by Craig Strachan
Last updated 21 March 2021
- EDGE – The signing of Dante Fowler hasn’t worked out for a Falcons defense that continues to struggle to get pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Even though he’s agreed to reduce his salary to stay on the team, adding a high caliber rusher has to be one of the Falcons key priorities.
- S – Last year’s 1st round pick AJ Terrell definitely started improving the Falcons secondary, however with Keanu Neal, Ricardo Allen and Demontae Kazee all out the door in free agency, this is definitely a position Atlanta needs to restock at.
- RB – The run game has been almost non-existent for the Falcons for a couple of seasons and with the impact that we’re seeing from young backs in recent years, now might be the time for the Falcons to look at drafting one on the first couple of days.
- QB – Teddy Bridgewater doesn’t look like being the man for Matt Rhule’s squad, so the Panthers might be one of the sides in the market for a new signal caller early in the draft – if they can’t get in on the DeShaun Watson sweepstakes of course!
- CB – One of the few areas the Panthers didn’t draft themselves a new defensive player in 2020 was at corner and adding a high caliber player to shut down half the field would definitely help this improving unit.
- LB – The retirement of Thomas Davis leaves a major hole in this Panthers linebacker group, both in terms of his ability and leadership. Finding a day one starter in the draft might be a tough task but if Micah Parsons is still on the board at 8 (assuming they don’t move up for a QB) then he will surely be a consideration for them.
New Orleans Saints
- CB – The Saints had one of the best defenses against the pass in 2020 but a number of key contributors, headlined by Janoris Jenkins, have left as free agents. Adding to this unit early in the draft looks likely at this stage.
- WR – Outside of Michael Thomas, the Saints then tend to rely on Alvin Kamara in the passing game ahead of any of their other wideouts. Adding a playmaker at wideout to give either Jameis Winston or Taysom Hill an additional weapon to go to will surely help whichever of those guys gets first go at filling Drew Brees’ shoes.
- LB – Kwon Alexander was a cap casualty for this Saints tea and I already had linebacker on this list before he left. This is definitely a position New Orleans needs to think about addressing if their defense is going to continue to play at the high level it showed in 2020.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- RB – Lombardi Lenny and LeSean McCoy are both free agents, leaving just Ronald Jones of any sort of caliber in the running back room. Adding to this group during the offseason is surely a necessity for the Bucs.
- WR – Chris Godwin will play 2021 under the franchise tag but at the moment Antonio Brown is yet to re-sign with the team. He might take another team-friendly deal and the coaching staff clearly likes what they’ve got in Scotty Miller, but on a team that has managed to retain a number of key pieces from its Super Bowl win the longer-term plan at receiver isn’t yet obvious.
- IDL – Ndamukong Suh may not be back with the Bucs in 2021, having not yet re-signed almost a week into free agency. If he does leave, Tampa Bay will need to find someone to step in and replace him if their defense is going to continue to be feared.