2018 NFL Offseason: Here's the biggest remaining roster holes for all 32 teams
Teams can still fill needs with players on the secondary free-agent market and 2018 NFL Draft
The first wave of free agency has come and gone, with teams acting as if they had counterfeit-money being printed in their weight rooms. The flurry was manic at times, with a lot of roster holes being filled.
But that doesn't mean they can all be solved. With the NFL Draft coming in a little over a month, and the secondary free-agent market still playing out, here's a look at the biggest remaining roster hole for each of the NFL's 32 teams.
They have been trying a lot of different ways to solidify the corner spot opposite Patrick Peterson the past few years, but it still remains a problem. They could use Brandon Williams there, and they are talking with Buffalo's E.J. Gaines, but that remains a troubled area, although Gaines would be a solid signing to help fix it.
They have a dominant one in Grady Jarrett, but with Dontari Poe leaving to sign with the Panthers they need help next to Jarrett. They need a power player who can hold up against the run. They could use an early pick on that spot in the draft.
They have to get a playmaking tight end early in the April draft. They signed receivers John Brown and Michael Crabtree to help give them some weapons outside in the passing game, but the tight end spot is lacking a true pass-catching threat. This a good draft for tight ends, so it's a spot that can get help.
They signed former Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron in free agency, but the deal says it's nothing more than a stopgap signing. They have the arsenal to go up and get a quarterback in the top-6 if they want to do so, or they could sit back and take a passer like Lamar Jackson or Mason Rudolph.
They would start Michael Adams and Colin Jones if the season started today. They have to get better there. They could use another receiver on offense, but I think the safety spot is a bigger issue right now.
They have Leonard Floyd, their 2016 first-round pick, but he hasn't quite played to expectations and suffered a knee injury last year that forced him to miss six games. After him, there isn't much with Pernell McPhee and Willie Young let go. They need to find some speed edge players for their scheme, even after adding Aaron Lynch in free agency. They just aren't good enough there.
Even though they traded to get left tackle Cordy Glenn from the Bills, they still have major problems up front. It is a unit that struggled in a big way last season, and there are still major questions about a lot of the players who started a year ago. Center Russell Bodine is leaving via free agency, but that might be a good thing. Iowa center James Daniels would be a good first-round pick for them.
Yes, they traded to get Tyrod Taylor but he isn't the long-term solution. They have the first overall pick and the fourth overall, which means they can land their franchise passer. I expect them to do that, which could finally solve the decades-long problem.
They still have to decide what to do with Dez Bryant, but I bet he comes back on a restructured deal. Even so, they lack the deep speed to back off a defense. They need to find that in the draft to help balance the offense. Bryant has never been a burner, and he's slowed some now.
They could use a lot of help up front, and the biggest need might be at right tackle. Menelik Watson was signed away from Oakland last spring, but he struggled. They could also use some help at left guard.
They let Eric Ebron go, which means they have a major hole at the spot. Ebron never lived up to expectations, but they had little behind him. They do have 2017 fourth-round pick Michael Roberts, but he did little last year and was suspended for a game for reportedly missing a team meeting. This is a good class of tight ends in the draft, so they should be able to get help.
Green Bay Packers
They traded away Demarious Randall to the Browns to get backup quarterback DeShone Kizer, which leaves the position in need of a quality starter. They have second-year player Kevin King on one side, and he has the tools to be a good corner, but the other side is in flux. They need to sign a veteran and draft a corner early. New coordinator Mike Pettine likes his players to be able to play a lot of man.
They signed Sentreal Henderson from Buffalo on a one-year, prove-it deal, but he was just OK with the Bills in his 27 starts. They have second-year player Julie'n Davenport, who started some last season, but he is raw. They have to go hard after this spot in the draft. Remember Week One last year when Jacksonville got 10 sacks against them? That can't happen again.
They have a lot of needs, but thanks to the trade with the Jets last week they have the picks to fill them. They traded the third overall pick to the Jets for No. 6 and three second-round picks, two this year and one next year. That can fill a lot of holes. But the biggest hole remains dominant edge rusher. Jabaal Sheard and John Simon are just OK. They need to address that spot a few times in the draft.
They brought back Marqise Lee and signed Donte Moncrief from the Colts, but neither of those players is a No. 1 receiver. They need to try and get that in the draft. They also could look to take a quarterback to push Blake Bortles this year and maybe take over down the road. But No. 1 receiver is the top priority.
Kansas City Chiefs
Bennie Logan is an unrestricted free agent, which isn't a good thing for a team that struggled to stop the run last year. They added linebacker Anthony Hitchens to try and fix that, but they need a big body in the middle to help keep him and the other linebackers free to run.
Los Angeles Chargers
They had issues against the run last year, and a lot of that had to do with their linebacker play inside. They need to get stronger there, especially after not doing anything in the first wave of free agency at that spot. They could also use a down defensive player as well.
Los Angeles Rams
They traded Robert Quinn to the Dolphins, leaving a major hole at an important spot in Wade Phillips' defense. Connor Barwin is also on the street, which means they are down two players from last season, although he could be back. Young player Samson Ebukam flashed some last season, but they need a lot more help for that spot. Matt Longacre is another player who could have a bigger role.
They added some receivers in Danny Amendola and Albert Wilson in free agency, and upgraded the offensive line, but they need help at tight end. In Adam Gase's offense, a pass-catching tight end should play a big role. When Julius Thomas was released it left a big hole there – even if he wasn't that good last year.
They have to get better up front and starter Joe Berger is considering retiring and he's a free agent. The right tackle spot is in flux after they played Mike Remmers at guard some last year with Rashod Hill playing right tackle. If they draft a tackle, Remmers could stay at guard. If they take a guard, Remmers could move back to right tackle. Big-ticket quarterback Kirk Cousins needs help.
New England Patriots
They lost starter Nate Solder to the Giants in free agency, and backups LaAdrian Waddle and Cam Fleming are free agents. They did draft Antonio Garcia in the third round last year, but he missed the season with reported blood clots. He's said to be back working out again, so he is a possibility.
New Orleans Saints
Coby Fleener just hasn't been the answer at tight end. They could use help at receiver as well, but a pass-catching tight end who could challenge down the field would really help the offense. Fleener just hasn't been that guy
New York Giants
Even though they signed tackle Nate Solder and guard Patrick Omameh, they still have to add some help up front. What if Ereck Flowers can't cut it at right tackle? The inside spots are open to competition as well. PS: Solder is 30 now.
New York Jets
They struck out in the Kirk Cousins sweepstakes, but they were able to re-sign Josh McCown and also add Teddy Bridgewater at quarterback. But the biggest move was trading their sixth-overall pick to the Colts to land the No. 3 overall pick. That means they clearly have an eye on a quarterback. They gave up three second-round picks to get there, which is a steep price. But that won't be the case if they get a 10-year player who solves their issues at the position.
It looks like they will move Bruce Irvin from outside linebacker to a full-time rush end. That would leave a spot, even after signing Tahir Whitehead in free agency. They could play Whitehead outside, which means a middle linebacker needs to be found if they do that. Could they bring back NaVorro Bowman?
Left tackle Jason Peters is 36 and coming off a torn ACL. Halapoulivaati Vaitai was solid playing in place of him, but is he the long-term answer? Center Jason Kelce turns 31 this year as well. For a team loaded with talent, they can afford to pick a lineman or two who can help in the future.
They released starter Mike Mitchell, which leaves a hole next to Sean Davis, who didn't play as well in 2017 as he did the year before. They need to get a quality player who can cover and tackle. They could also use more help at inside linebacker, even after signing Jon Bostic as a free agent.
San Francisco 49ers
They have some good down players who can push the pocket, but they need a speed, edge rusher in their scheme. They did sign Jeremiah Attaochu from the Chargers, and he has some edge ability, but injuries have slowed him some. This defense has the makings of a dominant front seven, but a speed rusher is missing from the equation for now.
With Richard Sherman now in San Francisco after being released, they need a top corner to go with Shaq Griffin. In their defense, good Cover-3 corners are a must. But they also need help up front. They have some young players they like – Nazzir Jones being one of them – but they won't have Michael Bennett, Sheldon Richardson and Cliff Avril from a year ago. That's a big loss of talent.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
They brought back corner Brent Grimes, but Vernon Hargreaves hasn't come close to playing to his potential on the other side. They have second-year player Justin Evans at one safety spot, but need help at the other. Early picks in the secondary are a must, especially after signing three defensive linemen in free agency.
They lost Avery Williams, their leading tackler, to the Jets in free agency and there isn't much talent to take over. They also are getting some age in terms of their outside linebackers, which is another spot that needs upgrading. Brian Orakpo isn't a kid anymore.
The have Josh Norman on one side, but they will be losing Bashaud Breeland and Kendall Fuller was traded to the Chiefs. They added veteran Orlando Scandrick from the Cowboys and they have youngster Fabian Moreau, who was a 2017 third-round pick. But they need more than that. They should address this position early and often in the draft.
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