Going into the season, most teams feel comfortable about the state of their current rosters, as they feel ready to compete going into the season. However, each team is not without flaws. Below, we will highlight every NFL team’s most glaring weakness heading into the 2022 season.
New York Giants
Reasoning: While this is a roster with more than one weakness, their biggest hole is likely at the CB position. After being forced to cut James Bradberry, New York is left with both Darnay Holmes and Aaron Robinson to play beside Adoree’ Jackson, as both players are young and unproven.
Reasoning: In what seems to be an extremely talented and filled-out roster, the safety position looks to be a weakness. Between Anthony Harris and K’Von Wallace, the talent at safety does not compare to the talent of the rest of the roster, especially the defense.
Weakness: Second Edge Rusher
Reasoning: After the key loss of Randy Gregory this offseason, Dallas is now left with Dorance Armstrong and rookie Sam Williams to rush the passer. While those two have the potential to exceed expectations, for now, the edge position opposite Demarcus Lawrence remains a hole in their roster.
Reasoning: Washington’s defense went from one of the best two seasons ago to one of the worst this past year. That said, they still have talent all over the unit, as the players are just not performing to their full potential. This is clearly the case at LB, where Cole Holcomb and former first-round pick Jamin Davis have struggled.
Reasoning: For a rebuilding roster, there could be several different directions to pick as the weakest part of their roster. That said, it is hard not to go QB, as it is the most influential position on the outcome of the game. While Mariota and third-round pick Desmond Ridder are not the worst QB room in the league, it leaves much to be desired for a team that had the same Pro-Bowl caliber QB for over a decade.
Reasoning: This is a position that will continue to be under the microscope for the Panthers because they have not been able to get it right over the past few seasons. They upgraded their OL and have a plethora of talented and now healthy weapons, so QB is the next piece of the puzzle. With Sam Darnold and third-round pick, Matt Corral set to make up the room, one of them will need to step up for Carolina’s sake.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Reasoning: While it seems like the Bucs’ aging roster could begin to fall apart this offseason, they have mostly kept their entire group together, ready to run it back and contend. However, the loss of Ali Marpet has still left a big hole at LG, where Aaron Stinnie or rookie Luke Goedeke will be the presumed starter, which leaves a lot of inexperience at the position
New Orleans Saints
Reasoning: We could have gone a number of different routes for New Orleans, although most issues are just due to depth. The Saints’ TE position lacks any star power and depth, as the group consists of Adam Trautman, Taysom Hill, Nick Vannett, and Juwan Johnson, none of whom has produced at a starting NFL level.
Green Bay Packers
Weakness: WR star power
Reasoning: The Packers were left with a few holes after the season, particularly on the defensive side of the ball, but were able to fill them in the draft. They were also able to fill a need at WR through the draft, but there is still a large hole there, as replacing a player of Davante Adams’ caliber is no easy task. Between Christian Watson, Allen Lazard, Romeo Doubs, and Sammy Watkins, this unit may be able to get the job done but they are not replacing the relationship Rodgers had with Adams.
Reasoning: This is a group that is continually brought up because it is so important for a young and developing QB like Justin Fields to have strong weapons on the outside. However, for a cap-restricted rebuilding team with no first-round pick, it made addressing WR on top of their many needs difficult. As a result, the young QB is left with Darnell Mooney, Byron Pringle, and Velus Jones as his top three wideouts.
Reasoning: The much-improved Lions defense is looking to see immediate results this year from their young and talented unit, especially up front. However, that may be hard, as they are still pretty weak at the LB position, as it is made up of Alex Anzalone, Derrick Barnes, who struggled as a rookie, and Jarrad Davis who did not play well with the Jets last season.
Reasoning: The Vikings are a bit thin at several different positions, particularly at CB and S. They addressed these needs well with the selections of Andrew Booth and Lewis Cine, but still lack significant depth. In addition, Chandon Sullivan and an aging Patrick Peterson may not be the best two options to play around the rookie CB.
Los Angeles Rams
Reasoning: Looking to repeat as Super Bowl champions, Los Angeles made moves to acquire even more star power. However, this caused them to lose other important pieces. With the loss of Austin Corbett and the retirement of Andrew Whitworth, Logan Bruss and Joseph Noteboom will have to step up big.
San Francisco 49ers
Reasoning: San Francisco began the offseason by losing Pro-Bowler Laken Tomlinson and are hoping that 2021 second-round pick Aaron Banks can fill those shoes. However, the biggest blow came in the form of Alex Mack retiring, who has been a staple in past Shanahan offenses. There are some free agent replacement options, as the group of Jake Brendel and Dohnovan West may not get the job done.
Reasoning: After trading Russell Wilson to start the offseason, it was clear that Seattle’s roster is finally headed in a different direction, more towards a rebuild. As a result, no significant effort was made to improve at the QB position. Between Drew Lock or Geno Smith potentially starting all 17 games, it is hard not to see this position as a clear weak point on the roster.
Reasoning: While being able to improve elsewhere, the CB position is one that Arizona has had a hard time locking down. After the tragic passing of Jeff Gladney, Arizona’s starting outside CBs are set to be Marco Wilson and Antonio Hamilton, leaving a huge question mark at the position.
New York Jets
Reasoning: New York drastically improved their roster from the start of last season, as things are certainly headed in the right direction. That said, like last year, the LB position remains a clear weak point on the roster and the defense, especially if CJ Mosley cannot return to his pre-2019 form where he was one of the best LBs in the game. Opposite Mosley will be some combination of Jamien Sherwood, Quincy Williams, or Hamsah Nasirildeen.
Reasoning: The Bills are a contending roster with very few weak points. However, if there had to be a weak group, it would be along the IOL. Mitch Morse has been solid, and the guard group of Ryan Bates and newly signed Rodger Saffold should be able to get the job done. However, neither Bates nor Saffold are Pro-Bowl-caliber starters at this point, and Saffold is almost 34 years old.
New England Patriots
Reasoning: We could have gone WR, which still remains a slight weakness for the roster, but the real hole is at CB. At the beginning of 2021, New England had a CB room of JC Jackson and Stephon Gilmore, which has been completely decimated. Going into 2022, the group is made up of Jalen Mills, Jonathan Jones, and Malcolm Butler.
Reasoning: The Dolphins have many great groups on both their offense and defense but do have some holes. One hole is clearly at RT, but their biggest weakness is likely at the LB position. Between Jerome Baker, Elandon Roberts, and rookie Channing Tindall, the group will have to heavily rely on Baker to play like a superstar to not harm the rest of the defense.
Reasoning: While Houston has done an excellent job reconfiguring its roster, that now has a sense of direction, many holes remain. It was challenging to focus on one position group, as there are many concerning spots, particularly on the defense. Although they added Christian Harris, the LB core of Kamu Grugier-Hill and Christian Kirksey is a clear weakness on this improved roster.
Reasoning: Over the past few seasons, star RB Derrick Henry has made up for an underwhelming OL. After losing Saffold, Aaron Brewer, who has not played great, is the presumed LG starter, while the inexperienced second-year man Dillon Radunz, who struggled as a rookie, will be starting at RT.
Reasoning: There are other positions with perhaps larger holes, but the question mark along the OL unit remains the most significant hole, especially with a young QB in place. While the signing of Scherff and the extension of Cam Robinson helps the unit, the rest of the spots should still be a worry. Between Ben Bartch at LG, Luke Fortner at C who is a rookie, and Jawaan Taylor at RT, to be the presumed starters, the unit leaves much to be desired.
Reasoning: The Colts did a good job retooling the offense and defense, adding impact veterans across the board, as they are ready to compete for the division. That said, losing Mark Glowinski and Chris Reed on the interior in favor of Danny Pinter could hurt the performance of the OL and the offense as a whole.
Reasoning: The Super Bowl showed everybody the Bengals’ weakest point was on the offensive line, which led to Cincinnati completely rebuilding the unit. As it is much better, they still left the LG spot unimproved, as former day two pick, Jackson Carman is slated to start. He warrants another chance going into his second year but struggled as a rookie, which could hurt the entire offense if he does it again.
Reasoning: While the Ravens clearly prioritize running the ball and putting their resources elsewhere, it is going to be hard to throw the ball with the group that they have at WR, regardless of the talent of the QB. After trading Marquise Brown, Rashod Bateman will need to take a big leap forward, as the other WR options outside of him are Devin Duvernay and James Proche.
Reasoning: Amongst all of the controversy they have to deal with, the Browns’ roster has a lot of talent on it and should be able to make a run for the division. That said, the juggernaut of an OL got much weaker this offseason, as they parted ways with the talented JC Tretter. While Nick Harris served as a solid backup and will now step into the starting role, he is a bit of an unknown as he has played barely over 200 snaps in his career.
Reasoning: The Steelers’ place in the AFC North may look very different moving forward compared to years past, as their offense, in particular, is filled with youth. Building around a new young QB, Pittsburgh has done a good job on the interior of the OL but both tackle spots, with Chukwuma Okafor and especially Dan Moore Jr, remain question marks on the team.
Los Angeles Chargers
Reasoning: Los Angeles has made great improvements all over their roster and looks to have one of the best teams in the entire league. That said, they are not without their holes, as the LB position is a weakness on the defense. While investments have been made in the position, the combination of Drue Tranquill and the struggling Kenneth Murray will need to step up.
Las Vegas Raiders
Reasoning: The Raiders look to have one of the best rosters that they have had in years. That said, in such a competitive division with high octane pass rushers, their roster is held to a higher standard. The OL as a whole and specifically the RT position, which is made up of Brandon Parker and Alex Leatherwood, both of whom did not play well last year, could harm the team’s success.
Reasoning: While the AFC West is very talented in 2022, the new-look Broncos could be the best team of them all. With improvements all over the roster, the offense and defense both look great. However, the LB position is still light, as between Josey Jewell, Alex Singleton, and Justin Strnad, the group is a weak point on the roster.
Kansas City Chiefs
Reasoning: The Chiefs had some roster turnover this offseason as well, as many different spots could have been the answer here. That said, like many other teams on his list, off-ball LB is likely their biggest weakness. Outside of second-year man Nick Bolton, the combination of Willie Gay Jr and Jermaine Carter is not ideal at the other LB spots.