Draft Needs – 2011

Draft Needs: Green Bay Packers

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

Season Recap – The Green Bay Packers defeated the Pittsburg Steelers 31-25 in Super Bowl 45 to win their fourth Super Bowl. Aaron Rodgers led the 6th seeded Packers past the Eagles, Falcons, Bears, and Steelers- as the Packers became the first NFC 6th seed to win the Super Bowl. The Packers will have a big target on their back in 2011 as they attempt to repeat.

Needs:
1. Outside Linebacker
– Clay Matthews is one of the best pass rushers in the game, but the Packers don’t have much across from him. Green Bay will likely spend a first or second round pick on an OLB. Brooks Reed would fit perfectly across from Clay Matthews- giving the Packers a pair of long-blonde-haired pass rushers. Read more

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Draft Needs: Pittsburgh Steelers

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

Season Recap – Many people believed the Steelers were going to have trouble contending in 2010 with star QB Ben Roethlisberger suspended the first six games due to rape charges. The suspension was later reduced to four games, and the group of Charlie Batch, Byron Leftwich, and Dennis Dixon managed to lead the Steelers to a 3-1 record during that time. Roethlisberger returned and led the team to the Super Bowl where they lost to the Green Bay Packers. Expect the Steelers to make a run for a trip back to the Super Bowl in 2011.

Needs:
1. Right Guard – What was once a weakness, remains a weakness for the Pittsburgh Steelers. They continue to win games with a below average offensive line. The Steelers need to solve the spot next to All-Pro Maurkice Pauncey- and are hoping his twin brother, Mike, falls to them in round one. Read more

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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 Jets had their second consecutive successful season under Rex Ryan. Ryan’s gang wasn’t afraid to voice their opinion throughout the season, as guaranteed wins and opposing team trash talks dominated media headlines on a weekly basis. Ryan’s recent Super Bowl promise doesn’t come as a surprise, but the Jets will have many close scrutinizers and will have some high expectations to live up for the 2011 season.

Needs:
1. Outside Linebacker
– Calvin Pace turns 31 and Jason Taylor was recently released. The Jets had the 3rd ranked defense, but could use a dominant pass rusher. Brooks Reed or Akeem Ayers would be nice selections in the first round. Read more

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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 – Chicago rebounded from a 7-9 record in 2009 by finishing with a 11-5 record and winning the division in 2010. Jay Cutler improved under Mike Martz and the Bears’ defense looked like their old selves. Chicago fell one win short of the Super Bowl after losing to Green Bay in the Conference Championship. The Bears won’t have it easy in 2011 while battling the defending Super Bowl champs and the emerging Detroit Lions within the division.

Needs:
1. Left Tackl
e – Somehow Chicago found a way to win with one of the worst lines in the league. The Bears gave up a lead leaguing 56 sacks, as Jay Cutler took a beating all season. Cutler needs a blind side protector and there will be one available in the first round. Derek Sherrod would be a great selection. Read more

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Draft Needs: New England Patriots

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

Season Recap – Earning the best record in the NFL at 14-2, New England was the clear selection for most to win the first Super Bowl of the new decade, but an upset loss to the fiery New York Jets in the divisional round killed any shot. New England’s aerial attack led by MVP Tom Brady along with the RB core consisting of the unknown Danny Woodhead and Benjarvis Green-Ellis beat up on opponents all season long, but the Jets found a way to stop them. It was an upset that surely got Tom Brady and the New England Patriots pumped to chase the title in 2011.

Needs:
1. Defensive End
– New England began the offseason by signing recently released veteran Marcus Stroud. Stroud could wind up starting, but he isn’t a long-term solution. The Patriots should look in the first round to fill the void. JJ Watt, Cam Heyward, Cameron Jordan, and Adrian Clayborn all could be available for the Patriots in round one. Read more

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Draft Needs: Atlanta Falcons

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

Season Recap – Compiling a 13-3 record, Matt Ryan and company shined throughout the regular season and secured the first seed in the NFC. The offense came together as Roddy White finished second in receiving yards while Michael Turner finished third in rushing. Atlanta’s run ended in the playoffs after they lost to the Packers in the divisional round. With such a young core of players, Atlanta seems poised to be one of the top teams in the NFL in 2011.

Needs:
1. Defensive End
– The Falcons don’t have much at DE and need to bring in a star to complement pro-bowler John Abraham. Jamaal Anderson has been a bust and Lawrence Sidbury hasn’t lived up to expectations. With the strength of this year’s class, the Falcons should be able to find a player in the first two rounds. Ryan Kerrigan could be a nice fit. Read more

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Draft Needs: Baltimore Ravens

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

Season Recap – The Ravens had a strong 2010 season as young players like Joe Flacco continued to develop. Baltimore finished the season 12-4 but ended the year on a loss to the division rival Pittsburgh Steelers. Baltimore allowed Pittsburg to score 24 second half points and come from behind to win. This offseason, head coach John Harbaugh will look to add the pieces that will finally push them past the Steelers.

Needs:
1. Cornerback
– Chris Carr, Fabian Washington, and Josh Wilson are set to become free agents, which leaves the Ravens rather thin at the position. This has been one of the weakest positions for Baltimore the past two seasons, and GM Ozzie Newsome will look to upgrade this offseason. Baltimore should select a corner in round one- Brandon Harris would be a good fit. Read more

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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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