Expert Analysis


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How Each NFC Team Filled Their Biggest Needs

How Each NFC Team Filled Their Biggest Needs

Like the AFC teams, clubs from the NFC were also able to address some key needs during the NFL draft. We will take a look at how each NFC team filled their biggest needs.

Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals made a splash on night one by trading their pick and adding a starting WR in Marquise Brown. With the remainder of their picks, they were still able to add positions that they had holes at, TE Trey McBride, and EDGEs Cameron Thomas and Myjai Sanders, in particular.

Draft Class:

Pick 55: Colorado State TE Trey McBride

Pick 87: San Diego State ED Cameron Thomas

Pick 100: Cincinnati ED Myjai Sanders

Pick 201: USC RB Keaontay Ingram

Pick 215: Virginia Tech OG Lecitus Smith

Pick 244: Valdosta State DB Christian Matthew

Pick 256: Penn State Edge Jesse Luketa

Pick 257: Oklahoma OG Marquis Hayes

San Francisco 49ers

Thanks to the trade up to select Trey Lance last season, the 49ers were without their first-round pick. That said, they were still able to find quality pieces on day 2, as they look to make another deep playoff run. Drake Jackson will provide pass rushing upside to compliment Nick Bosa and Dee Ford. Danny Gray will give them more speed at WR, which is something San Francisco was clearly looking for.

Draft Class:

Pick 61: USC Edge Drake Jackson

Pick 94: LSU RB Tyrion Davis-Price

Pick 105: SMU WR Danny Gray

Pick 134: UTSA OT Spencer Burford

Pick 172: Toledo CB Samuel Womack

Pick 187: Fordham OT Nick Zakelj

Pick 220: UCF DT Kalia Davis

Pick 221: Penn State CB Tariq Castro-Fields

Pick 262: Iowa State QB Brock Purdy

Los Angeles Rams

Due to trading for veterans Matt Stafford and Von Miller, the Rams, yet again, lacked many draft picks. They will likely be considered a “loser” of draft weekend, but coming off a SB victory, it seems their unique strategy has worked thus far. Players like Logan Bruss, Decobie Durant, and Derion Kendrick will all provide immediate depth.

Draft Class:

Pick 104: Wisconsin OG Logan Bruss

Pick 142: South Carolina State CB Decobie Durant

Pick 164: Notre Dame RB Kyren Williams

Pick 211: UCLA S Quentin Lake

Pick 212: Georgia CB Derion Kendrick

Pick 235: Montana State DE Daniel Hardy

Pick 253: Kansas State S Russ Yeast

Pick 261: Michigan State OT A.J. Arcuri

Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks have not drafted especially well over the past several seasons but after trading Russell Wilson during the offseason, they acquired enough valuable picks to draft highly desired players. While they decided not to fill their need at QB, they did so at OT and EDGE in a big way by selecting Charles Cross, Abraham Lucas, and Boye Mafe. They also added Kenneth Walker III as Rashad Penny is set to be a free agent after the season. CB depth was also a clear priority as Coby Bryant and Tariq Woolen both have starter upside.

Draft Class:

Pick 9: Mississippi State OT Charles Cross

Pick 40: Minnesota Edge Boye Mafe

Pick 41: Michigan State RB Kenneth Walker III

Pick 72: Washington State OT Abraham Lucas

Pick 109: Cincinnati CB Coby Bryant

Pick 153: UTSA CB Tariq Woolen

Pick 158: Ohio State Edge Tyreke Smith

Pick 229: Rutgers WR Bo Melton

Pick 233: Lenoir Rhyne WR Dareke Young

New York Giants

Due to last year’s trade down, the Giants had two top 10 selections. They capitalized on those by adding top of the line players in the trenches in Kayvon Thibodeaux and Evan Neal. They also added exciting gadget WR Wan’Dale Robinson and selected many depth pieces all over the roster, as they look to get cheaper and younger as a whole.

Draft Class:

Pick 5: Oregon Edge Kayvon Thibodeaux

Pick 7: Alabama OT Evan Neal

Pick 43: Kentucky WR Wan'Dale Robinson

Pick 67: North Carolina OG Joshua Ezeudu

Pick 81: LSU CB Cordale Flott

Pick 112: San Diego State TE Daniel Bellinger

Pick 114: Iowa S Dane Belton

Pick 146: Indiana LB Micah McFadden

Pick 147: Arizona State DT DJ Davidson

Pick 173: North Carolina G Marcus McKethan

Pick 182: Cincinnati LB Darrian Beavers

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles may have easily “won” the entire weekend with their draft and draft day trades. After compiling picks over the last few years, they were able to make a move for Pro Bowl WR AJ Brown, then still came away with Jordan Davis, Cam Jurgens, and the falling Nakobe Dean, all of whom can be very valuable starters at the next level.

Draft Class:

Pick 13: Georgia DT Jordan Davis

Pick 51: Nebraska C Cam Jurgens

Pick 83: Georgia LB Nakobe Dean

Pick 181: Kansas ED Kyron Johnson

Pick 198: SMU TE Grant Calcaterra

Washington Commanders

After acquiring Carson Wentz this offseason, the Commanders focused on upgrading on the outside at WR where Jahan Dotson can play opposite Terry McLaurin. After losing some strength on the interior of the DL, they were able to bolster the area by adding another Alabama DT in Phidarian Mathis. As QB Sam Howell fell down draft boards, Washington also took a chance on him, as he has starting potential and can be a high-level back-up as well.

Draft Class:

Pick 16: Penn State WR Jahan Dotson

Pick 47: Alabama DT Phidarian Mathis

Pick 98: Alabama RB Brian Robinson

Pick 113: Louisiana S Percy Butler

Pick 144: North Carolina QB Sam Howell

Pick 149: Nevada TE Cole Turner

Pick 230: Tulsa G Chris Paul

Pick 240: Oklahoma State CB Christian Holmes

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys returned several key players on their roster this year and look poised for another run in a more competitive NFC East. That said, there were still some clear holes in their roster, particularly at OT, ED, and WR, thanks to the departures of La’el Collins, Randy Gregory, and Amari Cooper. With their first three picks, they focused on upgrading those positions, as they selected Tyler Smith, Sam Williams, and Jalen Tolbert.

Draft Class:

Pick 24: Tulsa OT Tyler Smith

Pick 56: Ole Miss DE Sam Williams

Pick 88: South Alabama WR Jalen Tolbert

Pick 129: Wisconsin TE Jake Ferguson

Pick 155: North Dakota OT Matt Waletzko

Pick 167: Fresno State CB DaRon Bland

Pick 176: LSU LB Damone Clark

Pick 178: Arkansas DT John Ridgeway

Pick 193: Oklahoma State LB Devin Harper

Green Bay Packers

With the departure of Davante Adams, the Packers were able to add some valuable picks, as they look to make their expensive, and soon to be even more expensive, cheaper. As a result, however, they had major holes at WR, in addition to needs at LB, DT, and OL depth. They were aggressive and picked three times in the top 34, coming away with Quay Walker, Devonte Wyatt, and Christian Watson. They also added Sean Rhyan and Zach Tom, as both have clear starting potential along the OL. Romeo Doubs was another selection at WR, as he's a player who can make an immediate impact in the receiver room.

Draft Class:

Pick 22: Georgia LB Quay Walker

Pick 28: Georgia DT Devonte Wyatt

Pick 34: North Dakota State WR Christian Watson

Pick 92: UCLA OT Sean Rhyan

Pick 132: Nevada WR Romeo Doubs

Pick 140: Wake Forest OT Zach Tom

Pick 179: South Carolina LB Kingsley Enagbare

Pick 228: Georgia Tech LB Tariq Carpenter

Pick 234: Miami DT Jonathan Ford

Pick 249: Penn State OT Rasheed Walker

Pick 258: Nebraska WR Samori Toure

Detroit Lions

The Lions are laying the important foundation for their rebuild and after last year’s class, certainly, are committed to building up the trenches. They added to this philosophy in a big way after selecting Aidan Hutchinson and Josh Paschal. With a big hole at WR, as well, they made an aggressive trade up for Jameson Williams once the run on first round WRs was underway. Adding Kerby Joseph to the young secondary was also another move that filled a need.

Draft Class:

Pick 2: Michigan Edge Aidan Hutchinson

Pick 12: Alabama WR Jameson Williams

Pick 46: Kentucky DL Josh Paschal

Pick 97: Illinois S Kerby Joseph

Pick 177: Virginia Tech TE James Mitchell

Pick 188: Oklahoma State LB Malcolm Rodriguez

Pick 217: Jackson State Edge James Houston

Pick 237: Arizona State CB Chase Lucas

Minnesota Vikings

With a new regime in place, the Vikings were active on draft night, as they traded back in the draft to acquire more picks once the top CBs had been taken off the board. With clear needs in the secondary, they spent their first two picks on Lewis Cine and Andrew Booth, who should both be starters right away. They also upgraded the trenches by adding Ed Ingram and added more talent and speed to the LB move with Brian Asamoah.

Draft Class:

Pick 32: Georgia S Lewis Cine

Pick 42: Clemson CB Andrew Booth

Pick 59: LSU OG Ed Ingram

Pick 66: Oklahoma LB Brian Asamoah

Pick 118: Missouri CB Akayleb Evans

Pick 165: Minnesota ED Esezi Otomewo

Pick 169: North Carolina RB Ty Chandler

Pick 184: Illinois OT Vederian Lowe

Pick 191: Michigan State WR Jalen Nailor

Pick 227: South Carolina TE Nick Muse

Chicago Bears

This draft seemed that it was going to be all about putting talent around Justin Fields, but without a first-round selection this year, the board did not help this plan. As a result, the Bears looked to upgrade a number of other big needs, especially in the secondary, where they selected Kyler Gordon and Jaquan Brisker, making the Bears secondary a very legitimate group. Adding depth all over the place, they did get Justin Fields, a WR in the electric slot receiver and return man, Velus Jones.

Draft Class:

Pick 39: Washington CB Kyler Gordon

Pick 48: Penn State S Jaquan Brisker

Pick 71: Tennessee WR Velus Jones

Pick 168: Southern Utah OT Braxton Jones

Pick 174: Miami (Ohio) Edge Dominique Robinson

Pick 186: San Diego State OT Zach Thomas

Pick 203: Baylor RB Trestan Ebner

Pick 207: Illinois C Doug Kramer

Pick 226: Southern OG Ja'Tyre Carter

Pick 254: California DB Elijah Hicks

Pick 255: N.C. State P Trenton Gill

Carolina Panthers

With clear needs at QB and LT, it seemed like the Panthers would address either one at 6. With Ikem Ekwonu on the board, he was too good to pass up on, even with their choice at any QB. They did get the falling Matt Corral on day two, then took two highly athletic, developmental defensive prospects in Brandon Smith and Amare Barno.

Draft Class:

Pick 6: N.C. State OT Ikem Ekwonu

Pick 94: Ole Miss QB Matt Corral

Pick 120: Penn State LB Brandon Smith

Pick 189: Virginia Tech Edge Amare Barno

Pick 199: Tennessee OG Cade Mays

Pick 242: Baylor CB Kalon Barnes

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

While Tom Brady decided to return to the Bucs this offseason, the departures of Ali Marpet, Ndamukong Suh, and Ronald Jones left clear holes in a very talented roster. After trading back out of round 1, Tampa Bay was still able to fill those needs, strengthening the trenches with Logan Hall and Luke Goedeke. They also added needed RB and TE depth with Rachaad White and Cade Otton.

Draft Class:

Pick 33: Houston DE Logan Hall

Pick 57: Central Michigan OG Luke Goedeke

Pick 91: Arizona State RB Rachaad White

Pick 106: Washington TE Cade Otton

Pick 133: Georgia P Jake Camarda

Pick 157: Sam Houston State CB Zyon McCollum

Pick 218: Minnesota TE Ko Kieft

Pick 248: LSU LB Andre Anthony

Atlanta Falcons

Major changes to the Falcons roster took place this season, as they traded Matt Ryan and announced the suspension of Calvin Ridley. As a result, holes all over the defense, QB, and especially WR were significant. With their five top 100 picks, the Falcons filled many of these needs and more when they selected WR Drake London and QB Desmond Ridder, who could see the field this year. On defense, they added a lot of pass rush help in Arnold Ebiketie and DeAngelo Malone and added versatile athletic LB Troy Andersen.

Draft Class:

Pick 8: USC WR Drake London

Pick 38: Penn State Edge Arnold Ebiketie

Pick 58: Montana State LB Troy Andersen

Pick 74: Cincinnati QB Desmond Ridder

Pick 82: Western Kentucky Edge DeAngelo Malone

Pick 151: BYU RB Tyler Allgeier

Pick 190: Georgia OG Justin Shaffer

Pick 213: Georgia TE John Fitzpatrick

New Orleans Saints

It seems as though much of the salary cap gymnastics finally caught up to the Saints this offseason as they were unable to retain many key players, who became too expensive, OT Terron Armstead and S Marcus Williams, in particular. They also had a big need at WR, as they were able to get a few players to fill those needs. They executed a first-round trade up, taking Chris Olave, then selected OT Trevor Penning with their second selection.

Draft Class:

Pick 11: Ohio State WR Chris Olave

Pick 19: Northern Iowa OT Trevor Penning

Pick 49: Tennessee CB Alontae Taylor

Pick 161: Appalachian State LB D'Marco Jackson

Pick 194: Air Force DT Jordan Jackson

Find How Each AFC Team Filled Their Biggest Needs Here