Biggest Need for Each NFL Playoff Team

Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes did not have a 1,000 receiver in the regular season for the first time in his career.
Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes did not have a 1,000 receiver in the regular season for the first time in his career. / Jamie Squire/GettyImages
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Los Angeles Rams
Position of need: Cornerback
First draft pick: No. 19
It feels like the Rams are actually a year ahead of schedule in their rebuild. They still have some great veteran leaders in Matthew Stafford, Aaron Donald and Cooper Kupp, but the rest of the roster is either replacement-level talent or really young. Los Angeles got by starting Akhello Witherspoon, Cobie Durant on the outside this year. Witherspoon is a free agent and Durant struggled. Adding a corner in free agency and spending a premium draft pick on one is not out of the question.

Pittsburgh Steelers
Position of need: Cornerback
First draft pick: No. 20
I really considered saying quarterback here. Perhaps that is a bit unfair to Kenny Pickett, who missed the end of the season due to injury, but he had a rocky year when he was healthy. Still, with Pickett just entering his third season, I went with cornerback instead. Chandon Sullivan and Levi Wallace are headed for free agency. Patrick Peterson will turn 34 this summer. Finding a reliable starting option to pair with Joey Porter Jr. should be a priority.

Miami Dolphins
Position of need: Interior offensive line
First draft pick: No. 21
Isaiah Wynn, Connor Williams and Robert Hunt are all headed for free agency. That's Miami's entire starting interior offensive line. Even if the Dolphins bring one of those guys back, this is going to be a major priority this offseason. At pick 21 in the first round, the Dolphins will be in line to draft the top interior prospects in this class. Jackson Powers-Johnson and Troy Fautanu are at the top of the list.

Philadelphia Eagles
Position of need: Cornerback
First draft pick: No. 22
Philly's defense collapsed in the second half of the season. Only the Commanders allowed more touchdown catches this past season. James Bradberry got old quickly. Perhaps Kelee Ringo or Eli Ricks will develop into a starter, but it feels more likely that they wind up being the successor to Darius Slay. With limited cap space, it is likely that the Eagles use an early draft pick at the position. Keep in mind that they have an additional second-rounder from the trade they made with the Saints back in 2022.

Cleveland Browns
Position of need: Linebacker
First draft pick: No. 54
Edge rusher and wide receiver are both areas the Browns will also need to address this offseason, but Cleveland has five off-ball linebackers slated for free agency, including starters Anthony Walker Jr. and Sione Takitaki. That being said, I do not expect this front office to prioritize going after that position in the second round. This is a weak class for the position. Meanwhile, it's deep with receivers and edge rushers. Expect Cleveland to be active in the free-agent linebacker market.

Dallas Cowboys
Position of need: Left Tackle
First draft pick: No. 24
It appears that Tyron Smith's time might truly be up in Dallas. The stalwart left tackle has spent his entire career with the Cowboys since being drafted ninth overall back in 2011. Tyler Smith could slide out to fill that role, but he seems like a better fit at guard and I don't think Terrence Steele is going to be flipping to the opposite after a rough year. If the Cowboys do find a way to bring back Smith, running back and linebacker will move to the top of the list, but if he does not return, Dallas needs to have a contingency plan.

Green Bay Packers
Position of need: Secondary
First draft pick: No. 25
This is a little more vague for Green Bay, but the Packers may truly need to rebuild their entire secondary this offseason. Starting safeties Darnell Savage and Rudy Ford are unrestricted free agents. Starting slot corner Keisean Nixon is as well. Key backups Jonathan Owens and Corey Ballentine are also set to hit the open market. Eric Stokes has struggled to stay on the field and has been inconsistent when he does suit up. Expect the Packers to spend at least one of their three picks in the first two rounds on a defensive back in addition to spending some money to address the group in free agency.