Even though the 2022 season just got started, teams are already deciding what positional needs they might target in the upcoming draft. The work of NFL front offices never stops. Even after they finished their 2022 offseason activities, they’re likely already digging deep into 2023 draft prospects.
Good teams are primarily built through the draft, with free agency existing to supplement the roster and likely cover for misses on draft picks. The 2022 season is just three weeks old, but it’s clear that some teams have extremely urgent needs that they should try to fix in the upcoming draft.
Most urgent needs across the entire NFL?
Seattle Seahawks and Carolina Panthers, QB
Perhaps the most urgent needs that currently exist in the NFL lay with the Seahawks and Panthers, who both need to find a franchise quarterback. Seattle traded Russell Wilson away and are kidding themselves if they think that Geno Smith or Drew Lock could be their franchise player. It’s clear that they won’t win a ton of games this year and will need to swing on a quarterback in April.
The Panthers have tried to find a replacement when Cam Newton fizzled out, and it isn’t working too well. Baker Mayfield is a low-end starter who was thrown into the offense late into the offseason. It’s clear that Mayfield likely won’t be the long-term guy, or else the Browns wouldn’t have traded him in the first place.
Chicago Bears, OL
If the Bears are confident that Justin Fields can be that guy, they need to add multiple offensive linemen in the 2023 NFL Draft. New GM Ryan Poles does not share any connections with Fields, but the second year signal caller does have desirable traits that could be unleashed.
The Bears’ offensive line is truly a mess, and I’m not sure any of them will end up continuing to start in 2023 and beyond. It’s perhaps one of the weakest units of any position in the NFL.
New England Patriots, WR
The Patriots’ situation at receiver is interesting. They have a handful of good receivers in Nelson Agolor, Jakobi Meyers, and Kendrick Bourne, but do not have a true, unquestioned WR1 who could be the Justin Jefferson or Ja’Marr Chase of an offense.
Head coach Bill Belichick has had troubles with trying to find a true WR1, and the trade for DeVante Parker proves that. If New England cannot find their own version of a Chase or Jefferson, New England may not be competing for a playoff spot anytime soon.