Every team has needs, a draft board and a plan of attack when it comes to the NFL Draft. As we get closer to the draft, I will take a look at each teams needs and whom they could be targeting. And now last, but not least, the NFC West.
Key Additions: QB Brett Hundley, WR Kevin White, WR Demiere Byrd, TE Charles Clay, OT Marcus Gilbert, OG JR Sweezy, OG Max Garcia, DL Darius Philon, OLB Terrell Suggs, OLB Brooks Reed, LB Jordan Hicks, CB Robert Alford, CB Josh Shaw, CB Tramaine Brock
Remaining Team Needs: WR, OG, DT, CB2, FS
Needs for Depth: TE, OL, DE, LB, CB
Potential Draft Haul:
- Round 1, Pick 1: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma- All signs point to the insanely athletic Murray as the pick to supplant Josh Rosen as the franchise quarterback.
- Round 2, Pick 33: Erik McCoy, OC, Texas A&M- Good all-around player who can fill the center position and help begin the upgrade of a disappointing offensive line.
- Round 3, Pick 65: Kelvin Harmon, WR, NC State- Big, strong receiver who makes contested catches consistently and can learn from a similar style player in Larry Fitzgerald.
- Round 4, Pick 103: Trysten Hill, DT, UCF- Solid defensive lineman with a good first step and can line up at any of the defensive line positions in an odd man front.
- Round 5, Pick 139: Chuma Edoga, OT, USC- Long athletic tackle who needs to develop better hand usage and functional strength to be a solid starter in the NFL.
- Round 6, Pick 174: Trevon Wesco, TE, West Virginia- Versatile tight end who is perfectly suited for a backup role behind Charles Clay.
- Round 6, Pick 179: Cameron Smith, LB, USC- Tough, smart linebacker who can provide depth and help on Special Teams right away.
- Round 7, Pick 248: Carl Granderson, EDGE, Wyoming- Situational pass rusher who can provide solid depth at multiple positions in Vance Joseph’s defense.
- Round 7, Pick 249: Greg Dortch, WR, Wake Forest- Prototypical slot receiver who runs great routes and catches everything.
- Round 7, Pick 254: Ken Webster, CB, Mississippi- Developmental cornerback who has the athletic traits to become a solid outside corner down the road.
Summary: The Cardinals definitely looked like one of the worst teams in football a year ago as they earned the number one pick. Naturally, that means there a lot of needs and positions that need to be addressed this draft despite being quite active in free agency. It will be interesting to see if the rumors are actually true and if they take Kyler Murray with the top pick despite already having Josh Rosen on the roster. On offense, their biggest needs are wide receiver and offensive line which has been a problem area for a few seasons now. Defensively, they need to look to upgrade the entire defensive line as they switch back to a 3-4 defense, add youth to the outside linebacker position, and add talent at cornerback and safety. Finding depth at all three levels of the defense will also be a priority.
Los Angeles Rams
Remaining Team Needs: TE, OG, NT, LB
Needs for Depth: RB, WR, Interior OL, DL, ILB, CB, S
Potential Draft Haul:
- Round 1, Pick 31: Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame- Explosive interior pass rusher who will help fill the void left by Suh.
- Round 3, Pick 94: Damien Harris, RB, Alabama- Solid, but not spectacular running back who can fill the role played by C.J. Anderson at the end of last season.
- Round 3, Pick 99: Joe Giles-Harris, LB, Duke- Smart, rangy linebacker who is perfectly suited to play middle linebacker in Wade Phillips’ defense.
- Round 4, Pick 133: Terry Godwin, WR, Georgia- Speedster who can provide depth and more speed to the unit.
- Round 5, Pick 169: Mark Fields, CB, Clemson- Fast and explosive cornerback who is intriguing as immediate depth with developmental starting potential.
- Round 6, Pick 203: Lukas Denis, S, Boston College- Athletic safety with good range who can help provide good depth while learning from Eric Weddle. Can also help on Special Teams initially.
- Round 7, Pick 251: Jonathan Ledbetter, DL, Georgia- Versatile hands rusher who can fill multiple roles along the front in Phillips’ 3-4 under defense.
Summary: The Rams have the roster to compete for a Super Bowl again after losing to the Patriots in the Big Game last season. That being said, there are multiple needs that the Rams could look to address after suffering some losses in free agency. On offense, a more well-rounded tight end could be on the list along with a guard to replace the departed Roger Saffold. Looking for depth at running back and wide receiver could also be a priority in the middle- to late-rounds. On defense, finding a replacement for Ndamukong Suh and adding to the linebacker corps will be high priorities. Les Snead will also likely look to add depth at nearly every position on defense in the later rounds and with undrafted free agents.