I will break down one pressing need that each team must address before next season starts. It could range from signing a certain position, hiring personal, addressing a need through the draft, and more.
The Cards could use some more consistency and ability on the outside. Besides 34 year old Larry Fitzgerald, there was very little to be excited about from the WR position. Injuries to JJ Nelson and the two Browns has got the cardinals thinking about playmakers other than Larry. But there is one glaring need on Arizona's roster...
Biggest need: The simple answer... Quarterback. There is a good chance that Arizona signs Blaine Gabbert to a multi year deal. But lets be honest, the Cards aren't going anywhere with Gabbert at QB. With Cousins now a free agent, I could see the Cardinals as a strong candidate for the Cousins sweepstakes. A veteran team that could compete with the right QB. Arizona... address the QB position sooner rather than later!
The Falcons could use some help in the interior defensive line and could also use cornerback help besides Desmond Truant, but neither of those are the glaring need to me. The Falcons ranked 8th overall in total offense, but drop all the way down to 15th in points scored. Moving the ball between the 20's is not a problem, but scoring in the redzone is.
Biggest need: Get Julio Jones some help! Julio's TD's have dropped over the past couple years and it is simply because teams are focusing in on him in the redzone. If there are some other quality receivers on the field, a team can not double or triple team Julio. The falcons must use an early draft pick or sign a top level WR!
This one was a toss up for me. The Ravens desperately need help at the WR and TE position. The best TE on the roster is Benjamin Watson and he is 37 and considering retirement. That leaves Nick Boyle and Maxx Williams, which doesn't instill too much confidence in the position. But...
Biggest need: WR help. I would lean on the WR being a bit more valuable than the TE position for most teams. Jeremy Maclin looks like he will get cut and Mike Wallace is a free agent. That leaves Breshad Perriman and others as the WR's on that team. Signing someone like Jarvis Landry, Sammy Watkins, or Allen Robinson could go a long way for that team. The Ravens are a bit cap strapped, but need to find a way to add a consistent playmaker to the offense for Joe to throw to. Get some top level talent at the WR position!
I dont want to sound like a broken record, but many of these teams end up having some of the same problems and needs. A big need for the Bills is WR also. You have an injury prone Kelvin Benjamin and Jordan Mathews, a young prospect in Zay Jones, and some underperforming veterans. But WR's are only as good as the QB that is throwing them the ball...
Biggest need: If Sean McDermott does not believe that Tyrod is the guy, then he must address the position. Most likely, the Bills will not be able to select one of the top QB prospects in the draft with the 21st and 22nd pick in the draft. They are also competing for a playoff spot, so a rookie QB may not be the best fit. I don't see Cousins ending up in Buffalo, so you could possibly see someone like Sam Bradford end up in Buffalo. Address the QB position Buffalo!
After dealing away Kelvin Benjamin, the Carolina panthers could use some WR help with Devin Funchess as the number 1, along with Curtis Samuel and others. That is something that could be addressed through the draft.
Biggest need: The offensive line needs some serious help. Carolina RB's rushed for the 2nd fewest yards in the league. Carolina's rushing stats look inflated thanks to Cam's rushing ability. The running game was very stagnant at times and Cam was running around in the backfield like a chicken with it's head cut off. Keep your franchise player upright and help the running game by drafting and signing some offensive line help!
With the franchise QB selected in last years draft, the bears have solidified their QB position. The offense was not great last year, but i think that will improve along with Trubisky's development. They have a good running game and a good offensive line. Chicago could use a couple more offensive weapons on the outside, but getting Cameron Meredith back this year should help with that.
Biggest need: Defense. Mainly the cornerback position. Kyle Fuller and Prince Amukamara are both free agents. The priority will be signing them back, but chances are at least one of them leaves in free agency. They are also weak at the linebacker position. Leonard Floyd looks to be a good edge rushing linebacker, but a more prototypical linebacker could help them immensely. I could see them drafting Calvin Ridley at the 8th pick, but I think Roquan Smith, LB out of Georgia or Tremaine Edmunds, LB out of Virginia Tech could really help them out. Address the LB and/or CB position!
I wont even give an honorable mention here... it is simple. The offensive line needs upgrading. Last offseason, the Bengals lost Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler who were both pro bowlers the year before. The Bengals did not do enough to fill in the gaps after those two left. Russell Bodine, their starting center is also a free agent. Signing a tackle like Ja'Waun James from Miami or Nate Solder from the Pats would go a long way. They must also draft an offensive lineman with an early pick in the draft. Fill the gaps on the offensive line!
Oh boy... where do I start? I could list about 15 honorable mentions here, but that could take a while. Why don't I list some of the positives for Cleveland. The offensive and defensive lines are pretty good. Miles Garrett is the real deal and Njoku looks like he could be good. But they have big needs for playmakers on offense and secondary help.
Biggest need: This will not come as a surprise... QB. The list of starting QB's for the Browns continued to grow with DeShone Kizer this year, who led the league in INT's. They obviously need to find the long term solution at that position. They drafted Kizer in the 2nd round... his contributions led to a winless season. They are now set up to draft a franchise QB with the #1 overall pick. So thanks Deshone. My guess is that the #1 pick is Josh Allen out of Wyoming. But even if it is Josh Rosen or Sam Darnold, the Browns desperately need some stability at that position. Draft the right QB this time Cleveland... you can do it!
There are 3 needs that I see when I look at the Cowboys. The first being that they need to bring back Demarcus Lawrence. He had a fantastic year with 14.5 sacks and 4 forced fumbles. The problem is, he is now a free agent. Before this year, the Cowboys would have been able to sign him for a fraction of the price that he will get signed for this year. The second need is WR. There is continued speculation that Dez may get cut from the team which would leave them with next to zero talent on the roster.
Biggest need: But the biggest need that I see is Linebacker. When Sean Lee played last year, the Cowboys were 8-3. Without him they were 1-4. The problem is that Lee has had quite a few concussions and is injury prone. The Cowboys could sign a free agent like Navarro Bowman or Preston Brown to help the Linebacking core. They could also add a top level LB in the draft so that when Lee gets hurt again, the defense does not suffer. Someone like Rashaan Evans from Alabama could help. Strengthen the LB position!
To be honest, the Broncos are a pretty well built team. The defense is still borderline elite, and the offense is a solid unit, especially if there is a quality signal caller in the backfield. The knock on the Broncos is that they are an aging team. With guys like Aquib Talib, TJ Ward, Darian Stewart, and Chris Harris Jr. all above or close to 30, that is cause for concern. Along with Demaryius and Emmanuel Sanders not getting any younger, the window to compete is shrinking.
Biggest need: It has been the same since Peyton retired... QB. As far as scheme goes, Kirk Cousins is not a fit. But as far as the perfect team to compete and "win-now", Denver would be a good fit. There is a good possibility that Denver ends up picking whichever QB is left at #5 between Allen, Rosen, and Darnold. But you cannot compete for a championship with a rookie QB. The Broncos will sign a QB this off season. If they miss out on Cousins and most other QB's end up signing with their old teams, I could see Tyrod Taylor as a Bronco. He takes care of the ball and can make plays. He is an improvement over any other QB on the broncos roster, and could sign a two or three year deal so that the rookie QB can sit and learn. Upgrade the QB position, one way or another!
Part 2 coming soon...