2021 NFL Draft Needs & Order : Analysis For All 32 Teams

After a wild NFL free agency, the dust has settled to show the true NFL draft needs. The 2021 NFL Draft starts on Thursday, April 29th, and runs through Saturday, May 1st. Much like last year, we know who is going first overall as Trevor Lawrence will head to Jacksonville. After that, we are looking at a heavy quarterback class and a lot of skill-position players. You can find all of our scouting reports in our 2021 NFL Draft Guide

2021 NFL Draft Order

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars
  2. New York Jets
  3. San Francisco 49ers (From Miami Dolphins via Houston Texans)
  4. Atlanta Falcons
  5. Cincinnati Bengals
  6. Miami Dolphins (From Philadelphia Eagles)
  7. Detroit Lions
  8. Carolina Panthers
  9. Denver Broncos
  10. Dallas Cowboys
  11. New York Giants
  12. Philadelphia Eagles (From Miami Dolphins via San Francisco 49ers)
  13. Los Angeles Chargers
  14. Minnesota Vikings
  15. New England Patriots
  16. Arizona Cardinals
  17. Las Vegas Raiders
  18. Miami Dolphins
  19. Washington Football Team
  20. Chicago Bears
  21. Indianapolis Colts
  22. Tennessee Titans
  23. New York Jets (From Seattle Seahawks)
  24. Pittsburgh Steelers
  25. Jacksonville Jaguars (From Los Angeles Rams)
  26. Cleveland Browns
  27. Baltimore Ravens
  28. New Orleans Saints
  29. Buffalo Bills
  30. Kansas City Chiefs
  31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Team Needs for All 32 Teams

1. Jacksonville JaguarsJacksonville Jaguars

Draft Needs: QB, TE, S, OL

The Jaguars signed Shaquill Griffin over free agency, which adds to their secondary. We know they will take Trevor Lawrence, which checks off the need for a quarterback. With plenty of draft picks, they should also address their need for a safety, even though they also added Rayshawn Jenkins. Secondary needs should include some more depth at WR/TE for Lawrence.

New York Jets2. New York Jets

Draft Needs: QB, CB, OL, RB, EDGE

Much like Jacksonville, New York has a few first-round picks, and the top one will check off the quarterback need. New York added Corey Davis and Keelan Cole, which add to Jamison Crowder and Denzel Mims. New York spent a bit more with Carl Cawson and Sheldon Rankins. They desperately need to add some corners in this draft, as well as the offensive line. The Jets should also be in the market for a running back and tight end.

San Francisco 49ers3. San Francisco 49ers

Draft Needs: QB, CB, OL, DL

San Franciso is now in a spot to address the future quarterback position. As many have known, Jimmy Garoppolo was not going to be the answer. The 49ers still need some additional help, especially in the secondary. The linebacking core is solid, but they also need some help on both sides of the line, mainly the interior.

Atlanta Falcons4. Atlanta Falcons

Draft Needs: CB, EDGE, S, OL

Health has hurt the Falcons over the last few years, but they have also whiffed at some key positions. Atlanta really needs to develop a better pass rush, and they will have chances in this draft. The secondary is also a major need, which was glaring for most of last season. The free agency additions at linebacker should help, but the defensive side needs a lot of work.

Cincinnati Bengals5. Cincinnati Bengals

Draft Needs: OL, EDGE, TE, WR

Protect Joe Burrow. This needs to be the ultimate priority. Cincinnati letting Carl Lawson go and signing trey Hendrickson was an odd decision, and Cincy still needs to add an EDGE player in this draft. AJ Green and John Ross are both gone, so the WR position is a bit thinner. Both offensive line and wide receiver are deep in this draft so that the Bengals will have some options.

Miami Dolphins6. Miami Dolphins

Draft Needs: EDGE, OL, RB, WR

The addition of Will Fuller gives them a one-year player, but they still need to add to the receiver position. Miami has a few picks and continues to acquire a ton of draft capital. This should also mean they look to add to the offensive line and edge positions. The Dolphins also need to look for a future running back.

Detroit Lions7. Detroit Lions

Draft Needs: WR, S, CB, LB

Can I just put everything? Detroit needs just about every position under the sun. Free agency for Detroit looked like the last few rounds of a 14-team fantasy football league. It helped, but the Lions need to add pieces for the future in just about every department. Detroit could go a few ways with their top pick, where a guy like Parsons fits a major need, but as does any of the wide receivers.

Carolina Panthers8. Carolina Panthers

Draft Needs: OL, QB, CB, TE

Carolina has been adding to their defense over the last few years and really nailing most of their picks. Teddy Bridgewater struggled last season, which was surprising given the Panthers had one of the better receiving cores around him. Carolina is a team that is close, and a push for one of these younger quarterbacks could have them take another jump. The offensive line and some corner depth are also needed.

Denver Broncos9. Denver Broncos

Draft Needs: QB, DL, OL, LB

Denver is a team that is a quarterback piece away from being an outstanding team. They beefed up the secondary by re-signing Harris and also bringing in Kyle Fuller and Ronald Darby. Denver should have much of their focus on trying to get one of these top quarterbacks and fixing the offensive line. If you want to look at RB as a deep secondary need, there will be a few late in Denver’s draft to take a stab at.

Dallas Cowboys10. Dallas Cowboys

Draft Needs: CB, LB, OL, DL

As we saw last season, the defense should be the priority. The secondary is a major need, and Keanu Neal can help, but their corner play needs to be addressed. Dallas also needs to address the front seven. With their skill position players locked up, getting one of the top corners in the draft and addressing the EDGE/LB positions would be ideal for Dallas.

New York Giants11. New York Giants

Draft Needs: OL, EDGE, DT, QB

New York has made some solid additions in free agency, landing Kenny Golladay for a few years. They also signed Adoree Jackson, whose defense is really a major EDGE rusher away from being one of the better football units. Offensively they need some line help, which is easy to find in this draft. They allowed the second-highest pressure rate in the NFL. New York doesn’t seem to be in the market for a QB, but if Jones can’t get it done this year, they will be pressed to move on.

Philadelphia Eagles12. Philadelphia Eagles

Draft Needs: WR, CB, LB, OL

Philadelphia is in dire need of an overhaul at most positions. This team lacks playmakers and has for some time now. The secondary will get some help with Anthony Harris, but corner is where they need to look in the draft. The offensive line has dealt with injuries but still needs another body or two to play multiple positions. The Eagles did acquire some draft capital to address a few of these with quality rookies.

Los Angeles Chargers13. Los Angeles Chargers

Draft Needs: CB, TE, EDGE, S

The Chargers started the offseason very nicely by adding Corey Linsley and a few other linemen to give them some depth. Jared Cook was a quick replacement for Hunter Henry and gave Justin Herbert another weapon. Los Angles could still further their weapons for Herbert by adding another WR or TE, but need some help at corner and another EDGE rusher.

Minnesota Vikings14. Minnesota Vikings

Draft Needs: OL, CB, DL

Minnesota saw some key players hit the road this offseason with Anthony Harris and Riley Reiff. The offensive line is a huge need coming off a season where they were pressured on 30.2% of dropbacks. Minnesota should also be looking to add some secondary help, especially if corners they spent picks on last year continue to be inconsistent. The Vikings have some EDGE needs, but some pressure could be relieved if Hunter returns as the same player.

New England Patriots15. New England Patriots

Draft Needs: QB, WR, DL, LB

New England went out and unloaded their stimulus check in free agency. They beefed up the tight ends with Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry and also brought in Matt Judon. The Patriots need a quarterback and some weapons at wide receiver. Of course, they are teams that could move up in the draft to acquire that future QB. Defensively they will welcome back some of the opt-outs from last season but could use some help along the line.

Arizona Cardinals16. Arizona Cardinals

Draft Needs: CB, OL, EDGE, S

The Cardinals made strides in acquiring and drafting younger talent, but this has been an organization that continuously finds guys at the end of their careers. Green and Watt are not guys for the future, so depth is still needed at those positions. A corner that is NFL-ready is needed this draft. They missed out on some corners that ended up moving around, which might be disappointing in hindsight.

Oakland Raiders17. Las Vegas Raiders

Draft Needs: OL, CB, S, DL

Las Vegas continues to baffle me, as they stripped their offensive line this offseason and brought in Kenyan Drake to play *checks notes* wide receiver? They added Yannick Ngakoue, Solomon Thomas, and John Brown, but this team needs to badly bolster their secondary and EDGE rushers.

washington football team18. Washington Football Team

Draft Needs: QB, WR, TE, OL

Washington continues to move in the right direction and has boughten themselves some time with Ryan Fitzpatrick. They also added William Jackson III and Curtis Samuels, which addressed a few needs early on. They still need offensive line help and a quarterback for the future. Samuel is an upgrade, but the team does need another playmaker or two, whether that comes at tight end or wide receiver.

Chicago Bears19. Chicago Bears

Draft Needs: QB, WR, OL, CB

Chicago continues to move in the wrong direction. They entered the offseason with a set of needs, and after a few months, that list has grown. The offense is desperate for a quarterback, and Allen Robinson will only be here one more year after the franchise tag. They also let a few key defensive players walk, so now EDGE and secondary players are desperately needed.

Indianpolis Colts20. Indianapolis Colts

Draft Needs: OL, EDGE, CB, WR

With Anthony Costanzo retiring, the Colts will need to plug up their left tackle this offseason. They did bring back Xavier Rhodes on another one-year deal but still need to address the secondary. Indianapolis has been drafting WRs heavily of late, but injuries have kept them from seeing what they have. I still believe they need a true alpha-WR1. Edge is also a major need for them, which there are plenty to choose from, but an instant-impact guy is needed.

Tennessee Titans21. Tennessee Titans

Draft Needs: WR, TE, CB, S

The Titans really need to bulk up their offensive weapons again. Corey Davis and Jonnu Smith leave glaring holes around AJ Brown and Ryan Tannehill. The secondary has also been a key need, and losing King and Jackson will hurt. They did sign Denico Autry and Bud Dupree, but this team still needs a lot of help on defense.

Pittsburgh Steelers22. Pittsburgh Steelers

Draft Needs: OL, RB, CB, LB

Pittsburgh struggled to run the ball and had a quick passing scheme to negate the offensive line’s struggles. They will need to bulk up again and possibly add a running back in this draft as they don’t have a clear-cut one on the roster. The secondary also saw some departures, and a corner was added to the list of needs over the last few weeks.

Cleveland Browns23. Cleveland Browns

Draft Needs: LB, OL, DT, CB

Cleveland made some excellent pickups with Troy Hill, John Johnson III, and Malik Jackson. This team is in great spots to address a few needs and make another Super Bowl push. Another EDGE player would be a plus, and the same goes for building back up the linebackers. The secondary was missing many players due to health, and a healthy secondary will get this team to another level.

Baltimore Ravens24. Baltimore Ravens

Draft Needs: WR, EDGE, OL, S

The Ravens have been one of the better teams in the NFL to be able to fill needs quickly. They added Kevin Zeitler, who helps their offensive line needs. They let Yannick Ngakoue and Matt Judon walk but could quickly find an EDGE in this draft and speed up his readiness in the NFL. Safety and wide receivers are the two needs. A strong WR to pair with Andrews and Brown would be a big plus for the offense.

New Orleans Saints25. New Orleans Saints

Draft Needs: WR, CB, DL, LB

New Orleans stood pat in free agency, despite losing Jared Cook, Emmanuel Sanders, Sheldon Rankins, and Trey Hendrickson. Drew Brees also retired, but Jameis Winston is set to get another chance. The Saints will likely address other needs before QB this offseason, where they need to add a second WR and beef up their cornerback position.

Green Bay Packers26. Green Bay Packers

Draft Needs: WR, OL, CB, LB

Green Bay wasted their picks last draft for AJ Dillon and Jordan Love. They are beginning to add to their needs now as they need a second corner opposite Alexander and need some linebacker help. I still find the Packers in need of a true WR2, even though Aaron Rodgers makes most players better.

Buffalo Bills27. Buffalo Bills

Draft Needs: EDGE, OL, CB, TE

The Bills are really missing a major EDGE piece on defense. One of the best secondaries in football, suring up the middle of the defense and adding a pass rusher would give them a major jump. Most teams continue to need offensive line help, but the defense should be a real focus this offseason. With the heavy offensive players going in the first round, this should leave a defensive stud for Buffalo to take.

Kansas City Chiefs28. Kansas City Chiefs

Draft Needs: OL, WR, CB, EDGE

Rotating some offensive lineman and acquiring Joe Thuney and Kyle Long does give them some fill-ins for the meantime, but they could still use depth here. The same goes for adding an EDGE rusher and corner. Overall this is more about filling some light needs as the Chiefs are among the elite teams in the league.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Draft Needs: DL, EDGE, QB, RB

Tampa will run back the same team as last season, but we can still look at both the offensive and defensive line because some of these names will leave after next season. They have struck gold with some of their late picks with White and Winfield Jr. Many will want the Buccaneers to go running back, which is a small need, but not as important as possibly adding an EDGE lineman who can learn one year and jump in the next.

Seattle Seahawks30. Seattle Seahawks

Draft Needs: OL, DL, LB, CB

Seattle brought in Ahkello Witherspoon to replace Shaquill Griffin, but there is still a need to add some depth at the corner. Gerald Everett and Kerry Hyder also joined Seattle this offseason. The offensive line still is a need, and this team struggled to get much pressure last year. The defense is far from what it used to be, and in this division, that is a problem.

Houston Texans31. Houston Texans

Draft Needs: WR, S, CB, DL

Houston is in deep trouble right now. The amount of needs they have is larger than the number of picks they have. After some braindead moves over the last few years, they do not have a first-round pick and can’t capitalize on an excellent draft class. Will Fuller leaving now gives them a helpless receiving core. The defense has been bottom-ten for the past two seasons, and players continue to leave.

Los Angeles Rams32. Los Angeles Rams

Draft Needs: OL, LB, CB, EDGE

The Rams lost some key secondary pieces with Troy Hill and John Johnson. Adding to the secondary is a need, but they failed to replace Cory Littleton last season after leaving, and it showed at times. Some EDGE rushers and linebackers can be useful on Day 2 of the draft, which is where the Rams will start their draft after trading away their first-round pick.

  
Jason Guilbault has been writing and podcasting in the fantasy sports world for over five years. You can find his work at Daily Fantasy Cafe. He is an avid Tottenham fan, and follows the Boston sports teams. When he isn’t diving into stats, he is enjoying the outdoors or down at the local brewery.

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