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Biggest Need for Every NFL Team: The First Quarter of the Season

We’re only four weeks in and there are some glaring needs on every NFL team.

Whether it’s a rookie not living up to expectations or a veteran who’s regressing, teams are starting to find holes on their roster.

Today, we look at the biggest need for every NFL team and present a solution to this problem.

Arizona Cardinals

Biggest Need: Left Tackle

Current Player: D.J. Humphries

Solution: Draft Connor Williams

It’s safe to say that drafting D.J. Humphries in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft was a mistake. Carson Palmer has been sacked 17 times already, which is affecting the veteran’s play. Drafting Connor Williams out of Texas can give Arizona a franchise left tackle for the final years of Palmer’s career.

Texas left tackle Connor Williams in pass protection.

Atlanta Falcons 

Biggest Need: Cornerback

Current Player: Robert Alford

Solution: Draft Kevin Toliver

The Falcons have a very complete team. They have a serviceable player at almost every position and have quality depth. However, Robert Alford could be upgraded. Alford is ranked as the 72nd best cornerback in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus. He’s 29 and will not ascend to anything. Drafting cornerback Kevin Toliver out of LSU will give them a young pairing for star corner Desmond Trufant.

LSU cornerback Kevin Toliver playing in coverage.

Baltimore Ravens

Biggest Need: Running Back

Current Player: Terrance West

Solution: Draft Saquon Barkley

Joe Flacco needs all the help he can get, and it has to start with the run game.

Current starter Terrance West doesn’t give the Ravens a consistent run game. Saquon Barkley out of Penn State, however, can give an electric new look to this offense and maybe give off the illusion that Flacco isn’t half bad.

Penn State running back Saquon Barkley rushing against USC in the 2017 Rose Bowl.

Buffalo Bills

Biggest Need: Defensive Tackle

Current Player: Marcell Dareus

Solution: Draft Christian Wilkins

Although somewhat under the radar, Marcell Dareus has been a massive disappointment for the Buffalo Bills after signing his lofty extension of 6 years, $96.5 million a few seasons ago. Now, they should look to move on from him and draft defensive tackle Christian Wilkins out of Clemson to make this defensive line unit younger and energetic. Wilkins can join his former Clemson teammate Shaq Lawson, too.

Clemson defensive tackle Christian Wilkins celebrates after a hit in the ACC title game.

Carolina Panthers

Biggest Need: Left Tackle

Current Player: Matt Kalil

Solution: Draft Mitch Hyatt

It goes without saying, but signing the struggling Matt Kalil to a 5 year, $55 million dollar deal was unquestionably foolish. Enter Clemson’s Mitch Hyatt; a technically sound, physical lineman who will keep Cam on his feet.

Clemson left tackle Mitch Hyatt in pass protection in the 2016 College Football Playoff Final against Alabama.

Chicago Bears

Biggest Need: Wide Receiver

Current Player: Kendall Wright

Solution: Draft Calvin Ridley

The Bears are a mess when it comes to receivers.

With Kevin White and Cameron Meredith sidelined, it’s making Mike Glennon and now Mitchell Trubisky’s job a lot harder. Sure, once these two are healthy, the Bears have an alright receiving corps, but Kevin White is the definition of injury prone and there’s no one else on the team that brings the “WOW” factor. With Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley, however, the Bears can have just that. Mitchell Trubisky needs reliable receivers in order to have a successful career, so maybe Ridley will become his new number one target.

Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley running with the ball in the 2016 College Playoff Final against Clemson.

Cincinnati Bengals

Biggest Need: Left Tackle

Current Player: Cedric Ogbuehi

Solution: Draft Trey Adams

Cedric Ogbuehi was supposed to be the successor to Andrew Whitworth and play at the level he played in college at Texas A&M. With Whitworth playing for the Rams, Ogbuehi’s play has been abysmal. With Washington tackle Trey Adams, however, the Bengals can have a starting block to rebuild this shaky offensive line.

Washington offensive tackle Trey Adams linking with fellow teammate.

Cleveland Browns

Biggest Need: Wide Receiver

Current Player: Kenny Britt

Solution: Draft James Washington

Deshone Kizer has been a bit unimpressive, but we’ll give the rookie the benefit of the doubt. His receivers, however, have played poorly, especially free agency acquisition Kenny Britt. Oklahoma State’s James Washington can give Kizer a legitimate weapon for years to come, and if Corey Coleman stays healthy, Kizer should be the answer Cleveland has been looking for at QB.

Oklahoma State wide receiver James Washington running past TCU defenders.

Dallas Cowboys

Biggest Need: Left Guard

Current Player: Jonathan Cooper

Solution: Draft Quenton Nelson

What? The Cowboys offensive line is in trouble?

Well, Doug Free’s retirement shifted left guard La’el Collins to right tackle and gave free agency acquisition Jonathan Cooper the starting spot at left guard. This hasn’t worked out, so if the Cowboys can grab Notre Dame’s Quenton Nelson in the second round of next year’s draft, they should seize that opportunity.

Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson in pass protection.

Denver Broncos

Biggest Need: Safety

Current Player: Darian Stewart

Solution: Draft Ronnie Harrison

Releasing T.J. Ward was questionable, but the Broncos had enough faith Justin Simmons to replace him. While Simmons has been average, Stewart has struggled. He is older, too, so his ceiling has likely already been reached. Drafting Alabama’s Ronnie Harrison can give the Broncos a much needed replacement.

Alabama safety Ronnie Harrison returning a pick for a touchdown.

Detroit Lions

Biggest Need: Running Back

Current Player: Ameer Abdullah

Solution: Draft Nick Chubb

Matthew Stafford may have gotten paid, but he can’t do it all by himself. Getting a serviceable running back would electrify this offense. Ameer Abdullah has not lived up to the hype and likely won’t be on the roster in the next few years. This is where Georgia running back Nick Chubb comes into play. He is an immediate upgrade over anyone currently on the Lions’ roster. Watch out for the Stafford-Chubb tandem.

Georgia running back Nick Chubb rushing with the ball.

Green Bay Packers

Biggest Need: Cornerback

Current Player: Davon House

Solution: Draft Tarvarus McFadden

Green Bay is a pretty complete team, but over the past few years, they’ve been primarily worse on defense. This is especially true in their secondary, where Davon House is undeservedly the number one corner. By drafting Florida State’s Tarvarus McFadden, they can stop relying on Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to do all the dirty work.

Florida State cornerback Tarvarus McFadden picks off a pass against Ole Miss.

Houston Texans

Biggest Need: Right Tackle

Current Player: Breno Giacomini

Solution: Draft Orlando Brown

This offense runs through Deshaun Watson, and he’s going to need some decent protection in order to have a decent career. Right tackle Breno Giacomini is at this point a journeyman and isn’t starting caliber. By drafting Oklahoma’s Orlando Brown, the Texans will have a solid right tackle and once Duane Brown retires, they have a serviceable left tackle for years to come.

Oklahoma offensive tackle Orlando Brown after a play against Colorado.

Indianapolis Colts

Biggest Need: Inside Linebacker

Current Player: Antonio Morrison

Solution: Draft Malik Jefferson

The Colts’ defense is not nearly as bad as it was last year, but their inside linebacker play has been dreadful. Antonio Morrison and Jon Bostic haven’t shown the aggression they needed to in order to solidify this unit. By drafting Texas linebacker Malik Jefferson, the Colts can start building a bully on defense, for the first time in a decade.

Texas linebacker Malik Jefferson in BIG 12 action.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Biggest Need: Left Guard

Current Player: Patrick Omameh

Solution: Draft Martez Ivey

The Jaguars have quickly blossomed into a solid team. Their defense doesn’t need to be touched, but their offensive line could better protect Blake Bortles and Leonard Fournette. Left guard Patrick Omameh has struggled the most, so drafting Florida’s Martez Ivey can make for a strong offensive line.

Florida guard Martez Ivey blocking a Georgia defender.

Kansas City Chiefs

Biggest Need: Inside Linebacker

Current Player: Ramik Wilson

Solution: Draft Matthew Thomas

The Chiefs are Super Bowl contenders this season, and their defense is playing stout with stars like Marcus Peters and Justin Houston. In the middle, however, inside linebackers Derrick Johnson and Ramik Wilson have played mediocre, but Johnson is a year or two away from retirement and Wilson isn’t good enough to take the reigns as a leader in that linebacking corps. By drafting Florida State’s Matthew Thomas, the Chiefs can have another leader on this stout defense.

Florida State linebacker Matthew Thomas scoping a read option against Wake Forest.

Los Angeles Chargers

Biggest Need: Safety

Current Player: Tre Boston

Solution: Draft Minkah Fitzpatrick

The Chargers are missing the presence of Eric Weddle from a few years ago. Free agency acquisition Tre Boston hasn’t fit well in this system. Alabama safety Minkah Fitzpatrick is an immediate upgrade and could become a leader in this unit.

Alabama safety Minkah Fitzpatrick eyeing the offense.

Los Angeles Rams

Biggest Need: Cornerback

Current Player: Kayvon Webster

Solution: Draft Jaire Alexander

The Rams are…good?

So far, yes. However, other than Trumaine Johnson, the Rams need a corner to shut down the pass. If the Rams were to draft Louisville’s Jaire Alexander, the Rams would have a solid duo at cornerback, as well as solid safety play from Lamarcus Joyner.

Louisville cornerback Jaire Alexander picks off a pass against Purdue.

Miami Dolphins

Biggest Need: Tight End

Current Player: Julius Thomas

Solution: Draft Hayden Hurst

Of course, they should get a new QB because Jay Cutler is terrible, but Ryan Tannehill should be back for next year. Trade acquisition Julius Thomas has continued to struggle since leaving Denver, and he won’t revive his career in Miami. Getting South Carolina’s Hayden Hurst would be an upgrade over Thomas and will give Tannehill an easy transition back onto the field.

South Carolina tight end Hayden Hurst stretches to the goal line for the touchdown against Florida.

Minnesota Vikings 

Biggest Need: Right Tackle

Current Player: Mike Remmers

Solution: Draft Martinas Rankin

Sam Bradford has been out for a number of weeks because of his lack of protection, and Mike Remmers has been inconsistent. If the Vikings decide to draft Mississippi State tackle Martinas Rankin to solidify the right side of the line.

Mississippi State tackle Martinas Rankin about to block Alabama linebacker Ryan Anderson.

New England Patriots

Biggest Need: Defensive End

Current Player: Lawrence Guy

Solution: Draft Bradley Chubb

The Patriots’ defense has been struggling because of injuries, but their defensive line play has been inexcusably poor. Lawrence Guy won’t ascend to anything, so drafting North Carolina State’s Bradley Chubb could solve it for years to come. The Patriots need more leaders on the defense. If Chubb’s leadership qualities transitions into the NFL, the Patriots will be in good hands on defense.

North Carolina State defensive end Bradley Chubb in ACC action.

New Orleans Saints 

Biggest Need: Tight End

Current Player: Coby Fleener

Solution: Draft Mark Andrews

Signing former Indianapolis Colt Coby Fleener has proven to not pan out. The Saints should capitalize on having Drew Brees for a few more years and draft Oklahoma tight end Mark Andrews to fill the void Fleener has created.

Oklahoma tight end Mark Andrews celebrates after a touchdown against Texas Tech.

New York Giants

Biggest Need: Left Tackle

Current Player: Ereck Flowers

Solution: Draft Jamarco Jones

Ereck Flowers is playing terribly and must be replaced. Ohio State’s Jamarco Jones is an upgrade and can let Eli stand in the pocket.

Ohio State's Jamarco Jones about to line up against a Rutgers defender.

New York Jets

Biggest Need: Quarterback

Current Player: Josh McCown

Solution: Draft Sam Darnold

Although it doesn’t look as though the Jets are completely tanking, they still need a QB for the future. USC’s Sam Darnold could be the foundation of this rebuild.

USC quarterback Sam Darnold about to throw a pass.

Oakland Raiders

Biggest Need: Defensive Tackle

Current Player: Justin Ellis

Solution: Draft Trenton Thompson

The Raiders have been underperforming as of late because of their defensive line struggles. Justin Ellis is far from good and is replaceable. Georgia’s Trenton Thompson can partner with Khalil Mack to make a dangerous defensive line.

Georgia defensive tackle Trenton Thompson celebrating after making a play.

Philadelphia Eagles

Biggest Need: Running Back

Current Player: LeGarrette Blount

Solution: Draft Derrius Guice

LeGarrette Blount has had a few good games, but his inconsistency is showing. He’s also old, so Philly will need a new face in the backfield to help Carson Wentz. LSU’s Derrius Guice could become the next star running back in the City of Brotherly Love.

LSU running back Derrius Guice celebrating after scoring a touchdown.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Biggest Need: Inside Linebacker

Current Player: Vince Williams

Solution: Draft Kendall Joseph

I know, I know, Steelers fans–you’ve drafted loads of linebackers early over the years. I believe if you replace Vince Williams, you won’t have to draft any more for a little while. Clemson’s Kendall Joseph would be a good compliment to Ryan Shazier, since Joseph has a bit of “thump” in his game, while Shazier can stretch the field.

Clemson linebacker Kendall Joseph eyeing his opponent.

San Francisco 49ers

Biggest Need: Quarterback

Current Player: Brian Hoyer

Solution: Draft Josh Rosen

I don’t buy into the idea that C.J. Beathard is going to be the future of the franchise. Brian Hoyer is just a band aid solution, so drafting Josh Rosen gives the 49ers someone to win games with–something new GM John Lynch must target early in his tenure in San Fran.

UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen about to complete a pass.

Seattle Seahawks 

Biggest Need: Left Tackle

Current Player: Rees Odhiambo

Solution: Draft Mike McGlinchey

Everyone knows how bad this offensive line is. Just take Mike McGlinchey; what other options do you have?

Notre Dame offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey setting up for pass protection.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

Biggest Need: Left Guard

Current Player: Kevin Pamphile

Solution: Draft Billy Price

The Bucs are well rounded, but they could be better in the interior of their offensive line. Ohio State’s Billy Price would be an immediate starter and could protect Jameis Winston and struggling running back Doug Martin.

Ohio State guard Billy Price running onto the field with his teammates.

Tennessee Titans

Biggest Need: Defensive Tackle

Current Player: Sylvester Williams

Solution: Da’Ron Payne

The Titans are a few pieces away from being perennial playoff contenders. Replacing the lazy Sylvester Williams with someone like Da’Ron Payne will enable this team to reach new heights.

Alabama defensive tackle Da'Ron Payne about to rush the passer.

Washington Redskins

Biggest Need: Safety

Current Player: Montae Nicholson

Solution: Draft Derwin James

The Redskins’ secondary is heavily reliant on Josh Norman. With him sidelined, the safeties will be exposed for how bad they are. This will inspire them to take playmaking safety Derwin James out of Florida State.

Florida State safety Derwin James after a play.

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