With a new champion crowned, the board is set … for now. We can expect trades will change the order, free agency will fill/create needs and other surprises will alter the overall outlook for the 2019 NFL Draft. However, with 80 days to go until teams are officially on the clock, here’s how things shake out from Pick 1 to 32, along with a snapshot of the positions each club needs to address this offseason.
PICK 1: Cardinals
Biggest needs: OL, DL, CB
The most pressing need here is on the offensive line, but this is not a draft with an O-lineman worthy of the top pick. If the Cards don’t trade down, expect them to add to the defensive line first in the draft — hopefully they will have already made significant upgrades to the O-line in free agency.
PICK 2: 49ers
Biggest needs: Edge rusher, DB, WR
Yes, the 49ers have taken a defensive lineman with three of their last four top picks, but it would still be sensible for them to make it four out of five this year. Adding the elite pass rusher they’ve long sought could make a huge difference for John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan.
PICK 3: Jets
Biggest needs: Edge rusher, OL, WR/RB
The Jets are still badly in need of a player who can help them get after the quarterback. They should be able to land that guy with this pick. Free agency should be all about strengthening the supporting cast around Sam Darnold, and GM Mike Maccagnan will have plenty of flexibility, with nearly $100 million in cap space.
PICK 4: Raiders
Biggest needs: Edge rusher, DB, WR
So many picks, so many holes to fill. It would make sense to take an edge rusher with the first of their three selections in Round 1 — the Raiders recorded 13 sacks in 2018, while no other team had fewer than 30.
PICK 5: Buccaneers
Biggest needs: DB, OL, edge rusher
We’ll see what happens in free agency, but at this point, you can pretty much throw a ranking of needs for this team out the window, because there are plenty of holes. It’ll be hard to argue against a “best player available” approach here, although the Bucs appear to be committed to Jameis Winston for 2019.
PICK 6: Giants
Biggest needs: QB, OL, DL
The time has come to find Eli Manning’s replacement, but no one should be surprised if GM Dave Gettleman opts to prioritize other needs. They have them on both sides of the line of scrimmage, and will Landon Collins be back?
PICK 7: Jaguars
Biggest needs: QB, WR/TE, OL
This defense is still elite. Find the right quarterback, give him an improved group of skill-position guys, and the Jags should be right back in the playoff picture after a hugely disappointing season.
PICK 8: Lions
Biggest needs: DB, edge rusher, TE/WR
The big tasks for GM Bob Quinn this offseason will be adding a couple playmakers for the back seven of Matt Patricia’s defense and replacing what the Lions lost when Golden Tate was dealt away. Matthew Stafford needs a threat for the middle of the field.
PICK 9: Bills
Biggest needs: OL, WR, CB
This team did play some decent ball down the stretch, winning four of its last seven games. Now, it’s also fair to point out Buffalo did not have a win over a playoff team. Still, if Josh Allen is given a better shot with upgrades up front and at receiver, the Bills could surprise people in 2019.
PICK 10: Broncos
Biggest needs: QB, CB, WR/TE
Case Keenum could be a bridge for another year, but he’s not the long-term answer. In addition to the aforementioned positions, John Elway should be looking for O-line help.
PICK 11: Bengals
Biggest needs: LB, TE, OL
Sticking with Andy Dalton at QB is certainly a strategy worthy of debate, but since it doesn’t look like there will be a change under center, the Bengals will be trying to once again give him a supporting cast that can make them contenders in the AFC North. Priority No. 1 should be finding a disruptive ‘backer, but there are also pressing needs for a pass catcher at tight end and more help up front on offense.
PICK 12: Packers
Biggest needs: Edge rusher, WR/TE, OL
With Clay Matthews in decline and headed for free agency, the time has come to spend a top pick on a pass rusher. The Packers have a second first-round pick (No. 30 overall, via the Saints) to address the offensive line or receiver/tight end.
PICK 13: Dolphins
Biggest needs: QB, DE, OL
Farewell, Ryan Tannehill? The Dolphins have to be looking for their next quarterback this offseason. Beyond that key task, Miami’s focus should be on rebuilding the offensive and defensive lines.
PICK 14: Falcons
Biggest needs: Edge rusher, OG, DT
It’s hard to imagine Atlanta letting Grady Jarrett move on in free agency, but that doesn’t mean all is well on defense. This is the earliest the Falcons have picked since they took Vic Beasley eighth overall in 2015, and they could use an edge rusher who provided the kind of spark Beasley did a few seasons ago.
PICK 15: Redskins
Biggest needs: QB, WR, OL
Who’s throwing passes for Washington next season? The team expects Alex Smith to miss all of 2019, and it’s possible none of the top QB prospects will be available by the time the ‘Skins are on the clock at No. 15. They still need a WR1, and more help for an offensive line that was plagued by injuries in 2018.
PICK 16: Panthers
Biggest needs: Edge rusher, OL, S
There are gaping voids to fill on both sides of the line following the retirements of Ryan Kalil and Julius Peppers. Starting safeties Mike Adams and Eric Reid are due to hit the market, and LB Thomas Davis won’t be back. Oh, and Cam Newton’s coming off shoulder surgery. Yes, there’s work to be done here.
PICK 17: Browns
Biggest needs: OT, WR, CB
The Browns have their QB. Now comes Phase II in John Dorsey’s rebuilding project. If a top offensive tackle falls to them at No. 17, the Browns should pounce. Baker Mayfield could still use a big target at receiver, too, and there’s room for improvement opposite Denzel Ward at corner.
PICK 18: Vikings
Biggest needs: OL, LB, DT
We heard it all season: The Vikings’ offensive line just wasn’t good enough. Rick Spielman and Mike Zimmer have to get that figured out. Then there’s the matter of the impending free agency of Anthony Barr and Sheldon Richardson.
PICK 19: Titans
Biggest needs: WR, edge rusher, interior OL
It’s going to take more juice on both sides of the ball — along with improvement from Marcus Mariota — for this franchise to take the next step. Mariota needs a threat to pick up yards in chunks on the outside, and on defense, the Titans will be replacing Brian Orakpo (retirement) and possibly Derrick Morgan (free agency).
PICK 20 Steelers
Biggest needs: CB, ILB, edge rusher
If Antonio Brown is dealt, the outlook changes here, but for now, the Steelers go into an offseason of discontent with the defense crying out for some repairs. They could use a young building block at cornerback with Coty Sensabaugh headed for free agency this year, Joe Haden due to hit the market next year and Artie Burns failing to meet their needs.
PICK 21: Seahawks
Biggest needs: Edge rusher, DT, OL
It seems unlikely that Seattle would allow Frank Clark to depart in free agency, but even if he’s back, this squad should still be hunting for a pass rusher to complement him — and more help for the interior, as well. They have some decisions to make at guard, too, with D.J. Fluker and J.R. Sweezy scheduled to become free agents.
PICK 22: Ravens
Biggest needs: Edge rusher, RB/WR, OL
It would be nice if they could simply focus on stocking up on weaponry for Lamar Jackson this offseason, but new GM Eric DeCosta won’t have that luxury with expiring deals for core defenders C.J. Mosley, Terrell Suggs, Za’Darius Smith and Brent Urban.
PICK 23: Texans
Biggest needs: OL, S, CB
The Texans allowed a league-high 62 sacks in 2018 and the second-most sacks in the league in 2017 (54). Bill O’Brien has to do a better job of protecting Deshaun Watson. If Houston tags or re-signs Jadeveon Clowney, the secondary will be the second-biggest area of concern, with Kareem Jackson and Tyrann Mathieu due to hit the market.
PICK 24: Raiders (via Bears)
Bears’ record: 12-4
Bears’ biggest needs: DB, RB, K
See above (No. 4) for the Raiders’ needs — they acquired this pick in the Khalil Mack trade. As for the Bears, they don’t hold a pick until Round 3 (87th overall). There could be a void or two to fill in the secondary, with S Adrian Amos and CB Bryce Callahan ticketed for free agency.
PICK 25: Eagles
Biggest needs: DL, OT, DB
The Eagles need to get younger on both sides of the line, but they can’t overlook the issues they’ve had in the secondary. Running back must be a consideration here, too.
PICK 26: Colts
Biggest needs: DL, WR, CB
The mission for GM Chris Ballard this offseason is to find an explosive edge rusher and receiver. Think about what this team could be if he succeeds in that effort.
PICK 27: Raiders (via Cowboys)
Cowboys’ record: 10-6
Cowboys’ biggest needs: TE, DL, S
See above (No. 4) for the Raiders’ needs — they acquired this pick in the Amari Cooper trade. The Cowboys won’t pick until late in the second round (58th overall), but given the depth of this year’s tight end class, they should still be able to find a threat in the seams that Dak Prescott needs.
PICK 28: Chargers
Biggest needs: DT, OT, LB
Philip Rivers is still performing at a Pro Bowl level, and the Chargers have to make protecting him a leading priority. That means looking for an upgrade at offensive tackle. There could be a glaring void at defensive tackle, though, with Brandon Mebane, Darius Philon and Damion Square due to become free agents.
PICK 29: Chiefs
Biggest needs: CB, S, edge rusher
There’s a new defensive coordinator — Steve Spagnuolo — and potentially a new look in the back seven. The secondary needs the most work, but edge rusher moves up the list if Dee Ford is allowed to walk.
PICK 30: Packers (via Saints)
Saints’ record: 13-3
Saints’ biggest needs: TE, DT, CB
See above (No. 12) for the Packers’ needs. The Saints sent them this pick in their trade to move up for Marcus Davenport in the 2018 NFL Draft. New Orleans holds little draft capital, with only one selection in the first four rounds (Round 2, No. 62 overall), but there’s a glaring need for a playmaking tight end.
PICK 31: Rams
Biggest needs: Edge, DB, DT
There could be some gaping voids here if certain players walk. Dante Fowler, Ndamukong Suh, Lamarcus Joyner and Sam Shields are among the Rams due to hit the market. CBs Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters are a year away from free agency.
PICK 32: Patriots
Biggest needs: DL, WR/TE, DB
There’s a lot to be sorted out here in the weeks ahead. Will Gronk be back? Which of their key impending free agents at defensive tackle, wide receiver and in the secondary will be re-signed? And is this the year they pick the next heir apparent for Tom Brady?