2018 NFL Draft Team Needs
As we close in on the NFL draft, teams in the NFC South are getting prepared. They each have needs they must fill, so they will paying attention to how the rounds play out to fill those gaps.
Last year was a great one in the division as three of the four teams finished with 10 wins or more. That also meant that the Saints (11 wins), Panthers (11 wins), and Falcons (10 wins) each made the playoffs. There is no guarantee that they will repeat this feat, so let’s take a look at the needs of each team.
New Orleans Saints
The Drew Brees era is coming to a close so looking at a future QB might be one thing to take into account. Of course, they had a much-improved defense last year that was the main reason they made the playoffs. Their defense did the job against Carolina, but could not hold off the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship Game.
At the owner’s meetings, head coach Sean Payton made it clear his team is in need of a defensive end. There is no secret that they need a tight end, first and foremost. A wide receiver will also be looked at to add depth the team needs as well. As the rounds progress, they will want to see what players are available at positions like linebacker and offensive line.
When you have a player like QB, Cam Newton, you are always in the race for a postseason berth. A couple of years ago, the Panthers even made to the Super Bowl but came up short. After a weak 2016, Carolina came back last year with an improved defense, especially against the run.
They need to fill a few holes in the draft and will want to start with a talented cornerback. Another spot to look out for is at guard where they need to fill the void created by the loss of Andrew Norwell. They added Torrey Smith and Jarius Wright at the wideout spot, but they still need a number one for Newton. Other holes to fill are running back, tight end and defensive end.
The Falcons followed up a Super Bowl appearance with a 6-2 start, but they fizzled out and finished the year going 4-4. Still, they made the playoffs where they got a huge upset of the L.A. Rams on the rad in the Wild-Card game. They have a top 10 scoring defense and bring back a nice core of starters.
Gone is Donatari Poe and they will need to fill his defensive tackle hole first. Julio Jones will still be a monster, but they need another wideout to compliment him and take some heat off of him too. They are short at right guard and need to replace Adrian Clayborn at defensive end. Other spots they could fill are fullback, linebacker, and cornerback.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
This was the only team in the division that failed to make the playoffs after going 5-11. The had a defense that ranked dead last in the league last year in yards and passing yards allowed. This team really needs to take a close look at what they need when they have a talent like Jamies Winston behind center.
The need to improve their pass rush is a secret to nobody in football. They did add Jason Pierre-Paul and that will help them plenty. So, the new need for them will be at cornerback where Brent Grimes is all they got. A spot they may address on Day 1 is strong safety where there is talent in this year’s draft. Other spots in need are running back, right guard and linebacker.