Thursday night will open the 2011 NFL Draft as the first round will get underway from Radio City Music Hall in New York City. We will be live blogging the event and as a primer, we put together a list of the needs of all 32 teams . We’ve listed the teams in the order that they’ll have their first pick in this year’s draft.
Needs: QB, DT, CB, WR, DE
There will be several players who can fill all the needs the Panthers have right off the bat, but as we’ve reported, they have settled on Auburn quarterback Cam Newton with the No. 1 pick. They must be confident the other – in some cases more pressing – needs can be addressed in later rounds.
Needs: DT, MLB, DE, TE, S
Defensive line is the most pressing need here, but the Broncos could stand to add linebackers as well.
QB, OLB, OT, DE, TE
The Bills need a quarterback and might look to address that in the second round. Taking a defensive lineman or a linebacker early is the smart play for the Bills.
Needs: QB, WR, CB, SS, DT
With Carson Palmer and Chad Ochocinco likely both headed out of town, the Bengals will look to address their quarterback and receiver needs as early as possible.
Needs: QB, OLB, OT, OG, TE, CB
Another team in desperate need of a quarterback upgrade, the Cardinals will likely take a signal-caller at some point. Arizona could also use a serious upgrade to its pass rush.
Needs: DE, WR, DT, OT, OLB
Team president Mike Holmgren loves to snag go-to receivers in drafts (Seattle drafted 12 receivers from 1999-2007) and the Browns are in need of a pass catcher. The team also needs pass rushers.
San Francisco 49ers
Needs: QB, DT, CB, OLB, RB
Yet again, we have a team in need of a quarterback, the 49ers will certainly take one at some point. I expect San Francisco to take a cornerback very early on.
Needs: QB, DT, ILB, OG, CB
We expect the Titans to go defense early but, again, Tennessee needs to figure out its quarterback situation. The Titans really need to beef up a weak front line and add a cornerback.
Needs: DE, OT, S, ILB, CB
The Cowboys need to upgrade the offensive and defensive lines, so expect that to be a major focus early in the draft.
Needs: QB, DT, WR, OLB, OG
Another team with needs at the quarterback position, the Redskins have been linked to several of the top five guys at that position in this class. That said, wide receiver and defensive line are also major needs.
Needs: OLB, DE, DT, CB, FS, SS
As you can see from the above list, the Texans need help on defense. Expect them to take the best defensive player available during their first few picks.
Needs: QB, FS, OT, DE, OLB
With Donovan McNabb possibly headed to Minnesota, a developmental quarterback could be taken at some point. Expect the Vikings to address their offensive and defensive lines early.
Needs: CB, OLB, OT, DE
The Lions are praying to get a cornerback in the first round, it is far and away the team’s biggest need. Don’t be surprised if they go hard after an offensive tackle to eventually replace Jeff Backus, but the Lions will almost certainly focus on defense early.
St. Louis Rams
Needs: WR, OLB, DT, RB, OG
The Rams would love to get a top wide receiver early to give franchise quarterback Sam Bradford a go-to target. In lieu of that happening, expect St. Louis to focus on defense, specifically the front seven.
Needs: RB, OG, QB, FS, ILB
The Dolphins could go in virtually any direction with this draft, but interior linemen and running back are big time needs. The team is also not sold on Chad Henne as the future at quarterback, so the Dolphins will likely look to grab one somewhere.
Needs: FS, DE, WR, OLB, QB
The Jaguars will likely address the defensive front seven early in the draft, and the team’s top need (safety) isn’t likely to get filled until later on because of a weak safety class.
New England Patriots
Needs: OLB, DE, OT, OG, RB
As always, the Patriots have a very balanced roster and don’t have any major needs that jump out other than another outside linebacker. The team could also use some depth along the offensive line.
San Diego Chargers
Needs: DE, ILB, OLB, OT, WR
The Chargers need depth along the defensive front seven, and could really use an upgrade at right tackle. And with Vincent Jackson’s long-term future in San Diego murky at best, a receiver could certainly come off the board early for the Bolts.
New York Giants
Needs: OLB, MLB, C, OG, OT, TE
Offensive line and linebacker are likely the two places the Giants will go early in the draft. In addition, they have apparently been kicking the tires on all the running backs in this class.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Needs: DE, MLB, CB, OLB, RB
The defensive front needs an upgrade in Tampa Bay, but a cornerback could also come off the board early for the Buccaneers.
Kansas City Chiefs
Needs: WR, OT, DT, ILB, OLB
The Chiefs are apparently looking hard at the defensive linemen that could be available. Kansas City could also really use an upgrade at tackle. Expect the Chiefs to try and bulk up along the lines early.
Needs: OT, OG, DT, CB, WR
The Colts need an offensive tackle, plain and simple. After passing up Indiana’s Rodger Saffold last year (and admitting it was a mistake), the Colts can’t miss again this year. They will likely target a defensive lineman early as well.
Needs: CB, OLB, OG, OT, SS
Cornerback and linebacker will be addressed early by the Eagles in this draft, and Philadelphia also needs to get some depth along the offensive line.
New Orleans Saints
Needs: DE, OLB, S, DT, RB
Defensive end is the team’s biggest need, but the Saints could really go in any direction this year depending on what’s available when they pick. It’s already a very solid roster, New Orleans just needs to add depth.
Needs: OT, QB, OG, C, OLB, CB
Quarterback is a huge need here and some are suggesting the Seahawks will address it in the first or second round. But at some point, Seattle needs to get an offensive tackle and begin to re-stock the team’s offensive line.
Needs: CB, WR, OT, DE, S
The Ravens would really like to trade back early and get multiple picks, but if not we expect them to get some help along the defensive line and at cornerback early.
Needs: DE, OLB, OT, OG, TE, CB
The Falcons could lose as many as three offensive linemen when the NFL figures out its collective bargaining situation, so that is the team’s major need. Atlanta also needs a defensive end and a linebacker.
Needs: OT, DT, WR, C, OLB
Offensive line is the team’s biggest need and the Bears could also use an upgrade at receiver. If a good defensive tackle is available early, the Bears will also look hard at addressing that spot.
New York Jets
Needs: OLB, DT, DE, WR, OT, OG
The Jets will almost certainly address the front seven early, as the team’s biggest needs are there. A pass-rusher or a defensive tackle (nose tackle) would provide instant help.
Needs: OG, CB, OT, DT, WR
The Steelers are another team that will be drafting for depth as they have a stocked roster. Offensive line depth could be the first priority.
Green Bay Packers
Needs: DE, OLB, OG, WR, RB
Defensive end and outside linebacker are the team’s biggest needs. The front seven will get addressed early on unless an very good offensive lineman drops to the Super Bowl champs.
Needs: CB, QB, OT, OG, WR
This team needs so much help and it’s a pointless exercise to try and pin down Al Davis’ drafting strategy. The Raiders need one of everything, including a new owner.