Position of need: Wide Receiver
First draft pick: No. 33 overall
Carolina is a mess, and I'm not just talking about the video of David Tepper that appears to show him throwing a drink at a Jaguars fan during the team's shutout loss in Week 17 (they were shut out in Week 18 as well). Bryce Young was hung out to dry this season. His protection was not great and his head coach was fired after just 11 games. However, the biggest issue was that Young had the worst receiving corps in the league. 33-year-old Adam Theilen found the fountain of youth and turned in a 1,000-yard season. No one else on the team eclipsed 525 receiving yards. 2023 second-round pick Jonathan Mingo was a major disappointment. Terrace Marshall and Tommy Tremble have failed to develop. The good news for the Panthers is that this is one of the deepest receiver drafts in recent memory.
Position of need: Offensive Tackle
First draft pick: No. 2 overall
For much of the season, it felt Sam Howell had done enough to keep his job for the 2024 season. Unfortunately, he imploded down the stretch of the season and the Commanders lost enough games to be in range to select his replacement. Not all of it was Howell's fault though. Washington was on pace to give up the most sacks in NFL history. Even with the line playing a bit better in the second half of the season, Charles Leno and Andrew Wylie are both veterans that could and probably should be replaced. Leno could be a post-June 1 cut as well. Quarterback should and likely will be the pick at No. 2, but Washington needs to invest either premium draft capital, they have two second-round picks, or money in free agency at the position.
Position of need: Quarterback
First draft pick: No. 3 overall
The Patriots have needs all over this offense. The offensive line has deteriorated and the skill position group rivals the Panthers for the worst in the league. Despite all of that, quarterback is the clear focus of this offensive rebuild. Mac Jones has regressed immensely from his rookie season, where he was far from great to begin with. Bailey Zappe looks like a solid backup, but that's about it. Whether it is a veteran like Justin Fields or Russell Wilson, or a rookie they draft at No. 3, New England needs to start over at the position.
Position of need: Cornerback
First draft pick: No. 4 overall
Here is the list of teams that are allowing a higher completion percentage to opposing quarterbacks this season than the Cardinals: the Minnesota Vikings. That's it. That's the whole list. Only the Eagles and Commanders have allowed more passing touchdowns this season. They cut Marco Wilson already this season. With Rachad Fenton injured, they are starting the duo of Starling Thomas V and Antonio Hamilton Sr. Arizona is in desperate need of an infusion of talent at corner. You have to think the Cardinals will take one with their second first-round pick, courtesy of Houston, or their second-round pick this year in addition to making a move in free agency.
Los Angeles Chargers
Position of need: Cornerback
First draft pick: No. 5 overall
Don't misinterpret this, Asante Samuel Jr. is a great player. The Chargers are just rolling out CFL-level players across from him. Michael Davis has been benched several times. L.A. traded J.C. Jackson back to the Patriots for a late-round pick swap in 2025 less than two years after signing him to a mega deal. The Chargers ranked in the bottom three of the league in passing yards per game allowed, yards per passing yards per attempt allowed and opponent's passer rating heading into their Week 18 matchup with Blaine Gabbert. This team needs a lot of retooling, but it has to start in the secondary.
Position of need: Offensive line
First draft pick: No. 6 overall
I left this one a little more open-ended because the Giants could go a number of different routes to repairing their offensive line. This unit is historically bad. Only the 1986 Eagles have allowed more sacks in a single season. Evan Neal has been a major disappointment. Kicking him inside might be the only way to salvage his career. That could require New York to find a new right tackle to facilitate that move. The interior line might need some work as well. Justin Pugh came straight off the couch to take over at left tackle and now left guard with Andrew Thomas finally healthy. The Giants could conceivably opt to keep Neal at right tackle and beef up the interior instead. No matter which approach they take, they need to invest in the offensive line heavily this offseason.