Matt Peterson tracks the offseason needs of every team in the league. Today’s franchise, the St. Louis Rams [full archive here].
Season Recap: The St. Louis Rams once again found themselves among the leagues worst teams when the season ended. They finished with a 2-14 and earned the number two overall pick in the upcoming draft. The Rams were able to trade the pick to the Washington Redskins, who made the move up to acquire Robert Griffin III. Through the trade, the Rams received the six overall pick, an additional second rounder, and two future 1st round picks. With new coach Jeff Fisher in control and numerous high draft picks, the future looks a lot brighter for the St. Louis Rams.
1. Wide Receiver: St. Louis spent the number one overall pick on Sam Bradford two seasons ago, but fans have not gotten to see what he is fully capable of due to the fact that he’s had nobody to throw to. As of now, the two starters are Danny Amendola and Brandon Gibson. The Rams moved back from pick 2 to 6 and will have the opportunity to select the top receiver in the draft. The consensus number one wide out is Justin Blackmon, but I think Jeff Fisher selects Michael Floyd- knowing the impact a big bodied WR can make, much like Kenny Britt (a WR he selected in round one with the Titans).
2. Defensive Tackle: The Rams have two solid defensive ends in Chris Long and Robert Quinn, but not much of a presence at the tackle position. Kendall Langford was signed and can start at one spot, but there is still a weakness next to him. Fletcher Cox has been linked to the Rams in many mock drafts and would be a good addition to the defense. Brandon Thompson, Jerel Worthy, and Devon Still are options in round two.
3. Cornerback: Jeff Fisher brought over former Titan Cortland Finnegan, which is a great signing and will vastly improve the defense. The Rams still need another starter opposite him. Most likely, the problem will be solved in the second round. Janoris Jenkins, Trumaine Johnson, and Brandon Boykin are possibilities.
Matt Peterson tracks the offseason needs of every team in the league. Today’s franchise, the Jacksonville Jaguars [full archive here].
Season Recap: After trading up and selecting QB Blaine Gabbert in last year’s draft, the Jaguars had a bit of hope for the future, but Gabbert struggled mightily in his rookie season. The defense played well, but the offense simply couldn’t do enough to win many football games. New Head Coach Mike Mularkey- It’s time to get Gabbert some weapons!
1. Wide Receiver: Blaine Gabbert spent his rookie year throwing to you and me. There were not many players capable of catching the ball. Jacksonville took a good first step by signing former Cowboy Laurent Robinson (who had a tremendous 2011 season) but the moves should not stop there. Justin Blackmon or Michael Floyd will likely be available at pick #7. There have been talks of the Jaguars looking to trade down, in which case Stephen Hill, Kendall Wright, and Reuben Randle are options.
2. Defensive End: Jeremy Mincey had a solid season with 8 sacks, but there is no threat across from him. Melvin Ingram, Chandler Jones, or Fletcher Cox could be enticing options in round one.
3. Cornerback: Cornerbacks are becoming more of a premium in the new pass-happy league. Having an elite cornerback allows a defense to have enormous amounts of flexibility with coverage’s and one-on-one matchups. Stephen Gilmore is a very athletic corner and would fit in nicely with the Jaguars in a division that feature Andre Johnson, Reggie Wayne, and Kenny Britt.
Matt Peterson tracks the offseason needs of every team in the league. Today’s franchise, the Miami Dolphins [full archive here].
Season Recap: The Miami Dolphins ended the season on a high note, finishing 6-3 after a 0-7 start. A new coach was brought in and star WR Brandon Marshall was sent away for two 3rd round picks. It will be interesting to see what Miami does to improve their roster come draft night.
1. Quarterback: After missing out on Peyton Manning and the rights to draft Robert Griffin III, the Dolphins need to do whatever it takes to acquire their guy on April 26th. Offensive Coordinator, Mike Sherman coached Ryan Tannehill at Texas A&M and could be pressing hard for the Dolphins to either trade up or stay at #8 and draft him. If the Dolphins decide to pass on Tannehill, the next best option would be Brandon Weeden, but they may have to trade back into the late first round in order to be sure of getting him.
2. Wide Receiver: This wasn’t as pressing a need until Owner Stephen Ross decided to ship away Pro-Bowl receiver Brandon Marshall. Now, the Dolphins are left with Brian Hartline and Davone Bess as the starters. Bess is best served in the slot; meaning Miami needs a new starter. Michael Floyd or Justin Blackmon would be the next options in round one, after Tannehill.
3. Right Tackle: Jake Long is one of the top left tackles in the league, but there is nothing across from him on the right side. Whichever quarterback is under center in 2012 is going to need protection. Mike Adams and Jonathon Martin are possible selections that may slip into the second round.
Matt Peterson tracks the offseason needs of every team in the league. Today’s franchise, the Carolina Panthers [full archive here].
Season Recap: Cam Newton proved many doubters wrong and finished with perhaps the greatest rookie QB season of all-time. The future looks very bright for Carolina fans, but there are still many holes to be filled. All eyes will be on Newton as he enters year two in the league.
1. Defensive Tackle: The Panthers defense finished 28th in 2011 and the problems began upfront. Carolina needs a dominant presence in the middle to free up the linebackers and edge rushers. Fletcher Cox has been linked to the Panthers in many mock drafts and would be a great building block for the young defense.
2. Cornerback: Carolina doesn’t have much at the cornerback position and needs to find an upgrade over Captain Munnerlyn. Stephen Gilmore is the second best corner on the draft and should be available at pick number nine. Janoris Jenkins and Dre Kirkpatrick are options in round two.
3. Wide Receiver: With the addition of Cam Newton, Steve Smith showed the world he still has elite talent. Smith will be 33 by the start of the season and could use a playmaker opposite him to take off some pressure. Newton wouldn’t mind another weapon, as well. Michael Floyd is a reasonable selection if available. The Panthers could also choose to wait until round two and grab Mohamed Sanu or Alshon Jeffrey.
Matt Peterson tracks the offseason needs of every team in the league. Today’s franchise, the Buffalo Bills [full archive here].
Season Recap: The Buffalo Bills started the season at 4-1, with impressive wins over the Patriots and Eagles and looked like a surprise team. Injuries played a major factor as they finished the season 2-9. Things do look promising, though, and Head Coach Chan Gailey has a clear plan for the team. Hopefully, the Bills can stay healthy and make a run in 2012.
1. Offensive Tackle: Buffalo lost 2011 starting LT Demetress Bell in free agency, leaving second-year player Chris Hairston and journey-man Erik Pears as the starting tackles. The Bills can’t expect QB Ryan Fitzpatrick to stay healthy with those two players as his personal protectors. Buffalo will be well positioned to select Riley Reiff, Jonathon Martin or Cordy Glenn in round one.
2. Wide Receiver: The Bills have Stevie Johnson and a bunch of average players at the receiver position. Chan Gailey loves spreading the field and throwing the ball around, and would love another impact player for Fitzpatrick. If Michael Floyd falls to #10, Gailey will waste little time turning in the selection-card. Mohamed Sanu, Alshon Jeffrey, and Brian Quick could be options in the second round.
3. Linebacker: The Bills solidified the defensive line with the signings of DE Mario Williams and Mark Anderson, and now need to sure up the group behind them. Kelvin Sheppard looks like the starter in the middle, and Nick Barnett can handle the job for another season, but adding another LB should be a priority. Luke Kuechly would be a good selection and can start right away at any LB spot.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.