Panthers need pass-catchers
The Panthers lost Steve Smith, Brandon LaFell and Ted Ginn in free agency. Jerricho Cotchery, Tiquan Underwood and Jason Avant were signed to replace them, but Cotchery is the only one we're confident will even make the team. Essentially the Panthers went from a below-average NFL receiver group to a below-NFL receiver group. General manager Dave Gettleman is putting a ton of pressure on Cam Newton, a depleted offensive line and a few rookie wide receivers to be named later.
-- Gregg Rosenthal
Browns must locate QB1
The Cleveland Browns could be one player away from making the playoffs. Unfortunately, that player is the most important one on the football field.
The lack of a stable, playmaking signal-caller has been the biggest hole in Cleveland for the past generation -- there are 18-year-old Browns fans who have never seen solid quarterback play from their team.
New general manager Ray Farmer and coach Mike Pettine shored up all the other needy areas. On paper the Browns are stellar at every position outside of quarterback. They will add one in the NFL draft; it just comes down to which round and how ready he will be to start.
Relying on Brian Hoyer coming off an ACL tear is straight folly and there are no difference makers left on the open market. (Please don't try to sell Rex Grossman here; in Chicago you can get slapped on the street for just saying his name.)
-- Kevin Patra
K.C. needs a wideout -- or two
For this offense to pick up where it left off last season, Andy Reid must source new playmakers in the passing game. Dwayne Bowe is overpaid and hardly an inspiring No. 1 after squeezing out just 57 catches in 2013.
Kansas City's second-leading receiver, Dexter McCluster, is gone. That leaves Donnie Avery, who averaged just 2.5 catches per game, as the No. 2 option ahead of projects Junior Hemingway and A.J. Jenkins.
Alex Smith lit up the Colts for 363 yards in the wild-card loss to Indy, but the Chiefs finished the year as the 24th-ranked air attack and a lowly 27th in yards per attempt (6.5). Staring at a receiver-rich draft class, it's time for Reid to rip off the training wheels and find one -- maybe two -- field-stretching targets who can diversify this offense.
-- Marc Sessler
If not Revis, then who for Jets?
The Jets had the opportunity last month to pull off something that was nearly unthinkable six months ago. Darrelle Revis was on the open market, and reportedly open to returning to the team that had traded him away less than a year earlier.
The Jets passed on the reunion, then watched one of the greatest players in franchise history align with the hated Patriots. The Jets lost out to another rival, this time the Giants, in their attempt to sign Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Antonio Cromartie, meanwhile, held little appeal to the Jets as a fallback option and signed with the Cardinals at a deep discount.
Where does that leave the Jets? Dee Milliner made positive strides as his rocky rookie season progressed, but he hardly seems ready to take on the No. 1 corner role. The team added some depth with Dimitri Patterson, but durability issues (he's played 15 games in the past three seasons) keep him from being a realistic starting option. Could the Jets use their first-round pick on a cornerback for the third time in five years? It's certainly possible.
-- Dan Hanzus
Jacksonville needs a signal-caller
Don't get me wrong. We like what the Jaguars have accomplished this offseason. Coach Gus Bradley and general manager David Caldwell have a plan in place, but quarterback remains a position of weakness.
That might not happen with the third overall pick, but Caldwell acknowledged at the NFL Annual Meeting that the team is open to an upgrade, saying: "I don't know if we're going to find that guy, but I hope we do."
No better time than now.
-- Marc Sessler
Eli needs a tight end
Brandon Myers was the team's third-leading receiver last season, a telling stat when you consider Myers didn't play particularly well in his one season in New York. The team signed Kellen Davis away from the Seahawks, but expecting Davis to be anything more than a blocking tight end is asking for trouble.
-- Dan Hanzus
Tennessee has to find a workhorse
Shonn Greene and Leon Washington weren't a duo to build a backfield around when they were teammates back on the 2009 New York Jets. That's doubly true after getting reunited on the Titans. Greene is a league-average backup, which means the Titans would ideally find a rookie to replace Chris Johnson's carries.
The organization has openly talked about needing to add running backs in this draft, and coach Ken Whisenhunt is coming from a San Diego team that turned the clock back to 1970s football. Tennessee's approach in free agency indicates that they are planning to grab a bell cow in the draft, probably during the second or third round.
-- Gregg Rosenthal