Bobby Hart (37.7), OT/OG Justin Pugh (52.4), Edge Devon Kennard (71.0), CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (77.2), G D.J. Fluker (42.3)

Biggest draft needs

Cornerback, quarterback, interior offensive line

Overview

The Giants will be without two versatile offensive linemen in 2018 in Pugh and Richburg who have each spent time at multiple positions on the line. While they spent big on left tackle Solder which frees them up to move Ereck Flowers to the right side, the interior of the offensive line will be re-tooled and re-shaped come opening day this season. As it stands now, Omameh will likely see snaps as the starting left guard but whether New York sees Greco and Omameh as the answers to fill those gaps lost by Pugh and Richburg after two lackluster seasons longterm or not remains to be seen.

While the Giants may select their quarterback of the future at No. 2 in the draft, they'll have to do more than find Eli Manning's replacement in April to fill the gaps in the roster as of now. With the 29th-lowest salary cap space, it seems likely the draft will be where they have to attack in order to bring in depth an additional players this offseason.@PFF_Cam

Players added

WR Brian Quick (n/a), S Deshazor Everett (51.5), LB Mason Foster (n/a), CB Quinton Dunbar (80.0), LB Zach Brown (61.8), WR Paul Richardson (72.4), K Dustin Hopkins (n/a), QB Alex Smith (trade – 87.2), CB Orlando Scandrick (41.5)

Players lost

Edge Trent Murphy (n/a), TE Niles Paul (42.6), C Spencer Long (56.0), WR Terrelle Pryor (43.1), QB Kirk Cousins (78.8), CB Kendall Fuller (trade – 90.0), WR Ryan Grant (72.9)

Biggest draft needs

Linebacker, running back, interior defender

Overview

A year after taking a calculated risk on Terrelle Pryor at wide receiver, the Redskins are taking another big swing at the position in Richardson. A big target, Richardson struggled with drops in 2017, letting eight of his 52 catchable targets fall to the dirt for the league's fifth-lowest drop rate (15.38). The Redskins also made the shock deal early in the offseason, acquiring Alex Smith as the team's answer at quarterback by shipping upstart cornerback Fuller to the Chiefs. With Smith locked up and the team not paying Cousins the $84-million in guaranteed money he got from Minnesota, Washington put themselves in position to bring in a key free agent or two, but have not pulled the trigger on such a deal other than Richardson.

Murphy's loss along the edge will sting as he's proven a valuable component as a pass-rusher over the years but the return of Jonathan Allen should bolster their defensive front. This roster has plus-grades throughout but could still use an upgrade at several positions either with another splash signing or in the draft. @PFF_Cam

NFC North

Chicago Bears

Players added

WR Allen Robinson (n/a), TE Trey Burton (75.6), QB Chase Daniel (n/a), WR Taylor Gabriel (65.9), Edge Aaron Lynch (n/a), K Cody Parkey (n/a)

Players lost

OG Josh Sitton (86.0), DI Mitch Unrein (83.9), Edge Pernell McPhee (79.9), LB Christian Jones (45.3), QB Mike Glennon (n/a), K Cairo Santos(n/a)

Biggest draft needs

Inside linebacker, tackle, edge, interior offensive line, wide receiver

Overview

The Bears were aggressive during the early parts of free agency, acquiring three possible difference-makers for QB Mitchell Trubisky in Robinson, Burton and Gabriel. When at their best, Robinson (2.17 yards per route run in 2015) and Gabriel (2.45 in 2016) provide big-play capabilities they simply didn’t have a season ago. Burton is a dark horse, having never played more than 345 snaps in a season, but he was able to turn those limited snaps into 641 receiving yards and six touchdowns, making him one of the more sought-after free agents at the position this offseason. Chicago retained Fuller and Amukamara as the latter allowed only 0.76 yards per coverage snap in 2017 (seventh among cornerbacks),

Inside linebacker remains one of the Bears’ biggest need, with the loss of Christian Jones and Jerrell Freeman (who remains unsigned) and there are a slew of targets for them at the top end of the draft. – @PFF_EricEager

Players added

LB Christian Jones (45.3), LB Nick Bellore (n/a), Edge Devon Kennard (71.0), CB Deshawn Shead (n/a), RB LeGarrette Blount (69.9), OG Kenny Wiggins (38.8), RB Zach Zenner (n/a), CB Nevin Lawson (41.7), Edge Ezekiel Ansah (franchised – 80.2), TE Luke Willson (48.2)

Players lost

LB Tahir Whitehead (87.6), CB D.J. Hayden (50.7), TE Darren Fells (72.4), TE Eric Ebron (75.6), DI Haloti Ngata (n/a), S Don Carey (n/a)

Biggest draft needs

Edge defender, offensive line depth, running back

Overview

Even with Ansah returning in 2018 under the franchise tag, Detroit still lacks both depth and long-term building blocks along the edge of their defense. While Ansah’s 10.3 pass-rush productivity led the team, his mark ranked outside the top-30 among edge defenders. Also, the Lions’ defense as a whole ranked 28th in pressure percentage in 2017.

Detroit’s brass could look to build of the depth players they’ve signed in free agency in 2018 NFL Draft by attacking their top position of need (edge defender) and adding more firepower to the backfield and along the offensive line. – Austin Gayle

Green Bay Packers

Players added

TE Jimmy Graham (54.1), DI Muhammad Wilkerson (79.8), QB Brett Hundley (72.8), QB DeShone Kizer (51.0)

Players lost

WR Jordy Nelson (74.9), CB Damarious Randall (70.9), S Morgan Burnett (77.2)

Biggest draft needs

Cornerback, guard/center, edge, inside linebacker, wide receiver

Overview

After missing the playoffs for the first time since 2008, the Packers (and their new front office) have approached free agency aggressively (for them), jettisoning long-time Packer Jordy Nelson, while acquiring two reclamation projects in Jimmy Graham and Muhammad Wilkerson.

Graham has the potential to be the most-explosive tight end Green Bay has had since Jermichael Finley (who averaged more than 1.50 yards per route each season from 2009 to 2013), but could also be the second coming of Martellus Bennett, who lasted only 389 snaps in 2017 before being released. The acquisition of Wilkerson underscores the fact that the Packers were actually pretty good at stopping the run in 2017, allowing just 3.9 yards per carry (ninth best in the league). Their projected starting front seven in their base defense consists entirely of players with PFF grades at or above Wilkerson’s 79.8 mark a season ago.

After losing key players like Josh Sitton, J.C. Tretter and T.J. Lang during the course of a calendar year, and subsequently falling from first in pass-blocking grades in 2016 to 12th in 2017, look for the Packers to also target the interior of the offensive line in late April. – @PFF_EricEager

Players added

QB Kirk Cousins (78.8), DI Sheldon Richardson (83.8),

Players lost

RB Jerick McKinnon (84.6), QB Sam Bradford (n/a), QB Teddy Bridgewater (n/a), QB Case Keenum (85.3), CB Tramaine Brock (n/a)

Biggest draft needs

Offensive line, slot cornerback, defensive line depth

Overview

In likely the offseason’s biggest move, the Vikings gave Cousins a three-year, fully-guaranteed $84 million deal to be their franchise quarterback. While Cousins checks all of the boxes in terms of volume stats, going over 4,000 passing yards and 25 passing touchdowns each of the last three seasons, his grade-level data declined with his supporting cast in 2017, down to 19th in our overall grades and into the third tier of our quarterback clustering algorithm. Cousins will not have an issue with support initially in Minnesota, where they have two of the league’s top-10 graded receivers in Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen, a competent tight end in Kyle Rudolph and second-year running back Dalvin Cook returning from an ACL injury to supplant McKinnon.

While Minnesota gave up the fewest expected points added a season ago to slot receivers, that trend might be on borrowed time with Terence Newman’s age (39) and 2016 second-round pick Mackensie Alexander’s inexperience (only 450 career snaps). In a free agent market that still includes Bryce Callahan (restricted), Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Robert McClain, Leonard Johnson and William Gay, look for Minnesota to address the position in some way moving forward. – @PFF_EricEager

NFC South

Players added

K Matt Bryant (n/a), CB Leon McFadden (n/a), CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson (n/a), OT Austin Pasztor (n/a), OG Brandon Fusco (76.0)

Players lost

WR Taylor Gabriel (65.9), DI Dontari Poe (65.0), Edge Adrian Clayborn (85.5)

Biggest draft needs

Interior offensive line, cornerback, wide receiver

Overview

Atlanta did what they could to address their needs in the secondary and along the offensive line early in free agency, bringing back Wreh-Wilson and McFadden who combined for just 65 total snaps a season ago and signing Fusco from the 49ers after a solid, albeit not outstanding season in San Francisco. Where the Falcons go after moving on from Gabriel and two veterans along the defensive front remains to be seen after letting Poe sign with division foe Carolina and Clayborn walk to the Patriots.

The Dan Quinn-led Falcons are another team lacking in the salary cap area therefore may be limited to addressing their needs in the draft where our Steve Palazzolo has them selecting tackle-to-guard prospect Isaiah Wynn from Georgia in his latest Mock Draft. @PFF_Cam

Players added

K Graham Gano (n/a), C Greg Van Roten (n/a), Edge Julius Peppers (73.8), OT Zach Banner (n/a), DI Dontari Poe (65.0), WR Jarius Wright (75.1)

Players lost

DI Star Lotuleli (49.5), RB Jonathan Stewart (51.5), CB Teddy Williams (n/a), OG Andrew Norwell (88.8)

Biggest draft needs

Guard, interior defender

Overview

Long since thought of as the crown jewel of the 2018 free agency by us at PFF, Norwell left for the league's richest offensive line contract in history to Jacksonville, leaving a massive hole at guard in Carolina. Protecting Cam Newton has been paramount to his game as seen by his 35.0-plus point drop in passer rating when kept clean vs. when pressured, and the loss of Norwell hurts their pass protection immensely. Factor in the team's loss of Lotuleli along the defensive front and the Panthers have lost two very important pieces from a season ago.

Sure Lotuleli has taken a turn since two positive years to start his career, his signing elsewhere leaves Carolina with 621 snaps to fill from 2017. The Panthers remain an anomaly after finishing 11-5 despite porous grades from their offense as a whole and in pass coverage in 2017. They haven't done much to address their lacking areas as of yet, and the loss of Norwell could go along way in regression this coming season without a fix in the works. @PFF_Cam

New Orleans Saints

Players added

Edge Alex Okafor (84.7), QB Drew Brees (88.6), Edge George Johnson (n/a), OG Jermon Bushrod (40.3), CB Patrick Robinson (89.8), LB Demario Davis (87.3), S Kurt Coleman (47.0), QB Tom Savage (71.1)

Players lost

QB Chase Daniel (n/a), S Rafael Bush (n/a), OT Zach Strief (retired – n/a), OG Senio Kelemete (48.3)

Biggest draft needs

Linebacker, wide receiver, offensive line depth

Overview

Re-signing Brees was longstanding a given for the Saints heading into free agency, however, it didn't go without drama as New Orleans and the future Hall of Fame quarterback waited until just before the opening of the league new year to agree to terms. With Brees locked up for at least two more seasons and their recent success budding from the 2017 NFL Draft, the Black and Gold on offense seem to remain mostly intact. While the loss of veteran Strief will go a long way, there are still options available for them to sign, or draft come April.

Joining that recent stretch of draft success in New Orleans, is Robinson, who re-joins the team on the heels of a career year in Philadelphia, where be played the majority of his snaps in the slot. The Saints would be best-suited to continue that trend as he finished with a career-high grade of 89.8, more than 10.0 points higher than his previous season-best, while he logged a career-high 458 snaps in the slot. With Ken Crawley and Marshon Lattimore on the outside, the addition of Coleman for added depth to the backend with second-year Marcus Williams and Robinson on the inside, the secondary in New Orleans has been seemingly locked up. @PFF_Cam

Players added

LB Adarius Glanton (47.4), CB Brent Grimes (82.0), TE Cameron Brate (extension – 80.0), S Keith Tandy (n/a), QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (n/a), Edge Will Clarke (n/a), WR Adam Humphries (tendered – 67.8),  DI Mitch Unrein (83.9), DI Beau Allen (74.5), Edge Vinny Curry (84.8), C Ryan Jensen (74.9), LB Cameron Lynch (n/a), K Chandler Catanzaro (n/a)

Players lost

RB Doug Martin (48.5), DI Chris Baker (68.4), Edge Robert Ayers (89.3), S T.J. Ward (74.4), C Joe Hawley (n/a), K Nick Folk, K Patrick Murray

Biggest draft needs

Running back, cornerback, defensive line depth

Overview

The Buccaneers did their best to address a major issue at the start of free agency by signing interior defenders Mitch Unrein and Beau Allen while moving swiftly with their signing of Vinny Curry, the latter duo both fresh off a Super Bowl season in Philadelphia. Out go embattled running back Doug Martin, one-year flop Chris Baker and edge defender Robert Ayers, who despite a career-high 89.3 overall grade, isn't getting any younger in Tampa.

With Joe Hawley's intent to entertain life after football and the signing of Ryan Jensen, odds are Ali Marpet will move back to guard for the Bucs after his one-year stint, or trial experiment, at center in 2017. Re-signing veteran cornerback Brent Grimes, tabbed as a ‘must re-sign' player, freed Tampa from having to look at the expensive free agent market at cornerback and gives them one of the league's premier shutdown corners for at least one more season.

With Martin and Charles Sims out, the Bucs will arguably have to attack the 2018 NFL Draft with the idea of adding a threat out of the backfield as they currently only have an undrafted third-year player in Peyton Barber and veteran Jacquizz Rodgers on roster who played any snaps at the position a season ago. @PFF_Cam

NFC West

Players added

QB Sam Bradford (n/a), QB Mike Glennon (n/a), LB Josh Bynes (n/a), OT Andre Smith (47.9), OT/OG Justin Pugh (52.4)

Players lost

S Tyrann Mathieu (77.0), Edge Kareem Martin (75.2), WR John Brown (50.2), WR Jaron Brown (50.8), RB Adrian Peterson (43.5), DI Xavier Williams (80.8)

Biggest draft needs

Quarterback, offensive line, cornerback

Overview

Signing Bradford with the hope that he can provide consistency at the quarterback position may be a little bullish considering his injury history (he played just 91 snaps in 2017) and the Cardinals offensive line that allowed the second-most pressures last season and has just one projected starter with a 2017 grade over 55.0. With that in mind, a quarterback should be on the minds of Cardinals fans as the draft nears. While Steve Palazzolo has Arizona slotted to take CB Denzel Ward from Ohio State, a move that would fill another need, should the opportunity present itself it would be hard to pass up pairing a promising young quarterback with Larry Fitzgerald (85.3 – ninth) and David Johnson.

Mathieu’s exit paves the way for Budda Baker to build on a successful rookie year in which he earned an 84.5 grade (18th among safeties) while playing 23.5 percent of his snaps in the slot and 33.0 percent in the box – mimicking the Honey-Badger’s versatility. Baker’s continued improvement would help solidify a defense that should maintain the aggressive nature installed by national treasure Bruce Arians. No team blitzed more frequently during Arians’ tenure and new head coach Steve Wilks ran a Panthers defense that blitzed at the second-highest rate last season at 44.2 percent. – @PFF_George

https://www.pff.com/nfl/teams/los-angeles-rams/26/roster

Players added

CB Marcus Peters (85.7), CB Aqb Talib (86.2), S Lamarcus Joyner (90.3), CB Nickell Robey-Coleman (84.9), C John Sullivan (74.6), DT Dominique Easley (n/a)

Players lost

WR Sammy Watkins (76.2), S Cody Davis (n/a), CB Trumaine Johnson (74.2), TE Derek Carrier (n/a), S Maurice Alexander (n/a), LB Alec Ogletree (38.9), Edge Robert Quinn (58.1)

Biggest draft needs

Edge defender, wide receiver

Overview

The defending NFC West champion went out and bolstered their position within the division by acquiring the best outside cornerback duo of Peters and Talib and resigning slot corner Robey-Coleman. Both Peters and Talib ranked in the top-15 among outside corners in PFF grade last season, well ahead of Johnson who will make just $2.7 million less than the new Rams combo this season. With offenses generating more value by targeting the slot than any other position, the signing of 26-year-old Robey-Coleman seems particularly prudent, especially when you consider that his yearly average ranks just 30th among corners (per Over The Cap) and he earned the fourth-highest grade among slot corners. This may be the cornerback trio in the game, as opposing quarterbacks have a passer rating of just 67.9 when targeting those three over the past two years.

Watkins leaving the fold is not insignificant as QB Jared Goff had a 122.0 passer rating when targeting Watkins, best of any Rams receiver in 2017. Despite the loss, the Rams still have the benefit of perhaps the best 12th man in the game – fresh off having his first legal drink – Sean McVay orchestrated an offense that created the most uncontested targets off of play action. The future appears bright for the Rams in Tinseltown. – @PFF_George

Players added

QB Jimmy Garoppolo (85.2), CB Richard Sherman (82.7), RB Jerick McKinnon (84.6), C Weston Richburg (n/a), Edge Jeremiah Attaochu (n/a), Edge Cassius Marsh (n/a), LB Brock Croyle (41.3), G Jonathan Cooper (67.0)

Players lost

Edge Aaron Lynch (n/a), OG Brandon Fusco (76.0), RB Carlos Hyde (51.6), C Daniel Kilgore (51.0), Edge Tank Carradine (n/a)

Biggest draft need

Edge defender

Overview

On the heels of the 5-0 finish authored by Jimmy Garoppolo (85.2 – 10th) and a reinvigorated supporting cast, the 49ers made aggressive moves to put themselves back into NFC West contention. Signing Garoppolo to a 5-year, $137.5 million deal is a lot for a player with only 579 career snaps, but the play in that small sample has been superb. Garoppolo earned the highest rate of positively-graded throws this past season in addition to notching the best grade on third-down dropbacks (this info and more can be found in the PFF QB Annual).

Signing Sherman offers the chance to secure a true shutdown corner with minimal financial risk. Strengthening outside coverage is a major need for the Niners as opposing quarterbacks generated a 101.4 passer rating when targeting a San Francisco outside corner last season the fifth-worst mark.

The lone question mark comes with the signing of McKinnon. The deal makes McKinnon the fifth-highest paid running back per Over The Cap. 12 of the top-13 graded running backs generated more value as receivers than they did on hand-offs in 2017 and in total the difference between the value offered by backs in the passing game compared to the run game is massive (using PFF’s expected points model). McKinnon certainly brings the ability to impact the passing game – his 82.4 receiving grade ranked tied-seventh among running backs while also posting a top-10 pass-block grade. By comparison, Carlos Hyde ranked last among running backs in receiving grade. The issue comes with investing in a position where seven of the top eight running backs in PFF grade were drafted in the second-round or later. – @PFF_George

Players added

S Bradley McDougald (77.3), WR Jaron Brown (50.8), TE Ed Dickson (49.7), S Maurice Alexander (n/a), Edge Barkevious Mingo (72.1), G D.J. Fluker (42.3)

Players lost

CB Richard Sherman (82.7), Edge Michael Bennett (80.6), CB DeShawn Shead (n/a), TE Jimmy Graham (54.1), WR Paul Richardson (72.4), DI Sheldon Richardson (83.8), TE Luke Willson (48.2)

Biggest draft needs

Offensive tackle, cornerback

Overview

While many feel the purge of defensive staples, Sherman and Bennett, and popular Russell Wilson targets, Richardson and Graham, will have a dramatic negative impact on the Seahawks, there is reason for optimism. Sherman would have cost the Seahawks far more in the last year of his deal than the 49ers will pay for his services next season (to the tune of about $10 million to be exact per Over The Cap), making that move a shrewd one for both teams involved. Trading the 33-year-old Bennett paves the way for Dion Jordan who played well on his 135 snaps in 2017, earning an 83.6 grade. On the other side of the ball Richardson and Graham combined to drop 15 catchable passes between them. While drop rate isn’t a particularly stable statistic, it certainly makes it easier to pass on investing dollars and years in a wide receiver who’s played more than 50 percent of the teams snaps just once in his career and a 31-year-old tight end.

Wilson remains an elite quarterback finishing second to Brady in big-time throws (throws earning the highest level of grade). This may be the year the Seahawks finally invest in and hit on an offensive lineman at the top of the draft, and doing so should only increase the offensive dynamism that Wilson and Doug Baldwin have created. Since 2015 the duo has generated a passer rating of 123.8, best of any QB-WR combo (minimum 200 targets). If Shaquill Griffin improves on his rookie campaign in which he allowed just a 75.2 passer rating the defense can certainly remain strong and prove this off-season to be successful despite public perception. – @PFF_George

 

[Editor's note: In the above grades, a player represented with a ‘n/a' did not qualify for a grade ranking due to lack of snaps in 2017. For full access to every player's grades, sign up for PFF Edge or Elite.]

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