The five teams at the top of the draft went a combined 16-64 last season (.200 win percentage). A top-5 overall draft pick used right will yield a blue-chip addition, but teams with seasons that bad need more than one player.
Here is one statistical area to improve for each team with a top-5 natural draft selection, in addition to one addressed by Todd McShay’s most recent mock draft.
McShay’s 1st-round projection: Luke Joeckel, OT
Joeckel fills a need right away, as two of the Chiefs’ three linemen to play more than 1,000 snaps left in free agency.
On Day 2, Kansas City would seem to need to address a defense that allowed an NFL-most 893 rush yards after contact. Only the Colts (21) allowed more rushes of at least 20 yards than the Chiefs (19).
McShay’s 1st-round projection: Eric Fisher, OT
Defensive line help is a necessity for the Jaguars. Jacksonville averaged a sack every 32.9 dropbacks with a standard rush, worst in the league. Once the pass was off, the secondary struggled. No team had fewer interceptions outside the painted field numbers than Jacksonville, and only the Lions’ defense (86.2) had a worst Total QBR allowed on those throws (82.9).
The Jaguars lost four defensive backs in free agency who played at least 40 percent of snaps last season, including starting safety Dawan Landry.
McShay’s 1st-round projection: Sharrif Floyd, DT
No Raiders defender recorded more than two interceptions last season. Fifty-nine players recorded at last three interceptions in the NFL last season. Oakland’s two free-agent acquisitions at cornerback (Tracy Porter and Mike Jenkins) had one combined interception last year.
Additionally, excluding now-Giant Brandon Myers, the Raiders got nine receptions and 101 yards from tight ends last season. Oakland averaged 4.2 yards per rush from multi-tight end sets (fourth worst in NFL), and has not yet signed a tight end to replace Myers.
McShay’s 1st-round projection: Lane Johnson, OT
Eagles Pass Defense
15+ Yards Downfield, 2012 Season
The Eagles’ most-used offensive line combo played together on 41 percent of plays in 2012, 12th among 16 NFC teams in top-line consistency.
Johnson will help stabilize the line, but the Eagles need secondary help. The Eagles allowed a league-high 14 touchdown passes at least 15 yards downfield last season, and two of their three interceptions on those throws were by Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, now a Bronco.
McShay’s 1st-round projection: Ezekiel Ansah, DE
After Day 1, Detroit may want to add another wide receiver. Calvin Johnson was targeted 144 more times than the next highest Lions’ wide receiver last season, the largest gap between the number one and two wide receiver options in the league.
Wide receivers currently on the Lions’ roster had 62 total receptions last year, or 30 fewer than Johnson had first downs.