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2016 NFL Draft order and needs: Playoff teams

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Draft needs are still in flux as the first wave of free agency settles, and this post will be updated as player movement continues. This is the first-round order of the 2016 NFL Draft, with the top positional needs for every team as of March 10. The draft order is determined by record, and using strength of schedule as a tiebreaker (record and strength of schedule are official tiebreakers to determine the draft order).

Eliminated during Wild Card Weekend


21. Washington Redskins
2015 record: 9-7 (.465)
Top need: Center
Other needs: Defensive line, wide receiver, cornerback
Top prospects at positional needs: Center: Ryan Kelly (Alabama), Max Tuerk (USC), Evan Boehm (Missouri); DL: DeForest Buckner (Oregon), Joey Bosa (Ohio State), Andrew Billings (Baylor); WR: Laquon Treadwell (Ole Miss), Will Fuller (Notre Dame), Corey Coleman (Baylor); CB: Jalen Ramsey (Florida State), Vernon Hargreaves (Florida), Mackensie Alexander (Clemson).
Analysis: Kirk Cousins has turned this "top need spot" into a new position. While we might not be totally sold on Cousins as the long-term solution, it is reasonable to think the Redskins can target an area like offensive or defensive line where the team needs more competition, depth and talent. Center could be addressed within the first four rounds, while cornerback and wide receiver are wild-card needs.

2016 NFL DRAFT

Draft coverage:

22. Houston Texans
2015 record: 9-7 (.496)
Top need: Defensive end
Other needs: Wide receiver, offensive line, tight end
Top prospects at positional needs: DE: DeForest Buckner (Oregon), Joey Bosa (Ohio State), Kevin Dodd (Clemson); WR: Laquon Treadwell (Ole Miss), Will Fuller (Notre Dame), Corey Coleman (Baylor); TE: Hunter Henry (Arkansas), Nick Vannett (Ohio State), Austin Hooper (Stanford); OL: Laremy Tunsil (Ole Miss), Ronnie Stanley (Notre Dame), Cody Whitehair (Kansas State), Jack Conklin (Michigan State).
Analysis: The additions of QB Brock Osweiler and RB Lamar Miller take two huge needs off the draft board for the Texans, but there is always a chance they could still draft one of those spots in a later round for depth. The Texans want to add team speed and will look to do that at wide receiver. LT Duane Brown is coming off of a season-ending injury and the center spot is still unsettled with the loss of Ben Jones, so the offensive line will almost certainly get a look in this draft.

23. Minnesota Vikings
2015 record: 11-5 (.504)
Top need: Wide receiver
Other needs: Offensive tackle, offensive guard, punter
Top prospects at positional needs: WR: Laquon Treadwell (Ole Miss), Will Fuller (Notre Dame), Corey Coleman (Baylor); OT: Laremy Tunsil (Ole Miss), Ronnie Stanley (Notre Dame), Jack Conklin (Michigan State); LB: Myles Jack (UCLA), Jaylon Smith (Notre Dame); Guard: Cody Whitehair (Kansas State), Joshua Garnett (Stanford), Landon Turner (North Carolina).
Analysis: Teddy Bridgewater needs to have "his guy" -- a receiver who he clicks with for big plays and who can grow with him throughout his career. Finding that player will likely warrant early round consideration. The Vikings have to improve at offensive tackle and could keep close tabs on that position. Even with the addition of RG Alex Boone, the depth of the interior offensive line can be improved.

24. Cincinnati Bengals
2015 record: 12-4 (.477)
Top need: Wide receiver
Other needs: Nose tackle, linebacker, center
Top prospects at positional needs: WR: Laquon Treadwell (Ole Miss), Tyler Boyd (Pittsburgh), Corey Coleman (Baylor); NT: Andrew Billings (Baylor), Austin Johnson (Penn State), Kenny Clark (UCLA); LB: Myles Jack (UCLA), Jaylon Smith (Notre Dame), Leonard Floyd (Georgia); Center: Ryan Kelly (Alabama), Max Tuerk (USC), Evan Boehm (Missouri).
Analysis: While I'm not sure that there is one "must-have" need for the Bengals, finding an upper-echelon safety would really help to solidify this defense. Center Russell Bodine has been pushed around far too often up front, and it might be impossible for the Bengals to ignore that position beyond this season. A.J. Green is the man at wide receiver, but free agency looms for four wide receivers on the Bengals' depth chart and not everyone will be retained. Free agency and age could lead the Bengals to add one, if not two linebackers and depth at defensive tackle is entirely possible with one of their draft picks.

Eliminated during divisional playoffs


25. Pittsburgh Steelers
2015 record: 10-6 (.504)
Top need: Cornerback
Other needs: Safety, offensive guard, outside linebacker
Top prospects at positional needs: CB: Jalen Ramsey (Florida State), Vernon Hargreaves (Florida), Mackensie Alexander (Clemson); Safety: Miles Killebrew (Southern Utah), Keanu Neal (Florida), Karl Joseph (West Virginia); Guard: Cody Whitehair (Kansas State), Germain Ifedi (Texas A&M), Joshua Garnett (Stanford); OLB: Myles Jack (UCLA), Jaylon Smith (Notre Dame).
Analysis: The Steelers can't stop the pass. There hasn't been a bunch of turnover for the Steelers at the cornerback spot, but this might be the year we see some new blood added and not just for depth purposes, but as potential long-term starters. To go along with some new cornerbacks, the Steelers might be on the lookout for Will Allen's eventual replacement if they find a safety talented enough. The absence of Ben Roethlisberger for four games in 2015 highlighted the need for the Steelers to find a capable, young backup to groom and it might be time to find a left guard to challenge Ramon Foster for the starting role.

26. Seattle Seahawks
2015 record: 10-6 (.520)
Top need: Cornerback
Other needs: Offensive tackle, offensive guard, defensive line
Top prospects at positional needs: CB: Jalen Ramsey (Florida State), Vernon Hargreaves (Florida), Mackensie Alexander (Clemson); OT: Laremy Tunsil (Ole Miss), Ronnie Stanley (Notre Dame), Jack Conklin (Michigan State); Guard: Cody Whitehair (Kansas State), Joshua Garnett (Stanford); DL: DeForest Buckner (Oregon), Joey Bosa (Ohio State), Andrew Billings (Baylor).
Analysis: Seattle covets playmaking secondary players and adding new cornerback talent is a must. After moving Justin Britt inside to guard, the Seahawks have been trying to figure out the tackle spot opposite Russell Okung. The loss of Brandon Mebane hurts in the middle of the D-line. Similarly, losing Bruce Irvin's speed off the edge is a concern. Seattle did a god job of building its defense through the draft and will need to do that once again, but the offensive trenches need reinforcements as well.

27. Green Bay Packers
2015 record: 10-6 (.531)
Top need: Inside linebacker
Other needs: Outside linebacker, offensive tackle, tight end
Top prospects at positional needs: ILB: Reggie Ragland (Alabama), Scooby Wright III (Arizona), Dominique Alexander (Oklahoma); OLB: Myles Jack (UCLA), Jaylon Smith (Notre Dame), Leonard Floyd (Georgia); OT: Laremy Tunsil (Ole Miss), Ronnie Stanley (Notre Dame), Jack Conklin (Michigan State); TE: Hunter Henry (Arkansas), Nick Vannett (Ohio State), Austin Hooper (Stanford).
Analysis: Green Bay has tried to play Clay Matthews all over the field, but he's only one man and another one like him is needed whether it is at inside or outside linebacker. The Packers appear to be set along the offensive line, but will need to find a swing tackle who can play on the left or right side. The Packers are always looking for a quality combo tight end and this year should be no different.

28. Kansas City Chiefs
2015 record: 11-5 (.496)
Top need: Outside linebacker
Other needs: Quarterback, wide receiver, defensive line
Top prospects at positional needs: OLB: Myles Jack (UCLA), Jaylon Smith (Notre Dame), Leonard Floyd (Georgia); QB: Jared Goff (Cal), Paxton Lynch (Memphis), Carson Wentz (North Dakota State); WR: Laquon Treadwell (Ole Miss), Will Fuller (Notre Dame), Corey Coleman (Baylor); DL: DeForest Buckner (Oregon), Joey Bosa (Ohio State), Andrew Billings (Baylor).
Analysis: While the Chiefs re-signed Tamba Hali, he isn't the future at that position and the Chiefs will be on the lookout for the perfect fit at that spot. The defensive line could use another high-end player and the loss of Chase Daniel as the backup could be addressed with a QB who might be groomed for the future.

Eliminated during conference championship game


29. Arizona Cardinals
2015 record: 13-3 (.477)
Top need: Safety
Other needs: Outside linebacker, cornerback, tight end
Top prospects at positional needs: Safety: Safety: Miles Killebrew (Southern Utah), Keanu Neal (Florida), Karl Joseph (West Virginia); OLB: Myles Jack (UCLA), Jaylon Smith (Notre Dame), Leonard Floyd (Georgia); CB: Jalen Ramsey (Florida State), Vernon Hargreaves (Florida), Mackensie Alexander (Clemson); TE: Hunter Henry (Arkansas), Nick Vannett (Ohio State), Austin Hooper (Stanford).
Analysis: Arizona will likely be on the lookout for an edge-bending, disruptive pass rusher. Defensive ends Frostee Rucker and Cory Redding aren't getting any younger and the Cardinals' defense feeds off of an active defensive front. Arizona could use a young, talented hammer with good size in the middle of its defense at linebacker. Adding additional playmakers to a defensive backfield that already includes Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu could help make the Cardinals formidable against the pass.

Super Bowl 50 loser


30. Carolina Panthers
2015 record: 15-1 (.441)
Top need: Offensive tackle
Other needs: Defensive end, defensive back, running back
Top prospects at positional needs: OT: Laremy Tunsil (Ole Miss), Ronnie Stanley (Notre Dame), Jack Conklin (Michigan State); DE: DeForest Buckner (Oregon), Joey Bosa (Ohio State), Kevin Dodd (Clemson); DB: Jalen Ramsey (Florida State), Vernon Hargreaves (Florida), Mackensie Alexander (Clemson); RB: Ezekiel Elliott (Ohio State), Derrick Henry (Alabama), Jordan Howard (Indiana).
Analysis: Michael Oher is nothing more than a stop-gap at left tackle, and the Panthers simply have to find their left tackle of the future at some point in the near future. The secondary performed admirably this season, but adding a high-impact safety to eventually take over for Roman Harper is a distinct possibility. Ron Rivera understands the importance of a dominant defensive end and the Panthers will be keeping an eye out for that spot.

Super Bowl 50 winner


31. Denver Broncos
2015 record: 12-4 (.500)
Top need: Quarterback
Other needs: Offensive line, defensive line, linebacker
Top prospects at positional needs: QB: Jared Goff (Cal), Paxton Lynch (Memphis), Carson Wentz (North Dakota State); OL: Laremy Tunsil (Ole Miss), Ronnie Stanley (Notre Dame), Cody Whitehair (Kansas State); DL: DeForest Buckner (Oregon), Joey Bosa (Ohio State), Andrew Billings (Baylor); LB: Myles Jack (UCLA), Jaylon Smith (Notre Dame), Leonard Floyd (Georgia).
Analysis: Well, that escalated quickly! No more Peyton Manning or Brock Osweiler means that Denver is suddenly in the market for a new QB regardless of who they look to add via free agency. Help at tackle and guard could be addressed within the first four rounds and replenishing the front seven after the losses of Malik Jackson and Danny Trevathan will fall into the capable hands of Wade Phillips, who knows what fits in his scheme.

Team without a first-round pick*


New England Patriots
2015 record: 12-4 (.473)
Top need: Offensive tackle
Other needs: Cornerback, wide receiver, running back
Top prospects at positional needs: OT: Laremy Tunsil (Ole Miss), Ronnie Stanley (Notre Dame), Jack Conklin (Michigan State); CB: Jalen Ramsey (Florida State), Vernon Hargreaves (Florida), Mackensie Alexander (Clemson); WR: Laquon Treadwell (Ole Miss), Tyler Boyd (Pittsburgh), Corey Coleman (Baylor); RB: Ezekiel Elliott (Ohio State), Derrick Henry (Alabama), Jordan Howard (Indiana).
Analysis: With the proliferation of three wide receiver sets, the Patriots have always been mindful about stockpiling draft selections for their secondary. Then again, New England is just as quick to let cornerbacks and safeties go in free agency. There's no reason to believe the Patriots won't target a talented cornerback this year. The Patriots might not need a deep threat at receiver since Brady doesn't go over the top like he once did, but finding a true WR1 other than a slot receiver (Julian Edelman) would be nice. The Patriots mix and match running backs each year so while they might add a back, but I doubt it will be an early priority. It's time for the Patriots to add some competition into the mix at left tackle.
*Note: The Patriots were stripped of a first-round pick in the 2016 draft (plus a third-rounder in the 2017 draft) for the team's role in the deflated footballs scandal.

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