NFC post-draft team needs: Cowboys, Packers need more weapons while 49ers must strengthen one unit

Photo of author

Now that the 2023 NFL Draft has come and gone and teams have addressed some key needs, here are those that remain for each NFC team.

NFC East

The Cowboys are one injury away from being in the same wide receiver predicament they were in a year ago when they had to sign TY Hilton on the road. CD Lamb, Michael Gallup and Brandin Cook are a solid trio, there is no one behind them who can play meaningful snaps in a pinch. There are plenty of veteran options in free agency that could be better stop-gaps in 2022 than Hilton.

Possible Improvements: sign kenny Golladay, Julio Jones, Jarvis Landry or Sammy Watkins

New York fixed its center problem when the Giants drafted John Michael Schmitz in the second round, but still needed a clear safety between Ben Bredson on the left and Mark Glovinski on the right. There is no guarantee that Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley can resume their 2022 seasons unless the offensive line is strong.

Possible Improvements: sign dalton Risner, Roger Saffold, Gabe Jackson

The Eagles established themselves well by shoring up their defensive line and passing rush in the first round and there aren't too many needs coming out of the draft. That doesn't mean Philadelphia is perfect, though. While a third -catching option would be nice, another quality linebacker to lock down the defense is more important.

Possible Improvements: Traded for Ravens LB Patrick Queen

Nick Siriani and the Eagles could strengthen their NFC title defense by adding linebacker depth. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

This is a team that could surprise people if Sam Howell or Jacoby Brissett perform better than expected. The defense, at least, looks solid up front. The secondary could still do some work after the Commanders took Emmanuel Forbes in the first round. A stable safety to patrol the deep secondary would do wonders.

Possible Improvements: Sign Adrian Amos or John Johnson III

nfc answer

Chicago basically knocked him out of the race by trading him back at No. 9 for one of the top passers in the draft and then the Eagles selected once again to take Jalen Carter. Making up the offensive line with Darnell Wright at No. 10 was big, but the defense is still a mess. DeMarcus Walker is the only quality edge rusher on the team, which isn't going to cut it if the Chicago quarterback is trying to move in.

See also  Why are people on TV laughing at Anthony Davis' head injury?

Possible Improvements: Sign Frank Clark, Jadeveon Clooney, Melvin Ingram or Justin Houston

The Lions focused on offense with two of their first three selections taking an off-ball linebacker and a defensive back. But he left a huge gap in the middle of the defensive line with Aleem McNeil and Levi Onwuzurike, two Day 2 picks from 2021. An experienced defensive lineman will stabilize the front four and aid in the Lions' divisional aspirations. Another pass rusher would be great too, but an interior lineman is more important right now.

Possible Improvements: Sign Matt Ioannidis

steals the Packers' receiver room before and after officially joining the Jets, when Allen and Randall Cobb signed with New York. That leaves second-year wideouts Christian Watson and Romeo Daubs as the only receivers in Green Bay with at least 40 receptions. Yes, the Packers drafted two tight ends and a receiver with their second, third and fourth picks in the 2023 class, but neither of those are sure things.

Possible Improvements: Trade for a veteran like DeAndre Hopkins or sign a reliable possession guy like Jarvis Landry

Last season Minnesota had one of the worst defenses in the league, and while the Vikings upgraded this season, that unit still needs support. The secondary remains the biggest need after the Vikings assigned starting roles to Andrew Booth and Akyleb Evans and drafted Mekhi Blackmon in the third round. A good veteran will help here.

Possible Improvements: Sign someone like Marcus Peters, Eli Apple or Casey Hayward

NFC South

The Falcons are missing much more than another receiver, but Atlanta really doesn't have any after Drake London. And now, we're not counting out tight end Kyle Pitts or No. 8 Bijon Robinson. they need one Real Number 2 receiver. Scottie Miller and Mack Hollins won't cut it easily as neither of them will intimidate the defense. The options are sparse, but a seasoned guy off the road with some experience and skill will add a little something to whatever this offense plans to be.

See also  Yankees Still Looking For Left Field Options Outside Organization

Possible Improvements: Julio Jones reunion? or just jarvis landry

The Panthers actually addressed their biggest needs with their first three picks: quarterback Bryce Young, receiver Jonathan Mingo and edge rusher DJ Johnson were Carolina's top priorities after free agency. But defense was key to the Panthers' late-season playoff push last year, and you can never have too many pass rushers.

Possible Improvements: Sign Frank Clarke, Yannick Ngakoué or Justin Houston

New Orleans added Brian Bracey with their first-round pick but still needs more defensive linemen on the interior. Bracey and free agent acquisitions Nathan Shepherd and Khalen Saunders are anything but sure things. An experienced veteran will also help with the development of the brace.

Possible Improvements: Sign Matt Ioannidis, Shelby Harris or Akeem Hicks

It's hard to tell which direction the Buccaneers are going in their first season without Tom Brady. Regardless, Tampa Bay needs a good offensive line to at least give itself a chance, especially with second-year running back Rachad White in the backfield with Baker Mayfield or Kyle Trask. It's unclear where second rounder Cody Mauch will play as well, so the Buccaneers need more experience on the line.

Possible Improvements: sign Dalton Reisner or Ben Jones

nfc west

Arizona Cardinals: Cornerback, but really a whole new defense

This team is clearly in rebuild mode, so they are missing a lot. But the most glaringly lacking position in Arizona is cornerback. Marco Wilson, a 2021 fourth-rounder, is solid and the Cardinals took Garrett Williams in the third round, but 30-year-old journeyman Antonio Hamilton and 2022 seventh-rounder Christian Mathieu are the other two cornerbacks who could see the starter snap. Yes.

See also  Hogbeats - Live Scoreboard: No. 5 Arkansas at Georgia (Game 3)

Possible Improvements: Sign a veteran like Shaquille Griffin or Casey Hayward

The Rams need to find some cover in the secondary after the departure of Jalen Ramsey.  (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)
The Rams need to find some cover in the secondary after the departure of Jalen Ramsey. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

The Rams need to replace Jalen Ramsey in the secondary. Even if the team is leaning toward rebuilding mode, Los Angeles can't afford to let teams throw at them indiscriminately. The Rams need defense everywhere, but a cornerback with at least six career starts seems like a low bar to clear.

Possible Improvements: Sign Any Cheap Veteran Cornerback

Aside from Trent Williams, the 49ers' offensive line doesn't look great on paper. San Francisco lost right tackle Mike McGlinchey to the Broncos in free agency and looks set to replace him with 2020 fifth-rounder Colton McVitz. Guards Spencer Burford and Aaron as well as center Jake Brendle will all return after starting most of their games in 2022, but all are replaceable. However, right tackle is the most important position to replace.

Possible Improvements: Sign George Funt or Cameron Fleming

Quietly, the Seahawks had a tremendous off-season. There aren't too many immediate needs on this team, so the best thing for Seattle to do is to shore up their weak spot. The interior defensive line looks like the best candidate for improvement after the Seahawks replaced Quinton Jefferson and Al Woods with Jaron Reed and fourth-rounder Cameron Young. Nose tackle Brian Mooney is also recovering from a season-ending ACL tear. Seattle is the only team in the NFC West that can compete with the 49ers, and they'll need a better defensive line to have a shot at the defending division champion.

Possible Improvements: sign Matt Ioannidis or Akeem Hicks