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Needs For All 32 NFL Teams: Post-2022 NFL Draft (Fantasy Football)

Mar 25, 2022

 

NFL teams have been executing their due diligence to fortify their rosters during the 2022 NFL Free Agency Period and 2022 NFL Draft.

Teams like the Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Miami Dolphins have addressed a plethora of team needs through veteran acquisitions, while the Baltimore Ravens, Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles bolstered their rosters with savvy draft moves. 

Below you’ll find an updated breakdown of the needs for all 32 teams post the 2022 NFL Draft. It will serve as a crucial guide to how teams approach the remainder of the offseason and backfill their roster during training camp

Note that this article will only include veteran acquisitions. All rookie additions can be found in my all encompassing “2022 NFL Draft Grades for All 32 NFL Teams” that I will refer to ad nauseam throughout this recently updated piece.

*Salary cap numbers provided by Spotrac*

ARIZONA CARDINALS

  • Estimated Cap Space: $9.96 million, 20th
  • Team Needs: CB, OL

Key Additions:

Key Losses:

These Arizona Cardinals secondary is scary, but it all in the wrong ways. They have zero cornerbacks on the roster that earned a top-35 PFF grade in 2021. Their highest-graded CB – Robert Alford (CB – ARI) – is a free agent. The only addition they made was re-signing former undrafted free agent Antonio Hamilton, who finished as PFF’s 58th-graded cover CB in 2021. He’s projected to start for Arizona opposite 2021 fourth-rounder Marco Wilson, who allowed the third-highest passer rating in coverage as a rookie (134.1). 

Needless to say, the Cardinals defense will be one to attack with fantasy WRs. They play the Chiefs in Week 1. Giddy up, Marquez Valdes-Scantling!

They also have major depth issues along the offensive interior but failed to invest significant draft capital in the weakness. They earned PFF’s third-worst run-blocking grade in 2021. 

Starting center Rodney Hudson (C – ARI) had his worst year to date and is entering his age-33 season. Second-year and former third-rounder Josh Jones (OT – ARI) spent the majority of his time playing right guard in 2021, but he finished as PFF’s 82nd-graded guard among 88 qualifiers.

 James Conner averaged a career-low 3.7 yards per carry last season, and I don’t think it will increase dramatically based on the Cardinals projected run-blocking upfront.

ATLANTA FALCONS 

  • Estimated Cap Space: $12.34 million, 14th
  • Team Needs: OL

Key Additions:

Key Losses:

The Falcons finished dead last in pressure rate last season. Generating a pass rush has been a consistent issue for their defense for several seasons, so it was crucial to add pass-rush help during the draft with Arnold Ebiketie and DeAngelo Malone. 

But Atlanta’s porous offensive line play from 2021 – second-worst PFF pass-blocking grade – is going to be an issue in 2022. They did nothing to re-tool the offensive line to give newly signed quarterback Marcus Mariota or Desmond Ridder a chance to succeed. 

Matt Ryan was pressured at the highest rate of any quarterback to play 17 games last season.

However, the fact that both Mariota and Ridder offer mobility does suggest this offense can find more success even behind atrocious offensive line play. Case in point, the 2020 Titans under Arthur Smith’s coaching ranked 28th in PFF pass-blocking grade. That offense ranked third in yards with a mobile Ryan Tannehill at the helm.

BALTIMORE RAVENS

  • Estimated Cap Space: $4.9 million, 28th
  • Team Needs: N/A

Key Additions:

Key Losses:

Baltimore filled their remaining team needs with an excellent draft, setting up them up nicely to rebound in 2022.

BUFFALO BILLS

  • Estimated Cap Space: $5.1 million, 27th
  • Team Needs: IOL

Key Additions:

Key Losses:

Buffalo figured to be in the mix for upgrading their interior offensive line after finishing as PFF’s 27th-graded run-blocking unit. They added Rodger Saffold to start at left guard for this upcoming season, but they didn’t do much besides that. 2019 second-round pick Cody Ford (OL – BUF) has failed to live up to expectations after three lackluster seasons. 

The Bills also released starting guard/tackle Daryl Williams – although there are rumbles that he will return later in the offseason on a cheaper contract. 

CAROLINA PANTHERS

  • Estimated Cap Space: $24.6 million, 3rd
  • Team Needs: QB

Key Additions:

Key Losses:

The 2022 NFL Draft represented the perfect storm for the Carolina Panthers. Not only did they address their glaring need at tackle with Ikem Ekwonu, but they also snagged a quarterback in Matt Corral without having to drastically overpay.

It gives them a chance of being much better than they were in 2021, with the two greatest needs on the roster getting help. Corral being only slightly better than Sam Darnold can make a huge difference. And their offensive line — 28th in 2021 — seems destined to improve to at least league average with three new starters between Bozeman, Corbett and Ekwonu.

With the second-most available salary cap space available, I wouldn’t rule out their quarterback room being finalized.

They have been heavily connected to Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield throughout the 2022 offseason including a trade earlier that fell through during the 2022 NFL Draft.

Per CBS Sports reporter Jonathan Jones, the lack of trade movement between the two parties is because of Mayfield’s contract. He’s set to make nearly $18.8 million. If Carolina wants to trade for Mayfield, they don’t want to be on the hook for the majority of his salary cap hit, even though they have the cap space to do so.

Regardless, if Mayfield lands in Carolina, it’s an upgrade for all parties involved. The Panthers *literally* had the worst QB play last year across several metrics including EPA per dropback and success rate.

It’s also not being discussed enough that before Mayfield separated his shoulder in Week 6 he ranked sixth in yards per attempt (8.5) and 7th in aDOT (9.6).

The Browns quarterback has shown the ability to support multiple fantasy weapons (not-named Odell Beckham Jr. when healthy) so D.J. Moore should be firmly at the top of the fantasy WR2 conversation during the fantasy football draft season. Jarvis Landry – as the Browns No. 1 – finished as WR19 and WR13 in half-point scoring in 2018/2019 with Mayfield at quarterback.

Moore’s ADP is WR17 on Underdog Best Ball.

Mayfield’s addition also provides hope that Robbie Anderson can bounce back after a horrible 2021 campaign. Anderson finished ninth in route participation (91%), 28th in targets (105) and 46th in expected fantasy points per game (10.6).

With his role likely unchanged from a season ago, Anderson should be auto pick as your last pick in formats that require a plethora of starting WRs. He’s one year removed from a top-20 finish and is still just 29 years old.

He’s also currently the most egregiously priced WR in all of fantasy football being drafted outside the top-100 WRs on MFL10s.

CHICAGO BEARS

  • Estimated Cap Space: $21.8 million, 4th
  • Team Needs: WR, OL

Key Additions:

Key Losses:

Justin Fields was frequently running for his life last season, and the Bears proceeded to use zero picks inside the top 150 on offensive linemen. Not using at least one of their second-rounders on the OL was grave mistake.

Left tackle Jason Peters (OL – FA), right guard James Daniels (OL – PIT) and right tackle Germain Ifedi (OL – ATL) represent the three-highest graded starting pass-blocking linemen from last season, and they are all gone.  

The wide receiver room also remains glaring, with nobody worth much outside of Darnell Mooney (WR – CHI). Byron Pringle and Equanimeous St. Brown should not get anybody overly excited. 

CINCINNATI BENGALS

  • Estimated Cap Space: $15 million, 12th
  • Team Needs: TE

Key Additions:

Key Losses:

You don’t need to look too hard to identify the Bengals’ glaring weakness across their offensive line. Quarterback Joe Burrow (QB – CIN) was sacked 70 times in 2021 – the next closest quarterback was Ryan Tannehill (QB – TEN) with 48 sacks. Woof.

It’s critical that Cincy goes from bottom to at least mediocre-to-average across the line if they wish to get back into Super Bowl contention. And they did exactly that in free agency by bolstering the offensive line with three new starters: center Ted Karras, right guard Alex Cappa, and right tackle La’el Collins.

It’s a godsend for any Burrow dynasty manager that the Bengals quarterback got the help he desperately needed upfront. The former LSU quarterback ranked second in the NFL in yards per attempt when throwing from a clean pocket in 2021 (8.8). 

After OL, Cincinnati desperately needed to find another starting perimeter cornerback. Chidobe Awuzie (CB – CIN) and Mike Hilton (CB – CIN) are solid, but another strong piece could help the defense tremendously. Eli Apple was brought back in free agency, but his up-and-down play is not a long-term answer at the position. 

The Bengals drafted versatile safety/slot cornerback Daxton Hill from Michigan and traded up for cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt. Hill’s addition gives the Bengals flexibility to potentially move on from franchise-tagged safety Jessie Bates.

I am concerned that the Bengals failed to draft any tight ends after losing C.J. Uzomah. Hayden Hurst is on a one-year deal.

CLEVELAND BROWNS

  • Estimated Cap Space: $41.5 million, 2nd
  • Team Needs: LB, S

Key Additions:

Key Losses:

The Browns traded back with the Texans during the draft to pick up a boatload of third-round picks, getting more shots at the 2022 class after the Deshaun Watson trade. The Browns were solid across the board in Round 3, with Martin Emerson, David Bell and Perrion Winfrey filling team needs.

However, the Browns neglected to add any help at safety or linebacker, leaving some holes in their defense. They could have easily invested in those positions instead of drafting ANOTHER running back and kicker.

DALLAS COWBOYS

  • Estimated Cap Space: $20 million, 7th
  • Team Needs: OL, LB

Key Additions:

Key Losses:

Dallas had the third-lowest salary cap space entering the offseason, which played a role in them losing so much talent. Connor Williams, Cedrick Wilson, Amari Cooper, Randy Gregory, and La’el Collins all have new homes in 2022. 

Lucky for Dallas, the 2022 Draft provided what they needed. The biggest needs were OL, EDGE and WR — all of which the team dealt with in the first three rounds. 

Tyler Smith has the tools and traits of a future franchise left tackle that can also play guard. Sam Williams finished with nearly one sack per game in 2021 (0.9), equal to Aidan Hutchinson. And Jalen Tolbert fits in perfectly with the Dallas offense as a vertical field stretcher while Michael Gallup returns from injury.

Still, the offensive line could use more depth after the projected starting 5 of Zack Martin, Tyler Smith, Tyron Smith, Tyler Biadasz and Terence Steele. Tyron Smith is turning 32 this year and has played 14 games over the last two seasons. Steele was PFF’s 65th-graded offensive tackle last season.

DENVER BRONCOS

  • Estimated Cap Space: $11.2million, 17th
  • Team Needs: OT, LB

Key Additions:

Key Losses:

  • Micah Kiser (LB – LV) (signed by Las Vegas)
  • Drew Lock (QB – SEA) (traded to Seattle)
  • Noah Fant (TE – SEA) (traded to Seattle)
  • CB Bryce Callahan (signed with Chargers)

Denver’s got a Super Bowl-caliber roster, so there aren’t too many needs the Broncos had to chase after.

Last year’s starters at RT – Bobby Massie (OL – FA) and Cameron Fleming (OL – FA) – are unsigned free agents. They did sign Billy Turner in free agency, who is slated to start after being released by the Packers. 

Current free agent A.J. Johnson (LB – FA) was by far the best Denver linebacker last season, earning a 90-plus PFF grade in run defense and tackling. But he only played in six games after tearing his pec. They added Alex Singleton — a top-15 PFF run defender, but bottom-10 coverage linebacker. 

DETROIT LIONS

  • Estimated Cap Space: $9.8 million, 21st
  • Team Needs: LB, CB

Key Additions:

Key Losses:

The only reason the Lions don’t get an A+ draft grade is because they still have major issues at cornerback. No cornerback graded top 45 at their position (per PFF) for the Lions last season. But perhaps the lack of investment is a sign the team is hopeful that former first-round pick Jeff Okudah is rehabbing well from his season-ending injury.

GREEN BAY PACKERS

  • Estimated Cap Space: $16.7 million, 10th
  • Team Needs: WR, OL

Key Additions:

Key Losses:

The Packers have some question marks at their right tackle spot opposite David Bakhtiari (OL – GB) with Dennis Kelly (OL – IND) with Indianapolis and Billy Turner a Bronco. Elgton Jenkins (OL – GB) is coming off a late-season torn ACL suffered in Week 11.

WR is the other area of need, but I wouldn’t rule them out from adding another FA veteran with the ninth-most available salary cap space.

HOUSTON TEXANS

  • Estimated Cap Space: $4.3 million, 29th
  • Team Needs: EDGE, QB, RB 

Key Additions:

Key Losses:

The Texans are an unusual team to parse through considering they don’t have too many glaring rosters holes outside the QB position, but the lack of elite starting talent is apparent. They signed a plethora of veterans in free agency to plug up all their roster holes, with the hope that some players drastically outplay their contracts.

Still think that pass-rush remains a big hole on the roster unless of course they get early-career production from either Jerry Hughes or Mario Addison. Ogbonnia Okoronkwo was an underrated signing after finishing last season 29th in PFF passing grade. The lack of additional pass-rushers was probably a vote of confidence for rising third-year edge defender, Jonathan Greenard. The former third-rounder finished 2021 as PFF’s 7th-highest graded pass-rusher.

All in all on paper, this 2022 Texans roster looks lightyears ahead of their 2021 unit.

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

  • Estimated Cap Space: $10.7 million, 18th
  • Team Needs: CB, WR, DE

Key Additions:

Key Losses:

  • G Mark Glowinski (signed with Giants)
  • QB Carson Wentz (traded to Washington)
  • S George Odum (signed with the 49ers)
  • DE Al-Quadin Muhammed (signed with Chicago)
  • WR Zach Pascal (signed with Philadelphia)
  • TE Jack Doyle (retired)
  • CB Rock Ya-Sin (traded to Las Vegas)
  • RB Marlon Mack (signed with Texans)

The Colts defense will look somewhat similar personnel-wise but might be slightly different under new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley formerly of the Las Vegas Raiders. Projected starter Brandon Facyson was signed from the Raiders but finished last season as PFF’s fourth-worst graded coverage cornerback in 2021. 

Indy bolstered their CB room by landing former defensive player of the year, Stephon Gilmore. But teams will likely just attack Facyson against their No. 2 wide receiver.

Pass-rush also leaves a lot to be desired on this defense. No investments were made outside the addition of Yannick Ngakoue, who might be slightly overrated. His 60th-ranked win rate % and 21st-ranked 10 sacks suggest he benefited greatly from playing alongside Maxx Crosby.

The Colts are likely do for some defensive regression with all the turnover they had on that side of the ball this offseason, so expect their offense to play faster than they did in 2021 (31st) to keep pace. It’s also great for fantasy pass-catchers like Michael Pittman Jr. and Nyheim Hines to see more receiving volume.

From fantasy DST perspective, it’s still hard to ignore their two juicy matchups to start the year: @HOU and @JAC. They are definitely worth considering if you can’t get a better option, but don’t view them as an elite unit. Two road Divisonal games may not be as easy as they look on paper. Indy also tied Dallas with the highest turnover differential in 2021, despite ranking 31st in pressure rate (18%).

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

  • Estimated Cap Space: $7.9 million, 25th
  • Team Needs: DT, S

Key Additions:

Key Losses:

  • DT Taven Bryan (signed with Cleveland) 
  • WR D.J. Chark (signed with Detroit) 
  • LB Myles Jack (signed with Pittsburgh)
  • OG Andrew Norwell (signed with Washington)
  • OG A.J. Cann (signed with Houston)
  • C Brandon Linder (retired)
  • WR Tavon Austin  (one-year contract)

Jacksonville spent a lot of money in free agency to plug up roster holes in hopes of setting up Trevor Lawrence for success in his second season. The first order of business for new head coach Doug Pederson was to solidify the offensive line after Lawrence faced the fifth-most dropbacks under pressure in 2021. 

They did that just by retaining left tackle Cam Robinson and signing Pro Bowl guard Brandon Scherff. Robinson posted a career-high PFF pass-blocking grade (76.6) in 2021. 

After fortifying the OL, the Jags surrounded Lawrence with playmakers. The wide receiver and tight end corps have been totally revamped with Christian Kirk, Evan Engram and Zay Jones added to the fold. 

On the other side of the ball, they added much-need talent in the draft with Aidan Hutchinson and Devin Lloyd. They even replaced Brandon Linder with rookie center Luke Fortner. 

But I’ll be frank: I don’t love the rest of the Jags’ draft. They invested a lot in linebacker when I think they should have opted for some more help on the defensive interior.

Adam Gotsis, Folorunso Fatukasi and Malcolm Brown all ranked outside the top-48 in PFF run defense last season. Brown played the most snaps a season ago and graded out 51st out of 55 qualifying defensive linemen. This defense is still going to have massive problems stopping the run when trailing in games.

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

  • Estimated Cap Space: $11.6 million, 15th
  • Team Needs: DL

Key Additions:

Key Losses:

  • WR Byron Pringle (signed with Chicago)
  • CB Charvarius Ward (signed with the 49ers)
  • WR Tyreek Hill (traded to the Dolphins)
  • OG Austin Blythe (signed with Seattle)
  • DT Jarran Reed (signed with Green Bay)
  • CB Mike Hughes (signed with Detroit)
  • WR Demarcus Robinson (signed with Las Vegas)
  • RB Darrel Williams (signed with Arizona)
  • S Tyrann Mathieu (signed with New Orleans)
  • S Daniel Sorensen (signed with New Orleans)
  • DE Melvin Ingram (signed with Miami)

Two Kansas City Chiefs starting cornerbacks from last season – Charvarius Ward, Mike Hughes – both left the team in free agency. And two of their safeties: Daniel Sorensen and Tyrann Mathieu signed with the New Orleans Saints. Kansas City needed to fortify their secondary – specifically at cornerback – and did so through the draft. 

They also added several wide receivers after losing Tyreek Hill, Byron Pringle and Demarcus Robinson

In the defensive trenches, the Chiefs drafted George Karlaftis to mitigate the losses of Alex Okafor (FA), Melvin Ingram (MIA) and Jarran Reed (GB). Ingram was the team’s second-most efficient pass-rusher behind Chris Jones and the highest-graded run defender. Reed played the most snaps along the interior of the defensive line. 

Kansas City also re-signed Jerick McKinnon to a one-year deal, adding him to a backfield alongside Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Ronald Jones and Derrick Gore.

It’d be easy to brush off the McKinnon signing based on the mid-June timing, had he not fully taken over the backfield during KC’s playoff run in 2021.

In fact, from Week 18 through the first 3 rounds of the playoffs, McKinnon averaged 14.3 fantasy points (PPR) and over four receptions per game. When CEH returned from injury in the Divisonal Round, McKinnon doubled his touches (30 vs 15).

With an established pass-catching background and obvious trust from the coaching staff to let him loose during the postseason, McKinnon should be considered with a late-round pick across all fantasy formats.

As for Edwards-Helaire, it further creates doubt about his pass-catching role in the Chiefs offense.  His 0.73 yards per route run ranked 64th out of 68 qualifying running backs in 2021. The mark was also significantly worse than his teammates Darrel Williams (1.28) and McKinnon (1.15).

LAS VEGAS RAIDERS

  • Estimated Cap Space: $21.2 million, 5th
  • Team Needs: CB, OT

Key Additions:

  • WR Davante Adams (acquired from Green Bay)
  • DE Chandler Jones (three-year contract)
  • OT Brandon Parker (one-year contract)
  • RB Brandon Bolden (two-year contract)
  • RB Ameer Abdullah (one-year contract)
  • DT Bilal Nichols (two-year contract)
  • DT Vernon Butler (one-year contract)
  • CB Anthony Averett (one-year contract)
  • CB Rock Ya-Sin (acquired from Colts)
  • CB Darius Phillips (one-year contract)
  • WR Demarcus Robinson (one-year contract)
  • LB Micah Kiser (one-year contract)
  • RT Brandon Parker (one-year contract)
  • LB Jayon Brown (one-year contract) 
  • WR Mack Hollins (one-year contract)

Key Losses:

  • CB Casey Hayward (signed with Atlanta)
  • WR Zay Jones (signed with Jacksonville)
  • DT Quinton Jefferson (signed with Seattle)
  • Bryan Edwards (WR – ATL) (traded to Falcons)
  • DE Yannick Ngakoue (traded to Colts)

The team re-signed Brandon Parker at right tackle, but he allowed the most QB pressures per game among qualifying tackles in 2021. The team still has a major hole on that side after not addressing it in the draft. Their tentative plan is to start former first-round pick Alex Leatherwood at right tackle, but he was equally as horrible at right tackle before he moved inside to right guard last season. 

The Raiders also added a bunch of different cornerbacks in free agency, but it remains to be seen how well the unit will gel in their first season together. 

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS

  • Estimated Cap Space: $14.4 million, 13th
  • Team Needs: OL

Key Additions:

Key Losses:

The only positions that needed some fine tuning this offseason were linebacker and offensive line (right guard). Linebacker Kyzir White signed with the Eagles and starting right guard Michael Schofield from last season remain unsigned. Schofield’s back-up last season – Oday Aboushi – is also a free agent.

So nobody can complain about the Zion Johnson selection with the Chargers’ first draft pick. It may have been slightly high for a guard, but without any of the top tackles available on the board, the Chargers get immediate protection for their franchise quarterback .

However, they still need to desperately upgrade from projected starting right tackle Storm Norton – PFF’s worst-graded pass-blocking tackle in 2021. 

LOS ANGELES RAMS

  • Estimated Cap Space: $9.7 million, 23rd
  • Team Needs: CB, DT, EDGE

Key Additions:

  • WR Allen Robinson (three-year contract)
  • C Brian Allen (three-year contract)
  • CB Troy Hill (traded from Browns)
  • OL Joe Notebloom (three-year contract)
  • LB Bobby Wagner (five-year contract)

Key Losses:

  • EDGE Von Miller (signed with Buffalo)
  • CB Darious Williams (signed with Jacksonville)
  • OG Austin Corbett (signed with Carolina)
  • DT Sebastian Joseph-Day (signed with Chargers)
  • WR Robert Woods (traded to Tennessee)
  • Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (DE – HOU) (signed with Texans)
  • RB Sony Michel (signed with Dolphins)

The Rams were under the cap and possessed zero-to-little draft capital to work with to combat their major losses in free agency this offseason. Left tackle Andrew Whitworth (retirement), right guard Austin Corbett, defensive tackle Sebastian Joseph-Day, edge Von Miller and cornerback Darious Williams have all found new homes in 2022.

They didn’t pick until 104th overall and used that pick on guard Logan Bruss. Targeting the offensive line makes sense after right guard Corbett signed with Carolina.

However, that was the last of them addressing team needs as they did not do much at CB, DT or EDGE. There are promoting a lot of their younger players into starting positions like cornerback David Long Jr.

MIAMI DOLPHINS

  • Estimated Cap Space: $17.1 million, 8th
  • Team Needs: LB

Key Additions:

  • WR Tyreek Hill (four-year contract)
  • OT Terron Armstead (five-year contract)
  • RB Chase Edmonds (two-year contract)
  • RB Sony Michel (one-year contract)
  • TE Mike Gesicki (franchise tag)
  • RB Raheem Mostert (one-year contract)
  • WR Cedrick Wilson (three-year contract)
  • OG Connor Williams (two-year contract)
  • DE Emmanuel Ogbah (four-year contract)
  • TE Durham Smythe (two-year contract)
  • LB Elandon Roberts (one-year contract)
  • FB Alec Ingold (two-year contract)
  • DE Melvin Ingram (one-year contract)

Key Losses:

  • WR DeVante Parker (traded to New England)
  • WR Mack Hollins (signed with Raiders)

The Miami Dolphins are pushing all their chips in on Tua Tagovailoa to succeed this season.

They have made key upgrades during free agency across the offensive line and littered the southpaw quarterback with playmakers – headlined by former Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill.  

Defensively, Miami is in pretty solid shape.

Linebacker is where the Dolphins needed to improve the most, and Channing Tindall fits the bill. The Georgia linebacker finished as PFF’s eighth-highest-graded linebacker in 2021 and tested off the charts at the Combine. Miami got a steal with Tindall’s sure tackling and imposing presence outside the top 100 picks.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS

  • Estimated Cap Space: $9.7 million, 22nd
  • Team Needs: LB, DL

Key Additions:

Key Losses:

The entire Minnesota defense could still use some fine tuning, most notably at linebacker and defensive line. Anthony Barr (unsigned) and Nick Vigil (Arizona) are both not on the roster, as are Everson Griffen and Sheldon Richardson. They made some additions in free agency to these positions – Za’Darius Smith, Harrison Phillips and Jordan Hicks – but they still need depth particularly on the defensive line. 

Minnesota was able to snag a first-round talent in CB Andrew Booth on Day 2 because he fell due to injuries. They replaced Xavier Woods with Georgia safety Lewis Cine and stabilized the linebacker room with sure tackler Brian Asamoah, whose 2% missed tackle rate ranks first among the weak-side linebackers in the class.

Ed Ingram has all the traits to be a starting-caliber NFL guard and makes up for the loss of Mason Cole.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

  • Estimated Cap Space: $77K, 32nd
  • Team Needs: WR, LB, CB

Key Additions:

Key Losses:

  • LB Kyle Van Noy (signed with Chargers)
  • OL Shaq Mason (traded to Tampa Bay)
  • CB J.C. Jackson (signed with Chargers)
  • LB Chase Winovich (traded to Browns)
  • OL Ted Karras (signed with Cincinnati) 

The interior offensive line need some love after losing Ted Karras and Shaq Mason. The Patriots drafted Cole Strange to shore up the protection up front. 

But they neglected to add speed to their defense at the linebacker position this offseason. Last year’s unit looked like they were playing underwater at times. Patriots linebacker coach Jerod Mayo said recently on a local Patriots radio station that, “the team is looking to get faster, more explosive and put more playmakers on the field.” They didn’t make this adjustment. 

The secondary also needs more firepower. New England is currently running it back with guys way past their prime in Malcolm Butler and Devin McCourty. They are pushing their chips in on 2022 draft picks Marcus Jones and Jack Jones to be immediate contributors.  

Marcus Jones excelled playing in the slot – he allowed a 0.0 passer rating from the inside in 2021 – and offers kick return ability. He finished the 2021 season as PFF’s highest-graded returner.

Jack Jones ranked third in the CB class in pass breakups while primarily operating on the outside. Marcus Jones ranked first in pass breakups.

But alas, two undersized CBs still isn’t enough to boost the Patriots’ failing draft grade or fill the holes on their roster. Unfortunately, they likely won’t make any moves in the foreseeable future with the least amount of salary cap space available at the time of this writing.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

  • Estimated Cap Space: $9.7 million, 24th
  • Team Needs: LB

Key Additions:

Key Losses:

  • OL Terron Armstead (signed with Miami)
  • S Marcus Williams (signed with Baltimore)
  • S Malcolm Jenkins (retired)
  • LB Kwon Alexander (free agent)

Nobody could pinpoint exactly what Saints would do with their two first-round picks, but the consensus mock drafts always had them tied to WR Chris Olave and OT Trevor Penning. Lo and behold, that’s exactly who they selected.

They took care of their two biggest needs with those two top selections, along with late signings in free agency with Tyrann Mathieu and Jarvis Landry.

The Saints don’t have many holes to fill as they stay in win-now mode.

NEW YORK GIANTS

  • Estimated Cap Space: $50.2 million, 1st
  • Team Needs: LB, CB, TE

Key Additions:

  • TE Ricky Seals-Jones (one-year contract)
  • TE Jordan Akins (one-year contract)
  • G Mark Glowinski (three-year contract)
  • Max Garcia (OG – NYG) (one-year contract)
  • C Jon Felciano (one-year contract)
  • DT Justin Ellis (one-year contract)
  • DE Jihad Ward (one-year contract)
  • RB Matt Breida (one-year contract)
  • WR Richie James (one-year contract)

Key Losses:

  • TE Kyle Rudolph (released)
  • RB Devontae Booker (released)
  • DT Austin Johnson (signed with Chargers)
  • DE Lorenzo Carter (signed with Atlanta) 
  • S Logan Ryan (signed with Tampa Bay)
  • TE Evan Engram (signed with Jacksonville)
  • CB James Bradberry (signed with Philadelphia)

After releasing cornerback James Bradberry, Big Blue could use a man coverage cornerback. New defensive coordinator Don Martindale is more than happy to put corners on an island.

Linebacker is the other glaring holes on the Giants’ defense. Projected starting weak side linebacker Tae Crowder was PFF’s last-ranked linebacker (29.1) despite playing the 7th-most snaps (1,099) among LBs. 

The less 2020’s Mr. Irrelevant plays in 2022, the better.

NEW YORK JETS

  • Estimated Cap Space: $6.1 million, 26th
  • Team Needs: OL, DT

Key Additions:

  • OG Laken Tomlinson (three-year contract)
  • S/CB D.J. Reed (three-year contract)
  • S Jordan Whitehead (two-year contract)
  • TE C.J. Uzomah (three-year contract)
  • TE Tyler Conklin (three-year contract)
  • LB Jake Martin (three-year contract)
  • WR Braxton Berrios (two-year contract)
  • DE Vinny Curry (one-year contract)
  • K Greg Zuerlein (one-year contract)
  • DE Solomon Thomas (one-year contract)
  • OL Nate Herbig (one-year contract)

Key Losses:

  • WR Jamison Crowder (signed with Buffalo)
  • OT Morgan Moses (signed with Baltimore)
  • S Marcus Maye (signed with New Orleans)

The New York Jets entered the offseason with a multitude of holes on their roster, especially on defense, but they bolstered that side of the ball with throughout the draft and free agency.

The secondary is in much better shape after adding D.J. Reed from Seattle and Jordan Whitehead from Tampa Bay along with selecting CB Ahmad Gardner fourth overall. 

However, Zach Wilson’s OL protection didn’t get quite as much love. Right tackle Morgan Moses left in free agency and left tackle Mekhi Beckton has not proven his worth after two seasons. However, backup tackle George Fant showed last season he is more than capable of being a full-time starter in 2022. He was the Jets highest-graded pass-blocker in 2021. 

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

  • Estimated Cap Space: $4 million, 31st
  • Team Needs: FS

Key Additions:

Key Losses:

  • DT Hassan Ridgeway (signed with 49ers)
  • LB Alex Singleton (signed with Denver)
  • CB Steven Nelson (signed with Houston)
  • S Rodney McLeod (signed with Indianapolis)
  • OL Nate Herbig (signed with Jets)

Center Jason Kelce announced that he will return to the Eagles for the 2022 season. The veteran’s return made addressing the center position a less pressing issue during the draft, although that did not stop Philly from wisely investing in his future replacement with Nebraska product Cameron Jurgens. 

The linebacker-needy team wisely invested in veteran linebacker Kyzir White who finished ninth in tackles in 2021. They stole Georgia linebacker Nakobe Dean in the third round of the draft.

Perimeter cornerback, safety and pass-rush/defensive line also required upgrades. Strong safety Rodney McLeod inked a deal with the Colts. Cornerback Steven Nelson signed with the Texans.

However, the Eagles landed former Pro Bowler James Bradberry after he was cut by the Giants. They  also re-signed Derek Barnett to a two-year deal and drafted Jordan Davis to generate pressure.

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

  • Estimated Cap Space: $20.1 million, 6th
  • Team Needs: OT, DT 

Key Additions:

  • QB Mitchell Trubisky (two-year contract)
  • CB Ahkello Witherspoon (two-year contract)
  • CB Levi Wallace (two-year contract)
  • DL Montravius Adams (two-year contract)
  • C Mason Cole (three-year contract)
  • G James Daniels (three-year contract)
  • LB Myles Jack (two-year contract)
  • WR/KR Gunner Olszewski (two-year contract)

Key Losses:

  • WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (signed with Kansas City)
  • WR Ray-Ray McCloud (signed with 49ers)
  • WR James Washington (signed with Dallas)
  • QB Ben Roethlisberger (retired)
  • DE Stephon Tuitt (retired)

Pittsburgh has had an obvious need to address their offensive line the past few seasons, but that has not been a position they have attacked with high-end draft capital under the Kevin Colbert regime. 2022 continued that trend. 

At least they bolstered the position through free agency by adding the likes of RG James Daniels and C Mason Cole. They also improved the back-end of their defense. Pittsburgh re-signed CB Ahkello Witherspoon and replaced Joe Haden with Levi Wallace. 

But interior defense remains a major need on defense, after the Steelers boasted the league’s 32nd-ranked run defense in 2021. 

Veteran Tyson Alualu is 35 coming off a season-ending fractured ankle. The other rotating interior defensive linemen not-named Cameron Heyward all earned PFF run defense grades outside top-85 in 2021.

Pittsburgh has a fierce pass-rush, but remains a defense that can be run on.

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

  • Estimated Cap Space: $4.1 million, 30th
  • Team Needs: CB, IOL, DT

Key Additions:

  • CB Charvarius Ward (three-year contract)
  • CB Dontae Johnson (one-year contract)
  • CB Darqueze Dennard (one-year contract)
  • CB Jason Verrett (one-year contract)
  • RB Jeff Wilson Jr. (one-year contract)
  • RB JaMycal Hasty (one-year contract)
  • DT Hassan Ridgeway (one-year contract)
  • DT Maurice Hurst (one-year contract)
  • S Geoge Odum (three-year contract)
  • LB Oren Burks (two-year contract)
  • TE Tyler Kroft (one-year contract)

Key Losses:

  • DT D.J. Jones (signed with Denver)
  • CB K’Waun Williams (signed with Denver)
  • OG Laken Tomlinson (signed with Jets)
  • OG Tom Compton (signed with Denver)
  • RB Raheem Mostert (signed with Miami)
  • C Alex Mack (retired)
  • DT Kentavius Street (signed with Saints)

The 49ers don’t didn’t have a ton of capital to make any massive offseason moves because of the Trey Lance trade a season ago. The roster from top-to-bottom was just one game away from the Super Bowl, so it’s easy to see why they don’t have many holes to fill. 

But the offensive line could take a small step backward because the 49ers were unable to keep LG Laken Tomlinson and RT Tom Compton. Long-time center Alex Mack retired. 

The 49ers will have two new starters across the interior OL: Aaron Banks and Jake Brendel. Banks was a 2021 second-rounder, but didn’t play as a rookie. Brendel is a former UDFA that has never played more than 200 snaps over a four-year career.

San Fran’s other big need is their secondary. They signed Charvarius Ward, but have the injury-prone Jason Verrett pegged as their other starter. 

Defensive tackle could also use more depth; Kentavius Street (Saints) D.J. Jones (Denver) won’t be back with the team. Jones finished with the fifth-most tackles from the interior in 2021. 

San Fran brought Hassan Ridgeway in through free agency, but he finished last season as PFF’s third-worst graded run defender. They also didn’t draft anyone worthwhile. 

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

  • Estimated Cap Space: $16.7 million, 9th
  • Team Needs: QB, DT, OT

Key Additions:

  • LB Uchenna Nwosu (two-year contract)
  • DT Quinton Jefferson (two-year contract)
  • RB Rashaad Penny (one-year contract)
  • OG Austin Blythe (one-year contract)
  • CB Artie Burns (one-year contract)
  • CB Justin Coleman (one-year contract)
  • QB Geno Smith (re-signed)
  • QB Drew Lock (acquired from Denver)
  • DE Shelby Harris (acquired from Denver)
  • TE Noah Fant (acquired from Denver)
  • CB Sidney Jones (re-signed)

Key Losses:

  • OT Jamarco Jones (signed with Tennessee)
  • TE Gerald Everett (signed with Chargers)
  • CB/S D.J. Reed (signed with Jets)
  • LB Bobby Wagner (signed with Rams)
  • QB Russell Wilson (traded to Denver)
  • C Ethan Pocic (signed with Browns)

No team’s post-draft Super Bowl odds fell more than those of the Seattle Seahawks, who elected to not draft a quarterback. America will now get to see Geno Smith and Drew Lock battle out for the QB1 gig. Can’t wait.

Outside cornerback was a major need for Seattle with D.J. Reed hitting free agency. Reed allowed the 10th-lowest passer rating when targeted in 2021 (66.0). They lost Reed to the Jets, but made some savvy moves to shore up the secondary. They re-signed Jones and safety, Quandre Diggs. Seattle also added Justin Coleman to man the slot and perimeter cornerback Artie Burns. 

Pass-rush was a much more glaring issue after Seattle finished with PFF’s third-worst pass-rush grade in 2021. But they snagged edge rusher Boye Mafe in Rounds 2.

Seattle also used their draft capital to tweak the offensive line with over half of last year’s starters gone. Left tackle Duane Brown, right tackle Brandon Shell and center Ethan Pocic have been replaced. Austin Blythe should fill the center role for Pocic. A combination of Charles Cross, Abraham Lucas and Jake Curhan should fill out the tackle spots. As a first-rounder, Cross should be an immediate contributor. The same can’t be said for the other tackle spot.

Curhan was PFF’s third-worst pass-blocker last season. Even as a third-round pick, Lucas could easily be a Day 1 starter opposite Cross based on how bad Curhan was last season. The 6-6 pass-protector has more than 2,100 pass-play snaps on his college resume and has allowed just six quarterback hits.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

  • Estimated Cap Space: $10.5million, 19th
  • Team Needs: EDGE, TE

Key Additions:

Key Losses:

  • OG Alex Kappa (signed with Cincinnati)
  • OG Ali Marpet (retired)
  • TE O.J. Howard (signed with Buffalo)
  • S Jordan Whitehead (signed with Jets)

The Buccaneers didn’t have many holes on their roster but addressed their biggest one on the defensive line in Round 2 with Logan Hall and with Akiem Hicks in free agency.

Hall was projected to be a late-Round 1 selection, so Tampa Bay got great value while adding more draft capital to move back from 27. He adds an element of interior pass rush that Tampa was so desperate for.

Hicks is more of a one-dimensional run-stuffer at the point in his career, but should easily replicate the production from Ndamukong Suh and Steven McClendon

The Buccaneers have boasted one of the best offensive line units in the last two seasons but they will look slightly different in 2022. Alex Cappa and Ali Marpet are both gone. However, Ryan Jensen was re-signed, Shaq Mason came over as a gift from Bill Belichick and rookie Luke Goedeke possesses got tackle/guard versatility. He’ll push 2018 undrafted free agent Aaron Stinnie for a starting job.

TENNESSEE TITANS

  • Estimated Cap Space: $11.3 million, 16th
  • Team Needs: OL, LB, WR

Key Additions:

  • EDGE Harold Landry (five-year contract)
  • WR Robert Woods (four-year contract)
  • TE Austin Hooper (one-year contract)
  • TE Geoff Swaim (one-year contract)
  • C Ben Jones (two-year contract)
  • OT Jamarco Jones (two-year contract)
  • S A.J. Moore (one-year contract)
  • RB Jordan Wilkins (one-year contract)
  • LB Ola Adeniyi (one-year contract)

Key Losses:

  • CB Janoris Jenkins (released)
  • G Rodger Saffold (signed with Buffalo)
  • WR Julio Jones (released)
  • WR A.J. Brown (traded to Philadelphia)
  • LB Jayon Brown (signed with Raiders) 
  • LB Rashaan Evans (signed with Falcons)

Based on how free agency shook out, the Titans selected offensive lineman Nicholas Petit-Frere in the third round. Right tackle David Quessenberry is still unsigned and Rodger Saffold is in Buffalo. They managed to bring back center Ben Jones and sign tackle Jamarco Jones from the Seahawks, although the later Jones is supposed to just be a backup. 

Dillon Radunz is the projected starter at RT, but was horrible in limited action last season. He posted a bottom-five PFF passing grade in 124 snaps played.

On defense, the Titans still need to reinforce linebacker and pass-rush. Rashaan Evans (Falcons) and Jayon Brown (Raiders) are no longer with the team.

33-year-old Janoris “Jackrabbit” Jenkins was the Titans best cornerback in 2021, and the team cut him outright. The team is banking on second-year player Caleb Farley capturing his pre-injury form opposite an underrated Kristian Fulton on the perimeter. Fulton allowed the second-lowest completion percentage (50.7%) among CBs that saw at least 800 snaps on defense in 2021. 

WASHINGTON COMMANDERS

  • Estimated Cap Space: $16.5 million, 11th
  • Team Needs: CB, LB

Key Additions:

  • QB Carson Wentz (three-year contract, potential out in 2023 with $0 dead cap)
  • WR Cam Sims (one-year contract)
  • C Tyler Larsen (one-year contract)
  • S Bobby McCain (two-year contract)
  • G Andrew Norwell (two-year contract)
  • G Trai Turner (one-year contract)
  • RB J.D. McKissic (two-year contract)
  • S Landon Collins (released)
  • OL Ereck Flowers (released)
  • OL Cornelius Lucas (two-year contract)

Key Losses:

  • DT Tim Settle (signed with Buffalo)
  • DT Matthew Ioannidis (signed with Carolina)
  • TE Ricky Seals-Jones (signed with Giants)
  • G Brandon Scherff (signed with Jacksonville)

Washington addressed its major need at wide receiver by trading down and selecting Jahan Dotson, but I thought the team could have done more with its second-round pick. Everybody knows that the Commanders’ defensive line is stacked, so it seems like an overpay in drafting Phidarian Mathis in Round 2. Mathis is a seasoned interior tackle who can line up all over the defensive line but mainly just contributes to stopping the run. That’s not the archetype of a player I want in Round 2.

The best value pick by far was stopping the slide on UNC quarterback Sam Howell. It’s a no-risk move that could pay massive dividends. Howell was once viewed as a clear-cut No. 1 overall pick, so there’s definitely a lot of upside with him if Carson Wentz cannot get the job done.

The offensive line lost some talent (Brandon Scherff). Their OL earned a top-5 pass-blocking grade in 2021. So signing the likes of Andrew Norwell, Cornelius Lucas, Charles Leno and Trai Turner was sharp.

But I’d be lying by saying I was pleased to see the Commanders forego any LB or CB of consequence with depth a major need.

The Washington defense was horrible in 2021, particularly at linebacker and cornerback. They invested a lot into those positions before the last offseason with veteran corner William Jackson and rookie linebacker Jamin Davis, but the depth is thin.

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