NFL Draft Center


The 2014 NFL Draft is upon us giving front offices and fans hopes and dreams of landing the next great talent. Every year teams have holes and needs to fill or upgrade and do their best to do it through free agency, but not every hole can be filled with a free agent. That leaves the NFL Draft where the possibilities seem endless. Teams have their depth charts and draft boards ready, so in preparation of the 2014 NFL Draft, here are the top three needs for all 32 NFL teams.



1.  OT – Cordy Glenn has done a decent job at left tackle for the Bills since being drafted, but could be better served at right tackle or inside at left guard, both positions that desperately need to be upgraded. They never replaced LG Andy LeVitre last year and RT Erik Pears shouldn’t be starting. Drafting a top left tackle prospect will allow the Bills to upgrade two positions at once. If they are happy with Glenn on the blind side then adding a right tackle is still a top priority. Either way E.J. Manuel needs better protection.

2.  S – Jarius Bryd was allowed to sign with the Saints in free agency and has yet to be replaced.

3.  TE – Scott Chandler was resigned and is a decent receiving option at tight end, but could definitely be upgraded, especially if it means adding a young, dynamic pass-catching weapon.


1.  OG – Both 2013 starters are gone; Richie Incognito (bully scandal) and John Jerry (free agency) need to be replaced. Shelly Smith was signed as a free agent to man one spot, but they still need to add another starting-level talent to play the other. Depth is an issue as well.

2.  RT – Miami fixed their left tackle situation by signing Branden Albert, but still need to add a right tackle where they can upgrade on Jason Fox.

3.  DB – Cortland Finnegan and Louis Delmas were added to the secondary in free agency, but both struggled last season and the Fins could find better options in the draft.


1.  TE – Once the envy of the entire NFL, this unit has dropped significantly over the past year. Rob Gronkowski cannot stay healthy and recent reports have him waiting as long as possible before returning from his latest injury, which could extend into the regular season, while Aaron Hernandez is likely to be in prison for a long time. There wasn’t much that the Pats could do last year to fix the unit, but starting to rebuild it should be one of their main priorities for the 2014 NFL Draft.

2.  S – Adrian Wilson and Steve Gregory were both cut and only Patrick Chung was brought in. Duron Harmon remains a question mark. At least one starting-quality safety should be added in the draft.

3.  DT – Age and injuries are an issue for both Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly, while players like Chris Jones and Joe Vellano were relied on way too much last season. Youth and talent need to be added to the interior defensive line.


1.  WR/TE – The Jets added Eric Decker and Jacoby Ford in free agency, but neither is a no.1 wide receiver, while Jeff Cumberland remains their top option at tight end. New York should be able to land a playmaker at either position in the first round.

2.  S – Safety is one of the more important positions in Rex Ryan’s defense and he’s been getting by with sub-par talent the past few years. It’s about time they add a talented young safety to this defense.

3.  CB – They were forced to let Antonio Cromartie go due to cap restraints and have only added Dmitri Patterson in free agency. Even if Dee Milliner is able to take a step forward, the Jets still need to add a starting-caliber corner.




1.  FS – The strong safety position is set with Matt Elam, but the Ravens need to add someone to play next to him. James Ihedigbo was a liability in coverage last season and was allowed to leave as a free agent. They signed Darian Stewart, but they will need to do better than just him.

2.  RT – The Ravens could only sign one of their free agent starting offensive tackles and they chose to sign left tackle Eugene Monroe allowing RT Michael Oher to sign with Tennessee. They need to upgrade on Ricky Wagner.

3.  DE – Baltimore didn’t have the cap room to resign Arthur Jones and were forced to let him depart in free agency. They haven’t found a replacement yet.


1.  DE – Talented Michael Johnson signed for big money in Tampa leaving the Bengals in need of a replacement. Margus Hunt struggled as a rookie and isn’t ready to be counted on as a starter yet.

2.  LT or LG – Andrew Whitworth was a solid a left tackle to start last year, before moving over and excelling at left guard mid-season. He made the switch because the Bengals had Anthony Collins to play left tackle, but he also signed for big money in Tampa. Depending on where they want Whitworth to play will determine whether they need to draft a left tackle or left guard.

3.  CB – Terrance Newman and Adam Jones have been surprisingly good for Cincinnati, but both are in their 30s, while Leon Hall is trying to return from his second torn Achilles in the last three years and Dre Kirkpatrick has been a disappointment so far.


1.  QB – The Brandon Weeden experiment failed and he was released, along with Jason Campbell this off-season. Brian Hoyer played surprisingly well for the Browns last season before suffering a season-ending knee injury and gives Cleveland a decent veteran to help smooth the process of developing a new franchise quarterback. Another new regime (GM, Head Coach, coaching staff) is running the Browns in 2014.

2.  CB – There is a large drop-off in talent between top corner Joe Haden and everyone else on the roster. They need to upgrade on Buster Skrine as their second starting corner across from Haden. They need to upgrade their depth too.

3.  WR – Like cornerback, there is a major drop-off between Josh Gordon and the rest of the receiving corps. Greg Little has yet to become a reliable option and the rest of the unit is uninspiring. Gordon has had some off the field issues as well that could cause a problem should he gets suspended again. They need to add a legitimate second option.


1.  WR – The Steelers have seen starting wide receivers leave in back to back seasons with Mike Wallace and Emmanuel Sanders departing as free agents. Lance Moore should help, but is Markus Wheaton ready to step up. Regardless they need to draft at least one wide receiver.

2.  NT – The Nose Tackle position is arguably the most important in Dick LeBeau’s defense, which has struggled since the departure of long-time Steeler Casey Hampton. Steve McClendon has been decent since taking over, but would be better served as a five-technique end on the outside and could help fill their on the edge.

3.  CB – Ike Taylor was lit up repeatedly last year against no.1 wide receivers and at 34 his best days are long gone. Pittsburgh needs to find a young corner with the potential to start soon.



1.  QB – Matt Schaub fell apart in 2013 and so did Houston’s season. Schaub was traded to Oakland this off-season, while Ryan Fitzpatrick was signed to be a veteran backup. Third-string Case Keenum played surprisingly well when called upon last season, but his ceiling appears to be that of a backup quarterback. The new coaching staff led by Bill O’Brien needs to find their new franchise quarterback.

2.  TE – Top tight end Owen Daniels was released this off-season and has yet to be replaced, while no.2 Garrett Graham was resigned. A young quarterback is going to need a reliable short-to-intermediate target to dump off too when the pressure gets too hot.

3.  OLB – Brooks Reed and Whitney Mercilus both struggled to generate much pressure last season, which is especially concerning considering that J.J. Watt was the main focus of opposing teams and faced double and triple teams on every play. There is also talk of moving Reed inside to help out the interior.


1.  S – Both safety positions need to be addressed. Starting Strong Safety Antoine Bethea left in free agency and has yet to be replaced, while Free Safety LaRon Landry struggled in coverage and continued to battle injuries last season. A new strong safety is needed, while Landry could be upgraded. Depth is a concern as well.

2.  OC/OG – The Colts desperately need to improve their interior offensive line for Andrew Luck and the running game. They struggled to protect Luck or generate any type of successful run blocking last season. Indy tried to fix the Center position by releasing Samson Satele and signing Phil Costa, except Costa surprised everyone a few weeks ago by retiring at just 26 years old leaving the team with just Khaled Holmes in the middle. The Guard positions were a nightmare in 2013 for the Colts and still need to be fixed as Mike McGlynn and Jeff Linkenbach were rightfully allowed to leave this offseason, yet the team still has not signed anyone to come in.

3.  OLB – Robert Mathis was awesome last season, but is well into his 30s and is a risk to see a major decline in his play at anytime. Bjoern Werner was basically invisible last year and needs to take a giant step in his development in 2014, while Erik Walden is a decent run-stuffer, but provides very little in the pass-rushing department.


1.  QB – The Blaine Gabbert experiment failed and he’s now in San Francisco. Chad Henne was resigned and is the perfect stop-gap veteran to have in place, while developing a new, young franchise quarterback.

2.  OLB – Or the “LEO” position in Gus Bradley’s defense. The Jags have been at or near the bottom of the league in sacks for the past five years. This unit desperately needs to be improved starting with a talented young pass-rusher.

3.  WR – GM David Caldwell recently told the media that he isn’t counting on no.1 wide out Justin Blackmon playing for the Jags this season, who is currently serving an indefinite suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy again. Cecil Shorts and Ace Sanders are the team’s top receivers at the moment.


1.  CB – Top corner Alterraun Verner was lost in free agency and hasn’t yet been replaced. Depth is a question too.

2.  QB – Jake Locker has been a major disappointment since being drafted, especially with his inability to stay healthy. This will be a “prove-it” season for him. A new coaching staff is in place led by Ken Whisenhunt and a new quarterback being drafted is high possibility.

3.  RB – The Titans finally gave up on Chris Johnson and released him this off-season. Meanwhile, Shonn Greene is the top ball-carrier on their roster and that is a problem.



1.  CB – Champ Bailey and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie are out and Aqib Talib is in, while Chris Harris is still recovering from a torn ACL suffered in the playoffs. If the season started today they would have to rely on Tony Carter, they must do better than that. They need to add another starting-quality player, along with some depth as this isn’t a particularly deep unit either.

2.  ILB – The Broncos have a gaping hole in the middle. They relied on Wesley Woodyard and Paris Lenon last season and need to do better than that if they have Super Bowl aspirations. Neither is with the team anymore leaving Jamar Chaney on the top of the depth chart at the moment. Denver needs to find a better option.

3.  LG – Zane Beadles struggled in pass protection last season and was allowed to leave in free agency. They haven’t found a replacement yet.


1.  WR – This is one of the weaker units on the Chiefs’ roster. Dwayne Bowe is the only real threat and he has struggled with drops over the last few seasons. Donnie Avery was a nice surprise in 2013, while A.J. Jenkins is still a giant question mark. They need to find another starting-quality receiver that can be a deep threat, while adding another to upgrade their depth.

2.  RT – 2013 1st overall pick Eric Fisher is moving to left tackle this season to take over for the departed Branden Albert leaving a hole at right tackle that has yet to be filled.

3.  OG – The Chiefs lost both starting guards in free agency and have only added Jeff Linkenbach to fill one spot leaving a hole at the other. Another starting guard must be added.


1.  QB – The Raiders have had issues at quarterback for a while and hope the addition of Matt Schaub will help remedy the situation in the short term. Schaub is not the long-term answer after falling apart in Houston last season and the Raiders will need to find a young signal-caller with the ability to develop and take over for Schaub in the next year or two.

2.  DL – The Raiders only resigned one of their four free agent starting defensive linemen in DT Pat Sims. Their stud pass-rusher and best player Lamarr Houston was by far the biggest loss of the off-season. GM Reggie McKenzie did an okay job of filling the holes with some short-term deals for aging talent; bringing in Justin Tuck, Antonio Smith and Lamar Woodley. Those guys will give the Raiders a chance to develop some young defensive linemen, but they have to draft a few first, preferably one that can start and make an immediate impact right away. They desperately need pass-rush help on the outside and inside of this defensive line.

3.  WR – The Raiders have some solid secondary receiver options in Rod Streater and Denarius Moore and added another in James Jones in free agency, but are still in need of a high-level no.1 wide out.


1.  CB – The Chargers secondary got lit up week after week last season and have arguably the worst cornerback situation in the NFL. They sent Derek Cox and Johnny Patrick packing this off-season and only resigned Richard Marshall, while their only free agent addition was Brandon Ghee. That isn’t good enough, not in a division with Peyton Manning. They desperately need to add talent to this unit.  They need starters.

2.  NT – Cam Thomas signed with Pittsburgh in free agency leaving a giant hole in the center of San Diego’s defense. They have yet to replace him.

3.  TE/WR – Antonio Gates isn’t going to last much longer and the Chargers need to find someone to take over for him. They drafted Ladarius Green, but he has yet to make a meaningful impact. As a rookie, Keenan Allen was the only productive and reliable target on their offense. Malcolm Floyd and Vincent Brown need to be better as secondary receiving options. They need to get Phillip Rivers more weapons and soon.



1.  DT – The Cowboys have a ton of issues on the defensive line and need to completely rebuild the unit after using countless players and having to sign guys off of the street just to field a lineup in 2013. The interior is particularly a problem. Jason Hatcher was fantastic last year, but the Cowboys were unable to resign him due to cap issues. Even if they were able to resign Hatcher they still needed to add someone next to him. Henry Melton and Terrell McClain were signed as free agents, but Melton is a question mark after blowing out his knee last season and McClain is only a backup at this point in his career. They need to add two starting-quality defensive tackles right now.

2.  DE – Dallas was forced to cut Demarcus Ware this off-season leaving them without their best pass-rusher and defender for this season. George Selvie was a revelation last year after being signed mid-season off the street and will be counted upon to repeat that same performance this season. Anthony Spencer was recently resigned to a 1-year deal, but is a question mark after suffering a season-ending knee injury last year. Jeremy Mincey has been the only free agent addition at defensive end so far. They need to add an elite, young pass-rusher to this roster.

3.  OG – The Cowboys interior offensive line is a big problem. They need to desperately upgrade both starting guards, Ronald Leary and Mackenzy Bernadeau. They can’t have both of these guys in the starting lineup again. Meanwhile, Brian Waters is a 37-year old free agent coming off of a season-ending triceps injury.


1.  DE – Once the strength of the team, pass-rusher has now become a weakness. Jason Pierre-Paul struggled last season and battled injuries. Justin Tuck was their most consistent pass-rusher in 2013, but headed to Oakland as a free agent, while Mathias Kiwanuka turned 31 in March and Damontre Moore contributed nothing as a rookie. Robert Ayers was added in free agency, but he’s not the game-breaking pass-rusher this defense needs.

2.  TE – Brandon Myers didn’t work out last season and was allowed to leave as a free agent, while Bear Pascoe also signed elsewhere in free agency. Eli Manning desperately needs more weapons.

3.  LT – Starting Left Tackle Will Beatty struggled all year long before suffering a broken leg in the season finale and is a big question mark at the moment. Justin Pugh was impressive at right tackle as a rookie last season, but would be even better if moved inside to guard. If the Giants can land a potential franchise left tackle, then they can move Beatty to right tackle and Pugh inside to guard upgrading three positions on the offensive line with one move. Charles Brown was added as depth.


1.  CB – The Eagles need to upgrade the talent on this unit. They have three decent complimentary corners in Cary Williams, Bradley Fletcher and the recently signed Nolan Carroll, but don’t have a true shutdown no.1 cornerback on the roster. Brandon Boykin is solid as the slot corner on this unit. Philadelphia finished dead last in opponents passing yards against. This pass defense has to be improved.

2.  WR – The Eagles chose to release DeSean Jackson and resign Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin. Jackson was the star of that trio leaving a big hole in their offense and will need to be replaced.

3.  OLB – The Eagles struggled to generate much of a pass-rush last season and the pass defense got killed as a result. Trent Cole, Connor Barwin and Brandon Graham have to be better and put a lot more pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Cole will turn 32 during this season and could be a cap casualty next year as he will be owed $10-million in 2015. An eventual replacement will have to be added.


1.  CB – The Redskins’ corners couldn’t cover anyone last year as they were absolutely abysmal. For some reason they chose to resign DeAngelo Hall and E.J. Biggers. They need to upgrade both of those guys, while the addition of Tracy Porter as a free agent only helps out the depth of this unit. They need to add starting-quality talent and soon.

2.  S – Both safety positions need to be upgraded as well. Brandon Meriweather isn’t very good and can’t stay healthy, while free addition Ryan Clark is 35. Phillip Thomas and Bacarri Rambo were highly disappointing as rookies.

3.  RT – Trent Williams is one of the top left tackles in the league, but Tyler Polumbus is one of the worst right tackles. He has to be upgraded as Robert Griffin III needs all the protection he can get on that wonky knee of his.



1.  DT – The Bears spent a lot of money in free agency on defensive ends, signing four of them (L. Houston, J. Allen, W. Young, and I. Idonije), but neglected the interior of the defensive line, choosing only to resign Jay Ratliff, who barely played last season. Why they chose not to upgrade their defensive tackles after finishing dead last in opponents rushing yards against last season is beyond me. Henry Melton was allowed to leave as a free agent and has yet to be replaced. The Bears need to add someone in the starting lineup to play next to Stephan Paea to go with some depth as well.

2.  CB – Age is an issue at corner as Charles Tillman, Tim Jennings and Kelvin Hayden are in their thirties, along with Zackary Bowman leaving as a free agent. Some youth is needed. Depth is an issue as well.

3.  SLB – James Anderson was one of the biggest liabilities on the Bears defense last season and needs to be upgraded. Meanwhile, Lance Briggs continues to age and battle injuries and rookies Jon Bostic and Khaseem Greene struggled mightily to adjust to the pro game.


1.  CB – It seems like every year cornerback is listed as the top need for the Lions and for good reason as they continually pass on drafting highly-rated elite corners for some reason. They’ve spent Day 2 picks on Darius Slay and Bill Bentley in the past couple of years, but neither appears to have the talent or potential to be a top shutdown corner. Rashean Mathis was their best corner in 2013 and that is a problem.

2.  DE – The Lions saw starting defensive end Willie Young and backup Israel Idonije sign with the rival Bears. Devin Taylor didn’t contribute much as a rookie and may not be ready to be counted on as a starter just yet. Darryl Tapp was added, but that was just a depth signing. Ezekiel Ansah was exceptional as a rookie, but the Lions will need to find someone better than Taylor to replace Young across from him.

3.  WR – Golden Tate was added as a free agent and should provide a good second option to Calvin Johnson, but Matthew Stafford still needs another weapon. Ryan Broyles can’t stay healthy and Kris Durham only just started showing flashes of being an NFL-quality receiver last year. Depth is needed on this unit.


1.  TE – Jeremichael Finley’s career is up in the air due to health concerns and the Packers chose not to resign him when his contract expired in March. They have yet to find a replacement. Only backup Andrew Quarless has been resigned. The Packers need to find Aaron Rodgers a new tight end to light up opposing defenses with.

2.  C – Evan Dietrich-Smith headed south and signed with the Bucs leaving a gaping hole in the middle of Green Bay’s offensive line. A replacement has to be added.

3.  S – This is a major problem area for Green Bay as their safeties provided very little last season. They didn’t even record a single interception among them. Morgan Burnett and M.D. Jennings were awful last year, Burnett will get a shot to redeem himself, but Jennings was not resigned this off-season leaving a hole at free safety at the moment. They should target one of the top safeties early in the draft.


1.  QB – The Christian Ponder experiment failed and the Vikings appear ready to move on from their former first-round pick. Matt Cassel was resigned to be the veteran backup or stop-gap quarterback, while Minnesota attempts again to develop their next franchise signal-caller. They should have the opportunity to land one of the top quarterback prospects with the 8th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.

2.  WR – The Vikings need to find a better third receiving option than Jerome Simpson to play behind Cordarrelle Patterson and Greg Jennings, preferably someone that can play in the slot.

3.  SS – Harrison Smith has the free safety position locked down, but the Vikings have nobody to play next to him at strong safety.



1.  DE – The pass-rush is a major problem in Atlanta after they finished 29th in the league with just 32 sacks in 2013. Osi Umenyiora was okay for the Falcons last year, but John Abraham was sorely missed. They signed Tyson Jackson to help out, but this unit still needs some youth and a talent upgrade. They need to get better with such young cornerbacks on the roster. The Falcons are going to use multiple defensive schemes this year, so adding a pass-rusher that can line-up with his hand in the dirt in a 4-3 and play standing up as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 would be ideal.

2.  TE – Tony Gonzalez finally retired even though he’s still one of the top tight ends in the NFL and the Falcons are now forced to find a replacement after putting it off for the past couple of years. Levine Toilolo showed very little last season to prove he can be Gonzalez’s replacement. They also do not have a true blocking tight end on the roster.

3.  OT – The Falcons have some issues at the offensive tackle positions. Matt Ryan was sacked 44 times last season and they need to desperately fix that if they are to avoid another year like 2013. They appear committed to Sam Baker after signing him to a big deal before last season, but he needs to be a lot better and has to stay healthy after playing in just four games last year. He might be better off at right tackle, where they also need to upgrade on Lamar Holmes and Mike Johnson. Adding one of the potential franchise left tackles at the top of the first round could fix this issue. This was also an offense that finished dead last in rushing last year.


1.  LT – Jordan Gross retired and there isn’t a solution on the roster leaving a giant hole on Cam Newton’s blind side. Right tackle is an issue as well where they can do better than Byron Bell and Nate Chandler.

2.  WR – Who exactly is Newton going to throw the ball too this season. The Panthers have had to completely rebuild their wide receiver corps this off-season after cutting long-time star Steve Smith and watching Brandon Lafell, Ted Ginn and Domenick Hixon sign elsewhere as free agents. Those were their top four wide receivers in 2013. So far they have replaced them with a trio of backups in Jerricho Cotchery, Jason Avant and Tiquan Underwood. That’s not going to cut it. This unit desperately needs elite talent and youth in a hurry. If they can’t land a left tackle in the first round than drafting a receiver is must.

3.  CB – The Panthers were forced to watch their top corner Captain Munnerlyn leave as free agent due to super tight cap restraints, the same reason they had to let their entire wide receiving corps go. Their other starting corner from last season is Drayton Florence, who is a 33-year old free agent at the moment. Only Antoine Cason has been added to this unit. They need to add two corners and at least one that can start immediately.


1.  CB – The Saints were forced to cut starting corner Jabari Greer due to cap issues and were only able to add the quickly declining soon-to-be 36-year old Champ Bailey as a possible replacement. They need someone better than Bailey to play across from Keenan Lewis.

2.  OLB – Junior Galette was awesome last season, but the Saints need someone across from him. Victor Butler is a question mark after missing all of 2013 with an injury, while Parys Haralson is just okay and shouldn’t be in the starting lineup. Another elite pass-rusher could take this defense to the next level.

3. OC – The Saints don’t have a starting Center on the roster at the moment after Brian De La Puente left in free agency. This is an issue.


1.  WR – This unit desperately needs to add talent. There is nothing on the roster behind Vincent Jackson. Chris Owusu, who has only 14 career receptions is probably their next best receiver. That is a major issue. They need to add multiple receivers and at least one that can start immediately. Youth is needed too as Jackson is already 31.

2.  QB – There is a new regime (GM, Head Coach) running the Bucs with former long-time Bears Head Coach Lovie Smith leading the way. Smith doesn’t appear to be a fan of Mike Glennon, who took over for Josh Freeman last year after he was traded mid-season. That was made clear when the Bucs signed veteran Josh McCown as a free agent and immediately named him the starter. McCown is just the short-term answer though as he is only on a two-year deal and will be 35 when the regular season gets underway. Tampa will be in the market for a quarterback at this year’s draft, while Glennon could be headed out of town.

3.  OG – Starting Left Guard Carl Nicks has barely played the past two seasons and what he will provide this year remains a big question mark. Insurance behind him will be needed, while a new right guard will have to be added after the Bucs released Davin Joseph this off-season.



1.  QB – While he’s done a decent job since joining the team, Carson Palmer will turn 35 this season and isn’t getting any younger. It’s about time the Cards draft their future franchise quarterback to begin developing while Palmer still has some gas left in the tank.

2.  OLB – The Cardinals need to upgrade this unit as it is probably the weakest part of their defense. John Abraham turned in a fantastic season, but is turning 36 this month and the rest of this group has had trouble staying healthy and can be just plain better. Finding a young stud pass-rusher in this draft would be ideal, although there are only a couple of them available this year so they will have to pounce early.

3.  S – Yeremiah Bell is a free agent, although they could stand to upgrade on him. Meanwhile Tyrann Mathieu is still recovering from a brutal knee injury suffered last season.


1.  CB – This was the weakest unit on the San Francisco defense last season and needs to be upgraded. Carlos Rogers was released, while Tarell Brown surprised them by bolting for Oakland in free agency and Eric Wright remains a free agent. They did sign Chris Cook, but will have to do more than that to fix this group. They need to add a starting-quality corner and some depth.

2.  DL – Age is an issue here. Justin Smith will turn 35 this season and can’t play forever, while Ray McDonald will hit 30 around the same time. Adding youth and depth with upside should be the focus here.

3.  OC – Jonathan Goodwin played pretty well last season, but will turn 36 in December and is currently contemplating retirement. He is also a free agent right now and not on the roster leaving a hole in the middle of their dominant offensive line.


1.  OL – This was the weakest unit on Seattle’s Super Bowl winning roster last season. They struggled all season long to protect Russell Wilson and without his incredible mobility they don’t come anywhere close to having the season that they did. Outside of left tackle Russell Okung, every other spot on the O-Line could be upgraded. They also have no choice, but to replace last season’s starting right tackle Breno Giacomini, who signed with the Jets as a free agent. Backup Guard Paul McQuistan also departed as a free agent.

2.  DL – The defensive line took a beating this off-season as the Seahawks had to cut Red Bryant and Chris Clemons, while Clinton McDonald signed with the Bucs as a free agent. Fortunately, they were able to find room under the cap to keep Michael Bennett and Tony McDaniel, but this unit could use a couple of extra bodies, preferably at least one with the ability to crack the starting lineup.

3.  TE – The Seahawks have some solid options here with Zach Miller and Luke Willson, but imagine what Russell Wilson could do with an elite playmaking tight end.


1. OT – This is a problem area for the Rams. Left Tackle Jake Long has battled injuries throughout his career and is currently recovering from a torn ACL and MCL suffered in December and has also seen a steady decline in his play over the last few years. Roger Saffold was resigned and can play right tackle, but appeared to find his spot in the league last year when he was moved inside to guard, where they need help as well. They can’t rely on using Joseph Barksdale in the starting lineup either. If they can land one of the potential franchise left tackles in this draft, then they need to run up to the podium.

2.  S – St. Louis lost both starting safeties coming into last season and never truly replaced them. Fourth-round pick T.J. McDonald was okay, but struggled for most of the season at strong safety and battled injuries as well, while free safety Rodney McLeod was awful and desperately needs to be upgraded. Darian Stewart also departed in free agency.

3.  WR – The Rams have spent a number of high draft picks on wide receivers over the past few years and might have every type possible, but have yet to land a true #1 elite wide receiver.


Written By: Mark Scott




2013 Draft Picks: 31 (1st), 34 (2nd), 61 (2nd), 74 (3rd), 93 (3rd), 128 (4th), 131 (4th), 157 (5th), 175 (6th), 180 (6th), 227 (7th), 246 (7th), 252 (7th)

2012 Early Draft Selections: WR A.J. Jenkins, ILL (30, 1st), RB LaMichael James, OREG (61, 2nd)

Decision Makers: GM Trent Baalke, Head Coach Jim Harbaugh

The 49ers have been a completely changed franchise since bringing in Head Coach Jim Harbaugh and have very quickly become one of the NFL’s true current powerhouses. They got to the Super Bowl last year, but fell just short to the Baltimore Ravens making this season about only one thing and that is winning the Lombardi trophy. They haven’t lost much from their NFC Championship roster and then brought in solid veterans like Anquan Boldin, Nnamdi Asomugha, Phil Dawson and Craig Dahl, while they also hold an incredible thirteen draft picks, including five among the top 100 selections. They could be one of the big movers at the 2013 NFL Draft.

1.   Free Safety – Starting free safety Dashon Goldson was the team’s lone major loss in the off-season as he landed a big deal from the Bucs. They brought in free agent Craig Dahl to replace him, but he was a guy the Rams were looking to upgrade and replace themselves in this draft. SS Donte Whitner could stand to be upgraded as well as he was continually picked on in and exposed in pass coverage. At least one safety should be drafted and maybe two.

2.   Defensive Line – The 49ers have one of the best defenses in the league and a lot of that has to do with their fantastic defensive line, although it does appear to be vulnerable at the moment. Age could become a problem as Justin Smith turns 34 at the beginning of the season, while Ray McDonald will be 29. Backup Ricky Jean-Francois also left for the Colts in free agency. Meanwhile, starting nose tackle Issac Sopoaga headed to Philadelphia as a free agent and backup Ian Williams has played in just four games in two years. A new starting nose tackle is needed for sure, while depth and youth at all three positions needs to be added. Former Kansas City draft bust Glenn Dorsey was picked up in free agency as depth, but what he can provide remains to be seen.

3.   Tight End – Vernon Davis remains one of the top tight ends in football, but the 49ers saw reliable, multi-purpose veteran Delanie Walker head to Tennessee as a free agent leaving a void at their no.2 tight end spot that has yet to be filled. Harbaugh is a big fan of using multiple tight end sets and used to use up to three on the field at the same time when he was at Stanford. Finding a prospect at the position that can catch and block should be one of their goals in this draft.


2013 Draft Picks: 56 (2nd), 87 (3rd), 123 (4th), 138 (5th), 194 (6th), 214 (7th), 220 (7th), 231 (7th), 241 (7th), 242 (7th)

2012 Early Draft Selections: OLB/DE Bruce Irvin, WVU (15, 1st), MLB Bobby Wagner, UTST (47, 2nd), QB Russell Wilson, WISC (75, 3rd)

Decision Makers: GM John Schneider, Head Coach Pete Carroll

Under the guidance of John Schneider and Pete Carroll the Seahawks have become one of the best teams in the NFL in a very short amount of time. One of the main reasons has been their ability to draft the right talent. They have continually drafted the guy they wanted regardless of what all the experts and draft outlets have rated a certain prospect and it has seemed to work out for them. It hasn’t just been about landing the right guys in the first round or two as they’ve found some of the best talent on their team in the mid-rounds like Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman, Bobby Wagner, Kam Chancellor and Robert Turbin leaving very few holes on their roster. They’ve already spent their 2013 first round pick by acquiring wide receiver Percy Harvin from Minnesota in a great move. They have become one of the most interesting teams to watch at the draft every year.

1.   Defensive Tackle – Of all the areas on this team, this was the one unit Pete Carroll appears to be unhappy with as they struggled to hold up against teams with a physical run game. Alan Branch signed with Buffalo as a free agent, while fellow starter Brandon Mebane is just okay. They signed former Dolphin Tony McDaniel as a free agent to help. They need to find one potential starter, preferably a huge body that can take on multiple blocks freeing up all of their dangerous pass-rushers. John Jenkins or Jonathan Hankins could be there for them in the second round. Doubling up on the position in the draft is not a bad idea.

2.   Weakside Linebacker – Veteran Leroy Hill was resigned to a one-year deal late in the off-season last year after Seattle couldn’t find anyone better. He is currently in the same spot this year as he awaits word from the Seahawks as to whether they will bring him back again or not They’ve had great luck finding linebackers in the draft that can start right away as they’ve done it in back to back years landing middle linebacker Bobby Wagner last season and strongside linebacker K.J. Wright in 2011. I expect them to do that again this year.

3.   Best Player Available – There are very few holes or needs that have to be filled on this roster allowing the Seahawks to target any prospect or position they want with the majority of their draft picks.

ST. LOUIS RAMS (7-8-1)

2013 Draft Picks: 16 (1st), 22 (1st), 46 (2nd), 78 (3rd), 113 (4th), 149 (5th), 184 (6th), 222 (7th)

2012 Early Draft Selections: DT Michael Brockers, LSU (14, 1st), WR Brian Quick, APST (33, 2nd), CB Janoris Jenkins, NALA (39, 2nd), RB Isaiah Pead, CIN (50, 2nd), DB Trumaine Johnson, MONT (65, 3rd)

Decision Makers: GM Les Snead, Head Coach Jeff Fisher

The Rams have made some nice strides as a franchise since Jeff Fisher took over as Head Coach, but they now find themselves having to battle it out in the toughest division in football with San Francisco and Seattle looking like two of the top Super Bowl favorites this season. This is a very competitive roster that doesn’t have too many holes that need to be filled. If they can find some elite young talent to add in the draft, while filling their few need areas, the Rams could give their NFC West rivals a good run for the division crown.

1.   Safety – The Rams will likely have two new starting safeties in 2013. Free safety Craig Dahl was allowed to leave in free agency, while strong safety Quintin Mikell was released, although there has been some talk about bringing him back at a cheaper rate. Even if he is brought back he won’t be the long term solution at 33 years old in September. They have yet to bring in another safety leaving backup holdovers Darian Stewart and Rodney McLeod as their potential starters for 2013.

2.   Wide Receiver – The wide receiver corps has been a problem area for the Rams the last few years. Slot receiver Danny Amendola was their best pass-catcher, but was constantly battling injuries and ended up leaving for New England as a free agent, while the reliable Brandon Gibson headed to the Dolphins. The franchise has spent five draft picks over the last three years to help upgrade this unit, but with not much luck. Rookie Chris Givens is the only one to show some good promise as he appears to be potential legit deep threat. Brian Quick could barely get on the field as a rookie, while Austin Pettis looks like a career backup. Greg Salas and Mardy Gilyard aren’t even on the roster anymore. The need for a true no.1 wide out is still their biggest hole, while they have yet to find a replacement for Amendola in the slot.

3.   Strongside Linebacker – Both of the Rams’ strongside linebackers are free agents at the moment in Rocky McIntosh and Mario Haggan and neither are expected to be brought back. It’s not a big deal as both of them are in their thirties and needed to be upgraded anyways. Adding a linebacker that can hold down the spot next to James Laurinaitis and Jo-Lonn Dunbar and provide some added pass-rush has to be brought in.


2013 Draft Picks: 7 (1st), 38 (2nd), 69 (3rd), 103 (4th), 140 (5th), 174 (6th), 219 (7th)

2012 Early Draft Selections: WR Michael Floyd, ND (13, 1st), DB Jamell Fleming, OKLA (80, 3rd)

Decision Makers: GM Steven Keim, Head Coach Bruce Arians

The wheels fell completely off in 2012 after the team somehow started 4-0, but finished with eleven losses in their final twelve games leading to a new regime being put in place with new General Manager Steve Keim and Head Coach Bruce Arians taking over. They’ve added some solid veteran talent in free agency, but their first big move since taking over was trading for Carson Palmer to be their new starting quarterback. They still have some work to do namely on the offensive line especially now that they are suddenly in the strongest division in football.

1.   Offensive Tackle – This offensive line needs a lot of work and probably a complete makeover. They allowed 58 sacks last year, the most in the NFL and also finished last in rushing offense with just 75.3 yards/game.  They’ll need to make major improvements especially with the immobile Carson Palmer now under center. Bobby Massie and Nate Potter are a pair of good, developmental prospects that got some decent starting experience last year. Massie projects out the better of the two and could be the long term starter at right tackle, while Potter could become a solid backup. Meanwhile starting left tackle Levi Brown will return from a torn triceps that ended his season, but has seen his play steadily decline the last few years and should be upgraded.  If they can land one of the top three left tackle prospects in the draft then they should run up to the podium.

2.   Offensive Guard/Center – The interior of the offensive line is bad too. Adam Snyder struggled in 2012 after coming over as a free agent, while fellow starting guard Darren Colledge is just okay and late round rookie Senio Kelemete barely played. There’s not any depth behind them either, while there’s basically nothing at the center position right now.

3.   Outside Linebacker – Starters Sam Acho and O’Brien Schofield are decent young players, but neither guy has developed into the type of game-breaking talent that scares opposing teams and both produced just four sacks a piece last year. Solid veteran Quentin Groves departed in free agency. A potential elite pass-rusher should be available with no.7 pick and is a good backup plan if they can’t land one of the top offensive tackles at the spot.

Written By: Mark Scott



2013 Draft Picks: 26 (1st), 55 (2nd), 88 (3rd), 122 (4th), 159 (5th), 167 (5th), 193 (6th), 232 (7th)

2012 Early Draft Selections: OLB Nick Perry, USC (28, 1st), DT Jerel Worthy, MSU (51, 2nd), CB Casey Hayward, VAND (62, 2nd)

Decision Makers: GM Ted Thompson, Head Coach Mike McCarthy

The Packers year ended in disappointment again when they bowed out in the divisional round of the playoffs for a second straight season after winning it all in 2010. However, it was their fifth double-digit win season in the last six years and they remain one of the NFL’s most consistent powerhouses on the arm of Aaron Rodgers. Landing a couple more good players in the draft should help keep them among the top teams.

1.   Running Back – This has been a problem area for a few years now, although it hasn’t hindered the Packers offense too much as Aaron Rodgers is just that good at finding his receivers. Veterans Cedric Benson and Ryan Grant are out, while DuJuan Harris provided a little spark late in the year. Drafting a young potential workhorse back could take this offense to an even higher level. They may never be stopped.

2.   Safety – Veteran Charles Woodson was cut and has yet to be replaced. Morgan Burnett is a fantastic strong safety especially in run support, while youngster M.D. Jennings made solid strides in his second pro season and is currently set to start at free safety.  There is literally nothing behind them so depth is sorely needed.

3.   Offensive Line – Aaron Rodgers is about to be handed probably the largest contract in NFL history so providing him with the best protection possible is needed, something the Packers can’t say they currently employ. Marshall Newhouse needs to be upgraded at left tackle in the starting lineup and right tackle Don Barclay should not be on the field let alone starting. Evan Dietrich-Smith played well at center after taking over for the now retired Jeff Saturday, but should be moved back to his natural guard position where he’s at his best leaving an opening in the middle. Meanwhile offensive tackle Derek Sherrod has been to slow to recover from a broken leg suffered as a rookie in 2011, while former 2010 first round pick Bryan Bulaga has missed multiple games the past two seasons as well. A new starting center needs to be added for sure along with just some more talent in general.


2013 Draft Picks: 20 (1st), 50 (2nd), 117 (4th), 153 (5th), 188 (6th)

2012 Early Draft Selections: LB Shea McClellin, BSST (19, 1st), WR Alshon Jeffrey, SCAR (45, 2nd), S Brandon Hardin, OSU (79, 3rd)

Decision Makers: GM Phil Emery, Head Coach Marc Trestman

The Bears are another team in the NFL entering a new era after they waved good bye to their long time Head Coach Lovie Smith despite a 10-6 season that saw them miss the playoffs by the smallest of margins. In for Smith is Marc Trestman, who returns to the NFL ranks following a fantastic run as the Head Coach of the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes that included a pair of Grey Cup Championships. This is a very talented squad that only fell out of contention after suffering numerous injuries to key players throughout the roster and still won ten games. The new era has started off well as Phil Emery filled quite a few of their biggest holes in free agency by landing left tackle Jermon Bushrod and tight end Martellus Bennett along with some good depth at linebacker and on the offensive line. It truly is a new era because legendary middle linebacker Brian Urlacher’s career in Chicago appears to be over as well. The Bears are still very close to being a contender and a great draft could put them over the edge in Trestman’s first season.

1.   Linebacker – The Great Brian Urlacher’s time in Chicago appears to be over as he and the Bears couldn’t come to terms on a new contract. They signed his potential replacement in former Bronco D.J. Williams, although he’s 31 and has battled injuries and suspensions over the past couple of years. A young, middle linebacker to install as the new leader of this defense is needed. Outside linebackers Geno Hayes and Nick Roach both departed in free agency, while Lance Briggs is still a fantastic player, but isn’t getting any younger as he’ll turn 33 during the season. Former Panther James Anderson was signed as a free agent and should be solid as a starter opposite Briggs if he can stay healthy. He’ll enter his thirties during the season as well so adding young guy to bring up behind them would be a good idea.

2.   Offensive Guard/Center – The Bears have done a good job in rebuilding their offensive line this off-season by adding Jermon Bushrod at left tackle and bringing in Matt Slauson and Eben Britton to help on the interior, while the new coaching staff appears to prefer 2011 first round pick Gabe Carimi at right guard instead of right tackle. Roberto Garza is solid at center, but just turned 34 years old. Guards Lance Louis and Chilo Rachal were allowed to sign elsewhere and backup center Chris Spencer remains a free agent. Continuing to add more talent to this unit to better protect Cutler is still needed.

3.   Wide Receiver – In 2012 it seemed like every time Jay Cutler threw a pass it was to Brandon Marshall. Now throwing the ball to Marshall is not the problem as he’s one of the game’s best, but in some games Cutler was seemingly only targeting him. Marshall and Cutler need some more help. When he did get the ball thrown his way, Alshon Jeffrey showed some solid development as a deep threat and legit no.2 wide out. Earl Bennett has not provided much over the last two seasons, while the new coaching staff is planning on using Devin Hester exclusively as a returner. Adding a dynamic, reliable slot receiver could take this offense to another level. Don’t forget that Trestman most recently coached in the CFL, where they use 4-WR sets and a lot of creativity on almost every down.


2013 Draft Picks: 23 (1st), 25 (1st), 52 (2nd), 83 (3rd), 102 (4th), 120 (4th), 155 (5th), 189 (6th), 213 (7th), 229 (7th) 

2012 Early Draft Selections: LT Matt Kalil, USC (4, 1st), S Harrison Smith, ND (29, 1st), CB Josh Robinson, UCF (66, 3rd)

Decision Makers: GM Rick Spielman, Head Coach Leslie Frazier

The Vikings went on a surprising run to the playoffs last year mostly on the back of Adrian Peterson, who rushed his way to an MVP. The crazy thing about their run and Peterson’s season for the ages is that he did it with very little help. The defense was just okay and the passing game contributed very little when Percy Harvin went down for the year with an injury. Speaking of Harvin, he was traded to the Seahawks this offseason landing the Vikings a bevy of picks to work with in this draft. They currently have six selections in the top four rounds, including a pair of first-rounders and could certainly use them to provide Peterson with some more help on both sides of the ball.

1.   Wide Receiver – The Vikings finished the season ranked 31st in the league in passing offense last year. A lot of that had to do with the ups and downs of young quarterback Christian Ponder, but it also had to with their lousy receiver corps. Their one superstar Percy Harvin couldn’t stay healthy and then got his way this off-season when they traded him to Seattle. They replaced him with former Packers star Greg Jennings, who has also battled his share of injuries over the years. They resigned Jerome Simpson, while Michael Jenkins signed with the Pats. This unit needs at least two promising receivers added to it with one of them ready to step in and contribute right away.

2.   Middle Linebacker – This may be the biggest hole on the roster at the moment as veteran backup Tyrone McKenzie is currently slated to be their starter right now. Jasper Brinkley was allowed to leave in free agency as the Vikings were planning on replacing him anyways, while seventh round pick Audie Cole hasn’t played very much. The front office and coaching staff has made it known they are looking to land a new starting middle linebacker with one of their early picks. They could use some better depth as well.

3.   Cornerback – Veteran Antoine Winfield was the team’s best corner, but that didn’t stop the Vikings from releasing him this offseason, only to see him be quickly scooped up by the Seahawks. They’ve yet to replace him and the rest of this unit is just average and could stand to be upgraded. They were highly interested in Morris Claiborne in last year’s draft before deciding to go with left tackle Matt Kalil.


2013 Draft Picks: 5 (1st), 36 (2nd), 65 (3rd), 132 (4th), 137 (5th), 171 (6th), 211 (7th), 245 (7th)

2012 Early Draft Selections: OT Riley Reiff, IOW (23, 1st), WR Ryan Broyles, OKLA (54, 2nd), CB Bill Bentley, LALF (85, 3rd)

Decision Makers: GM Martin Mayhew, Head Coach Jim Schwartz

The Lions finally broke through in 2011 making the playoffs to end an eleven-year drought, but reverted back to their usual selves by winning just four games last year. The current regime is probably under the hot seat if they can’t get back into the postseason in 2013. There are major holes on this roster specifically at offensive tackle and defensive end that need to be filled in the draft and they may not have enough picks to add the right talent to get them back into the playoffs.

1.   Offensive Tackle – The Lions saw both of their starting offensive tackles depart this off-season as long time left tackle Jeff Backus finally called it career following the season and right tackle Gosder Cherlius headed for the Colts as a free agent. They drafted Riley Reiff in the first round last year and he could fill the spot left by Cherilus on the right side, although there has been talk of moving him inside to guard to improve their interior. At the moment they need him to play right tackle. Backup Corey Hilliard was resigned as well. One of their main goals for the 2013 NFL Draft should be to land a new franchise left tackle that can play immediately to protect Matthew Stafford, who is set to receive a very big pay day in the near future.

2.   Defensive End – Detroit will also need two new starters at defensive end after they cut the declining Kyle Vanden Bosch and were unable to keep Cliff Avril, who left for Seattle as a free agency. Backup Willie Young was resigned, while Lawrence Jackson is still available in free agency. At least one pass-rusher that can start immediately must to be added, but the Lions should really spend two early draft picks on the position.

3.   Cornerback – When they don’t have an offensive lineman or pass-rusher prospect lined up that matches the value with one of their draft picks then they should think about spending it on a cornerback. This position has been neglected for years in the draft by Detroit. They resigned Chris Houston, but lost veteran Drayton Florence to the Panthers in free agency and nickelback Jacob Lacey is still on the market. This unit desperately needs more talent. ousHhhhhhhh

Written By: Mark Scott



2013 Draft Picks: 51 (2nd), 85 (3rd), 119 (4th), 154 (5th), 162 (5th), 191 (6th), 228 (7th)

2012 Early Draft Selections: QB Robert Griffin III, BAY (2, 1st), OG Josh LiRibeus, SMU (71, 3rd)

Decision Makers: GM Bruce Allen, Head Coach Mike Shanahan

The Redskins not only stepped up to plate and swung for the fences in last year’s draft, but they crushed it out of the park when they ponied up multiple draft picks to land the second overall choice from St. Louis to select Robert Griffin III to be their franchise quarterback. Griffin completely turned around the franchise and led them into the playoffs bringing some respect back to Washington for the first time in a long while.  Although he will always be a major injury risk, the Redskins are a legitimate playoff contender with Griffin on the field.

1.   Cornerback – Washington finished 30th in the league in defending the pass in 2012. The return of pass-rusher Brian Orakpo for a full season will help to improve it, but the Redskins need to focus on making upgrades across the secondary and adding some young talent. Josh Wilson is a decent starter, while free agent pickup E.J. Biggers will compete for the other spot. DeAngelo Hall was cut, then resigned, but he is a major liability when he’s on the field. The Redskins will have the chance to land a talented corner with their second round pick to compete with Biggers for a spot in the starting lineup. Cedric Griffin is a free agent as well.

2.   Safety – Madieu Williams is a below-average  free agent that needed to be upgraded and won’t likely be brought back leaving a hole in the starting lineup at free safety, while there isn’t much at strong safety either other than the injury-prone Brandon Meriweather. Luckily for the Redskins this is a deep safety class so they should land at least one talented prospect.

3.   Inside Linebacker – As good as he still is London Fletcher cannot play forever so adding a young inside linebacker to learn behind him for a year or two to eventually lineup next to Perry Riley would be a great move for this team. The reliable, versatile Lorenzo Alexander was lost in free agency to the Cardinals so some depth is needed anyways.


2013 Draft Picks: 19 (1st), 49 (2nd), 81 (3rd), 116 (4th), 152 (5th), 187 (6th), 225 (7th), 253 (7th)

2012 Early Draft Selections: RB David Wilson, VTCH (32, 1st), WR Reuben Randle, LSU (63, 2nd), CB Jayron Hosley, VTCH (94, 3rd)

Decision Makers: GM Jerry Reese, Head Coach Tom Coughlin

The Giants finished as one of the more disappointing teams of 2012 after failing to make the playoffs just a year removed from a Super Bowl victory despite starting the season 6-2. A number of the team’s top players had down years and they only missed the postseason by one game. If they can avoid the constant let downs in games they should win then expect the Giants to be back to being the top contender for the AFC East crown. 

1.   Linebacker – The Giants haven’t spent a first round pick on a linebacker since Carl Banks in 1984, but if they were to do it, this would be the year. This unit has to be upgraded with immediate help.  They resigned veteran backup Keith Rivers and added some depth and toughness with former Cowboy Dan Connor. While they needed to be upgraded, they now need to be replace them as well as the Giants saw starting middle linebacker Chase Blackburn leave as a free agent, while they cut weakside linebacker Michael Boley themselves. Strongside linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka is being moved back to defensive end also. New York probably needs to add a pair of linebackers in the draft.

2.   Offensive Line – The starting offensive line still remains a solid unit as they allowed just 20 sacks last season. However, this is an aging group that won’t last much longer and could be in for a major drop off at any point. The left side of the line is very good with left tackle Will Beatty resigned to a new long term contract and Kevin Boothe brought back for another year at left guard. The rest of the line could stand to be upgraded. Veteran right tackle David Diehl is probably the weakest link on the starting unit, while interior linemen David Baas and Chris Snee are decent players now in their thirties. There isn’t much behind any of these guys so young depth will need to be added in the draft for sure.

3.   Defensive End – Jerry Reese loves to draft pass-rushers and this year seems like a good time to take one if one of the top prospects drops down the board. Justin Tuck has produced only nine sacks over the past two seasons and just turned 30, while Jason Pierre-Paul also had a down year recording just 6.5 sacks after putting up 16.5 in 2011. Long time Giant Osi Umenyiora was allowed to leave for Atlanta in free agency. Mathias Kiwanuka will be moved back to defensive end this season after playing linebacker last year and he should help improve the pass rush. A third guy that can bring some heat is needed.


2013 Draft Picks: 18 (1st), 47 (2nd), 80 (3rd), 114 (4th), 151 (5th), 185 (6th)

2012 Early Draft Selections: CB Morris Claiborne, LSU (6, 1st), DE Tyrone Crawford, BSST (81, 3rd)

Decision Makers: Owner/GM Jerry Jones, Head Coach Jason Garrett

It was another disappointing season for the Cowboys as they finished with an 8-8 record for the second straight year and haven’t made the postseason since 2009. Jerry Jones won’t sit idle for very long and Jason Garrett will be on the hot seat this season, although Tony Romo won’t as he was just signed to a new, massive contract. The one major change Jones did make was to replace Rob Ryan and his 3-4 defensive scheme with Monte Kiffin and his famous Tampa-2 defense that features a 4-3 alignment. Numerous changes to the defensive personnel could be coming. The offensive line needs to desperately be upgraded as well.

1.   Offensive Line – This unit is in need of an infusion of talent where four of the five spots with the exception of left tackle Tyron Smith have to be upgraded, especially with the money they just invested in Tony Romo. Right tackle Doug Free has been bad the past two years and makes a good chunk of change, while they have tried to patchwork the interior of the offensive line with cheap, veteran talent that hasn’t worked out. Center Phil Costa is decent in the middle and was resigned, but is coming off foot surgery and may be slow to return to full health. This was also a unit that was a major reason the Cowboys ranked 31st in the NFL in rushing last year.

2.   Safety – This has been a problem area for Dallas the past few years. Gerald Sensabaugh was cut this off-season, while backups Charlie Peprah and Eric Frampton won’t be back either. Backups Barry Church and Matt Johnson are currently slated to be the new starters, while Danny McCray was resigned and free agent veteran pickup Will Allen will be in the mix as well. None of those guys should be starting in an ideal scenario, especially in Kiffin’s Tampa-2 defense that requires the safeties to possess great range, cover skills and above-average open space tackling ability.

3.   Defensive Tackle – The Cowboys defensive line has quietly become an older unit with three starters, Demarcus Ware, Jay Ratliff and Jason Hatcher all in their thirties and Anthony Spencer approaching it at 29. These are also players who have been in a 4-3 defense for a number of years and may struggle to transition to the new scheme. They also saw Kenyon Coleman head to the Saints as a free agent, while Marcus Spears was released. The defensive tackles in particular may need to change or be upgraded where Ratliff hasn’t been the same player since signing a big contact. None of the tackles on the roster can penetrate or get into opposing back fields on a consistent basis which is the type of player Kiffin likes to have in the middle of his defensive front.


2013 Draft Picks: 4 (1st), 35 (2nd), 67 (3rd), 101 (4th), 136 (5th), 210 (7th), 212 (7th), 218 (7th), 239 (7th)

2012 Early Draft Selections: DL Fletcher Cox, MSST (12, 1st), LB Mychal Kendricks, CAL (46, 2nd), DE Vinny Curry, MARSH (59, 2nd), QB Nick Foles, ARIZ (88, 3rd)

Decision Makers: GM Howie Roseman, Head Coach Chip Kelly

It’s a new era in Philadelphia as talented Oregon Ducks Head Coach Chip Kelly makes the jump from college to take over for longtime Eagles Head Coach Andy Reid. Expect the Eagles to look completely different as Kelly’s personality and offensive/defensive schemes take over this roster, which includes a switch to a 3-4 defense. They’ve already done a nice job in free agency adding a lot of talent at multiple positions that fit what they want to do on both sides of the ball. They are one of the most intriguing teams to watch at the 2013 NFL Draft.

1.   Offensive Line – The Eagles are expected to take the up tempo offense to another level this season under Chip Kelly so expect some athletic offensive linemen with good gas tanks that can stay on the field to be added to this roster. Left tackle Jason Peters is one of the most talented tackles in the league, but is coming off his second straight season-ending torn Achilles and can’t be counted upon to stay healthy for a full season anymore. Todd Herremans is also coming off a season-ending injury. He played well at right tackle, but is better suited at guard and would help bolster the interior of their line. OT Demetress Bell was horrible trying to fill in for Peters and was released, while King Dunlap wasn’t much better and was allowed to leave as a free agent. 2011 first round pick Danny Watkins has been a major disappointment at guard. Adding some young, athletic prospects to provide depth with the potential to step into the starting lineup are expected.

2.   Cornerback – Philadelphia will have two new starting corners when the 2013 regular season gets rolling. Nnamdi Asomugha was a massive disappointment after coming over as a free agent and was released this offseason, while Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was allowed to leave as a free agent. They signed Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher in free agency, but neither one is a top corner with the ability to cover opposing no.1 receivers. The hunt for a new no.1 corner is on. Dee Milliner could be an option with the fourth overall pick.

3.   Quarterback – Who Chip Kelly’s signal-caller will be in 2013 remains unclear. Michael Vick looks like he may get the first chance at the job, but whether he can stay healthy or even handle Kelly’s offense is still up in the air. Nick Foles showed some promise last year, but doesn’t appear to be a fit at all for the new system and could be a trade target for a team that might miss out on one of the quarterbacks in the draft. Former Oregon Duck and Pittsburgh Steeler Dennis Dixon was added for depth. If Kelly doesn’t like Vick or Foles to run his offense then they could add a quarterback with one of their top three picks.

Written By: Mark Scott



2013 Draft Picks: 30 (1st), 60 (2nd), 92 (3rd), 127 (4th), 133 (4th), 163 (5th), 198 (6th), 236 (7th), 243 (7th), 244 (7th), 249 (7th)

2012 Early Draft Selections: OC/OG Peter Konz, WISC (55, 2nd), OT Lamar Holmes, SMSP (91, 3rd)

Decision Makers: GM Thomas Dimitroff, Head Coach Mike Smith

The Falcons current regime finally broke through last season by winning their first playoff game defeating Seattle in the second round before exiting the postseason and will look to take that next step this year by getting to a Super Bowl. Most of the cast is back so they will remain one of the top teams in the NFL, although they need to rebuild their cornerback corps, add a young pass-rusher ready to contribute immediately and a pair of offensive linemen to play on the right side.

1.   Cornerback – The Falcons saw their once deep cornerback corps be dismantled this off-season. Dunta Robinson was cut, while Brent Grimes and Chris Owens signed elsewhere in free agency. Asante Samuel still remains a dangerous ball-hawk and Atlanta likes Robert McClain. Still, they need to draft at least one corner they feel comfortable about starting next to Samuel and probably a second one slightly later in the draft they can develop.

2.   Defensive End – They cut veteran John Abraham and replaced him with former Giant Osi Umenyiora this offseason, which some consider a downgrade. Osi turns 32 this season and has seen a steady decline in his production the last few years and isn’t in the long term plans. They also waved goodbye to Ray Edwards during the season. Meanwhile, Kroy Biermann remains a solid starter and they like 2012 fifth round pick Jonathan Massaquoi, although he barely saw the field as a rookie. A young pass rusher is needed.

3.   Tight End – Dimitroff was able to convince future Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez to come back for one more season after last year’s playoff run showed that Atlanta isn’t far away from getting to the Super Bowl. Regardless of what happens this season, it is unlikely he’ll put off retirement again so finding a tight end to learn under the legend for a year should be on their radar during the draft.


2013 Draft Picks: 15 (1st), 75 (3rd), 109 (4th), 144 (5th), 183 (6th)

2012 Draft Selections: NT Akiem Hicks, REG/Canada (89, 3rd)

Decision Makers: GM Mickey Loomis, Head Coach Sean Payton

2012 was a year to forget for the Saints and their faithful as they had to deal with the “Bountygate” scandal that saw them lose Sean Payton for the season along with a number of other personnel that was suspended for parts of the year. A tough start to the season ultimately doomed them, but it was their legendarily bad defense that couldn’t stop anything that cost them most of their games. They weren’t able to add much in last year’s draft as they didn’t make a pick until late in the third round, while they will have to make their draft selections this year count with just five of them to work with. The defense switches to a 3-4 scheme this year so a lot of new talent needs to be added to this roster.   

1.   Outside Linebacker – New Orleans has a collection of interesting pass-rushers in Junior Galette, Martez Wilson, veteran Will Smith and free agent pickup Victor Butler. Galette and Wilson are still developing talents, while Will Smith is an unlikely fit for a 3-4 defense. Only Butler, who was a solid backup in Dallas has pro experience in the system, although he comes over after having just played under Rob Ryan with the Cowboys. Drafting a stud pass-rusher for this defense needs to be priority number one for the Saints.

2.   Left Tackle – The Saints saw Jermon Bushrod head to Chicago in free agency leaving a huge hole on their offensive line. 2010 second round pick Charles Brown appears to be his replacement at the moment, although he’s battled injuries in his career and hasn’t impressed when in the lineup. They signed draft bust Jason Smith for depth. While the Saints value guards more than tackles they still need someone who can legitimately protect Brees’ blind side and be in the lineup on a consistent basis.

3.   Best Defensive Player Available – The 2012 Saints defense was one of the worst in the history of the NFL. They couldn’t stop the run or the pass and now they transition from a 4-3 scheme that they’ve run for the last number of years under Gregg Williams and Steve Spagnuolo to a 3-4 scheme led by Rob Ryan. The transition is not going to be easy and may take some time. They have holes everywhere on defense, so focusing on landing the best available defensive prospect throughout the draft that can fit their new 3-4 system should be their overall goal.


2013 Draft Picks: 14 (1st), 44 (2nd), 108 (4th), 148 (5th), 182 (6th)

2012 Early Draft Selections: MLB Luke Kuechly, BC (9, 1st), OG Amini Silatolu, MWST (40, 2nd)

Decision Makers: GM Dave Gettleman, Head Coach Ron Rivera

New General Manager Dave Gettleman takes over for the fired Marty Hurney and is tasked with finding the talent to take this franchise back to the playoffs for the first time since 2008. There are some good pieces to start with in Cam Newton, a solid pass rush and a talented linebacker corps, but they still need a lot more talent if they plan on surpassing the Falcons or Saints in the NFC South. Gettleman is on the record as saying he is looking to land at least two immediate starters in this draft and is specifically targeting the trenches. Finding a long term replacement for veteran left tackle Jordan Gross who will turn 33 before the season and be a free agent next year should be on their radar if a prospect falls to them.

1.   Defensive Tackle – The Panthers group of interior defensive linemen is one of the worst in the NFL. They resigned Dwan Edwards, while fellow starter Ron Edwards was released. They spent a pair of third-rounders on Sione Fua and Terrell McClain in 2011 out of necessity, but neither has developed into a starter and they need to be upgraded. Edwards, Fua and McClain are all big, space-eaters so finding someone with the ability to penetrate and get into the backfield from the inside would be their best move. Adding a defensive tackle or two should be at the top of Carolina’s draft priorities.

2.   Defensive Back – While they’ve added some nice cornerback depth in Drayton Florence and D.J. Moore to help the resigned Captain Munnerlyn, they still have a need for a young stud corner at the top. Josh Norman was solid as rookie, but he’s probably not that guy. Playing in a division with receivers like Julio Jones, Roddy White, Marques Colston and Vincent Jackson along with quarterbacks Drew Brees and Matt Ryan, the Panthers need to get as many talented corners as possible. They signed free agent Michael Mitchell to start next to Charles Godfrey at safety, but there’s not much behind them and they could both be upgraded anyway.

3.   Wide Receiver – Steve Smith will be 34 when the season starts and can’t play forever. Brandon LaFell has become a solid target that may be ready to take the next step after averaging just under 40 catches a season in his first three years, while the rest of the receivers they’ve drafted over the past few years haven’t worked out. Louis Murphy also signed with the Giants. Carolina needs to find Cam Newton some more weapons, preferably someone who might be able to take over for Smith when he calls it a career.


2013 Draft Picks: 43 (2nd), 73 (3rd), 112 (4th), 126 (4th), 147 (5th), 181 (6th), 196 (6th)

2012 Early Draft Selections: SS Mark Barron, ALA (7, 1st), RB Doug Martin, BSU (31, 1st), OLB LaVonte David, NEB (58, 2nd)

Decision Makers: GM Mark Dominik, Head Coach Greg Schiano

The 2012 season started so promising for the Bucs as they won six of their first ten games, but then just won one the rest of the way and looked awful doing so. There is some work to be done on both sides of the ball if the Bucs plan on avoiding a sixth consecutive season without the playoffs. General Manager Mark Dominik made his first big move in doing so this season as he recently acquired CB Darrelle Revis from the Jets for their 13th overall pick this year along with another conditional 2014 mid-round selection. A great move considering there wasn’t really a cornerback prospect worth taking at that spot in the first round. They also need to figure out if Josh Freeman is their quarterback of the present and future as he appears to have fallen slightly out of favor with the coaching staff.

1.   Defensive End – They spent a pair of early draft picks in 2011 on Adrian Clayborn and Da’Quan Bowers, but both have battled injuries in their short football careers and more recently Bowers was busted for trying to bring a gun on a plane and is facing some legal issues. Meanwhile their most consistent and productive pass-rusher Michael Bennett left for Seattle as a free agent. They need someone who can contribute immediately to replace him. This should be their top priority. Adding a defensive tackle that can stuff the run to replace the reliable, but departed Roy Miller should also be on the docket.

2.   Cornerback – Despite making a great move by adding the best cornerback in the league in Darrelle Revis, he is still coming off a torn ACL and may take some time to get back to full speed. Eric Wright continues to deal with injuries and suspensions, while under performing when in the lineup and E.J. Biggers headed to Washington as a free agent. They also traded the troubled, but talented Aqib Talib during last season.  Adding a corner still remains one of their top needs.

3.   Tight End – The tight end position needs some help. Dallas Clark is a 34-year old free agent, while Luke Stocker has been slow to develop. They brought in Packers backup Tom Crabtree, but he’s not the game breaker or productive player Josh Freeman and this offense needs at the position. There are some intriguing mid-round options they could look at in the draft.

Written By: Mark Scott



2013 Draft Picks: 28 (1st), 58 (2nd), 90 (3rd), 125 (4th), 161 (5th), 24 (7th)

2012 Early Draft Selections: DT Derek Wolfe, CIN (36, 2nd), QB Brock Osweiler, AZST (57, 2nd), RB Ronnie Hillman, SDST (67, 3rd)

Decision Makers: GM John Elway, Head Coach John Fox

The Broncos took a major risk on Peyton Manning’s surgically repaired neck and it paid off as they finished with the best record in the AFC in 2012. That didn’t help much in the playoffs though as they failed to win a game or advance any further than Tim Tebow led them the year before. They still remain one of the top teams in the NFL, but do have needs that have to be filled, particularly on defense.

1.   Defensive End – A ridiculous front office mistake saw Elvis Dumervil end up signing with the Ravens instead of Denver leaving a massive hole on their defensive line. Derek Wolfe was excellent as a rookie, but Robert Ayers has shown nothing so far in his short career to show that he can be counted on for another year as a starter. Backup Jason Hunter also left in free agency. Adding a young defensive tackle is needed as well.

2.   Middle Linebacker – The middle of the defense is a major weakness for the Broncos. Keith Brooking was pretty good for them in 2012, but he’s a 37-year old free agent, while Joe Mays is coming off a season-ending injury and D.J. Williams departed in free agency. They need to find someone to quarterback their defense.

3.   Cornerback – Unfortunately future Hall of Famer Champ Bailey can’t play forever so finding someone for the long term future to learn behind him would be a good idea. The Broncos franchise has not drafted a corner of note since the late Darrent Williams in 2005. They made a great signing in bringing in Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on a one year deal. Chris Harris has been a solid player for them as well. Tracy Porter signed with Oakland as a free agent.


2013 Draft Picks: 1 (1st), 63 (3rd), 96 (3rd), 99 (4th), 134 (5th), 170 (6th), 204 (6th), 207 (7th)

2012 Early Draft Selections: DL Dontari Poe, MEM (11, 1st), OG Jeff Allen, ILL (44, 2nd), OT Donald Stephenson, OKLA (74, 3rd)

Decision Makers: GM John Dorsey, Head Coach Andy Reid

A new era begins in Kansas City as former long time Eagles Head Coach Andy Reid takes over the reins following a 2012 season that everyone would love to forget with the exception of the 2013 first overall pick they received for their misery. The Chiefs still have a lot of talent on this roster, including a number of Pro Bowlers, most of who are still in the early stages of their careers. Despite just two wins last year, they have the potential for a quick turnaround with better coaching, improved quarterback play and a good draft. They traded for Alex Smith, but Reid loves his quarterbacks so look him to take one to develop with one of their mid-round picks, perhaps someone like Tyler Bray, who has the best pure arm talent of any quarterback prospect this year.

1.   Offensive Tackle – The Chiefs have been rumored for months to be taking either Luke Joeckel or Eric Fisher with the first overall pick and for good reason. They franchised left tackle Branden Albert, but that’s just for one year and they recently gave Miami permission to talk to him in order to work out a trade after shopping him around the league. Even if Albert remains in Kansas City for 2013, they still have a hole at right tackle after releasing Eric Winston. Joeckel or Fisher could play on the right side for a year and then take over at left tackle when Albert isn’t resigned following the season or the Chiefs could move Albert over to right tackle and let either of the prospects start on the blind side from day one.

2.   Inside Linebacker – The Jovan Belcher tragedy has left a spot open next to Derrick Johnson on the inside that has yet to be filled. The Chiefs did sign a pair of decent linebackers in Akeem Jordan and Zac Diles, but they figure to be more for depth. Johnson is still one of the top inside linebackers in the league, but he’ll be 31 in November and in his tenth season. Adding a young linebacker to learn from Johnson for however long he keeps playing would be beneficial.

3.   Free Safety – They need to add someone better than Kendrick Lewis or Abram Elam to play free safety next to strong safety Eric Berry in the starting lineup.  Georgia’s playmaking Bacarri Rambo or the hard-hitting T.J. McDonald out of USC in the late third or fourth round could be options.


2013 Draft Picks: 11 (1st), 45 (2nd), 76 (3rd), 110 (4th), 145 (5th), 179 (6th), 221 (7th)

2012 Early Draft Selections: OLB Melvin Ingram, SCAR (18, 1st), DT Kendall Reyes, CONN (49, 2nd), S Brandon Taylor, LSU (73, 3rd)

Decision Makers: GM Tom Telesco, Head Coach Mike McCoy

The Chiefs aren’t the only franchise entering a new era as San Diego will do the same after finally deciding to move on from the A.J. Smith/Norv Turner regime and replacing them with Tom Telesco and Mike McCoy. The Chargers still possess a roster with some very talented players on it, but also have brutally glaring holes specifically on their offensive line and in the secondary. Their offensive line may be the worst in football right now. They probably need to add three offensive linemen in this draft.

1.   Offensive Tackle – Left tackle Jared Gaither was cut this offseason after he was unable to stay healthy or adequately protect Phillip Rivers when he was in the lineup, while right tackle Jeromey Clary is awful. Two new staring offensive tackles need to be added. San Diego has no hope if they can’t protect Rivers.

2.   Offensive Guard/Center – The interior offensive line wasn’t any better than the their tackles and is in need of major upgrades, especially after their only reliable player, RG Louis Vasquez signed with the rival Broncos as a free agent. Tyronne Green and Rex Hadnot are free agents who probably won’t be resigned. They did sign former Bill Chad Rinehart who was good in 2011, but was injured for almost all of last season. San Diego hasn’t drafted an offensive lineman in any of the first three rounds in the past four years, so whether it is tackle, guard or center, they need to draft as many good linemen as possible regardless of position.

3.   Cornerback – The Chargers will have a pair of new starting corners when the 2013 season begins. Antoine Cason signed with the Cardinals, while Quentin Jammer is a 34-year old free agent. Neither was expected to be brought back. They did sign former Jag Derek Cox to start at one spot, but he’s missed 14 games due to injury over the past two seasons and was let go by the Jags because of his inability to stay healthy. The other starting spot remains unfilled.


2013 Draft Picks: 3 (1st), 66 (3rd), 100 (4th), 172 (6th), 176 (6th), 205 (6th), 209 (7th)

2012 Early Draft Selections: OG Tony Bergstrom, UTA (95, 3rd)

Decision Makers: GM Reggie McKenzie, Head Coach Dennis Allen

Reggie McKenzie continues to try to rebuild the dreadful Raiders, perhaps one of the toughest rebuilding projects we’ve ever seen in sports. Since taking over he’s cleaned out as many big, mostly bad contracts as possible, but in doing so he has depleted this roster of any of the talent that they did have. Dealing with a horrible cap situation, McKenzie has filled most of the holes on this roster with cheap, stop-gap players that were backups on other teams. This is a team that just needs to take the best, most talented player available with every pick regardless of need. At least this year he has a first round pick to work with.

1.   Defensive Tackle – Their best interior defensive lineman Desmond Bryant departed for Cleveland in free agency, while Richard Seymour is an aging, declining free agent that probably won’t be brought back and Tommy Kelly was rightfully cut. They signed former backups Pats Sims and Vance Walker, who are currently set to start for them. A pair of defensive tackles need to be added in the draft.

2.   Cornerback – The Raiders added Mike Jenkins and Tracy Porter as free agents to an underwhelming group of corners. None of which a potential playoff team would want starting for them and that includes stopgaps Jenkins and Porter. Finding a young cornerback is another massive need.

3.   Defensive End – Oakland finished 31st in sacks last year only ahead of the dreadful Jags. Lamarr Houston has developed into a solid starting defensive end, but is better at stopping the run than putting constant pressure on opposing passers. They also saw Matt Shaughnessy go to Arizona in free agency, while the Raiders signed Jason Hunter and brought veteran Andre Carter back for another year. Houston is the only legit starting defensive end on the roster at the moment. Like with defensive tackle and cornerback, they need to find potential star talent throughout the draft, but any prospects with talent are a boost to this depleted roster.

Written By: Mark Scott



2013 Draft Picks: 27 (1st), 57 (2nd), 89 (3rd), 95 (3rd), 124 (4th), 160 (5th), 195 (6th), 201 (6th), 233 (7th)

2012 Early Draft Selections: OLB Whitney Mercilus, ILL (26, 1st), WR DeVier Posey, OSU (68 , 3rd), OG Brandon Brooks, MIA-O ( , 3rd)

Decision Makers: GM Rick Smith, Head Coach Gary Kubiak

Another successful regular season in 2012 helped the Texans establish themselves as one of the top teams currently in the NFL, but they failed for a second year in a row to advance past the second round of the playoffs. This season will be about taking that next step by getting to the Super Bowl. They’ve found immediate game-changing talent over the last couple of drafts and if they can add a couple more of those guys this year than that next step should come a lot easier.

1.   Wide Receiver – The Texans have needed someone to pair with Andre Johnson for a while now and it appears to be their top focus heading into the draft. Any new receiver would also ideally be a potential heir apparent for the aging Johnson. Adding a young slot receiver would be a good idea as well. Long-time Texan Kevin Walter was allowed to leave in free agency.

2.   Nose Tackle – Sean Cody did a nice job at Nose Tackle for Wade Phillips’ defense the past few seasons, but he’s a free agent and probably needed to be upgraded anyways. Backup Earl Mitchell has been quietly getting better and has shown flashes throughout his first three seasons that he may be ready to move into the starting lineup. If the Texans fully believe in Mitchell than that lessens their need, but there is still nobody behind him should he struggle or get injured. Phillips prefers to use a smaller, more athletic tackle that can move around rather than the standard, mammoth nose that just takes up the middle of the field.

3.   Outside Linebacker – Connor Barwin departed for the Eagles in free agency leaving Houston in need of a third pass-rusher to go with Brooks Reed and Whitney Mercilus. There is nothing on the roster behind them.


2013 Draft Picks: 24 (1st), 86 (3rd), 121 (4th), 192 (6th), 230 (7th), 254 (7th)

2012 Early Draft Selections: QB Andrew Luck, STAN (1, 1st), TE Coby Fleener, STAN (34, 2nd), TE Dwayne Allen, CLEM (64, 3rd), WR T.Y. Hilton, FIU (92, 3rd)

Decision Makers: GM Ryan Grigson, Head Coach Chuck Pagano

The 2012 season was a magical one for the Colts as they won eleven games and went to the playoffs after winning just two games the previous year, all while new Head Coach Chuck Pagano fought and defeated Leukemia. The key was landing Andrew Luck with the first overall pick in last year’s draft along with a number of prospects on offense that contributed immediately. This year’s draft should be about building their defense that continues to transition from a long-time 4-3 scheme to the type of 3-4 Pagano ran when he was defensive coordinator in Baltimore.

1.   Outside Linebacker – Long-time Colt Dwight Freeney was not resigned and probably wasn’t a good fit in the 3-4, while Robert Mathis made a successful transition and turned in another solid campaign, although he just turned 32 years old. 2010 first round pick Jerry Hughes had his best year to date, but still wasn’t all that impressive and left a lot to be desired. They also added Erik Walden and Lawrence Sidbury as free agents to upgrade their depth at the position. It’s probably time to find someone to play across from Mathis instead of Hughes.

2.   Offensive Guard – They filled one guard spot through free agency by adding Donald Thomas from the Patriots, while Mike McGlynn and Jeff Linkenbach desperately need to be upgraded on the right side. Andrew Luck was hit way too many times as a rookie and the Colts should find him the best protection possible.

3.   Defensive Line – Finding big, versatile defensive linemen is imperative to running a 3-4 defense and the Colts are in need of upgrades across their line as they continue to make their transition from a 4-3 scheme. They signed Aubrayo Franklin and Ricky Jean-Francois, but they have their flaws and would be better suited as reserves if Indy can find better talent. Cory Redding is a terrific player, but he will turn 33 during next season and isn’t getting any younger. Adding a young five-technique defensive end or nose tackle or both to build the defense around would be fantastic.  


2013 Draft Picks: 10 (1st), 40 (2nd), 70 (3rd), 97 (3rd), 107 (4th), 142 (5th), 202 (6th), 216 (7th), 248 (7th)

2012 Early Draft Selections: WR Kendall Wright, BAY (20, 1st), OLB Zach Brown, UNC (52, 2nd), DT Mike Martin, MICH (82, 3rd)

Decision Makers: GM Ruston Webster, Head Coach Mike Munchak

The Titans missed the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year and Mike Munchak will be on the hot seat if they fail to qualify for them again this season, especially if they endure another year like 2012 where they were blown out six times. Tennessee could be in for a major rebuild should that happen so upgrading this roster in the draft is a must.

1.   Offensive Guard – The Titans added coveted left guard Andy Levitre from Buffalo in free agency, but still have a hole at right guard that needs to be filled to complete their offensive line. A run-blocking mauler to clear the way for Chris Johnson would be ideal. Selecting at the tenth pick overall, Tennessee will likely have the opportunity to land the top guard prospect in the draft, which would give them one of the best guard tandems in the league.

2.   Defensive End – The Titans have a nice group of defensive ends led by Kamerion Wimbley and Derrick Morgan, but don’t have anyone that strikes fear into opposing teams or forces them to alter their protection. Adding another young pass-rusher, hopefully with game-changing potential would be a big help in elevating this defense.

3.   Best Player Available – The Titans don’t really have too many glaring holes in their lineup, however the majority of this roster is made up of a lot of good or solid players, but not the type of elite, game-changing talent they need to take their team to the next level. Adding elite talent should be their main goal to the point that the front office can sit there and take the best player of their board regardless of risk with every pick.


2013 Draft Picks: 2 (1st), 33 (2nd), 64 (3rd), 98 (4th), 135 (5th), 169 (6th), 208 (7th)

2012 Early Draft Selections: WR Justin Blackmon, OKST (5, 1st), DE Andre Branch, CLEM (38, 2nd), P Bryan Anger, CAL (70, 3rd)

Decision Makers: GM David Caldwell, Head Coach Gus Bradley

A new regime takes over in Jacksonville led by GM David Caldwell and former Seahawks Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley as the new Head Coach. The Jags have won just seven games over the past two years and haven’t had a winning season since 2007.  There are huge holes that need to be filled throughout the lineup, but upgrading the current talent and adding elite prospects to the roster is what this new front office has to do more than anything else.

1.   Quarterback – New regimes mean new quarterbacks and Blaine Gabbert has struggled badly since coming into the league two years ago and appears to be an early first round bust, while Chad Henne remains a solid backup that actually played pretty well and was able to help young wideouts Justin Blackmon and Cecil Shorts start to produce. The Jags front office has worked out the majority of top quarterback prospects and will have the opportunity to draft one early in the first or second round if they want.

2.   Defensive End – The Jags finished dead last in sacks in 2012 where they’ve been at or near the bottom of the league in for the last four years. Houston’s J.J. Watt actually had more sacks himself than the entire Jacksonville team last season. Their top pass-rusher Jeremy Mincey produced just three sacks, while 2012 second round pick Andre Branch was slow to adjust to the pro level. Jason Babin was brought over from Philadelphia during last season and could be an intriguing guy if he can get back to the form he showed in 2012 and 2011. While a defensive end is needed, Bradley will be looking for a certain type of player that will be able to play his “LEO” position, which features an athletic, versatile pass-rusher with great speed that lines up wide on the weak side and has the ability to rush with his hand in the dirt or standing up and can be lined up from multiple spots on defense.

3.   Cornerback – The Jags cornerback corps has been almost as bad as the pass rush these past few years and is in desperate need of new and better talent. Derek Cox left for San Diego in free agency, while Aaron Ross was cut before heading back to the Giants. Meanwhile Rashean Mathis will be 33 when the 2013 regular season begins and Mike Harris is still a developing talent.  Adding at least one corner that can start is a must in this draft.

Written By: Mark Scott



2013 Draft Picks: 32 (1st), 62 (2nd), 94 (3rd), 129 (4th), 130 (4th), 165 (5th), 168 (5th), 199 (6th), 200 (6th), 203 (6th), 238 (7th), 247 (7th)

2012 Early Draft Selections: LB Courtney Upshaw, ALA (35, 2nd), OG/OT Kelechi Osemele, IWST (60, 2nd), RB Bernard Pierce, TEMP (84, 3rd)

Decision Makers: GM Ozzie Newsome, Head Coach John Harbaugh

The Baltimore Ravens finally won their second Super Bowl in 2012, but the celebration didn’t last long as they faced a major roster exodus in the off-season losing multiple starters, especially on defense. Ray Lewis retired as expected, but what followed was surprising to say the least. They made a couple nice moves in free agency to slow the bleeding, but a number of holes on both sides of the ball still need to be filled. Ozzie Newsome has twelve picks to work with, so watch for the Ravens to be a team that could move up the board throughout the draft.

1.   Inside Linebacker – Future Hall of Famer Ray Lewis finally called it a career and retired on top, but also left a hole the team has been trying to find an heir apparent to fill with for a number of years. The team was shocked when fellow starter Dannell Ellerbe spurned them and signed with Miami as a free agent. Solid backup Jameel McClain is also coming off a season ending spinal cord contusion. They signed former Raider and high draft pick Rolando McClain, but he was a major disappointment in Oakland and has had a few off the field problems with the law.

2.   Left Tackle – Bryant McKinnie remains a free agent and there is at least a little bit of interest from the Ravens in bringing him back, although teams like the Saints and Chargers are also interested. The Ravens offensive line was at their best when they put McKinnie back in as the starting left tackle and moved Michael Oher back to the right side. Oher can play left tackle and 2012 second round pick OG Kelechi Osemele has been talked about as a possible option as well.

3.   Safety – The Ravens need to add a young starting safety. Longtime Raven Ed Reed signed with Houston, while fellow starter Bernard Pollard was cut before signing with the Titans. They brought in another former Raider in Michael Huff on a 2-year deal and he will be one starter. Backup James Ihedigbo was resigned, but should remain a reserve.


2013 Draft Picks: 17 (1st), 48 (2nd), 79 (3rd), 115 (4th), 150 (5th), 186 (6th), 206 (6th), 223 (7th)

2012 Early Draft Selections: OG David DeCastro, STAN (24, 1st), OT Mike Adams, OSU (56, 2nd), LB Sean Spence, MIA-F (86, 3rd)

Decision Makers: GM Kevin Colbert, Head Coach Mike Tomlin

Age finally caught up to the Steelers in 2012 as they failed to make the playoffs and may be in for a bit of a rebuilding period. Their defense is especially old with multiple aging starters still remaining and is in need of some young talent. A few of which will probably need to start right away. The offense needs multiple players as well, especially at the skill positions. The 2013 NFL Draft is an important one for the Steelers.

1.   Outside Linebacker – The outside linebacker position for the Steelers has been the weakest it has been in years. Lamarr Woodley remains solid on one side, but recorded just four sacks in 2012, his fewest since his rookie year. James Harrison got old and slow and was released this off-season, while Jason Worilds has yet to really break out in his three seasons in the league.

2.   Running Back – Pittsburgh used a number of different backs throughout last year and will come into 2013 with just Jonathan Dwyer and Issac Redman on the roster. Both are solid backups, but neither is the workhorse back the Steelers need and desire. The Steelers also want to get back to being a more run-oriented offense this season. They’ve talked to former Giants starter Ahmad Bradshaw, while Rashard Mendenhall signed with Arizona.

3.  Wide Receiver – They lost Mike Wallace in free agency to the Dolphins and nearly lost Emmanuel Sanders to Patriots after he signed an offer sheet with them before the Steelers matched. Although, Sanders will be an unrestricted free agent following the season. They found Wallace and Sanders late in the third round and their top wide out for 2013 Antonio Brown was a sixth round selection, so look for Pittsburgh to add a guy or two in the mid-rounds.


2013 Draft Picks: 21 (1st), 37 (2nd), 53 (2nd), 84 (3rd), 118 (4th), 156 (5th), 190 (6th), 197 (7th), 240 (7th), 251 (7th)

2012 Early Draft Selections: CB Dre Kirkpatrick, ALA (17, 1st), OG Kevin Zeitler, WISC (27, 1st), DT Devon Still, PSU (53, 2nd), WR Mo Sanu, RUTG (83, 3rd)

Decision Makers: Owner/GM Mike Brown, Head Coach Marvin Lewis

It has been extremely impressive how the Bengals have turned their much maligned franchise around the last few years, particularly by doing it through the draft. They have added talent and depth across the board using the draft and will look to do so again with ten picks, including a pair of second-round selections that could allow them to trade up for a particular prospect they may desire. With the Steelers set for a potential step back and the Ravens possibly reeling from losing a number of starters, the AFC North could be prime for the taking for the Bengals. If they can’t come to terms with Andre Smith, adding a right tackle in the draft will become imperative.

1.   Strong Safety – The safety position has been an area of weakness for the Bengals the last number of years, although Reggie Nelson turned in a good year last season at free safety. Chris Crocker wasn’t nearly as good next to him and is a free agent that probably won’t be back and needed to be upgraded anyway. Nate Clements spent some time at safety in 2012, but is a 33-year old free agent on the decline. Taylor Mays continues to be awful.

2.   Running Back – They brought in Benjarvus Green-Ellis last year and while he is a reliable, consistent back, he’s not the dynamic three-down workhorse they’ve been searching for the past few seasons. Adding a feature ball-carrier could take this offense to the next level.

3.   Linebacker – The linebacker corps may be going through a slight transition period. They found a diamond in the rough when they signed Vontaze Burfict, who went undrafted last year following a legendary drop down draft boards. He was fantastic for them last year and is the only linebacker with a guaranteed starting job this season. Starting MLB Rey Maualuga was resigned, but he was terrible in 2012 and finished the year as one of the worst rated starting linebackers in the league. Thomas Howard is a solid outside linebacker, but missed almost all of last season with a torn ACL and is still a free agent, while Manny Lawson signed with Buffalo in free agency. They recently signed former Steeler James Harrison, but at 35 years old, injury prone and in decline, he may not contribute much. Another young linebacker or two should be added.


2013 Draft Picks: 6 (1st), 68 (3rd), 104 (4th), 139 (5th), 175 (6th), 227 (7th)

2012 Early Draft Selections: RB Trent Richardson, ALA (3, 1st), QB Brandon Weeden, OKST (22, 1st), RT Mitchell Schwartz, CAL (37, 2nd), DT John Hughes, CIN (87, 3rd)

Decision Makers: GM Mike Lombardi, Head Coach Rob Chudzinski

A new regime begins again in Cleveland in 2013, although it starts directly at the top with new owner Jimmy Haslam taking over the franchise during last year. NFL Network analyst and former executive Mike Lombardi returns to the Browns to handle general manager duties, while Rob Chudzinski starts his first Head Coaching job. Lombardi has already done some nice work adding talent in free agency leaving this roster just a few players away at key positions from challenging for a playoff spot. Cleveland fans hope this regime is the one that finally turns this franchise in the right direction. They are without a 2013 2nd round pick after sacrificing it to select WR Josh Gordon in the 2012 Supplemental Draft. Part of the new regime involves a switch from a 4-3 defensive scheme to a 3-4.

1.   Cornerback – Joe Haden remains one of the top corners in football, but the Browns don’t have anyone sufficient enough to start across from him. Former 2011 fifth round pick Buster Skrine was a nice late round find and is set to start, but someone better should be brought in ahead of him. Sheldon Brown is 34-year old free agent and has yet to be resigned by the Browns.

2.   Quarterback – New regimes often mean new quarterbacks and in the Browns case the new guys in charge aren’t fans of 2012 first round pick and starter Brandon Weeden. They’ve made it pretty clear that they are on the hunt for new signal-caller to build the franchise around. They also traded backup Colt McCoy to San Francisco and replaced him with veteran Jason Campbell.

3.   Offensive Guard – The Browns could use upgrades at both guard positions, but in particular RG Shaun Lauvao continued to struggle in 2012 and hasn’t developed into a legit NFL starter. He’s in the last year of his rookie contract and should be replaced with a better prospect. John Greco was decent at LG after replacing Jason Pinkston in the starting lineup mid-season.

Written By: Mark Scott



2013 Draft Picks: 29 (1st), 59 (2nd), 91 (3rd), 226 (7th), 235 (7th)

2012 Early Draft Selections: DE Chandler Jones, SYR (21, 1st), LB Dont’a Hightower, ALA (25, 1st), S Tavon Wilson (48, 2nd), DE Jake Bequette, ARK (90, 3rd)

Decision Makers: GM and Head Coach Bill Belichick

It was another successful regular season for the Patriots in 2012, but another disappointing end deep in the playoffs. They still remain an AFC powerhouse that could be just a player or two away from winning a Super Bowl. The Patriots come into an unfamiliar situation at the 2013 NFL Draft with just five draft picks to work with. Bill Belichick is famous for moving down and adding more picks, so look for the Pats to do that, although that likely means they won’t make a pick in the first round.

1.   Defensive End – 2012 first round pick Chandler Jones is a fantastic building block on one edge and appears well on his way to developing into a star. Rob Ninkovich continues to be a pleasant surprise after turning in his third straight good season for the Pats. Jermaine Cunningham on the other hand has not really developed the way the Pats had hoped he would, while 2012 third-rounder Jake Bequette did not play much as a rookie. A third pass-rusher to go with Jones and Ninkovich is needed to improve their horrid pass defense.

2.   Wide Receiver – The Patriots basically cleaned house of their entire wide receiving corps allowing Wes Welker to leave in free agency and cutting Brandon Lloyd, while Donte’ Stallworth and Deion Branch remain out there. They did resign Julian Edelman, but the big move was to bring in Danny Amendola to replace Welker. They also signed free agents Michael Jenkins and Donald Jones for depth, while they signed Steelers Emmanuel Sanders to an offer sheet, but were matched by Pittsburgh. However, they remain without a true no.1 wide receiver and deep threat, a problem area since they got rid of Randy Moss the first time.

3.   Cornerback – The Patriots pass defense was bad again in 2012 and remains the team’s biggest problem area. Adding a pass-rusher will help, but drafting a prospect that could turn into an elite corner is what will help the most. Aqib Talib was great mid-season pickup and could be the answer as their top corner, but they remain hesitant in investing in him long term and resigned him to just a one year deal. Kyle Arrington got a long term deal, but should be used as their third corner and nickelback. Ras-I Dowling can’t stay healthy and Alfonzo Dennard will be serving jail time following the season and is probably not a guy they want long-term.


2013 Draft Picks: 12 (1st), 42 (2nd), 54 (2nd), 77 (3rd), 82 (3rd), 111 (4th), 146 (5th), 166 (5th), 217 (7th), 224 (7th), 250 (7th)

2012 Early Draft Selections: QB Ryan Tannehill, TXAM (8, 1st), OT Jonathan Martin, STAN (42, 2nd), DE Olivier Vernon, MIA-F (72, 3rd), TE Michael Egnew, MIZZ (78, 3rd)

Decision Makers: GM Jeff Ireland, Head Coach Joe Philbin

The Dolphins come into 2013 with legitimate hope for the playoffs following a season where rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill showed real promise and an impressive off-season that saw them land offensive playmakers Mike Wallace and Dustin Keller along with upgrading their linebacker corps with Dannell Ellerbe and Phillip Wheeler. They also own eleven draft picks including five selections among the top 100 giving them the ability to move up more than once in the draft should they want a specific prospect.

1.   Offensive Tackle – Starting left tackle Jake Long was lost in free agency to the Rams and 2012 second round pick Jonathan Martin should remain on the right side, but could be moved to the over should they be unable to fill the hole left by Long. They recently were given permission to talk to Kansas City Chiefs LT Branden Albert and could land him in a trade for one of their second round picks. They will have to trade up into the top six picks if they want a shot at drafting one of the top three left tackle prospects.

2.   Cornerback – They traded one starter in Vontae Davis during the season to Indy and then lost their other starter Sean Smith to the Chiefs in free agency. Backup Richard Marshall could be promoted, but is coming off back surgery, while Nolan Carroll struggled in 2012. They signed former Falcon Brent Grimes, but he’s a stop-gap solution right now. They need to land at least one starter in this draft.

3.   Defensive End – Cameron Wake is 31 years old now and isn’t getting any younger. If he gets hurt, the Dolphins will be in trouble because he’s their only reliable pass-rusher. They don’t really have much that scares anyone across from him. 2012 third-rounder Olivier Vernon showed some promise, while Jared Odrick is terrific at stopping the run, but is in the last year of his contract. They brought free agent John Abraham in for a visit, but didn’t sign him, so there is interest in adding a pass-rusher.


2013 Draft Picks: 8 (1st), 41 (2nd), 71 (3rd), 105 (4th), 143 (5th), 177 (6th)

2012 Early Draft Selections: CB Stephon Gimore, SCAR (10, 1st), OT/OG Cordy Glenn, UGA (41, 2nd), WR T.J. Graham, NCST (69, 3rd)

Decision Makers: GM Buddy Nix, Head Coach Doug Marrone

The Bills come into another season looking for a fresh start after failing to make the playoffs yet again. They’ve replaced Chan Gailey with Syracuse’s Doug Marrone as Head Coach and his first move alongside GM Buddy Nix will be to find a couple of building blocks to help propel Buffalo back into the postseason for the first time since 1999.

1.   Quarterback – The Bills quarterback position is in flux once again after they cut Ryan Fitzpatrick in just the second year of a 7-year, $62 million contract. They’ve signed former Arizona Cardinals starter Kevin Kolb and retained backup Tarvaris Jackson, but Gailey and the Bills have made no secret that they plan on landing a new franchise signal-caller in this draft.

2.   Offensive Guard – This might be the biggest hole on the roster at the moment after the Bills saw starting left guard Andy Levitre sign a big deal with the Titans in free agency and have yet to sign his replacement. They also started five different players at right guard in 2012 and while Chad Rinehart missed most of last year with an ankle injury, he was fantastic for the Bills in 2011 and will now be a part of the Chargers offensive line rebuilding plan.

3.   Wide Receiver – Like with the quarterback position, the Bills have been pretty open about their desire to draft a receiver to play across from Stevie Johnson. 2012 third round pick T.J. Graham had a solid season, but is probably best served as the team’s third wide out. David Nelson and Donald Jones signed elsewhere as free agents and some depth will be needed as well.


2013 Draft Picks: 9 (1st), 39 (2nd), 72 (3rd), 106 (4th), 141 (5th), 178 (6th), 215 (7th)

2012 Early Draft Selections: DE Quinton Coples, UNC (16, 1st), WR Stephen Hill, GTCH (43, 2nd), LB Demario Davis, AKST (77, 3rd)

Decision Makers: GM John Idzik, Head Coach Rex Ryan

The 2012 season was a disaster for the Jets and it resulted with GM Mike Tannenbaum being fired and Head Coach Rex Ryan on the hot seat in 2013. Tannenbaum was replaced with John Idzik and he will be tasked with rebuilding a roster void of a lot of talent on both sides of the ball. They weren’t able to help themselves much in free agency due to cap restrictions and will now have to look to the draft to fill most of the holes on their roster, while adding some much needed talent. Cornerback will need to be added to their top needs should they find a trade to their liking for Darrelle Revis. The Jets are also in desperate need of a couple of offensive playmakers at running back, wide receiver and tight end.

*Update: The Jets have traded Darrelle Revis to Tampa Bay for the Bucs’ 2013 13th overall pick along with a conditional fourth round pick that could become a third if Revis is still on Tampa’s roster on the third day of the 2014 season. A cornerback will now be among the Jets top needs.

1.   Outside Linebacker – The Jets did not have anyone on the roster that could consistently put pressure on opposing quarterbacks and still don’t despite signing former Charger Antwan Barnes in free agency and resigning Calvin Pace after releasing him earlier in the off-season. Their defense slumped in 2012 because of it and their focus in the first round should be on landing a dynamic pass-rusher.

2.   Quarterback – Their quarterback position is a complete mess. Mark Sanchez is awful and continues to get worse each year, but the Jets remain stuck with him for another season because of guaranteed money and will probably have to start him unless they can find a better option in the draft. They’ve brought in David Garrard presumably as a backup along with Greg McElroy. Meanwhile they continue to sabotage Tim Tebow’s career and will hopefully release him as expected following the draft. I will add that had they switched to Tebow at any point last season even as late as the Tennessee game, he would’ve have gotten them into the playoffs.

3.   Safety – The safety position is one of the keys to the way Rex Ryan wants to play defense, so it’s imperative that they draft a safety that can start right away. They lost both of their starters (Yeremiah Bell and LaRon Landry) from last year in free agency and cut backup Eric Smith.  They signed former Jag Dawan Landry, who will likely start at one spot, but probably shouldn’t be at this point in his career.

Written By: Mark Scott