This is the first-round order of the 2017 NFL Draft, with a look at the top positional needs for every team, heading into the offseason. 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).
Note: Pick 5 was acquired via trade.
1. Cleveland Browns
2016 record: 1-15 (.549)
Top needs: QB, C/G, DB
Analysis: The Browns took a pass on Carson Wentz so now they are still looking for "that guy." Finding talent at cornerback or safety should help this defense immediately improve. The Browns should target an interior offensive lineman as well.
2. San Francisco 49ers
2016 record: 2-14 (.504)
Top needs: QB, OLB, OL
Analysis: So how do you shop for a team with needs across the board? Start with finding a QB to build around. The 49ers have to get better at guard and might need to start looking for another right tackle. Improving the pass rush off the edge could be a Round 1 focus.
3. Chicago Bears
2016 record: 3-13 (.521)
Top needs: QB, DB, OL
Analysis: Jay Cutler's dead cap money drops dramatically, which could lead to his departure. The Bears have spent their last couple of early round picks on their defensive front, but now they need to look to sharpen their secondary. I expect Chicago to bolster its OL depth.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars
2016 record: 3-13 (.527)
Top needs: OL, DT, S
Analysis: The Jags needs to improve their talent at both the tackle and guard spots up front. That is a strong necessity. Finding a disruptive, defensive force for the middle of the line should be an early priority, while landing a talented cover safety should also be considered.
- List of combine participants
- Mock drafts | Jeremiah | Brooks | Casserly
- Four-round mock draft
- Mayock's position rankings
- Jeremiah's top 50 draft prospects
- Brooks' top 5 prospects by position
- Official underclassmen early entry list
- 8 teams that need to draft QB
- 2017 draft order and needs for every team
5. Tennessee Titans (from Los Angeles Rams)
2016 record: 9-7 (.465)
Top needs: CB, WR, ILB
Analysis: The secondary has to be addressed fairly early in the draft for the Titans with the WR talent inside the division. Mariota caught fire in 2016, but still needs a trustworthy WR1. The Titans would greatly benefit from finding an inside linebacker who can cover on third downs.
6. New York Jets
2016 record: 5-11 (.518)
Top needs: QB, OLB, CB
Analysis: Sure, the Jets might believe Christian Hackenberg is their QB of the future, but adding competition seems like a smart thing to do. The Jets are talented up front, but they're still in need of an edge-bending rusher. Cornerback should be a high priority.
7. Los Angeles Chargers
2016 record: 5-11 (.543)
Top needs: OT, WR, QB
Analysis: The Chargers have serviceable tackles, but they've been going with "serviceable" for too long. It's time to commit. With another injury to Keenan Allen, Los Angeles could look to add another option at the position. Philip Rivers is locked in but the team is badly in need of an upgrade behind him on the depth chart.
8. Carolina Panthers
2016 record: 6-10 (.518)
Top needs: OT, DE, RB
Analysis: It seems like Carolina has needed an offensive tackle for at least the last three years and that is the case again. Upgrading the pass rush off the edge could be an early priority. Jonathan Stewart's cap hit and history of injuries could put RB in play.
9. Cincinnati Bengals
2016 record: 6-9-1 (.521)
Top needs: C, LB, Edge
Analysis: Cincinnati has to find a way to get its running game going, and that might mean looking for help on the interior offensive line. The Bengals could use some edge speed in order to challenge opposing tackles. Adding more athleticism at LB is a priority for the team.
10. Buffalo Bills
2016 record: 7-9 (.482)
Top needs: OT, WR, DB
Analysis: The Bills will likely be looking for a bookend right tackle after the season. They could lose WRs in free agency, so that position might need to be addressed. Whether it is another safety or cornerback, the Bills need one. Obviously, QB will be a need if Tyrod Taylor doesn't return.