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2017 NFL Draft order and needs: Playoff teams

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This is the first-round order of the 2017 NFL Draft, with a look at the top positional needs for every team, through the first two waves of free agency (March 20). 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 32 was acquired via trade.

Eliminated during Wild Card Weekend

2017 NFL DRAFT

21. Detroit Lions
2016 record: 9-7 (.475)
Top needs: Pass rusher, LB, WR
Analysis: Most of the Lions' top needs rest on the defensive side of the ball. Finding more pass rush from a defensive end or penetrating DT is a priority. The Lions also need a three-down LB who can cover in space. They could target an explosive, young wideout at some point.

22. Miami Dolphins
2016 record: 10-6 (.455)
Top needs: LB, OG, CB
Analysis: The addition of Lawrence Timmons doesn't fully address the Dolphins' issues at linebacker. The Dolphins could look to add some competition at the guard position while finding another young cornerback to groom as a future starter should be on the to-do list.

23. New York Giants
2016 record: 11-5 (.486)
Top needs: LT, MLB, QB
Analysis: Ereck Flowers isn't working out at left tackle and the Giants need new blood there. The play at linebacker hasn't been what the Giants had hoped for and they could look at both inside and outside spots. Eli Manning is 36 years old and they could use a QB to groom behind him.

24. Oakland Raiders
2016 record: 12-4 (.504)
Top needs: MLB, DT, CB
Analysis: The Raiders had hoped that their offseason changes at cornerback would help shore up that deficiency, but it looks shaky at best. The Raiders have improved their offensive line greatly, and now they need a stout defensive tackle. Middle linebacker is a possibility.

Eliminated during Divisional Round

25. Houston Texans
2016 record: 9-7 (.502)
Top needs: QB, OL, LB
Analysis: The Texans must find "the guy" at the quarterback position. It is almost certain that they will draft a QB this year. They have glaring needs at both right guard and right tackle. Finding a speedy ILB with cover talent is a need.

26. Seattle Seahawks
2016 record: 10-5-1 (.441)
Top needs: OT, DT, CB
Analysis: The first need should be left tackle and the second need should be right tackle. OT is that high of a priority. Adding talent at the hybrid DE/DT spot should be a possibility, as should finding another long-armed, physical playmaker at cornerback.

27. Kansas City Chiefs
2016 record: 12-4 (.508)
Top needs: ILB, DL, CB
Analysis: The Chiefs will need to find the next Derrick Johnson at an inside linebacker spot at some point, and adding depth at defensive line is a must. They need to find more help for the secondary, too.

28. Dallas Cowboys
2016 record: 13-3 (.471)
Top needs: DB, DE, TE
Analysis: Dallas has suffered mass departures in free agency throughout its secondary, so both CB and safety will have to be addressed. Dallas needs to find a game-changing pass rusher on the edge and soon. With Jason Witten showing signs of age, adding an in-line TE could be an underrated draft move.

Eliminated in conference championship

29. Green Bay Packers
2016 record: 10-6 (.508)
Top needs: CB, pass rusher, RB
Analysis: The Packers were a disaster at cornerback. They will likely draft more than one CB this year. Finding an edge rusher could be an early round consideration. Ty Montgomery did a nice job at RB last season, but they need to add to that position.

30. Pittsburgh Steelers
2016 record: 11-5 (.494)
Top needs: ILB, OLB, WR
Analysis: The outside linebacker spot should be a priority considering the age of newly re-signed James Harrison. With Lawrence Timmons' departure, a hole has developed at inside linebacker. The Steelers have a great wideout in Antonio Brown but need better complementary targets around him.

Super Bowl 51 loser

31. Atlanta Falcons
2016 record: 11-5 (.480)
Top needs: OG, DE, DT
Analysis: A starting right guard could be a "now" priority for the Falcons. If Atlanta wants to continue to build on a foundation of talent, it needs to keep finding pass rushers. They need depth at DT, but the addition of Dontari Poe (even for a year) could allow them to target secondary depth in middle rounds.

32. New Orleans Saints (from New England Patriots)
2016 record: 7-9 (.523)
Top needs: DB, LB, WR
Analysis: Finding help at both cornerback and safety is a must. The Saints need depth at LB. The trade of Brandin Cooks has turned WR into a potential priority for the top 4 rounds.

Teams without a first-round pick

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Los Angeles Rams
2016 record: 4-12 (.504)
Top needs: Pass rusher, OT, CB
Analysis: The transition to Wade Phillips' defense could require another edge rusher. The Rams will likely take a look at bolstering the cornerback position in a CB-rich draft, while the addition of veteran OT Andrew Whitworth is more band-aid that fix there.
Note: The Rams traded their 2017 first-round pick to the Titans before the 2016 draft.

Minnesota Vikings
2016 record: 8-8 (.492)
Top needs: OL, DT, RB
Analysis: With no first-round pick, the Vikings had to go out and add Mike Remmers and Riley Reiff to help at tackle. I would argue that more depth is still needed along the O-line. Adding depth at DT is needed, and Latavius Murray's deal might not prevent the addition of another RB.
Note: The Vikings traded their 2017 first-round pick to the Eagles in a deal to acquire Sam Bradford.

New England Patriots
2016 record: 14-2 (.439)
Top needs: OT, LB, RB
Analysis: The Patriots will have to address offensive tackle at some point soon. This defense lacks playmaking talent at the linebacker spot, but there are plenty of fits in the draft. The Patriots never panic when it comes to finding a RB, and they can get one on Day 3 (Rounds 4-7).
Note: The Patriots traded their 2017 first-round pick to the Saints in a deal to acquire Brandin Cooks.

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