NFL Roster Weaknesses: Examining Each Team’s Biggest Need After Draft, Free Agency

With a busy free agency period and the 2024 NFL Draft now behind us, let's take a look at the top roster weakness for all 32 teams.

For all intents and purposes, the NFL offseason is over.

Sure, there still could be a major trade or two — Brandon Aiyuk, anyone? — but with free agency and the NFL Draft behind us, most of the roster maneuvering already has happened. If a team still has a major roster hole, they probably won’t be able to fill it.

With that in mind, let’s look at the top roster weaknesses for each team.

NFL Roster Weaknesses: Biggest Need For All 32 Teams

Arizona Cardinals | Defensive Tackle

On the previous version of this list, we had wide receiver as the Arizona Cardinals‘ top roster need. While the Cardinals still need more help at receiver, they used the No. 4 overall pick on Marvin Harrison Jr., who should solve most problems.

So, the pick was between cornerback and defensive tackle. And since Arizona drafted a pair of corners, including one in the second round, we went with DT.

The Cardinals signed a few decent tackles in free agency, including Justin Jones, but this group still carries too many question marks.

Atlanta Falcons | Edge Rusher

The Atlanta Falcons entered the draft with edge rusher as their biggest need.

Everyone thought they’d target Dallas Turner with the No. 8 pick. Instead, Atlanta shocked the NFL world by drafting quarterback Michael Penix Jr. eighth overall. The Falcons used a third-round pick on Washington edge rusher Bralen Trice, but that’s not enough.

Baltimore Ravens | Guard

This came down to edge rusher and guard, neither of which the Baltimore Ravens addressed during the draft. But we’re going with guard, as steady offensive line play is critical when Lamar Jackson is your quarterback.

The Ravens lost left guard John Simpson and right guard Kevin Zeitler in free agency. Are their internal replacements enough? We’ll find out.

Buffalo Bills | Wide Receiver

The Buffalo Bills, who recently traded Stefon Diggs to the Houston Texans, drafted Florida State receiver Keon Coleman with the 33rd overall pick. And they appear thrilled with the selection.

But there are serious questions about whether Coleman will be a good NFL receiver. And if he isn’t an immediate contributor, Buffalo will need to lean on Mack Hollins and Curtis Samuel.

This could get ugly.

Carolina Panthers | EDGE

The Carolina Panthers addressed their top need, wide receiver, by drafting Xavier Legette with the 32nd overall pick. But they failed to address edge rusher, which now is their top roster weakness.

Carolina didn’t generate much pressure in 2023 despite having Brian Burns on the roster. Now Burns is with the New York Giants, and the Panthers’ top edge rushers are D.J. Wonnum, K’Lavon Chaisson, DJ Johnson and Amare Barno.

That’s not an impressive group.

Chicago Bears | Defensive Tackle

The Chicago Bears have done a masterful job of plugging their roster holes since the start of the offseason. Most notably, they upgraded at quarterback and wide receiver.

But Chicago entered the offseason with a glaring need at defensive tackle, which still hasn’t been addressed.

Cincinnati Bengals | Running Back

It’s hard to poke holes in the Cincinnati Bengals‘ roster.

The Bengals began the offseason with weaknesses at offensive tackle and defensive tackle, and they upgraded both during free agency and the draft. So, we’re going with running back as the Bengals’ top remaining weakness.

Joe Mixon now is with the Houston Texans, and Zack Moss is his top replacement.

Moss is a solid, underrated player, but calling him a feature back would be a stretch. The Bengals also don’t have much quality depth behind him.

Cleveland Browns | Quarterback

This might be a hot take, but hear us out.

Deshaun Watson is capable of recapturing the form he showed with the Texans, and he is still just 28 years old. But Watson looked lost at times last season, and he finished the campaign by missing the final eight games due to an injured throwing shoulder.

The Cleveland Browns will be a Super Bowl contender if Watson plays well. But if he struggles again or suffers another injury, Cleveland will be forced to play Jamies Winston, who’s as talented as he is unreliable.

Dallas Cowboys | Running Back

The Dallas Cowboys, who lost Tony Pollard in free agency, kinda-sorta addressed this need by reuniting with Ezekiel Elliott, who has more left in the tank than many realize.

MORE: Will Ezekiel Elliott Start in 2024 for the Dallas Cowboys?

But Dallas has nothing behind Elliot despite the veteran no longer being able to handle a lead-back workload. How did the Cowboys not take a running back in the draft?

Denver Broncos | Offensive Tackle

The Denver Broncos addressed their obvious quarterback need by selecting Bo Nix with the No. 12 pick in the draft. We’ll see if Nix is worth the pick, but Denver clearly believes he can be its QB of the future.

You could argue that other positions are the Broncos’ top weakness, but we’re going with offensive tackle, as protecting Nix must be a top priority.

The Broncos will roll with Garett Bolles on the left side and Mike McGlinchey on the right, and that could be a fine pairing. But neither player is great, and the Broncos probably should’ve drafted a developmental tackle.

Detroit Lions | EDGE

The Detroit Lions couldn’t have done a better job of filling their cornerback holes during the draft. But Dan Campbell and company came up empty at edge rusher.

Detroit ranked 23rd in the league with 41 sacks last season. The Lions need more explosiveness on the edge opposite Aidan Hutchinson, who’s a phenomenal player but likely will draw many double teams in 2024.

Who will step up if opposing teams neutralize Hutchinson?

Green Bay Packers | Guard

We’ll be honest, we struggled with this one.

The Green Bay Packers began the offseason with one of the best young rosters in football, but they didn’t rest on their laurels. They crushed it during free agency and were even better during the draft.

However, the Packers still are thin on the interior offensive line, especially at guard. It was a bit surprising they didn’t take a guard at some point in the draft, even just a developmental option. We’re nitpicking, though.

Houston Texans | Guard

The Houston Texans basically are the Packers’ AFC mirror.

Houston has a young, ascending roster that only improved during the offseason.

But the Texans also need more guard depth, an issue that wasn’t tackled during the draft. It’s not an Achilles heel, but it’s something to monitor.

Indianapolis Colts | Tight End

It was between tight end and cornerback for the Indianapolis Colts, and we went with the former.

Kylen Granson is probably the top tight end on Indy’s roster, and he’s a decent player. But the Colts need an upgrade, as sophomore QB Anthony Richardson would benefit from having a big, reliable target in key situations.

Indy decided not to sign a tight end in free agency nor take one in the draft.

Jacksonville Jaguars | Cornerback

The Jacksonville Jaguars took two corners in the draft: third-round Jarrian Jones and fifth-rounder Deantre Prince. Of the two, Jones has the best chance to be an immediate contributor.

But if either isn’t ready, Jacksonville would be dangerously thin at cornerback.

Kansas City Chiefs | Wide Receiver

Sorry, we’re not buying that the Kansas City Chiefs have solved their issues at wide receiver.

Marquise Brown, whom the Chiefs signed in free agency, is overrated, and Rashee Rice might be facing a lengthy suspension. The Chiefs drafted Xavier Worthy with the 28th overall pick, but elite speed doesn’t always translate to immediate NFL success — just ask Kadarius Toney.

Kansas City is a house of cards at receiver. That said, when you have Patrick Mahomes, you don’t need an elite receiver room.

Las Vegas Raiders | Quarterback

Aidan O’Connell is an intriguing second-year quarterback, and Gardner Minshew is a good backup who could win the starting job in training camp. But neither is a franchise quarterback, making it difficult to envision the Las Vegas Raiders going far this season.

Las Vegas was connected to multiple QBs before the draft but didn’t select any.

Los Angeles Chargers | Wide Receiver

The Los Angeles Chargers entered the draft with an unproven, underwhelming receiver group led by Joshua Palmer and Quentin Johnston. They then took three receivers in the draft, including second-rounder Ladd McConkey. The other two picks were in the seventh round.

MORE: Where Do Chargers Land in 2024 NFL Offense Rankings?

Will that solve their issues? Maybe. But McConkey’s Year 1 impact could be limited if he spends most of the time in the slot, which is an extremely difficult position to play in the NFL.

Chargers fans have reasons to feel better about the receiver group, but we’re not sold yet.

Los Angeles Rams | Cornerback

This was an easy one. Cornerback was the Los Angeles Rams‘ obvious top weakness at the beginning of the offseason.

To its credit, Los Angeles responded by signing veteran Darious Williams, who’s a solid player, and taking a flier on Tre’Davious White, who can’t stay healthy. Still, the Rams clearly needed more at corner.

We’re not sure why, but the Rams didn’t take a single cornerback in the draft. They might come to regret it.

Miami Dolphins | Guard

The Miami Dolphins re-signed Isaiah Wynn — we can hear you laughing, Patriots fans — and added veteran Jack Driscoll in free agency. Both can play guard, but how well?

Many considered guard to be Miami’s top draft priority, and yet the Dolphins didn’t draft any. Rolling with the group they have would be a major risk.

Minnesota Vikings | Defensive Line

The Minnesota Vikings have needs at both defensive tackle and defensive end, especially after losing Danielle Hunter in free agency.

They used a first-round pick on Alabama’s Dallas Turner, though he’s more of a pure edge rusher than a defensive end.

Minnesota did use a seventh-round pick on Levi Drake Rodriguez, but that’s not solving the problem.

New England Patriots | Left Tackle

It was this or wide receiver. We think the New England Patriots‘ receiver room has sneaky upside, so the pick here is left tackle.

The Patriots believe newcomer Chukwuma Okorafor can start at left tackle, and they might be right. And Vederian Lowe showed some promise at the end of last season. But the reality is the Patriots have no proven options at left tackle.

They insist third-rounder Caedan Wallace can make the move from right tackle. That feels like wishful thinking, but we’ll see.

New Orleans Saints | Safety

As we stand today, 2023 fifth-round pick Jordan Howden is in line to start alongside Tyrann Mathieu. That’s because the New Orleans Saints didn’t find any better players in free agency or during the draft.

They need to start planning for the future at this position.

New York Giants | Quarterback

Daniel Jones is coming off a torn ACL, and Drew Lock is Drew Lock.

New York Giants fans can only hope that Jones will recapture his 2022 form, but that probably is wishful thinking as Jones has looked average at best for much of his career.

New York opted against taking a QB in the draft and instead used the No. 6 pick on receiver Malik Nabers.

New York Jets | Wide Receiver

Are Mike Williams and third-rounder Malachi Corley enough to take the pressure off Garrett Wilson? We’re about to find out.

This could be a decent receiver group, but the problem is Aaron Rogers has zero tolerance for anything other than the best.

The New York Jets need someone in their receiver room to exceed expectations.

Philadelphia Eagles | Offensive Tackle

The Philadelphia Eagles are set at left tackle with Jordan Mailata, and Cam Jurgens is ready to replace recently retired Jason Kelce at center.

But what’s the plan for eventually replacing Lane Johnson at right tackle?

MORE: Why the Eagles Traded for Steelers QB Kenny Pickett

Johnson probably only has a couple of years left, so Philly must start planning for the future.

If nothing else, the Eagles should’ve drafted someone who could serve as a swing tackle right away.

Pittsburgh Steelers | Quarterback

Pittsburgh Steelers fans will talk themselves into believing Justin Fields can be an effective NFL starting quarterback. The rest of the league would disagree with them.

They also might believe Russell Wilson has something left in the tank. Again, the league would disagree.

Pittsburgh is in no man’s land at quarterback, hitching its wagons to an aging veteran and a talented but deeply flawed fourth-year pro.

There’s a chance this works out, but it’s slim.

San Francisco 49ers | Interior Offensive Line

The San Francisco 49ers re-signed right guard Jon Feliciano and drafted guard Jarrett Kingston in the sixth round, but they still need more depth at both spots and have question marks at center.

San Fran has an elite roster, so identifying weaknesses is difficult, but a relatively underwhelming interior O-line stands out.

Seattle Seahawks | EDGE

The Seattle Seahawks didn’t address this need in free agency or during the draft. Instead, they shored up their defensive line — including drafting Byron Murphy II with the 16th overall pick — and prioritized the secondary.

Seattle needs a bit more explosion on the edge.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers | Cornerback

After trading Carlton Davis to the Lions, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were left with Zyon McCollum, Jamel Dean, and Christian Izien as their top corners. It’s a solid group, but it needs more.

Help didn’t arrive in the draft, where the Bucs selected seven players, none of whom are cornerbacks.

Tennessee Titans | Linebacker

The Tennessee Titans don’t have many proven starters at linebacker, and the jury is out on whether fourth-rounder Cedric Gray can be an immediate contributor.

KEEP READING: Complete 2024 NFL Draft Grades for All 7 Rounds

Tennessee did a lot of great things this offseason, but the Titans left themselves a bit thin at linebacker.

Washington Commanders | Left Tackle

The Washington Commanders seemed destined to select a left tackle after using the second overall pick on quarterback Jayden Daniels. Instead, Washington selected defensive tackle Johnny Newton despite multiple top tackle prospects still being on the board.

We all know what can happen if a young quarterback doesn’t play behind a stable offensive line.

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