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2018 NFL Draft order and needs: Teams 21-32

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This is the first-round order of the 2018 NFL Draft, with a look at the top positional needs for every team. 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: Strength of schedule listed in parentheses.

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21

7-9 (.465) BENGALS

Needs: OL, LB, CB, DT, QB. The trade for OT Cordy Glenn helps on paper, but can he stay healthy? The Bengals should also be looking for help at the interior positions up front after averaging 3.6 yards per carry last season. They need more speed at linebacker, and should be looking for a quick nickel cornerback. Cincinnati does a good job of re-stocking its defensive line and could do so again this year. With AJ McCarron gone, finding a young QB to groom is a real possibility.

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22

9-7 (.492) BILLS

Needs: QB, OL, WR, S, LB. This is the pick the Bills acquired when the Chiefs traded up to land Patrick Mahomes in the 2017 draft.

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23

13-3 (.484) PATRIOTS

Needs: CB, LB, QB, OL, S. Malcolm Butler has moved on and the Patriots need to get faster in the back end. Bill Belichick likes versatile defenders and it would make sense to target a player who could swing between CB and S. The Patriots should look to add more size and better competition along the interior offensive line to improve the pass protection for Tom Brady. They might also take a swing at an offensive tackle at some point in the draft. Keep on eye on them potentially adding competition at inside linebacker and edge rusher. With the trades of both Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett last year, the Patriots should be looking for a new QB to groom behind Brady.

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24

11-5 (.539) PANTHERS

Needs: WR, CB, DE, OL, S. The wide receiver spot must be addressed early in the draft. The Panthers are said to be looking for a leader and difference-maker at safety, and they're still in need of help at cornerback after free-agent target Bashaud Breeland failed his physical. The return of Julius Peppers gives the Panthers time to develop a young defensive end. Adding a player with guard/tackle flexibility could strengthen their offensive line.

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25

9-7 (.434) TITANS

Needs: EDGE, ILB, WR, DL, OG. Finding a consistent edge rusher (or two?) could go a long way in helping the Titans' defense reach the next level. With the departure of Avery Williamson, ILB has moved up the needs list. Tennessee used a first-round pick on Corey Davis last year, but the receiver group could still use a big-play threat to complement Davis. The Titans could use more depth for the defense line and more talent at guard. This is considered a deep draft at the guard position.

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26

10-6 (.543) FALCONS

Needs: DT, WR, TE, DE, FB. The Falcons have a hole to fill at defensive tackle with Dontari Poe leaving for the Panthers. I won't be surprised if Atlanta adds help for Matt Ryan and Julio Jones at wide receiver, especially with the departure of Taylor Gabriel. Adding a tight end at some point is more likely with the departure of Levine Toilolo. While they might not look at fullback until the later rounds, there are a few decent ones in this draft.

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27

11-5 (.535) SAINTS

Needs: TE, WR, OL, QB, EDGE. Coby Fleener hasn't been the answer at TE, so the Saints should look for competition at the position. They have a good one at WR in Michael Thomas, but the rest of the corps could stand an upgrade. New Orleans should also be looking for a QB with the potential to be groomed under Drew Brees. OT Jermon Bushrod offers a band-aid as depth on the offensive line, but adding a young center or guard should be under consideration. Sean Payton specifically identified the pass rush as an area of need earlier this offseason.

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28

13-3 (.453) STEELERS

Needs: ILB, WR, S, RB, OL. Finding help at inside linebacker and safety are likely priorities this offseason. The Steelers placed the franchise tag on RB Le'Veon Bell, but the drama surrounding his contract might be enough for GM Kevin Colbert to consider adding a three-down back at some point in this year's draft. With Martavis Bryant entering his contract year, the Steelers could look to add another receiver to team with JuJu Smith-Schuster and Antonio Brown. The Steelers are in pretty good shape with their starting offensive line, but they could use more depth at guard and tackle.

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29

10-6 (.434) JAGUARS

Needs: OT, LB, WR, QB, CB. Finding a swing tackle with the potential to move to RT is in play, as is another guard despite the addition of Andrew Norwell. The retirement of Paul Posluszny makes LB a more pressing need. The addition of TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins might allow them to push for a true WR1 in the draft. The Jaguars need to find help at QB whether it's competition for Blake Bortles or someone to groom behind him. With Aaron Colvin gone to Houston, the Jaguars might try to add an athletic cornerback on Day 3 of the draft (Rounds 4-7).

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30

13-3 (.492) VIKINGS

Needs: OL, CB, S, WR, TE. The Vikings' offensive line simply isn't where it needs to be at tackle or guard. The Vikings should be looking for help at those positions early in the draft as they seek to protect their big investment in Kirk Cousins. Cousins could use another weapon to round out his receiving corps. Adding a nickel CB is a strong possibility with 39-year-old Terence Newman hitting free agency, and they could use more depth at safety. They should be looking for a TE who can be a receiving threat and complement Kyle Rudolph.

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31

13-3 (.484) PATRIOTS

Needs: CB, LB, QB, OL, S. This is the Patriots' second pick in Round 1. See above (No. 23) for more on their needs.

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32

13-3 (.461) EAGLES

Needs: LB, TE, RB, WR, OL. The Eagles re-signed Nigel Bradham, but Jordan Hicks has struggled with injuries, so the Eagles should be looking to at least add depth at LB. The departure of Trey Burton opens up a spot for a combination tight end via the draft. While trading for Jay Ajayi strengthened the RB spot, there is room for more depth at the position. Insiders believe the Eagles will make an effort to add an impact WR in the draft this year. The offensive line is in need of prospects that can develop into future starters.

Teams without first-round pick

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54

10-6 (.477) CHIEFS

Needs: CB, DL, EDGE, OL, S. The Chiefs have shuffled the deck at CB, but they should still be looking for a cornerback who can take the ball away, as well as an upgrade at safety. The re-signing of Jarvis Jenkins helps up front, but the Chiefs might still look for a plugger in the middle of the D-line. Tamba Hali was released and we should expect to see an additional focus on finding edge-rush talent. They could use better depth along the offensive line, too.

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68

4-12 (.516) TEXANS

Needs: OT, DB, TE, DL. The Texans are without a first- or second-round pick (they sent those picks to the Browns in trades last year), so they had to add help through free agency this offseason. Their first pick is No. 68 overall. The signings of Zach Fulton and Senio Kelemete strengthen the interior of the offensive line, but they should still be looking for help at guard and tackle. The same goes for the secondary, which was awful at times in 2017. C.J. Fiedorowicz is retiring so the Texans will need to look for a Y-tight end who can handle run-blocking duties. J.J. Watt hasn't been at full strength in two years, so the Texans could look to add depth along the defensive line.

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87

11-5 (.504) RAMS

Needs: ILB, C, DE, OG, RB. The Rams don't have a pick until the second half of Round 3 after trading away their first-rounder this year to acquire Brandin Cooks from the Patriots and their second-rounder to the Bills for the now departed Sammy Watkins. With Alec Ogletree sent away to the Giants, the Rams should look for a young playmaker at linebacker. They should also look to add an interior offensive lineman inside the top three rounds to solidify that emerging unit. The Rams need more pass rush off the edge with the departure of Robert Quinn. The addition of Cooks means wide receiver comes off the board as a need, but finding a more explosive backup RB to take some pressure off of Todd Gurley would be a wise move.

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