NFL Draft: Our favorite player-team fits, starting at the No. 1 overall pick

Landing spots are everything when it comes to draft prospects maximizing the early portions of their career. The NFL Draft is all about putting players in a position to succeed, or at least putting them in a position where they’ll get the reps they need to develop. There are teams, especially at the top of the draft, that are going to need rookies to play well in a hurry at critical spots of need.

Here are five fits that can make for a great partnership between prospects and teams as the draft inches closer.

C.J. Stroud: Carolina Panthers

There’s a reason C.J. Stroud might want to campaign to join the Carolina Panthers, more than a prospective No. 1 overall pick normally would. It’s a perfect fit for him, the coaching staff and where the team currently stands as far as its roster is concerned. Stroud is a great fit for Reich’s offense with his ability to quickly process the field while being accurate to the intermediate and deep parts. According to the Pro Football Focus draft guide, Stroud ranked 23rd in average depth of target among FBS quarterbacks (10.7 yards). The Panthers have the makings of a strong offensive line as well, particularly at both tackle spots with Ickey Ekwonu and Taylor Moton. They also have a capable veteran quarterback in Andy Dalton to hold down the fort if Stroud needs some time to practice a bit more heading into the season opener. The wide receiver position is a bit shaky, but Reich and his offensive staff might be good enough to work around that.

Tyree Wilson: Atlanta Falcons

No team has had a greater need for pass rush help over the past few seasons than Atlanta. The Falcons have just 39 combined sacks over the past two seasons combined. It’s time for them to get Grady Jarrett some help and make a big-time investment at edge rusher. Texas Tech defensive lineman Tyree Wilson isn’t a finished product yet, but he has the size and strength that new defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen helped develop during his time in New Orleans. Wilson is a high floor/high upside player that can immediately help one of the most beleaguered pass rush units in the league. Wilson and second-year edge rusher Arnold Ebiketie would at least give the Falcons potential at the position, which is something they’ve lacked for a long time now.

Tyree Wilson would give the Falcons some big-time potential at edge rusher in the NFL Draft. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)
Tyree Wilson would give the Falcons some big-time potential at edge rusher in the NFL Draft. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)

Peter Skoronski: Chicago Bears

Peter Skoronski would be a home-run fit for the Bears and a major asset for their quest to build a quality supporting cast around Justin Fields. Skoronski can be penciled in four potential spots across the offensive line, profiling as a great prospect for both offensive tackle and guard. It’s hard to find a prospect that can make multiple offensive line spots better, but Skoronski is one of those guys. His ability to play across the line would allow Braxton Jones to continue his development at left tackle while providing ace protection from another spot. Or even provide help at right tackle, where he would form a formidable right side with the newly signed Nate Davis.

Will Anderson: Arizona Cardinals

If Arizona doesn’t trade down from the third pick, Will Anderson seems almost guaranteed to become a Cardinal. Take a look at the Cardinals' depth chart — there might not be a team in the entire NFL with a more immediate need for defensive line talent. Zach Allen left in free agency for the Broncos and they haven’t really done much to replace the hole that he left. Even if Allen was still on the team, the Cardinals needed to start stacking defensive line talent in order to help rookie head coach Jonathan Gannon implement his scheme in a somewhat successful manner. Anderson would be a Day 1 starter at a position where Arizona desperately needs young talent. Trading down might make this pairing less likely, but if the Cardinals decide to stay with their original pick, Anderson should fly off the board.

Zay Flowers: Los Angeles Chargers

Wide receiver might not be the most immediate need for the Chargers, but it quickly can become one in the near future when Keenan Allen eventually moves on from the team. Even with Allen still aboard, the Chargers could use an injection of speed and explosion to help Justin Herbert produce to the best of his elite abilities. That’s where Zay Flowers comes in. He would be another big-play threat to go along with Mike Williams, but operating in a different manner than Williams does. Flowers would be able to stretch the field and give new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore a bit more room to work with as he calls plays for the Chargers. Flowers is a deep ball specialist, catching 500 yards worth of deep passes last season, ranking 11th in the country according to Pro Football Focus.