AFC North Team Needs
- WR – ‘Hollywood’ Brown has shown signs of becoming Lamar Jackson’s go-to receiver, but the fact that Baltimore felt the need to go out and pick up Dez Bryant late in the season tells you that they don’t have much depth at the position.
- S – After having to let Earl Thomas go, strengthening at safety will surely once again be high on the Ravens agenda.
- TE – The 2020 version of the Ravens definitely adapted well once they realised they couldn’t play ‘13’ personnel anything like as much as they had done in 2019. A good all-round tight end would help this offense in both the run and pass game.
- OL – Having invested in bringing in Joe Burrow with the first overall pick in the 2020 draft, the Bengals absolutely need to ensure that they’re going to protect him far better than they did in his rookie year – one that he failed to complete as a result of getting hurt. The signing of Riley Reiff will help them at one spot – likely right tackle – but they can still upgrade elsewhere.
- WR – I know they drafted Tee Higgins high last year, but AJ Green has left for Arizona and there’s nobody else on this unit that you’d hang your hat on being a leading NFL receiver. Burrow is going to need more than one option to throw to if this offense is going to prosper in future.
- CB – William Jackson III has left as a free agent and the Bengals haven’t yet found themselves a decent replacement. The rest of this group isn’t exactly full of quality depth so this might be well a position Cincinnati targets both later in free agency and again in April’s draft.
- IOL – This unit played an awful lot better than most people expected in 2020, helping Nick Chubb to another 1,000 yard season. Adding to this group, especially if they can add a top quality guard, would only serve to improve this offense.
- EDGE – The Browns allegedly went after JJ Watt to try and pair him with Myles Garrett for the 2021 season, but unfortunately missed out as the former Texan instead opted to join the Cardinals. With Olivier Vernon gone the Browns will want to make sure their pass rush doesn’t take a step backwards next season, and the signing of Takk McKinley definitely doesn’t take this need off the board for Cleveland.
- LB – This linebacker group is nothing better than serviceable, and adding a sideline-to-sideline guy who can run downhill and contribute in the run game and also drop back and play coverage would give this team an interesting piece to build around.
- OT – The Steelers gave up the fewest sacks in the NFL in 2020 but both starters at the tackle positions look to be gone in free agency and so it wouldn’t be a shock to see Pittsburgh invest in its offensive line early in the draft.
- RB – James Conner is another who the Steelers haven’t looked to re-sign in free agency, but even if he eventually sticks around adding a complementary back and creating a powerful 1-2 punch would definitely give this offense another dimension.
- EDGE – With Bud Dupree heading to Tennessee in free agency, the Steelers will be looking for second year player Alex Highsmith to step up opposite TJ Watt in 2021. But this Steelers defense always likes to have a number of rushers to be able to substitute and keep guys fresh, so expect them to look to replace Dupree.