Every NFL team’s greatest weakness heading into the draft

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Even after much of free agency season has come and gone, teams still have weaknesses to address. Just a few weeks away from draft day, here’s a look at the greatest weakness for all 32 NFL teams.

 

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Arizona Cardinals: Cornerback

Arizona Cardinals: Cornerback

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The Cardinals signed veteran corner Malcolm Butler, but he’s likely a downgrade for Patrick Peterson. Arizona still has cornerback issues that must be addressed, or the addition of star defensive end J.J. Watt could be for naught.

 

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Atlanta Falcons: Pass Rusher

Atlanta Falcons: Pass Rusher

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Despite a recent investment in Dante Fowler, the Falcons desperately need more help on the edge. A poor defense has continued to waste the talents of Matt Ryan and Julio Jones in recent seasons, and the 2021 draft will be important to improve the defense at all three levels.

 

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Baltimore Ravens: Pass Rusher

Baltimore Ravens: Pass Rusher

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Baltimore has been tremendous at developing pass rushers in recent seasons, but the loss of Matt Judon creates another void. With Calais Campbell also nearing the end of his career on the interior, the Ravens pass rush is in a tough spot entering the draft.

 

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Buffalo Bills: Cornerback

Buffalo Bills: Cornerback

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Tre’Davious White has become a star at corner for the Bills in recent seasons, but the team was often exposed elsewhere in the secondary last season. While the team has quality players throughout the defense, adding more quality cornerback depth will be key.

 

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Carolina Panthers: Tight End

Carolina Panthers: Tight End

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The Panthers recently acquired Sam Darnold, so they might feel they have their quarterback for 2021. The team has been aggressive in adding free agents on the offensive line and defense in the offseason, but tight end remains an area of need if the team wants to surround Darnold with weapons. Florida tight end Kyle Pitts looks attractive, but the eighth overall pick might not be high enough to get him.

 

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Chicago Bears: Quarterback

Chicago Bears: Quarterback

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New quarterback Andy Dalton doesn’t look like much of an improvement over Mitchell Trubisky, and he’s almost certainly not the future at the position for the team. Unfortunately, the 20th pick in the first round probably won’t be good enough to get a marquee name unless the team mortgages their future to trade up.

 

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Cincinnati Bengals: Offensive Line

Cincinnati Bengals: Offensive Line

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The offensive line has been a problem for Cincy on a seemingly annual basis, and it’s more important than over with Joe Burrow coming off knee surgery. New tackle Riley Reiff is a significant upgrade, but the Bengals still desperately need help on the interior of the line.

 

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Cleveland Browns: Defensive End

Cleveland Browns: Defensive End

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Myles Garrett is one of the elite pass rushers in the NFL, but the Browns have major questions on the opposite side of the line after losing Olivier Vernon. It’s certainly an area Cleveland could address with the 26th overall pick in the draft.

 

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Dallas Cowboys: Cornerback

Dallas Cowboys: Cornerback

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Despite spending a second-round pick on Trevon Diggs last year, cornerback remains a major area of need for Dallas. The team has lost Byron Jones and Chidobe Awuzie in consecutive offseasons and were consistently exposed last year. With the Cowboys’ cap limitations after signing Dak Prescott, they need to build the defense through the draft.

 

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Denver Broncos: Quarterback

Denver Broncos: Quarterback

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The jury is still out on Drew Lock going into his third NFL season. He’s mostly struggled over the last two years, but the Broncos might need to trade up from the ninth pick in the first round to get their man.

 

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Detroit Lions: Wide Receiver

Detroit Lions: Wide Receiver

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Wide receiver has gone from a strength to a weakness for the Lions this offseason after allowing Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones to walk in free agency. The team did after Breshad Perriman and Tyrell Williams, but neither qualified as potential No. 1 targets for new starting quarterback Jared Goff.

 

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Green Bay Packers: Offensive Line

Green Bay Packers: Offensive Line

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The Packers were able to re-sign left tackle David Bakhtiari last year, but the offensive line still has some holes, including right tackle. With Aaron Rodgers approaching the end of his career, the team should do what it can to protect him.

 

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Houston Texans: Pass Rusher

Houston Texans: Pass Rusher

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Where do we start? The Texans roster is a huge mess after Bill O’Brien’s head-scratching moves over the last two years, and the team also lacks the draft capital to address their issues. The loss of J.J. Watt has created a huge void. The team is also dealing with the potential loss of quarterback Deshaun Watson, either due to his off-field issues or a trade. New head coach David Culley will have his hands full.

 

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Indianapolis Colts: Left Tackle

Indianapolis Colts: Left Tackle

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Long-time Colts left tackle Anthony Castonzo retired in the offseason, leaving a huge hole to fill for the team. It’s especially a concern with new quarterback Carson Wentz’s injury history, and one that will likely be addressed in a draft that’s deep with offensive tackles.

 

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Jacksonville Jaguars: Quarterback

Jacksonville Jaguars: Quarterback

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With apologies to cult hero Gardner Minshew, quarterback is clearly Jacksonville’s top need going into the draft and one that will likely be addressed with former Clemson star Trevor Lawrence. With a roster that was revamped in free agency, the Jags are hoping for rapid improvement in 2021.

 

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Kansas City Chiefs: Offensive Tackles

Kansas City Chiefs: Offensive Tackles

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The Chiefs cut starting offensive tackles Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz this offseason and have yet to replace them. The team did vastly improve the interior of the offensive line by signing Joe Thuney, Kyle Long, and Austin Blythe, but the edges will need addressing to protect star Patrick Mahomes.

 

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Las Vegas Raiders: Right Tackle

Las Vegas Raiders: Right Tackle

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The Raiders recently re-signed former first-round pick Kolton Miller, but right tackle is now an issue after trading Trent Brown. Vegas has a glaring area of need that they could address with the 17th overall pick.

 

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Los Angeles Chargers: Edge Rusher

Los Angeles Chargers: Edge Rusher

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The Chargers had issues rushing the passer last season due in part to injuries to defensive stalwart Melvin Ingram. The team has moved on from their long-time edge rusher and it remains to be seen if anyone currently on the roster is capable of taking attention away from Joey Bosa.

 

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Los Angeles Rams: Offensive Line

Los Angeles Rams: Offensive Line

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The Rams have notable offensive line issues, with a hole at center and 39-year-old Andrew Whitworth holding down left tackle. With Matthew Stafford’s history of injuries, including a major back injury in 2019, the team shouldn’t push the envelope with their offensive line in 2021.

 

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Miami Dolphins: Running Back

Miami Dolphins: Running Back

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Myles Gaskin did a nice job as Miami’s starting back at times last season, but it’s clear that the team can improve in that area. The addition of former Ram Malcolm Brown is unlikely to be enough to truly help, but there are several options in the draft.

 

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Minnesota Vikings: Offensive Line

Minnesota Vikings: Offensive Line

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The Vikings have seen turnover along the offensive line again this offseason and could be looking for improvement at guard and tackle in the draft. The secondary is also a potential area of need, particularly with the disturbing off-field legal issues for 2020 first-round cornerback Jeff Gladney.

 

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New England Patriots: Quarterback

New England Patriots: Quarterback

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The Pats brought back Cam Newton for 2021, but his play last season was one of the biggest reasons the team struggled. The team is hoping better health and several additions will make a difference, but it’s clear Newton isn’t the long-term answer.

 

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New Orleans Saints: Receiver

New Orleans Saints: Receiver

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The loss of Drew Brees is most notable for a Saints team in transition, but the team also lost Emmanuel Sanders and Jared Cook from last year’s squad. Beyond Michael Thomas, there are few reliable receiving options for the team’s next quarterback, whether it’s Jameis Winston or Taysom Hill.

 

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New York Giants: EDGE Rusher

New York Giants: EDGE Rusher

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Leonard Williams is coming off an excellent season, but the Giants are still lacking a go-to pass rusher. The glaring need could be addressed with the Giants’ 11th overall draft choice.

 

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New York Jets: Quarterback

New York Jets: Quarterback

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After trading Sam Darnold, it’s clear the Jets are going to take a quarterback with the second overall draft choice. The team should have plenty of nice options, with BYU quarterback Zach Wilson leading the way.

 

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Philadelphia Eagles: Wide Receiver

Philadelphia Eagles: Wide Receiver

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The Eagles haven’t drafted well over the last few years, and it shows on a roster that’s gone downhill quickly. After spending a first-round pick on wide receiver Jalen Reagor last year, the team could turn to the position again in a deep wideout class.

 

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Pittsburgh Steelers: Cornerback

Pittsburgh Steelers: Cornerback

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Strapped for cash this offseason, Pittsburgh had to make several difficult decisions. Their losses at cornerback are glaring after letting Mike Hilton walk and cutting Steven Nelson. Cornerback will be just one of the positions the team needs to address in the draft, along with running back and the offensive line.

 

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San Francisco 49ers: Cornerback

San Francisco 49ers: Cornerback

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The 49ers seem very likely to select a quarterback after trading up to the third overall pick in the draft, though Jimmy Garoppolo can hold down the fort for now. To return to the playoffs, cornerback could be more pressing after losing veteran Richard Sherman during the offseason.

 

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Seattle Seahawks: Pass Rusher

Seattle Seahawks: Pass Rusher

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The lack of a pass rush was a glaring issue for Seattle last season, and the issue has only gotten worse this offseason after cutting Jarran Reed. The team is still hopeful that their young defensive linemen make a jump this year, lacking a first-round pick.

 

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Wide Receiver

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Wide Receiver

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The Bucs did a great job retaining most of the talent from their Super Bowl squad, though the potential loss of Antonio Brown could be big. The team was able to bring back Chris Godwin and have a quality No. 3 wideout in Scotty Miller, but another speedy target could make this offense that much more explosive.

 

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Tennessee Titans: Cornerback

Tennessee Titans: Cornerback

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The Titans saw major turnover at cornerback in the offseason, moving on from Malcolm Butler, Adoree Jackson, and Desmond King. The team is currently relying on Janoris Jenkins and 2020 second-round pick Kristian Fulton to fill the voids, but another talented cornerback would certainly make the team more comfortable.

 

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Washington Football Team: Offensive Tackle

Washington Football Team: Offensive Tackle

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Washington is moving ahead with Ryan Fitzpatrick as their starting quarterback in a very winnable NFC East, but protecting him should be a high priority in the draft. The team needs tackle help immediately to keep the 38-year-old upright.