Seven teams with most obvious first-round draft need

Draft priorities for some NFL teams are more obvious than others, and in some cases, a club's biggest need for a first-round pick is something of an open book. There are always clubs that surprise and divert from what's expected -- it's the NFL draft, after all, and by nature unpredictable. But if which player a given team will draft in Round 1 is never quite clear, the position certain clubs will address can be a lot more plain to see. Here's a look at some NFL teams whose first-round position need is most obvious, ending with how many NFL Media analysts have projected that position in their mock drafts:



1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Quarterback

We can start right at the top with the Bucs' need for a quarterback who can change the fortunes of the franchise. Having the right quarterback in place is a primary key for the longevity of any head coach, and it's clear enough that Mike Glennon, young as he is, is viewed more as a backup. In this case, it's not just the position that seems to be a no-brainer for the Bucs, but the player, as well. With the No. 1 pick of the draft, any choice other than FSU's Jameis Winston would be stunning. The Bucs themselves, from coach Lovie Smith to general manager Jason Licht to even owner Joel Glazer, have done little to hide the team's liking for the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner. If the Bucs go in any other direction, it will go down as one of the finest smokescreens in NFL draft history.
NFL Media mock draft consensus:6 of 6.

2. Oakland Raiders: Wide receiver

With the No. 4 pick of the draft, it's hard to imagine the Raiders impacting their success more than with a dynamic receiving threat. There is no better time to add one than with a promising young quarterback (Derek Carr) entering his second season. The Raiders' returning receiving corps is a pedestrian group, and a downfield threat could loosen things for the running game, as well. The two primary options here: West Virginia's Kevin White and Alabama's Amari Cooper, but with the position being so deep in this draft class, Oakland could always move down for more picks and still get a game-changer. They have scheduled Central Florida receiver Breshad Perriman for a visit.
NFL Media mock draft consensus:6 of 6.

3. Washington Redskins: Pass rusher

The Redskins ranked 21st in the NFL in sacks last year with just 36, and the defensive backfield coughed up about 250 yards per game in passing yardage. Another pass rusher could not only generate more heat on opposing quarterbacks, but assist a problematic secondary, as well. Ryan Kerrigan accounted for 13.5 sacks for Washington last year, the team's runaway leader in the category. Putting someone like Shane Ray opposite Kerrigan might force opposing offensive coordinators to single block Kerrigan without as much help from a running back or tight end. With the No. 5 pick, Washington should have some outstanding options to add some heat on opposing quarterbacks. Even if the Tennessee Titans or Jacksonville Jaguars take one off the board ahead of Washington, there should still be more than enough value left to merit the choice.
NFL Media mock draft consensus:6 of 6.

4. Carolina Panthers: Offensive tackle

Keeping Cam Newton's jersey clean, his body safe and his career long has to be a priority for Carolina. The free-agency acquisition of Michael Oher doesn't alleviate the club's need for a long-term left tackle, and has been described as more of a Band-Aid. The Panthers' offense could use help all around Newton, but better value is to be had at running back and wide receiver later in the draft. Unless an elite defensive back too valuable to pass on somehow falls to No. 25, the Panthers targeting a tackle at that slot seems fairly obvious. Mock drafts suggest there could be a run on offensive tackles toward the end of the first round, and Carolina is in an excellent position to be part of it.
NFL Media mock draft consensus:6 of 6.

5. Denver Broncos: Offensive tackle

Much like Carolina, Denver must take care of a veteran quarterback whose health and success are key to the team's success. In this case, it's Peyton Manning, who is more fragile and less mobile than Newton and therefore needs the edge protected even more effectively. Denver figures to be among several teams late in the first round looking to strike offensive-tackle gold. A draft riser like Miami's Ereck Flowers isn't likely to be available, but D.J. Humphries from Florida or Pittsburgh's T.J. Clemmings could be just what Denver needs. It's possible that the Broncos could go for defense at No. 28, but there is a wide gap between first-round offensive tackles and those that Denver could look at in the second round (No. 59) or third (No. 92).
NFL Media mock draft consensus:6 of 6.

6. Jacksonville Jaguars: Pass rusher

Coach Gus Bradley has a defensive background and understands the importance of a legitimate sack man to anchor a pass defense. The Jaguars' "Leo" position is crucial to that end. Chris Clemons led a good overall pass rush with eight sacks last year, but when a 12-year veteran is manning one of the most valuable positions on the field, you'd better be grooming a legitimate talent behind him. Enter Dante Fowler, Jr. of Florida, who could be a long-term leader for the Jaguars' pass rush. Four or five pass rushers could easily be chosen in the top half of the first round, so general manager Dave Caldwell could easily move down a few spots and still get a prized edge rusher.
NFL Media mock draft consensus:5 of 6.

7. San Diego Chargers: Running back

If anyone in the first round is a good bet to finally break the running back ice, it's the Chargers. There isn't a legitimate candidate to be a true No. 1 back on the roster, and the allure of Georgia's Todd Gurley or Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon could be too great with the No. 17 overall pick. Take Gurley's injury and the devaluing of the position out of the equation, and it could be argued that Gurley is one of the top 10 overall talents in the draft. NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah ranks him as the No. 12 overall prospect available, with Gordon at No. 13.
NFL Media mock draft consensus:5 of 6.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter *@ChaseGoodbread.*

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