NFC Team Needs Heading Into The 2012 NFL Season

The Draft is over and most teams are feeling good about their choices. But you cannot fill every need in one Draft so we are going to sit down and take a gander at each team and identify their three biggsest needs heading into the 2012 season.   The NFC now gets a turn.

NFC NORTH

Green Bay Packers

1. Running Back -Not a fan of any of the Packers running backs and there isn’t one who opposing teams will need to gameplan for.  If Starks and friends can’t get it done this season, the Pack could be looking at upgrading this position early in the 2013 Draft.

2.  Safety – Nick Collins may not play again, and the talent level and depth need a boost.

3.  Cornerback – They were able to land Casey Hayward in the Draft and that was a good pick, but they simply need more depth at the position.

Detroit Lions

1. Cornerback -The Lions had a huge need here entering the 2012 Draft and while Dwight Bentley was a solid choice in the third round, they could still use another high pick at this position.

2. Linebacker – The Lions added three linebackers in the 2012 Draft.  One may end up playing more defensive end for them, and the other two were later round choices.  This is an area that needs a high level free agent or an early draft pick to properly upgrade.

3. Running Back – The Lions have some talent on their team at this position but unfortunately getting that talent on the field has been an issue.  If Best has more concussion problems, and LeShoure doesn’t bounce back from his ACL injury and can’t keep off the ganja, then the Lions will be forced to get their back of the future either in free agency or next year’s Draft.

Chicago Bears

1. Tight End – The Bears will utilize the tight end more as a pass catcher now that Mike Tice is the O.C.  Problem is they don’t have a great option on their roster right now to fill that spot.

2. Linebacker – Urlacher and Briggs are both great but the Bears would be wise to bring in their replacements soon, as both are creeping up there in age.

3. Guard – The Bears have upgraded their offensive line but still need youth on the interior portions of it.

Minnesota Vikings

1. Safety -The Vikings were wise to trade back into round 1 and grab Notre Dame’s Harrison Smith.  He’ll help but they need more than just him.  A ball hawking type would be a nice addition.

2. Inside Linebacker – EJ Henderson wasn’t resigned and the Vikings are handing over their starting middle linebacker duties to Jasper Brinkley.  If he fails, this need will be a big one in the 2013 offseason.

3. Defensive Tackle – The Vikings used to be impossible to run against, but with Pat Williams gone and Kevin Williams aging rapidly that no longer is the case.  They could use a big run stuffer to clog lanes and reclaim their stake as the toughest team to run against in the league.

NFC EAST

New York Giants

1. Inside Linebacker – The Giants ignored this need in the Draft, after acquiring Keith Rivers just prior to it.  If he isn’t fully recovered or isn’t the same after his injuries this could emerge as the number one need for the team.

2. Offensive Tackle – The Giants added Matt McCants late in the 2012 Draft, but more youth is need at the tackle positions.

3. Guard – Just like offensive tackle the Giants need to get younger at both guard spots.

Philadelphia Eagles

1. Safety – The Eagles have used fairly high draft picks to address this spot but still haven’t gotten it figured out.

2. Tight End – Brent Celek is a nice player but the Eagles could look to add a high caliber end to pair with him.

3. Wide Receiver – This is nit picky as the Eagles are set with Maclin and DeSean Jackson, but they could use an above average slot receiver.

Dallas Cowboys

1. Safety - When the Cowboys moved up to get Morris Claiborne, that took them out of the Mark Barron sweepstakes and left safety as one of their biggest needs heading into the 2012 season.

2. Guard – The Boys signed a couple of guards in free agency but neither appear to be long term solutions.  They should look to drafting a young guard early in 2013.

3. Wide Receiver – The Cowboys could use one more receiver in their corps especially with Danny Coale’s injury.

Washington Redskins

1. Safety – The Redskins signed Brandon Meriweather and Tanard Jackson this offseason but both of those guys have baggage and neither appear to be the long term fix.

2. Cornerback – The Skins could use an infusion of talent to their group of corners along with a side of youth.

3. Defensive End – The Redsksins have been relying on aged veterans playing the five technique in their 3-4.  It’s time to bring in some talented youngsters.

NFC SOUTH

New Orleans Saints

1. Quarterback -Drew Brees is one of the best in the game, but the team has been upsetting him with their handling of his contract extension.  Even when he does eventually sign, the team could still use an upgrade at backup over Chase Daniel.

2. Wide Receiver – The Saints got lucky when Nick Toon was available to them in round 4, as he should be a nice fit in their system.  They still could use some more depth and even a higher draft pick next year to upgrade the talent.

3. Defensive Tackle – The Saints should use a high pick on a defensive tackle who can provide some inside pass rush as well as stuffing running lanes.

Atlanta Falcons

1. Defensive End –
John Abraham is elite but is getting up there in age.  Ray Edwards is better against the run, so a young explosive pass rusher should be high on the Dirty Birds 2013 wish list.

2. Tight End – Tony Gonzales has been amazing and is in such good shape that he could play another 3-5 years, but it’s time for the Falcons to bring in his heir apparent.

3. Linebacker – The Falcons are thin at linebacker after losing Curtis Lofton in free agency.  If Akeem Dent can’t fill his shoes in the middle, this need will skyrocket.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

1. Cornerback -Ronde Barber is ancient and may move to safety this year.  A young talented corner is needed, preferrably one who can stay out of trouble.

2. Offensive Tackle – Jeremy Trueblood hasn’t been good in awhile and the team lacks depth.  This is a major area of concern, particularily on the right side.

3. Center – Jeff Faine is older than the dickens, and it’d be wise for the Bucs to bring in a young swing type of interior lineman who could back up at guard as well.

Carolina Panthers

1. Defensive Tackle -The Panthers were terrible against the run last season, and while drafting ILB Luke Kuechly will help, it’s hard to imagine offensive lineman not being able to get to him with the weak group of defensive tackles the Panthers roll with.

2. Wide Receiver – The Panthers got a nice slot option when they drafted Joe “The Jet” Adams, but a big physical receier who can be an unquestioned no. 1 option for Cam Newton, is needed.

3. Defensive End - Charles Johnson is a great player, but the talent and quality behind him is suspect. 

NFC WEST

San  Francsico 49ers

1. Defensive End – Justin Smith is an elite player but adding a young guy to their rotation would surely help this already top tier defense.

2. Cornerback – I really thought the 49ers would use a high pick at this position in last year’s draft but they ignored it all together.  They are set with their starters for now, but bringing in a young talented cover guy could be paramount next season.

3. Quarterback – The only thing that could keep the 49ers from winning the Super Bowol in 2012 is their quarterback play.  Alex Smith just screams average and the jury is still out on Colin Kaepernick. 

Seattle Seahawks

1. Running Back –
Marshawn Lynch had a good 2011 season when we went into beast mode, and Robert Turbin could be a find in the fourth round, but this team could still use an elite young talent here.

2. Wide Receiver -
Sidney Rice is great the rare times he actually sees the field, Mike Williams is old and slow, and Doug Baldwin is an emerging young slot receiver.  A few young bodies would be welcomed in Seattle.

3. Cornerback –
Brandon Browner has been a successful recclamation project, and Richard Sherman is a solid young player but a little more depth is needed here.

Arizona Cardinals

1. Offensive Tackle -The Cardinals went luxury over necessity in the ’12 Draft and left tackle remains a major concern for this team.

2. Outside Linebacker – 3-4 teams are always looking for more pass rushers, and the Cardinals should look to add one more to rotate in with the promising young duo of Schofield and Acho.

3. Defensive End – Dockett and Campbell are both great players but getting a young defensive end in the fold should be a fairly high priority next season.

St. Louis Rams

1. Running Back -Steven Jackson has been ridden hard the last few season, and the team used a second round choice on Isaiah Pead, but he is more of a change of pace back.  They could invest a high selection on a back who can become a workhorse just like Steven Jackson was all those glorious years.

2. Offensive Tackle – The Rams waited until Round 5 to upgrade their talent at tackle in last year’s Draft and also restructured first round bust Jason Smith’s contract.  If he struggles again on the right side the team may invest a high pick on a tackle in next year’s Draft.

3. Linebacker – James Laurinaitis is solid in the middle but the Rams could stand to improve at both outside linebacker positions.

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