Despite spending several months trying to craft the perfect rosters, all 32 NFL teams have weaknesses. The offseason doesn’t always play out as expected, and there will always be some holes in a roster.
Whether it’s a summer injury that ruins the positive vibes at a position or market deficiencies make an upgrade impossible to land, every team has that one spot that could unquestionably be its undoing.
Biggest weaknesses of every NFL team
With Week 1 set to get underway on Thursday, Pro Football Network decided to take a look at each NFL roster and figure out each team’s weaknesses.
Buffalo Bills: Tight end
It’s hard to find a weakness anywhere on the Bills’ roster. That’s why this one might feel like an unfair criticism of Dawson Knox. It is not, actually. It’s more of an acknowledgment that if Knox were to go down, the idea of Tommy Sweeney or Quintin Morris replacing him would lead to nightmares for Bills fans.
Miami Dolphins: Offensive line
The Dolphins’ front office tried to upgrade the line this summer, bringing in Connor Williams and Terron Armstead to fill holes. Unfortunately, the worries about the Dolphins’ offensive line persist, especially at center. Tua Tagovailoa might have to endure another season of big hits in 2022.
New England Patriots: Cornerback
Losing J.C. Jackson and Stephon Gilmore over the span of a year is tough. Then, after making nice with Malcolm Butler, the Patriots were forced to move away from him after he suffered an injury in camp. Now, they’ll rely on Jonathan Jones and Jalen Mills to pick up the slack. Good luck to them.
New York Jets: Safety
Jordan Whitehead was a great free agent addition, but the rest of the Jets’ safety group is underwhelming. Lamarcus Joyner was injured for a good portion of the summer, and Ashtyn Davis has yet to show he belongs on defense. The Jets have some other things to fix, but safety is probably the biggest question mark entering Week 1.
Baltimore Ravens: Wide receiver
The Ravens don’t have a proven wideout on their roster. While Demarcus Robinson was a solid role player with the Chiefs, he’s not necessarily a surefire starter. Rashod Bateman has a lot to prove as the new top target at receiver for Lamar Jackson, and Devin Duvernay and James Proche will also need to step up. This is a more unproven depth chart than a bad one.
Cincinnati Bengals: Cornerback
The return of Eli Apple led to a mixed reaction among fans. While Chidobe Awuzie is surely a starting-caliber talent, the group as a whole is pretty underwhelming. Jalen Davis and Cam Taylor-Britt might have a shot at succeeding Apple if he struggles out of the gate. Mike Hilton is a solid nickel corner, but the outside is a big question mark.
Cleveland Browns: Quarterback
With Deshaun Watson suspended for 11 games due to the two dozen accusations of sexual misconduct made against him, the Browns are light on talent at QB. Jacoby Brissett will do his best to fill in, but Cleveland is about to experience an astronomical talent drop-off on paper. The Browns will be lucky to win five games with Brissett at the helm.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Quarterback
When a team has three potential starting QBs, it has none. Mitchell Trubisky revitalized his brand as a backup in Buffalo last year but barely played. It’s impossible to know what real growth Trubisky made with the Bills. It’s also impossible to know if Mason Rudolph will ever start another game. Kenny Pickett had a wonderful preseason, but he’s still an unknown NFL entity as well.
Houston Texans: Defensive line
The addition of Jerry Hughes should help the Texans force more pressure upfront, but otherwise, the group is a who’s who of “who’s who?” in a lot of ways. The Texans are hoping Jonathan Greenard and Maliek Collins take massive steps forward this season. The rest of the depth chart is going to have proven itself.
Indianapolis Colts: Tight end
Losing Jack Doyle to retirement was a tough draw for the Colts. While Mo-Alie Cox continues to grow as a tight end, he’s not an ideal starter for a team looking to win the wide-open AFC South. The Colts need Jelani Woods and Kylen Granson to provide solid support throughout the campaign.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Safety
The Jaguars spent a ton of money this offseason, but they couldn’t take care of all of their needs in one swoop. That’s pretty understandable, given they’ve owned the first overall pick in back-to-back NFL drafts. Their safety group needs work, and while the fan base has a high opinion of Andre Cisco, he’s still an unknown (just ask Urban Meyer). Rayshawn Jenkins is a replacement-level starter, and the rest of the depth chart is a better fit for special teams.
Tennessee Titans: Wide receiver
The Titans are counting on Robert Woods regaining his form in Nashville. They’re also hoping that first-round rookie Treylon Burks can fill the void left by former Pro Bowl wideout A.J. Brown. From there, the Titans have some upside pieces like Kyle Philips and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine.
Denver Broncos: Tight end
The value of strong tight end play is really felt on this list. The Broncos traded Noah Fant to Seattle to acquire Russell Wilson, and they haven’t done much to replace him. Albert Okwuegbunam is a holdover who will be asked to fill the void. It’s up to him to prove the tight end depth chart isn’t a weakness.
Kansas City Chiefs: Linebacker
The Chiefs are lacking proven talent and numbers at linebacker. They are relying on Willie Gay to play a key role in the middle, and Nick Bolton and Elijah Lee will need to provide support on the outside. Darius Harris and Leo Chenal are the only backups at the position. This is a thin group.
Las Vegas Raiders: Offensive line
While Kolton Miller has shown that he is a more than capable starting lineman, the rest of the Raiders’ line is scary. The Raiders are rebuilding on the fly, and while they gave Derek Carr his best friend to play with — wide receiver Davante Adams — his blocking up front will be a work in progress.
Los Angeles Chargers: Tight end
Rinse and repeat: There’s only so much a team can do in one offseason. Clearly, the tight end position is a hard place to find available talent. The Chargers will count on Gerald Everett and Donald Parham to lead a position that will be seen as a weakness on paper. Maybe they’ll surprise us.
Dallas Cowboys: Offensive line
The Cowboys’ offensive line took two massive hits over the past few months: Travis Frederick retired this offseason, and Tyron Smith suffered a major injury this summer. The Cowboys also lost former second-round pick Connor Williams to the Dolphins in free agency. Now, Dallas has to figure out their left tackle spot with aging legend Jason Peters starting out on the practice squad. Tyler Smith has impressive upside, but the Cowboys only used him at guard this offseason, and he is still learning that position.
New York Giants: Cornerback
The Giants’ cap issues forced them to move on from top corner James Bradberry this offseason. After Bradberry scurried south to Philadelphia, the Giants were left with Adoree’ Jackson and not much else at the position. Presumed co-starter Aaron Robinson was repeatedly embarrassed in the preseason, and Darnay Holmes is a better fit for the slot. Rookie Cordale Flott could eventually join the lineup, but he’s still learning and is probably a better fit for nickel as well.
Philadelphia Eagles: Safety
While the Eagles pulled off a barnburner of a trade for C.J. Gardner-Johnson ahead of the final cut deadline, the safety group still has more questions than answers in Philly. Marcus Epps has had a really encouraging offseason, but he’s never been a full-time starter, and Gardner-Johnson has never been a full-time safety in the NFL. Plus, K’Von Wallace, Josiah Scott, and Reed Blankenship have yet to show they can be worthwhile depth pieces in the secondary.
Washington Commanders: Cornerback
The Commanders had to put in two waiver claims on cornerbacks following final cuts to fill their depth chart. While Kendall Fuller continues to ascend a starting cornerback, and William Jackson is a solid No. 2, the rest of the group is rough when it comes to proven entities. Benjamin St-Juste, Rachad Wildgoose, Tariq Castro-Fields, and Christian Holmes will all be asked to contribute this season, and the two in the middle are just learning the defense now.
Chicago Bears: Offensive line
Tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme, the Bears and their offensive line. Chicago has struggled to protect Justin Fields to this point, and it feels like that problem will continue to persist under a new regime. The Bears are in such bad shape upfront that they were the only team to put in a claim for former first-round pick Alex Leatherwood’s fully guaranteed contract.
Green Bay Packers: Wide receiver
When a team loses the best wideout in the game, the front office is almost always going to scramble for quantity over quality. While Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs are excellent prospects, they are still rookies. Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb, and Sammy Watkins form a solid trio of veterans, but they don’t have a go-to guy among the group.
Detroit Lions: Linebacker
The Lions plan to start Chris Board and Alex Anzalone at linebacker in their nickel-heavy defense. While Board and Anzalone aren’t completely useless, teams with tight ends should be licking their chops in their matchups. The Lions needed to upgrade their group, and instead, they settled for a Jarrad Davis reunion that led to his second exit from the team.
Minnesota Vikings: Defensive line
The Vikings traded for Ross Blacklock during final cuts, and that might be their Hail Mary move to make the defensive line better at this point. While Harrison Phillips and Dalvin Tomlinson are surefire NFL starters, the rest of the group has question marks, and the depth is underwhelming.
Atlanta Falcons: Running back
While Cordarrelle Patterson’s transition into a running back has been fascinating, the Falcons’ positional depth chart leaves a lot to be desired. Critics have consistently bashed the Falcons’ receiver group, and running back is a really unconventional depth chart in Atlanta. The Falcons are counting on rookie Tyler Allgeier and journeyman Damien Williams to fill out the rotation and make it work.
Carolina Panthers: Tight end
Tight end weakness will be a theme in the NFC South. While PFN considered naming the OL as the Panthers’ biggest weakness, tight end is missing a key playmaking component. Sure, the Panthers don’t rely heavily on tight ends to make plays, but Tommy Tremble and Ian Thomas are more likely to block on a big run than make plays with their hands as receivers.
New Orleans Saints: Tight end
The Saints weren’t able to upgrade at tight end this year, and their depth chart at the position isn’t particularly inspiring. Nick Vannett and Adam Trautman are solid role players, but adding Taysom Hill to the mix doesn’t do much for the unit. That said, at least the Saints have playmakers everywhere else.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tight end
The Buccaneers’ tight end group took a hit when Rob Gronkowski decided his second retirement would stick (for now) this offseason. While Cameron Brate is a serviceable player and Kyle Rudolph has plenty of experience, neither is an ideal starter for a team that has Super Bowl aspirations.
Arizona Cardinals: Cornerback
While Byron Murphy is a stud in the slot, the Cardinals lack proven presences on the outside. Antonio Hamilton and newly-acquired Trayvon Mullen are expected to man those spots, but neither has done much of note in this defense. Hamilton has plenty of experience as a backup corner and played in Arizona last year, but he’s not necessarily an ideal starter. The Cardinals traded the NFL equivalent of a store-brand orange juice for Mullen, who was part of the Raiders’ 3M (Mike Mayock moves) purge.
Los Angeles Rams: Offensive line
The Rams lost left tackle Andrew Whitworth and right guard Austin Corbett to free agency this offseason. While the rest of the gang is solid enough, those two spots on the depth chart have question marks. Will Joe Noteboom and Cole Shelton be able to pick up the slack?
San Francisco 49ers: Secondary
There’s been quite a bit of movement in the 49ers’ secondary this offseason. While the group has gotten younger, it’s hard to say they’ve gotten better, especially with Jason Verrett and Jimmie Ward sidelined with injuries on IR. Charvarius Ward is maybe the only name that casual NFL fans would recognize on the depth chart.
Seattle Seahawks: Quarterback
The Seahawks staged a bewildering QB competition between Geno Smith and Drew Lock this offseason. The results were, as you’d expect, not very good. Smith leads a Seahawks’ offense that is otherwise fine, but obviously, that doesn’t mean much.