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Some key holes remain for 10 teams after the draft

The NFL Draft allowed teams to fill a fair number of holes that weren't addressed through free agency or trades.

For many clubs, though, a good deal of unfinished business remains.

Here's a top-10 list of teams, appearing in alphabetical order, with key areas that still need addressing:


Buffalo Bills

They're still in desperate need of a quarterback. The one they drafted, seventh-rounder Levi Brown of Troy, is a long-shot to become a starter this year or in the future. It's hard to believe that the team is comfortable with keeping Trent Edwards in the No. 1 spot, or that either Ryan Fitzpatrick or Brian Brohm will emerge to take the job. One possible acquisition in the coming months is Tyler Thigpen, who has a history with new Bills coach Chan Gailey from their days with the Kansas City Chiefs. Thigpen could become the odd man out in Miami's crowded quarterback situation.


Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons still need a defensive end. They used their first-round pick on a linebacker, Sean Weatherspoon, because they believed he was the best available player for their spot (19th). Had Michigan's Brandon Graham not gone to Philadelphia at No. 13, the Falcons probably would have chosen him. They are left to continue to lean on veteran John Abraham and hope that some younger players at the position can develop and contribute.


Baltimore Ravens

It's hard to find fault with any aspect of their draft. In fact, it isn't a stretch to say that all seven players they selected could contribute this season. However, one area the Ravens did not address was cornerback, and that might become problematic if Fabian Washington and Lardarius Webb, each of whom is recovering from a torn ACL, aren't recovered by the start of the season. Even missing one of those players would figure to be trouble.


Carolina Panthers

After the offseason departures of Damione Lewis (to New England) and Maake Kemoeatu (to Washington), they still need help at defensive tackle. They didn't select one in the draft, and seem to be putting too much faith in Ed Johnson -- formerly of the Indianapolis Colts, and a character concern -- to be the answer.


Dallas Cowboys

Since releasing Ken Hamlin earlier this month, they haven't addressed the free safety spot. Young Mike Hamlin doesn't look like he's ready to step into the role, but the Cowboys appear comfortable going with him. It's possible they'll make a play for St. Louis Rams restricted free agent O.J. Atogwe. The Cowboys seem to think that they have a sufficient replacement for left tackle Flozell Adams, whom they also released earlier this month, in Doug Free. But that's debatable. They used a sixth-round draft pick on former Notre Dame tackle Sam Young, but he isn't an answer. Re-signing Adams for a lower price might be.


Detroit Lions

This team drafted well, hitting on multiple players who figure to make a significant impact this year. However, when you face such an enormous rebuilding task, you're bound to come up short in some places. One of those spots seems to be strong safety. The Lions might very well be unable to find a legitimate starter from the three veterans who will be competing for the job: Marquand Manuel, Ko Simpson and Marvin White.


Houston Texans

They were expected to focus most of their draft attention on the secondary, and they did, choosing Alabama CB Kareem Jackson in the first round and Northwestern CB Sherrick McManis in the fifth. Although the Texans had a clear need at the position after the offseason departure of Dunta Robinson (to Atlanta), they did nothing to fill another key spot in the defensive backfield: free safety. It could be a stretch for them to think they'll find a solid starter in Eugene Wilson or Dominique Barber.


Jacksonville Jaguars

Much has been said about this team reaching in the first round for defensive tackle Tyson Alualu, from California, and for selecting another player at the same position, Louisiana Tech's D'Anthony Smith, with their next pick in Round 3. But perhaps an even larger question is why the Jaguars didn't see fit to draft a quarterback. Doing nothing to find a replacement for David Garrard seems like possibly the biggest reach of all.


Miami Dolphins

They need a tight end with the receiving skills and athleticism to stretch opposing defenses, yet didn't join the big run on the position in the draft. Instead, the Dolphins made only one offensive pick, former Mississippi tackle/guard John Jerry, in the third round. Free safety remains a need in the wake of Gibril Wilson's release. Simply promoting Chris Clemons, who was Wilson's understudy, to the starting job seems like a shaky plan.


San Diego Chargers

Unlike the Dolphins, the Chargers, who lost standout blocking tight end Brandon Manumaleuna to the Chicago Bears in free agency, did get in on the draft's tight end fest. However, it's hard to picture their seventh-round choice, 250-pound Dedrick Epps from Miami (Fla.), filling the role that the 295-pound Manumaleuna excelled at more than nearly everyone in the league at his position. Epps' skills are pretty much limited to catching the ball.

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