Matt Peterson

Draft Needs: Kansas City Chiefs

Matt Peterson tracks the offseason needs of every team in the league. Today’s franchise, the Kansas City Chiefs [full archive here].

Season Recap: The Kansas City Chiefs fielded a talented team in 2010, and expectations were high entering 2011. Within the first two weeks of the season, key players Jamal Charles, Eric Berry, and Tony Moekai went on injured reserve, forcing less talented players into the lineup. The roster did not have enough depth to compensate for the losses, and finished the season 7-9. Romeo Crennel showed enough during his time as interim-Head Coach and was hired full-time this offseason. With the return of Charles, Berry, and Moekai, the Chiefs will be improved in 2012.

Team Needs:
1. Nose Tackle: In the 3-4 defense having a significant presence at nose tackle is a must. Romeo Crennel coached Vince Wilfork in New England and will surely be looking for a player to replicate his impact. That won’t be easy, but Dontari Poe has all the tools to become a dominating defensive player in the NFL. There are questions about Poe’s limited production at Memphis, but a 6’4’’ 346lb player who ran a 4.98 40-yard dash and posted 44 bench reps, may be too valuable to pass up.

2. Inside Linebacker: The Chiefs have three starting linebackers in Tamba Hali, Derrick Johnson, and Justin Houston but are lacking a fourth. Luke Kuechly is the best LB in the draft and would be a no-brainer selection, but he may not be available. Bobby Wagner and Travis Lewis are players that will likely be available in rounds two and three.

3. Quarterback: The Chiefs signed Matt Cassel to a six-year $62.7 million contract in 2009, but Cassel has yet to show the “elite” talent, that now seems to be a must for teams looking to make a Super Bowl run. With Romeo Crennel taking over, there may be some members within the organization looking to find a new guy. Ryan Tannehill will be the third quarterback off the board, and the Chiefs could decide to trade up and grab him.

Posted on by Matt Peterson in Chiefs, Draft Needs - 2012 2 Comments

Draft Needs: Seattle Seahawks

Matt Peterson tracks the offseason needs of every team in the league. Today’s franchise, the Seattle Seahawks [full archive here].

Season Recap: I’m a fan of Head Coach Pete Carroll. He took an untalented team to the playoffs his first season and led an inspired group to some upset (Giants, Ravens, Eagles, Bears) victories in year two, while staying competitive in many of the other games with Tavaris Jackson and Charlie Whitehurst at quarterback. If newly signed free agent, Matt Flynn plays nearly as well as he did in limited time in Green Bay, the Seahawks could be sleepers.

Team Needs:
1. Inside Linebacker: Seattle dealt with the loss of David Hawthorne to New Orleans by signing Barrett Ruud- Seattle has a glaring need at middle linebacker. Luke Kuechly is a stud and would be a great selection in round one, that is if he lasts that long.

2. Defensive End: The Seahawks need a player who can get to the quarterback opposite of Chris Clemons. Melvin Ingram would look good in Seattle’s new uniforms.

3. Wide Receiver: Mike Williams’ looked like his old self this past season and Sidney Rice couldn’t stay healthy. Matt Flynn came from a team that had about 15 solid weapons around him. Seattle should add another playmaker to Flynn’s arsenal. Stephen Hill, Kendall Wright, and Reuben Randle are possible targets.

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Draft Needs: Arizona Cardinals

Matt Peterson tracks the offseason needs of every team in the league. Today’s franchise, the Arizona Cardinals [full archive here].

Season Recap: The Arizona Cardinals entered the season with higher hopes than an 8-8 finish after acquiring QB Kevin Kolb, from the Philadelphia Eagles, in a blockbuster trade. Kolb managed to play only nine games due to concussion problems, but struggled during his time in the lineup. Ken Whisenhunt stated an open QB competition between Kolb and John Skelton, who led Arizona to some impressive victories. Let’s hope one of the guys can do enough to at least supply Larry Fitzgerald ample playmaking opportunities.

Team Needs:
1. Offensive Tackle: The Cardinals’ line situation is one of the worst in the league. Arizona needs to find a capable protector for Kolb. Levi Brown played LT last year, but performed very poorly. Brown should be moved back to the right side, meaning Arizona needs a new left tackle. Jonathon Martin and Riley Reiff are the two most likely options in the first round.

2. Wide Receiver: Since the loss of Anquan Boldin, Arizona hasn’t had a solid number two option to complement All-World WR Larry Fitzgerald. There will be many receivers available in the first two rounds that could fill the void. Stephen Hill, Kendall Wright, Reuben Randle, and Mohammed Sanu are names to keep an eye on.

3. Offensive Guard: More line issues. Arizona signed Adam Snyder, but he is better as a back up. Interior offensive line will be a focus in the middle rounds, with a possible selection of David DeCastro, the draft’s top guard, in round one.

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Draft Needs: Dallas Cowboys

Matt Peterson tracks the offseason needs of every team in the league. Today’s franchise, the Dallas Cowboys [full archive here].

Season Recap: I don’t know really what to say. Nothing has really changed in Dallas…Every year there is a bit of preseason hype, but every year Dallas somehow manages to shoot themselves in the foot. Maybe this year is different? I doubt it.

Team Needs:
1. Defensive Tackle: Dallas needs an impact player next to Jay Ratliff, who is one of the most underrated players in the league. Michael Brockers is one of the best 3-4 defensive ends in this draft, and could be a solid fit.

2. Safety: Gerald Sensabaugh is set at free safety, but there remains a weakness next to him. Brodney Pool was signed, but he really isn’t that good. Mark Barron will be the selection if available. George Iloka, Harrison Smith, and Markelle Martin are the next best safeties.

3. Center: It seemed like every week there were snap miscommunications between Romo and Phil Costa. That’s unacceptable in the NFL. Michael Brewster and Phillip Blake are players that will be available in the middle rounds.

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Draft Needs: Philadelphia Eagles

Matt Peterson tracks the offseason needs of every team in the league. Today’s franchise, the Philadelphia Eagles [full archive here].

Season Recap: The “Winners of the 2011 offseason” were labeled as the “Dream Team” by Vince Young, a member of the team at the time. What Philly may have failed to recognize is the NFL isn’t like Madden; signing the top free agents does not win you football games. The Eagles were never able to recover from a 1-4 start, and finished the season at 8-8. This upcoming season very may well be the last shot for Andy Reid at making a run for the title.

Team Needs:
1. Outside Linebacker: Philadelphia had two holes at linebacker before the recent trade for DeMeco Ryans. Now, Andy Reid needs to find an upgrade over Jamar Chaney, who in reality should be a backup. The Eagles may be wise trading up in the first round to select Luke Kuechly, who may not last until 15.

2. Strong Safety: 2011 second round pick, Jacquian Jarrett seemed lost in his rookie year. One of the main problems with the Eagles defense was inconsistent safety play, meaning that problem has to be addressed. There is a possibility Jarrett improves in the upcoming season, but Reid can’t afford to make assumptions. Mark Barron is an option in the first round. Harrison Smith, from Notre Dame, is the next best safety and could be available at pick #46.

3. Defensive Tackle: Mike Patterson suffered a seizure in training camp, but miraculously wound up starting 15 games. The Eagles could use a big body up front. Michael Brockers, Jerel Worthy, Devon Still, and Brandon Thompson are all reasonable options.

Posted on by Matt Peterson in Draft Needs - 2012, Eagles 1 Comment

Draft Needs: New York Jets

Matt Peterson tracks the offseason needs of every team in the league. Today’s franchise, the New York Jets [full archive here].

Season Recap: The New York Jets failed to live up to the expectations of Super Bowl Champions, as proclaimed by Head Coach Rex Ryan at the start of the season. The public rift between Mark Sanchez and Santonio Holmes affected the entire locker room and numerous reports stated many players gave up on the season. Who knows, with the acquisition of “the winner” Tim Tebow, there is a real chance the Jets are right back in the thick of things for the upcoming season.

Team Needs:
1. Wide Receiver: Even if Santonio Holmes returns to old form, the Jets still need another option for Sanchez and Tebow. Chaz Schilens was signed as a free agent, but has had durability issues the past. The Jets should be in solid position to select a receiver in round one. Stephen Hill and Reuben Randle are two prospects that should be available.

2. Right Tackle: The Jets have had a weakness at the position since Damien Woody retired after the 2010 season. Riley Rieff would be the best option if available. Mike Adams and Jonathon Martin are also good fits.

3. Outside Linebacker: Bryan Thomas and Calvin Pace are on the downside of the careers. New York needs a pass rushing threat on the outside. Courtney Upshaw is a hard-nosed player and would fit perfectly in Ryan’s 3-4 defense.

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Draft Needs: Oakland Raiders

Matt Peterson tracks the offseason needs of every team in the league. Today’s franchise, the Oakland Raiders [full archive here].

Season Recap: The unfortunate passing of long-time owner Al Davis brought about a complete overhaul to the front office. New Head Coach Dennis Allen will have trouble adding much support in the upcoming draft with only five selections, the first coming at pick #95.

Team Needs:
1. Nose Tackle: With the likely switch to a 3-4 defense, which signs seem to point to, the Raiders have an opening at one of the most important positions: Nose tackle. The Raiders don’t have a pick until the end of the third round. In the best-case scenario, NT Josh Chapman from Alabama is available at that selection.

2. Outside Linebacker: The other position that is vital to running an effective 3-4 is OLB, which remains a weakness for Oakland. Dave Tollefson was signed from the Giants and should occupy one of the OLB spots, but the other remains up for grabs. Jonathan Massaquoi is an interesting prospect out of Troy and would be a great selection in round three.

3. Tight End: Kevin Boss was signed to a large contract last offseason, but was cut as a cap-casualty. The Raiders need a TE to replace Kevin Boss. Michael Egnew, Ladarius Green, and Deangelo Peterson are middle round prospects.

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Draft Needs: San Diego Chargers

Matt Peterson tracks the offseason needs of every team in the league. Today’s franchise, the San Diego Chargers [full archive here].

Season Recap: The San Diego Chargers had a disappointing year, finishing 8-8. Phillip Rivers’ had an inconsistent season and San Diego had a tough time dealing with numerous injuries to their aging roster. GM AJ Smith seems to have noticed the need for more depth by signing a vast amount of free agents; something San Diego hasn’t done in the past.

Team Needs:
1. Outside Linebacker: In today’s game a consistent pass rush to put pressure on opposing quarterback’s is very important. The San Diego Chargers need a capable pass rusher to compliment Shaun Phillips, who managed only 3.5 sacks in 2011. Jarret Johnson, formerly of the Baltimore Ravens, was signed but he is more of a run-stopper. Nick Perry and Shea McClellin are possible fits in round one.

2. Cornerback: Antoine Cason is set at one spot but Quentin Jammer will be 33 by the start of the season. San Diego needs to begin looking for a replacement for Jammer, who has been a starter since the 2002 season. Janoris Jenkins could slip in the draft and possibly be had in the second round. If not, Alfonzo Dennard would be a nice addition.

3. Offensive Guard: Longtime starter, Kris Dielman retired this offseason leaving a hole at OG. San Diego has had success finding starting lineman in the middle rounds of the draft. Kevin Zeitler and Amini Silatolu are two possible targets in round two.

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Draft Needs: Chicago Bears

Matt Peterson tracks the offseason needs of every team in the league. Today’s franchise, the Chicago Bears [full archive here].

Season Recap: The Bears started the season 7-3, but injuries to Jay Cutler and Matt Forte lead to an 8-8 finish. Chicago addressed their depth problems by signing Jason Campbell and Michael Bush, and traded for Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Marshall; reuniting him with Jay Cutler. The Bears are a team to look out for in 2012.

Team Needs:
1. Wide Receiver: Brandon Marshall was acquired for two third round picks, but the moves shouldn’t stop there. Jay Cutler needs multiple weapons in order to maximize his potential. Reuben Randle or Stephen Hill paired with Marshall and Devin Hester would give Cutler three lethal weapons to work with.

2. Cornerback: Tim Jennings and Charles Tillman are entrenched as the starters, but more depth is needed. Jayron Hosley or Alfonzo Dennard are possible selections in round two.

3. Defensive Tackle: Henry Melton, a former college running back, played exceptional at defensive tackle. Stephen Pae was drafted last season and has potential to contribute, but the Bears need to add another player for depth. Ideally, a pass rushing defensive tackle would fit best. Brandon Thompson, out of Clemson, would be a great selection in round two.

Posted on by Matt Peterson in Bears, Draft Needs - 2012 1 Comment

Draft Needs: Tennessee Titans

Matt Peterson tracks the offseason needs of every team in the league. Today’s franchise, the Tennessee Titans [full archive here].

Season Recap: The Titans improved in 2011 under new head coach Mike Munchak, finishing with a 9-7 record. Veteran QB Matt Hassleback did a good job of managing the offense and brought experienced leadership to the locker room. It hurt loosing star WR Kenny Britt for the season, along with Chris Johnson having the worst season of his career. Promising QB, Jake Locker looks poised to take the reins and with the return of Britt and Johnson, Tennessee could be a sleeper team in 2012.

Team Needs:
1. Defensive Tackle: The Titans lost Jason Jones to Seattle this offseason, making defensive line a priority. Jurrell Casey showed enough during his rookie season to hold down one of the spots, but there is still an opening next to him. Devon Still, Michael Brockers, and Jerel Worthy are options in round one.

2. Defensive End: Even though Kamerion Wimbley was recently signed, Tennessee needs more at the position. Jason Jones and Dave Ball are gone, meaning the Titans need more depth. Nick Perry should be available at the Titans selection.

3. Center: Eugene Amano is horrible. The Titans need an upgrade at the center position. Peter Konz, Ben Jones, and Phillip Blake are among the top center prospects in this year’s draft.

Posted on by Matt Peterson in Draft Needs - 2012, Titans 2 Comments