With the NFL regular season now officially in the books, and the playoffs underway, we decided to take a break from the action and take a look at the each team postseason bound or not, is missing as they move forward. As you can imagine, for some teams their needs were easy to find (I'm looking at you Ravens, Cowboys, and 49ers) while other squads were a bit harder (Hi there, Cardinals, Bengals, and Panthers.)
The NFL owners and GMs seem to be getting more impatient than ever with their coaches and players on their roster. The Browns are looking for their fourth head coach in seven seasons and owner Jimmy Haslam has "cleaned house" for the third time, despite owning the team for little more than three years. The Tennessee Titans are looking for their third head coach since 2010. This is after having Jeff Fisher as their head coach for 15 years, which is quite the dramatic change of culture in Nashville.
The league constantly competes against each other to get better every offseason. Standing pat often results in a team taking a step back, due to others catching up. Changing too much can also cause a disaster, as we saw in Philadelphia this past season. It's a delicate balance in fulfilling needs, yet not disrupting the core a team has built. However, this list is all about picking out an indisputable need for every team, one that they need to fulfill to become a better team. Even the Super Bowl champion has needs to fulfill and ignoring it could result in a setback season. These are the needs every team's fanbase would want to see their team meet.
We here at TheSportster present to you our readers, the Biggest Offseason Needs For All 32 NFL Teams.
35 Arizona Cardinals - Outside Linebacker
With only 36 sacks, the Cards clearly need to generate more pass rush for their aggressive ball-hawking defense to work. While Cory Redding, Sean Weatherspoon, Frostee Rucker, and Alex Okafor have proven capable of collapsing the pocket, none of them are able to do it on a consistent basis. Getting a true starting center that the team can believe in should also be a priority, as the Cards have let current starter Lyle Sendlein sit in free agency before signing him after training camp began the last two off-seasons.
34 Atlanta Falcons - Defensive End
Yes the Dirty Birds just used a first round pick on former Clemson Tiger Vic Beasley last year, but after recording 19 sacks as a team this year, the Falcons simply have no choice but to address their pass rush again through the draft and/or free agency. Finding another starting wide receiver is a must, as Roddy White appears to be done, and Atlanta mysteriously released no.3 WR Leonard Hankerson midseason. Either way, the Falcons have to get tougher to throw against.
32 Baltimore Ravens - Free Safety
The Ravens have been trying to fill this position since future Hall of Famer Ed Reed left Baltimore to sign with the Houston Texans in 2013. The team's attempts to replace him have failed miserably. It's clear 2013 first round pick Matt Elam is a bust, plain and simple, and I think the organization realizes it too, and despite his blocked field goal return for a TD/play of the year candidate against Cleveland, Will Hill and fellow starter Kendrick Lewis don't exactly put fear into the hearts of opposing offenses.
31 Buffalo Bills - Offensive Tackle
The right tackle spot needs to be upgraded for the Bills as neither Cyrus Kouandijo and Seantreal Henderson seem to be the answer. The left tackle spot might also have a potential hole, as starter Cordy Glenn is scheduled to hit free agency in March. Replacing DE/OLB Mario Williams' spot will also be must, if the Bills release the former Pro Bowler this offseason as expected. The Bills are expected to keep riding with Tyrod Taylor and while Taylor is very mobile and elusive, buying him an extra couple of seconds would pay great dividends.
30 Carolina Panthers - Offensive Tackle
The team with the best record in the regular season could easily be undefeated right now, if right tackle Mike Remmers didn't get embarrassed by Falcons rookie defensive end Vic Beasley in the later sages of the game, resulting in Cam Newton getting strip sacked and losing the ball and the game to their division rivals in Week 16. Remmers is a backup at best, and starting left tackle Michael Oher isn't all that much better. The MVP quarterback to be has to get more help.
28 Chicago Bears - Offensive Tackle
Kyle Long is a really good guard, but the Bears had him playing out of position at left tackle for the majority of the season. Drafting or signing a LT in free agency would help shore up tow spots on the line as it would allow Long to go back to guard. Finding a CB to replace the departed Tim Jennings and Charles Tillman would definitely help Vic Fangio's defense, as would finding someone else to rush the passer besdies DE/OLB Pernell McPhee.
27 Cincinnati Bengals - Defensive End
As I wrote in my recent overrated NFL players article, Bengals' defensive end Michael Johnson is overrated. The seven-year veteran who has 5 sacks this season, is a prime example of a player who looks good based off of all the good players around him. Cincinnati needs to address the position this offseason.
Adding some wide receivers to go along with superstar A.J. Green should also be a priority as Cincy's number 2, 3, and 4 WRs in Mohamed Sanu, Marvin Jones and Brandon Tate are all set to become free agents this March.
26 Cleveland Browns - Defensive End
I could have went with receiver given the current stable of WRs on the Browns' roster, but in a division with Joe Flacco, Ben Rothlisberger, and Andy Dalton, it's imperative for Cleveland to generate a consistent pass rusher. Leading the brownies this season with sacks was outside linebacker/defensive end Paul Kruger. Barkevious Mingo (I think it's safe to finally call him a bust.)
If they go through the draft to fill the need, they're in a good position at no.2. Ohio State's Joey Bosa could be the perfect fit.
25 Dallas Cowboys - Quarterback
What other position did you think I was going to go with? After watching franchise QB Tony Romo go down with a collar bone injury for the second time this season, the Cowboys struggled to operate anything resembling an offense in the 12 games that the pivot missed. After going with the likes of Jon Kitna in the past, and having to live their the disaster known as Brandon Weeden, Matt Cassel and Kellen Moore for the majority of the season, Jerry Jones and company need to seriously invest in not only a viable backup option, but perhaps an eventual replacement for Mr. Romo.
24 Denver Broncos - Offensive Tackle
If you've watched even a moment of Denver Broncos football this season, you'll notice by the end of the first quarter at the latest that the team needs help at both tackle spots. Unable to rely on left tackle Ryan Clady due to injury, the Broncos have been forced to play second year OT Michael Schofield and rookie Ty Sambralio far too much this season. The 39 sacks that the team has given up, puts them in as the 10th worst squad in pass protection. Whether the team brings back Peyton Manning as their starter next season, or go with the younger, more mobile Brock Osweiler, they need to be protected.
23 Detroit Lions - Wide Receiver
I was going to go with Left Tackle in this spot, but with Calvin Johnson reportedly contemplating retirement, Wide Receiver becomes the Lions' most pressing need. While many including yours truly think that Megatron will just make it known that he wants out of Detroit versus actually calling it quits, this wouldn't be the first time we've seen a Detroit superstar shock the world and leave the game in his prime.
Finding a true left tackle should also also be high on the team's list, as 2012 first rounder Riley Reiff despite being serviceable on the left side, would be better served playing right tackle.
22 Green Bay Packers - Inside Linebacker
Clay Matthews has more than held his own since being switched to middle linebacker during the 2014 season, but as his 50 sacks before the position change would suggest, he is a natural outside linebacker. Moving Matthews back also makes sense given the fact that outside of 35-year-old pass rush specialist Julius Peppers, the Pack only have converted defensive end Mike Neal at OLB.
Adding depth to an offensive line that has been decimated by injuries the last few weeks, and has seen starting left guard Josh Sitton have to move to left tackle would also be nice.
21 Houston Texans - Quarterback
While Brian Hoyer has led the Texans to the playoffs now that he finally got a chance to be the no.1 guy, it is also blatantly clear that he is not the long term option at quarterback if the wants to win a Super Bowl. No disrespect to Alfred Blue, but adding a legitimate starting running back to fill in for the constantly injured Arian Foster who played in only four games this season due injuries including a torn Achilles, which ended his year in Week 7. Finding depth at DE behind the oft-injured Jadeveon Clowney would also serve the team well.
20 Indianapolis Colts - Offensive Tackle
When a team goes through five quarterbacks as the Colts did this season, chances are that the offensive line needs help. That was definitely the case for the Colts, as they gave up 37 sacks and saw Andrew Luck and Matt Hassleback in particular take a beating all season long. While left tackle Anthony Castonzo (when healthy) is a good pass protector, the right tackle spot has been a giant hole for a number of years. Generating a consistent pass rush has also a problem for the team as Trent Cole is done, and former 1st round pick Bjorn Werner is a bust.
19 Jacksonville Jaguars - Cornerback
Gus Bradley's defense in Jacksonville was supposed to resemble the D he helped build in Seattle. Well, it's safe to say there's no trace of any kind of Legion of Boom down in Jacksonville. While the Jags have improved their pass rush over the last two seasons, they have still struggled against the pass. Last year's big free agent addition CB Davon House got burned routinely. In a division with Andrew Luck, Marcus Mariota, and stud receiver DeAndre Hopkins, solid defensive back play is a must.
18 Kansas City Chiefs - Offensive Tackle
Whether not the Chiefs decide to keep 2013 first overall pick Eric Fisher at left tackle after moving him around the line remains to be seen. One thing for certain though, is that K.C needs to address the Right Tackle spot this offseason as current starter Donald Stephenson is a free agent after this year. Gettng depth at Defensive End is also a must as 9-year veteran Mike DeVito is also scehduled to become a FA .
17 Miami Dolphins - Cornerback
Zack Bowman, Jamar Taylor, Brice McCain are just some of the CBs that the Dolphins have lined up across from former Pro Bowler Brent Grimes. After adding the crown jewel of free agency last March in DT Ndamukong Suh, the Fins had high hopes for their defense and their pass rush in particular. Unfortunately, for Miami, the former Detroit Lion's arrival didn't have the expected results, as the Fins finished 21st against the pass and 30th in total defense. While Suh definitely needs to be more productive, having another legit cover corner would help.
16 Minnesota Vikings - Wide Receiver
While 2015 5th round draft pick Stefon Diggs has been a major steal for the Vikings, fellow starting wideout Mike Wallace has put up anything but impressive numbers (39 catches for 473 yards and 2 TDs) in his first, and most likely last season with Minnesota. In order for Teddy Bridgewater to take another step, he needs more help at receiver.
The Vikes would also be smart to add depth at middle linebacker, as 10-year veteran Chad Greenway has recently hinted at retirement.
15 New England Patriots - Wide Receiver
Whether Patriots fans want to admit it or not, Tom Brady is entering the twilight of his career. While he is still the best quarterback in the league, that fact remains that Tom Terrific will be 39 years old by the time next season rolls around. Giving the Pats a true no.1 WR which he hasn't had since Randy Moss would be a great gift to the four-time Super Bowl winner as his career winds down.
Finding a swing tackle to fill in and eventually takeover permanently to the oft-injured Nate Solder or the overrated Sebastian Vollmer would be a great present as well.
14 New Orleans Saints - Defensive End
Cameron Jordan is a superb defensive end and a pass rush specialist. His 10 sacks this past year led the team, and he has 30 QB takedowns over the last three seasons. Unfortunately for him and the Saints, they don't have anybody across from him to help him generate pressure in the pocket. New Orleans' defense has been among the league's worst for year after year. Giving the team another option to rush the passer would go a long way to bringing the defense back to respectability.
13 New York Giants - Running Back
While finding a new head coach to fill Tom Coughlin's huge shoes, and finding someone else to rush the passer besides Jason Pierre-Paul are huge needs for the G-Men, getting a true number 1 and not injury prone running back (sorry Rashad Jennings) to take pressure off of Eli Manning should be the team's biggest priority this offseason. Relying on the oft-injured Jennings and the average at best Andre Williams needs to stop.
12 New York Jets - Outside Linebacker
Although Calvin Pace can still rush the passer, he'll turn 36 years old next season, and is no sure bet to come back next year for what would be his 14th season. Drafting OLB Lorenzo Mauldin last year who had 4 sacks was a good start by the Jets, but they will need to find a replacement for Pace as well.
Finding an offensive tackle that could serve as an upgrade for RT Breno Giancomini or to eventually step in for veteran LT D'Brickashaw Ferguson would also be a good idea for Gang Green.
11 Oakland Raiders - Free Safety
Replacing the legend and sure-fire Hall of Famer safety Charles Woodson will be no easy task for the silver and black. Not only was he still playing at an elite level, but his leadership, knowledge and instincts are something that very few players have. Since the Aldon Smith experiment ended up as a failure due to the outside linebacker's one-year suspension, finding another pass rusher to go along with stud OLB Khalil Mack is a good idea for the Raiders.
10 Philadelphia Eagles - Quarterback
After the disaster that was Chip Kelly tore through their team, the Eagles' offense is a mess. The biggest hole on that side of the ball starts at the most important position - quarterback. While Sam Bradford was finally able to stay more or less healthy for a full campaign, he put up only modest numbers, and to make matters worse (or better depending on who you ask) he is a free agent this offseason. Finding a franchise or at least better than average QB is the first step the team must make to repair the damage done by their former head coach.
9 Pittsburgh Steelers - Cornerback
The Steelers from this season are clearly not your father's Steelers. The black and gold known for years for their dominant defenses, most notably the Steel Curtain, finished the regular season 21st overall. While they are an impressive 5th against the run, they are a dreadful 30th versus the pass.
Unfortunately for Pittsburgh, neither Mel Blount, Rod Woodson, Troy Polamalu or Carnell Lake are going to be walking through the door anytime soon. To get back to respectability, the club will need to upgrade over current starters William Gay and Antwon Blake.
8 St. Louis Rams - Quarterback
It's plainly obvious that the acquisition of quarterback Nick Foles just didn't work. By now head coach Jeff Fisher just like the rest of the league have figured out that he is nothing more than a backup QB. Finding a franchise pivot, or least a consistently good one is a must, as the organization hasn't had one since Kurt Warner was tearing up the NFL as the head of the Greatest Show on Turf offense. Yeah, its been a while.
Other needs: CB, WR, C.
6 San Diego Chargers - Wide Receiver
As good Keenan Allen is, the fact is that the Bolts have very little behind him at the wide receiver as Malcolm Floyd announced his retirement at the end of the season, while Stevie Johnson and former CFL standout Dontrelle Inman, are nothing more than above average players. Add that to the fact that Keenan Allen is injury prone, as he only suited up for eight games this year before going on I.R with a lacerated kidney, and he has also missed 11 of a possible 48 games in his brief career so far.
Other needs: C, CB, G.
5 San Francisco 49ers - Offensive Tackle
While many people will put quarterback at the top of the list, I say offensive tackle. Whether it be Colin Kaepernick, Blaine Gabbert, or even Cal QB Jared Goff, neither will be able to stay upright and complete passes behind the porous Niners o-line. After the stunning retirement of former starting right tackle Anthony Davis just before training camp last year, San Fran was forced to start Erik Pears at the position. That was a huge disaster, as the nine-year vet struggled mightily before being moved to guard.
4 Seattle Seahawks - Offensive Line
Yes, I am putting the entire line as a need. Despite the excellence of Seattle offensive line coach Tom Cable's ability to work magic with marginal talent like right tackle Garry Gilliam, center Patrick Lewis, and left guard Justin Britt, the defending NFC Champs need to seriously invest money into their O-Line. Yes Russell Wilson can make plays with his feet, but risking your franchise QB's health behind a shaky at best front five besides left tackle Russell Okung, isn't exactly the greatest idea.
3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Offensive Tackle
After the shocking and confusing firing of Lovie Smith, ownership patience should be the team's biggest need, but since we're talking about players, I am going with offensive tackle. Jameis Winston had a superb year with 22 TD passes, and will most likely be named Offensive Rookie of the Year. He was also sacked 27 times, and the number could have higher if it weren't for his Winston's ability to make plays with his feet. One of the reasons the former Seminole got hit so much, is that the Bucs started Colts castoff Gosder Cherilus at right tackle. The former round pick gave up more than five sacks this year. Protecting their franchise QB should be priority number one for Tampa.
2 Tennessee Titans - Offensive Tackle
Marcus Mariota, as the two MCL sprains he suffered would attest to, took a beating this season. Constant shuffling and ineffective play on the o-line contributed to Mariota and backup pivot Zach Mettenberger being sacked a league-high 54 times. If the Titans want their franchise quarterback to turn into the player they hope he can be, they will get some protection for him. Expect them to take Mississippi OT Laremy Tunsil with the first overall pick.
Other needs: FS, RB, SS.
1 Washington Redskins - Cornerback
2014 4th round pick Bashaud Breeland looks like a steal two years into his career. The CB out of Clemson is capable of going up against other teams' top wide receivers. Lining up across form him is Chris Culliver. The veteran CB and former 49er is a talented player, but after landing on the injured reserve with a torn ACL and MCL (2nd time in two years), trying to fill his spot are journeyman Will Blackmon, undrafted free agent Deshazor Everett, and the recently signed Cary Williams. That trio doesn't exactly inspire confidence.
Other needs: C, DE, WR.
Leave A Comment
Looking for an AD FREE EXPERIENCE on TheSportster?Get Your Free Access Now!