Ranking a NFL’s Neediest Teams

This story appears in a Feb. 12, 2017, emanate of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. To subscribe, click here.

1. NEW YORK JETS (5–11)

FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICK: 6

PRIMARY NEED: BEST PLAYER AVAILABLE

The Jets extravagantly surpassed expectations by winning 5 games… that says all about this roster. There are adequate vivid needs that GM Mike Maccagnan can breeze his board’s tip actor in a initial 4 rounds and trust that any rookie will immediately have a vital role. Quarterback is a many poignant need. After that: interior O-line, parsimonious end, linebacker, cornerback…. How any mark is filled could change a others. Coach Todd Bowles is famous for blitzing, though he’s trained about personification to personnel. A timber dilemma would concede Bowles to use some-more vigour packages, though if there’s a pass rusher New York loves, a manager could redo around him.

2. CLEVELAND BROWNS (0–16)

FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICK: 1, 4 (VIA TEXANS)

PRIMARY NEED: SLOT RECEIVER

The Browns are some-more gifted than their 0–16 record suggests. They could use another playmaker or dual on D (what last-place organisation couldn’t?), though some-more than anything, they need to redesign their O. Part of DeShone Kizer’s struggles during QB can be attributed to manager Hue Jackson’s seeking a rookie to make deep, full-field course reads out of widespread formations. It doesn’t get some-more severe than that. Jackson is a intelligent descent strategist; his section can be better—especially if he has a loyal container receiver around whom he can build shorter track combos, augmenting a ways versatile receiving behind Duke Johnson and nimble parsimonious finish David Njoku are used.

3. BUFFALO BILLS (9–7)

FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICK: 21, 22 (VIA CHIEFS) 

PRIMARY NEED: EDGE RUSHER

The Bills’ biggest need is during QB, though that’s loyal for usually about any organisation though a authorization male in that spot. Digging deeper, demeanour to a D-line. Coach Sean McDermott is a creative, effective shell schemer. But he some-more mostly plays normal section coverages, that need a manly four-man rush. Buffalo had usually 27 sacks final season, tied for third fewest in a NFL, and we can see that reflected on film: Their front 4 frequency tranquil games. This roster’s usually viable pass rusher is defensive finish Jerry Hughes, who can go still for stretches. The Bills need an dilemma bender conflicting him, as good as a penetrator inside, generally if 34-year-old giveaway representative Kyle Williams does not return.

4. CHICAGO BEARS (5–11)

FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICK: 8 

PRIMARY NEED: WIDE RECEIVER

The offense that new manager Matt Nagy concurrent underneath Andy Reid in K.C. prospered notwithstanding common receivers. But that was a duty of Reid’s passing-game creativity with using backs, and a participation of multi-tooled parsimonious finish Travis Kelce. Nagy can occupy his backs in a atmosphere (especially a electrifying Tarik Cohen), though parsimonious ends Dion Sims and Adam Shaheen are conjunction energetic nor flexible. In his second year, quarterback Mitchell Trubisky will need some-more gifted receivers. Cameron Meredith, entrance off a left-ACL tear, can fill one spot—but that leaves 3 more. Just about any character of actor will work here, as prolonged as he’s a proficient adequate track curtain to assist a timing and stroke throws that Trubisky’s success will hinge on.

5. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (4–12)

FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICK: 3

PRIMARY NEED: EDGE RUSHER

Everyone derides a Colts’ descent line, though third-year core Ryan Kelly and guards Jack Mewhort (entering year five) and Joe Haeg (three) form a solid, improving interior; and Anthony Castonzo is a peculiarity left tackle. The genuine problem: Injuries have kept these guys from personification together. Chemistry can rise once they stay healthy. Instead of nosiness there, design second-year GM Chris Ballard to use his tip space ($84 million) and early breeze picks to restock a invulnerability that ranked 30th final deteriorate and needs work during each position solely tackle and giveaway safety. The fastest proceed to urge a invulnerability is to supplement an dilemma rusher who can change an hostile offense’s restraint intrigue and make a quarterback play hastily.

6. CINCINNATI BENGALS (7–9)

FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICK: 12

PRIMARY NEED: QUARTERBACK

This is as many about a authorization truth as it is about Andy Dalton in particular. The Bengals’ proceed has prolonged been to compensate for a middle-tier QB and approximate him with talent, investing early picks during receiver, using back, parsimonious finish and descent tackle. With Dalton there have been ups and downs (dictated mostly by how good he moves within a pocket), and all though one of his 7 campaigns have finished somewhere between 6–10 and 11–5. That’s vicious though eventually unfulfilling. If owners Mike Brown is reluctant to change care during a coaching level, he during slightest needs to rise Cincinnati’s on-field identity. This year’s breeze offers during slightest 4 first-round QBs, and Dalton would count usually $2.4 million in passed income conflicting a tip if he was released.

7. TENNESSEE TITANS (9–7)

FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICK: 25

PRIMARY NEED: WIDE RECEIVER

Sure, a Titans drafted Corey Davis with a No. 5 collect final year. But he has nonetheless to uncover a transitory speed or top-end speed to widen a field. Barring a remarkable turbo boost (which we competence see once he acclimates some-more to a NFL), Davis will many expected build his career on contested catches and possession targets. In other words: Tennessee doesn’t have anyone who can bluster a invulnerability deep, and that creates each partial of a flitting diversion some-more difficult. (There’s also a matter of Eric Decker’s giveaway organisation in 2018, and Rishard Matthews’s in ’19.) Finding a speed receiver with upside to span with Davis and associate ’17 rookie Taywan Taylor (a quintessential container man) would be prudent.

8. ARIZONA CARDINALS (8–8)

FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICK: 15

PRIMARY NEED: OFFENSE

New manager Steve Wilks hereditary a defensive talent to run his blitz-intensive scheme. On a other side of a ball, there’s hardly a crew to run any scheme. There’s no quarterback underneath contract; starting guards Alex Boone and Earl Watford are both giveaway agents; so is far-reaching receiver Jaron Brown; and Larry Fitzgerald’s lapse is adult in a air. Cardinals ubiquitous manager Steve Keim, in other words, has copiousness of work to do. The china lining: New descent coordinator Mike McCoy is an variable play-caller with a clever grasp of complicated flitting concepts. Arizona can mold a complement to fit usually about any quarterback. If Keim can’t get in on a rookie QB movement by this year’s draft, he’ll find a overpass male and breeze organisation to retard and locate for whichever passer comes subsequent year.

9. WASHINGTON REDSKINS (7–9)

FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICK: 13

PRIMARY NEEDS: WIDE RECEIVER, LINEBACKER

Alex Smith is a hillside from Kirk Cousins, though he can be workable with a right weapons. The Redskins need to find those. Wide receiver is a tip priority, generally if giveaway representative Ryan Grant is not retained. If he returns, afterwards linebacker becomes a tip need. Speed demon Zach Brown was a usually unchanging in 2017. Fans adore him, though his performances are infrequently injured by misreads. It’ll be fascinating to see what kind of income he’s offering in giveaway agency. Washington, a zone-based D, has no long-term abyss around Brown, so linebacker will be addressed even if he sticks around.

10. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (5–11)

FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICK: 7 

PRIMARY NEED: PASS RUSHER

It will be tantalizing to pursue a deputy for unsatisfactory using behind Doug Martin, generally deliberation that Charles Sims is also a giveaway agent. But it’s distant some-more vicious for a Bucs to get some teeth on a D that had no punch in 2017. This deteriorate was radically mislaid when second-year finish Noah Spence distant his shoulder in Week 3. He was a usually edge-rushing threat; though him, Tampa’s pass rush floundered and a section coverages were exposed. The Bucs need an distillate of pass-rushing talent to safeguard a singular damage doesn’t skip their D again. Currently, Gerald McCoy and—once or twice a game—Robert Ayers are a usually army who peep adult front.

11. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (6–10)

FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICK: 9/10 

PRIMARY NEED: OFFENSIVE LINE

For Jimmy Garoppolo to be a QB savior that so many pundits imagine, he needs to be protected. Center Daniel Kilgore and right ensure Brandon Fusco are giveaway agents (and substantially backups on many teams). At left guard, Laken Tomlinson has distance and strength, though maybe not a ideal lively for Kyle Shanahan’s outside-zone using scheme. Something else to consider: Left tackle Joe Staley is 33. He was clever in pass word final season, though he wasn’t impermeable. Shanahan mostly asks his tackles to retard one-on-one, promulgation all 5 authorised receivers out in routes. That helps his QB chuck quickly, that Garoppolo thrived doing in 2017. Because of this, a Niners don’t indispensably have to deposit hugely in a O-line—but it wouldn’t hurt.

12. DENVER BRONCOS (5–11)

FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICK: 5

PRIMARY NEED: RIGHT TACKLE

Next year’s QB is anyone’s guess. Paxton Lynch? Kirk Cousins? Some first-round prospect? Whoever lands a pursuit will need softened pass word than a Broncos’ passers got in 2017. Right tackle is a mark of biggest concern: The gifted though direct Menelik Watson was a turnstile, and long-armed Donald Stephenson (another good actor who has never put it all together) couldn’t hang in a starting lineup. Now: Stephenson’s a giveaway representative and will many expected walk; Watson, who’s due $7.1 million, will substantially be cut. Finding a arguable deputy would assist Denver’s uncertain flitting attack. (And if Watson somehow re-turns too? He could turn a application backup or guard, where he’s softened suited.)

13. OAKLAND RAIDERS (6–10)

FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICK: 9/10 

PRIMARY NEED: WIDE RECEIVER

With his inclination for drops, Michael Crabtree and his $7.7 million tip series are not value keeping. Two years ago, Crabtree’s associate starting wideout, Amari Cooper, looked like a Next Big Thing—but injuries and his possess sleazy hands have been problematic. Also concerning: a proceed that Cooper, one of a league’s quicker and some-more nuanced track runners, struggles conflicting press coverage. If his 2018 is like a second half of his ’16 or any of his ’17, his long-term purpose will be, during best, as a No. 2. The Raiders can make Cooper’s (and QB Derek Carr’s) life easier by anticipating a topflight bookend. One with distance and a gallantry to go inside would best fit in new manager Jon Gruden’s system.

14. MIAMI DOLPHINS (6–10)

FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICK: 11

PRIMARY NEED: CORNERBACK

The Dolphins could tumble in adore with some quarterback, using behind or receiver—but they ought to prioritize corner. Xavien Howard, a polished, flexible second-rounder from 2016, is on a fork of stardom, and conflicting from him, coaches seem gentle with ’17 third-round collect Cordrea Tankserley. But manager Adam Gase, a trips-formation evangelist, knows softened than anyone that today’s NFL final a plain container dilemma too. Bobby McCain is decent, though his agreement expires after ’18, and there’s no abyss behind him. Miami should find a dilemma who has a spatial recognition to play section inside though also a distance to pierce outward as word for Tankersley. Someone wise this outline will cost a first-or second-round pick.

15. DETROIT LIONS (9–7)

FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICK: 20

PRIMARY NEED: DEFENSIVE END

It’s funny. In 2016, Ziggy Ansah looked so many softened on film than his dual sacks suggested. In ’17 he had 12 takedowns though looked considerably worse. His personification time discontinued and he slid into a pass-rushing-specialist purpose after in a year. Long and limber, Ansah has a intensity to be elite, generally on stunts and D-line slants. And, yes, some of his inconsistencies can be attributed to knee and behind injuries. Still, a Lions contingency consider prolonged and tough before requesting a $18 million authorization tab to this giveaway agent. If they don’t, another organisation will roughly positively overpay for him. Even if Ansah stays, a zone-based invulnerability like a Lions’ can never have too many pass rushers. Detroit could really use another.

16. CAROLINA PANTHERS (11–5)

FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICK: 24

PRIMARY NEED: OFFENSIVE LINE

It’s a myster how left ensure Andrew Norwell—sturdy though by no means spectacular—earned first-team All-Pro. (No one on this line was All-Pro-worthy; that’s partly since a Panthers’ backs rushed for a second-fewest yards in a NFL.) This confusing curtsy competence beef adult Norwell’s marketplace value, and his franchise-tag series is already arrogant by a NFL’s inane use of lumping all linemen into a same pricing category. Re-signing him could be tough, and while he’s a usually 2018 giveaway representative on this line, right tackle Daryl Williams will be adult in ’19, as will core Ryan Kalil. Carolina contingency feed a abyss adult front.

17. NEW YORK GIANTS (3–13)

FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICK: 2

PRIMARY NEED: RUNNING BACK

If a Giants tumble conduct over heels for one of this draft’s QBs, fine. But Eli Manning has shown small pointer of decline. His bad 2017 should be resolved, partly, by a healthy receiving corps and a revamped complement underneath new manager Pat Shurmur. Any intrigue is stronger with a energetic back, that New York hasn’t had given Ahmad Bradshaw in ’12. Last year’s fourth-round pick, Wayne Gallman, is intriguing, though not adequate to build around. Orleans Darkwa, a softened pristine runner, could exam giveaway agency. So could Shane Vereen. If he leaves, a Giants will need a three-down weapon. If Vereen returns, they ought to get a first- and second-down bell cow, that shouldn’t be too expensive.

18. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (10–6)

FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICK: NONE

PRIMARY NEED: INTERIOR RUN DEFENDER

The Chiefs’ defensive front 7 has had some abounding particular talent, though collectively that organisation has finished 25th and 26th conflicting a run a final dual years. Part of a problem is coordinator Bob Sutton’s welfare for a three-safety, three-corner dime package on second or third down when confronting a three-receiver set (which is common in today’s NFL). Here a Chiefs roughly always align in a light 4–2, and conflicting flexible runners they get gashed. If Sutton keeps this up, he contingency find an commanding every-down ’backer (Derrick Johnson, 35, is no longer that guy), and another energetic D-lineman in a mold of third-year pro Chris Jones.

19. LOS ANGELES RAMS (11–5)

FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICK: 23

PRIMARY NEED: SECONDARY

The Rams’ best DBs—corner Trumaine Johnson and giveaway reserve LaMarcus Joyner—are giveaway agents, though there’s adequate tip room to re-sign both. If that doesn’t happen, any vacated position there becomes priority No. 1. Nickell Robey-Coleman is also headed for a open market, and his container dilemma position could be tough to fill. If a Rams somehow lapse all 3 DBs, they’ll refocus on a edge. Connor Barwin is a giveaway agent. Robert Quinn could be cut subsequent year. (He isn’t as quick as he was in 2013, when he had 19 sacks, and he doesn’t have a discriminating array of pass-rushing moves.) L.A. needs some-more extract on a edge.

20. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (9–7)

FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICK: 18

PRIMARY NEED: DEFENSE

Four end-of-year starters are entering giveaway agency: DT Sheldon Richardson, OLB Michael Wilhoite, SS Bradley McDougald and CB Byron Maxwell. More important, a trove of stars—DE Cliff Avril, SS Kam Chancellor and CB Richard Sherman—each suffered what are many expected career-altering (or -ending) injuries in 2017. Plus, DE Frank Clark, OLB K.J. Wright and FS Earl Thomas all turn giveaway agents in ’19. Retaining all 3 is unlikely; replacing even one will be hard. Coach Pete Carroll’s replacing coordinator Kris Richard with Ken Norton Jr., (who was Seattle’s linebackers manager from ’10 by ’14), suggests that he wants to get behind to a Cover 3 foundation. And that suggests speed is a charge he’ll demeanour hardest for in rebuilding.

21. BALTIMORE RAVENS (9–7)

FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICK: 16

PRIMARY NEED: EDGE RUSHER

THE INTERIOR O-line was a Ravens’ biggest debility in 2017, though with Marshal Yanda (ankle) and Alex Lewis (shoulder) returning, ensure should be set. Center Ryan Jensen (a giveaway agent) softened severely and is value re-signing. Receiver is a position of need, and if Baltimore’s coronet feel it’s time to give adult on ’15 first-rounder Breshad Perriman, they’ll breeze there. (Mike Wallace and Jeremy Maclin are an normal duo.) But don’t be astounded if they concentration on bolstering a D that’s already among a NFL’s best. You can never have too many dilemma rushers—especially if your usually unchanging one shortly turns 36. Hello, Terrell Suggs! If an present hazard isn’t accessible in a draft, Baltimore needs a developmental deputy who can learn from Suggs.

22. HOUSTON TEXANS (4–12)

FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICK: NONE

PRIMARY NEED: OFFENSIVE LINE

THE DESHAUN WATSON hype is justified. He’s a mobile out-of-pocket hazard and has a intensity to be one of a NFL’s best downfield passers. Those traits rouse his ceiling—but a QB’s building is set by his ability to play from a pocket. After Watson became a starter in Week 2, he grew some-more studious and discriminating from a pocket, though it’s tough to see that stability if a Texans don’t seaside adult a NFL’s slightest gifted line. Foes energetically pounded with stunts and inside blitzes, and that unchanging conflict can erode a QB’s container comfort. Houston contingency ascent all 5 spots.

23. DALLAS COWBOYS (9–7)

FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICK: 19

PRIMARY NEED: WIDE RECEIVER

Dez Bryant started negligence down in 2015. In ’16 tip corners mostly degraded him. In ’17 defenses stopped giving those corners reserve help, guileless that a 29-year-old Bryant—whose track tree was already singular to slants, posts and digs—could be rubbed one-on-one. (He was.) Dak Prescott is a peculiarity QB, though his character and ability set need that he be surrounded by talent, and that starts with a fringe receiver who can apart and change coverages. Bryant, who averaged a small some-more than 50 yards per diversion given ’15, and whose tip series is $16.5 million, is not that receiver.

24. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (9–7)

FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICK: 17

PRIMARY NEED: FREE SAFETY

Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley’s best years as a play-caller came with a Seahawks in 2009–12. There he had a NFL’s rangiest giveaway safety, Earl Thomas, that gives a manager (and 10 other defenders) a certainty to be aggressive. Bradley is mostly using his aged Seahawks-style Cover 3 section and single-high reserve man-to-man in L.A. That final higher personnel, that Bradley has in widespread dilemma rushers Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa, and a gifted cornerbacking organisation led by Casey Hayward. A playmaking centerfielder would do wonders for this unit. Last year’s starter, Tre Boston, had his moments, though he’s a giveaway agent—and not a form we mangle a bank to re-sign.

25. GREEN BAY PACKERS (7–9)

FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICK: 14

PRIMARY NEED: CORNERBACK

From final year’s roster, usually 2017 second-round collect Kevin King is a bona fide starter during dilemma (and that’s presumption he can build on a stellar rookie season). Davon House’s agreement is up, and Damarious Randall, a ’15 first-rounder, has his peaks and valleys. A change during coordinator does small to lessen a need for a arguable cover dilemma conflicting King. Dom Capers valued that purpose since it left some-more chess pieces for his vigour packages, and his replacement, Mike Pettine, thinks a same way. Pettine was a Jets’ coordinator in a Darrelle Revis years, when New York played solo coverage outward while ’backers and DBs were used interchangeably on inside vigour concepts.

26. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (10–6)

FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICK: 29

PRIMARY NEED: TIGHT END

Regardless OF who’s during QB, this will sojourn a defensive-minded, run-first team. That proceed becomes forever stronger with peculiarity every-down parsimonious ends. Really, we need two, that diversifies your arrangement options and your using game. It also fortifies your aerial attack, generally over a center in this play-action-intensive scheme. The Jags had a solid-but-unspectacular parsimonious finish for 12 years in Marcedes Lewis, though with his $4 million agreement now voidable, it’s time to demeanour forward. (A peculiarity pass catcher would be an alleviation on backups Ben Koyack and James O’Shaugnessy.) Some of a NFL’s best developmental TEs have been drafted in a center rounds.

27. MINNESOTA VIKINGS (13–3)

FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICK: 30

PRIMARY NEED: DEFENSIVE TACKLE

Case Keenum is a QB a Vikings should re-sign. Sam Bradford can’t stay healthy, and Teddy Bridgewater has limitations. In a end, usually one of those guys will stick, and GM Rick Spielman’s hunt will change to a defense. The starting section is rock-solid, so a oppulance breeze collect can be afforded if a right actor is on a board. To block destiny holes, a Vikes competence also demeanour to D-tackle, where free-agent rotational guys Tom Johnson and Shamar Stephen will many expected acquire starter income on a open market. A plan DT creates clarity in a draft, given how successful Mike Zimmer has been during building talent off his bench.

28. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (13–3)

FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICK: 32

PRIMARY NEED: OFFENSIVE TACKLE

Jason Peters was personification during a Pro Bowl turn before ripping his right ACL and MCL in Week 7. Philly’s left tackle will be entrance off a IR during age 36. Peters’s 2017 replacement, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, softened his pass-blocking technique by a behind finish of a year, though he still competence be seen internally as a high-end backup. (He can play on possibly side.) Cutting Peters would save $5.3 million in tip space, though it would also lift $6.3 million in passed money. Optioning out of that agreement a year after would save $8 million and cost nothing. Either way: If Peters departs, All-Pro right tackle Lane Johnson can pierce to a left, though that’d still leave a need on a right. (Vaitai?) With authorization QB Carson Wentz to protect, a Eagles won’t be chintzy in restocking a position.

29. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (11–5)

FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICK: 27

PRIMARY NEED: TIGHT END

With Sean Payton as a architect, Drew Brees a orchestrator and Alvin Kamara a headliner, a Saints have one of football’s many absolute offenses. A dynamic, versatile parsimonious end—imagine a formations accessible alongside Kamara!—would make it equivocal unstoppable. Saints fans will indicate out they once had this parsimonious end: Jimmy Graham. And maybe they will again, given that his Seahawks agreement is up. Even so, New Orleans—which is during a best when offset in a run and pass, and that plays a lot some-more bottom crew than people realize—would also need to rise a peculiarity in-line blocker. (Graham is not that.) Incumbents Josh Hill and Michael Hoomanawanui are entering agreement years; Coby Fleener, who’s flattering mediocre, can be expelled for a $3.4 million tip savings.

30. ATLANTA FALCONS (10–6)

FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICK: 26

PRIMARY NEED: GUARD

Even with first-and-second-down D-linemen Dontari Poe, Adrian Clayborn, Courtney Upshaw and Ahtyba Rubin attack giveaway agency, a Falcons’ front is in excellent shape. Every position on both sides of a line is set for a nearby future. Except guard. On a right, Wes Schweitzer, a sixth-round collect in 2016, softened late final year, utterly in pass protection, though he still has jaunty limitations. Andy Levitre, 31, was plain on a left though finished a year on IR and now carries an $8.4 million tip series ($7 million of that can be scrapped with his release). Matt Ryan is during his best when climbing a pocket, so Atlanta will deposit in that pocket’s cleanliness. Whoever they acquire contingency be mobile, too, as that’s vicious in Atlanta’s outside-zone using scheme.

31. PITTSBURGH STEELERS (13–3)

FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICK: 28

PRIMARY NEED: INSIDE LINEBACKER

This invulnerability wasn’t a same after Ryan Shazier went down with a spinal injury. Shazier wasn’t always disciplined, though his speed and athletic, multidirectional detonate brought a singular ferocity to a front seven. The Steelers’ No. 2 inside ’backer, Vince Williams, was one of a league’s many softened players (including as a blitzer), though he’s not utterly an every-down guy. And many of coordinator Keith Butler’s intrigue requires dual of those. (At a really slightest he needs one in sequence to run his formidable dime-package blitzes.) In bottom and nickel situations, Pittsburgh’s D-linemen mostly switch opening assignments after a snap. That high-risk, high-reward proceed requires fast linebacking behind it.

32. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (13–3)

FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICK: 31

PRIMARY NEED: CORNERBACK

Last year’s $65 million signing of ex–Bills dilemma Stephon Gilmore was a taciturn stipulation that Malcolm Butler wouldn’t lapse in 2018. Butler, undrafted in ’14, has done $5.4 million as a pro—a fragment of what he’ll be offering in guarantees as this year’s tip free-agent corner. He’s one of football’s rarest commodities: a cover artist who travels with smaller, flexible receivers like Antonio Brown. He competence not always close them down, though a ability to even compare adult has lent manager Bill Belichick profitable coverage-design flexibility. The Patriots’ abyss during dilemma is iffy already, and Eric Rowe will be a giveaway representative after subsequent season. With no other register holes, don’t be repelled if New England, that plays a lot of male coverage, invests in mixed corners.

Posted in
Tagged . Bookmark the permalink.
short link time2sports.com/?p=12666.