NFL Draft 2013 NFC TEAM
Help wanted: Quarterback Cam Newton is big and athletic, but he needs his offensive line to protect him better in 2013. Finding an upgrade at right tackle should be a part of that improvement. However, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Panthers take a receiver, defensive tackle or cornerback early in April. Each position is a clear need area.
21 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview
New Orleans Tampa Bay
“lacks a playmaker”
Help wanted: With both Tony Gonzalez and Steven Jackson on board, the offense-rich Falcons can turn their draft attention to the defensive side of the ball. Improving the pass rush is an obvious need, especially after releasing defensive end John Abraham. Finding an athletic coverage linebacker or high-upside cornerback could also be in the cards.
Help Wanted: Tyron Smith is a lock at left tackle, but the Cowboys could probably use upgrades along the rest of the offensive line. Defensive linemen that fit Monte Kiffin’s new 4-3 defense will likely be needed to help ease the transition, and the safety position still lacks a playmaker.
Help Wanted: The likely loss of Osi Umenyiora in free agency opens up an opportunity for the Giants to use another high pick on a passrushing defensive end. New York has struck gold at the position in the past. A runstuffing linebacker and passprotecting right tackle are also needs for savvy general manager Jerry Reese.
Help wanted: The Dream Team has been mostly disassembled, leaving former Oregon coach Chip Kelly the difficult job of cleaning up what remains. Philadelphia will be run-based on offense, but the most pressing needs likely come on defense, where the transition to the three-man front has already begun.
Help wanted: Any team that features a unique talent like quarterback Robert Griffin III should continue building the supporting cast on offense. Tackle, receiver and tight end are each draft options to help accelerate RG3’s development. However, defensive needs at both cornerback and safety might be more pressing for the Washington Redskins.
Help wanted: Losing Pro Bowl left tackle Jermon Bushrod was a big blow, and it leaves the pass-happy Saints with shaky options on each side of the offensive line. The switch to a 3-4 defense makes finding both an impact pass-rusher at outside linebacker and blockeating nose tackle draft priorities in New Orleans.
Help wanted: Cornerback, cornerback, cornerback. No team in the NFL needs more help at the increasinglyimportant position than the Buccaneers, who gave up a league-high 297.4 passing yards a game last season. Depth on the defensive line is also in serious question after free agency.
A preview of the 2013 NFL Draft, including position profiles on more than 300 players, feature articles and columns.