Category Archives: Buffalo Bills

Player that each team should cut this offseason

Arizona Cardinals – Adrian Peterson – Running Back

Adrian Peterson was a good short-term solution at the running back position for the Cardinals after David Johnson’s injury last season. However, Peterson isn’t the star player that he once was and now that Johnson is back the team doesn’t need him anymore. Arizona can save $2.9 million against the cap by releasing Peterson and they could then find a backup running back cheaper in the draft or free agency.

 

Atlanta Falcons – Brooks Reed – Outside Linebacker

The Atlanta Falcons don’t have many players that they could release, but one guy that could be on his way out is outside linebacker Brooks Reed. Atlanta could save $3.56 million in 2018 by releasing Reed and that would be a substantial amount of cap space to save. Reed is a key role player for Atlanta’s defense, but he only had 4 sacks last season and the Falcons could probably find a younger and cheaper option at outside linebacker this offseason.

 

Baltimore Ravens – Jeremy Maclin – Wide Receiver

Jeremy Maclin wasn’t very productive in his first season with Baltimore as he only had 40 receptions for 440 yards. Maclin also struggled to stay healthy last season and it appears that the Ravens are ready to move on from him this offseason. The Ravens could save $5 million in cap space if they release Maclin so it would would be extremely shocking if he is a member of the Ravens next season.

 

Buffalo Bills – Tyrod Taylor – Quarterback

Tyrod Taylor has been a decent quarterback for the Bills, but he also has been inconsistent and he hasn’t proven that he can be their franchise quarterback. The Bills coaching staff doesn’t appear to be very confident in Taylor as their starting quarterback so it seems very likely that they will find his replacement this offseason. Buffalo also has a tremendous financial incentive to release Taylor. They can save $15 million if they release him after June 1st or they can save about $10 million if they release him prior to that date. Either way, it appears the Bills will have a new starting quarterback next season as the Bills can save a ton of money by moving on from Tyrod Taylor.

 

Carolina Panthers – Jonathan Stewart – Running Back

Christian McCaffrey was a top 10 pick by the Panthers at the running back position last season, so the Panthers could decide to make him their full-time starter at running back in 2018. If the Panthers decide to go that route then it could make current early-down back Jonathan Stewart expendable. Stewart is still a somewhat productive running back, although he isn’t getting younger and the Panthers are already deep at the position. The Panthers could keep him around for another season or they could cut ties with him this offseason and save $3.7 million in cap space.

 

Chicago Bears – Mike Glennon – Quarterback

The Chicago Bears made a mistake by signing Mike Glennon to a big contract in free agency last offseason especially considering they drafted Mitchell Trubisky less than two months after signing Glennon. Trubisky is now the clear starter for the Bears moving forward and that means Glennon and his big contract is sitting on the bench. Chicago can save a whopping $11.5 million in cap space if they release Glennon this offseason. The Bears can find a much cheaper backup QB in free agency and it would be shocking if they don’t let Glennon go very soon.

 

Cincinnati Bengals – Adam Jones – Cornerback

Adam Jones saw his role diminish significantly last season as the Bengals have much younger cornerbacks starting at the position. Jones has a lot of money owed to him next season and the Bengals could save $5.8 million in cap space by releasing him this offseason. Jones has been with the Bengals for awhile now, but considering his age, large contract, and diminished role it makes it highly likely that he won’t be back with the team next season.

 

Cleveland Browns – Cody Kessler – Quarterback

The Browns don’t really have any veteran players that are danger of being cut this offseason. However, Cody Kessler is the one player that could be in danger of being released this offseason. The main reason is not because Kessler is making much money at all, but Cleveland is just really deep at the quarterback position. The Browns are likely to draft a quarterback with the 1st overall pick and that means DeShone Kizer would now become the new backup QB. That means Kessler would be the 3rd-string QB for the Browns in 2018 and basically every NFL team only carries two QB’s on their active roster. Kessler just doesn’t have a role on this team any more and the team can save about $600,000 while letting him have a better role as a backup elsewhere.

 

Dallas Cowboys – Benson Mayowa – Defensive End

Benson Mayowa’s production and role has diminished for the Cowboys as he only had 1 sack for the team last season. The team needs to find another backup defensive end that can be an upgrade over Mayowa. However, the Cowboys could save $2.75 million in cap space by releasing Mayowa which is a considerable amount considering his decreased role with the team.

 

Denver Broncos – Aqib Talib – Cornerback

Aqib Talib is still a pro-bowl caliber cornerback, but the issue is the Broncos are already paying tons of money to Chris Harris and Bradley Roby at the cornerback position. The Broncos can save $11 million by releasing Talib this offseason and that is a considerable amount especially since the Broncos don’t have tons of cap room to begin with. Talib is still a productive player, but Denver is deep enough at cornerback already and they can save a large amount of money by releasing him.

 

Detroit Lions – Ameer Abdullah – Running Back

The Detroit Lions are probably looking to upgrade at the running back position this offseason as Theo Riddick and Ameer Abdullah have proven that they aren’t capable starters at the position. However, it is more likely that the team will keep Riddick as the 2nd running back on the depth chart because of his pass-catching abilities. That would essentially leave Abdullah as the 3rd-string running back and the team could just release him since he wouldn’t really have a role with the team anymore. Releasing Abdullah would only save the Lions about $1 million in space space, yet if the Lions upgrade at running back this offseason then it would likely leave Abdullah without a role.

 

Green Bay Packers – James Starks – Running Back

James Starks was once a very reliable backup running back for the Packers, but now he isn’t even a reliable backup as he averaged a terrible 2.3 yards per carry last season. The Packers can save $3 million by releasing Starks this offseason and they could then use that money to find a better backup at running back. Starks won’t have much of a role in 2018 so it makes sense for the Packers to let him go and save a decent amount of money.

 

Houston Texans – Brian Cushing – Inside Linebacker

Brian Cushing has spent his entire career with the Houston Texans since he was drafted in the 1st round of the 2009 NFL draft. However, Cushing’s time with the Texans might be coming to a close as he is a likely candidate to be released this offseason. Cushing certainly isn’t getting any younger as he is 31 years old and he hasn’t been very productive for Houston recently. Cushing also has some off-the-field concerns as he has been suspended twice in his career for PED use. Also, Cushing has struggled to stay healthy in recent years and he only played in 5 games last season mostly due to a 10-game PED suspension. Either way, Cushing is more trouble than he’s worth especially since the Texans can save a whopping $7.64 million in cap space by releasing him. Cushing could return in 2018 since he is still a decent starting linebacker, but the Texans could look for a younger and cheaper linebacker to take his place.

 

Indianapolis Colts – Margus Hunt – Defensive End

Margus Hunt had the best year of his NFL career last season with Indianapolis, but he still only had 29 tackles and 1 sack. Hunt is a decent backup defensive end, but he won’t help much if he isn’t able to provide a pass rush at some point. The Colts could choose to keep Hunt for defensive end depth in 2018, although the Colts might be able to find a younger and cheaper option than him this offseason. Indianapolis could create $2.5 million in cap space by releasing Hunt and they could then use that money to find a better backup defensive end that can actually provide a pass rush.

 

Jacksonville Jaguars – Allen Hurns – Wide Receiver

The Jaguars seemed like they made the right move by signing Allen Hurns to a 4-year/$40 million extension after the 2015 season. However, Hurns has been a major bust since that point as he has failed to have over 500 receiving yards during the past 2 seasons. Injuries have been an issue recently for Hurns as he missed 6 games this past season and 5 games during the previous season, yet he hasn’t been very productive even when on the field. Hurns has also been surpassed on the depth chart by young receivers Dede Westbrook and Keelan Cole which makes him even more expendable. The good news is that the Jaguars can release him this offseason and create $7 million in cap space. It would be absolutely shocking if Hurns is on the Jaguars roster next season unless he agrees to take a significant pay cut which he is unlikely to do.

 

Kansas City Chiefs – Tamba Hali – Outside Linebacker

Tamba Hali has been a cornerstone of the Chiefs defense ever since he was drafted by the team in the 1st round of the 2006 draft. However, Hali is 34 years old and he isn’t the pass rusher that he once was several years ago. Hali only had 1 tackle in 5 games last season for the Chiefs as his role was clearly diminished. The Chiefs already have two good pass rushers with Justin Houston and Dee Ford, so Hali is basically expendable especially considering his cap hit. It would be great to see Hali finish his career with Kansas City, but they will likely have to release him since it would free up about $7.69 million in cap space. It will be painful for the Chiefs to release him considering what he has done for the franchise, although they need cap space desperately and Hali isn’t worth nearly the amount that he is currently getting paid.

 

Los Angeles Chargers – Brandon Mebane – Defensive Tackle

Brandon Mebane is 33 years old and he isn’t the quality starting defensive tackle that he once was with the Seahawks. He has never been much of a pass rusher, but now he isn’t even very good at stopping the run. The Chargers could keep him around as he provides some depth at defensive tackle. However, the Chargers can free up $4.5 million in cap space if they release Mebane this offseason. Los Angeles will likely look for a younger option at the position in the draft and let go of Mebane since he isn’t really worth his $5.5 million cap hit.

 

Los Angeles Rams – Tavon Austin – Wide Receiver

We all know that Tavon Austin has the potential to be a game-changer for the Rams, but the issue is that he isn’t consistent or reliable enough in their offense. He only had 13 receptions for only 47 yards and he wasn’t very helpful when running the ball either. Austin definitely isn’t worth the $8 million cap hit that he will have next season especially since the Rams have plenty of young talent at wide receiver. Austin’s role clearly is minimal for the Rams offense and the team would be wise to just get rid of him and clear up $3 million in cap space.

 

Miami Dolphins – Ja’Wuan James – Offensive Tackle

Ja’Wuan James has been a decent starting offensive tackle for the Dolphins, but in no way is he worth the $9.34 million that he is owed next season. James has dealt with injuries and he hasn’t been very productive even when he was healthy. The Dolphins can release him and clear up all of the cap space that he is owed, so unless he restructures his deal then it is very unlikely that he will back next season.

 

Minnesota Vikings – Jarius Wright – Wide Receiver

Jarius Wright has clearly fallen dramatically on the Vikings depth chart as he is only their 4th receiver at best heading into next season and he only had 18 catches this year for the team. The Vikings can find a much cheaper option as a 4th receiver than Wright who is owed $4.76 million next season. Minnesota can save $2.64 million in space by releasing Wright and it seems that’s what they’ll do considering he doesn’t have much of a role in Minnesota’s offense anymore.

 

New England Patriots – Martellus Bennett – Tight End

Martellus Bennett returned to New England late last season and he had a very minimal impact as he only had 6 catches in 2 games played for the Patriots. Bennett is due $6.1 million next season which is way too much to be paying a backup tight end. The Patriots could try to restructure his contract, but it is unlikely that he would be willing to take a steep pay cut. Either way, the Patriots can clear up $6.1 million in cap space if they release him which makes it very unlikely that he will return next season.

 

New Orleans Saints – Coby Fleener – Tight End

The Saints signed Coby Fleener to a huge 5-year/$36 million contract thinking that he would make a huge impact on their offense. However, Fleener has yet to do so as he only had 22 catches and 295 receiving yards last season. The Saints still owe him some guaranteed money so it will cost them $200,000 if they release him prior to June 1st. However, the team can free up $3 million in cap space if they release him after that date which seems likely considering his role has diminished in the Saints offense.

 

New York Giants – Eli Manning – Quarterback

It is very likely that the Giants will select a quarterback with the 2nd overall pick in the draft and that means that longtime starting quarterback Eli Manning might not even have a roster spot next season. Manning is clearly not the same player that he used to be as he is 37 years old and at the back end of his career. Also, Manning has a ridiculous $22.2 million cap hit just for next season and the Giants could clear up considerable cap space by releasing him. The question is whether the team will keep Manning around to mentor a young quarterback and be a short-term solution at the position. New York can clear up $9.8 million in cap space if they release Manning so it is unlikely that they keep him unless he is going to be the starter next season.

 

New York Jets – Muhammad Wilkerson – Defensive End

The Jets took a huge risk when they gave defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson a 5-year/$86 million contract after the 2015 season. However, the deal has ended up being a huge bust for the Jets as he only has 8 sacks combined the past 2 seasons for the team. Wilkerson has been a major issue for the team with his character concerns as he has been benched many times including the final 3 games of 2017 when he wasn’t even activated. Wilkerson is due $20 million next season and there is no possible way that the Jets will want to pay that. The Jets can save $11 million in cap space by releasing Wilkerson and it would be absolutely shocking if he returns to the team in 2018.

 

Oakland Raiders – Sean Smith – Cornerback

Sean Smith played better towards the end of last season, but he just isn’t worth the $8.5 million cap hit that he is due next season. The best part for the Raiders is that they can release him and owe him none of that money, therefore clearing up $8.5 million in cap space. Oakland has some major work to do at the cornerback position this offseason and it appears that Smith won’t be in their plans for the 2018 season.

 

Philadelphia Eagles – Torrey Smith – Wide Receiver

The Eagles gave Torrey Smith a decent contract last offseason hoping that he could revive his NFL career and be a contributor to the Eagles passing game. However, Smith was a disappointment as he only had 36 catches for 430 yards as he was clearly the 3rd option at wide receiver for the Eagles. The Eagles could choose to bring him back, but they could also free up $5 million in cap space by releasing him this offseason. Philadelphia can certainly find a better 3rd receiver and at a cheaper price than what was given to Smith.

 

Pittsburgh Steelers – Mike Mitchell – Safety

Mike Mitchell was the starting safety for a Steelers defense that really struggled last season even in the playoffs when they allowed 45 points to the Jaguars. Mitchell is certainly on the downside of his career at 30 years old and it is hard to justify the $8 million that he will be owed next season. Either way, the Steelers can upgrade at the safety position by getting rid of Mitchell and they can also clear up $5 million in cap space by releasing him.

 

San Francisco 49ers – Zane Beadles – Guard

Zane Beadles hasn’t been very effective in recent years and the 49ers could certainly use an upgrade over him at guard especially considering that he has a $4 million cap hit for next season. The 49ers not only need to replace him, but they also probably need to get rid of him. If the 49ers do decide to get rid of him then they could save $3.5 million in cap space.

 

Seattle Seahawks – Michael Bennett – Defensive End

Michael Bennett is still a very productive pass rusher as proven by his 8.5 sacks for the Seahawks last season. However, the Seahawks are in need of some cap space and Bennett’s contract is certainly an issue going forward. Bennett is due just over $7 million next season and the team could save $5.65 million in cap space if they let him go after June 1st. The Seahawks could choose to keep him considering his production is still good, but rumor has it that Seattle is trying to trade him away and they could just release him if they can’t find a team that will give up something for him.

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Doug Martin – Running Back

Doug Martin signed a 5-year/$35.75 million contract extension prior to the 2016 season, but since then he hasn’t produced at all for the Buccaneers. In fact, Doug Martin was given a 4-game PED suspension late in the 2016 season and he has struggled to stay healthy during that time. Even when he has been healthy, Martin has only averaged 2.9 yards per carry each of the past 2 seasons. Martin has been very inconsistent throughout his career as he had 2 seasons where he rushed for over 1400 yards. However, the other 4 seasons he hasn’t even reached the 500-yard mark. The Buccaneers need more consistency out of the running back position and the team can clear up $6.75 million by releasing him this offseason which is why he is highly unlikely to be back next season.

 

Tennessee Titans – DeMarco Murray – Running Back

DeMarco Murray had a down season in 2017 to say the least as he only ran for 659 yards and he only averaged 3.6 yards per carry. Murray is still a good running back, but it seems that Derrick Henry has taken over as the number 1 running back in Tennessee. The Titans could still choose to keep Murray and have a dynamic duo along with Henry, but the issue is Murray is due $6.5 million next season. Tennessee will have to decide if Henry is ready to take on the full-time role and if he is ready for that role then the Titans could release Murray and save $6.5 million in cap space.

 

Washington Redskins – Rob Kelley – Running Back

Rob Kelley came out of nowhere to become the Redskins starting running back, but now he has clearly fallen down the depth chart as Chris Thompson and Semaji Perine are ahead of him. Kelley does have a really cheap contract as he is only due $468,000 in 2018, but he probably doesn’t want to be a 3rd-string back for the team. The Redskins could definitely choose to hold onto him since his contract is extremely cheap. However, Kelley doesn’t seem to have much of a role going forward and the Redskins could just release him and allow him a better opportunity elsewhere.

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Biggest offseason need for every NFL team

Arizona Cardinals – Biggest need: Quarterback

The Cardinals are a team in transition heading into this offseason as they have a new head coach. However, the Cardinals also have a major void at the quarterback position after the retirement of Carson Palmer earlier this offseason. Arizona doesn’t have an answer at the quarterback position currently on their roster, so they will definitely need to address the position this offseason in the draft or in free agency. The Cardinals could go after a proven quarterback like Kirk Cousins in free agency or they could try and draft a younger option like Mason Rudolph or Lamar Jackson in the 1st round of the draft. Either way, Arizona needs to find a quarterback not only for the 2018 season, but for several years to come.

 

Atlanta Falcons – Biggest need: Defensive Tackle

Atlanta doesn’t have many needs on their roster, but one void that they have heading into the offseason is at the defensive tackle position. Grady Jerrett is a terrific starting defensive tackle for the Falcons and he will be returning as a starter for 2018. However, Dontari Poe is going to be a free agent and it is somewhat unlikely that he returns to the team. The Falcons don’t have anybody on their roster that can replace Poe at defensive tackle and it is a position that they must address specifically if he doesn’t return next season.

 

Baltimore Ravens – Biggest need: Wide Receiver

Baltimore’s offense struggled last season mostly because they lacked a true playmaker at the wide receiver position. Mike Wallace is scheduled to be a free agent this offseason and he is unlikely to be re-signed. Also, Jeremy Maclin is unlikely to return next season as the Ravens will just likely release him. That would only leave unproven player Breshad Perriman as their top receiver and he certainly hasn’t lived up to the hype of being a 1st round pick. Either way, Baltimore needs at least 2 more good receivers this offseason and they could even address it in free agency and the draft. The Ravens could draft either Calvin Ridley or Courtland Sutton in the 1st round and it is likely that they will draft a receiver with their 1st pick. However, there are some good receivers in free agency like Jarvis Landry and Sammy Watkins that could really help the team as well. Baltimore needs more from their passing game and adding any of those players listed above would be a terrific first step to finding a true number 1 receiver.

 

Buffalo Bills – Biggest Need: Quarterback

Tyrod Taylor isn’t a very good option at quarterback for the Bills and the coaching staff clearly doesn’t have much confidence in him. Taylor could return in 2018, but that appears unlikely considering his salary and the tension between him and the coaches. That means the Bills will likely need to address the quarterback position this offseason either in the draft in free agency. Buffalo could be a suitor for a veteran quarterback like Kirk Cousins free agency, but they also could select a quarterback in the 1st round like Mason Rudolph or Lamar Jackson. The Bills don’t currently have the franchise quarterback on their roster, but there are a few quality options available to upgrade at the position this offseason.

 

Carolina Panthers – Biggest need: Wide Receiver

Devin Funchess proved that he could be a good number 1 wide receiver for the Panthers, but they don’t have a good 2nd receiver that quarterback Cam Newton can throw to. The Panthers could sign a wide receiver in free agency, but they are more likely to address the position early on in the draft. Carolina doesn’t need to spend a 1st round pick on a receiver since it is a huge need, but they could still find a quality wide receiver in the 2nd or 3rd round.

 

Chicago Bears – Biggest need: Wide Receiver

Chicago has only one reliable receiver and that is Cameron Meredith and he is a decent number 2 wide receiver at best. The Bears also have former 1st round pick Kevin White, but he has been a major bust so far is he is often injured and he is unproductive when he is healthy. That means the Bears have a major need to find a couple of good wide receivers this offseason and it is very likely that they will do so in the 1st round of the draft. Chicago has a top 10 pick, so they should have their choice to draft either Calvin Ridley or Courtland Sutton. Either one of those guys would be good options as they would be able to develop and grow at the NFL level with talented young quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. The Bears could also add some depth to the position in free agency, but I would be absolutely shocked if they don’t draft a wide receiver early on in the draft.

 

Cincinnati Bengals – Biggest need: Left Tackle

Cincinnati’s offensive line was a disaster for the most part last season especially at the offensive tackle positions. However, the Bengals need to find a solution at the left tackle position especially since current starting left tackle Cedric Ogbuehi hasn’t been able to protect quarterback Andy Dalton consistently. It is unlikely that the Bengals address the left tackle position in free agency since there aren’t very good options at the position and the Bengals usually are quiet in free agency. However, the Bengals are in prime position to draft a good left tackle as Connor Williams, Mike McGlinchey, and Orlando Brown all could be available. Cincinnati needs to address this position very soon and they have a perfect opportunity to do so in the draft with some terrific left tackle prospects available.

 

Cleveland Browns – Biggest need: Quarterback

This is the biggest need for the Browns every single year and somehow they still haven’t solved their issue at the quarterback position. However, the Browns have 2 top 5 picks in the draft including the number 1 overall pick. That means Cleveland controls their own destiny to draft what they hope will become their franchise quarterback. The Browns will have their pick between Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen so it will be interesting to see which of those quarterbacks that they like better. DeShone Kizer has proven already that he isn’t the quarterback of the future for Cleveland so now is the time to draft a QB with the 1st pick and hopefully they can find a good player that can lead them out of a long-lasting rebuild.

 

Dallas Cowboys – Biggest need: Right Tackle

The Cowboys need help along the right side of their offensive line as starting right guard Jonathan Cooper is a free agent and he is unlikely to be re-signed. That means La’el Collins is likely to shift back to the right guard position instead of being the right tackle for Dallas which was a position that he struggled at last season. Dallas could address right tackle either in free agency or early on in the draft, but it is a position they need to figure out in order for their offense to be really successful in 2018.

 

Denver Broncos – Biggest need: Quarterback

Trevor Siemian is a good backup QB and he has exceeded expectations in his NFL career, but he is clearly not the answer for the Broncos at quarterback. Also, Paxton Lynch is often injured and he has been ineffective at quarterback for the Broncos as well. That means that Denver must address the quarterback position this offseason. The Broncos are a likely landing spot for veteran quarterback Kirk Cousins in free agency and that would be a terrific signing for the team. However, if the Broncos can’t find a starting QB in free agency then they should have an opportunity to draft either Josh Rosen, Baker Mayfield, or Josh Allen with the 5th overall pick. Either way, Denver is in good position to find their franchise quarterback, although it will be interesting to see if they address the position in free agency or the draft.

 

Detroit Lions – Biggest need: Running Back

Detroit has a few big needs that they must address, but a key position that they still haven’t addressed is at running back. Theo Riddick is a good 3rd-down back and pass-catcher, but he isn’t the type of running back that can carry the load for the Lions in the running game. Ameer Abdullah hasn’t proven that he is a solution as the early-down back as he has been ineffective throughout his NFL career. Detroit likely won’t address the position in the 1st round of the draft, but they could find a good early-down back in the 2nd or 3rd round of the draft. Either way, Detroit needs to fix their issues at the running back position and provide more balance to their offense.

 

Green Bay Packers – Biggest need: Tight End

The Packers thought that they found a good starting tight end when they signed Martellus Bennett in free agency last offseasonm, but that didn’t end up to be the case as he was unproductive and ultimately released by Green Bay during the 2017 season. Richard Rodgers is a decent backup tight end, but the Packers need to find a better number 1 option at the position for 2018 and beyond. The good news is that there a couple of good options for the Packers to draft. Mark Andrews and Dallas Goedert are the two best tight end prospects in the draft and it would be wise for the Packers to draft either one of them as they would give Aaron Rodgers another threat in the passing game.

 

Houston Texans – Biggest need: Left Tackle

The offensive line was a complete mess for the Texans last season as they dealt with injuries and inconsistent play at basically every position. However, the one position that they really need to address is at left tackle after they traded away Duane Brown last season. Chris Clark was the starting left tackle for most of last season, but he struggled tremendously and he is unlikely to return anyway as he is a free agent this offseason. The Texans don’t have a pick until the 3rd round of the draft so it is unlikely that they will be able to find a good starting left tackle in the draft. However, they could try and sign a veteran left tackle in a limited market as players like Nate Solder and Greg Robinson should be available in free agency. Either way, Houston needs a lot of help on their offensive line and they don’t have many draft picks to be able to do so this offseason.

 

Indianapolis Colts – Biggest need: Defensive End

The Colts pass rush once again struggled last season as they were one of the worst teams in the NFL at sacking the quarterback. In fact, Jabaal Sheard was the team’s best pass rusher even though he only had 5.5 sacks. The Colts need to find a pass rusher that can get after the quarterback consistently and it is likely that they will address the defensive end position early in the draft. The good news is that the Colts have the 3rd overall pick in the draft which means they are in prime position to add an elite pass rusher if they choose to go that route. Bradley Chubb is the best defensive end prospect in this draft and he is probably even the best player overall in the draft and he should be available when the Colts have their 1st pick. Chubb would be a huge addition to the Colts as he would boost their pass rush right away. The entire Colts defense needs a boost and if the Colts add a pass rusher like Chubb then it would be a big step in the right direction.

 

Jacksonville Jaguars – Biggest need: Wide Receiver

It is amazing that Jacksonville made it to the AFC championship game despite the lack of playmakers that they had at the wide receiver position. Allen Robinson is clearly the team’s top receiver, but he was injured for basically all of the season and he might not be re-signed in free agency. Also, Marqise Lee and Allen Hurns are somewhat unlikely to return next season as Lee is a free agent and Hurns is likely to be released. The Jaguars need a number 1 receiver especially if all of those receivers listed above leave this offseason. Jacksonville could add a receiver in free agency, but there should be some good options when the Jaguars pick in the 1st round. James Washington and Christian Kirk both could be available when the Jaguars are on the clock and either of those players would add some explosiveness to Jacksonville’s offense. Jacksonville needs some weapons for quarterback Blake Bortles to throw to and adding a couple of receivers this offseason is much needed.

 

Kansas City Chiefs – Biggest need: Wide Receiver

Kansas City hasn’t received much production from the wide receiver position over the past few years mostly because former QB Alex Smith used his tight ends and running backs often in the passing game. However, the Chiefs now have unproven young quarterback Patrick Mahomes as the clear starter in 2018 and they must surround him with more weapons in the passing game. Tyreek Hill is an explosive wide receiver, but besides him the Chiefs have absolutely nothing else at the wide receiver position. Kansas City probably won’t spend big in free agency to acquire a receiver, yet they still could find a good possession receiver for a bargain or in the 2nd or 3rd round of the draft. Either way, Kansas City needs some help at the wide receiver position especially since they have an inexperienced quarterback starting in 2018.

 

Los Angeles Chargers – Biggest need: Kicker

The kicker position is often overlooked as many people for some reason don’t think it matters to have a good kicker. However, the Chargers found out last season that it is very important to have a reliable kicker as it was a position that they struggled at last season. The Chargers had a remarkable 4 kickers attempt field goals for the team last season and they combined for a terrible 66.7% conversion rate. They still haven’t found a reliable kicker and it is a weakness that they must address heading into the 2018 season. The good news is that there are plenty of good kickers available this offseason including Graham Gano, Matt Bryant, and Ryan Succop. All of those kickers are extremely reliable and they would be major upgrades for the Chargers. Either way, the Chargers need to find a new starting kicker that will at least be average because the position cost the team in a major way last season.

 

Los Angeles Rams – Biggest need: Cornerback

The Los Angeles Rams had a good secondary last season, but they have two starting cornerbacks heading to free agency this offseson. Trumaine Johnson and Nickell Robey-Coleman both might not return next season which would create a major void at a position that the team already didn’t have much depth at. If either one of those guys leave in free agency as expected then the cornerback position would be a big need for the Rams. The good news is that the Rams should have a couple of options available in the 1st round of the draft to fill a possible void at cornerback. The two main options that they should consider are Denzel Ward and Josh Jackson. Both would be good starters right away for the Rams if they don’t retain both Johnson and Robey-Coleman this offseason. Cornerback isn’t a huge need right now for the Rams, but it certainly could be especially if they don’t retain number 1 starter Trumaine Johnson.

 

Miami Dolphins – Biggest need: Right Tackle

The Dolphins have a decent starting right tackle with Ja’Wuan James right now, but he is due $9.3 million next season and that is a hefty price for the Dolphins to pay. Miami could decide to retain James, but in all likelihood he will be a salary casualty this offseason. That would create a major void at the right tackle position for the Dolphins this offseason and it wouldn’t be a position that they would consider going after in free agency since the right tackle position is very weak. However, there are some good options like Orlando Brown, Connor Williams, and Mike McGlinchey that could be available when the Dolphins pick in the 1st round. Either way, the Dolphins have a need on the right side of their offensive line and right tackle is a particular area of concern.

 

Minnesota Vikings – Biggest need: Quarterback

The Vikings have an interesting dilemma at the quarterback this offseason as they have 3 starting caliber quarterbacks, but they are all free agents this offseason. They could decide to retain either Case Keenum or Teddy Bridgewater to be their starting quarterback. However, they could also explore other options on the free agent market including Kirk Cousins who is the top quarterback available this offseason. The Vikings have plenty of cap space available, but they have to figure out which free agent quarterback they want to have as their starter for 2018 and beyond. Minnesota has some good options available at quarterback, but they have to figure out which QB they want the most.

 

New England Patriots – Biggest need: Cornerback

The Patriots have Stephon Gilmore as their number 1 cornerback for several years to come, but the Patriots don’t have much on the depth chart behind him. Malcolm Butler is expected to depart in free agency and that would leave Eric Rowe as the team’s new 2nd cornerback. Rowe is an unproven player and he isn’t exactly a very reliable starter for New England so cornerback is a position that New England must add some depth to this offseason.

 

New Orleans Saints – Biggest need: Quarterback

Drew Brees is a free agent this offseason, although he will certainly be back with the Saints next season unless he decides to surprise us all and retire. Either way, Brees is currently 39 years old and it is very possible that he could retire from the NFL very soon. However, the Saints don’t currently have a young quarterback that can develop under Brees and take over at the quarterback position when he is ready to retire. The good news for New Orleans is that the quarterback position in this year’s draft class is very deep which means they could draft a quarterback late in the 1st round. Mason Rudolph and Lamar Jackson seem like the most ideal fits for the Saints, but the team could also decide to trade up for a QB like Josh Allen or Baker Mayfield. New Orleans needs to draft a young quarterback that they can develop under Brees for a year or two and then become the new franchise quarterback.

 

New York Giants – Biggest need: Quarterback

Eli Manning is still under contract for next season, but he hasn’t been very productive recently and he has a massive cap hit for next season. The Giants could decide to keep Manning for another year, but in all likelihood they will just release him. Either way, the Giants need to find their quarterback of the future and it is likely that they will do so early on in the draft. New York has the 2nd overall pick which means that they will have the option to select either Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, or Baker Mayfield. New York has plenty of talent on their roster, but finding a young quarterback that can carry them in the future is crucial.

 

New York Jets – Biggest need: Quarterback

Josh McCown exceeded expectations at quarterback for the Jets last season, but he is a free agent and he was only meant to be a temporary solution at the position anyway. Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg have already proven that they aren’t meant to be starting quarterbacks in the NFL which means the Jets need a starting QB for the 2018 season. New York will likely go after the top available quarterback Kirk Cousins in free agency, but if they don’t land him then the team still has a high enough draft pick to be able to get a young quarterback like Josh Allen or Baker Mayfield. The Jets still have to build their roster, but finding the quarterback of the future is paramount to the team’s future success.

 

Oakland Raiders – Biggest need: Cornerback

The Raiders struggled at the cornerback position last season mostly due to injuries, but even when healthy there wasn’t much production from the starters. TJ Carrie was the team’s best corner, but he is scheduled to be a free agent this offseason. Sean Smith and David Amerson weren’t very productive and the Raiders could cut ties with both of them. Gareon Conley is the only cornerback that is guaranteed to come back next season, but he only played in 2 games last season due to injuries. The Raiders need to find a new starter or two at the cornerback position this offseason and it is likely they will draft a cornerback like Denzel Ward with their 1st round pick. Oakland needs a difference maker at cornerback and by doing so they could really improve their defense in 2018.

 

Philadelphia Eagles – Biggest need: Linebacker

Philadelphia doesn’t have many needs on their roster as proven by their recent super bowl victory. However, the linebacker position is the one area of real concern heading into the offseason. Nigel Bradham played well for the Eagles as a starter, but he is a free agent and it is unknown if he will return to the team next season. Also, starter Jordan Hicks is often injured and the Eagles could use some depth behind him. The key is whether Bradham returns to Philadelphia in free agency, but if he doesn’t then linebacker is definitely a position of need. Philadelphia will likely address linebacker in the draft as Tremaine Edmunds, Malik Jefferson, or Rashaan Evans all could be available when the Eagles pick 32nd overall. Either way, the Eagles need more depth at linebacker and that must be addressed this offseason.

 

Pittsburgh Steelers – Biggest need: Inside Linebacker

The scary injury of Ryan Shazier has created tons of uncertainty for Pittsburgh at the inside linebacker position heading into the 2018 season. The injury is serious enough that Shazier might not even be able to play football ever again. Either way, it appears that Shazier won’t be ready for the 2018 season and it is time for the Steelers to think about finding a replacement for him. Pittsburgh could find a short-term answer in free agency, but in all likelihood they will draft a player like Malik Jefferson or Reshaan Evans in the 1st round of the draft. Pittsburgh needs an inside linebacker that can cover more effectively and either one of those young linebacker prospects would be an ideal fit. Hopefully Shazier can come back and be a starter for the Steelers at linebacker at some point, but inside linebacker is definitely a position of need this offseason.

 

San Francisco 49ers – Biggest need: Running Back

Carlos Hyde is scheduled to be a free agent this offseason and it is unlikely that he is re-signed by the 49ers. San Francisco doesn’t have another running back on their roster that is really capable of filling his role as the starter for 2018 and beyond so it is a position that they must address. There aren’t any real good options at running back in free agency, so in all likelihood the 49ers will address it early in the draft. The 49ers will hope that Saquon Barkley somehow falls to the team at the number 8 overall pick, but that is very unlikely to happen. San Francisco will probably have to find a running back in the 2nd or 3rd round that can provide some stability at running back. Either way, the 49ers must re-sign Hyde or find a capable replacement at some point in the draft.

 

Seattle Seahawks – Biggest need: Running Back

The Seahawks are a team that rely heavily on the running game, but the issue is that they don’t have a running back that they can rely upon. Eddie Lacy proved that he wasn’t the solution last season and he won’t return to the team in 2018. Chris Carson, C.J. Prosise, and Mike Davis are all decent backups. However, none of those guys will likely be effective for the Seahawks in the running game next season. Seattle needs a clear number 1 running back that they can rely upon to help take the pressure off of Russell Wilson. Seattle could address the position in the 1st round with Derrius Guice as he is a running back that could be the clear starter right away for Seattle. However, the running back class is deep enough that they could wait until the 2nd round or 3rd round to find their new starter. Either way, Seattle doesn’t have a running back that they can rely upon right now and they need to find someone that can be a playmaker and help improve Seattle’s offense.

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Biggest need: Cornerback

There are a few major areas of need for the Buccaneers heading into the 2018 season including running back and defensive end. However, cornerback seems to be the biggest area of weakness for the Buccaneers heading into 2018. Starting cornerback Vernon Hargreaves is still young, but he struggled tremendously last season with injuries and inconsistent play when he was healthy. Brent Grimes played well for the Buccaneers and he was clearly their top corner, but he is 34 years old and he is a free agent this offseason. The Buccaneers also don’t have much depth at the position as Ryan Smith is their only backup right now and he hasn’t shown much during his opportunities to start last season. Tampa Bay needs two or three more cornerbacks this offseason as they don’t have any reliable starters at the position right now and they certainly don’t have much depth. The Buccaneers could decide to address the position early on in the draft like in the 2nd or 3rd rounds. However, it is most likely that the Buccaneers go out and find some cornerback help in free agency. The good news is that there are plenty of good cornerbacks available in free agency including Trumaine Johnson, Malcolm Butler, Kyle Fuller, and E.J. Gaines. Any of those players would provide a major upgrade over what the Buccaneers had at the cornerback position last season and it is likely that they sign at least one those top free agent cornerbacks. Tampa Bay still could address cornerback in the draft, but it is an area that they must improve in order to make their defense decent again in 2018.

 

Tennessee Titans – Biggest need: Guard

The Titans have a decent offensive line thanks to the stellar play of Jack Conklin and Taylor Lewan at the offensive tackle positions. However, the interior offensive line has been where Tennessee has struggled and it showed by their inability to run the ball consistently this past season. Guard Josh Kline is scheduled to be a free agent this offseason and he likely won’t return. Also, the other starting guard Quinton Spain will probably be back in 2018, but the Titans will look for an upgrade over him this offseason. There are some interesting guards that the Titans could go after in free agency like Joe Berger, Andrew Norwell, and D.J. Fluker. However, the Titans could also draft a guard in the 1st round like Will Hernandez out of UTEP. Tennessee needs help at both guard positions and if they upgrade at guard then the Titans running game could be much improved next season.

 

Washington Redskins – Biggest need: Wide Receiver

Terrelle Pryor was a major disappointment for the Redskins last season as he only had 240 receiving yards and now he will likely depart in free agency. That will leave unproven receiver Josh Doctson as the team’s number 1 wideout. The Redskins also have Jamison Crowder, but he is only a good number 3 receiver for the team. Washington needs to stabilize the wide receiver position by finding a receiver that can come in and be at least a good number 2 receiver. The Redskins should specifically try to find a proven receiver in free agency that is reliable since Doctson is a complete unknown at this point in his career. New quarterback Alex Smith will have some good weapons to work with on offense, but he needs some better playmakers in the passing game in order to be successful.

Free Agent that every NFL team must re-sign

Arizona Cardinals – Drew Stanton – Quarterback – 2017 Stats: 894 yards, 6 TD’s/5 INT’s

The Arizona Cardinals now must find a solution at the quarterback position for the 2018 season after Carson Palmer decided to retire from the NFL. Arizona was a respectable team last season mainly because Drew Stanton came in and played well enough to help them win. Stanton clearly isn’t the answer at quarterback for the Cardinals, but he is a quality backup that the Cardinals must retain this offseason. Arizona will likely draft a quarterback or find one in free agency, yet they still must re-sign Stanton in order to have some stability at the position next season.

 

Atlanta Falcons – Adrian Clayborn – Defensive End – 2017 Stats: 21 tackles and 9.5 sacks

Adrian Clayborn has revived his career as a defensive end for the Falcons this season as he had the most sacks that he’s ever had in a season with 9.5. Clayborn still needs to prove consistency as 6 of his 9.5 sacks this season came in one game against the Cowboys. Clayborn probably shouldn’t be a starting defensive end, but the Falcons should keep him around specifically in pass rush situations.

 

Baltimore Ravens – Ryan Jensen – Center – 2017 Stats: 16 games started

Ryan Jensen was a backup center not too long ago, but he proved this season that he is an above average starting center in the NFL. Jensen is a good pass blocker and he is an even better run blocker for the Ravens. It is difficult to find quality centers in the NFL these days and Jensen has proven that he can be a quality starter as he started all 16 games for Baltimore this past season. Jensen will undoubtedly receive competitive offers from other teams if he tests free agency, but it would be a mistake for the Ravens to let him go.

 

Buffalo Bills – Kyle Williams – Defensive Tackle – 2017 Stats: 41 tackles and 3 sacks

Kyle Williams is 34 years old and he isn’t the dominant defensive tackle that he once was, but he is still the veteran of the Bills defense and he is a productive starter. The Bills could choose to go younger at the position this offseason. However, Williams means a lot to the Bills franchise as he has been there his entire career and it would be a shame to see the Bills let him play anywhere else.

 

Carolina Panthers – Julius Peppers – Defensive End – 2017 Stats: 33 tackles and 11 sacks

Julius Peppers last year proved that age is just a number as he returned the Panthers and had an impressive 11 sacks. Peppers is about to be 38 years old which means he could choose to retire since he has already accomplished plenty in his career. However, the Panthers need to make sure that he doesn’t sign elsewhere and hopefully they can convince him to come back on a 1-year deal since their pass rush wouldn’t be the same without him.

 

Chicago Bears – Kyle Fuller – Cornerback – 2017 Stats: 69 tackles and 2 INT’s

Kyle Fuller had a career season in 2017 for the Bears defense as he had a career-high 69 tackles to go along with 22 pass breakups which was the 2nd most in the NFL. Fuller is going to generate plenty of interest in free agency so it is possible he joins a team that is more of a contender. However, the Bears need to make an effort to bring Fuller back because without him the Bears secondary could be a big mess next season.

 

Cincinnati Bengals – Tyler Eifert – Tight End – 2017 Stats: 4 catches and 46 yards

Back surgery ended Tyler Eifert’s 2017 season after only 2 games played and it likely was a major reason why the Bengals passing offense was only ranked 27th in yards per game. The only target that the Bengals had was A.J. Green so the Bengals were lacking another real weapon that they could throw to. Tyler Eifert has certainly proven that he can be one of the best tight ends in the NFL if he is healthy. However, Eifert has struggled with injuries throughout his career and that has really held him back. Eifert is a major redzone threat and he creates matchup problems for opposing defenses, so the Bengals definitely need him back.

 

Cleveland Browns – Isaiah Crowell – Running Back – 2017 Stats: 853 yards and 2 TD’s

Isaiah Crowell wasn’t able to crack the 1,000 yard mark once again, but he was clearly the most productive player that the Browns had on offense. Crowell was the early-down back for Cleveland while Duke Johnson would come in mainly on passing downs and provide some more speed. Cleveland could try and find an upgrade at running back over Crowell, but the team has other needs to address and they would be smart to bring him back since he carried a very weak Browns offense last season.

 

Dallas Cowboys – DeMarcus Lawrence – Defensive End – 2017 Stats: 58 tackles and 14.5 sacks

DeMarcus Lawrence finally had his breakout season in the NFL as he had a career-high 58 tackles and 14.5 sacks for the Cowboys last season. Lawrence proved that he can be an elite pass rusher which is what Dallas desperately had been searching for since DeMarcus Ware left town. It won’t be cheap for Dallas to re-sign Lawrence, yet he is one of the few impact players on the Cowboys defense and they absolutely must re-sign him.

 

Denver Broncos – Todd Davis – Inside Linebacker – 2017 Stats: 82 tackles and 1 sack

Todd Davis has quite the story about his rise to become a starting linebacker as it was just a few years ago that he was an undrafted free agent out of Sacramento State. However, Davis has become an important player on a dominant Broncos defense as he was 2nd on the team with 82 tackles last season. Davis plays with high energy and he is constantly making plays so it is important that Denver brings him back.

 

Detroit Lions – Ezekiel Ansah – Defensive End – 2017 Stats: 44 tackles and 12 sacks

Ezekiel Ansah has become one of the best pass rushers in the NFL and now he is in line for a big payday this offseason. The Lions could franchise tag Ansah and make sure that he stays for at least one more year, but that would cost a lot of money in order to do so. Either way, Detroit has many free agents to try and retain this offseason, yet Ansah is a player that they must keep if they want their defense to be good again.

 

Green Bay Players – Jahri Evans – Guard – 2017 Stats: 14 games started

Jahri Evans did a good job as the starting right guard for the Green Bay Packers last season and the team would have a void to fill at the position if they let him go. Green Bay probably needs to find a long-term solution at right guard this offseason. However, bringing back the 34-year old Evans on a 1 or 2 year deal would help the Packers in the short-term.

 

Houston Texans – Shane Lechler – Punter – 2017 Stats: 92 punts and 49.0 AVG

Shane Lechler has been one of the best punters in the NFL for a very long time and he continues to be very productive as he was 2nd in the NFL last season with an average punt of 49 yards. Lechler is 41 years old which means he clearly won’t be getting a long-term deal, yet the Texans should bring him back on a 1-year deal unless he decides to retire.

 

Indianapolis Colts – Adam Vinatieri – Kicker – 2017 Stats: 29/34 field goals

Adam Vinatieri is arguably the best kicker in NFL history and even though he is 45 years old he is still just as good as he’s ever been. Vinatieri could decide to retire this offseason because he is the oldest player in the NFL right now, but that is unlikely since he is chasing hall-of-fame kicker Morten Andersen for the most points in NFL history. Vinatieri prefers to return to the Colts in 2018 and Indianapolis would be foolish to try and find a younger kicker for next season as Vinatieri has been the model of kicking accuracy for many years.

 

Jacksonville Jaguars – Allen Robinson – Wide Receiver – 2017 Stats: 1 rec. and 17 yards

Allen Robinson’s 2017 season didn’t last long as he tore his ACL during the first game and what is even more unfortunate is that he was in his contract year. Robinson was in line for a huge payday with the Jaguars or another team, although his injury will likely hurt his chances of getting a huge contract this offseason. Robinson is the clear number 1 receiver for the Jaguars offense which is now lacking any good receivers without him. The Jaguars will likely address the wide receiver position anyway this offseason, but it is difficult to find elite wide receivers like Robinson. Robinson might only want to sign a 1-year contract in order to prove himself, yet the Jaguars just need to find a way to retain him.

 

Kansas City Chiefs – Albert Wilson – Wide Receiver – 2017 Stats: 554 yards and 3 TD’s

Albert Wilson doesn’t get mentioned much in the Chiefs offense because of the trio of weapons that Kansas City has at the skill positions. However, Wilson was a good number 2 wide receiver behind dynamic receiver Tyreek Hill. Wilson is a good receiver on 3rd downs because he has good hands and he is very reliable. The Chiefs will have to fight off some teams in order to retain Wilson, but it would be worthwhile to retain him since he is a very reliable receiver when called upon.

 

Los Angeles Chargers – Antonio Gates – Tight End – 2017 Stats: 316 yards and 3 TD’s

Age has clearly not been kind to Antonio Gates as he had the worst season of his career in 2017 as he only had 316 yards and 3 touchdowns. Gates isn’t nearly the elite player that he once was as he will turn 38 years old prior to next season. Hunter Henry has now clearly surpassed Gates as the Chargers starting tight end. However, Gates can still provide something as a backup and he brings quality veteran leadership as well. Also, Gates is a favorite target of quarterback Philip Rivers and Chargers games just wouldn’t be the same without Gates catching passes from Rivers. Gates could just choose to retire this offseason since he clearly doesn’t have too much left in the tank. Either way, the Chargers need to make sure that he retires with the team because it would awful if he signs elsewhere in free agency.

 

Los Angeles Rams – Trumaine Johnson – Cornerback – 2017 Stats: 65 tackles and 2 INT’s

The Los Angeles Rams don’t have a very good secondary as it is, but if Trumaine Johnson leaves in free agency then it would probably be a disaster. Johnson will be one of the top free agents available in the NFL, but it is highly unlikely that the Rams will let him go. Johnson signed a franchise tag last offseason in order to remain with the team and Los Angeles will likely give him the tag again unless the two sides can agree on a long-term deal. Johnson is clearly the number 1 cornerback for the Rams and the Rams defense would be much weaker without him.

 

Miami Dolphins – Jarvis Landry – Wide Receiver – 2017 Stats: 987 yards and 9 TD’s

Jarvis Landry was the only real threat that the Miami Dolphins had on offense this past season and he quietly was one of the top receivers in the NFL. In fact, Landry led the NFL with 112 receptions last season and he was clearly the number 1 target for the Dolphins. The rest of the offense for the Dolphins wasn’t very good, but Landry was the one player that the team could consistently rely upon. It will take a lot for Miami to re-sign Landry this offseason since he will be one of the top NFL free agents available. However, the Dolphins need to do whatever it takes to bring him back since the offense is not good without him.

 

Minnesota Vikings – Teddy Bridgewater – Quarterback – 2017 Stats: 1 INT

The Minnesota Vikings have a very strange 2018 offseason ahead of them at the quarterback position. Minnesota is in a unique position since they have 3 quarterbacks who could all legitimately make the case that they should be the team’s starting QB in 2018. Also, all 3 of the Vikings quarterbacks will be free agents this offseason including former 1st round pick Teddy Bridgewater. He finally became healthy enough to play halfway through this past season as he missed significant time with a gruesome knee injury. However, Case Keenum played so well at quarterback in 2017 that he retained the job even with Bridgewater healthy enough to play. It will be interesting to see whether the Vikings bring back Keenum or Bridgewater back next season as the starter. However, Minnesota should definitely bring back Bridgewater in free agency. The main reason is because Bridgewater is only 25 years old and he has much more potential than Keenum. However, Bridgewater has yet to be an above average QB during his 2 seasons as a starter with the Vikings. Minnesota has a really tough decision to make at the quarterback position this offseason and it will be interesting to see which QB they decide will be their starter for the future.

 

New England Patriots – Nate Solder – Left Tackle – 2017 Stats: 16 games started

The New England Patriots have a few big name free agents that they will probably need to re-sign this offseason. However, the most important for the Patriots to re-sign is definitely starting left tackle Nate Solder. He is the anchor of New England’s offensive line and he also has the high pressure task of protecting Tom Brady who is arguably the best QB in NFL history. Solder is still young and he is a tremendous leader as well, so the Patriots would obviously like to sign him to a long-term deal. It is extremely difficult finding quality left tackles in the NFL these days and Solder is definitely one of the best around. The Patriots need to do whatever it takes to re-sign Solder since it would be absolutely devastating if the team would let him leave in free agency.

 

New Orleans Saints – Drew Brees – Quarterback – 2017 Stats: 4,334 yards and 23 TD’s/8 INT’s

Drew Brees just continues to define age despite being almost 39 years old and he keeps proving why he is one of the best quarterbacks of all-time. Brees is obviously the biggest name on the free agent market, but it would be shocking if the Saints even allow him to test free agency. The Saints need to find his replacement at quarterback very soon, but this team would be absolutely lost without Brees as their quarterback. New Orleans will find a way to bring him back even if they have to franchise tag him, but it is extremely important that they reach a deal.

 

New York Giants – Justin Pugh – Left Guard – 2017 Stats: 8 games started

The New York Giants have some very tough decisions to make this offseason, but the free agent that they must re-sign is starting left guard Justin Pugh. New York already has enough offensive line trouble at offensive tackle, so if they lose Pugh then it could create an even bigger mess in 2018. Pugh is an elite left guard and he will probably want to be paid like in free agency. The Giants are heading for a lengthy rebuild and Pugh might rather want to join a contender in free agency, but the Giants need to make a big effort in order to bring him back.

 

New York Jets – Demario Davis – Inside Linebacker – 2017 Stats: 135 tackles and 5 sacks

The New York Jets had many players that overachieved this past season and that is the reason that the team was better than expected. Perhaps no player surprised more than starting inside linebacker Demario Davis who led the Jets with 135 tackles and 5 sacks. Davis is still young and the Jets would be wise to offer him a long-term deal since he had a career season in 2017. Davis is in line for a big payday and we’ll see if the two sides can reach an agreement, but it would be helpful to have him back since he was the best player on their defense last season.

 

Oakland Raiders – NaVorro Bowman – Inside Linebacker – 2017 Stats: 127 tackles and 1 INT

The inside linebacker position was disastrous for the Raiders with rookie Marquel Lee as the starter for the first 6 games of the season. However, the Raiders came across a very unique opportunity as they were able to sign 4-time first-team all-pro NaVorro Bowman mid-season. Bowman was a major upgrade at the inside linebacker position and hopefully the Raiders don’t create another void at the position by letting him go. Bowman is about to turn 30 years old, so he still has several years left in his career and it would be smart for the Raiders to make him a long-term commitment.

 

Philadelphia Eagles – Nigel Bradham – Outside Linebacker – 2017 Stats: 88 tackles and 1 sack

The Philadelphia Eagles have some free agents that they’ll need to make some decisions on, but the most important player to retain is Nigel Bradham. He is a disruptive force as he is consistently making plays all over the field. Philadelphia has a really good defense and Bradham has been a key part of their resurgence defensively in 2017. He is still young and he should be somewhat cheap to re-sign, but the Eagles need to find a way to bring him back.

 

Pittsburgh Steelers – Le’Veon Bell – Running Back – 2017 Stats: 1,291 yards and 9 TD’s

Pittsburgh’s offense was very good this past season and the main reason for that was the dynamic rushing attack led by star running back Le’Veon Bell. He was 3rd in the NFL with 1,291 rushing yards and he was also 3rd in rushing touchdowns with 9. Bell has proven that he can consistently be a top 5 running back in the NFL and now there is a very good chance that he will get paid like one. The Steelers would like to reach a long-term deal with Bell, but they might have to franchise tag him once again if they can’t agree to terms on a new contract. Either way, it isn’t likely that Bell will even be able to test free agency since Bell just means way too much to the team.

 

San Francisco 49ers – Jimmy Garoppolo – Quarterback – 2017 Stats: 1,560 yards and 7 TD’s/5 INT’s

Jimmy Garoppolo was acquired from the Patriots for a 2nd round pick at the trade deadline and he played very well in his 5 starts as he led the 49ers to a 5-0 record. Garoppolo completely revived a 49ers team that was only 1-10 until he came along and lifted the 49ers to 5 straight wins despite having an underwhelming supporting cast around him. We’ll see if he can continue that type of success next season, but there is no question that he made a huge difference in the 49ers 2017 season. The 49ers have already said that they won’t be letting him go in free agency, so don’t expect him to be playing elsewhere next season. Garoppolo can hopefully reach a long-term deal with the team, although the 49ers will definitely franchise tag him if they can’t agree to terms since he is just too important for them to let go.

 

Seattle Seahawks – Jimmy Graham – Tight End – 2017 Stats: 520 yards and 10 TD’s

The Seattle Seahawks have many key decisions to make on their own free agents this offseason, but there is clearly none bigger than tight end Jimmy Graham. He has consistently been one of the elite tight ends in the NFL since 2011 when he was with New Orleans. Graham is the biggest weapon that the Seahawks have on offense since he creates mismatches against linebackers and safeties. It is very difficult to find tight ends that are as talented as Graham is, so this would be a huge loss if the Seahawks can’t find a way to re-sign him.

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Brent Grimes – Cornerback – 2017 Stats: 49 tackles and 3 INT’s

Tampa Bay’s secondary was an absolute mess last season mostly because they didn’t have much depth at the cornerback position, but they also endured many injuries at that position. However, the one consistent player at cornerback was veteran Brent Grimes who will turn 35 prior to next season. Grimes could choose to retire this offseason, but if he doesn’t then the Buccaneers would be very wise to bring him back. He is still playing at a very high level despite his age and he is the only consistent cornerback that Tampa Bay has. The Buccaneers need a lot of help at cornerback even if Grimes returns next season, although the secondary would once again be a big disaster if he doesn’t come back.

 

Tennessee Titans – Ryan Succop – Kicker – 2017 Stats: 35/42 field goals

Ryan Succop was certainly a very busy kicker this season as he attempted 42 field goals for the Titans. However, Succop fared well with those kicks as he made 35 of them which means overall he did a good job. It is kind of difficult to find accurate kickers these days, so Tennessee should realize the importance of having a good kicker like Succop. The Titans have a reliable kicker right now and they shouldn’t try and take the risk of trying to find a new one as that decision could backfire.

 

Washington Redskins – Kirk Cousins – Quarterback – 2017 Stats: 4,093 yards and 27 TD’s/13 INT’s

There is no doubt that Kirk Cousins is the most important free agent for the Redskins since the team will likely fall apart if they can’t find a way to re-sign him. Cousins doesn’t seem likely to sign a long-term deal with Washington this offseason and it is a very real possibility that he could leave in free agency. That would be a nightmare scenario for the Redskins as they probably wouldn’t be able to find a good option in free agency. Also, the Redskins don’t have a high draft pick, so they might not be able to find a good quarterback. The Redskins could franchise tag him once again, but the question is whether the team wants to keep doing that. Either way, the Redskins need to find a way to re-sign Cousins this offseason or else they’re heading for a major rebuild.

AFC East Predictions

  1. New England Patriots

This is the easiest to pick the winner of since the Patriots are the most dominant team in the NFL and the other 3 teams in their division are mediocre at best. Tom Brady is still the best quarterback in the NFL and as long as he stays healthy in 2017 the Patriots should make a deep playoff run once again. He will be without top target Julian Edelman after he tore his ACL during the preseason, but the Patriots still have many options in the passing game. The Patriots running back situation is about the only question mark for the Patriots as they have Mike Gillislee as their early-down back. Gillislee has been a backup running back for all of his career, so it will be interesting to see how he handles being the starter for the first time in the NFL. We’ll see how effective the Patriots running backs are in 2017, but the Patriots offense still should be outstanding with just Tom Brady. The Patriots could be just as good on defense especially in the secondary where they Devin McCourty, Malcolm Butler, and newly acquired cornerback Stephon Gilmore. The front 7 is the main question for the Patriots as they don’t have a very good pass rush as Trey Flowers is their best pass rusher and he only had 7 sacks last season. However, the Patriots should still have a very good defense to go along with a terrific offense. It would be a major shock if the Patriots don’t win the AFC East easily this season.

 

2. Miami Dolphins

The Miami Dolphins were a playoff team last season and they are probably the 2nd best team in the AFC East. However, there is no chance that they will be able to compete with the Patriots for the division which means that Miami’s best hope is a wild card spot. Miami’s playoff hopes took a major hit though when starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill suffered a season-ending knee injury in training camp. The Dolphins did a good job of finding a decent temporary solution at the quarterback position by signing Jay Cutler. However, we’ll see if Cutler is ready to carry Miami’s offense considering that he just came out of retirement in early August. The Dolphins still have a really good running back with Jay Ajayi and it will be interesting to see if he can be as dominant as he was last season. Miami also has three really good young wide receivers with Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker, and Kenny Stills. Miami has the weapons on offense to succeed, but a lot will depend on how well Jay Cutler plays at quarterback. Meanwhile, the Dolphins have a very underrated defense led by star defensive linemen Cameron Wake and Ndamukong Suh. The big question for the Dolphins will be in their secondary as they have a big area of weakness at the cornerback position. Xavien Howard has tons of potential, but he needs to play much better than he did last season. Hopefully the Dolphins pass rush is dominant in 2017 or else the Dolphins might allow a lot of passing yards. Overall, the Dolphins have a lot of talent on offense and defense, but they will only make the playoffs if Jay Cutler can lead the way at quarterback.

 

3. Buffalo Bills

The Bills seemed that they could possibly be the 2nd best team in the AFC East, but that was until they traded away their best wide receiver Sammy Watkins and their best cornerback Ronald Darby in August. Buffalo did acquire Jordan Matthews from the Eagles to help fill the void at wide receiver, but he doesn’t provide the explosiveness to the Bills offense like Watkins did. The only real threat that the Bills have on offense is running back LeSean McCoy who is still one of the best running backs in the NFL. Buffalo also has a very good offensive line, but that won’t matter if they don’t get better play from Tyrod Taylor at the quarterback position. Taylor is a dual-threat QB that can make plays with his legs, but he needs to become more efficient in the passing game. It certainly won’t help that they only have Jordan Matthews and unproven rookie Zay Jones at the receiver position. The Bills offense will really heavily on the running game with McCoy, but Tyrod Taylor still needs to play better for the Bills offense to be effective. Meanwhile, the Bills defense could be the strength of the team as they arguably have the most talented defensive line in the NFL with Jerry Hughes, Shaq Lawson, Marcell Dareus, and Kyle Williams. However, if the Bills don’t cause enough pressure with their pass rush, then the Bills defense could have some serious issues. Buffalo has an extremely weak secondary after they lost their top two cornerbacks Stephon Gilmore and Ronald Darby this offseason. Tre’Davious White figures to be the top corner heading into the 2017 season, but he is only a rookie so it’s difficult to expect him to make a big impact right away. Overall, the Bills have too many holes on their roster and it seems like they are preparing for the future rather than trying to compete in 2017.

 

4. New York Jets

The New York Jets are probably the worst team in the NFL after they let go of several key veteran players this offseason. New York should have plenty of trouble scoring points this season as they have no true threats on their offense especially after releasing quality wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker. Also, the Jets placed their top wide receiver Quincy Enunwa on injured reserve which makes the Jets really thin at the wide receiver position. I’m not even sure who their top receiver is heading into the 2017 season, but Robby Anderson is probably their best option even though he only has 587 career receiving yards. The Jets now have plenty of inexperienced wide receivers and it will be interesting to see who steps up at the position. The other issue is that the Jets have a terrible situation at the quarterback position. Josh McCown is probably the team’s best option at quarterback and that is really not good since he has been proven to be a terrible starting QB. The Jets have a good situation at running back with Matt Forte and Bilal Powell sharing the backfield, but they won’t be able to carry the offense by themselves. New York needs their young players on offense to step up in 2017 or else this team might not even win a game in 2017. Meanwhile, defense is clearly the strength of the Jets in 2017 as they have many young talented players on that side. The Jets have a very talented defensive line as they have Muhammad Wilkerson, Leonard Williams, and Sheldon Richardson. The Jets also have two very talented rookie safeties with Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye, but they might struggle a little bit early on as they adjust to the NFL level. However, the rest of the defense has major question marks especially at the cornerback position with Morris Claiborne and Buster Skrine as the starters. The Jets need their pass rush to be really good or else New York’s secondary could be exposed really quickly. New York could be decent on defense, but it won’t matter since the Jets offense could be really awful in 2017 and this team might be lucky to even win 2 or 3 games this season.

 

 

Predicting a breakout Player for every NFL Team in 2017

Arizona Cardinals – John Brown – Wide Receiver

The Cardinals have been really deep at wide receiver in recent years with Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd being the team’s primary receivers. However, Floyd is now gone and that means there will definitely be an increased role for John Brown as the Cardinals new 2nd option in the passing game. Brown has been productive as Arizona’s 3rd receiver, but he has never really had the opportunity to be the number 2 wide receiver for the Cardinals. Expect Brown to have a huge year since he will now have a much bigger role than he has ever had.

Atlanta Falcons – Austin Hooper – Tight End

Atlanta’s passing offense was outstanding last season with wide receivers Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu leading the way. However, the tight end position wasn’t targeted very much last season as the top 2 players at that position only had 31 catches combined. Austin Hooper only had 18 catches for 271 yards, but he was still only a rookie and he was just getting adjusted to the offense. Hooper should have a bigger role in the offense this season as he gets more adjusted to playing at the NFL level and gets to know quarterback Matt Ryan better. Jones and Sanu will still be the focal point of the Falcons offense, although Hooper could prove to be a breakout player as a reliable 3rd option for Atlanta.

Baltimore Ravens – Kamalei Correa – Inside Linebacker

Kamalei Correa was a 2nd round pick of the Ravens last year, but he barely saw the field during his rookie year as he only had 4 tackles and a forced fumble in limited playing time. However, his role should increase tremendously this season as he is expected to win the starting inside linebacker spot for the Ravens especially after the departure of leading tackler and last year’s starting inside linebacker Zach Orr. Correa will see an increased role whether he wins the job or not and get ready to hear his name a lot more often this season.

Buffalo Bills – Zay Jones – Wide Receiver

Zay Jones was one of the most underrated players in this year’s draft and he was just as good as the other receivers in the 2017 class despite only being a 2nd round pick. However, Jones is going to the Bills where he will be relied upon to be a starter right away because they don’t have much depth at the receiver position. Sammy Watkins is going to be the Bills number 1 wide receiver in 2017, but Jones has a chance to have a major role as the Bills 2nd option in the passing game.

Carolina Panthers – Daryl Williams – Right Tackle

Daryl Williams had a very productive college career at Oklahoma and I was kind of surprised that he fell to the 4th round in the 2015 draft. However, he will finally get a chance to prove himself this season as he will likely be the Panthers new starting right tackle. Michael Oher is still dealing with the effects of a concussion from last season and it is unclear if he will even be the starting right tackle when he comes back. That means Williams will finally have his chance to be a breakout player and prove he can be a starting offensive tackle in the NFL.

Chicago Bears – Kevin White – Wide Receiver

Injuries have really hurt Kevin White’s NFL career since he was drafted in the 1st round of the 2015 draft. He missed his entire rookie season with a stress fracture in his shin and he was subsequently was placed on injured reserve. He had a very minimal impact for the Bears when he finally made his NFL debut in 2016 as he had 19 receptions and 187 yards in 4 games. However, White once again found himself on injured reserve as he fractured the fibula in his left leg and that ended his season. Now that he is healthy heading into the 2017 season there are high hopes that he can be the number 1 receiver that they expected of him when he was drafted. The Bears top receiver from last season is gone as Alshon Jeffery signed with the Eagles this offseason. If Kevin White can just stay healthy then there is no reason that he can’t put up huge numbers because he is by far the best wide receiver on their roster.

Cincinnati Bengals – Jake Fisher – Right Tackle

Jake Fisher hasn’t seen much playing time since being drafted in the 2nd round in the 2015 draft as he was basically the understudy to veteran offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth. However, Whitworth is now gone after he departed for the Rams in free agency and now the starting right tackle job is clearly going to be given to Jake Fisher in 2017. Fisher wasn’t great when he started the last 3 games at the position last season, but now he has a full offseason knowing that he will be the starter and he will have a big role to play this season.

Cleveland Browns – Corey Coleman – Wide Receiver

Corey Coleman is a very talented wide receiver, yet he didn’t make much of an impact as injuries held him back during his rookie season. However, he now heads into 2017 with a much better knowledge of the Browns offense and of the NFL in general. I’m not quite sure which quarterback will be throwing him the ball, but Coleman is going to definitely be a starter and he should have a breakthrough season in 2017.

Dallas Cowboys – Chaz Green – Left Guard

Chaz Green has primarily been a backup offensive tackle since he was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2015 draft by the Cowboys. However, Green now will have a much bigger role than he has ever had as he is going to be the starting left guard for Dallas in 2017. Doug Free retired this offseason which meant that the Cowboys had to reorganize their offensive line and that is why Green ended up as the starting left guard. We’ll see how well Green plays in that role, but the rest of the offensive line is probably the best in the NFL and they will certainly help to guide him along the way.

Denver Broncos – Paxton Lynch – Quarterback

Paxton Lynch didn’t look very good last season in the 3 games that he played for the Broncos as a rookie. However, Lynch now has had a full offseason to improve and try and win the starting quarterback job from Trevor Siemian. Lynch is a dynamic player and he certainly won’t be on the bench for much longer since the Broncos traded up to draft him in the 1st round in the 2016 draft. Lynch might be ready to start week 1 and if he is then he has a chance to be a bigtime playmaker for a Broncos offense that really needs one.

Detroit Lions – Ameer Abdullah – Running Back

The Lions running game has been awful for several years and that is why they drafted Ameer Abdullah early in the 2015 draft to try and fix their terrible situation at the running back position. Abdullah showed flashes as a rookie in 2015 that he could be a decent running back in the NFL, but the Lions pass the ball too much and they never really gave him much of an opportunity. Last year he played really well until he was injured during the 2nd game of 2016 and he ended up being out for the season after only 18 carries for 101 yards. Detroit’s running game was really bad without him and if he can stay healthy then he should make a big impact for the Lions in 2017.

Green Bay Packers – Kenny Clark – Defensive End

Kenny Clark didn’t play too much of an immediate role for the Packers last season despite being a 1st round pick in 2016. However, with Julius Peppers now gone it means that Clark will have a much bigger role this season at the defensive end position. Clark isn’t the type of pass rusher that Peppers is, but Clark is effective at stopping the run and he could really make a big impact for the Packers now that he is the full-time starter.

Houston Texans – K.J. Dillon – Strong Safety

If you have never heard of K.J. Dillon then you’re probably not alone as he was a 5th round pick in the 2016 draft and he only had 5 tackles during his rookie season as a backup safety. However, Quintin Demps is now gone and that has left a void at the strong safety position as there wasn’t much depth at the position behind him. That void will be filled by K.J. Dillon who will be tossed into the starting role in all likelihood. We’ll see what kind of impact he makes, but Texans fans will certainly hear his name a lot more next season.

Indianapolis Colts – Le’Raven Clark – Right Tackle

The Colts have struggled to find a good offensive line for a long time and they have especially struggled finding a good starting right tackle. It’s now time to see what 2nd-year right tackle Le’Raven Clark can do as the starting right tackle. Clark was inactive for most of the Colts games last season after getting drafted in the 3rd round in the 2016 draft. Clark played very well when he did get the opportunity to start the final 3 games of the season for the Colts and it was possibly a good sign of things to come for him in 2017.

Jacksonville Jaguars – Myles Jack – Inside Linebacker

Myles Jack could have been a 1st round pick easily in the 2016 draft, but instead he fell to the Jaguars in the 2nd round due to injury concerns. However, Jack failed to live up to the hype as a rotational player at linebacker during his rookie year as he only had 24 tackles. Jack will have to be much better in 2017 as he is already basically guaranteed a starting spot at the inside linebacker position for Jacksonville. Jack has tons of playmaking ability and he could really prove to be a good linebacker now that he is given a full-time opportunity in 2017.

Kansas City Chiefs – Chris Conley – Wide Receiver

Chris Conley hasn’t had a very big role in the Kansas City offense since he was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2015 draft. However, Conley is now the top wide receiver for the Chiefs after they released pro-bowl receiver Jeremy Maclin in June. The Chiefs don’t throw the ball a lot, so don’t expect huge numbers from Conley in 2017. However, he might near 1,000 yards receiving just because there isn’t much depth at receiver for Kansas City.

Los Angeles Chargers – Mike Williams – Wide Receiver

There has been a lot of hype about rookie 1st round picks, but surprisingly Mike Williams has somehow kind of gone under the radar for the Chargers. However, Mike Williams might be the best player that comes out of the entire draft. Williams is a big possession receiver who will be a big redzone threat for the Chargers immediately. Also, he has the size and ability to compete at the NFL level immediately which is why he will probably be a breakout player right away.

Los Angeles Rams – Jared Goff – Quarterback

Jared Goff was the 1st overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft, but he clearly wasn’t ready to make an immediate impact at the NFL level as he went 0-7 as a starter during his rookie season. Goff was absolutely terrible last season, but it wasn’t entirely his fault since the team went through a midseason coaching change and he didn’t have many offensive weapons around him in order to succeed. Goff now has better receivers after the team signed Robert Woods in free agency and they drafted Cooper Kupp early in the draft. Also, star running back Todd Gurley should be much better than he was last season and that would take a lot of pressure off of Goff. Overall, Goff has a lot of improving to do, although he should have a breakthrough season in 2017.

Miami Dolphins – Jordan Phillips – Defensive Tackle

Jordan Phillips has been decent as a rotational defensive tackle since being drafted in the 2nd round of the 2015 draft by the Dolphins. However, Phillips will now see a much larger role for the 2017 season as he is projected to be the full-time starter at one of the defensive tackle positions for Miami. Phillips is continuing to get better each season and he is already a good role player, but he seems ready to breakthrough and take the next step to becoming a good starter. It will help that he has star defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh alongside him in order to guide him. If Phillips can continue to improve then he has the talent already to be a very good NFL defensive tackle.

Minnesota Vikings – Laquon Treadwell – Wide Receiver

Laquon Treadwell was supposed to be an immediate impact receiver for the Vikings after they selected him in the 1st round last year. However, Treadwell was surprisingly barely used as he only had one reception all season. Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs are still the starters for Minnesota at wide receiver, but Treadwell will definitely compete for more playing time at receiver. Treadwell has terrific size and ability to be a number 1 receiver for the Vikings and if he gets the opportunity in 2017 he could put up some very good stats.

New England Patriots – Mike Gillislee – Running Back

Mike Gillislee already kind of had a breakout season with the Buffalo Bills in a limited role as he had 577 yards and 8 rushing touchdowns. However, Gillislee should see an even bigger role with the Patriots in 2017 as he is expected to take over LeGarrette Blount’s role as the early-down running back. Gillislee will be used on first and 2nd downs primarily and in short yardage situations, so expect a lot touchdowns for him this season. Gillislee is already a good player, but he should put up huge numbers in 2017 now that he is the lead running back for the first time in his career.

New Orleans Saints – Marshon Lattimore – Cornerback

Marshon Lattimore could have easily been a top 5 pick in the 2017 draft, but he instead fell to the Saints with the 11th overall pick. Lattimore will be a rookie, so don’t expect him to be a superstar player in 2017, but he will certainly be a starter right away for a Saints defensive that has been terrible in recent years. Lattimore has shutdown corner traits and he will likely make a huge immediate impact for the Saints.

New York Giants – Paul Perkins – Running Back

The Giants had a terrible running game last season as starter Rashad Jennings wasn’t productive at all. However, the Giants decided to stick with the rest of their running back group besides Rashad Jennings who was released earlier in the year. Paul Perkins did the best job of anybody in the Giants running back group last year despite receiving limited playing time. Now, the Giants have enough confidence in him that they are making him a full-time starter at running back and he should put up career numbers in 2017.

New York Jets – Charone Peake – Wide Receiver

Charone Peake had a very small role as a receiver in the Jets offense last season as he only had 19 receptions for 186 yards, but not much was expected of him since he was a rookie 7th round pick. There will certainly be an opportunity for a much bigger role in 2017 after the team released veteran receivers Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker. Those two losses this season left the Jets with virtually nothing at the wide receiver position. That means Peake has a chance to be a starter and prove whether he can be a starter for the team long-term. Peake isn’t a very talented wide receiver, but given the Jets need at receiver he should have the opportunity to be a breakout player in 2017.

Oakland Raiders – Mario Edwards Jr. – Defensive End

Mario Edwards Jr. had a big role during his rookie year and he did a decent job as he had 42 tackles and 2 sacks. He was expected to have a bigger role last season, but he was injured almost all of the season and he only had 2 tackles in 2016. However, Edwards Jr. is going to get another opportunity to be a starting defensive end for the Raiders in 2017. It will certainly help that he will be able to start opposite of all-pro defensive end Khalil Mack since Mack will probably have offenses focus on him instead of Edwards. That will likely give Edwards plenty of opportunities to put up some big numbers and have a breakout season since teams won’t commit to blocking him as much with the threat of Khalil Mack on the other side. If Edwards can just stay healthy all year then there is no reason that he shouldn’t have a career year in 2017.

Philadelphia Eagles – Carson Wentz – Quarterback

Carson Wentz was very inconsistent last season which is to be expected of a rookie quarterback. However, now that he has a full offseason to continue to develop then he should be much better in 2017. Also, Wentz didn’t have very reliable offensive weapons around him last season, but he should have much better receivers to throw to with the additions of Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith in free agency. The team also added running back LeGarrette Blount which should help to take some of the pressure off of Wentz. I don’t think he’ll turn into a pro-bowl caliber quarterback in 2017, although he might be able to breakout and become a quality starting quarterback for the Eagles.

Pittsburgh Steelers – Jesse James – Tight End

Jesse James has been a very productive role player for Pittsburgh when he has gotten an opportunity to play. However, he is going to be the starting tight end for the first time in his NFL career and that means he will likely put up huge stats in 2017. Heath Miller retired prior to last season and the Steelers tried to replace Miller by signing Ladarius Green. However, Green had major injury issues last season and they just ended up moving on from him. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has always loved throwing to a tight end and that means James should have plenty of chances to make a huge impact next season in the passing game.

San Francisco 49ers – Rashard Robinson – Cornerback

Rashard Robinson had a decent impact as a rookie cornerback for the 49ers in 2016 and now with the departure of Tramaine Brock and Jimmie Ward moving to safety it creates a huge opportunity for Robinson to make an impact. Robinson is now the main cornerback for San Francisco and he will surely be thrown at a lot more than he ever has been. We’ll see how he handles being a full-time starter for the first time in his NFL career, but either way he will definitely have a breakout season.

Seattle Seahawks – Paul Richardson – Wide Receiver

Richardson surprisingly hasn’t been very involved in the Seahawks offense ever since being drafted in the 2nd round of the 2014 draft. However, he was given a little bit more an opportunity near the end of last season and he showed flashes of his potential as he made some ridiculous catches especially in the playoffs. The Seahawks still don’t have a very reliable receiver besides Doug Baldwin, but Richardson could be the 2nd receiver that they need. I’m not sure why Richardson hasn’t gotten more of a chance to play in his career, but after his impressive playoff performances I’d be shocked if he isn’t highly involved in the Seahawks offense next season.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Roberto Aguayo – Kicker

Roberto Aguayo was probably the worst kicker in the NFL last season despite the Buccaneers trading up to draft him in the 2nd round. Now, there are no guarantees that he will even keep the kicking job as the team signed former Jets kicker Nick Folk to try and provide some more competition. However, Aguayo did show signs of improvement towards the end of the season at least on easier kicks. Aguayo has more motivation to succeed now that he has more competition and he showed improvement late last season which is why I expect him to be much better in 2017.

Tennessee Titans – LeShaun Sims – Cornerback

LeShaun Sims was impressive in the limited playing time that he received last year and now the Titans don’t have much depth at cornerback. That means Sims will have a much bigger role probably as the team’s 2nd or 3rd starting cornerback. Sims will have to compete with 2017 1st round pick Adoree Jackson for more playing time. However, Sims at least should get an opportunity to show what he can do and he should have his breakout season in 2017.

Washington Redskins – Josh Doctson – Wide Receiver

Josh Doctson was a 1st round pick last year, but he only had 2 receptions for 66 yards as he was buried on the wide receiver depth chart behind DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon, and Jamison Crowder. However, Jackson and Garcon both left in free agency and the team only replaced them with Terrelle Pryor. That means there will definitely be a much bigger role for Doctson with the Redskins in 2017. Doctson has good size for an NFL receiver and he will take over one of the starting receiver positions for Washington this season. We’ll see how big of an impact that Doctson will have this season, but he is surely going to put up much bigger stats than he did as a rookie.

Ranking the 32 NFL Starting Quarterbacks

32. Josh McCown – New York Jets

Josh McCown is the type of player that somehow continues to get a chance to be a starting quarterback in the NFL despite consistently showing that he is a terrible starting quarterback. McCown is 18-42 as a starter in the NFL and don’t expect him to be any better for the Jets this season as he doesn’t have any reliable receivers and he has an awful offensive line as well. McCown is a great person and a really good backup QB, but he doesn’t have a good throwing arm and he hasn’t proven that he is able to win games as a starter despite being in the league since 2002. I would be absolutely shocked if the Jets win more than 4 games this season with McCown as the starting quarterback.

31. Cody Kessler – Cleveland Browns

Kessler actually did a decent job statistically as the main starting quarterback for the Browns last season, but the problem is he went 0-7 in the games that he started. He has a very bright future as a backup QB in this league, although he just isn’t a good starter. I’m not even sure if Kessler will be the starting quarterback most of the season for the Browns as they also have Brock Osweiler and rookie DeShone Kizer competing for the starting job. Kessler is just a temporary solution at best for Cleveland, but he did show some flashes that he could be a solid backup at least for many years.

30. Tom Savage – Houston Texans

Tom Savage got an opportunity to be a starting quarterback for the Texans late last season and he at least did enough for the Texans to be able to win a low-scoring game against the Bengals in December. Savage isn’t a flashy player and he won’t throw many touchdowns since he doesn’t stretch the field much. However, at least he didn’t throw any interceptions in his limited playing time last season. Savage is the favorite to win the Texans quarterback job right now, but rookie Deshaun Watson will likely take over the job at some point this season. Savage is a decent temporary solution at best for Houston, but don’t expect him to do much except try and complete short passes and hand the ball off to running back Lamar Miller.

29. Mike Glennon – Chicago Bears

Mike Glennon hasn’t received an opportunity to be a starter full-time for an NFL team until he signed with the Bears this past offseason. However, he did show some flashes with the Buccaneers that show that he could at least be a decent temporary option as a starting quarterback. Glennon doesn’t throw many interceptions, but he also isn’t a very consistent accurate passer which is ultimately what will hold him back. Glennon will likely only be the starter for 1 season in Chicago as rookie 1st round pick Mitchell Trubisky is waiting to take over the starting job. Glennon is good enough to maybe win a few games as a starter this season, but don’t expect good quarterback play if you’re a Bears fan.

28. Brian Hoyer – San Francisco 49ers

Brian Hoyer proved with the Cleveland Browns and Houston Texans that he has the ability to be a decent temporary starting quarterback and win a few games if needed. However, don’t expect Hoyer to make many big plays or even come close to leading the 49ers to the playoffs in 2017. Hoyer is the starting quarterback for San Francisco heading into 2017, but the 49ers will definitely address the quarterback position after the season. Hoyer is 16-16 as a starter in the NFL, so he has proven that he can win some games if called upon to be a starting QB, but he clearly isn’t the solution for the 49ers.

27. Trevor Siemian – Denver Broncos

Trevor Siemian actually did a decent job for the Broncos as the team’s starting quarterback as he helped lead the team to a 8-6 record when he started. However, Siemian doesn’t have the physical tools to be a starting NFL quarterback and he clearly isn’t the quarterback of the future for Denver. If Siemian is called upon to start then he will be good enough to win some games, but he isn’t the type of player that makes this team any better. In fact, Siemian might not even be the starter for most of the 2017 season as 2nd-year quarterback Paxton Lynch could take over the starting job soon. Siemian is as good of a player as he’ll ever be and he is nothing more than a temporary solution for the Broncos at the quarterback position.

26. Jared Goff – Los Angeles Rams

The Rams had high expectations for Jared Goff after the team gave up a lot to trade up and get him with the 1st overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft. However, Goff was a major disappointment in his 7 starts for the Rams last season. In fact, Goff threw more interceptions than touchdowns last season and he went 0-7 as a starter in his rookie season. I expect him to be better this season which is why I have him ranked this high on my list of quarterbacks. However, Goff has a lot to prove before he can be considered even an average NFL starting quarterback. There is no doubt that Goff has all of the physical tools to be a very good quarterback, but I can’t rate him higher until he actually goes out on the field and proves it.

25. Sam Bradford – Minnesota Vikings

Sam Bradford hasn’t lived up to expectations ever since being the number 1 overall pick in the 2010 draft as he has never led a team to the playoffs so far during his career. Bradford has shown flashes of his potential at times and he has decent statistics, but he is only 32-45-1 as a starter in the NFL. Bradford doesn’t take risks and he rarely throws the ball down the field which is probably why he doesn’t throw too many interceptions. However, that affects his ability to be able to make plays and ultimately lead his team to the playoffs. Bradford is an average starting quarterback in the NFL and at this point in his career he probably won’t ever be better than average.

24. Blake Bortles – Jacksonville Jaguars

Blake Bortles is the ultimate inconsistent quarterback in the NFL. Bortles had an awful rookie season and he looked like a bust that year. However, his 2nd season in the NFL he looked like a pro bowl quarterback as he threw for 35 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. Last season his play once again regressed and he was the main reason that the Jaguars had an extremely disappointing season. Bortles has shown the outstanding potential that he has, but who knows what type of quarterback he will be in 2017. Jacksonville has plenty of talent around him, so if Bortles doesn’t improve this season then the Jaguars might try and find his replacement.

23. Carson Wentz – Philadelphia Eagles

Carson Wentz had a decent rookie season for the Eagles in 2016 and there are high hopes that he can take the next step in 2017. Wentz was very inconsistent which is to be expected of a rookie quarterback, but he did show amazing flashes of the type of player he can be. If Wentz can cut down on his amount of interceptions, then he could be an above average starting quarterback in the NFL. Wentz has sky high potential, but he just needs to continue to prove himself as the face of the franchise for the Eagles.

22. Alex Smith – Kansas City Chiefs

When you think of an average quarterback in the NFL, Alex Smith is probably the first player that comes to mind because he fits that stereotype perfectly. Smith completes a high percentage of his pass attempts every year since he almost always attempts short passes. Sure, he doesn’t make many mistakes as he only threw 8 interceptions last season for the Chiefs since he doesn’t take many risks. However, that is the reason that Smith will always be average because he isn’t the type of quarterback that makes big plays. Smith isn’t as talented as most of the quarterbacks ranked below him, but Smith does his job consistently and he finds a way to win games for Kansas City which is why I ranked him this high.

21. Ryan Tannehill – Miami Dolphins

Ryan Tannehill finally was able to prove that he might be the solution for the Dolphins at the quarterback position as he was able to help lead Miami to their first playoff berth in awhile. Tannehill didn’t put up great statistics, but he completed a high percentage of his passes and he was able to be good enough to make the Dolphins offense decent. Tannehill is just an average quarterback at this point in his career and that’s probably all he will ever be, although he at least gives Miami a chance to make the playoffs every season.

20. Joe Flacco – Baltimore Ravens

Joe Flacco is the type of player that plays his best football in the playoffs as he led the Ravens to a super bowl win in 2012. However, the issue for him lately is that he hasn’t been able to lead Baltimore back to the playoffs. Flacco is one of the top paid quarterbacks in the NFL, but he is still just an average starting quarterback. Flacco throws too many interceptions for a quarterback of his age, but somehow he always seems to put the Ravens in a position to win games. Flacco is clearly the face of the franchise for Baltimore and he has led the Ravens to the playoffs numerous times. However, his career seems to be on the decline at age 32 and he is just an average starting QB right now.

19. Tyrod Taylor – Buffalo Bills

Tyrod Taylor has been a much better starting quarterback than I ever expected as he has only thrown 12 interceptions in 2 seasons as a starter with the Bills. However, the one thing that is holding Taylor back is that he hasn’t shown an ability to lead Buffalo to the playoffs and he is still somewhat raw as a passer. Taylor is a terrific dual-threat quarterback as he has the speed to make plays with his feet in open space. He is also a good passer on short throws, but he will need to take more risks down the field in order to become a better quarterback. We’ll see if he is able to lead Buffalo back to the playoffs sometime soon, but he is a quarterback that continues to improve.

18. Andy Dalton – Cincinnati Bengals

It is always unknown what type of quarterback Andy Dalton will be every season as he is inconsistent every season. Dalton was outstanding during the 2015 season for Cincinnati, but last season he once again regressed to become just a slightly above average starting quarterback. He seems to at have at least cut down on his interceptions the past 2 seasons which is a really good sign and the Bengals are hoping that he can continue to improve in 2017 and lead Cincinnati back to the playoffs. I have to give Dalton a ton of credit because he led the Bengals to the playoffs the first 5 seasons of his career before a disappointing 2016 season. Also, he hasn’t always had tons of talent to work with on offense besides A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert and yet he’s found ways to be successful. Dalton has proven that he knows to win games, but the next step for him will be to win a playoff game and that would take his credibility to the next level.

17. Eli Manning – New York Giants

Eli Manning is another quarterback that is very inconsistent from season to season as he has proven that he can be a pro bowl quarterback. However, he has also proven that he can be one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL at times. The reason that I have ranked Manning this high is mostly because of his past accomplishments. Manning is known for his elevating his level of play when the stage is the brightest as he has led the Giants to two super bowl victories over the Patriots during his career. This guy deserves tons of credit for how many things that he has accomplished while in New York. However, Manning isn’t as good of a quarterback as he used to be despite being surrounded by tremendous wide receivers like Odell Beckham. Manning still throws too many interceptions and that is what has always held him back from really being considered an elite quarterback. Manning is still a good quarterback and he has the ability to lead the Giants far into the playoffs, but his play is somewhat on the decline.

16. Kirk Cousins – Washington Redskins

Kirk Cousins has really risen up this list the past 2 seasons as he is now the unquestioned starting quarterback for the Redskins. Cousins is a pro bowl caliber player and he did a great job of leading Washington to the playoffs in 2015. Cousins just hasn’t proven that he can win big games. For example, the Redskins got demolished by the Packers in a playoff game during the 2015 postseason, although that loss wasn’t really his fault. However, he did cost his team a chance at making the playoffs as he threw a costly interception in week 17 against the Giants last season in a game that the team needed to win. Cousins is probably as good of a quarterback as he will ever be, but he is still an above average player at his position.

15. Philip Rivers – Los Angeles Chargers

Philip Rivers is still a pro-bowl caliber starting quarterback in the NFL right now and he has done a good job of at least making the Chargers a respectable team the past few seasons despite not having good receivers or a good offensive line. However, Rivers did lead the league with a career-high 21 interceptions last season. Rivers is known as one of the most competitive players in the league and he often tries to force throws to try and help his team, but that is ultimately what leads to his high interception numbers every season. Rivers hasn’t been very successful in the playoffs and that is what hurts his reputation as an elite quarterback, but he still has had quite a career with the Chargers.

14. Jameis Winston – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Jameis Winston had a very good season in 2016 despite Mike Evans being his only reliable offensive weapon last season. Winston was 2nd in the league in interceptions thrown in 2016, but if he can limit his turnovers then he has a chance to be an elite quarterback in the NFL. Winston now has plenty of weapons to throw to in the passing game, so don’t be surprised if he has a terrific season in 2017. It is playoffs or bust for the Buccaneers in 2017 and if Winston improves then don’t be surprised if Tampa Bay goes far in 2017.

13. Carson Palmer – Arizona Cardinals

Carson Palmer proved in 2015 that he is still capable of being a top 5 quarterback in the NFL as he led the Cardinals to the NFC championship game behind 35 touchdown passes. However, Palmer had his play regress a little bit last season as he only threw for 26 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. Palmer is 37 years old, so we will see if age impacts his level of production in 2017, but he is still a pro-bowl caliber quarterback in the NFL.

12. Cam Newton – Carolina Panthers

Cam Newton should be a top 10 quarterback in the NFL every year because that is how talented he is. However, Cam Newton was just average last season as he had 19 touchdowns compared to 14 interceptions. A lot of that can be attributed to him playing with an injured throwing shoulder for most of the season, but he is still a great quarterback when healthy especially since he has the added dimension of being a terrific runner.

11. Matthew Stafford – Detroit Lions

Matthew Stafford has shown flashes that he can be an elite quarterback and he did an outstanding job of leading Detroit to the playoffs last season. However, I just need to see more consistency from Stafford if he is going to continue to move up this list. Stafford has to throw the ball a lot because he arguably has the worst running back group in the entire NFL. However, he continues to show that he can make the Lions offense dangerous on his own and he has done a good job of continuing to make the Lions a playoff contender.

10. Marcus Mariota – Tennessee Titans

Marcus Mariota is another example of a young quarterback with an extremely bright future. Mariota came extremely close to leading his team to the playoffs last season as he had 26 touchdowns and 9 interceptions and he is on the right track to becoming a top 10 quarterback very soon. Mariota doesn’t make many mistakes and he might even be the best dual-threat quarterback in the NFL currently because he is a terrific passer as well as a talented runner. Mariota has even better receivers to throw to in 2017 with the additions of Corey Davis and Eric Decker, so Mariota could become an elite quarterback as soon as next season.

9. Dak Prescott – Dallas Cowboys

Dak Prescott wasn’t even supposed to be the starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys last season. In fact, he wasn’t even the backup quarterback for Dallas until Kellen Moore got hurt. However, Prescott shockingly played like a top 5 quarterback last season as he ended up winning rookie of the year and also making it to the pro bowl. Now, he will have even more pressure on him in year 2 in the NFL as he is clearly the starting quarterback of the present and future for the Cowboys. The only thing that is holding me back from putting him even higher on this list is that he is still a really young player and I’m wondering if last year was just a fluke. If Prescott can do what he did in his rookie season then there is no doubt that he is an elite quarterback.

8. Russell Wilson – Seattle Seahawks

Russell Wilson had a down season last year as he struggled with injuries and he just wasn’t the same dynamic player that he had been the past few seasons. However, Wilson is still no doubt a top 10 quarterback in the NFL and he should be much better in 2017 as long as he stays healthy. Wilson has accomplished a lot since he came into the NFL in 2012 as he has been to the super bowl twice and he won one title so far. The Seahawks are a legitimate title contender every season because of Wilson and he has earned being a top 10 quarterback despite his struggles last season.

7. Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers

Ben Roethlisberger is nearing the end of his career, although he still remains a consistent player as he had 29 touchdowns last season while leading Pittsburgh to the AFC championship game. Roethlisberger has won 2 super bowls in his career and he has been named to the pro bowl five times. We’ll see if he can lead the Steelers to another super bowl appearance before his career ends, but there is no doubt that he is still a top 10 quarterback because he is still playing at a high level.

6. Derek Carr – Oakland Raiders

Derek Carr is still very young, but he has already established himself as a top 10 quarterback in the NFL and he is only getting better. Since Carr was drafted in 2014 he has quickly turned the Raiders from a losing team into a team that should compete for a super bowl every year for the next decade. Oakland hadn’t even made the playoffs since 2002 until last season when Carr finally led the team back to the playoffs. Carr is still only 26 years old and he has plenty of young talent around him, so Carr could be a top 5 quarterback for a very long time.

5. Andrew Luck – Indianapolis Colts

Andrew Luck had lots of pressure on him to replace Peyton Manning as the starting quarterback in Indianapolis. However, Luck has done a tremendous job so far as he has been a pro-bowler three times in his career while also leading the Colts back to the playoffs from 2012-2014. Luck hasn’t had much to work with during his career with Indianapolis as his team has had a terrible defense and a terrible offensive line. It is amazing what Luck has accomplished so far despite not having much around him and he will definitely be a top 10 quarterback for a long time.

4. Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons

Matt Ryan has always been a franchise quarterback for the Falcons since he was drafted by the team in the 2008 draft. However, Ryan took his play to the next level last season as he won the NFL MVP award while also leading the Falcons to the super bowl. He probably won’t play at such a high level next season, but he is still a top 5 NFL quarterback at the moment.

3. Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints

The New Orleans Saints haven’t made the playoffs since 2013, but that certainly isn’t the fault of Drew Brees as he has certainly done everything he can to make the Saints a respectable team. Brees is certainly heading to the hall-of-fame as he can consider himself legitimately one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history. Brees has been to the pro-bowl 10 times and he has been named an all-pro 4 times as well. Also, he has led the NFL in passing yards 7 times in his career and he has thrown a whopping 465 career touchdowns. Brees only has 1 super bowl win in his career and he probably should have won more, although it is hard to argue against the remarkable accomplishments that he has had in his career. Brees might be 38 years old, but he hasn’t showed any signs of slowing down and he is still playing like a top NFL quarterback.

2. Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers

Aaron Rodgers had big shoes to fill by replacing hall-of-fame quarterback Brett Favre, but Rodgers has been even better than Favre in his career. Rodgers has led the Packers to the playoffs in every season since 2009 and he has made the pro bowl six times since taking over the starting quarterback job in 2008. Rodgers is only 33 years old, so he still has several years left in his career and he can already consider himself a hall-of-fame player. Rodgers only has 1 super bowl victory so far which seems like not enough for how good of a player that he has been. However, it is hard to argue against the 2 NFL MVP awards that he has received and he is still adding to his accomplishments.

  1. Tom Brady – New England Patriots

Tom Brady is not only the best quarterback in the NFL today, but he is the best quarterback in NFL history. That is quite an accomplishment considering that he was never supposed to be more than a backup quarterback in the NFL after getting drafted in the 6th round in the 2000 NFL draft. His accomplishments speak for itself as he has led the Patriots to the playoffs 14 times since becoming the starting quarterback in 2001. Also, he has been named to the pro-bowl 12 times and he has been named NFL MVP twice in his career. However, the most amazing accomplishment is that he has been to the super bowl 7 times in his career and he has won 5 super bowl titles including another title last season. Brady turns 40 years old next month, but he is still no doubt the best quarterback in the NFL and he is still playing better than any quarterback in the NFL.

 

 

 

Buffalo Bills draft grade

Buffalo Bills draft grade:

2017 draft picks:

Round 1(27th overall) – Tre’Davious White – Cornerback – LSU

Round 2(37th overall) – Zay Jones – Wide Receiver – East Carolina

Round 2(63rd overall) – Dion Dawkins – Right Tackle – Temple

Round 5(163rd overall) – Matt Milano – Linebacker – Boston College

Round 5(171st overall) – Nathan Peterman – Quarterback – Pittsburgh

Round 6(195th overall) – Tanner Vallejo – Linebacker – Boise State

Analysis:

The Buffalo Bills did a good job early on of filling some needs starting with the selection of cornerback Tre’Davious White in the 1st round. White is a physical cornerback that the Bills are hoping can make an immediate impact in 2017. He might not be as good as Stephon Gilmore who left the Bills in free agency, but White at least gives the Bills a proven starting cornerback. Buffalo also lost number 2 receiver Robert Woods in free agency and they replaced him in the draft by selecting East Carolina wide receiver Zay Jones. He isn’t a very fast receiver, but he does catch the ball very effectively and he is the possession receiver that the Bills desperately needed. The Bills also had a huge hole at right tackle which they addressed in the 2nd round by drafting Dion Dawkins out of Temple. Dawkins has the versatility to play either inside or outside, but he will likely start right away at right tackle for Buffalo since they don’t have any better options at that position. I was really shocked that the Bills took a quarterback in the 5th round as they selected Nathan Peterman out of Boston College. The Bills already have two young quarterbacks on their roster with Tyrod Taylor and Cardale Jones, so I’m not quite sure why they would want to draft a 3rd-string quarterback. Peterman has some potential to be a good NFL backup quarterback, but he is likely just a develepmental project for the Bills. Overall, the Bills filled some big needs on their roster, although I would have liked to have seen them add some more depth to their team.

Grade: B

tre'davious white