Tue Apr 20 2:43pm ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
Chase should be a hot item
The NFL draft is right around the corner, so we thought we would give you a quick look at the big needs for every team. Below is a team by team look at the positions these teams could target come draft day. It should be an interesting draft with surprises, trades, reaches - you name it. Enjoy the draft!
Bears: The Bears have all sorts of needs offensively. Andy Dalton is going to start this year but he is not the long-term answer at the position. The Bears still need to find their franchise quarterback, so expect this to be addressed during the draft. The team also has some offensive line concerns, making this a position the team takes a strong look at early in the draft. And it wouldn’t hurt to add a few more playmakers on the offensive side of the ball, mainly at the receiver position.
Bengals: Cincinnati has two big needs come draft day. They need to find more weapons for Joe Burrow in the passing game and better pass protectors along the offensive line to keep him upright. Both these spots should be addressed early and often for the team.
Bills: The Bills are coming off a great season, especially on the offensive side of the ball. They don’t have a lot of needs offensively, but might consider adding another receiver. Emmanuel Sanders is not the long-term answer as the starter opposite Stefon Diggs. The biggest need for the Bills might come at cornerback, looking to add quality depth at the position and find that top starter to put alongside Tre’Davious White.
Broncos: Denver used a high pick on Drew Lock a few years back, but is he the answer at the position? We should find out come draft day. If they don’t think he is their guy, look for the team to take another quarterback early come draft day. Other news for the Broncos include linebacker and cornerback. Denver is not too young at linebacker with Von Miller leading the way for that unit. And the cornerback spot struggled to make plays last year, so improving that position makes sense for the Broncos.
Browns: The Browns might try to get younger at receiver, especially with the position being so deep this year in the draft. It makes sense for the team to take a look at the position with both Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry being the clear top two options in the passing game. The team could also look to shore up the defensive tackle position. The ends are great but getting a top run stuffer in the middle could bolster that line even more.
Bucs: The defending Super Bowl champs get the luxury of just drafting maybe the best available when they are up to pick. The team doesn’t have a lot of glaring needs. Tampa might want to get a little younger along the defensive line, especially with their edge rushers and tackles. Tampa also might want to get another receiver with Antonio Brown likely gone.
Cardinals: Arizona’s defense could use some upgrades. The Cardinals could really use some help at cornerback, trying to find that lockdown corner for years to come. This should be the top need for the team. The Cardinals also might want to look at adding some new offensive lineman to help keep Kyler Murray on his feet.
Chargers: Like many teams in this draft, getting some help along the offensive line should be a priority for the Chargers to keep their young, star quarterback healthy and on the field. Look for the Chargers to address that position very early in the draft, especially the tackle position. Los Angeles might want to think about getting younger at tight end and receiver, getting Justin Herbert some more weapons to work with offensively.
Chiefs: Kansas City came up short in the Super Bowl, mainly because Patrick Mahomes was running for his life most of the game. The offensive line needs to get younger and better, so expect the Chiefs to make that a priority in this draft. The Chiefs also might look at adding another receiver after letting Sammy Watkins walk this offseason.
Colts: The Colts have one of the better offensive lines in football but it isn’t a young unit. Finding some younger players for the line makes sense for the team. And getting another top receiver for Carson Wentz makes sense, especially with T.Y. Hilton not getting any younger. These are two positions that should be addressed in the draft for the Colts.
Cowboys: Dallas had more issues on the defensive side of the ball than on offense, especially the cornerback spot. The Cowboys could use a top corner to put in the lineup. Dallas has lacked some consistency at the position in recent years. The defensive line could get younger and better as well, getting some new players at tackle and along the edge. So look for the Cowboys to go heavy on defense in this draft.
Dolphins: The Dolphins have a slew of draft picks to use and are likely to load up on the skill positions offensively to get Tua Tagovailoa some help. The receiver and running back spot are likely to be targeted early for Miami. It makes sense to get more playmakers on the offensive side of the ball, making that the priority of the team this draft.
Eagles: The Eagles are in desperate need of some help at receiver. This should be the top priority of the team early in this year’s draft. Jalen Hurts needs some playmakers. The Eagles also could use some help in the secondary - both at safety and cornerback. So don’t be surprised if those positions are addressed early.
Falcons: Matt Ryan isn’t getting any younger so finding the quarterback of the future seems likely for Atlanta. The Falcons could act early on a quarterback. Atlanta could also look at the running back spot, which is a glaring need for the team right now. The Falcons could try to find that franchise back.
Giants: The Giants could use some more playmakers for Daniel Jones on the offensive side of the ball. Getting Kenny Golladay was a plus but adding another receiver or tight end seems the right move for the team. This is an offense-first league now and the Giants lack some top options on that side of the ball. New York also could add some better offensive lineman to help Jones stay on his feet.
Jaguars: The Jaguars have the first pick, so getting their franchise quarterback (Trevor Lawrence) is going to happen. This fills a huge need for the team. With that said, the Jaguars need playmakers for Lawrence to succeed. Getting new blood at receiver, tight end and running back makes sense. Look for the Jaguars to add plenty of new depth on the offensive side of the ball.
Jets: New York got rid of Sam Darnold, so getting a new quarterback is the biggest need of the team. They will get their guy with their first pick in the draft. After that, the Jets still need a franchise back and a true No. 1 receiver. These positions should be addressed early in the draft for the Jets. The Jets need to get that offense going, so look for the team to add playmakers offensively.
Lions: The Lions did not retain Kenny Golladay this offseason, so the team is in big-time need of new receivers. It would not surprise to see the Lions use a first-round pick on receiver to shore up that spot. Detroit could also use some help along the offensive line, finding Jared Goff some top blockers to give him time to throw the ball.
Packers: It seems like we say this every season, but finding a top option at receiver opposite Davante Adams would make sense for Green Bay. If they have two top options at receiver, the offense could be that much better. The Packers offensive line also is getting older, so that is a another position that could use some help through the draft.
Panthers: The Panthers signed A.J. Bouye this offseason but could use some help in the secondary. The cornerback position is one the team could target early in this draft. The offensive line is another spot of need for Carolina. Getting a top tackle would make sense, finding Sam Darnold a solid protecter for his blind spot.
Patriots: The big needs for the Patriots come on the offensive side of the ball. New England needs to find their franchise quarterback. We aren’t sure when that will happen in this draft, but the Patriots are going to take a quarterback. And the receiver spot remains a big issue for the team. New England does not have a legit No. 1 receiver on the team.
Raiders: The Raiders have huge needs along the offensive line. The team lost several of their top starters from last year, so this position should get plenty of new players throughout this draft. Derek Carr is going to need some new talent along the line if he hopes to build on last year. Las Vegas also could use some upgrades at linebacker, so that is another position that likely gets a look early in the draft.
Rams: The Rams have some talented offensive tackles, but both players are getting old. The Rams should get some new offensive tackles in this draft, looking towards the future. And the Rams lost Gerald Everett this offseason, so finding another tight end to pair with Tyler Higbee would make sense. These seem the biggest needs for the Rams.
Ravens: Baltimore signed Sammy Watkins but that doesn’t really solve their need for an elite receiver for Lamar Jackson. It would make sense for the Ravens to act early on one of the talented receivers in this year’s draft. The Ravens also could use some help on defense, looking to get a talented edge rusher and maybe a new safety.
Saints: Michael Thomas had a season to forget and Emmanuel Sanders left via free agency, making the receiver position one the Saints could look to target early in the draft. The team could use some more playmakers for whoever plays quarterback for the team this year. The tight end spot also is a big concern after losing Jared Cook. New Orleans also could use some help at cornerback, lacking some top playmakers at that position.
Seahawks: Russell Wilson has been running for his life the last few years, so shoring up that offensive line makes a lot of sense for Seattle in this draft. Seattle also has lost some edge rushers in recent years so getting a playmaker on the outside defensively is likely to happen.
Steelers: Pittsburgh let James Conner leave, making the running back spot a bit of a mess right now for the team. The Steelers should use an early round pick on a running back, trying to find their franchise back. Pittsburgh also could use some new blood on the offensive line to help open holes for that new running back. The Steelers also need some new talent at cornerback with Joe Haden not getting any younger.
Texans: The Texans have all sorts of voids to fill on both sides of the ball. The team could use some new cornerbacks and edge rushers defensively. And the offense needs some help at receiver and tight end. The team could go any numbers of ways early in the draft, looking to fill a lot of needs of players that left or were traded. Plus, you have the whole Deshaun Watson situation, which is a mess and you aren’t sure how it is going to play out. Maybe something will happen come draft day.
Titans: A.J. Brown is the Titans top receiver but things fall off in a hurry at the position for the Titans after him. Getting a top receiver to pair with Brown should be a priority for the Titans. Tennessee could also look at the tight end position after losing Jonnu Smith. It makes a lot of sense for the Titans to surround Ryan Tannehill with some more talent after how well he has played in recent seasons with his new team.
Vikings: The Vikings don’t have a lot of needs offensively, so look for the team to address the defense early in the draft. The team could try to get younger at cornerback and safety. Two positions that are very important in the pass-first NFL. Minnesota also could look to add an edge rusher to pair with Danielle Hunter.
Washington: Ryan Fitzpatrick will be the starter for Washington this year, but that doesn’t solve their longterm need at the position. Washington might look at the quarterback spot once again in the draft, looking for that franchise quarterback. Washington also is likely to address the offensive line in the draft, looking at the tackle spot.
49ers: The 49ers traded up in the draft with the belief they will be addressing the quarterback spot, landing that franchise player for years to come. San Francisco also should look at getting a new elite cornerback. That position is getting older for the team, so getting some new talent at that spot makes sense.
Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.
The Green Bay Packers will bring in quarterbacks Chad Kelly and Kurt Benkert to this weekend's rookie minicamp on a tryout basis, according to sources with knowledge of the situation. Benkert went undrafted out of Virginia and spent the last three seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, mainly on the practice squad. Kelly, the nephew of Hall of Famer Jim Kelly, was taken with the final pick of the 2017 draft by the Denver Broncos, but he washed out of Denver after two seasons. He's been with the Indianapolis Colts the last two years but was released. Both players could become camp arms with upside further down the depth chart if they sign in Green Bay. Aaron Rodgers and Jordan Love, last year's first-round pick, are the only signal-callers currently on the roster.
Houston Texans general manager Nick Caserio said there is no pressure for rookie quarterback Davis Mills to perform in a hurry despite the turmoil surrounding Deshaun Watson and more than 20 lawsuits filed against him. "No different than any other player," Caserio said of the timeline of bringing along the first-year signal-caller. "Bring him in, teach him our system, teach him our terminology, take it one step at a time." It's unclear what will happen with Watson as the legal proceedings play out, but the Texans weren't looking to trade him, despite his public request, before his legal issues arose. Since then, trade chatter surrounding Watson has quieted down. The three-time Pro Bowler could remain with the Texans in 2021, but wherever he's playing, he could be facing a lengthy suspension as well.
Tennessee Titans TE Parker Hesse, LB Matthew Orzech and LB Nate Orchard were waived Monday, May 10.
Free-agent QB Kurt Benkert (Falcons) and QB Chad Kelly (Colts) will participate in the Green Bay Packers rookie minicamp on a tryout basis, according to sources.
Free-agent WR Dede Westbrook (Jaguars) has had preliminary conversations with the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Washington Football Team signed wide receiver Curtis Samuel to a three-year deal this offseason, reuniting him with head coach Ron Rivera and offensive coordinator Scott Turner from their time together with the Carolina Panthers. Rivera drafted Samuel in 2017, and Turner was the quarterbacks coach in Carolina from 2018-2019. "You can do a lot of different things with him," Turner said. "He's only 24 years old, I think he's just scratching the surface on what he's capable of." Samuel broke out in 2020, catching a career-high 77 passes for 851 yards and three touchdowns, adding 200 rushing yards and two more TDs. Samuel will be the No. 2 behind Terry McLaurin and will be an ideal fit for this offense. He'll be a low-end WR2 with Ryan Fitzpatrick throwing him passes.
The Los Angeles Chargers signed free-agent defensive tackle Christian Covington to an undisclosed deal on Monday, according to his agent. Covington was a sixth-round pick by the Houston Texans out of Rice in 2015. He's also spent time with the Dallas Cowboys and Cincinnati Bengals in his six NFL seasons. Covington started 14 of the 16 games he played in for the Bengals last season and was on the field for 53 percent of the team's defensive snaps. The 27-year-old had 39 tackles (14 solo) and one QB hit. In his NFL career, Covington has 132 tackles (15 for loss), 20 QB hits, two passes defensed, one forced fumble and 8.5 sacks in 82 games (29 starts).
The Kansas City Chiefs signed former linebacker Tamba Hali to a one-day contract on Monday so he can officially retire with the organization. The six-time Pro Bowler played with the Chiefs for his entire 12-year career. The 37-year-old last played in the NFL in 2017, but he made the Pro Bowl with Kansas City in five straight seasons from 2011 to 2015. He was the 20th overall pick in the first round of the 2006 NFL draft and finished his illustrious career with 596 tackles (105 for loss), 159 QB hits, two interceptions (one for a touchdown), 16 passes defensed, 33 forced fumbles, eight fumble recoveries (one for a TD) and 89.5 sacks in 177 regular season games (157 starts).
Ex-Seattle Seahawks linebacker Shaquem Griffin has drawn interest from multiple teams and should find a home soon, according to sources informed of the situation. The fifth-rounder in 2018 appeared in 46 games for the Seahawks, recording one sack, six QB hits and 25 tackles. Griffin's twin brother, Shaquill Griffin, signed a big deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars this offseason. The twins played together at UCF and in Seattle, so Griffin may be looking to join his brother in Jacksonville. His new club could be looking at him as a full-time pass-rusher after he played off the ball in Seattle. The 25-year-old became the odd-man out in Seattle after the team added Jordyn Brooks, Cody Barton and Ben Burr-Kirven to the position in recent seasons.
Pro Bowl left tackle Eric Fisher is signing a one-year, $9.4 million deal with the Indianapolis Colts on Monday, according to a source. The former No. 1 overall pick of the Kansas City Chiefs in 2013 will now be quarterback Carson Wentz's blind-side protector in 2021. The 30-year-old tore his right Achilles before the Super Bowl last year and was cut by KC. The Colts won't rush Fisher back, though, so there's a chance that he's not ready to play until early October. Coming out of this year's NFL draft, the left tackle position was still a big area of need for the Colts, but this signing takes care of that and makes their offensive line even more elite. It's excellent news as Wentz tries to bounce back from a disastrous final season with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2020. It's also great news for second-year running back Jonathan Taylor.
Former Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Antwaun Woods, who was waived last week, is visiting the Indianapolis Colts on Monday, according to a source. Woods, a former undrafted free agent out of USC, played two seasons with the Tennessee Titans before joining the Cowboys in 2018. The 6-foot-1, 310-pounder has recorded 83 tackles (25 solo), four tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, one pass defensed and two fumble recoveries in 40 career games (32 starts) with the Titans and Cowboys. Woods helped spark Dallas' midseason improvement on defense last year when he was moved into the starting lineup, and he finished with 23 tackles (seven solo), one sack and two QB pressures in 14 games (seven starts) in 2020. He'd be a rotational nose tackle for Indy if he were to sign.
Free-agent LB Tamba Hali (Chiefs) signed a one-day contract with the Kansas City Chiefs Monday, May 10, so he can retire as a member of the organization.
Free-agent DE Christian Covington (Bengals) agreed to terms with the Los Angeles Chargers Monday, May 10. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Free-agent QB Blaine Gabbert (Buccaneers) agreed to an undisclosed deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Monday, May 10.
Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers could realistically land with the Denver Broncos, who have the second-most salary cap space in football.
Fantasy Spin: Rodgers' fantasy value will be about the same wherever he calls signals next season. Denver's thin air can be brutal on a body, and Rodgers has a lengthy injury history. That would be the only concern for the upper-middle QB1.
Buffalo Bills WR Cole Beasley leads all receivers with 180 catches over the last three seasons while lined up in the slot, according to Pro Football Focus.
Seattle Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett has amassed 31 catches of at least 15 yards out of the slot since the start of the 2019 season - tied for the most in the NFL over that span - according to Pro Football Focus.