Just as we did, the Eye on Football staff spent the last week or so compiling position group rankings for all 32 teams in the league in an attempt to identify predraft needs.
Unlike last year, though, there was no definitive guideline given over whether the rankings should be strictly for the upcoming season or for the future as well. So, each member of the staff (myself, John Breech, Will Brinson, Ryan Wilson, Sean Wagner-McGough) brought their own balance of those timelines to the table, and the rankings ended up reflecting that. As a result, some of the needs below are immediate, and some of them lean more toward the future. That's OK, though, because that's how teams actually draft.
A helpful guide: any position group that had an average ranking lower than 16.0 was considered a "need," while any that ranked lower than 23.0 (bottom-third of the league) was considered a "pressing need." Check them all out below.
Needs: QB, WR/TE, DL
The Cardinals lost a bunch of pieces on defense this offseason, but only Calais Campbell's exit was enough to get our panel to knock them down into the bottom half of the league at his position. Arizona's defensive line ranking was its lowest of any position group, closeout followed by quarterback and wide receiver/tight end. It's worth noting that every mock draft on CBSSports.com has the Cardinals opting for a successor to Carson Palmer in the first round. Patrick Mahomes is the pick in four out of six mocks, while Deshaun Watson and DeShone Kizer land in the desert in one each.
It's no shock that the defending NFC champions rank highly across the board in all offensive categories. Matt Ryan was the league's MVP last season, the Devonta Freeman-Tevin Coleman backfield duo is one of the NFL's most efficient, the Julio Jones-led receiving corps explosive, and the offensive line much improved. The Falcons' needs are on defense, with the front four the area most clearly in need of addressing. Defensive back nearly qualified based on our criteria as well, but we'll stick with the D-Line here. Five of our six mocks have the Falcons adding a pass-rusher across from Vic Beasley, while the other slides Budda Baker into their defensive backfield.
Needs: QB, RB, WR/TE
Pressing: RB, WR/TE
Our entire panel agrees that the Ravens need something beyond Kenneth Dixon in the offensive backfield, especially with Dixon suspended for the first four games of next season. He looked like an intriguing player last season, but maybe not one equipped to carry an offense -- especially one with a quarterback that has not looked all that great since the Ravens' Super Bowl victory four years ago and with an entirely uninspiring receiving corps. Five of our six mocks have the Ravens taking either Mike Williams or Corey Davis in the first round in order to give Joe Flacco a high-level passing game weapon, while the other has them adding pass-rusher Derek Barnett.
Needs: QB, WR/TE, OL, LB, DB
The Bills halfheartedly committed to Tyrod Taylor at quarterback, but there's been a lot of smoke surrounding their interest in QB prospects in the draft. Our panel thinks that interest is at least somewhat justified. Wide receiver (Mike Williams, Corey Davis) and tight end (O.J. Howard) have also been connected to the Bills this offseason, and with only the injury-prone Sammy Watkins as a high-level threat, that makes sense. The Buffalo offensive line was spectacular at run-blocking last season but could still use some help in pass-protection, which is reflected in its slightly below-average ranking here. The panel sees Buffalo's biggest need being the defensive backfield, though, and it's hard to disagree. Our mocks for the Bills are all over the place, with Davis, Howard, Mitchell Trubisky, and Jamal Adams all landing in Buffalo at least once.
Needs: RB, WR/TE, OL
Pressing: RB, WR/TE
Carolina's needs have seemingly been the same for a few years now: the offensive line and some more weapons to help take the pressure off Cam Newton. Greg Olsen has been his only consistent passing game target since Steve Smith left, and Jonathan Stewart has become less efficient with his carries since being asked to take over a heavier workload. The Panthers have been heavily connected to Christian McCaffrey and Leonard Fournette, both of which would fit their prescribed needs; but a couple of our mocks also have them stacking more talent on the defensive line, simply because that's something GM Dave Gettleman has shown he's willing to do, whether the team "needs" it or not.
Needs: QB, WR/TE, OL, DL, LB, DB
Pressing: QB, WR/TE, DL, DB
The Bears are one of a few teams whose needs can essentially be summed up as "everything." They just need to add talent. There's a reason they went 3-13 last season, after all. The panel was not enthused by the Mike Glennon signing, putting the Bears toward the bottom of the QB rankings, and is even less enamored of Glennon's weapons with Alshon Jeffery leaving Chicago for greener (literally) pastures. The defensive front and defensive backfield are also considered heavy needs, and based on their offseason activity, it seems the Bears agree. Our mocks are mostly split between those two positions, with the targets being Jonathan Allen, Solomon Thomas, Jamal Adams, and Marshon Lattimore.
The Bengals were one of seven teams that didn't qualify as having any "pressing" needs, but they're the only team out of that group that didn't rank inside the top-10 in any position. In short, the panel viewed the Bengals as being slightly above or slightly below average at every single position. Andy Dalton is good but not great. Same with the Jeremy Hill-Giovani Bernard backfield, the Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler-less offensive line, etc. Linebacker worked out as Cincinnati's neediest position, and even with Kevin Minter in the fold on a one-year deal, that makes a great deal of sense. They need to get more athletic at that position. Only one mock draft has them addressing this need (with Reuben Foster), though, with the others split between Derek Barnett on the edge and either John Ross or Mike Williams at receiver.
Needs: QB, RB, WR/TE, DL, LB, DB
Pressing: QB, RB, WR/TE, DL, LB, DB
I was surprised the Browns didn't check in higher on the offensive line rankings. That group up front should be quite good after the Kevin Zeitler and JC. Tretter signings. Everywhere else, though, it's tough to argue with the panel. Cleveland needs literally everything. All of our mocks have them opting for Myles Garrett at the top of the draft, addressing their defensive line needs, but the No. 12 pick is where people differ. There are a couple trade-ups for Mitch Trubisky (a hot rumor), while the others have them staying put and snagging either Deshaun Watson or O.J. Howard. Either way, it looks like there's a consensus around them adding a top offensive weapon for Hue Jackson with that second pick.
Needs: DL, DB
This should come as no surprise at all. The Cowboys rank highly everywhere except on the defensive line and in the defensive backfield, with the defensive line considered the more pressing need. (If we'd done these rankings after the good news about Jaylon Smith's nerve in his knee, they might have ranked higher at linebacker as well.) Their issues pressuring the quarterback over the last few years have been well-documented, and they lost three starters and a heavily-used backup from their secondary to free agency this offseason. All six of our mocks have the Cowboys taking either Charles Harris or Takkarist McKinley in Round 1, and it would not be a surprise at all to see one of those picks actually happen on Thursday.
Needs: QB, RB, OL, DL
Pressing: QB, DL
The Trevor Siemian/Paxton Lynch combo at QB is not inspiring much confidence from our panel. I'm very surprised the Broncos' defensive line ranked as low as it did (they were 10th on my list) but it's important to remember that Von Miller and the other pass-rushers were included with the linebackers. The Broncos had the best ranking in the league at that position, as well as at defensive back. They're perfectly fine up front. Our mocks all have the Broncos opting for an offensive lineman (Ryan Ramczyk, Forrest Lamp) or tight end (O.J. Howard, David Njoku) to give Lynch or Siemian some help.
Needs: RB, WR/TE, OL, DL, LB, DB
Pressing: DL, LB
Our panel thinks the Lions have needs pretty much everywhere other than at quarterback, where Matthew Stafford looks like he's a keeper. The only pressing needs, though, are in the defensive front seven. The Lions badly need someone other than Ezekiel Ansah that can rush the passer, and the sudden injury-related downturn of DeAndre Levy's career has left them wanting for high-end talent at linebacker as well. Our mocks universally have the Lions addressing the pass rush, with one of T.J. Watt, Taco Charlton, Charles Harris, or Derek Rivers.
Green Bay Packers
Needs: RB, DB
Unsurprisingly, our panel identified running back and defensive back as Green Bay's needs. We saw them cycle through injury-plagued backs last year before landing on converted wideout Ty Montgomery, who showed flashes but is not necessarily ready to be an every-down guy. They should probably add another player at the position at some point during the draft. The same thing happened at DB, where it seemed like everyone was injured all year. Sam Shields was cut after repeated head injuries kept him off the field and a bunch of the rest of the crew in the secondary can't necessarily be counted on to suit up every Sunday either. Still, our mocks are all over the place for the Pack. We've got six different guys landing there: T.J. Watt, Jabrill Peppers, Chidobe Awuzie, Gareon Conley, and Dalvin Cook.
Needs: QB, RB, WR/TE, OL
The Texans cannot go into this season with Tom Savage as the best quarterback on the roster. In a development that should shock exactly nobody, four of our six mocks have the Texans taking a QB: Deshaun Watson or Davis Webb. The other two have them addressing a hole on the offensive line with either Garett Bolles or Forrest Lamp.
Needs: RB, OL, DL, LB, DB
Pressing: RB, DL, LB, DB
The Colts rank well at quarterback (Andrew Luck) and pass-catcher (T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief, Jack Doyle, etc.), but nowhere else. They injected more talent into their front seven this offseason by signing Jabaal Sheard, John Simon, Margus Hunt, Al Woods, Johnathan Hankins, and Sean Spence, but they're almost all on short-term deals that the Colts can get out of quickly. They still have long-term needs up front, and in the defensive backfield. And of course, they have not had an explosive running back to take the pressure off Luck since he arrived. Our mocks all have Indy leaning toward defense, with Haason Reddick as the most popular selection. That makes sense, as he can seamlessly fill a role as a flexible hybrid player up front.
Needs: QB, RB, WR/TE, OL, LB
Pressing: QB, RB, OL
This should come as no surprise: we at Eye on Football are not huge fans of the Jaguars offense. The Jags broke into the top 10 at both defensive line and defensive back thanks to their recent drafting and spending sprees on defense, but they're lagging behind on the other side of the football. Leonard Fournette is easily the most popular pick here in our mocks, with five of the six leaning in that direction. The other has them adding Jonathan Allen and turning a strength into an even bigger strength.
Kansas City Chiefs
Needs: QB, WR/TE, DL
With 3-4 defenses, it was tough to differentiate between the defensive line and the linebackers. We included Justin Houston, Tamba Hali, and Dee Ford among the LBs here, and the Chiefs' DL ranking suffered for it. They lost Dontari Poe this offseason, but replaced him with Bennie Logan. The loss of Jaye Howard hurts but shouldn't be monstrously difficult to overcome. QB is a moderate need but the Chiefs have shown they can at least get to the playoffs with Alex Smith. Andy Reid could make the playoffs with you or me under center, I think. Our mocks are heavy on linebacker picks, with their group at that position aging a bit. Zach Cunningham, Jarrad Davis, and Haason Reddick are there, but so are cornerback Kevin King and QB Patrick Mahomes.
Los Angeles Chargers
For a team that went 5-11 last year, our panel had a surprisingly high opinion of the Chargers. It might have something to do with them suffering approximately 947 injuries in 2016. They definitely need some help along the offensive line, though, and that's reflected in their nearly bottom-third ranking. The only issue is that this year's top line prospects aren't quite worthy of the No. 7 pick in the draft, so everyone's got them adding even more talent to their defense, either with Malik Hooker (five of six mocks) or Jonathan Allen.
Los Angeles Rams
Needs: QB, RB, WR/TE, OL, LB, DB
Pressing: QB, WR/TE, OL
So, Jared Goff is working out great. In all seriousness, that ranking is more a reflection of the fact that he couldn't get on the field for most of his rookie season (thanks, Jeff Fisher) and then was dreadful when he got out there. The Rams aren't going to go QB early again. Todd Gurley's Year 2 drop-off is reflected in the rankings, but he should hopefully bounce back with Andrew Whitworth at left tackle. He's nearing the end of his career, though, so offensive line is still considered a heavy need for the Rams. L.A. also needs to give Goff some help with better pass-catchers. Robert Woods was not the most enthralling signing. The Rams don't have a first-rounder, so we don't have any mocked picks for them.
Needs: QB, OL, DL, LB, DB
Our panel had the Dolphins ranking mostly as slightly below average at a bunch of positions, with only defensive back sticking out as a major need. Only one mock has them going in that direction (Gareon Conley), though. The others all have them adding another piece to what was an improving offensive line last season (Forrest Lamp) or adding more help up front (Haason Reddick, Taco Charlton). All three of those routes would make sense for Miami, which mostly just needs to add more playmakers on both sides of the football.
Needs: QB, RB, WR/TE, OL
Pressing: RB, WR/TE, OL
The injury to Teddy Bridgewater was just killer. The Vikings went from having a potential stud quarterback over the long-term to dealing multiple picks for Sam Bradford, basically the prototypical slightly below-average option at the position. Adrian Peterson's new address left a hole at running back that the Vikes filled with Latavius Murray, but our panel is not thrilled with what the Vikes have back there. The offensive line has been a joke for the last few years and while Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen are good players, we'd like to see more from Laquon Treadwell before we move them up in the pass-catcher rankings. Minnesota also does not have a first-rounder this year, so the Vikings do not currently have any mocked picks.
New England Patriots
Yeah, the champs are in pretty good shape.
New Orleans Saints
Needs: RB*, WR/TE, DL, LB, DB
Pressing: DL, LB, DB
These rankings were compiled before the Saints added Adrian Peterson to their backfield that already included Mark Ingram and Travaris Cadet. We're going to assume that's no longer considered a huge need, even if AP is old, coming off a major injury, and looked cooked when he was on the field last year. The real needs for the Saints are on defense, literally anywhere on defense. Three of the six mocks have them taking a pass-rusher and defensive back with their two first-round picks, while the others have them taking one or the other and then adding a replacement for Brandin Cooks (John Ross), a belated replacement for Jimmy Graham (Evan Engram), or a successor to Drew Brees (DeShone Kizer).
New York Giants
Needs: RB, OL, LB
Pressing: RB, OL
New York has only Shane Vereen and Paul Perkins as players of consequence in the backfield. That's not ideal. And the offensive line, well, everyone knows what a disaster it was last season. The Giants are stacked on the D-Line and defensive backfield, but they've been ignoring linebacker for years. They're also getting to the point where quarterback is going to be a need pretty soon. Our mocks have them opting for a big boy up front (Ryan Ramczyk, Garett Bolles), giving Eli Manning another explosive passing game weapon (David Njoku), or finding Eli's eventual successor (Patrick Mahomes).
New York Jets
Needs: QB, RB, WR/TE, OL, LB, DB
Pressing: QB, RB, WR/TE, OL, LB, DB
The Jets, like the Browns, just need everything. This might actually be the least talented roster in the league. Even defensive line would look like much more of a need if they found a taker for Sheldon Richardson. Yikes. Our mocks have them split between quarterback (Mitchell Trubisky, Deshaun Watson) and defensive back (Marshon Lattimore, Malik Hooker). Either one would be a good start.
Needs: RB*, DB
The Raiders are another one of our teams without any "pressing" needs. They definitely needed another running back to work with Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington -- that is, until Marshawn Lynch agreed to a deal to play for his hometown team. They could use some help on the back end of the defense, but there's enough talent there that it wouldn't kill them if they went elsewhere with their early draft picks. Our six mocks are split evenly between defensive back (Gareon Conley, Kevin King) and linebacker Jarrad Davis.
Needs: QB, RB
Philadelphia is in a similar situation to Cincinnati, except we viewed their units on both lines as being significantly better than the Bengals. Carson Wentz started hot and then faded last season, but he's pretty clearly the team's quarterback of the future. Running back is a question mark with a bunch of rotational players but no clear leader, but there's not a position that screams massive need right now. Pass-catchers and defensive backs seem like the most likely targets, though. We've got three mocks that have them snagging a DB (Marlon Humphrey, Tre'Davious White), one with a receiver (John Ross), and two with a running back (Christian McCaffrey).
The Steelers have one of the best offenses in the NFL, and they just found out they're getting Martavis Bryant back. That seems fair. They're average to slightly below on the other side of the ball, and we identified an outside backer/pass-rusher as their biggest need, though defensive line and defensive back are getting into that range as well. Our mocks are split between those positions, with Carl Lawson, Jabrill Peppers, Obi Melifonwu, and Marlon Humphrey all getting at least one look for the Steelers.
San Francisco 49ers
Needs: QB, RB, WR/TE, OL, DL, LB, DB
Pressing: QB, WR/TE, OL, DL, LB, DB
Remember earlier, when I said the Jets might be the least talented team in the league? I forgot about these guys. Woof. Again, everything is a need. Just get some high-level talent on board. Solomon Thomas (four of six), Derek Barnett, and O.J. Howard are headed to the Bay in our most recent mocks.
Same old story for the Seahawks. They need to do something about their abominable offensive line. Garett Bolles and Cam Robinson are each the selection in two of our six mocks, while the others have Pete Carroll adding yet another SPARQ-y DB to the Legion of Boom (Obi Melifonwu, Kevin King).
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Needs: RB, OL, DL
Tampa has Jameis Winston locked in at QB, added DeSean Jackson across from Mike Evans, and has added talent at the second level of its defense over the last few years. There are question marks at running back with Doug Martin's off-field issues and along the O-Line with a general lack of talent, and it'd be nice if they gave Gerald McCoy some more friends up front on defense as well. Dalvin Cook winds up here in two mocks, while Christian McCaffrey lands in Florida in another. A safety to play next to free agent signing J.J. Wilcox is the answer in two mocks (Obi Melifonwu, Budda Baker). And the last has them adding O.J. Howard to give Winston another weapon.
Needs: WR/TE, DL, LB, DB
"Exotic Smashmouth" wound up working out quite nicely for the Titans last season. (I'll eat some crow here., and I was wrong.) Now, Tennesee needs to give Marcus Mariota some better targets to throw to so they can have a passing attack that appropriately complements the power running game. And they need to add defensive talent as well, especially in the secondary. All six of our mocks have the Titans taking a defensive back at No. 5 (Jamal Adams, Marshon Lattimore) and a receiver or tight end at No. 18 (David Njoku, John Ross, Corey Davis).
Needs: RB, DL, LB, DB
Washington only ranked as clearly above average along the offensive line, which is not that surprising when you consider that there's a whole lot of uncertainty about Kirk Cousins' future in the organization. They had an elite pass-catching corps last year but Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson have since moved on. They badly need help stopping the run, so it's no surprise that defensive line and linebacker are both considered needs. And Robert Kelley-Chris Thompson is an interesting backfield tandem, but not much more. Our mocks are all over the place, with Mike Williams, Reuben Foster, Zach Cunningham and Gareon Conley heading to the nation's capitol.