Tue Apr 20 2:43pm ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
Chase should be a hot item
The NFL draft is right around the corner, so we thought we would give you a quick look at the big needs for every team. Below is a team by team look at the positions these teams could target come draft day. It should be an interesting draft with surprises, trades, reaches - you name it. Enjoy the draft!
Bears: The Bears have all sorts of needs offensively. Andy Dalton is going to start this year but he is not the long-term answer at the position. The Bears still need to find their franchise quarterback, so expect this to be addressed during the draft. The team also has some offensive line concerns, making this a position the team takes a strong look at early in the draft. And it wouldn’t hurt to add a few more playmakers on the offensive side of the ball, mainly at the receiver position.
Bengals: Cincinnati has two big needs come draft day. They need to find more weapons for Joe Burrow in the passing game and better pass protectors along the offensive line to keep him upright. Both these spots should be addressed early and often for the team.
Bills: The Bills are coming off a great season, especially on the offensive side of the ball. They don’t have a lot of needs offensively, but might consider adding another receiver. Emmanuel Sanders is not the long-term answer as the starter opposite Stefon Diggs. The biggest need for the Bills might come at cornerback, looking to add quality depth at the position and find that top starter to put alongside Tre’Davious White.
Broncos: Denver used a high pick on Drew Lock a few years back, but is he the answer at the position? We should find out come draft day. If they don’t think he is their guy, look for the team to take another quarterback early come draft day. Other news for the Broncos include linebacker and cornerback. Denver is not too young at linebacker with Von Miller leading the way for that unit. And the cornerback spot struggled to make plays last year, so improving that position makes sense for the Broncos.
Browns: The Browns might try to get younger at receiver, especially with the position being so deep this year in the draft. It makes sense for the team to take a look at the position with both Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry being the clear top two options in the passing game. The team could also look to shore up the defensive tackle position. The ends are great but getting a top run stuffer in the middle could bolster that line even more.
Bucs: The defending Super Bowl champs get the luxury of just drafting maybe the best available when they are up to pick. The team doesn’t have a lot of glaring needs. Tampa might want to get a little younger along the defensive line, especially with their edge rushers and tackles. Tampa also might want to get another receiver with Antonio Brown likely gone.
Cardinals: Arizona’s defense could use some upgrades. The Cardinals could really use some help at cornerback, trying to find that lockdown corner for years to come. This should be the top need for the team. The Cardinals also might want to look at adding some new offensive lineman to help keep Kyler Murray on his feet.
Chargers: Like many teams in this draft, getting some help along the offensive line should be a priority for the Chargers to keep their young, star quarterback healthy and on the field. Look for the Chargers to address that position very early in the draft, especially the tackle position. Los Angeles might want to think about getting younger at tight end and receiver, getting Justin Herbert some more weapons to work with offensively.
Chiefs: Kansas City came up short in the Super Bowl, mainly because Patrick Mahomes was running for his life most of the game. The offensive line needs to get younger and better, so expect the Chiefs to make that a priority in this draft. The Chiefs also might look at adding another receiver after letting Sammy Watkins walk this offseason.
Colts: The Colts have one of the better offensive lines in football but it isn’t a young unit. Finding some younger players for the line makes sense for the team. And getting another top receiver for Carson Wentz makes sense, especially with T.Y. Hilton not getting any younger. These are two positions that should be addressed in the draft for the Colts.
Cowboys: Dallas had more issues on the defensive side of the ball than on offense, especially the cornerback spot. The Cowboys could use a top corner to put in the lineup. Dallas has lacked some consistency at the position in recent years. The defensive line could get younger and better as well, getting some new players at tackle and along the edge. So look for the Cowboys to go heavy on defense in this draft.
Dolphins: The Dolphins have a slew of draft picks to use and are likely to load up on the skill positions offensively to get Tua Tagovailoa some help. The receiver and running back spot are likely to be targeted early for Miami. It makes sense to get more playmakers on the offensive side of the ball, making that the priority of the team this draft.
Eagles: The Eagles are in desperate need of some help at receiver. This should be the top priority of the team early in this year’s draft. Jalen Hurts needs some playmakers. The Eagles also could use some help in the secondary - both at safety and cornerback. So don’t be surprised if those positions are addressed early.
Falcons: Matt Ryan isn’t getting any younger so finding the quarterback of the future seems likely for Atlanta. The Falcons could act early on a quarterback. Atlanta could also look at the running back spot, which is a glaring need for the team right now. The Falcons could try to find that franchise back.
Giants: The Giants could use some more playmakers for Daniel Jones on the offensive side of the ball. Getting Kenny Golladay was a plus but adding another receiver or tight end seems the right move for the team. This is an offense-first league now and the Giants lack some top options on that side of the ball. New York also could add some better offensive lineman to help Jones stay on his feet.
Jaguars: The Jaguars have the first pick, so getting their franchise quarterback (Trevor Lawrence) is going to happen. This fills a huge need for the team. With that said, the Jaguars need playmakers for Lawrence to succeed. Getting new blood at receiver, tight end and running back makes sense. Look for the Jaguars to add plenty of new depth on the offensive side of the ball.
Jets: New York got rid of Sam Darnold, so getting a new quarterback is the biggest need of the team. They will get their guy with their first pick in the draft. After that, the Jets still need a franchise back and a true No. 1 receiver. These positions should be addressed early in the draft for the Jets. The Jets need to get that offense going, so look for the team to add playmakers offensively.
Lions: The Lions did not retain Kenny Golladay this offseason, so the team is in big-time need of new receivers. It would not surprise to see the Lions use a first-round pick on receiver to shore up that spot. Detroit could also use some help along the offensive line, finding Jared Goff some top blockers to give him time to throw the ball.
Packers: It seems like we say this every season, but finding a top option at receiver opposite Davante Adams would make sense for Green Bay. If they have two top options at receiver, the offense could be that much better. The Packers offensive line also is getting older, so that is a another position that could use some help through the draft.
Panthers: The Panthers signed A.J. Bouye this offseason but could use some help in the secondary. The cornerback position is one the team could target early in this draft. The offensive line is another spot of need for Carolina. Getting a top tackle would make sense, finding Sam Darnold a solid protecter for his blind spot.
Patriots: The big needs for the Patriots come on the offensive side of the ball. New England needs to find their franchise quarterback. We aren’t sure when that will happen in this draft, but the Patriots are going to take a quarterback. And the receiver spot remains a big issue for the team. New England does not have a legit No. 1 receiver on the team.
Raiders: The Raiders have huge needs along the offensive line. The team lost several of their top starters from last year, so this position should get plenty of new players throughout this draft. Derek Carr is going to need some new talent along the line if he hopes to build on last year. Las Vegas also could use some upgrades at linebacker, so that is another position that likely gets a look early in the draft.
Rams: The Rams have some talented offensive tackles, but both players are getting old. The Rams should get some new offensive tackles in this draft, looking towards the future. And the Rams lost Gerald Everett this offseason, so finding another tight end to pair with Tyler Higbee would make sense. These seem the biggest needs for the Rams.
Ravens: Baltimore signed Sammy Watkins but that doesn’t really solve their need for an elite receiver for Lamar Jackson. It would make sense for the Ravens to act early on one of the talented receivers in this year’s draft. The Ravens also could use some help on defense, looking to get a talented edge rusher and maybe a new safety.
Saints: Michael Thomas had a season to forget and Emmanuel Sanders left via free agency, making the receiver position one the Saints could look to target early in the draft. The team could use some more playmakers for whoever plays quarterback for the team this year. The tight end spot also is a big concern after losing Jared Cook. New Orleans also could use some help at cornerback, lacking some top playmakers at that position.
Seahawks: Russell Wilson has been running for his life the last few years, so shoring up that offensive line makes a lot of sense for Seattle in this draft. Seattle also has lost some edge rushers in recent years so getting a playmaker on the outside defensively is likely to happen.
Steelers: Pittsburgh let James Conner leave, making the running back spot a bit of a mess right now for the team. The Steelers should use an early round pick on a running back, trying to find their franchise back. Pittsburgh also could use some new blood on the offensive line to help open holes for that new running back. The Steelers also need some new talent at cornerback with Joe Haden not getting any younger.
Texans: The Texans have all sorts of voids to fill on both sides of the ball. The team could use some new cornerbacks and edge rushers defensively. And the offense needs some help at receiver and tight end. The team could go any numbers of ways early in the draft, looking to fill a lot of needs of players that left or were traded. Plus, you have the whole Deshaun Watson situation, which is a mess and you aren’t sure how it is going to play out. Maybe something will happen come draft day.
Titans: A.J. Brown is the Titans top receiver but things fall off in a hurry at the position for the Titans after him. Getting a top receiver to pair with Brown should be a priority for the Titans. Tennessee could also look at the tight end position after losing Jonnu Smith. It makes a lot of sense for the Titans to surround Ryan Tannehill with some more talent after how well he has played in recent seasons with his new team.
Vikings: The Vikings don’t have a lot of needs offensively, so look for the team to address the defense early in the draft. The team could try to get younger at cornerback and safety. Two positions that are very important in the pass-first NFL. Minnesota also could look to add an edge rusher to pair with Danielle Hunter.
Washington: Ryan Fitzpatrick will be the starter for Washington this year, but that doesn’t solve their longterm need at the position. Washington might look at the quarterback spot once again in the draft, looking for that franchise quarterback. Washington also is likely to address the offensive line in the draft, looking at the tackle spot.
49ers: The 49ers traded up in the draft with the belief they will be addressing the quarterback spot, landing that franchise player for years to come. San Francisco also should look at getting a new elite cornerback. That position is getting older for the team, so getting some new talent at that spot makes sense.
Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.
Former Miami Dolphins safety Bobby McCain is signing an undisclosed one-year deal with the Washington Football Team on Friday, according to his agent, Drew Rosenhaus. McCain was a starter and team captain over six seasons with the Dolphins before he was released this offseason, but he should immediately play a key role in Washington's secondary in 2021. His arrival could put Troy Apke's roster spot in jeopardy this summer, and McCain will give Kamren Curl some competition for the free safety spot. The 27-year-old was a fifth-round pick by Miami in 2015, and he spent the first six seasons of his NFL career with the Dolphins. McCain totaled 46 tackles (39 solo), one interception and five passes defensed in 16 games (15 starts) last year. He has seven career interceptions and 30 passes defensed.
Denver Broncos wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton (knee) has suffered a torn ACL, according to sources. It was reported on Thursday that the Broncos were waiving Hamilton due to a surplus of depth at the position, but he hasn't officially been waived and the team had been trying to work out a trade. In light of this injury, the Broncos are unlikely to find any trade suitors for the 26-year-old now, so expect him to be officially waived in the near future. Waiving Hamilton will save the team $2.8 million in salary cap space. He'll become the odd man out of a loaded wideout corps that includes Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler and Tim Patrick. Hamilton had 23 catches for 293 yards and two touchdowns in 16 games for Denver last year.
Free-agent wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin, who hasn't played in the NFL since 2018, is trying out with the New York Giants during their rookie minicamp this weekend as a tight end. Benjamin was a first-round pick by the Carolina Panthers back in 2014, when current Giants general manager Dave Gettleman was in charge. His best season came as a rookie, when he put up a 1,000-yard season with nine touchdowns in Carolina. He gained weight and fell out of favor, leading to a trade to Buffalo, where he played 18 games with minimal results. Benjamin played in three regular season games with the Chiefs in 2018, but hasn't seen the field since. The Giants already have Evan Engram and Kyle Rudolph at the position, so it would be a long shot for Benjamin to resurface in the Big Apple as a tight end.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Joe Tryon (knee), who was the team's first-round selection in this year's draft, is not taking part in rookie minicamp this weekend and recently had a minor surgical procedure on his knee, according to head coach Bruce Arians. Tryon came off the board at No. 32 overall in the first round last month. He opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 but managed eight sacks in 2019 in his final college season. He will need to be developed at the next level, but he's an exciting pass-rushing prospect off the edge that should fit nicely with a much-improved defensive unit in Tampa.
Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur reiterated that the team wants quarterback Aaron Rodgers to return in 2021 and beyond. "We still obviously feel the same way. We want him back in the worst way. I know he knows that. We'll continue to work at it each and every day," LaFleur said. It was reported on draft day last month that Rodgers wanted out of Green Bay, and rumors have been swirling ever since. Green Bay has no plans to trade Rodgers, and several of his ex-teammates believe the situation is fixable. The Packers are apparently pleased with Jordan Love's development despite the fact that he didn't play at all in his rookie year after being a first-round pick. Rodgers, last year's MVP, continues to play at a high level despite nearing the end of his career. Wherever he's playing in 2021, he'll be a highly coveted high-end QB1, that's to be sure.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown is facing a civil lawsuit over allegations of assault and battery stemming from an altercation with a moving truck driver last year. Brown and his trainer, Glenn Holt, both face one count of battery and one count of assault in the lawsuit. Brown pleaded no contest to a felony burglary charge and misdemeanor charges of battery and criminal mischief in the same incident and received two years of probation. His attorneys are questioning the new lawsuit, which was filed more than a year after the incident. The wideout was suspended for the first eight games of last year for violations of the league's personal-conduct policy, but it's unknown if he might face another suspension for this new lawsuit. Brown had 45 catches for 483 yards and four touchdowns last regular season.
Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields, who the team traded up for to select at No. 11 overall in this year's NFL draft, will be taking part in the team's virtual rookie minicamp this weekend. Head coach Matt Nagy, who was present in Kansas City when the team transitioned from Alex Smith to Patrick Mahomes, would ideally like to see Fields sit behind Andy Dalton for a year before he took over the starting job. Don't forget, Nick Foles is also in this QB room. Fields was rated as high as No. 2 in this year's quarterback crop, although the Bears don't seem intent on rushing him with Dalton signed to a one-year contract. Fields is extremely athletic, but fantasy managers in single-year leagues shouldn't expect much from him in 2021.
Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury said it's fair to assume that linebackers Isaiah Simmons (last year's first-round pick) and Zaven Collins (this year's first-rounder) will line up together as starters this season. It means that Jordan Hicks is the odd-man out, and it was reported this week that the organization has given Hicks permission to seek a trade. It doesn't mean that a trade will happen, but Hicks' role would be significantly downgraded if he were to remain with the Cardinals. Collins was taken 16th overall by Arizona in this year's draft and will give the team plenty of versatility as another defensive chess piece.
Former Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle signed his four-year, fully guaranteed rookie contract with the Miami Dolphins on Friday, according to a source. Waddle was the sixth overall pick in this year's NFL draft. He's expected to immediately line up in three-receiver sets alongside DeVante Parker and Will Fuller in his rookie season, and he'll be reunited with college quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Based on how Tagovailoa performed in 2020, fantasy managers in single-year formats shouldn't be expecting too much from the rookie pass-catcher in his first year in the NFL, but he'll certainly be an exciting dynasty/keeper pickup. Expect Miami to use Waddle more in the slot, which could make him a favorite target of Tua.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Tom Brady (knee) plans to resume throwing next week after he said he had a 'pretty serious knee surgery' after the Super Bowl.
Fantasy Spin: Brady doesn't have a lot of upside as the fourth or fifth QB in fantasy, but you know what you'll get from him.
Free-agent QB Kyle Sloter (Raiders) will participate in the Chicago Bears upcoming rookie minicamp on a tryout basis.
The Washington Football Team signed all 10 of their 2021 NFL draft picks to their rookie contracts, including first-round linebacker Jamin Davis. Davis was taken at No. 19 overall out of Kentucky after a junior season in which he recorded 102 tackles and three interceptions in 10 games. He'll join an already nasty defense in D.C. after impressing during his school's Pro Day in the pre-draft process. Davis can play in the box but also excels in pass coverage. The 6-foot-3, 234-pounder has excellent athleticism all across the field and should earn the right to start right away in his rookie season. Davis may not be a beast right out of the gates in Washington, but he has extremely high long-term upside.
Free-agent WR Kelvin Benjamin (Chiefs) is expected to participate in the New York Giants rookie minicamp this weekend on a tryout basis, according to a source.
Minnesota Vikings CB Mike Hughes has been traded to the Kansas City Chiefs Thursday, May 13, in exchange for a 2022 sixth-round draft choice. The Chiefs will also receive a 2022 seventh-round draft choice in the trade.
New York Giants DE Breeland Speaks was waived Thursday, May 13.
The Kansas City Chiefs acquired cornerback Mike Hughes and a 2022 seventh-round pick from the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday in exchange for a 2022 sixth-round pick, according to a source. Minnesota declined their fifth-year option on the former first-round pick a week ago after the 24-year-old has dealt with serious injuries throughout his time with the Vikings. Hughes played in just four games last season and has 80 tackles, 13 pass breakups and two interceptions (one for a touchdown) in 24 games (seven starts) in his three seasons in the NFL with the Vikes. The writing was on the wall for Hughes in Minnesota when the team signed All-Pro cornerback Patrick Peterson in free agency. The Chiefs will take a low-risk flier on Hughes and cross their fingers that he can stay healthy to give them extra cornerback depth.
The Indianapolis Colts are signing free-agent kicker Eddy Pineiro to an undisclosed one-year deal on Thursday, according to his agent, Drew Rosenhaus. Pineiro made 82.1 percent of his 28 field-goal attempts in 2019 with the Chicago Bears in his first NFL season, but he suffered an injury last season and never attempted a kick. The 25-year-old proved to be clutch in high-pressure situations and missed just two of his 29 extra-point tries in 2019 as well. He'll head to Indianapolis, where he'll represent valuable kicking depth behind Rodrigo Blankenship. Fantasy managers can avoid Pineiro in all leagues unless he takes over the kicking duties at some point next season.
Free-agent CB Dre Kirkpatrick (Cardinals) attended an in-person meeting Thursday, May 13, with the New England Patriots.
Former Cincinnati Bengals and Arizona Cardinals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick is visiting with the New England Patriots on Thursday, according to a source. The former Alabama first-round pick could resurface with head coach Bill Belichick. The 31-year-old was the 17th overall pick of the Bengals in the 2012 NFL draft and spent the first eight years of his career in Cincinnati before joining the Cardinals last year. In 14 games (11 starts) for Arizona in 2020, Kirkpatrick had 56 tackles (53 solo), a career-high-tying three interceptions and seven passes defensed. In his nine-year career, he has 358 combined tackles (307 solo), 13 interceptions (two for touchdowns), 72 passes defensed, three fumble recoveries and three sacks in 113 games (78 starts).
The Denver Broncos are waiving wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton on Thursday, according to a source. The Broncos have a surplus of depth at the position and had trade talks involving the former fourth-round pick, but they couldn't finalize a deal. There's a strong possibility that Hamilton is claimed off waivers by another team. The 26-year-old caught 23 of his 44 targets last year for 293 yards and two touchdowns in 16 games (two starts). In his three seasons with the Broncos, Hamilton recorded 81 receptions for 833 yards and five touchdowns in 46 games (nine starts). With Courtland Sutton returning from injury this year, the Broncos will also have second-year wideouts Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler and Tim Patrick in the fold in four-receiver sets.