What can we expect from every NFL team in the draft this year? Let’s take a look based on first round draft order.
- Cleveland – There’s a good chance they will screw up this pick.
- San Francisco – No matter who they pick here, it won’t have an immediate impact on yet another team decimated by the “Chip Kelly Blueprint for Success” (patent pending).
- Chicago – The best pick for the Bears will be the un-sexy pick here. If they go for a splash, it’s almost sure to backfire.
- Jacksonville – Are the Jaguars a dark horse for drafting a quarterback in the first round? They’ve reached for one in the past, and coincidentally that would be the guy they’re looking to replace.
- Tennessee – The Titans reap the rewards of the Rams’ stupidity here. They should be set up well to take the best player available.
- NY Jets – There are two picks here, the right pick…and whatever pick Woody Johnson will authorize. My condolences to Gang Green.
- LA Chargers – The Chargers were sabotaged by injury, bad luck and playing in a loaded division last year. Could they be this year’s Dallas Cowboys? Having the seventh pick isn’t a bad place to start.
- Carolina – The Panthers lucked out that their biggest need (defensive back) is pretty deep in this draft. That won’t help their floundering skill positions though.
- Cincinnati – No draft pick will change the Bengals’ culture. Look for more unfulfilled promise for years to come.
- Buffalo – Depending on how the Bills’ personnel takes to the new regime, this pick could springboard them close to the playoffs or just be another decent player on a bad team.
- New Orleans – Drew Brees can make superstars out of regular receivers, so look for a defensive upgrade early in the draft with the skill position addressed later in the draft.
- Cleveland – Look, the Browns are coming out of this draft with a quarterback, be it by draft or by trade. If they trade for one, don’t be surprised if this pick is used in the acquisition.
- Arizona – We all thought last year was their year. Can they wring one last decent year out of the damp washcloth of Carson Palmer’s career and add an impact player here?
- Philadelphia – I don’t think the Eagles are as far off as many may believe, and if they can get some defensive help with this pick, they may sniff the playoffs in a tough division.
- Indianapolis – Andrew Luck needs way more help than a middle of the draft order pick can offer.
- Baltimore – It’s time the Ravens invest in their skill positions instead of using retreads to fill out the roster. The only way to maximize the end of Flacco’s career is surround him with players that will make him look better.
- Washington – Who knows what the ‘Skins will do. Do they draft a quarterback to eventually replace Cousins? Do they look for a wide receiver to replace their depleted pass catching corps? Do they try to shore up a middle of the pack defense? Washington is a definite wild card in this draft.
- Tennessee – The Titans have the luxury of taking the best player available with the fifth pick, and the same holds true on a team that just needs to improve, not necessarily add a bunch of pieces. I wouldn’t be surprised if this pick gets flipped in a trade to move back in the draft and acquire more picks.
- Tampa Bay – On a team that was close to the playoffs last year, the right piece could put the Bucs over the edge. They need to at least address the running back position in the draft and maybe look for upgrades on their defense.
- Denver – They are a good team that is getting older, and in the first year of a new head coach. This pick is important to establishing the new era of Denver Broncos football.
- Detroit – Stafford’s not getting any younger, and the ability to keep him upright and create a running game may be the most important thing on the list of Lions needs right now. This is not necessarily a deep offensive line draft, but they should be able to find good value in the back half of the first round if they want to go that route.
- Miami – Miami, despite being a playoff team last year, has some question marks. Most of them regarding contingency plans if their current crop of players (Tannehill, Ajayi) can’t replicate their success of last year. Drafting depth and guys to push the starters might be a good way to keep everyone on their toes.
- NY Giants – Well, the wide receivers look good, but if Eli can’t get them the ball it may not matter. Running back and offensive line should be, and most likely will be high on the list for the Giants. Don’t be surprised if they come out of it with multiple guys at each position.
- Oakland – They were a broken leg away from a possible AFC Championship game last year, so no need to reach in the draft just yet. Despite all the Marshawn Lynch talk, running back should show up on their draft board at some point, as well as plenty of defenders to take a little weight off Carr’s shoulders.
- Houston – Boy, what a crappy draft to need a quarterback. They’ll cross their fingers and hope that whoever they pick up can pull a Dak Prescott, but they are pretty set at most positions and should be drafting for depth if they don’t use their pick to trade for a signal caller.
- Seattle – The Seahawks are not the juggernaut they once were, and could use help all over the offensive line. Too bad, much like Detroit, they aren’t going to be able to find top-end talent in those positions this year. They still have a few more years of being competitive, but can’t hope for a deep playoff run if Russell Wilson is running for his life.
- Kansas City – Eventually the question needs to be asked whether Alex Smith is the guy or not. They may be able to get by for another year or so with him, as they have a big, Dontari Poe sized hole to fill this year.
- Dallas – If Jerry stays put or moves down in the draft, the Cowboys are usually in good shape over the last decade or so. When they move up, they tend to over-reach and get burned. Expect Jerry to do something stupid.
- Green Bay – Despite yet another great run for the Packers last year, they are a team full of holes, which even Martellus Bennett can’t fill. Ted Thompson needs to hit on a couple picks here or the Packers will be picking towards the top of the draft for years to come.
- Pittsburgh – Eventually they need to find a replacement for Roethlisberger, but until that time, building up the defense to withstand the offenses of the Patriots and Raiders seems like a better idea.
- Atlanta – The Falcons should be drafting for depth and to push their current starters at this point. They may run into a contract problem with Devonta Freeman down the line, and it would be wise to have a contingency on the roster (besides just Tevin Coleman) in case that goes south.
- New Orleans – This could be where the Saints go for a skill position guy unless a decent defensive lineman falls.
Teams with no first round picks:
LA Rams – Don’t worry, they’ll be picking at the top of the draft next year.
Minnesota – The Vikings have a lot of holes to fill, and could really use that pick they gave away for a couple good Sam Bradford games.
New England – It honestly doesn’t matter that they don’t have a first round pick. They’ll be back in the playoffs, if not the Superbowl next year.