This is a look at the first-round order for the 2021 NFL Draft heading into Week 8 of the NFL season, along with the top three needs for each team. The order is determined by record, using strength of schedule as the first tiebreaker (click here to see a full list of the draft-order tiebreakers). Keep in mind -- teams 19-32 would make the playoffs if the season ended today and are marked as PL (short for playoffs) in the order below. The draft order for playoff teams is determined by the results of postseason play.
Biggest needs: QB, WR, edge rusher
This week's game: at Chiefs
The Jets' failures certainly can’t be pinned to Sam Darnold alone and the team doesn't intend to move him before the trade deadline, per NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. However, after a missed opportunity to catch a napping Bills team on Sunday, it's probably best we stop denying where this marriage appears to be headed and move QB to the front of the needs line.
Biggest needs: Edge rusher, S, CB
This week's game: at Panthers
Matthew Stafford had his best game of 2020 against a Falcons secondary in need of repair. He completed 80-plus percent of his passes that were thrown 15 or more yards down the field, per PFF, and became the second QB in as many weeks to set a season-high in passing yards against Atlanta.
Biggest needs: Edge rusher, CB, OT
This week's game: vs. Buccaneers
We held out on replacing WR with OT on the needs list, but no longer. First-round pick Andrew Thomas just isn't showing the signs of improvement in pass protection that we were expecting by midseason. The Giants could get Nate Solder (opt out) back next season, but counting on him is a gamble given the decline he showed last year.
PICK ACQUIRED FROM THE HOUSTON TEXANS
Texans' record: 1-6 (.659)
This week's Texans game: On bye
See Pick No. 14 for analysis of the Dolphins' needs and the bottom of this article for analysis of the Texans' needs.
Biggest needs: OL, DT, QB
This week's game: at Packers
The Vikings figure to be back in the market for edge-rushing help now that the Yannick Ngakoue Experiment has come to an end after two months, but the bigger need is on the interior, where Minnesota has only one player ranked in PFF's top 90 at the position.
Biggest needs: OT, WR, CB
This week's game: vs. Titans
Sure, it would have been nice to upset the rival Browns, but a narrow loss was the best outcome for the Bengals. Why? Well, because this team isn't going to contend for a playoff spot this year and needs offensive line help in the worst way. The more it loses the better its chances of landing an instant difference maker in the draft.
Biggest needs: Edge rusher, CB, S
This week's game: at Eagles
Injuries have decimated the Cowboys on the offensive line and now at quarterback, but the bigger long-term concern (these are draft needs, after all) remains the defense, which has allowed 25 or more points in six straight games (tied with the Jaguars for the longest active streak).
Biggest needs: QB, WR, interior OL
This week's game: On bye
Even in a lopsided win against a historically awful Dallas defense, there was a reminder of what ails the WFT at the wide receiver position. Terry McLaurin had a team-high 11 targets on Sunday. All other Washington WRs combined for one target total.
Biggest needs: Interior OL, TE, WR
This week's game: at Broncos
The Chargers have spent a first-round pick on an offensive lineman only once in the past 26 drafts (D.J. Fluker, 2013). That's not a rate they can sustain if they're going to do right by their red-hot young QB.
Biggest needs: Interior OL, DL, WR
This week's game: at Bills
The Patriots haven't drafted inside the top 10 since 2008, when they selected Jerod Mayo 10th overall. Bill Belichick will be holding a higher pick than that next year if he doesn’t find a way to jumpstart a putrid offense.
Biggest needs: OT, CB, S
This week's game: vs. Chargers
There are a grand total of zero offensive tackles with a higher grade from PFF than free-agent-to-be Garett Bolles. There's a lot of season left, but it looks like the man is going to get paid, whether it's by the Broncos or someone else.
Biggest needs: OL, CB, WR
This week's game: vs. Falcons
Wide receiver deserves to be a priority until the Panthers re-sign pending free agent Curtis Samuel, but ILB is a close fourth on the needs list. Everyone knew replacing Luke Kuechly would be a tough task, but Carolina should be able to find an upgrade over Tahir Whitehead this offseason.
Biggest needs: WR, ILB, interior OL
This week's game: vs. Rams
Miami entered its Week 7 bye with the league's worst run defense, per Football Outsiders. A playmaking inside linebacker (or two) could go a long way toward shoring up that weakness.
Biggest needs: DT, OL, S
This week's game: at Browns
Jon Gruden is coming off an encounter with that nightmarish scenario when your team isn't pressuring the opposing QB and can't keep the opposition's pressure off your own signal-caller. Will he have to relive it in Cleveland next week?
Biggest needs: OL, CB, edge rusher
This week's game: at Seahawks
Edge rusher replaces safety on the list this week since depth might be a bigger concern at the former. Kerry Hyder, Dion Jordan, Solomon Thomas, Ezekiel Ansah and Ronald Blair are ticketed for free agency while Dee Ford can't stay healthy and Nick Bosa will be coming off an ACL tear.
Biggest needs: QB, S, DL
This week's game: at Bears
New Orleans has only one of PFF's top 70 safeties this season and that player (Marcus Williams) is due to become a free agent this offseason.
Biggest needs: OG, LB, CB
This week's game: vs. Cowboys
CB replaces WR on the needs list this week due to Travis Fulgham's continued breakout. Philly has one of the league's lowest-rated coverage units. Plus, CBs Nickell Robey-Coleman and Cre'von LeBlanc are both due to reach free agency this offseason.
PICK ACQUIRED FROM THE LOS ANGELES RAMS
Rams' record: 5-2 (.439)
This week's Rams game: at Dolphins
See Pick No. 2 for analysis of the Jaguars' needs and the bottom of this article for analysis of the Rams' needs.
Biggest needs: QB, OG, S
This week's game: vs. Saints
Nick Foles, who has more interceptions than TD passes in his four starts this season, offered yet another reminder on Monday night that he's best in backup duty. The Bears must find someone who can succeed in the QB1 role to avoid wasting their window to win with a stout defense.
Biggest needs: LB, CB, edge rusher
This week's game: vs. Raiders
After allowing 468 yards and 34 points to the Bengals, it seems fair to point out this defense has plenty of room to improve. That’s certainly the case at edge rusher opposite Myles Garrett. The DPOY candidate leads the league with nine sacks, but no other Cleveland edge rusher has registered more than two QB hits (and no, that's not a different way of saying sacks) this season.
Biggest needs: Edge rusher, DT, WR
This week's game: at Giants
Keeping pending free agent Chris Godwin in the fold seems like a no-brainer, but the Bucs could have more than one franchise-tag candidate to choose from this offseason and now we're waiting to see how Antonio Brown is worked into the offense.
PICK ACQUIRED FROM THE SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
Seahawks' record: 5-1 (.359)
This week's Seahawks game: vs. 49ers
See Pick No. 1 for analysis of the Jets' needs and the bottom of this article for analysis of the Seahawks' needs.
Biggest needs: WR, interior OL, CB
This week's game: vs. Vikings
Green Bay's offensive line bounced back in a big away against Houston, but Corey Linsley, one of the league's top centers, is due to hit the market this offseason and the same goes for All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari. Can the Packers keep both of them?
Biggest needs: Edge rusher, TE, WR
This week's game: at Bengals
This is somewhat mind-blowing so late in the season, but the Titans' edge rushers have posted just 1.5 sacks this season (all by Harold Landry). Tennessee became the first Steelers opponent to fail to sack Ben Roethlisberger this season, pressuring him on just seven of his 49 dropbacks, per Next Gen Stats.
Biggest needs: Interior DL, interior OL, edge rusher
This week's game: vs. Steelers
We're shuffling the needs a bit for Baltimore after the trade to acquire Yannick Ngakoue. He's not signed beyond 2020, but it would be a surprise if the Ravens gave up a third-round pick and a conditional fifth-rounder for a short-term rental. So, edge rusher moves down the list a couple spots for now.
Biggest needs: Interior OL, WR, S
This week's game: vs. Jets
The Chiefs have won comfortably in the last two weeks without the injured Sammy Watkins, which can't be a welcome narrative in a contract year.
Biggest needs: OT, edge rusher, CB
This week's game: at Ravens
Cameron Sutton did a fine job filling in for injured nickelback Mike Hilton on Sunday. Both players are due to reach free agency this offseason, though. Starters Joe Haden and Steven Nelson are just a year away from being in the same situation.
TEAMS WITHOUT A FIRST-ROUND PICK
TRADED FIRST-ROUND PICK TO THE NEW YORK JETS
Biggest needs: OL, edge rusher, CB
This week's game: vs. 49ers
The Seahawks failed to record so much as a QB hit on a night when Kyler Murray dropped back to pass a season-high 52 times. It was the first time all season that he went a full game without being sacked. More pass rush, please.