Top draft needs for all 32 NFL teams

ESPN NFL draft analyst Todd McShay on Monday took a deep dive into the draft needs for every team and gave his perspective on which prospects could fit where.

Now it's the NFL Nation reporters' turn to give their takes on which positions every team could target in the draft.

AFC East | AFC North | AFC South | AFC West
NFC East | NFC North | NFC South | NFC West


Buffalo Bills

Top needs: Linebacker, defensive end, defensive tackle

Coach Rex Ryan needs help wherever he can get it along his front seven. Nobody was surprised when Mario Williams was released, and it didn't come as a shock that Buffalo couldn't afford to re-sign Nigel Bradham, but the Bills have two starting jobs they need to fill along a defensive front that was too porous last season. -- Mike Rodak

Miami Dolphins

Top needs: Cornerback, running back, guard

The Dolphins' roster has several well-defined needs entering the draft. Cornerback and running back are clearly at the top, however. Miami has two openings at cornerback -- one as a starter and one to play nickel. The team also lost leading rusher Lamar Miller in free agency to the Texans, and there is no proven replacement on the roster. -- James Walker

New England Patriots

Top needs: Running back, cornerback, defensive tackle

The Patriots have the short-term picture accounted for at running back if the right prospect isn't available to them in the draft, but they would like more upside and explosion at the position. As coach Bill Belichick has said in the past, a team can never have enough cornerbacks, and after releasing 2014 first-round pick Dominique Easley, a penetrating 3-technique could help on the interior of the defensive line. -- Mike Reiss

New York Jets

Top needs: Outside linebacker, offensive line, quarterback

The Jets should come out of this draft with at least two starters/major contributors. They need an edge rusher who can develop into an every-down, 3-4 outside linebacker. Right tackle Breno Giacomini or right guard Brian Winters could be replaced with the correct pick in the first or second round. And if there's a quarterback they like, the Jets will pounce, especially with Ryan Fitzpatrick still unsigned. -- Rich Cimini


Baltimore Ravens

Top needs: Cornerback, inside linebacker, defensive end

The Ravens' focus needs to be on upgrading the defense. Baltimore desperately needs another playmaking defensive back to pair with Jimmy Smith, a replacement for Daryl Smith in the middle of the defense and a lineman who can fill the void left by Chris Canty. The Ravens can always go with Shareece Wright at corner, Zachary Orr at inside linebacker and Lawrence Guy at defensive end. But Baltimore's early draft picks can go a long way in improving each of those positions. -- Jamison Hensley

Cincinnati Bengals

Top needs: Wide receiver, defensive tackle, outside linebacker

For the most part, Cincinnati's roster is pretty well set for the 2016 season. The most glaring need the Bengals have is receiver after Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu left in free agency. Don't be surprised if the Bengals pick a receiver in the first two rounds who can jump in and contribute immediately. They also have a need for interior defensive linemen, outside linebackers and safeties. At defensive tackle, longtime veteran Domata Peko is entering the final year on his contract. So are linebackers Karlos Dansby and A.J. Hawk and safeties Shawn Williams and Taylor Mays. With three running backs set to hit free agency next offseason, the Bengals could draft at that position too. -- Coley Harvey

Cleveland Browns

Top needs: Quarterback, wide receiver, offensive line

The Browns have so many needs that it's tough to list just three. I'll stick with the offense here. The quarterback need is obvious -- Robert Griffin III is the presumed starter for now -- but they also need playmakers at receiver. The offensive line needs quality and depth. -- Pat McManamon

Pittsburgh Steelers

Top needs: Cornerback, safety, defensive tackle

It's no secret the Steelers need a few upgrades on defense. They've lost starters at all three positions and have no viable replacements in sight. At least two playmaking defensive backs would bolster the roster. This draft has good defensive tackle depth, and the Steelers would be wise to take advantage of that in the first four rounds. Though Pittsburgh could add offensive pieces somewhere in this draft, including a running back and wide receiver, the Steelers are fully justified to pour their resources into supplementing the defense with much-needed help. -- Jeremy Fowler


Houston Texans

Top needs: Wide receiver, tight end, offensive line

The Texans have a few defensive needs, primarily defensive end and safety, but the offense still has some work to do. They like their receiving corps, but could use an injection of speed. They need a playmaker at tight end. The offensive line could use some work, both on the interior and at tackle. Left tackle Duane Brown should be ready for the season after recovering from a torn right quad tendon, but the Texans could add their tackle of the future in this draft. -- Tania Ganguli

Indianapolis Colts

Top needs: Offensive line, linebacker, running back

The Colts' desire to upgrade the offensive line is a carryover from last season ... and the the season before that ... and the season before that. Coach Chuck Pagano said they need to improve the interior part of the offensive line. The Colts have used five starting centers since selecting quarterback Andrew Luck No. 1 overall in 2012. Linebacker Robert Mathis led Indianapolis in sacks with 7.0 last season. He turned 35 in February. Speaking of age, running back Frank Gore will turn 33 in May, and he's coming off a season in which he had 227 more carries than his next closest teammate. The Colts not only need to find a backup for Gore, they need to find his replacement. -- Mike Wells

Jacksonville Jaguars

Top needs: Defensive end, linebacker, offensive line

The Jaguars have to add talent to the defense, especially a pass-rusher. They get Dante Fowler Jr. back from a torn ACL, but he's unproven. The Jaguars need to upgrade their speed and playmaking ability at linebacker. They haven't done much to address that the past three years. Another interior lineman is needed too. -- Mike DiRocco

Tennessee Titans

Top needs: Right tackle, cornerback, wide receiver

The Titans have to upgrade from Byron Bell at right tackle and will be best served if he's a swing tackle. Protection for quarterback Marcus Mariota is paramount. The Titans have moved on from Coty Sensabaugh and added Brice McCain and Antwon Blake at cornerback, but they need a difference-maker who can make plays on the ball. While the Titans need pass-rush depth at outside linebacker, the poor development of their wide receivers means they need additional playmaking options for Mariota beyond their free-agent acquisition of Rishard Matthews. -- Paul Kuharsky


Denver Broncos

Top needs: Offensive line, quarterback, safety

The Broncos signed two tackles in free agency -- Donald Stephenson and Russell Okung -- but they also traded Ryan Clady along the way, and Okung is still working his way back from offseason shoulder surgery. They could use another tackle and a swing guard/center. And the fact they have just two quarterbacks on the current depth chart is a familiar narrative. Denver needs depth at safety with the departures of David Bruton Jr. and Omar Bolden in free agency. -- Jeff Legwold

Kansas City Chiefs

Top needs: Cornerback, wide receiver, guard

The Chiefs haven't replaced starting cornerback Sean Smith, who departed in free agency, though they get Phillip Gaines back after he missed most of last year with a torn ACL. Kansas City didn't have a reliable No. 2 wide receiver last season to pair with Jeremy Maclin. The Chiefs have some bodies to play the guard positions, but an upgrade wouldn't be a bad idea. -- Adam Teicher

Oakland Raiders

Top needs: Safety, running back, inside linebacker

Though the Raiders made a huge splash in free agency and added veteran Reggie Nelson to replace the retired Charles Woodson, drafting a safety would help for the future. Same deal at running back, where Latavius Murray played in the Pro Bowl, but depth would be key going forward. Coach Jack Del Rio says his defense is both a 4-3 and a 3-4, so another linebacker for depth can't hurt.-- Paul Gutierrez

San Diego Chargers

Top needs: Defensive tackle, offensive line, safety

The Chargers allowed 4.8 yards per carry defensively last season, second worst in the NFL. So they could use an impact player up front. San Diego also needs a long-term replacement for safety Eric Weddle, who signed with the Ravens in free agency, along with improved depth on the offensive line. -- Eric D. Williams


Dallas Cowboys

Top needs: Defensive end, cornerback, quarterback

At the top of the list, the Cowboys, like just about every team, need more pass-rushing help. They made some moves in free agency but none that can be considered game-changers. The No. 1 goal of Rod Marinelli's defense is to affect the quarterback, and the Cowboys need more help in that department. They re-signed cornerback Morris Claiborne, but Brandon Carr's future remains dicey, so they need playmakers at corner as well. The Cowboys have to determine whether any of the quarterbacks available are worthy of not only being Tony Romo's successor, but a possible backup in 2016, because Dallas has not yet addressed that spot. Truth be told, the Cowboys have needs everywhere, but these three are the most pressing. -- Todd Archer

New York Giants

Top needs: Defensive end, cornerback, offensive line

Even after spending big on defense early in free agency, the Giants' most significant needs lie on that side of the ball. They still need long-term pass-rushing help, both for depth reasons and because Jason Pierre-Paul is on only a one-year deal. The Giants are still looking for a starting free safety and could use cornerback depth behind starters Janoris Jenkins and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. And on the offensive side of the ball, they have openings at right guard and right tackle that could be addressed in the second or third rounds. -- Dan Graziano

Philadelphia Eagles

Top needs: Offensive line, wide receiver, cornerback

The Eagles still need starters at left guard and cornerback. They could use a high-impact player at wide receiver too. It wouldn't hurt to add a solid defensive lineman, especially an end. That said, all of those needs would slide to the back burner if the Eagles felt strongly about an available quarterback. -- Phil Sheridan

Washington Redskins

Top needs: Defensive line, safety, running back

The Redskins wanted to get younger up front and find more pass-rushing help, but they have yet to accomplish those goals, so the draft gives them that opportunity. They also need more youth -- and stability -- in the secondary. Running back gets placed here because Washington definitely needs to add another player; starter Matt Jones has never handled a full-time role, and backup Chris Thompson hasn't been durable. -- John Keim


Chicago Bears

Top needs: Defensive end, cornerback, quarterback

The Bears spent money in free agency to improve inside linebacker, but defensive end is a serious area of need. As it stands, Chicago has two starting-caliber defensive linemen -- Eddie Goldman and Akiem Hicks. The club has to upgrade the pass rush in 2016. The Bears also need to find a future starting cornerback to complement 2014 first-round pick Kyle Fuller and veteran Tracy Porter, whom the team re-signed in the offseason. Quarterback is another priority. David Fales and Matt Blanchard are the only current backup quarterbacks on the roster. Incumbent starter Jay Cutler is about to turn 33 and has missed 14 games because of injury since 2011. -- Jeff Dickerson

Detroit Lions

Top needs: Defensive line, offensive line, safety

The Lions have multiple needs heading into the draft despite trying to improve areas during free agency. They made some depth moves at defensive end, signing Wallace Gilberry, and on the offensive line, bringing in guard Geoff Schwartz and tackle Lamar Holmes. But Detroit will likely focus on both lines -- at offensive tackle and center, along with defensive end and defensive tackle -- throughout the draft. Detroit has 10 picks, so it has a chance to improve. The Lions also signed two safeties, Rafael Bush and Tavon Wilson, but they could add a draft pick here as well to compete with both of them for a starting job. That position is wide-open. Detroit also needs a receiver, linebacker, cornerback and backup quarterback. -- Michael Rothstein

Green Bay Packers

Top needs: Inside linebacker, defensive line, outside linebacker

Inside linebacker might be the Packers' biggest need, but that doesn't mean general manager Ted Thompson will use the team's first pick on the position. There are far more defensive line and pass-rushing prospects worth taking at No. 27 than there are at inside linebacker, unless somehow Alabama's Reggie Ragland is still on the board. The unexpected hiatus by nose tackle B.J. Raji left a hole up front, and even with Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers and Nick Perry, you can never have enough outside pass-rushers. You could throw tight end on this list, but signing free agent Jared Cook probably removed that need for another year. -- Rob Demovsky

Minnesota Vikings

Top needs: Wide receiver, offensive line, safety

The Vikings have spent much of the offseason trying to fix their porous line, and they could turn their attention in the first round to finding a target for quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. Even with their additions on the line, the Vikings could add a young player who can step in for one of the team's veterans after this season. And despite the addition of Michael Griffin in free agency, Minnesota could look for a good coverage safety who can eventually become the long-term counterpart for Harrison Smith. -- Ben Goessling


Atlanta Falcons

Top needs: Linebacker, defensive line, strong safety

The Falcons need more speed and physicality at linebacker, which is why they've investigated players such as Georgia's Leonard Floyd, Ohio State's Darron Lee and Alabama's Reggie Ragland, to name a few. Coach Dan Quinn is always looking for pass-rushers, which is why Clemson DE Shaq Lawson's name keeps coming up. And with a need for a playmaking starting free safety, Florida's Keanu Neal would be the ideal candidate. -- Vaughn McClure

Carolina Panthers

Top needs: Defensive end, cornerback, offensive line

The re-signing of veteran Charles Johnson was a key offseason move, but the Panthers still need a long-term solution as the every-down defensive end opposite Kony Ealy. This draft is deep at the position. When I say cornerback, I mean a nickel corner to replace Bene Benwikere, who is moving to the every-down cornerback spot opposite Josh Norman. The starting offensive line is set, but Carolina needs to improve the depth and competition, and perhaps find a diamond in the rough who can be a long-term solution at left tackle. -- David Newton

New Orleans Saints

Top needs: Defensive end, defensive tackle, outside linebacker

It's hard not to go all defense here after the Saints ranked 32nd in the NFL in points allowed and set the league record for TD passes allowed last season. Cornerback would be next on my list. But more than anything, the Saints need to improve their front seven with a better pass rush up front, and an outside linebacker with the ability to drop back in coverage. The good news for New Orleans is this draft is loaded with D-line talent, and someone such as Louisville DT Sheldon Rankins or Clemson DE Shaq Lawson could be a good fit with the 12th pick. The top offensive needs are guard and wide receiver. -- Mike Triplett

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Top needs: Cornerback, defensive end, offensive line

The Bucs added 32-year-old cornerback Brent Grimes in free agency, but he's obviously not a long-term solution in the secondary, which has no proven playmakers other than Grimes. Tampa Bay signed defensive end Robert Ayers but need a young player or two to develop behind him. Guard J.R. Sweezy was a nice addition in free agency, but the Bucs need an upgrade at center and right tackle. -- Mike DiRocco


Arizona Cardinals

Top needs: Cornerback, safety, offensive line

First and foremost, as long as the Cardinals don't make any moves in the secondary, they need to find a cornerback to complement Patrick Peterson for the long term. After losing safety Rashad Johnson in free agency, Arizona also needs to add long-term depth at the position. With Tyrann Mathieu and Tony Jefferson slated to step in as the starting duo, finding another option for the future is needed. As is the case on the offensive line. Evan Mathis is a short-term answer at right guard, and with A.Q. Shipley penciled in at center, the Cardinals need to find depth for the long term. -- Josh Weinfuss

Los Angeles Rams

Top needs: Quarterback, wide receiver, tight end

The Rams all but announced that quarterback is their most pressing need by making a blockbuster trade for the first pick in the draft. But they also have serious needs when it comes to supporting whomever they take at No. 1 overall. The Rams' entire receiving corps put up comparable numbers to Atlanta wideout Julio Jones in 2015, and the tight end group could use another pass-catching option after the team parted ways with Jared Cook. -- Nick Wagoner

San Francisco 49ers

Top needs: Inside linebacker, quarterback, defensive line

Whether Colin Kaepernick is still on the roster come draft night has little impact on whether the Niners draft a quarterback at No. 7 overall. But with the Rams trading up to No. 1, that decision may now be out of their hands. Drafting an inside linebacker such as UCLA's Myles Jack to pair inside with All-Pro NaVorro Bowman could be an immediate upgrade. -- Paul Gutierrez

Seattle Seahawks

Top needs: Offensive line, defensive tackle, linebacker

They let left tackle Russell Okung and right guard J.R. Sweezy walk in free agency, and last year the Seahawks spent three picks on offensive linemen. This is an area they will once again look to bolster. At defensive tackle, they lost Brandon Mebane in free agency, and rotational player Jordan Hill is a free agent after 2016. Given the talent on the defensive line in this year's class, it seems like a good bet that Seattle will add an interior lineman or two. And finally, the club will be looking for a player who can replace Bruce Irvin. The role requires playing strongside linebacker in the Seahawks' base defense and moving to defensive end in nickel situations. The key traits for the position in Pete Carroll's scheme are athleticism and versatility. -- Sheil Kapadia