2020 NFL Draft: First-round order, top five needs for all 32 teams
This is a look at the order for the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft (April 23-25), along with the top five needs for all 32 teams. The order for picks 1-20 is determined by record, using strength of schedule as a tiebreaker. The order for playoff teams (21-32 in the order) is determined the results of postseason play.
Record: 2-14 (.553 strength of schedule)
Biggest needs: QB, OL, LB, TE, WR
Bengals spent big money to fill some of their large holes on defense early in the first wave of free agency, and barring some massive plot twist in the next month — which would seem unwise to rule out at this particular moment in world history — they’ll fill their No. 1 need with the first overall pick. Then they can go about the business of boosting their new QB1’s O-line (the return of
Jonah Williams helps but why stop there for a group that ranked
26th in the league last season?) and skill-position weaponry.
Record: 3-13 (.502)
Biggest needs: OL, CB, TE, WR, edge rusher
Left tackle looms large with
Trent Williams making it very clear that he still wants out of town. Same goes for the depth at corner, which was hit hard in free agency, even with the pickup of
Kendall Fuller. Of course, Ron Rivera must upgrade the pass-catching options for QB
Dwayne Haskins if he’s going to help his young passer grow in Year 2. Things might look just fine at edge rusher with four-time
Pro Bowl selectee
Ryan Kerrigan and 2019 first-rounder
Montez Sweat in tow, but keep in mind that Kerrigan, who’ll turn 32 in August, is entering the final year of his contract.
Record: 3-12-1 (.506)
Biggest needs: CB, DL, OL, RB, WR
To this point in the offseason, the
Lions‘ strategy for fixing their defense has largely been to acquire
Patriots castoffs, but that will change (I think) on draft weekend. Corner remains a spot crying out for help now that
Darius Slay is an Eagle, and it wouldn’t hurt to add more talent up front to rush the passer (after all, this team did rank dead last in pass defense in 2019). Former
Eagles backup tackle
Halapoulivaati Vaitai is now a Lion, but there’s still plenty of room to improve an offensive line that ranked in the
bottom half of the league last season and lost OG
Graham Glasgow to the
Broncos. Looking a little further down the road, Detroit’s top three wide receivers (
Marvin Jones, Danny Amendola) are due to reach free agency next year.
Record: 4-12 (.473)
Biggest needs: OT, edge rusher, S, WR, TE
GM Dave Gettleman loves him some hog mollies, so it would be a bit surprising if he doesn’t pluck the eventual successor to
Nate Solder at left tackle. Building around last year’s top pick,
Daniel Jones, is the right priority, and with a deep class of WRs to choose from, adding one with good size would make sense. However, the G-Men undoubtedly could use more juice off the edge on defense even after the addition of
Kyler Fackrell (one-year deal), who did reach double digits in sacks with the
Packers in 2018.
Record: 5-11 (.484)
Biggest needs: QB, OL, RB, S, edge rusher
As much as we all believe in the Fitzmagic, we know it won’t last forever. It’s time to find the next franchise QB in Miami, and provide a major upgrade at offensive tackle for an O-line that was the league’s worst in 2019. The
Dolphins‘ top running back down the stretch last season averaged 1.8 yards per carry in 2019, so adding
Jordan Howard is likely just the beginning of the makeover at that position. Patching up the defense was clearly the primary focus early in free agency, but they still should be in the market for a playmaking safety.
Record: 5-11 (.514)
Biggest needs: QB, OT, LB, edge rusher, TE
Chargers‘ mission for the remainder of this offseason: Make sure
Tyrod Taylor is a bridge to somewhere more exciting at quarterback.
Bryan Bulaga was a nice pickup at right tackle, but they still need someone to man the left side. The Bolts have to be thinking about 2021, when
Joey Bosa and
Melvin Ingram will be free agents — hard to imagine them paying both edge rushers — and
Hunter Henry only has a one-year commitment from the team on the franchise tag.
Record: 5-11 (.549)
Biggest needs: DL, CB, edge rusher, OL, LB
First-year head coach Matt Rhule has a deep collection of glaring voids to fill on a defense that has to replace most of its starters from a year ago. They need starting-caliber players at every level on D, starting up front, where
Kawann Short and
Brian Burns can take on half of the starting D-line duties (the
Panthers are reportedly going to run a 4-3 under Rhule). Luke Kuechly’s retirement,
James Bradberry‘s departure and the release of
Eric Reid punched big holes in the back seven. On the other side of the ball, Carolina acquired left tackle
Russell Okung but gave up a starting guard for him (Trai Turner) and lost another starting guard (Greg Van Roten) in free agency, creating a need on the interior O-line.
Record: 5-10-1 (.529)
Biggest needs: OL, edge rusher, DL, TE, DB
GM Steve Keim will face a dilemma with the No. 8 overall pick — does he invest in the protection for his uber-talented, young QB1 or add an explosive player to the front seven of a defense that allowed more yards than any other team last season? As for need No. 4 on the list above, Arizona didn’t lean on the tight ends to produce much as pass catchers in Year 1 under Kliff Kingsbury and did sign starter
Maxx Williams to a two-year extension late last year, but it would seem prudent to add more of a playmaking dimension at that position for
Record: 6-10 (.484)
Biggest needs: CB, DL, edge rusher, OL, RB
For the rebuilding
Jaguars, free-agent additions
Darqueze Dennard and
Rashaan Melvin are nice players, but I wouldn’t call them adequate replacements for the traded tandem of
Jalen Ramsey and
A.J. Bouye. At the line of scrimmage, the defense has also bid adieu to
Calais Campbell and
Marcell Dareus this offseason. Edge rusher
Yannick Ngakoue was slapped with the franchise tag, but he’s made it clear he doesn’t want to be in Jacksonville long-term. So, yes, this D requires some attention. The offense? Well, David Caldwell has plenty of work to do there, as well. This offensive line has been below average in each of the last two seasons, and the Jags could afford more explosiveness at running back and/or tight end to upgrade
Gardner Minshew‘s supporting cast.
Record: 6-10 (.533)
Biggest needs: OT, S, LB, DL, WR
Cleveland took a big step in the right direction by landing former
Titans right tackle
Jack Conklin, but they still need a left tackle to finish the job of giving
Baker Mayfield high-quality bookends.
Karl Joseph and
Andrew Sendejo were added to fill the gaps at safety, but both are playing on one-year deals. They’re young at linebacker after the departure
B.J. Goodson can play a role in replacing him, but he’s another potentially short-term fix as he’s on a one-year deal. On the D-line,
Larry Ogunjobi and
Olivier Vernon are a year away from hitting the market. It would make sense to improve the depth behind
Odell Beckham Jr. and
Jarvis Landry, too.
Record: 7-9 (.473)
Biggest needs: WR, edge rusher, OT, CB, RB
Joe Douglas heads into his first draft as a general manager in need of a WR1, primo edge rusher, left tackle and CB1. Hey, no pressure! The good news is this will be a receiver-rich draft, which should ease the burden of replacing
Robby Anderson. Plus, Douglas has added a lot of pieces to the O-line via free agency, but locking in signee
George Fant, who was a backup in Seattle, at left tackle seems like a roll of dice that might not be the risk to take with a young QB still finding his way in the league. Lastly, the coach that seems eternally unhappy that
Le’Veon Bell is on his roster might want to add some reinforcements behind him.
Record: 7-9 (.482)
Biggest needs: WR, CB, DL, OL, LB
A year after the
Antonio Brown debacle, finding
Derek Carr a WR1 is atop the to-do list. The
Raiders have a good shot to pick their favorite one with the 12th overall selection. The work at cornerback shouldn’t end with the addition of
Eli Apple, who joins second-year man
Trayvon Mullen at the position, on a one-year deal. The same goes for the interior D-line, where former Cowboy
Maliek Collins is also playing on a one-year commitment. Adding O-line depth might be in the offing with
Gabe Jackson being
dangled in trade talks.
Record: 7-9 (.500)
Biggest needs: OT, RB, DL, QB, S
The Bucs bought a G.O.A.T. Now they have to keep him well fed. With that in mind, right tackle should be an area of focus, as incumbent starter
Demar Dotson is unsigned at publishing.
Ronald Jones needs a new running mate in the backfield with
Peyton Barber moving on. And while Brady just arrived, it’s not too early to groom a young passer for life after the 42-year-old under center. As for Todd Bowles’ defense, there’s a need to fill out the defensive line beyond
Vita Vea and
Ndamukong Suh, who’s returning on another one-year deal. While the Bucs could continue to add pieces to a young secondary, it wouldn’t be a surprise if they decided to address perceived positions of strength with
Lavonte David, the franchise-tagged
Shaquil Barrett and
Chris Godwin a year away from free agency.
Record: 7-9 (.510)
Biggest needs: WR, OL, DL, CB, S
John Elway would no doubt receive a Christmas card from
Drew Lock if he were to nab a receiver who can take the top off the defense as a complement for
Courtland Sutton. The Denver GM still has a hole to fill on the interior O-line, with
Graham Glasgow and
Dalton Risner occupying two of the three spots. Outside of those areas, the
Broncos are in position to focus on adding depth to Vic Fangio’s defense.
Record: 7-9 (.545)
Biggest needs: DB, LB, edge rusher, OL, RB
Yes, defense is the topic for the
Falcons this draft season. They’re in the market for a starter opposite
Isaiah Oliver at corner (insurance at safety for the oft-injured
Keanu Neal wouldn’t be a bad idea, either) and
Deion Jones could use some running mates at ‘backer. The work of jump-starting the edge rush shouldn’t end with the addition of
Dante Fowler. As for Atlanta’s offense, the starting O-line could remain intact, but depth is needed. And
Todd Gurley, even if he returns to top form, can’t be considered a long-term answer (he’s playing on a one-year deal).
Record: 8-8 (.479)
Biggest needs: Edge rusher, CB, OL, WR, S
Veteran departures have left some significant holes to fill for Jerry Jones.
Robert Quinn‘s gone, creating the most pressing of Dallas’ needs — an edge defender opposite
Byron Jones cashed in, and the O-line took a hit with the retirement of
Travis Frederick. The
Cowboys are far from barren at corner or center, but they could use reinforcements. Mike McCarthy could be shopping for a new slot target, as well, with
Randall Cobb‘s exit.
Record: 9-7 (.455)
Biggest needs: WR, OL, LB, CB, S
Much of the talk around the
Eagles this offseason has centered on the need for more speed at wide receiver.
DeSean Jackson can provide it, when healthy, but he was sidelined for much of last season and is entering his 13th NFL campaign. Philly should be adding depth behind
Andre Dillard and
Lane Johnson at offensive tackle with
Jason Peters and
Halapoulivaati Vaitai moving on. Less pressing — but still notable — is the need at linebacker, where
T.J. Edwards and
Nate Gerry form the nucleus, albeit an unspectacular one. In the secondary,
Sidney Jones and
Cre’von LeBlanc are due to become free agents next year.
Record: 12-4 (.469)
Biggest needs: QB, TE, LB, DL, WR
Now, I’d be looking to the draft for a QB if I were the
Patriots, but NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah has reported that the team is expecting 2019 fourth-round pick
Jarrett Stidham to be The Guy
for the forseeable future. So, take that need with a grain of salt. Anyway, tight end (a no-man’s land for receptions last season) and wide receiver (is there a deep threat in the house?) seem like spots to address if Bill Belichick wants to be generous to his young QB. Restocking the front seven would seem an important task given the
losses New England suffered this offseason.
Record: 13-3 (.486)
Biggest needs: LB, OL, S, CB, QB
This roster looks about as good as any on paper, so designating areas of “need” might be a little misleading for the
Saints. They can take the best player available when they’re on the clock this year and it will be hard to argue with whatever they do. If there’s one area that might be a little weaker than others, it’s middle linebacker, where
Kiko Alonso is coming off his third ACL tear. Aside from that, New Orleans can add depth in areas where it can project veteran departures in the next couple years.
Record: 10-6 (.477)
Biggest needs: CB, WR, edge rusher, OL, S
There are some major concerns that need to be alleviated for a team that is win-now mode. 1) They’ve waved goodbye to their top three corners from last year. 2)
Stefon Diggs is gone, which means
Adam Thielen needs more help. 3)
Everson Griffen has decided to move on, leaving a hole off the edge. 4) They
must add at guard. 5) There’s no depth at safety, and
Anthony Harris could walk in a year if Minnesota doesn’t tag him again or get a long-term deal done. Good luck, Rick Spielman!
Record: 11-5 (.531)
Biggest needs: Edge rusher, OL, DL, S, RB
Dolphins produced fewer sacks than the
Seahawks last season, and while that stat doesn’t tell the whole story when it comes to disrupting the passer, there’s clearly a hole off the edge in Seattle with
Jadeveon Clowney still on the market. We wouldn’t argue with continuing to add at that position even if Clowney returns. There’s a need for more competition and overall depth throughout the defense. They’ve added some pieces (read: backup material) to the O-line this offseason, but they have to do better for
Russell Wilson up front. As for running back, former first-round pick
Rashaad Penny is coming off an ACL tear, and
Chris Carson is heading into a contract year.
Record: 14-2 (.494)
Biggest needs: LB, OL, WR, edge rusher, TE
Eric DeCosta has to replace
C.J. Mosley at some point, right? There’s not much at inside linebacker aside from
L.J. Fort. No one can truly replace future Hall of Famer Marshal Yanda, but a young interior O-linemen figures to be thrown into the fire with that unenviable task. Defenses trying to figure out how to stop
Lamar Jackson might as well throw their hands up and give up if Baltimore gets
Lamar Jackson another weapon at receiver. The need at edge rusher would shoot up the list if the franchise-tagged
Matt Judon were dealt, but it should be on the radar here regardless.
Record: 9-7 (.488)
Biggest needs: Edge rusher, DL, OL, CB, RB
Jurrell Casey, a five-time
Pro Bowl selectee, to make room for
Vic Beasley (who has been disappointing since his great 2016 season), rips a hole in the front seven that ought to be addressed early on. Tennessee re-signed
Dennis Kelly to avoid leaving the cupboard bare at right tackle after
Jack Conklin‘s departure, but Kelly’s better suited for swing backup duty. Corner depth is a need with
Logan Ryan still on the market, and the
Titans need a backup for
Derrick Henry, a franchise-tagged player who might not be long for Nashville.
Record: 13-3 (.453)
Biggest needs: TE, WR, OL, LB, CB
It’s been a pretty quiet offseason in Green Bay after Brian Gutekunst threw wads of cash at his defense a year ago. So, either he doesn’t like
Aaron Rodgers very much (that can’t be it) or help is on the way via the draft. He did pick a flex tight end in Round 3 a year ago (Jace Sternberger), but you can’t bank on him alone to spice up the passing game (at least we wouldn’t). A field-stretcher at receiver would be nice. On the O-line,
Rick Wagner was signed to replace
Bryan Bulaga, but he’s on a short-term deal, and
David Bakhtiari and
Corey Linsley are set to become free agents in 2021.
Record: 13-3 (.504)
Biggest needs: WR, OL, DL, CB, S
Emmanuel Sanders‘ departure for the
Saints is a big loss for the defending NFC champs, but they’ll have a chance to fill the void with one of the draft’s top receivers if they choose to use the pick acquired from the
Colts (13th overall) on the position. The Niners currently don’t hold up a pick in Rounds 2-4, so trading down to add some much-needed draft capital would be shrewd. Such a move could allow them to invest in a future starter at tackle, with
Joe Staley entering Year 14, and/or replace
DeForest Buckner up front on D. It’s also time to plan for the future in the secondary with several key contributors ticketed for free agency in 2021.
Record: 12-4 (.510)
Biggest needs: CB, OL, LB, RB, TE
Corner stands out as Priority No. 1 for a team that might be replacing three of its top players at the position (
Kendall Fuller has already moved on to Washington, while
Bashaud Breeland and
Morris Claiborne remain unsigned as of this writing). Kansas City should also be in the market for a left guard now that stopgap
Stefen Wisniewski is a Steeler. There’s a need for depth at linebacker with
Reggie Ragland and
Darron Lee unsigned, and while it may seem unfair to give
Patrick Mahomes more weapons, the
Chiefs should be shopping for a
Damien Williams complement. And no, we’re not here to replace
Travis Kelce — it’s just that the cupboard is pretty bare behind him on the depth chart.
TEAMS WITHOUT A FIRST-ROUND PICK
Buffalo Bills (10-6)
Biggest needs: Edge rusher, CB, RB, OL, LB
Buffalo has a pair of proven QB pursuers in Mario Addison and Jerry Hughes, but they will be 33 and 32 years old, respectively, by the time the 2020 season begins. An infusion of youth off the edge is in order. Perhaps a change of scenery and return to a familiar coach in Sean McDermott will revitalize former Pro Bowl CB Josh Norman‘s career. He’s playing on a one-year deal, though. Devin Singletary showed a lot of promise as a rookie, and could still use a complement in addition to T.J. Yeldon now that Frank Gore is no longer in the mix. The Bills have stability up front on offense, but it might be short-lived. Dion Dawkins, Jon Feliciano and Ty Nsekhe are a year away from free agency.
Chicago Bears (8-8)
Biggest needs: CB, S, OL, WR, QB
The Bears are working with limited draft capital — two picks in the top 160 — but there ought to be more (arguably a lot more) done to replace the departed Prince Amukamara and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in the backend of Chuck Pagano’s defense. The addition of Germain Ifedi (one-year deal) might only be a Band-Aid for an O-line that sank to 29th in the league last season in Football Outsiders’ rankings. Whoever is under center could certainly use another explosive pass catcher. Speaking of under center, if Ryan Pace really wants to try to get this right at quarterback, add a rookie to the room with Nick Foles and Mitchell Trubisky.
Houston Texans (10-6)
Biggest needs: WR, DL, OL, edge rusher, CB
Almost half of the Texans‘ draft picks this year come late in the seventh round, so Bill O’Brien’s mad tradin’ doesn’t leave them a great deal of flexibility. One would think at least one of the team’s two second-round picks will be spent on a receiver to begin replacing DeAndre Hopkins. There’s a void to fill up front on D following the departure of D.J. Reader, and the team that used to have an embarrassment of riches off the edge is now looking awfully thin behind J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus.
Indianapolis Colts (7-9)
Biggest needs: WR, QB, TE, DB, DL
A year after taking a shot on Devin Funchess — now a member of the Packers — as a big target at wide receiver, GM Chris Ballard should be looking to fill that void via the draft in a deep class at the position. Quarterback still has to be on the radar with Philip Rivers, 38, playing on a one-year deal, and adding an explosive weapon at tight end to complement Jack Doyle would be a welcome sight for El Bolo Loco.
Los Angeles Rams (9-7)
Biggest needs: Edge rusher, LB, RB, DL, OL
Swapping out Dante Fowler and Clay Matthews for the disappointing Leonard Floyd doesn’t seem like a good deal. So, the work continues at edge rusher. Les Snead still needs to replace Cory Littleton and Todd Gurley, too. The Rams appear to be running it back on the O-line, but that’s not necessarily a good thing, and keep in mind that the best of their bunch up front — Andrew Whitworth — will be 39 before next season is over.
Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8)
Biggest needs: OL, DL, edge rusher, WR, CB
The Steelers‘ hands are tied from a draft-capital standpoint, with a league-low one selection among the top 100 picks (No. 49 overall). They picked up veteran Stefen Wisniewski in free agency to play guard, but they have to think about investing in some young assets up front with OTs Alejandro Villanueva and Matt Feiler a year away from free agency. The acquisition of Chris Wormley should only be part of the plan to replace Javon Hargrave, and it would make sense to groom a young edge rusher with Bud Dupree looking like a short-term fix under the franchise tag.