Every team always has more than one need heading into an off-season, but typically there is one that stands out above the rest. With the 2014 NFL draft class shaping up, what is the top must for every NFC club?
Dallas Cowboys – Top need: Defensive End
The defense needs help across the board for the Dallas Cowboys but it has really started up front for them. They can’t stop the run or rush the passer with any consistency. Getting a disruptive defensive end could really alleviate some of their problems.
New York Giants – Top need: Cornerback
Offensive line is also a must but the New York Giants have had problems with their pass rush. Since the 2014 class is a little light on top rushers who fit their scheme, a good course of action is to fortify their coverage with an athletic corner.
Washington Redskins – Top need: Safety
The problems are everywhere for the Washington Redskins defense but it has really been a problem in the secondary. There is no consistency at safety or any real playmaking ability. Finding somebody who can actually play at that spot would be a huge help.
Philadelphia Eagles – Cornerback
The pass rush isn’t great for the Philadelphia Eagles but it isn’t their primary problem. Getting better coverage out of their secondary is, and it starts with adding talent at the cornerback position. There should be a host of options.
Chicago Bears – Defensive Tackle
When an old defense goes, it goes fast. The Chicago Bears have withered into a defensive purgatory, especially on the ground. Defensive tackle is a primary culprit, and is in serious need of beefing up in order to start the rebuilding.
Detroit Lions – Cornerback
Where this team went wrong is the lingering question. The Detroit Lions are talented on paper, but still seem to lack something. In terms of the 2014 NFL draft, they could use more help at cornerback in order to take advantage of their defensive line.
Green Bay Packers – Linebacker
Clay Matthews is down and a host of other linebackers haven’t been able to stay healthy for the Green Bay Packers. It has played havoc on their run defense and pass rush. Getting more depth and talent in that area would solve some problems.
Minnesota Vikings – Quarterback
The defense needs a lot of work too but the Minnesota Vikings can’t focus on anything else until they’re sure they have an answer at quarterback. Matt Cassel is not a long-term answer and apparently neither is Christian Ponder or Josh Freeman.
Atlanta Falcons – Defensive End
Pass rush was the reason the Atlanta Falcons have success and also the reason they crashed and burned. Things started to go wrong after they let John Abraham go. Getting some push going at defensive end has to be their priority.
Carolina Panthers – Wide Receiver
Steve Smith is in the twilight of his career and the Carolina Panthers have nobody of note to replace him for Cam Newton. That makes wide receiver a big-time need area for them considering the defense and offensive line seem in good shape.
New Orleans Saints – Offensive Tackle
Drew Brees does his best work when he’s protected and when the New Orleans Saints can run the football. They have done well in either area often enough this season. Adding some quality help at tackle to go along with their solid interior blocking would be huge.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Defensive End
Defensive tackle is loaded up for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but defensive end is another story. There is no consistent pass rush coming from the position and as a result it has allowed teams to covert third downs too often against a pretty good secondary.
Arizona Cardinals – Offensive Tackle
Bruce Arians did a nice job solidifying the offensive line after losing top draft pick Jonathan Cooper but it is still in need of work. Bolstering the tackle position is high on the list, and the 2014 NFL draft should have some healthy options.
St. Louis Rams – Offensive Tackle
Offensive line didn’t seem like a glaring need for the St. Louis Rams, at least until Jake Long tore his ACL. The veteran is unreliable in terms of health anymore, so the Rams have to be prepared for future problems like this.
San Francisco 49ers – Wide Receiver
The return of Michael Crabtree has been the tremendous help everybody expected it to be for the San Francisco 49ers. However, the offense still lacks a degree of explosiveness, not to mention Anquan Boldin isn’t getting any younger.
Seattle Seahawks – Wide Receiver
Percy Harvin barely played for the Seattle Seahawks and Sidney Rice remains a high injury risk after once again being lost for the season. Russell Wilson needs more weapons. If those two can’t get it done, then drafting insurance should be critical.