Sunday, April 7, 2013

NFL Draft Needs

     The NFL Draft is only a few weeks away, which means another great way for teams to fill certain needs. I'll be looking at a few teams and the specific areas that they'll need to fill through the draft.

  • Chicago Bears: Normally, when an athlete has a history of injuries, you'd point a finger mainly at the athlete's health. But this isn't the case for Bears quarterback Jay Cutler. He suffered a concussion in a week ten loss against Houston and was knocked out of the 2011 season with a broken thumb. Signing left tackle Jermon Bushrod is a nice addition for Chicago, but they should go after either offensive tackle D.J. Fluker (Alabama) or Justin Pugh (Syracuse) with the 20th pick to ensure that Cutler gets some better protection this time around.
  • Denver Broncos: In last year's Divisional playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens, Ravens WR Torrey Smith torched Broncos CB Champ Bailey for three receptions, 98 yards, and two touchdowns in Baltimore's 38-35 win in two overtimes. While Denver did sign Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to boost the secondary, the playoff game against the Ravens showed how Bailey has regressed in terms of physical ability. Throw in the fact that most of the secondary aside from Rodgers-Cromartie and Bailey is inexperienced and you'll see an apparent lack of depth in the secondary. Getting Dee Milliner (Alabama) is out of the question barring a dramatic trade, but Desmond Trufant (Washington) and Bildi Wreh-Wilson (Connecticut) are great alternative options. A running back would also be nice for Denver.
  • Detroit Lions: The Lions lost one of their top tacklers from last year in Justin Durant (103 tackles, 0.5 sacks) to free agency, so they'll need to look for some help at the linebacker position. No, Manti Te'o is not a good option for the Lions at the No. 5 pick. But Dion Jordan (Oregon) is. Jordan had five sacks and 44 tackles in his last year with the Ducks. The Lions could also continue building their defensive line and draft defensive tackles Star Lotulelei (Utah), Sharrif Floyd (Florida), or defensive end Ezekiel Ansah (BYU) if they wanted to. They could even go after Milliner if he's still available. Lots of options for Detroit.
  • New York Jets: Gang Green ranked 30th in passing yards last season and Mark Sanchez faced a lot of scrutiny from more than just the New York media for his lackadaisical play. Geno Smith (West Virginia) will likely be off the board, but one of his targets could still be around. The Jets could go after wide receivers Tavon Austin (West Virginia), Keenan Allen (California), Cordarrelle Patterson (Tennessee; 4.48 40-yard dash time), or tight end Tyler Eifert (Notre Dame). They could also get a cornerback in the case of Darrelle Revis getting traded.
  • Tennessee Titans: They lost tight end Jared Cook to the St. Louis Rams and have a lot of unrestricted free agents that they need to sign. A majority of these free agents are on defense, more specifically on the D-Line and the linebacker position. Sen'Derrick Marks (41 tackles, one forced fumble, 1.5 sacks) is now with the Jacksonville Jaguars and linebacker Will Witherspoon (47 tackles, one forced fumble, one sack, one interception) remains unsigned. The Titans have plenty of choices to pick with the tenth pick, but they'll need to make a trade later in the first round and it's uncertain whether or not they have the pieces necessary to make a draft-day trade.

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