Biggest remaining hole for every NFL team entering draft

Why are the Seahawks entertaining offers for Sherman? (1:45)

Adam Schefter reacts to Seahawks coach Pete Carroll's comments that while the team has fielded trade offers for cornerback Richard Sherman, Seattle isn't expected to move him. (1:45)

The Cleveland Browns and Houston Texans are both still in need of quarterback depth, despite Brock Osweiler changing teams. The Kansas City Chiefs could use another running back beyond newly acquired veteran C.J. Spiller. And the Seattle Seahawks are in a good position to draft for help at cornerback, with or without Richard Sherman on the roster.

With the draft set for just a few weeks from now, NFL Nation reporters pick out the position of need for each team in 2017.

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


Buffalo Bills


This is a close call between wide receiver and cornerback, but I'll lean toward defense. The Bills have a run-first offense that might be able to mask their shortcomings at receiver, where the No. 2 job could be an audition by training camp with Andre Holmes as the favorite. But there is no hiding from Tom Brady for two critical AFC East games this season, and the Bills currently lack the experience and depth at cornerback to slow Brady and his top wideouts, Brandin Cooks and Julian Edelman. The 2015 second-round pick and defensive rookie of the year runner-up Ronald Darby took a step back in 2016, while 2016 sixth-round pick Kevon Seymour is unproven but currently slated to serve as the No. 2 cornerback. There is little depth behind those two players. -- Mike Rodak

Miami Dolphins


It's debatable whether guard or outside linebacker is Miami's biggest hole. But the Dolphins at least have Koa Misi, a former starter at outside linebacker, on the roster. The team has no easy answers at either guard position, as part-time starter and free-agent pickup Ted Larsen is slated to play left guard and Jermon Bushrod, 32, will be counted on at right guard to stay injury free and play 16 games again in 2017. -- James Walker

New England Patriots

Power running back

The Patriots haven't re-signed 250-pound LeGarrette Blount (18 rushing TDs in 2016), which means their running back corps currently includes Dion Lewis (5-8, 195), James White (5-10, 205), Rex Burkhead (5-11, 210) and D.J. Foster (6-0, 195). The team will look closely at this year's draft prospects, as the position is considered a deep class. If the Patriots don't select a rusher in the draft, perhaps they revisit talks with Blount or consider signing Adrian Peterson, who they hosted on a visit on Monday. -- Mike Reiss

New York Jets


Marcus Gilchrist (knee surgery) probably won't be ready for training camp and Calvin Pryor is coming off a disappointing season. Backup Rontez Miles saw significant action in 2016, but he's not viewed as starting material. Look for the Jets to address the need in the draft, possibly with the No. 6 overall pick. Top prospects Jamal Adams and Malik Hooker could be in play for the Jets at that spot. -- Rich Cimini


Baltimore Ravens


Even though the Ravens have invested heavily in their defense, pass rush tops the team's needs. Baltimore cut Elvis Dumervil earlier this month, and the team ranked 24th in the NFL last season with 31 sacks. The Ravens' current pass-rushers are an aging Terrell Suggs and unproven prospects such as Matt Judon and Za'Darius Smith. Baltimore needs a big-time player to get after the quarterback because that is one of the reasons why the Ravens faded at the end of 2016. In their last four games, the Ravens totaled three sacks and lost three times. -- Jamison Hensley

Cincinnati Bengals


The offensive line has plenty of holes, but it doesn't seem like that position is a priority in the draft with the Bengals planning to replace veterans Kevin Zeitler and Andrew Whitworth with their draft picks from 2015. One position the Bengals could address high in the draft is pass-rusher. Cincinnati has struggled in recent years to get after opposing quarterbacks. Another pass-rusher to complement Carlos Dunlap could really aid the Bengals' defense. -- Katherine Terrell

Cleveland Browns


Why should 2017 be any different than the past however many years have been in Cleveland? The Browns' endless search for a quarterback continues, with no easy solution in sight. The way things are shaping up, 2017 could be every bit as tough a season as 2016. -- Pat McManamon

Pittsburgh Steelers


James Harrison's 7.5 sacks in his last 11 games suggest otherwise. But the lack of prominent pass rush options behind the 38-year-old Harrison and Bud Dupree come into focus entering the draft. Arthur Moats and Anthony Chickillo have started games but haven't carved out a consistent role. After the departure of former first-rounder Jarvis Jones, the Steelers could use a quick-off-the-edge athlete to eventually replace Harrison. Tight end, inside linebacker and the secondary remain mild needs, too, but they are behind outside linebacker in importance. -- Jeremy Fowler


Houston Texans


After trading last season's starting quarterback, Brock Osweiler, to the Browns, the Texans need to address this position. Tony Romo has opted to retire, so he's not an option. Jay Cutler, Colin Kaepernick, and a few other veterans are available in free agency. Houston could take a quarterback in the draft and hold a training camp competition between the rookie and Tom Savage. -- Sarah Barshop

Indianapolis Colts


The Colts have added 10 free agents, which is the most that they've signed during the free-agency period, but none of the linebackers they've signed are coming to Indianapolis with a reputation of being difference-making pass-rushers. Colts general manager Chris Ballard is not shutting the door on signing more free agents, but the draft may be the best bet for them to address pass rushing talent considering the free-agent market is drying up.The Colts finished tied for 19th in the NFL with 33 sacks last season. -- Mike Wells

Jacksonville Jaguars

Left guard

The Jaguars didn't address the position in free agency and seem satisfied with re-signing Patrick Omameh and allowing him to compete for the job with several other veteran reserves. That doesn't rule out the Jaguars taking a guard early in the draft, but the Jaguars didn't make the position a priority this offseason. They believe the offensive line will be fine in 2017. That's a leap of faith -- or a bit of whistling in the dark -- because you could argue a new right guard is also needed given A.J. Cann's poor play last season. -- Mike DiRocco

Tennessee Titans


It's a close call with cornerback, but the Titans did add their top free-agent target Logan Ryan to their secondary. Right now, the Titans' third receiver behind Rishard Matthews and Tajae Sharpe is Harry Douglas, and they simply need to be more dynamic in the weaponry they run out for quarterback Marcus Mariota. However, Tennessee does run a two-tight-end base offense, and could decide a premier tight end to go with Delanie Walker is the way they want to get another pass-catching weapon on the field. -- Paul Kuharsky


Denver Broncos

Left tackle

Left tackle is a big enough hole in the depth chart right now that both coach Vance Joseph and general manager John Elway have each admitted it exists. The Broncos have floated the idea that Donald Stephenson, who struggled at times at right tackle last season, or Menelik Watson could line up there. However, both players are considered more right tackles. It leaves the Broncos force-feeding one of those two into the lineup, using a first- or second-round pick on a rookie they believe could walk in and play, and waiting to see if a starter-worthy player gets released later this summer when rosters are trimmed. -- Jeff Legwold

Kansas City Chiefs

Running back

The Chiefs relinquished many big plays last season because backs Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West lacked the open-field speed that Kansas City had been used to from Jamaal Charles. That's why the Chiefs in part used the speedy Tyreek Hill out of the backfield late in the season. The Chiefs signed veteran C.J. Spiller with the hope he can return to the form he showed early in his career. They're a good bet to draft a back just in case Spiller can't. -- Adam Teicher

Los Angeles Chargers


The Chargers brought back Jahleel Addae in free agency on a four-year, $22 million deal. But fellow safety Dwight Lowery is 31 years old and the Chargers cut nickel defender Brandon Flowers. So they could use a versatile safety who can play near the line of scrimmage and as a roaming center fielder in the back end defensively. -- Eric D. Williams

Oakland Raiders

Middle linebacker

Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie played inside linebacker. So, too, did their coach (Jack Del Rio) and defensive coordinator (Ken Norton Jr.). And yet, they do not currently have a trusted every-down middle/inside 'backer on the roster. Sure, Perry Riley Jr. solidified the position coming off the street last season, but the Raiders have not re-signed him, nor has anyone else, and the Raiders would prefer someone there who has already excelled. Someone like a Zach Brown, who already visited Oakland but left without a contract, or even a Rey Maualuga. And don't forget the huge hole the Raiders have at running back after they let Latavius Murray leave for Minnesota. Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington are change-of-pace backs and Oakland has been linked to Marshawn Lynch, so long as he comes out of retirement, but Oakland would probably not be too willing to part with draft picks for the erstwhile Beast Mode. -- Paul Gutierrez


Dallas Cowboys


Despite the losses at cornerback and on the defensive line, the Cowboys have covered themselves with efficient signings, such as Nolan Carroll II and Stephen Paea, while giving them the opportunity to address the positions more in the draft. What they haven't done yet is add a safety, where they lost Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox. Dallas has Jeff Heath ready to start opposite Byron Jones but has only Kavon Frazier in reserve. In their scheme, a safety is not a high value, but the Cowboys will at least need to add numbers at the position, if not top-end quality. -- Todd Archer

New York Giants

Offensive tackle

Offensive tackle. We're back here ... again. It seems like an annual tradition. The Giants have Ereck Flowers and Bobby Hart as their tackles. Both struggled badly at times last season. They added D.J. Fluker to the guard and tackle mixes. Is that the answer? None have proven on a consistent basis to be quality starting tackles at the NFL level. The Giants brass went in hard to prop up Flowers at the NFL's annual meetings, but they're putting an awful lot of trust in a player who showed little growth last season when he allowed 59 pressures, the second most among tackles, according to Pro Football Focus. The Giants could still use an upgrade at the tackle position, whether it be the left or right side. -- Jordan Raanan

Philadelphia Eagles


The Eagles need two new starters after releasing Leodis McKelvin and losing Nolan Carroll II to the Cowboys in free agency. While they recently added veteran Patrick Robinson, they remain very thin at the position. Look for the Eagles to target corner in the upcoming draft. -- Tim McManus

Washington Redskins


Needing a pass-rusher doesn't mean necessarily an outside linebacker for Washington's 3-4 base front. The Redskins have options there with Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith, Trent Murphy and Junior Galette. But while Kerrigan has been consistent, the others come with questions. So adding another player here would be desired. But, really, it's just about finding someone who can pressure the quarterback from any spot whether with their hand in the dirt on the inside of the line or on the edge. After all, the Redskins ranked 32nd on third downs last season and an improved rush would help improve that statistic. -- John Keim


Chicago Bears


The Bears addressed one safety spot by signing veteran Quintin Demps, but the other one is wide open. Holdovers Adrian Amos, Harold Jones-Quartey and Deon Bush are contenders to start in 2017, but Chicago wants better play at the position. The Bears haven't drafted a safety in Round 1 since Mark Carrier in 1990, but LSU's Jamal Adams and Ohio State's Malik Hooker are projected to be top-10 picks. Taking a safety third overall is somewhat unconventional, but the Bears could use long-term stability in their secondary. -- Jeff Dickerson

Detroit Lions


Cap cuts are often addition by subtraction, but not this season for the Lions. The release of DeAndre Levy at the start of free agency left a massive hole at linebacker. Yes, Levy hasn't been healthy, but if he could return to his old form (no guarantee), he is a high-level coverage linebacker in the 4-3 scheme. Now, the Lions don't have much there. Paul Worrilow, signed during free agency, could help, but he doesn't have the impact playmaking ability Levy had. Neither does Tahir Whitehead. So this is a clear hole on Detroit's roster and one to watch throughout the draft as Detroit needs to upgrade its linebacking corps. -- Michael Rothstein

Green Bay Packers

Running back

At this point, the Packers' backfield looks exactly the same as it did when last season ended. Converted receiver Ty Montgomery is the No. 1 halfback and Christine Michael is his backup. Coach Mike McCarthy and general manager Ted Thompson both admitted that's not enough, yet they haven't made any significant additions. While they didn't close the door on signing a veteran such as Adrian Peterson, they didn't exactly go out of their way to endorse that idea, either. So the more likely course of action is through the draft, but keep in mind the Packers haven't picked a running back in the first round since 1990. -- Rob Demovsky

Minnesota Vikings

Offensive guard

The Vikings added two tackles in free agency, but they still need to figure out who will start at right guard, where Jeremiah Sirles could get the first shot at the job. They could still look to add competition at the position, or consider the possibility of playing Joe Berger there while starting Nick Easton at center. Asked if he had all five of his starters on the offensive line, coach Mike Zimmer said last week, "I think I've got four right now, but we'll see. I think we still have to figure out the right guard. I think I know what the center is going to be, but things change so fast." -- Ben Goessling


Atlanta Falcons

Offensive guard

The Falcons now need to find a starter at right guard after veteran Chris Chester told ESPN he plans to retire after 11 NFL seasons. The Falcons have at least three candidates on the roster with Ben Garland, Wes Schweitzer and newly signed Hugh Thornton. Garland is the toughest of the three, but Thornton has the most experience. There's a good chance the Falcons could turn to a rookie to fill the void, especially if top guard prospect Forrest Lamp is still on the board when the Falcons pick at No. 31. -- Vaughn McClure

Carolina Panthers

Slot receiver

The Panthers have candidates in free-agents signees Charles Johnson and Russell Shepard. While both may prove to be the solution, the dynamic player the Panthers need will likely be found in the draft. Carolina probably won't use a first-round pick on one at No. 8, but they'll definitely take one or two candidates in one of the lower rounds in what is a deep draft for slot receivers. -- David Newton

New Orleans Saints

Edge rusher

This is a close race between edge rusher and cornerback (which is why the Saints are still considering a possible trade for Malcolm Butler). But I went with edge rusher as New Orleans' No. 1 need before free agency started. And that hasn't changed, even though I liked the value signing of situational pass-rusher Alex Okafor in free agency. The Saints badly need to get more dynamic and disruptive up front. The good news is they should have some good pass-rushers to choose from with the No. 11 pick in the draft, possibly including Michigan's Taco Charlton and Tennessee's Derek Barnett. -- Mike Triplett

Tampa Bay Buccaneers


The Bucs have the versatile Keith Tandy, they re-signed Chris Conte and they signed strong safety J.J. Wilcox as Bradley McDougald departed for the Seattle Seahawks. They're also moving last year's fourth-round draft pick Ryan Smith back to cornerback. Tandy and Conte showed a lot down the stretch last season, but the Bucs could really use a game-changer at the position. This 2017 draft class is loaded with talent in Jabrill Peppers, Budda Baker, Malik Hooker, Jamal Adams and Obi Melifonwu -- and that's just the short list. They'd be wise to draft one. -- Jenna Laine


Arizona Cardinals


Regardless of how much coach Bruce Arians exudes confidence in either Brandon Williams or Justin Bethel, the reality is that neither have the type of experience that would make quarterbacks think twice about throwing their away. But as Arians pointed out during the recent owners meetings, whoever lines up across from Patrick Peterson will be picked on regardless. It's just a matter of how much. Having an experienced corner lining up across from Peterson, who quarterbacks tend to stay away from, could make life difficult for them, which will then cause a domino effect: The QBs will hold on to the ball longer, which gives the pass rush more time to get to him, which leads to more sacks and/or interceptions. -- Josh Weinfuss

Los Angeles Rams


The Rams released Tim Barnes, who started each of the past 32 games but was graded 31st among 38 qualified centers last season, according to Pro Football Focus. They then set their sights on restricted free agent Ryan Groy, but the Bills matched their offer sheet. So now they must look elsewhere. The free-agent market isn't all that appealing, but perhaps a trade can be worked out. The Rams will also cross-train some of their guards for the position. With franchise quarterback Jared Goff being only 22 years old, the Rams seek a veteran at center. "The biggest key for us right now, because you do have a second-year QB, is whoever that player is has got to be mentally astute," Rams general manager Les Snead said. "You'd probably rather have a veteran who's done it; at least a veteran mentor." -- Alden Gonzalez

San Francisco 49ers


The 49ers signed players at just about every position, and though an argument could be made they still need help at all of them, one area that still needs attention is pass-rusher. Namely, the 49ers need help for the Leo position in their new-look 4-3 scheme. They have some options returning with the likes of Aaron Lynch, Eli Harold and Tank Carradine but none have ever posted more than 6.5 sacks in a season. A top cornerback would also be a welcome addition, but the 49ers' pass rush is in desperate need of a boost. -- Nick Wagoner

Seattle Seahawks


The Seahawks brought back last year's starter, DeShawn Shead, on a one-year deal, but he is coming off of an ACL/meniscus injury from the divisional round of the playoffs and is unlikely to be ready for Week 1. Jeremy Lane is positioned to be the starter for now, according to coach Pete Carroll. The 2017 draft is loaded with cornerbacks who have the length and physical profile that the Seahawks prefer. And adding talent at this position is important, regardless of whether Seattle trades Richard Sherman. The Seahawks have not drafted a cornerback before the fourth round since Carroll and general manager John Schneider took over, but this year could definitely be the exception. -- Sheil Kapadia