With the Super Bowl in the books, all 32 teams can turn their focus toward free agency and the 2017 NFL Draft. While free agency can fill some roster holes, most teams believe the draft is the best way to build a sustainable, championship-caliber roster.
After looking at the rosters and current climate with each team, I've identified five teams that need to have a very productive 2017 draft class in order to build some much-needed momentum in their organizations. Here's my list.
The Browns own the first overall pick and they also hold the 12th overall selection as a result of last year's trade with the Eagles. Overall, they possess five of the first 65 picks in the draft. This is a crucial draft for the organization. Coming off a 1-15 season in Hue Jackson's first year on the job, they need to add some blue-chip players to the roster. They brought in some solid players in last year's draft class, but they need difference-making guys. They also need to find a quarterback. That's the biggest challenge they face, but fortunately, they should be able to target the QB they want with one of those first five picks.
The Jaguars are picking in the top five for the sixth consecutive year. Their last first four top picks have been a mixed bag: Jalen Ramsey has been outstanding, while Dante Fowler, Blake Bortles and Luke Joeckel haven't quite lived up to where they were selected. It sounds like they are committed to Bortles. They should focus in this draft on surrounding him with more support along the offensive line and potentially at running back.
Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers have a new head coach (Anthony Lynn) and a bunch of needs to fill on the roster. They nailed their top pick last season (Joey Bosa), but they need to do the same thing again this spring. Philip Rivers doesn't have many prime years left in his career -- they need to give him more weapons in the passing game and upgrade the offensive line.
- 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
New York Jets
The Jets are coming off a miserable season and in desperate need of some positive news. They have a very crowded quarterback group, but I don't believe they have next year's starter currently on the roster. They are positioned to address that need in the first round (No. 6 overall pick) or they could look to add a dynamic defender to their back seven. I'm anxious to see what they do.
The Eagles made a bold move to move up in the draft last year for their franchise quarterback. They paid a steep price in draft picks, including this year's first-round choice, but it appears they made the right decision. They were able to get a 2017 first-round pick from the Vikings in return for Sam Bradford and now they need to draft some difference makers to surround Wentz. They need to find 2-3 starting skill players in this draft. I wouldn't be surprised to see Howie Roseman move down the board and collect more picks to help in this quest.