Matt Peterson

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 - Pete Carroll brought energy and excitement to Seattle during the 2010 season. Even though the team finished 7-9, they won their division and clinched a playoff spot. Not many thought Seattle was worthy of being in the playoffs, but shocked the world when they upset the 11-5 New Orleans Saints in a high scoring battle. Seattle has many needs to fill this offseason as they enter their second season under Pete Carroll.

Needs:
1. Quarterback – Longtime Seahawk, Matt Hasselback is scheduled for free agency, and it is unclear if he will return. Charlie Whitehurst was acquired last offseason but hasn’t shown he’s capable of becoming the starter. Pete Carroll needs to find a young QB who can take control of the offense. Taking Christian Ponder or Jake Locker in round one is a possibility, or Seattle could sign a veteran free agent. Matt Leinart played for Carroll at USC and would fit in nicely. Read more

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Draft Needs: New Orleans Saints

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

Season Recap – The defending Super Bowl champions failed to accomplish their goals as repeating champions, but still managed to finish with a solid 11-5 record. There were struggles early on in the season- the division-rival Atlanta Falcons overtook the division. It took until week 16 for the Saints to clinch a playoff berth after rallying from behind to beat the Falcons, but lost to the 7-9 Seattle Seahawks in the wild card round. In 2011, New Orleans hopes to retake the lead in the division and make another run at the Lombardi Trophy.

Needs:
1. Outside Linebacker
- With Danny Clark, Kawika Mitchell, Scott Shanle, and Jo-Lonn Dunbar scheduled to become free agents the Saints desperately need to upgrade. Greg Williams has brought this defense to the top of league and undoubtedly would love a few more pieces to work with. The Saints can find an upgrade in the first two rounds. Martez Wilson, out of Illinois, would be a great addition. Read more

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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 – 2010 was supposed to be the year of Kevin Kolb. Long time Eagle Donovan McNabb was traded to the divisional-rival Washington Redskins and the stage was set for Kolb. Most people expected a rebuilding year due to the overall inexperience of the team, but when Kolb went down with a concussion in week 1, Comeback Player of the Year Michael Vick took the starting job and never looked back. Vick led the Eagles to a 10-6 record, but a loss to the Packers in the Wild Card round ended any Super Bowl hopes.

Needs:

1. Right Tackle – Winston Justice is coming off a somewhat serious knee injury and will have to rehab hard this offseason in order to return for 2011. Now that Mike Vick is the starting QB the Eagles are going to want to look for a better blind-side protector. Justice is average at best and would be better served as a backup. Defenses began to send a lot of pressure against Vick late in the season and the Eagles need to do all they can to protect their franchise player. Gabe Carimi would upgrade the RT position tremendously. Read more

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Draft Needs: Indianapolis Colts

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

Season Recap – Seems a bit early to be picking for the Colts, but 2010 was a different season for Indianapolis. Finishing 10-6, Peyton Manning and the Colts had their worst season since 2002. Injuries were a factor as they lost many important players including Dallas Clark, Bob Sanders, Austin Collie, and Jerraud Powers. The Colts found a way to win without them and secured their ninth consecutive playoff appearance. The Colts will be back to full strength in 2011 and figure to be among the top teams in the league.

Needs:
1. Left Tackle
– GM Bill Polian admitted his mistake of taking DE Jerry Hughes over LT Rodger Saffold last season. Saffold started all 16 games in St. Louis and was the blindside protector for rookie Sam Bradford. This offseason, Polian will have to correct his mistake and try to find Manning a better protector. 2010 starter Charlie Johnson is scheduled to become a free agent, but due to his performance he may not return. There will be an OT available in the first round for Indy. Tyron Smith would be a great pick. Read more

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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 – Similar to the Bucs, the Kansas City Chiefs had a much better season then most people predicted. After picking Eric Berry fifth overall in 2010, Scott Pioli showed many why he was such an important hire. Coming from New England, Pioli knows talent and is very successful at the draft. Matt Cassel had a pro-bowl season and Jamal Charles was second in the league in rushing yards. Losing offensive coordinator Charlie Weis will hurt, but previous offensive line coach, Bill Muir, is a capable replacement.

Needs:
1. Outside Linebacker
- AFC sack leader, Tamba Hali was scheduled for free agency, but was franchised. Hali has developed into one of the top 3-4 OLB’s but doesn’t have much help. Mike Vrabel failed to record a sack and at 35, along with becoming a free agent, it seems Kansas City will have a new starter in 2011. Justin Houston has been linked to the Chiefs in round one, but I don’t think he’ll be available. Brooks Reed would be a good fit. Read more

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Draft Needs: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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

Season Recap – The Buccaneers surprised many this season, as the league’s youngest team finished the season 10-6. Quarterback Josh Freeman took major strides in his second season and finished with a 96 quarterback rating. GM Mark Dominik has done a great job of bringing in the right personnel, especially last years draft where 10 rookies became starters. This young team will be a year older and is expected to be a top competitor in 2011.

Needs:
1. Defensive End
– Dominik did a good job of fixing the defensive tackle need with Gerald McCoy and Brian Price, but now he must fix the outside. The Bucs ranked 30th in the league in sacks with only 26. Getting pressure on the QB is very important as seen through Super Bowl participants Green Bay and Pittsburgh who finished first and second in sacks, respectively. The Bucs could use two new starters on the outside. There should be a capable D-End available for the Bucs in the first round. Ryan Kerrigan or Adrian Clayborn would be nice additions. Read more

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Draft Needs: New York Giants

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

Season Recap – The Giants finished the season with a solid 10-6 record, but had yet another late season collapse. They blew many leads in the fourth quarter and failed to beat the Packers in week 16, a game that would have put them in the playoffs. New York was solid on both sides of the ball and received contribution from a range of players. Tom Coughlin and the coaching staff return in hopes of getting back to the playoffs in 2011.

Needs:
1. Left Tackle – William Beatty was horrible at left tackle, and David Diehl is better inside. The Giants can select a young tackle in this years draft and insert him to protect Eli Manning’s blind side. Anthony Castanzo would be a great fit. Read more

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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 – Each year the Chargers seem poised to contend for the Super Bowl, but mid-season collapses continue to hold them back. Despite finishing the season ranked #1 overall in offense and defense, the Chargers, at 9-7, failed to make the playoffs. San Diego managed to win many games without the help from players Vincent Jackson and Marcus McNeill, both of whom missed games due to holding out. 2011 will likely be the last season owner Alex Spanos settles with a non-playoff qualifying season.

Needs:
1. Defensive End
– Jacques Cesaire is set to become a free agent, which leaves only two defensive ends on the roster. San Diego needs to rejuvenate their front and this draft presents the perfect opportunity, considering the strength of the D-line class. Cameron Heyward should be available and would fit in great for San Diego. Read more

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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 – Tom Cable led the Raiders to an 8-8 record, marking their first winning season since the 2002 season. The Raiders finally began playing with passion and determination, and finished undefeated in the division. A big part of the success was Hue Jackson and the offensive scheme he employed – Darren McFadden topped a 1000 yards and new QB Jason Campbell led some exciting game-winning drives. At seasons end, Owner Al Davis felt Hue Jackson was better qualified to lead the Raiders, so he fired Tom Cable. In 2011, Jackson looks poised to bring the Raiders back to the playoffs.

Needs:
1. Cornerback
– With Nnamdi Asomugha set to depart; the Raiders have a hole to fill. Stanford Routt was resigned to a huge contract, but he struggled in the second half of the season. If Asomugha does not return, the Raiders have to find a new number 1. With no pick in the first round, the Raiders are likely to sign a free agent corner. I bet Antonio Cromartie appeals to Al Davis. Read more

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Draft Needs: Jacksonville Jaguars

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

Season Recap - The Jaguars had a shot at winning their first division title since 1999, but a week 15 loss to the Indianapolis Colts destroyed any chance. Jacksonville did some things well (3rd in rushing yards) and some things not so well (28th in defense), and the 8-8 record backs their average play in 2010. Jack Del Rio hasn’t led the team to the playoffs since 2007-meaning time is winding down. Hopefully the Jaguars can make some improvements and overtake Indianapolis in 2011.

Needs:
1. Defensive End
– The Tyson Alualu selection shocked the world last year, but surprisingly paid off. Alualu started all season and made the all-rookie team. Now, Jacksonville needs to add a pass rusher to compliment Alualu. Aaron Campman is coming off an ACL tear, and Derrick Harvey has failed to live up to expectations. Jacksonville can use their first round pick to fill the need. Aldon Smith, Ryan Kerrigan, and Adrian Clayborn are options at #16. Read more

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