The way this offseason has gone, "expect the unexpected" is a pretty good motto to adopt going into the NFL Draft next Thursday. We certainly didn't see Davante Adams or Tyreek Hill trades coming before they rocked the landscape, and while we know of Deebo Samuel's trade demands already, he's surely not the only big name who might be on the move – Baker Mayfield and Jimmy Garoppolo loom over every QB-needy team, too.
We went over the biggest Fantasy Football Today newsletter, and now it's time to take on the AFC team's biggest questions. And given how much firepower has been added to AFC contenders this season – Russell Wilson, Adams, Hill, Deshaun Watson, and Matt Ryan, to name just a few – this conference already looks a lot more interesting.ahead of the draft in yesterday's
Of course, those trades already answered a lot of the biggest questions, and also left some teams pretty thin with regards to draft capital this season, which means we're going to see some creativity in the next week-plus. Here are the biggest questions facing AFC teams as they prep for the draft:
Biggest question for every AFC team
Ravens: Do they draft any skill players early?
There really aren't any obvious needs for the Ravens at the skill positions, so it would be a surprise if they added anyone in the first few rounds. They'll probably focus on the offensive line if they take anyone on that side of the ball, though it wouldn't be a surprise to see them snag a bigger wide receiver with a mid-round pick. That being said, it would be a pretty big upset if any rookie ended up making an impact for the Ravens this season. The only thing to really keep an eye on would be at running back – if they were to take a back on the second day, say, it might indicate the team is at least a little concerned about how J.K. Dobbins and/or Gus Edwards are doing in their recoveries from torn ACLs that ended their 2021 campaigns before they began.
Bills: Do they add a running back?
The Bills are at the point where they don't have a real pressing need, which means they might draft for a luxury. Many are assuming that would mean an early running back, and if they actually decided to take someone like Kenneth Walker or Breece Hall with the 25th pick, there would surely be a ton of interest in that back. That would feel a lot like when the Chiefs took Clyde Edwards-Helaire with a first-round pick back in 2020. He shot up draft boards based on that landing spot but has just 11 touchdowns in 23 career games and has been a pretty big disappointment. Kansas City ended up not being nearly as good a landing spot as we thought, and Buffalo probably isn't as good of one as you might assume – Bills running backs ranked just 21st in PPR points in 2021 after scoring the fewest points in the previous three seasons of the Josh Allen era combined. The Bills just don't use their running backs very much in the passing game (91 targets last season, 27th in the league) and Josh Allen's red-zone dominance as a rusher limits scoring opportunities, too. If a rookie steps in and plays 75% of the snaps from Day 1, he could still provide must-start production, but if there is any kind of timeshare, that rookie would probably be a disappointment.
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Bengals: Do they draft any skill players early?
The addition of Hayden Hurst helped fill the hole left by C.J. Uzomah's departure, but the Bengals could probably still use some talent at tight end. That's probably the only spot the Bengals are really looking at on offense at this point, because they're pretty set everywhere else. Maybe they look to add a project at WR who can potentially replace Tyler Boyd when salaries start to be a concern, but we're probably two years away from that being an issue, so don't expect any rookies to see much action for the Bengals in 2022.
Browns: Do they add a wide receiver?
The addition of Amari Cooper gives the Browns the No. 1 WR they had hoped Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham could be, but they could probably use a few more weapons for Deshaun Watson to work with. Donovan Peoples-Jones is an intriguing deep threat who could be the Will Fuller of this offense, but beyond those two, you've got Jakeem Grant or Javon Wims slotted to be the No. 3 wide receiver. The Browns haven't used three-wide sets often under Kevin Stefanski, and I don't necessarily expect that to change with Watson at QB, but there's still a clear opportunity here for an upgrade. Watson is likely still facing a suspension to begin the season, so any rookie would probably struggle to make any kind of impact with Jacoby Brissett likely starting, but they could be someone to stash if the Browns make a big enough investment early.
Broncos: Do they add an RB?
The Broncos are set at QB following the trade for Russell Wilson, and it's hard to see them making any kind of splash at wide receiver given what they've invested there, so running back is probably the only place they might make an addition. They've still been linked to Melvin Gordon, but the lack of movement there suggests nothing is imminent. If they don't bring back Gordon, Javonte Williams seems to be in line for a massive role, one that would make him a top 12 RB in most drafts, however a Day 2 RB could at least present some complications. However, given that they don't pick until 64th overall, they probably have some bigger needs than a backup/complementary running back. If they don't make a big add there, it could be Gordon or bust standing in between Williams and a first-round ADP.
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Texans: Do they take a QB?
Davis Mills looked good enough to justify at least a longer look on a team that has so many holes to fill. Brandin Cooks is the only skill player who you could reasonably expect to start on most other teams, so any rookie who landed here would have a tough road anyway. It's not out of the question that the Texans add a QB, but I'd expect to see them add more skill players to give Mills a better chance in Year 2. If he flops, they'll definitely be looking at QB in 2023, in what is expected to be a much better class. There's an opportunity for a running back or wide receiver drafted early to be Fantasy relevant here, though.
Colts: Do they add any pass-catchers?
The Colts are set at RB, obviously, and I'd be surprised to see them spend more than a mid-round pick on a QB after trading for Matt Ryan, so it comes down to WR and TE. And they could use playmakers at either spot. Michael Pittman Jr. looked pretty good in his second season breakout and could be in line for even better numbers with the upgrade from Carson Wentz, but there is still room for someone else to step up, even on a run-heavy offense. They don't have a first-round pick, but they could look to add a WR with the Nos. 42 or 73 picks, and a pass-catcher at either pick would likely be worth drafting in the later rounds of most leagues.
Jaguars: Do they add any skill players early?
In addition to the No. 1 overall pick in the second straight draft, the Jaguars have three other picks inside of the top 70. The additions of Christian Kirk and Zay Jones may make the need to take an early wide receiver less obvious, but neither of those guys is good enough to preclude the addition of another playmaker. The same is true of the Evan Engram/Dan Arnold combination at tight end. However, running back might actually be a bigger need, depending on how Travis Etienne (foot) and James Robinson (Achilles) are recovering from their injuries. If the Jaguars use one of those top-70 picks on a back, that could signal that the team isn't confident in what either or both are going to give them.
Chiefs: Which WR do they add?
JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and Mecole Hardman are a decent start at wide receiver, but there is clearly still a hole here from the Tyreek Hill trade. It feels all but certain the Chiefs are going to add a WR, though that doesn't necessarily mean it will be through the draft – A.J. Brown, DK Metcalf, Deebo Samuel, and Terry McLaurin are all looking for extensions and have been mentioned as potential trade candidates in recent weeks. The Chiefs would have to be interested in any of them if they did become available, and if not, there are plenty of interesting options in the draft class, and the Chiefs have two top-30 picks and two more inside of the top 65. It would be a shock if the Chiefs don't make a significant addition to their WR corps in some manner.
Chargers: Do they add an RB?
Justin Jackson has been OK in a few opportunities to replace Austin Ekeler over the years, but they still haven't found a true complement for Ekeler, a do-it-all back who will never be a true work-horse on the ground. There's an opportunity for someone to come in and take on a significant role in a very good offense, though with just one pick inside of the top 75 and one other inside the top 120, the Chargers probably don't have the luxury to take an RB in the first two days. Offensive line help seems a much likelier need.
Raiders: Do they add an RB?
With the addition of Davante Adams, wide receiver doesn't seem like a need here. To be fair, running back probably isn't a need either, with Josh Jacobs showing enough pass-catching chops in an expanded role last season, something we'd like to see him get an opportunity to do again. However, the Raiders have to make a decision on Jacobs' fifth-year option, so another RB in the middle rounds could suggest they are looking to move on eventually. Of course, in light of the Adams trade, the Raiders have just one pick in the first 125, so a running back might not be a luxury they can afford with needs along both lines.
Dolphins: Do they bring in another RB?
We expect the running game to be a big part of Mike McDaniel's offense as a long-time Kyle Shanahan assistant, and while the Dolphins added Chase Edmonds and Raheem Mostert this offseason, neither has proven they can handle an every-down role in the past. The Dolphins will mix and match at RB, just like the 49ers have, but another RB in the middle rounds could muddy the waters. Of course, the Dolphins are another team with limited draft capital after acquiring Tyreek Hill, so I would be surprised if they made RB a priority in the draft.
Patriots: How early do they take a WR?
Maybe the acquisition of DeVante Parker in a recent trade makes wide receiver less of a priority, especially with some pretty notable holes on the defensive side of the ball, but I still think it makes sense for the Patriots to add more pass-catching help for Mac Jones entering his second season. How early they decide to take one could tell you how they feel about their incumbent playmakers, and with Parker's injury history, any rookie could have an opportunity to earn plenty of targets fairly early.
Jets: Which WR do they add?
Like the Chiefs, the question isn't whether the Jets add a wide receiver, it's whether they do so with an early draft pick or make a trade for an established star. If one becomes available, you can be certain the Jets will be at the front of the line, as they were with Tyreek Hill before he opted to go to the Dolphins. Elijah Moore looks like a potential star and Corey Davis is a solid enough outside option, but the Jets are clearly looking for a go-to outside receiver to give Zach Wilson all the help he can get entering Year 2. Any wide receiver who goes to New York would be catching passes from a QB who was, frankly, pretty bad as a rookie, but there would also be an opportunity to be a clear No. 1. If they don't make a big splash, the hype around Moore is going to get even more extreme – don't be shocked if he's off the board inside of the first 60 picks in all drafts this year.
Steelers: Do they take a QB?
Maybe a year spent behind Josh Allen, learning from Brian Daboll was enough to elevate Trubisky's game, but skepticism is warranted on that account. The Steelers seem about as likely as any team in the league to take a first-round QB, and it wouldn't be an awful landing spot – Trubisky is as likely to flop as anything else, and there's a very solid group of pass-catchers here between Najee Harris, Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, and Pat Freiermuth. This is considered a pretty weak QB class, so I wouldn't expect any rookie to be Fantasy relevant here, but Malik Willis' rushing potential combined with this group of pass catchers would be very intriguing.
Titans: Do they trade A.J. Brown?
The Titans have been adamant that they will not be trading Brown, but he's sitting out offseason programs while looking for a new contract, and in this wild offseason we can't write anything off. It seems like a long shot that anything happens, and it wouldn't make sense for a contender to move on from a stud young WR like Brown without an overwhelming offer coming their way. Brown is a legitimate No. 1 WR when healthy, and assuming he returns to Tennessee, there isn't much room for anyone else to make much of an impact here – they're going to funnel a huge share of their production to Brown and Derrick Henry, with the newly added Robert Woods in line for a sizable role if healthy. The only other impactful addition they could make at the draft would be some Henry insurance, considering his age and workload, not to mention the fact that he is coming off a broken foot.