Draft for your nfl team

Updated Needs for Every NFL Team Entering 2020 NFL Draft

Featured Columnist April 16, 2020 429 Comments Comment Bubble Icon

Updated Needs for Every NFL Team Entering 2020 NFL Draft

Draft week has finally arrived, football fans! On April 23, the 2020 NFL draft will officially begin. While plenty of mystery still surrounds the draft and how it might unfold, teams’ primary draft needs have been set.

Sure, notable players like Jadeveon Clowney and Cam Newton remain unsigned. However, with a month of free agency in the rearview, teams are now more likely to circle back to the market after the draft to fill any remaining needs. The most significant holes will be addressed over draft weekend.

Here, we’re going to examine the biggest needs for each NFL franchise, why they stand out so significantly and what might be done at the top of the draft to address them.

Tune in to our 2020 NFL Draft Show for live, in-depth analysis on what each pick means for your team, with hosts Adam Lefkoe, Matt Miller and Connor Rogers. No fluff, no B.S. Download the B/R app and watch starting Thursday, April 23, at 8 p.m. ET.

Arizona Cardinals

Top Needs: OT, CB, Edge

For the Arizona Cardinals, protecting and developing quarterback Kyler Murray has to be the No. 1 priority moving forward.

The Cardinals locked up left tackle D.J. Humphries with a new three-year contract. If they can solidify the right side of the line in the draft, they’ll be on their way to setting Murray up for success. They can do just that by using the eighth overall pick on an elite tackle prospect like Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs.

Defensively, Arizona needs to continue to address its pass defense, which ranked 31st in the league last season. The team added a solid coverage linebacker in De’Vondre Campbell in free agency, but a premier corner opposite Patrick Peterson should be another early-round target.

While edge-rusher Chandler Jones ranked second in the NFL in sacks this past season, Arizona could use another consistent sack artist opposite him.

Potential Early Fit: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

Atlanta Falcons

Top Needs: Edge, CB

The Atlanta Falcons don’t have many questions on offense. They did lose tight end Austin Hooper in free agency but replaced him by trading for Hayden Hurst. Defensively, it’s a different story.

Atlanta ranked 20th in total defense and 22nd against the pass in 2019.

After parting with cornerback Desmond Trufant, the Falcons have a need in their secondary. They could also use a premier pass-rusher despite adding Dante Fowler Jr. in free agency. Of Atlanta’s 28 sacks in 2019, eight came from Vic Beasley Jr., who signed with the Tennessee Titans.

Either a cornerback or an edge-rusher would make sense with the 16th overall selection—depending, of course, on any early runs at either position.

Potential Early Fit: C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida

Baltimore Ravens

Top Needs: OG, LB

The Baltimore Ravens’ biggest draft need was created when longtime starting guard Marshal Yanda retired this offseason.

“He’s irreplaceable—bottom line. You can’t say you’re going to plug in another Marshal Yanda,” head coach John Harbaugh told reporters.

Baltimore doesn’t have much of a choice. If it hopes to continue building on last year’s offensive success, it needs to find a worthy successor for Yanda in this draft class.

Defensively, the Ravens need to strengthen their linebacker corps, which never overcame the loss of C.J. Mosley last offseason. While it rarely cost Baltimore wins last season, the defense tied for 20th in yards per rush allowed (4.4).

Potential Early Fit: John Simpson, OG, Clemson

Buffalo Bills

Top Needs: Edge, CB

The Buffalo Bills head into 2020 with a relatively complete roster. They took care of their biggest need by trading for Minnesota Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs. Buffalo should be focused on adding depth and preparing for the long term in this draft.

Adding a young pass-rusher would be ideal, as Jerry Hughes and free-agent addition Mario Addison are ages 31 and 32, respectively. It also wouldn’t hurt to add depth behind recent acquisition Josh Norman, who is 32 and coming off a season in which he lost his starting cornerback job.

The Bills don’t have a first-round pick because of the Diggs trade, but they still have their second- and third-round selections (54th and 86th overall).

Potential Early Fit: Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia

Carolina Panthers

Top Needs: CB, LB, TE

As is the case with the Ravens and Yanda, the Carolina Panthers are going to have a difficult time replacing a longtime standout who retired this offseason. In their case, it’s five-time first-team All-Pro Luke Kuechly.

Kuechly was Carolina’s defensive centerpiece for the better part of a decade, and his impact will not be easy to replicate. However, the Panthers can at least add a potentially elite sideline-to-sideline defender if Clemson’s Isaiah Simmons falls to them at No. 7 overall.

The Panthers also need to find a new No. 1 cornerback after losing James Bradberry in free agency. If Simmons isn’t available, a corner like Henderson could be the pick.

Offensively, the Panthers would be wise to add a replacement for tight end Greg Olsen. Ian Thomas showed some promise near the end of the 2018 season, but he caught just 16 passes in 2019.

Potential Early Fit: Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson

Chicago Bears

Top Needs; G/C, S

The Chicago Bears need to replace retired guard Kyle Long, though the interior line is not a new need. Long appeared in just 12 games over the past two seasons, which led to plenty of shuffling along the interior.

Free-agent addition Germain Ifedi is not a long-term solution.

Chicago experimented with moving Cody Whitehair from center to guard last season. The Bears could try that again if they’re opening to drafting a center instead of a guard.

Defensively, the Bears could use a replacement for one-year starter Ha Ha Clinton-Dix at strong safety. There aren’t many holes in Chicago’s defense, but finding a running mate for the underrated Eddie Jackson should be a priority.

Potential Early Fit: Cesar Ruiz, C, Michigan

Cincinnati Bengals

Top Needs: QB, LB, OT

Do the Cincinnati Bengals have to draft a quarterback with the No. 1 overall pick? They do not. They have Andy Dalton under contract for one more season, and while Dalton may not be elite, he is a competent NFL starter.

However, the Bengals have a shot at a fresh potential long-term starter with that pick and will probably pull the trigger. LSU signal-caller Joe Burrow is presumed to be Cincinnati’s choice. Ideally, Burrow will replace Dalton as Cincinnati’s offensive centerpiece for the next decade or more.

With the play of right tackle Bobby Hart and the health of left tackle Jonah Williams questionable, offensive tackle is another position Cincinnati should consider early.

Defensively, Cincinnati needs a field general at the linebacker spot. It added cornerbacks Mackensie Alexander and Trae Waynes to help bolster the pass defense. Free-agent defensive tackle D.J. Reader should strengthen the defensive front. However, the Bengals need improvement at the second level, as last year’s defense ranked dead last against the run.

Coming off a two-win season, the Bengals have plenty of roster holes to fill. What they do with the first overall pick, however, will likely define the franchise for the next several years.

Potential Early Fit: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

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