1) Pittsburgh Steelers: Don't underestimate the signing of veteran WR Shaun McDonald. Don't be surprised if he beats out Limas Sweed for the third receiver
role? Kraig Urbik will eventually be the starter at right guard, it's just a
matter of when.
Last Ranking: 1
Needs Still to be Filled: WR (depth), C, S (depth)
2) Philadelphia Eagles: It looks like WR Kevin Curtis (groin) will be fine by
the start of training camp. An underrated issue is the shuffling on the
offensive line. Also, if this team is to go far in the playoffs, Donovan McNabb
will have to be more consistent. The talent is there for this team to win it
Last Ranking: 2
Needs Still to be Filled: TE
3) New York Giants: Who will step up at receiver and fill Plaxico Burress's
shoes? Who will back up Brandon Jacobs at running back? Will the defense take a
step back with a new coordinator calling the plays? Time will tell.
Last Ranking: 3
Needs Still to be Filled: S (depth), WR (veteran depth)
4) Minnesota Vikings: With the probable addition of Brett Favre, this team could
go deep in the playoffs. But is Favre really the answer at 39? The offensive
line looks to be a big issue. Can they handle the loss of Matt Birk? Can Percy Harvin stay out of
trouble and prove to be worth a first-round pick? They have to find a reliable
nickel back. Is Tyrell Johnson ready to start at strong safety?
Last Ranking: 7
Needs Still to be Filled: RG, C, DT (depth), S (depth), CB (depth)
5) Indianapolis Colts: It will be interesting to see how the coaches handle the
running back rotation between Joseph Addai and Donald Brown. Look for Austin Collie to come in and be a factor right away as their third receiver. It also
will be interesting to see how the defense does with Larry Coyer running the
show. The coaching changes might have an effect, but probably not as much as
Last Ranking: 4
Needs Still to be Filled: WR, DT
6) Atlanta Falcons: The offense looks to be complete now with the addition of
Tony Gonzalez. But defensively, who can rush the passer other than John Abraham?
Can they find a solid cover cornerback within their roster? Can they stop the
Last Ranking: 5
Needs Still to be Filled: DT (depth), DE, CB, S
7) San Diego Chargers: If LaDainian Tomlinson gets hurt again can Darren Sproles handle a lot of touches in Tominlson's absence? Can Shawne Merriman rebound from a lost season due to injury? The secondary needs to be
more consistent. Can Antonio Cromartie bounce back? Lots of upside with this
team, but several questions need to be answered.
Last Ranking: 6
Needs Still to be Filled: RB, DE
8) Baltimore Ravens: How will they help Joe Flacco at receiver? They need a
downfield threat badly. Can they run it better than
last season? Does Willis McGahee have anything left? Defensively, can Greg Mattison effectively replace coordinator Rex Ryan? Lots of questions here, but
they should be a solid team.
Last Ranking: 8
Needs Still to be Filled: WR, DE
9) New England Patriots: Running the ball consistently might be a problem and
who will provide depth at receiver? Since they run a spread
offense, can Joey Galloway give them quality snaps at 37 years old? The return
of Tom Brady could mean they'll make the playoffs for sure. The
secondary, which was poor last season, should improve with the additions at
cornerback and safety. But failing to sign Jason Taylor could come back to haunt
them, so can they find a consistent pass rush?
Last Ranking: 9
Needs Still to be Filled: WR, RT, OLB
10) New York Jets: Who will catch the ball opposite Jerricho Cotchery? Can new
head coach Rex Ryan get anything out of OLB Vernon Gholston? Can they find quality play at cornerback
opposite Darrelle Revis?
Last Ranking: 10
Needs Still to be Filled: WR, DE (depth), OLB, S (depth)
11) Tennessee Titans: Finally, this team may actually have a decent group of
receivers. The defense is going to miss Albert Haynesworth. His departure is
what will keep them from going deep in the AFC playoffs. It's hard to believe
the defensive end position wasn't dealt with in the off-season.
Last Ranking: 11
Needs Still to be Filled: G (depth), DE, CB (depth), S
12) Carolina Panthers: This team can't afford to fall behind. They are built to
run, not to pass. Who will rush the passer besides
the inconsistent Julius Peppers? Can they find a suitable nickel back after
cutting Ken Lucas?
Last Ranking: 12
Needs Still to be Filled: WR, DE, DT (depth), CB (depth)
13) New Orleans Saints: You can call this a pinball offense. No one will be able
to stop them consistently. But the defense is going to be an issue once again.
Last Ranking: 13
Needs Still to be Filled: RB, DT, OLB
14) Arizona Cardinals: The offense should be very good again, but can they run
the ball better? The defense looks to be shaky again. The offense will probably
have to score at least 24 points for this team to win each week.
Last Ranking: 14
Needs Still to be Filled: TE, C, DE, CB
15) Houston Texans: You have to wonder what general manager Rick Smith is
thinking about when he decided that Chris Brown would be an adequate backup to
Steve Slaton. Other than that, the offense is looking good. Defensively, the
front-seven should be improved, but the secondary looks to still be an issue.
Last Ranking: 15
Needs Still to be Filled: RB (depth), G, DE (depth), S
16) Green Bay Packers: RT, DE, OLB
Last Ranking: 16
Needs Still to be Filled: The interior of the offensive line looks to be
a little shaky. The front-seven looks to be the issue on defense as they make
the conversion to the 3-4.
17) Dallas Cowboys: The receiver position continues to be the biggest issue this
team has on offense. The front-seven is strong, but the secondary looks to be a
Last Ranking: 17
Needs Still to be Filled: WR, OLB (depth), CB (depth), S (depth)
18) Chicago Bears: Can they find anyone who can be a consistent pass catcher
opposite Devin Hester? Don't be surprised if TE Greg Olsen leads the team in
Last Ranking: 18
Needs Still to be Filled: QB (backup), WR, G, CB
19) Miami Dolphins: This team is likely to take a step back based on their
personnel at several positions. They lack consistent playmakers at receiver and
could use an upgrade at tight end. Cornerback is looking a bit questionable at
this point, but they do have youth in back of the starters.
Last Ranking: 20
Needs Still to be Filled: WR, TE
20) Washington Redskins: The key for this offense is for Clinton Portis to stay
healthy and for another receiver other than Santana Moss to become a factor in
the passing game. If Devin Thomas becomes a big factor, this team could surprise
in 2009. Defensively, they must find pass rush help.
Last Ranking: 19
Needs Still to be Filled: WR, RT, OLB
21) Seattle Seahawks: It's almost hard to believe that they didn't sign or trade
for a back to compete against Julius Jones for playing time. It has to be a
concern that two out of their top three receivers are coming off of injury
Last Ranking: 21
Needs Still to be Filled: RB (depth), DT (depth)
22) Buffalo Bills: The departure of LT Jason Peters is going to be a problem for
their offense. Can they find anyone else other than Aaron Schobel to rush the
passer? Why did they sign CB Drayton Florence who struggled the past few seasons
with the Jaguars and Chargers?
Last Ranking: 22
Needs Still to be Filled: LT, DE
23) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The quarterback position is the key for their
offensive consistency this season. Can this defense rebound after the collapse
down the stretch from last season?
Last Ranking: 23
Needs Still to be Filled: DE, DT, CB (depth)
24) Cincinnati Bengals: The offensive line looks to be a major issue, but at
least Carson Palmer is back behind center. Can Cedric Benson handle being their
starting running back for 16 games? The defense is probably going to surprise
some people this season, but depth is an issue at various positions.
Last Ranking: 25
Needs Still to be Filled: LG, C, DT, DE, CB
25) Denver Broncos: Can Kyle Orton admirably replace Jay Cutler at quarterback?
Will Brandon Marshall play for the Broncos this season? Can the defense stop
Last Ranking: 24
Needs Still to be Filled: DE, OLB (depth), CB
26) San Francisco 49ers: The quarterback position will be the overriding issue
all summer for this team on offense. Defensively, who will put pressure on the
quarterback? Can CB Dre' Bly adequately replace Walt Harris?
Last Ranking: 26
Needs Still to be Filled: QB, OLB, S, CB (depth)
27) St. Louis Rams: While their offensive line looks to be significantly
improved, QB Marc Bulger looks to be on the downside of his career. Who will
catch passes this season? The receiver position continues to be an issue.
Defensively, while there will be an adjustment in scheme and philosophy, talent
on that side of the ball is still an issue. But, new head coach Steve Spagnuolo
will bring a badly needed attitude adjustment this season, which should result
in a better overall record.
Last Ranking: 28
Needs Still to be Filled: WR, DT, DE
28) Cleveland Browns: Quarterback and receiver are the big issues on offense.
Defensively, they must find a way to rush the passer.
Last Ranking: 27
Needs Still to be Filled: RB, WR, TE, OLB, CB
29) Oakland Raiders: They should try to become a power running team and control
the clock to have any chance to win. They have three backs that can form a nice
committee. Defensively, it's clearly a work in progress. The addition of DE Greg Ellis will help, but the pass rush still looks to be questionable.
Last Ranking: 29
Needs Still to be Filled: WR, DE, CB
30) Detroit Lions: The offense might surprise people this season. They are
really deep at receiver. The quarterback position is the key to any offensive
improvement. The defense is the problem area. Expect them to be more aggressive
Last Ranking: 31
Needs Still to be Filled: G, DE, DT, MLB
31) Jacksonville Jaguars: I never thought I'd say it, but they will miss Matt Jones at receiver. How much does Torry Holt have left? Who will start opposite
Last Ranking: 30
Needs Still to be Filled: WR, TE, DT, CB
32) Kansas City Chiefs: The offense might wind up being decent, but the defense
will be the team's downfall this season. The secondary should be solid, but the
front seven is where the problems are.
Last Ranking: 32
Needs Still to be Filled: WR, OLB (pass rusher)