2010 NFL Draft Team-by-Team Needs
by Trevor Whenham - 3/19/2010
The big splashes have been made in free agency, and now NFL teams are looking towards the NFL Draft to add stars and fill holes. Even the best teams in the league have several needs to fill and upgrades to make, but every team has a few needs that are the most obvious and most pressing. Here's a look at the most significant needs for each team heading into the 2010 NFL Draft.
Buffalo Bills - What don't they need? They could use a quarterback, a receiver, a linebacker, defensive line help, and pretty much everything else. The most glaring need, though, is for a left tackle. They made the decision to trade Jason Peters away, but failed to have a backup plan. No one player will solve their problems, but a stronger protective presence is the best thing for them to build around.
Miami Dolphins - They have their quarterback of the future in place, and Chad Henne has the potential to be very good. He needs someone to get the ball to, though, so this team needs a big-play receiver ahead of everything else.
New England Patriots - Age and a lack of depth have snuck up on this team all over the field. Wide receiver would be tempting, and defensive line is a need, but the biggest priority has to be at linebacker. This team has been driven by outstanding linebacking, and that's just not there right now. They have tried in free agency, but they still have work to do.
New York Jets - The could use another wide receiver and an offensive tackle, but the biggest need is on the defensive line. The guys they have on the ends are old and can't muster an effective pass rush. A fierce outside guy would have an impact throughout the defense.
Baltimore Ravens - For once their biggest need isn't wide receiver thanks to the addition of Anquan Boldin. That means they can focus on defense. They need to replace Ed Reed at some point, but a bigger focus has to be their cornerbacks. Injuries and lack of depth have been an ongoing problem with this unit for far too long.
Cincinnati Bengals - Chad Ochocinco is their only top-level receiver still around, and that's just not enough for a team like this. Antonio Bryant was added in free agency, but he's not enough. Another top receiving prospect would be a nice addition, and the prospect would have time to develop without a lot of extra attention because Ochocinco deflects to all on and off the field.
Cleveland Browns - Everything except left tackle. Jake Delhomme isn't a long-term solution, but they need to trust him and deal with other problem areas first. The defense is terrible and needs a lot of help. A pass rush, which they currently just don't have, would give everyone else more time and ease a lot of pressure.
Pittsburgh Steelers - Good cornerback play used to be a given from this team, but that sure wasn't the case last year. They were either old and slow, or injured, or just plain ineffective. New life in the secondary is crucial if this team wants to bounce back from a rough season.
Houston Texans - They needed a center badly, and that would have been my first priority, but the addition of free agent Wade Smith reduces that pressure a bit. Their safeties aren't great, but I would prioritize running back if there was an elite guy on the board, and cornerback if there isn't. Steve Slaton isn't a long-term answer, and they need to replace Dunta Robinson.
Indianapolis Colts - The older Peyton Manning gets the more important it will become to protect hm. The offensive line isn't all it could be, and a big, beefy left tackle would be a very nice addition. A competent backup for Manning is something else to think about at some point.
Jacksonville Jaguars - The Jags had a lot of problems last year, but many of them boiled down to one problem - they were absolutely pitiful at rushing the passer. Opposing offenses could play without fear because they knew they had all the time they needed. Inside or outside doesn't really matter as long as the guy can rush. Aaron Kampman is a nice addition, but he's not enough.
Tennessee Titans - They have a lot of needs on defense. They could go with a linebacker if a quality outside guy is available because they need another guy to plug in to what has been a reliable position for them over the long term. A cornerback or two is another need as they just don't have the depth there beyond the starters.
Denver Broncos - I don't expect Brandon Marshall to be there, so they need another big offensive playmaker to help their quarterbacks out. That would be their most pressing need unless there is a prime nose tackle available when their name is called.
Kansas City Chiefs - the first thing I would look for is an offensive coordinator who isn't Charlie Weis, but that's not a draft issue. Their needs are many. If they could get one of the top left tackles that would make sense - they could move Branden Albert to the right and be very strong on both sides. If not that then a safety would make a lot of sense - especially if they can get Eric Berry.
Oakland Raiders - It depends on how you feel about JaMarcus Russell. I'd pick a QB and start all over again. If you don't totally hate hm, though, then the right move would be to take a premium tackle to protect Russell and take away one of the excuses for his pathetic play. A receiver is another option, though after the Darrius Heyward-Bey debacle last year I don't trust them to pull that off properly.
San Diego Chargers - This one is easy - this team has thrived thanks to their running game for years, and now LaDainian Tomlinson is gone and Darren Sproles is uncertain, and not an every-down guy if he sticks around. The next generation is needed. Ryan Mathews would look great in a thunderbolt if he was still available.
Dallas Cowboys - It's amazing how many teams need to upgrade the outside of their offensive line. The Cowboys are one of them. Their tackles are old and losing effectiveness. A first round replacement who can take over for the next 10 years makes too much sense.
New York Giants - This is the easiest one to figure n the whole board. The Giants need nothing more than an interior linebacker, and they have done nothing to address it in free agency, so the draft is where it has to happen.
Philadelphia Eagles - Safety is a big need, but I like new signee Marlin Jackson and think he could move over to fill that need. That means that finding a pash rush is now the top priority. Their line does a fine job of stopping the run, but a lousy job of creating pressure.
Washington Redskins - There's no Chris Samuels, so there is no good answer at left tackle for this team. They don't have a great QB situation, so they need the protection. You could argue that a franchise QB is a bigger need, but I would agree only if the player available was Sam Bradford.
Chicago Bears - Their task is tougher because they don't have a first rounder, but the Bears need to upgrade their offensive line. It's good news in a sense that they have needs for several positions on the line so they can take the best available.
Detroit Lions - This is another team that could take almost anyone outside of a quarterback. They couldn't rush the passer or stop the run last year, so defensive line is a huge need. They added Kyle Vanden Bosch in free agency, but that's not going to be enough. Drafting second overall means that they will be able to add a beast to this line.
Green Bay Packers - I feel like a broken record - here's a team with an aging offensive line that needs an upgrade of protection for their prized quarterback. A tackle would be ideal, but since they are picking later the best available offensive lineman is the answer - they can use anyone.
Minnesota Vikings - Pat Williams is as good as it gets at DT, but he's 37, so replacing him needs to happen at some point. They could also really use an interior offensive lineman to upgrade there. I don't think that one is a priority over the other, so it's a case of best available player for a pretty good team.
Atlanta Falcons - Corner was their biggest need, but Dunta Robinson addresses that. That leaves the biggest need at outside linebacker. They could really use one of those versatile guys who can put a hand down if needed, or can back up when the play calls for it. Brandon Graham is their dream player in my eyes.
Carolina Panthers - Steve Smith can't do it alone, so he would probably be very appreciative of another wide receiver to take some of the attention off of him. Because Smith is their only threat, defenses can easily limit the effectiveness of this squad. With Matt Moore at the helm this year a playmaker would make a big difference.
New Orleans Saints - Despite winning it all these guys have some holes to fill. With Scott Fujita gone (to Cleveland, of all places), the biggest need is at outside linebacker. Thankfully for them, their biggest need is one that can easily be filled at the bottom of the first round.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Simply put, they need the best defensive lineman available. They don't stop the run nearly as well as they should, and their pass rush is, at best, suspect. If they get lucky and Sam Bradford goes in the top two picks then their pick will be incredibly easy.
Arizona Cardinals - I'm not convinced about Matt Leinart, but they have bigger needs than QB. The biggest need is at outside linebacker to replace their aging and ineffective options. They'll have some very nice options in the first round.
San Francisco 49ers - They have the luxury of two first round picks, so they should be able to address their two biggest needs. The obvious one is a right tackle to bookend Joe Staley on what could be a very good offensive line. I also think that they could use a nice running back to compliment Frank Gore and provide options for the offense.
Seattle Seahawks - Things are going to be ugly for Pete Carroll if he can't put more pressure on the passer than the team was able to last year. They were totally inept, so a significant defensive line upgrade has to be the biggest priority. Carroll could be very tempted by USC DE Everson Griffen because of the familiarity factor.
St. Louis Rams - The Rams have the first pick, so they have the luxury of doing whatever they want, and the ability to address either of their two biggest needs with the first pick - either Sam Bradford to replace Marc Bulger for the long term, or one of the big beast defensive tackles to provide inside pressure. If I was betting I'd go with the QB because people expect growing pains with a QB so that would give the management more time.
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