3 Pre-Free Agency Needs for Every NFL Team

Ian Hartitz
Rotoworld

The offseason is upon us! Teams will look to rebuild and reload through free agency and the draft alike, but first let's breakdown each squad's top-three needs as of early February.

Note that not all needs are created equal; some teams are obviously much more complete than others.

The following list is organized according to 2020 draft position. Special thanks to Over The Cap for relevant salary cap numbers. Be sure to monitor our 2020 NFL Free Agent Tracker throughout the offseason.

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1. Cincinnati Bengals

Team needs: Quarterback, offensive line, front seven

  • It's almost Joe Burrow szn. The 2019 Heisman Trophy winner averaged an absurd 10.8 yards per attempt as a senior, which marked the sixth-highest single-season total since 2000 (min. 300 passes). Overall, Burrow threw an NCAA-record 60 touchdown passes during LSU's national championship campaign.

  • The Bengals ranked 26th in adjusted line yards per rush and 21st in adjusted sack rate (Football Outsiders). They were one of just eight teams to average fewer than two yards before contact per attempt. Getting 2019 first-round pick Jonah Williams back will help, but more help across the front will be needed.

  • This was a bottom-eight group of defensive linemen and linebackers in 2019. DE Carlos Dunlap (No. 5) and Geno Atkins (No. 20) were the only defenders to receive even moderately solid overall grades from PFF on the season. Currently no other NFL team has fewer dollars allocated to the LB position in 2020 than the Bengals.

2. Washington Redskins

Team needs: Offensive line, pass catcher, secondary

  • Dwayne Haskins (3.72 seconds to attempt, PFF) proved much better at holding off sacks compared to Case Keenum (2.91). Still, they were one of just eight teams to average fewer than two yards before contact per rush attempt. This entire unit needs help regardless of how the Trent Williams and Alex Smith sagas play out. RG Brandon Scherff, LG Ereck Flowers and LT Donald Penn are free agents.

  • Terry McLaurin's rookie season was nothing short of spectacular, as his average of 9.88 yards per target ranked 12th among 127 players with at least 50 targets in 2019. Meanwhile, neither Jordan Reed nor Vernon Davis deserve the benefit of the doubt at this point when it comes to health concerns. Other than McLaurin, Steven Sims was the only other pass catcher to really flash all season.

  • Washington was a bottom-10 pass defense by most metrics in 2019. They were particularly incompetent against opposing TEs, ranking 31st in DVOA and allowing the fourth-most PPR per game to the position. The Josh Norman era is almost certainly over, while upgrading from FS Montae Nicholson (PFF's seventh-worst safety) would also be nice.

3. Detroit Lions

Team needs: Secondary, front seven, offensive line

  • Darius Slay is a stud, but has been floated in trade rumors for awhile now and needs help anyway. 2019 starter Rashaan Melvin is a free agent, as is backup CB Mike Ford. The Lions were a bottom-six defense in yards per game allowed to both opposing No. 1 and No. 2 WRs. Only the Cowboys have fewer 2020 dollars devoted to the safety position than Detroit.

  • The league's No. 28 defense in overall DVOA could use help just about anywhere. Their 31st-ranked pass rush in adjusted sack rate would probably be a good place to start. DE Trey Flowers was the Lions' only defensive lineman or linebacker graded among PFF's top-40 players at their position. Only the Dolphins (21%) had a lower Havoc rate than the Lions (24%).

  • The Lions' new-found deep passing game will only work as long as Matthew Stafford can stay healthy. His 37.5% pressured dropback rate was the eighth-worst mark in the league. C Graham Glasgow is a free agent. In general, the Lions simply need to devote more resources to the group; they've drafted just two offensive linemen in their last three drafts combined.

4. New York Giants

Team needs: Secondary, offensive line, defensive line

  • The Giants were fairly awful against No. 1 WRs (32nd in DVOA), TEs (21st) and RBs (24th) alike in 2019. They need to replace Janoris Jenkins; exactly zero of their CBs ranked inside of PFF's top-100 overall corners. 2019 first-round pick Deandre Baker will need to improve drastically in his second season for this incumbent group to take a step forward.

  • This offensive line was one of just 10 units to average fewer than four adjusted line yards per rush in 2019. Meanwhile, Daniel Jones joined Sam Darnold as the only QBs to be pressured on at least 40% of their dropbacks. Both RT Mike Remmers and C Jon Halapio are free agents.

  • Trading for former-Jets DE Leonard Williams was a solid enough idea, but he's now a free agent and reportedly wants to be #paid. The team needs to invest more resources into the entire defense, as nobody has fewer 2020 cap dollars devoted to the defensive side of the ball than the Giants.

5. Miami Dolphins

Team needs: Quarterback, offensive line, defense

  • Ryan Fitzpatrick will apparently be back in 2020. Still, the 37-year-old QB obviously isn't a long-term answer, and the team needs to decide whether or not they'll devote one of their three (!!!) first-round picks to the position. Josh Rosen is under contract for another season. His stats have been awful across the board, but teammates haven't always helped matters.

  • Only the Jets have fewer 2020 dollars devoted to the offensive line than the Dolphins. They ranked 32nd and 29th in adjusted line yards per rush and adjusted sack rate, respectively. There's a reason why the offense's only consistent success was throwing the ball up to the likes of DeVante Parker, Preston Williams and Mike Gesicki.

  • The league's No. 32 defense in overall DVOA needs help everywhere. No. 1 CB Xavien Howard, LB Raekwon McMillan and CB/S Eric Rowe were largely the only consistently above-average defenders across all three levels of the unit. The single-biggest issue is probably the pass rush; nobody pressured the QB at a lower rate than the Dolphins (16.5%) in 2019.

6. Los Angeles Chargers

Team needs: Quarterback, defensive tackle, tight end

  • The Philip Rivers era is over. Tyrod Taylor is a perfectly fine veteran QB to ease the transition to a rookie if the team desires. Still, it'd be nice if this offense could get back to threatening defenses down the field. Rivers posted a bottom-five QB Rating and tossed a league-high nine interceptions on passes thrown at least 20-plus yards (PFF).

  • Obviously Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram are elite talents, but the interior of the Chargers Defense has prohibited them from being a great defense to this point. DTs Damion Square and Sylvester Williams are each free agents. None of the defense's interior defenders ranked among PFF's top-80 players at the position in 2019.

  • Each of Hunter Henry, Lance Kendricks and Sean Culkin are free agents. Henry has ranked among the league's top TEs in yards per route run when healthy in 2019 (No. 13), 2017 (No. 3) and 2016 (No. 7), although the 25-year-old talent has played in just 41-of-64 potential games since entering the league in 2016 due to various injuries.

7. Carolina Panthers

Team needs: Quarterback, offensive line, defense

  • I hope the Panthers give their long-time franchise QB another shot inside of an offense that will boast the best group of skill-position talent that Cam Newton will have ever played with. Either way, neither Kyle Allen nor Will Grier appear to be the answer. A league-low 25% of the Panthers' deep ball targets were deemed catchable by PFF in 2019.

  • Starters LG Greg Van Roten and G/T Daryl Williams are free agents. There isn't anything wrong with RT Taylor Moton, C Matt Paradis or RG Trai Turner, but this offense is long overdue for a true beast at left tackle. Only the Jets allowed more QB hurries than the Panthers, and nobody gave up more sacks (Pro Football Reference).

  • LB Luke Kuechly is just one of many holes to fill in the league's single-worst run defense in just about every metric. DT Kyle Love, DE Vernon Butler, OLB Bruce Irvin, OLB Mario Addison and DT Gerald McCoy are all free agents. The secondary was solid enough in 2019, but CB James Bradberry, CB Ross Cockrell and S Tre Boston are also free agents.

8. Arizona Cardinals

Team needs: Offensive line, pass catcher, secondary

  • The Cardinals join the Rams, Dolphins and Jets as the only teams with fewer than $20 million devoted to their offensive line. Kyler Murray improved at avoiding pressure as the season went on, ultimately posting the second-longest average time from snap to sack among all QBs. Arizona has drafted just one offensive lineman with a top-three round pick since 2016.

  • Larry Fitzgerald has to retire at some point (right?), and Christian Kirk was the only other consistently-reliable pass catcher in this offense last season. Perhaps 2019 draft picks Andy Isabella, KeeSean Johnson and/or Hakeem Butler can step it up in 2020, but either way this offense needs to surround Murray with more talent, regardless of the position.

  • This pass defense was bad against No. 1 WRs (27th in DVOA), TEs (32nd) and RBs (30th) alike last season. Patrick Peterson and Budda Baker should be the only locked-in starters, as the group's other talents simply failed to consistently perform in 2019. The Cardinals were one of just six defenses to allow at least seven net yards per pass attempt.

9. Jacksonville Jaguars

Team needs: Front seven, cornerback, offensive line

  • This run defense was easily the second-worst unit in the league behind only the Panthers. Much of it was due to injury; six LBs finished the season on injured reserve. Simply re-signing stud DE Yannick Ngakoue won't be enough. as they never quite replaced Dante Fowler, and Calais Campbell (34 next September) won't be dominant forever.

  • A.J. Bouye (PFF's No. 90 overall corner) is better served as a No. 2 CB. Replacing Jalen Ramsey won't be easy, but the team has been due to address the position anyway. Ramsey is the only CB they've drafted in the first three rounds since 2013. D.J. Hayden (No. 11) was largely excellent in the slot, but Tre Herndon (No. 106) was a liability more weeks than not.

  • The Jaguars were the fifth-worst offense in average yards before contact, leading to Leonard Fournette ranking 39th in success rate among 45 qualified backs. The Jags haven't drafted an interior offensive lineman since 2015. Giving Gardner Minshew or Nick Foles ample time to target this underrated crop of receivers should be prioritized.

10. Cleveland Browns

Team needs: Offensive line, front seven, safety

  • The first horrendous sign of the 2019 Browns season was when they briefly released starting LT Greg Robinson after the preseason in a salary-saving move. Although, Baker Mayfield didn't exactly reward the group when they kept him clean, posting the league's fourth-worst passer rating when not under pressure among 39 qualified QBs (PFF).

  • This run defense fell apart after losing Myles Garrett and mostly dealing with an injured Olivier Vernon, allowing 92, 124, 179, 226, 243 and 179 rushing yards over the final six weeks of the season. LB Joe Schobert is a free agent. They currently have the fourth-most 2020 dollars in the league devoted to their defensive line thanks to Garrett, Vernon and Sheldon Richardson.

  • Only the Cardinals (16) allowed more receiving TDs to opposing TEs than the Browns (10). FS Damarious Randall, CB Eric Murray and S Juston Burris are all free agents. 31-year-old SS Morgan Burnett (PFF's No. 49 ranked safety) could also be upgraded from. Giants S Jabrill Peppers is the only player at the position the Browns have used a top-three round pick on since 2010.

11. New York Jets

Team needs: Cornerback, offensive line, defensive end

  • Brian Poole (PFF's No. 7 overall CB) is just fine in the slot. Everywhere else is a largely a problem, unless the team feels like rolling the dice on former sixth-round picks Maurice Canady and Blessuan Austin parlaying their solid second halves of the season into more future success. The team hasn't used a top-three round pick on a CB since 2014.

  • Nobody has fewer 2020 dollars devoted to the o-line than the Jets. Literally each of RT Brandon Shell, LG Alex Lewis, RG Tom Compton, LT Kelvin Beachum and C Ryan Kalil are all free agents. Sam Darnold was one of two QBs to be pressured on at least 40% of their dropbacks. The Jets joined the Steelers as the only offenses to average fewer than 1.5 yards before contact per rush.

  • Trading Leonard Williams leaves a hole in an already-meh group on the edge. The Jets boasted the league's best rush defense in adjusted line yards allowed per carry, but only the Dolphins, Seahawks, Lions and Cardinals pressured the QB at a lower rate (PFF). Perhaps the lack of pass rush resources was why the Jets blitzed at the league's fourth-highest rate in 2019.

12. Las Vegas Raiders

Team needs: Cornerback, front seven, quarterback

  • They ranked 29th and 31st in DVOA vs. No. 1 and No. 2 WRs, respectively. The Raiders are one of just 10 defenses with fewer than $10 million devoted to the CB position entering the 2020 season. The failed Gareon Conley era could certainly warrant the team using one of their two top-20 picks on the position.

  • Of course, coverage and pass rush tend to go hand in hand. The Raiders were the league's 10th-worst defense in both pressures per dropback and Havoc rate. Truthfully, the Raiders could afford to upgrade any piece of their defense; they join the Giants and Buccaneers as the only teams with fewer than $50 million devoted to their defense in 2020. 

  • Meanwhile, nobody is spending more money on their offensive line, Tyrell Williams and Darren Waller are two of the most-efficient pass catchers in the league, and Josh Jacobs looks a lot like one of the league's next-great backs. Carr had the best season of his career in 2019 by most statistical measures, but he needs everything to be prefect for this to keep happening. Upgrade.

13. Indianapolis Colts

Team needs: Pass catcher, defensive line, quarterback

  • T.Y. Hilton will be 31 next November and has missed four times as many games in the last two seasons (8) as he did in 2012-2017 combined (2). 2020 is the last year of Hilton's contract. WR Zach Pascal and TE Mo Alie-Cox are back, but WRs Marcus Johnson, Dontrelle Inman, Chester Rogers and Devin Funchess along with TE Eric Ebron are free agents.

  • The Colts boasted the league's eighth- and 12th-worst defense in Havoc rate and pressures per dropback, respectively. Jabaal Sheard is a free agent, while 31-year-old Justin Houston probably shouldn't be counted on for the long term. The Colts blitzed at the league's sixth-lowest rate in 2019, so the talent level needs to increase if the scheme isn't changing. 

  • Obviously the Colts didn't quite see the whole Andrew Luck retirement coming. Still, devoting an early round pick to the position is probably a good idea. Perhaps Chad Kelly (swag) could actually get an opportunity. Jacoby Brissett will need to improve in 2020, although he did flash a consistent ability to create off script and certainly didn't benefit from the team's copious amount of injuries at WR and TE.

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Team needs: Quarterback, secondary, defensive line

  • It remains to be seen whether or not coach Bruce Arians and company will again roll the dice with Jameis Winston in 2020. Mr. 30-for-30 is perhaps the most consistently-inconsistent QB that the league has ever seen, regularly flashing complete brilliance alongside inexcusable mediocrity on pretty much an every-week basis.

  • Only the Cowboys have fewer 2020 dollars devoted to their secondary than the Buccaneers. They've drafted four CBs in the top-three rounds since 2018, with Jamel Dean (PFF's No. 12 overall CB) and Carlton Davis (No. 31) outplaying Sean Murphy-Bunting (No. 51) and M.J. Stewart (No. 77). The Bucs were a bottom-five defense in DVOA and yards per game vs. TEs.

  • Almost the entire defensive line could feasibly leave the team: Shaq Barrett, Ndamukong Suh, Carl Nassib, Jason Pierre-Paul, Rakeem Nunez-Roches and Sam Acho are all free agents. They'll need more help than just Barrett to continue to function as one of the league's better defenses in creating disruption and negative plays.

15. Denver Broncos

Team needs: Wide receiver, offensive line, cornerback

  • Courtland Sutton is a baller, no arguments there. Still, it'll be vital to surround Drew Lock with more complementary options behind Sutton and TE Noah Fant. Slot WR DaeSean Hamilton hasn't come close to earning the benefit of the doubt, while complementary WRs Tim Patrick and Diontae Spencer are free agents. Only the Cowboys have fewer 2020 dollars devoted to the WR position.

  • The Broncos used high picks on LG Dalton Risner (2019 2nd) and LT Garett Bolles (2017 1st), but otherwise haven't spent a top-four round pick on the o-line since 2015. Complicating matters is the potential for RT Elijah Wilkinson and C Connor McGovern to enter free agency. PFF graded this unit as the league's No. 14 and No. 15 best o-line in pass- and run-blocking, respectively.

  • Long-time stud CB Chris Harris is a free agent. Either way, the league's No. 26 ranked defense in DVOA against No. 1 WRs should look to upgrade the general talent level at the CB position. The Broncos didn't have a corner graded among PFF's top-70 CBs other than Harris (No. 35).

16. Atlanta Falcons

Team needs: Offensive line, front seven, secondary

  • Nobody has more money devoted to their offense in 2020 than the Falcons. Still, Matt Ryan was pressured at the league's fifth-highest rate in 2019 and looked like a shell of his former self in the second half of the season after returning less mobile from an ankle injury. Only the Dolphins, Jets, Bears and Bucs were more inefficient on a per-carry basis.

  • The Falcons were the league's fourth- and seventh-worst defense in Havoc rate and pressure per dropback, respectively. OLBs De'Vondre Campbell and Vic Beasley join DL Adrian Clayborn, Tyeler Davison and Jack Crawford as free agents. 2017 first-round pick Takkarist McKinley has just 16.5 sacks in 45 career games.

  • The Falcons graded out poorly in DVOA against No. 1 WRs (18th), No. 2 WRs (30th) and Other WRs (28th) in 2019. Backup CBs Blidi Wreh-Wilson and Jamar Taylor are both free agents. Long-time No. 1 CB Desmond Trufant turns 30 next September and has played in just 49-of-64 games over the past four seasons after not missing a game from 2014-2015.

17. Dallas Cowboys

Team needs: Quarterback, secondary, pass catcher

  • This shouldn't be hard: Re-sign Dak Prescott. He ranks among the league's top-13 QBs in adjusted net yards per attempt and QB Rating among 43 signal callers to start at least 16 games since 2016. Per PFF, the 49ers (58%), Chiefs (54%) and Saints (53%) were the only teams with a higher percentage of catchable deep ball targets than the Cowboys (53%).

  • The Cowboys are the only team in the league with fewer than $10 million devoted to their 2020 secondary. CBs Byron Jones and Anthony Brown are each free agents, while this safety group has been in need of an upgrade for awhile. The secondary was poor against No. 1 WRs (19th in DVOA), No. 2 WRs (25th), Other WRs (20th), TEs (26th) and RBs (19th) alike in 2019.

  • It remains to be seen what the Cowboys will do with potential free agent WRs Amari Cooper, Randall Cobb and Tavon Austin as well as TEs Jason Witten and Blake Jarwin. Perhaps they'll gamble that Prescott can elevate an average group; the Cowboys posted the fifth-highest rate of on-target passes in 2019. Still, they'll need someone other than Michael Gallup.

18. Pittsburgh Steelers

Team needs: Quarterback, offensive line, pass rusher

  • Ben Roethlisberger will turn 38 in March. Clearly neither Mason Rudolph nor Devlin Hodges are the answer; they ranked 36th and 40th in adjusted net yards per pass attempt, respectively, among 42 QBs to throw at least 100 passes last season. This is a sneaky complete team, but they'll need to pray that Big Ben stays healthy if the plan is to wait on adding another QB.

  • Nobody averaged fewer yards before contact per rush than the Steelers in 2019. Each of Hodges (No. 9) and Rudolph (No. 10) ranked among PFF's most-pressured QBs on a per-dropback basis last season. The offensive line obviously deserves some blame, although defenses also didn't make a habit of respecting this passing attack.

  • The Steelers boasted the league's best defense in Havoc rate and pressures per dropback. Still, OLB Bud Dupree and DT Javon Hargrave are free agents, and the team's robust 36.9% blitz rate was the seventh-highest mark in the league. This team doesn't have many pressing needs, but finding a more consistent complement on the edge to game-wrecking OLB T.J. Watt would be nice.

19. Chicago Bears

Team needs: Quarterback, safety, offensive line

  • Mitchell Trubisky among 42 QBs to throw 100-plus passes in 2019: adjusted net yards pet attempt (No. 35), QB Rating (No. 32) and touchdown rate (No. 36). Only Josh Rosen (4.4), Joe Flacco (5.9), Josh Allen (6.2) and Sam Darnold (6.3) have averaged fewer adjusted yards per attempt than Trubisky (6.4) among QBs with at least 16 starts since 2017.

  • One-year starter Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is a free agent, as are backup safeties Deon Bush and DeAndre Houston-Carson. FS Eddie Jackson has already inked a long-term deal, but his counterpart remains the most-glaring weakness in the Bears' otherwise sturdy defense. The Bears allowed the seventh-most yards per game to opposing TEs in 2019.

  • RG Kyle Long retired, leaving the Bears offensive line very thin. They struggled to get much of a push in 2019, averaging the fourth-fewest adjusted line yards per rush while ranking 31st and 30th in 2nd-level and open-field yards per carry, respectively. G James Daniels was the only Bears guard or tackle ranked among PFF's top-30 players at their position.

20. Los Angeles Rams

Team needs: Offensive line, cornerback, defensive line

  • The Rams failed to adequately replace LG Rodger Saffold or C John Sullivan in 2019 and suffered extreme regression from LT Andrew Whitworth. Jared Goff's contract is too expensive to immediately move on from. Ranking 19th in adjusted line yards per rush and allowing Goff to be pressured on 35.8% of his dropbacks isn't good for business.

  • Obviously CB Jalen Ramsey is a baller, but the Rams still have another starting CB to fill after trading both Marcus Peters and Aqib TalibNickell Robey-Coleman (PFF's No. 19 ranked corner) is a great nickelback, and Troy Hill (No. 12) was fantastic after stepping into the starting lineup, but at the very least the depth of the unit should be addressed.

  • Edge defenders Michael Brockers and Dante Fowler are free agents. All-world DL Aaron Donald can control the middle of the trenches on his own, but investing elsewhere in this front seven should be prioritized. The Rams were a below-average run defense in adjusted line yards per rush allowed over left end (No. 18), left tackle (No. 17), right tackle (No. 25) and right end (No. 22).

21. Philadelphia Eagles

Team needs: Cornerback, wide receiver, linebacker

  • The list of No. 1 WRs to ball out against the Eagles over the past 24 months is too long for a single bullet point. The team decided against addressing the position last offseason due to injuries, but the performance of Sidney Jones (PFF's No. 66 CB), Avonte Maddox (No. 87), Jalen Mills (No. 101), Rasul Douglas (No. 115) and Ronald Darby (No. 127) in 2019 confirms that new talent needs to be added to the group immediately.

  • Philly was exposed at the end of last season without the likes of DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor on the field. 2019 second-round pick JJ Arcega-Whiteside finished the season with just 10 receptions for 169 yards and a touchdown despite playing all 16 games. The Eagles were the league's fifth-worst offense in yards after the catch per reception.

  • The Eagles didn't quite manage to replace LB Jordan Hicks, leading to only Nigel Bradham (No. 35) ranking among PFF's top-50 LBs in 2019. The Eagles boasted the league's third-best defense in adjusted line yards allowed per rush ... but ranked 23rd in open field yards allowed per carry. They currently have the 10th-fewest 2020 dollars devoted to the LB position.

22. Buffalo Bills

Team needs: Front seven, offensive line, quarterback

  • 2019 No. 9 overall pick Ed Oliver (PFF's No. 75 ranked interior defender) failed to adequately replace long-time DT Kyle Williams as a rookie. Ultimately, the Bills were much better against the pass (No. 5 in DVOA) compared to the run (No. 18). Only the Bengals, Ravens and Colts have fewer 2020 dollars devoted to the LB position than the Bills.

  • LG Quinton Spain is a free agent. The Bills were a below-average unit in adjusted sack rate (No. 23) and adjusted line yards per rush (No. 16). They're one of nine teams with fewer than $30 million 2020 dollars devoted to the offensive line. OT Cody Ford (2019 2nd), G Wyatt Teller (2018 5th) and G Dion Dawkins (2017 2nd) are their only o-linemen drafted since 2015.

  • I believe in Josh Allen (I think). The inclusion of QB on this list is more a testament to how complete this Bills team is as well as a realization that they should probably bring in someone to compete with career backup Matt Barkley. Allen improved in literally every passing metric in 2019, but still ranked just 24th among 42 qualified QBs in adjusted yards per attempt.

23. New England Patriots

Team needs: Quarterback, pass catcher, front seven

  • Tom Brady will be 43 next August. There isn't much reason at the moment to believe 2019 fourth-round pick Jarrett Stidham is a realistic long-term answer at the position. The Patriots ranked 21st in yards per play in 2019, marking their least-efficient season since 2002 (22nd). Brady's average of 6.8 adjusted yards per attempt was his worst mark since 2006.

  • Obviously Brady wasn't great in 2019, but the lack of reliable WRs or TEs didn't help matters. Julian Edelman (No. 30) was the team's only WR ranked among PFF's top-70 players at the position in yards per route run. Improvement in year two from 2019 first-round WR N'Keal Harry should be expected, although this remains a unit of need with Phillip Dorsett a free agent.

  • New England boasts a loaded secondary. They were slightly less dominant at the line of scrimmage, achieving the 10th-highest pressure rate despite blitzing on 37% of their opponent's dropbacks in 2019. Front-seven contributors Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins, Danny Shelton, Shilique Calhoun and Adam Butler are free agents. You were almost better off running (4.2 YPC) compared to passing (5 NY/A) vs. the Pats.

24. New Orleans Saints

Team needs: Quarterback, wide receiver, pass rush

  • Each of Drew Brees, Teddy Bridgewater and Taysom Hill are free agents. Neither Brees (No. 43 in deep-ball rate) nor Bridgewater (No. 46) made a habit of throwing the ball downfield in 2019, meaning Hill's strong arm could wind up being utilized regardless of who winds up starting under center. Brees is 41 and evaluating whether or not he wants to play in 2020.

  • Michael Thomas deserves to be in any conversation surrounding the single-best WR in the NFL. Still, Ted Ginn is a free agent, and Tre'Quan Smith hasn't provided much consistency as a complementary pass-game option. Adding a big-play option to clear out underneath and intermediate areas of the field for Thomas, Alvin Kamara and Jared Cook would be huge.

  • The loss of DE Marcus Davenport truly hurt the Saints Defense down the stretch of the 2019 season. This defense ranked third and second in Havoc rate and pressured per dropback, respectively, but had to blitz at a top-10 rate to do so. More consistent pressure from their defensive line could help ease the burden on the team's talented – but under-performing – CBs.

25. Minnesota Vikings

Team needs: Cornerback, offensive line, defensive tackle

  • None of CBs Mackensie Alexander (No. 56), Mike Hughes (No. 98), Trae Waynes (No. 98) nor Xavier Rhodes (No. 111) managed to crack PFF's top-50 corners in yards allowed per coverage snap. A general talent infusion to the group is needed, especially with both Alexander and Waynes being unrestricted free agents.

  • The Vikings presently have the sixth-fewest 2020 dollars devoted to their offensive line. There's certainly room for improvement; Kirk Cousins was pressured at the league's 10th-highest rate. This was a below average run game in yards before contact per carry. The good news is the offense won't be losing any of their starting linemen to free agency, but the depth remains a red flag.

  • DEs Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffen are both game-wrecking studs. Still, the defense's interior linemen weren't quite as dominant in 2019, as none of Linval Joseph (No. 37), Shamar Stephen (No. 87) nor Jaleel Johnson (No. 110) received favorable grades from PFF. The team hasn't drafted a DT inside of the top-three rounds since 2013.

26. Houston Texans

Team needs: Defensive line, offensive line, secondary

  • This defense ranked 29th in Havoc during the regular season, largely failing to create any sort of consistent pressure without the services of future HOF DT J.J. Watt. Houston's long-time beast will be 31 in March and has missed at least eight games in three of the last four seasons. Contributing DTs D.J. Reader and Brandon Dunn are both unrestricted free agents.

  • Deshaun Watson regularly holds the ball for an extended period in an effort to find an open receiver, sometimes leading to unnecessary sacks ... and other times brilliant game-changing plays. They're fairly well off on the outside after trading for former-Dolphins LT Laremy Tunsil and drafting RT Tytus Howard in the first round of the 2019 draft, but the interior could still be upgraded.

  • Houston employed a number of former-first round CBs in 2019 with the hopes of getting some consistently high-end play from the position. Bradley Roby was the closest one to achieving this, but he joins soon to be 36-year-old CB Johnathan Joseph as free agents. The entire defense could use a boost. Nobody allowed more yards per play in 2019 than the Texans (6.1).

27. Seattle Seahawks

Team needs: Defensive line, cornerback, offensive line

  • Nearly every relevant defensive linemen from the 2019 Seahawks could leave town, as each of Jadeveon Clowney, Ezekiel Ansah, Branden Jackson, Quinton Jefferson, Jarran Reed and Al Woods are free agents. The leaves Seattle with the third-fewest 2020 dollars devoted to the position. Not great for the league's 25th-ranked defense in Havoc.

  • No. 1 CB Shaquill Griffin (No. 25 in yards allowed per cover snap) was great in 2019, but Seattle never asks their corners to travel with individual WRs. This meant offenses could regularly exploit mismatches against corners Akeem King (No. 46) and Tre Flowers (No. 72). Only the Raiders, Bucs and Giants have fewer 2020 dollars devoted to the defensive side of the ball.

  • Regular contributors such as C Joey Hunt, LG Mike Iupati and LT George Fant are all free agents. The Seahawks have ranked as a bottom-10 offense in adjusted sack rate in each of the past five seasons. They've failed to properly address this issue, ranking No. 26, No. 31, No. 16, No. 21 and No. 22 in money spent on the offensive line since 2015.

28. Baltimore Ravens

Team needs: Pass rush, wide receiver, linebacker

  • The Ravens blitzed on 54.9% of their opponent's dropbacks in 2019. The Bucs (43.4%) were the only other defense over 40%. Baltimore's failure to adequately replace either Za'Darius Smith or Terrell Suggs was the root cause of this decision. Further complicating matters is the potential loss of pass rushers Matt Judon, Jihad Ward and Pernell McPhee to free agency.

  • Marquise Brown flashed legit field-stretching goodness for portions of last season, but the lack of a consistent pass catcher behind TE Mark Andrews was apparent during the team's Divisional Round loss to the Titans. Only the Panthers, Steelers, Broncos and Cowboys have fewer 2020 dollars devoted to the WR position than the Ravens.

  • Baltimore failed to replace C.J. Mosley after the talented MLB took his talents to the Jets last season. The Ravens Defense was much better against the pass (No. 4 in DVOA) than the run (No. 19), indicating the front seven should receive the bulk of offseason investment. Only the Bengals have fewer 2020 dollars devoted to the LB position than the Ravens.

29. Tennessee Titans

Team needs: Quarterback, offensive line, pass rush

  • Ryan Tannehill should probably be re-signed. The man ranked among the league's top-three QBs in QB Rating (No. 1), adjusted net yards per attempt (No. 1), TD rate (No. 2) and completion rate (No. 3), delivering plenty of downfield goodness inside of the league's most-explosive passing offense along the way. The obvious question: How much money?

  • RT Jack Conklin and backup swing tackle Dennis Kelly are each free agents. Usually dominant rushing attacks are the result of a great offensive line and not necessarily amazing play from the RB, but this wasn't exactly the case in Tennessee last season. Overall, the Titans boasted the league's ninth-worst offense in yards before contact per rush. It remains to be seen if Derrick Henry will be back in 2020.

  • This defense was significantly better against the run (No. 10 in DVOA) than the pass (No. 21) last season. Relying on 38-year-old OLB Cameron Wake as their primary pass rusher probably isn't a great long-term plan. Upgrades could feasibly be made throughout the front-seven for the league's 19th-ranked defense in Havoc.

30. Green Bay Packers

Team needs: Wide receiver, defensive tackle, quarterback

  • The Packers boasted a great pass rush thanks to Za'Darius Smith and Preston Smith, but only the Dolphins allowed more adjusted line yards per rush than Green Bay. Kenny Clark (PFF's No. 11 ranked interior defender) is solid, but the defense could certainly use upgrades to the likes of Tyler Lancaster (No. 74), Dean Lowry (No. 83) and Montravius Adams (No. 118).

  • The Packers drafted Aaron Rodgers in 2005 when Brett Favre was entering his 15th season and was 36 years old. 2020 will be Rodgers' 16th season and he's currently 36 years old. Clearly Rodgers seems to have at least a few years left in the tank, but at the very least there should be a better backup plan in place than former undrafted free agent Tim Boyle.

31. San Francisco 49ers

Team needs: Offensive line, cornerback, wide receiver

  • Jimmy Garoppolo was pressured at a bottom-10 rate in 2019, but his QB rating when under fire ranked just 14th among 38 qualified signal callers. The financial commitment to Jimmy G makes it unlikely the team spends too many resources to address the QB position, so the best thing this offense can do is to reinforce the talent level at the line of scrimmage.

  • Richard Sherman was PFF's No. 1 CB during the regular season and proved that he still has plenty of good days ahead of him despite a meh Super Bowl performance. Still, the 49ers don't move their corners with individual receivers, so offenses can generally avoid Sherman whenever they please. The CB position isn't as vital when you have the league's best pass rush, but additional options at the position can't hurt.

  • TE George Kittle is an absolute monster, but he stays in to block on a good portion of snaps. The mid-season acquisition of Emmanuel Sanders, combined with spending a second- and third-round pick on Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd in 2019, indicates coach Kyle Shanahan isn't satisfied with the team's WR options at this point.

32. Kansas City Chiefs

Team needs: Front seven, running back, interior offensive line

  • The Chiefs Defense was significantly better against the pass (No. 6 in DVOA) than the run (No. 29) in 2019. The single-biggest priority should be re-signing difference-making DT Chris Jones, but additional help at LB and across the defensive line could help sure up the only real weakness on this entire roster.

  • Damien Williams has proven to be more than capable of functioning as a high-end three-down RB in this offense. Still, he'll be 28 in April, and each of Spencer Ware as well as LeSean McCoy are free agents. Don't be surprised if the Chiefs either spend a late-round pick on the position, or bring in a veteran RB to compete for a backup role during training camp.

  • LG Andrew Wylie as well as backup G Stefen Wisniewski are each free agents. The team is set with LT Eric Fisher and RT Mitchell Schwartz, but additional help up the middle would be much appreciated. Overall, the Chiefs ranked just 28th in adjusted line yards per rush up the middle or over either guard in 2019.

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