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2022 NFL Draft AFC Team Needs

Jimmy Williams of NFL Draft Diamonds breaks down every AFC teams needs before the NFL Draft tomorrow.

Baltimore Ravens

Draft Picks: 14, 45, 76, 100, 110, 119, 128, 139, 141, 196
Team Needs: DL, OL, CB, ILB, EDGE, RB, OL, DL, DB
Key Players Gained: FS (Marcus Williams), OT (Morgan Moses)
Key Players Lost: S (Deshon Elliott), CB (Anthony Averett), OC (Bradley Bozeman), LB (Chris Board), OT (Alejandro Villanueva-retired)

The Ravens are primed to select one of the top DTs in this draft and likely a 2nd lineman somewhere down the line. They need a starter at NT and to shore up the depth of their 3-4 front. The team’s top priority has to be protecting Lamar Jackson and his future. I expect them to add overall depth on the OL. They need some insurance at LT given that Ronnie Stanley can’t stay healthy. The Ravens are spending a lot of money on their top 2 CBs with Marcus Peters in a contract year. They may not draft a CB early, but I do expect a DB or 2 at some point in the draft.

Buffalo Bills

Draft Picks: 25, 57, 89, 130, 168, 185, 203, 231
Team Needs: CB, RB, WR, OL, P, LB, TE, S
Key Players Gained: DE/LB (Von Miller), DT (DaQuan Jones), DT (Tim Settle), OG (Roger Saffold), DE (Jordan Phillips), TE (OJ Howard), WR (Jamison Crowder), QB (Case Keenum-trade)
Key Players Lost: DT (Harrison Phillips), QB (Mitchell Trubisky), CB (Levi Wallace), OG (Joe Feliciano)

The primary need for the Bills is to bring in a shutdown CB to play opposite Tre’Davious White. Another big area they can address is RB, which they haven’t invested much in lately. They could get that bell cow of an RB this year in a player like Brian Robinson or Hassan Haskins. They brought in Jamison Crowder to play the slot WR role, although he’s far from the elite talent that could be drafted at his position. Getting at least one young WR to compete for the role would be prudent. The Bills are one of the teams that I believe could spend a draft pick to acquire an elite punter.

Cincinnati Bengals

Draft Picks: 31, 63, 95, 136, 174, 209, 226, 252
Team Needs: CB, DT, LB, OL, WR, NB, TE, S
Key Players Gained: OG (Alex Cappa), RT (La’el Collins), OC (Ted Karras), TE (Hayden Hurst)
Key Players Lost: TE (CJ Uzomah)

The Bengals could afford to trade up in the early 20s for a CB. They addressed many needs in free agency and might feel that they are one player away from a championship. They need to add rotational depth at DT. They could also improve their talent at return specialist whether it be with a WR or DB.

Cleveland Browns

Draft Picks: 44, 78, 99, 118, 202, 223, 246
Team Needs: WR, OL, EDGE, LB, DB, DL, K
Key Players Gained: QB (Deshaun Watson-trade), WR (Jakeem Grant), WR (Amari Cooper-trade), QB (Jacoby Brissett), DT (Taven Bryan), P (Corey Bojorquez)
Key Players Lost: TE (Austin Hooper), FB (Andy Janovich), CB (MJ Stewart), QB (Case Keenum-trade)

The Browns are going in a completely different direction, adding Deshaun Watson. Baker Mayfield’s future is in question, and he could get dealt on draft day. Jack Conklin is set to come back from injury in addition to entering a contract year along with Chris Hubbard. It might be worth bringing competition to the mix on the right side of the OL. Despite picking up 2 WRs in free agency, there is still a lack of WRs on the roster. It’s always nice to bring in more Edge rushers. I would also expect late-round additions to the DB and DL position groups.

Denver Broncos

Draft Picks: 64, 75, 96, 115, 116, 145, 206, 232, 234
Team Needs: EDGE, TE, WR, DT, ILB, RT, DB, RB
Key Players Gained: QB (Russell Wilson-trade), OLB (Randy Gregory), DT (DJ Jones), CB (K’Waun Williams), OL (Billy Turner), OL (Tom Compton)
Key Players Lost: QB (Teddy Bridgewater), QB (Drew Lock-trade), TE (Noah Fant-trade), DT (Shelby Harris-trade)

There are higher expectations for Broncos fans after bringing in Russell Wilson. Yet, they will need to bring in more targets at TE and WR to help him along. Given the amount of talent at the position, they’ll likely bring in a rotational edge rusher for their 3-4 scheme. It is possible that said player might take over for Bradley Chubb if the team decides to move on from him next season. I could see them adding rotational depth at NT as well as another LB. As far as the last couple picks in the draft, I would imagine those being some DBs that would mainly participate on special teams.

Houston Texans

Draft Picks: 3, 13, 37, 68, 80, 107, 108, 170, 205, 207
Team Needs: QB, DT, WR, CB, RB, ILB, TE, OL, EDGE, K
Key Players Gained: CB (Steven Nelson), OG (AJ Cann), OLB (Jaylen Reeves-Mabin), FB (Andy Janovich), DE/LB (Ogbonnia Okoronkwo), RB (Dare Ogunbowale), QB (Kyle Allen), CB (MJ Stewart), RB (Marlon Mack)
Key Players Lost: QB (Deshaun Watson-trade), S (Justin Reid), OLB (Jake Martin), QB (Tyrod Taylor), S (AJ Moore)

The Texans were really one of the worst teams in the NFL last year, having a disastrous season, trying to figure out how to move on from the good old days, practically rebuilding from scratch. They feel that Davis Mills is serviceable at QB, but I just don’t think he’s up to par yet with the rest of the league. The team would be foolish not to consider bringing in competition at QB at some point in the draft. With needs all over, it’s hard to predict where the team might go first, although I would say at least one of their top picks has to be for a player on the DL. They also need to find more weapons on offense. Finding another WR to play opposite Brandin Cooks has to be a priority. They might lean on the run game a bit more this season having added 2 RBs and a FB. I wouldn’t be surprised if they went out on a limb and drafted one of the top RBs. Despite adding Steven Nelson, they could easily bring in another CB to help contend for playing time. Like I said, there are so many needs that they could just select the best player available throughout the draft. Hopefully, Lovie Smith will be able to resurrect this team.

Indianapolis Colts

Draft Picks: 42, 73, 122, 159, 179, 216, 239
Team Needs: WR, TE, RG, DT, LB, FS, OL
Key Players Gained: QB (Matt Ryan-trade), CB (Stephon Gilmore), DE (Yannick Ngakoue-trade), CB (Brandon Facyson)
Key Players Lost: OG (Mark Glowinski), S (George Odum), DE (Al-Quadin Muhammad), CB (Rock Ya-Sin-trade), QB (Carson Wentz-trade), OG (Chris Reed), RB (Marlon Mack), TE (Jack Doyle-retired)

The Colts offense is being revamped, swapping Carson Wentz for Matt Ryan. To further improve the offense, they’ll need to add more weapons like a WR and a TE. Choosing between the 2 positions might be challenging, hoping to find a guy that can take the top of defenses as well as finding a quality TE. Sitting at 42 overall, they might be able to land the top TE in the draft. There is a need to add one or two OL at least for the sake of depth, yet they have the opportunity to upgrade the RG position.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Draft Picks: 1, 33, 65, 70, 106, 157, 180, 188, 197, 198, 222, 235
Team Needs: OT, OC, OG, EDGE, CB, WR, LB, DT, K
Key Players Gained: WR (Christian Kirk), OG (Brandon Scherff), LB (Foyesade Oluokun), CB (Darius Williams), DT (Foley Fatukasi), WR (Zay Jones), TE (Evan Engram), DE (Arden Key)
Key Players Lost: ILB (Myles Jack), OG (Andrew Norwell), WR (DJ Chark), OG (AJ Cann), OLB (Damien Wilson), DT (Taven Bryan), OC (Brandon Linder-retired), RB (Dare Ogunbowale)

Until Roger Goodell walks to the podium, there are a select few members of the Jaguars’ staff that knows who they will be picking. Yet, most would agree that they are likely going with an Edge rusher or OL. Their need on the OL greatly outweighs their need on the Edge Helping Trevor Lawrence develop should be the #1 priority. He needs to be protected. They need to prioritize finding a quality center by the end of day 2. I would also add a guard despite picking up All-Pro Brandon Scherff in free agency. The Jags could bring in players to compete for roster spots at almost any position.

Kansas City Chiefs

Draft Picks: 29, 30, 50, 62, 94, 103, 121, 135, 233, 243, 251, 259
Team Needs: CB, WR, EDGE, OL, DT, LB, S
Key Players Gained: S (Justin Reid), WR (Marquez Valdez-Scantling), WR (Juju Smith-Schuster)
Key Players Lost: WR (Tyreek Hill-trade), CB (Charvarius Ward), WR (Byron Pringle), OG (Austin Blythe), DT (Jarran Reed), CB (Mike Hughes)

It’s hard to fathom that Tyreek Hill will no longer be receiving long bombs from Mahomes. Bringing in Juju Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdez-Scantling doesn’t necessarily make WR a major need although it might be hard to pass up on one of these top prospects. A new starter at CB definitely has to happen. The defensive sack total was 29th in the NFL last season. I would expect them to add an EDGE in the first couple of rounds. OL and DL appear to be solid although both could use some depth and added youth in the later rounds.

Las Vegas Raiders

Draft Picks: 86, 126, 164, 165, 227
Team Needs: OL, LB, CB, TE QB, S
Key Players Gained: OLB (Chandler Jones), WR (Davante Adams-trade), DE/DT (Bilal Nichols), RB (Brandon Bolden), CB (Anthony Averett), WR (Mack Hollins), CB (Rock Ya-Sin-trade)
Key Players Lost: WR (Zay Jones), QB (Marcus Mariota), CB (Casey Hayward), DT (Quinton Jefferson), DE (Yannick Ngakoue-trade), FB (Alec Ingold), CB (Brandon Facyson), OLB (Nicholas Morrow), DE (Solomon Thomas)

The Raiders traded for top-tier talent and won’t be picking in the draft until the 3rd round. The OL really struggled last year and really needs an upgrade. I feel like they would really enjoy a nasty player like Cole Strange who can make an immediate impact at guard or center. I know they brought in Anthony Averett and Rock Ya-Sin in free agency to play CB, but they’re only on one-year deals. It would be prudent for them to bring in another DB to compete in the mix for playing time. There is a considerable lack of depth at LB. They wouldn’t necessarily be looking for a starter yet more so a special teams contributor drafting at that position. Additionally, I know they just re-signed Derek Carr, but a quality backup would give the team even more security at the QB position.

Los Angeles Chargers

Draft Picks: 17, 79, 123, 160, 195, 214, 236, 254, 255, 260
Team Needs: RT/RG, RB, WR, S, P, RS
Key Players Gained: CB (JC Jackson), OLB (Khalil Mack-trade), DT (Austin Johnson), TE (Gerald Everett), LS (Josh Harris)
Key Players Lost: LB (Uchenna Nwosu), DT (Justin Jones), LB (Kyzir White)

The Chargers don’t have a 2nd round pick after trading for Khalil Mack (which is a huge steal btw). I think defense was addressed well in FA and with this trade-Maybe a backup safety on day 3. I feel like the right side of the OL could really use an upgrade. To go with the OL, the team really needs to inject a quality RB into their offense. The Chargers need to focus more on special teams and maybe consider drafting a punter. I would also add a WR that could double as a return specialist.

Miami Dolphins

Draft Picks: 102, 125, 224, 247
Team Needs: ILB, DL, OL, QB
Key Players Gained: OT (Terron Armstead), WR (Tyreek Hill-trade), WR (Cedrick Wilson), OG (Connor Williams), RB (Chase Edmonds), CB (Keion Crosson), FB (Alec Ingold), QB (Teddy Bridgewater), OT (Jesse Davis), RB (Raheem Mostert), P (Thomas Morstead)
Key Players Lost: QB (Jacoby Brissett), WR (Mack Hollins), WR (Devante Parker-trade)

Free agency seemed to be the main focus for the Dolphins this offseason, acquiring Terron Armstead, Tyreek Hill and several others that could play key roles in 2022. With only 4 picks, I doubt they will make much of a splash given that they addressed most of their needs already. ILB might make the most sense with their 3rd round pick, having the ability to find a player that can contribute the most. I would bring in a rotational DL to be part of the 3-4 front. I think the Miami fan base has Tua on a short leash and would be happy with a late round QB.

New England Patriots

Draft Picks: 21, 54, 85, 127, 158, 183, 200, 210, 245
Team Needs: LB, EDGE, IOL, CB, FS, RB
Key Players Gained: WR (Ty Montgomery), S (Jabrill Peppers), WR (Devante Parker-trade)
Key Players Lost: CB (JC Jackson), OC (Ted Karras), OG (Shaq Mason-trade), RB (Brandon Bolden), WR (Gunner Olszewski)

I feel like their top need is on the interior of the OL at guard, although that could be a position that they could address towards the mid-to-late part of the draft. I think almost every team in the draft could use an Edge rusher and the Patriots are no exception. The team also needs a quick LB in the middle of the defense who has the ability to stop the run. They brought Malcolm Butler back to play CB although he is far from the player that JC Jackson was. I expect them to add some DBs to the mix.

New York Jets

Draft Picks: 4, 10, 35, 38, 69, 111, 117, 146, 163
Team Needs: CB, OT, EDGE, LB, WR, S, DL, RB
Key Players Gained: OG (Laken Tomlinson), DB (DJ Reed), TE (CJ Uzomah), TE (Tyler Conklin), S (Jordan Whitehead), OLB (Jake Martin), DE (Solomon Thomas), K (Greg Zuerlein)
Key Players Lost: DT (Foley Fatukasi), FS (Marcus Maye), OT (Morgan Moses), TE (Ryan Griffin), RB (Frank Gore-retired), WR (Jamison Crowder)

The Jets are so bad that their needs are plenty. It’s a good thing they have such early picks that they can use to turn things around. If they don’t take that 4th overall pick to select Sauce Gardner, then they might as well throw in the towel for the 2022 season. They have a big need at the CB position, and I highly doubt he’ll be there at 10. OT George Fant is eating up $11 Million this season and is likely on his way out next season. I expect a rookie to come in, take some reps at RT and be groomed as his replacement. That defense is a mess and needs to shake a few things up. Practically, every team could use another Edge rusher and the Jets are no exception. I would also add talent to the LB core and sure up that depth. They have a decent core of WRs although they could improve the talent even more by adding another player to the mix.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Draft Picks: 20, 52, 84, 138, 208, 225, 241
Team Needs: OT, QB, WR, DT, S, CB, EDGE
Key Players Gained: OG (James Daniels), ILB (Myles Jack), OC (Mason Cole), QB (Mitchell Trubisky), CB (Levi Wallace), WR (Gunner Olszewski)
Key Players Lost: QB (Ben Roethlisberger-retired), WR (Ray-Ray McCloud), WR (Juju Smith-Schuster), QB (Dwayne Haskins-deceased)

With Roethlisberger’s retirement, the Steelers went out and signed Mitchell Trubisky. Yet, he is far from the franchise QB that the team needs. QB needs to be a high priority in this draft if they are going to compete in their division this year. Although, I would expect the Steelers to take the best players available, perhaps a player to compete for reps at LT. I also expect some infusion of slot WRs into the fold after letting James Washington explore free agency who never seemed to catch on in their offense. Defensively, the team was last in the league versus the run last year, and I would expect them to take a NT to help plug up the middle.

Tennessee Titans

Draft Picks: 26, 90, 131, 143, 169, 204, 219
Team Needs: OL, TE, DT, WR, CB, EDGE, RB
Key Players Gained: TE (Austin Hooper), OL (Jamarco Jones), S (AJ Moore), WR (Robert Woods-trade)
Key Players Lost: OG (Rodger Saffold)

With no 2nd round pick, the Titans need to try and hit with their first round pick or reposition themselves with a trade. Their biggest need is to improve the passing game, however they have a very effective run-heavy offense that I feel they should continue pouring into. OL has to be the first order of business, preferably someone that can move around a bit from OT to OG as needed. The compromise on the offensive need occurs at TE, where the Titans might jump the gun and take the best one available in the first round. However, I feel like they can wait until the 3rd round, hopefully being able to land a player like Jelani Woods which would make that offense even more scary. The team has a very youthful defense where I think they would continue to dominate the line by adding a player to the rotation at NT. I expect the team to bring in a speedster at WR like Velus Jones by the 4th round.

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