As I do every year once free agency and the draft are wrapped up, I wanted to take a look at every team in the league and point out their biggest remaining area that could use some improvement. This could be a need for a top-end starter, a specific role player or simply depth at a position. To specify this a little bit, these are the most important additions the teams should still make to win this year, not necessarily for the future. So I am not considering having to find replacements for older players or some guys a team might not be able to afford a year or so down the road – simply that one hole they need to fill to be more competitive this season. For the first time ever this list does not include a single starting quarterback since I think pretty much all 32 teams are set at that spot at least for the upcoming season – even though I might disagree with them long-term.
With the NFL Scouting Combine less than a week away and more than a month of intense draft coverage ahead – not even counting the following analyses and undrafted free agent work – I decided to at least put together one piece about free agency. To do so I took the top ten teams in terms of cap space for 2019 according to spotrac.com and found one player I think would fit well with them. This can be due to personal connections, scheme fit or simply a combination of need at the position and the money to spend. While it is often times about all the small moves a team makes over the course of the offseason and how a team builds depth (also through the draft), I thought it would be fun to put together some pairings that I believe would make sense. I did not include likely franchise tag candidates such as DeMarcus Lawrence, Jadeveon Clowney and Nick Foles – who the Eagles will look to trade once they have secured his rights. With that being said, I still think we have a strong class of edge rushers and there are three safeties who were among the very best at the position just two years ago. On the other hand, there are no big fish at quarterback out there, assuming Foles will be tagged, such as Kirk Cousins last offseason, and I will tell you to look for your team to draft a receiver out of college, because outside of one veteran pass-catcher these guys on the market will all be overpaid. So here are some of the fits I found when looking at who is available and where these ten teams could use some help.
In the NFL there is constant competition at pretty much every position. Front offices try to find replacements for aging players or those, who will soon demand contracts they can’t afford. That creates an environment, where every man is working as hard as they can to earn a starting spot. Only competition gets the best out of football players and it is vital for a team’s success. I picked out the eight positional battles that will be most interesting to watch through training camps and beyond. So here they are:
Like I do every year once the official player’s countdown is fully released, I wanted to make my own top 100 list. There is a serious misconception about the voting process. While opinions are heavily based on last year, this list is about the 2018 NFL season. It’s not about grading what they did last year alone, but rather what to expect from them this upcoming campaign. That’s why it is the top 100 players of 2018. I mean only 12 teams even played this year so far. Of course you should have recency bias to some degree, but you also have to look at the body of work and what you believe they are capable of. Without any further ado, here’s what I came up with:
After talking about the biggest remaining needs for each team in the NFL at this stage of the offseason, I decided to look at the squads that I believe could make a serious improvement and surprise some people in 2018. With that I mean they should exceed expectations despite not being looked at as contenders right now. Therefore I didn’t mention the obvious candidates such as the Packers, who get their franchise QB back, or the Texans, who are everybody’s offseason darling right now. All but one of the upcoming teams missed the postseason by multiple games, with the final one not really being looked at as a playoff team for some reason.
Continuing my series on the biggest needs for every NFL team after the main phase of free agency and the draft, I’m jumping to the opposite conference. Once again, this could be starters, backups or in one case even a strategic change necessary. Not only is it the lesser accomplished teams that need some help, even the powerhouses could use some serious upgrades. Here we go:
Now that we’ve wrapped up the major parts of free agency and the draft, I decided to take a look at each NFL roster, to see where every team could still use some help. This can be a need for a starter or some more depth at a specific position. We are starting with the NFC side and I will come back with the AFC version next week.
With training camp on the way for all 32 NFL teams, the competition for roster spots and moving up on the depth chart has started. I want to take the time to look at the most compelling battles for starting jobs around the league. You won’t find Patriots running backs on this list, because they have like 20 of them on their roster and they will all play a role at different stages of the season. This is more about true starters, who are counted on to produce at a certain level throughout the year. And no, I won’t talk about kickers either for all the Bucs fans out there.
After talking about the weak-spots for each team on the NFC side, I’m switching to the other conference. Once again, I’m going to start discussing each team’s starting line-ups and what moves they have made so far in the offseason before coming to the conclusion of what their biggest need is. I didn’t use this article to discuss depth or future plans, it’s just about starters for this upcoming season. Oh, and no quarterbacks. NFL people talk about them enough already.
Through the offseason all 32 NFL teams have looked at their roster and tried to improve it, whether that is through free agency or the draft. That has resulted in some much improved position groups in combination with the pieces those teams already had. I want to point out six of those newly formed units, who I think will be a strength this season and help their respective teams win football games after hurting them to some degree last year. Here they are: