2018 NFL Draft Week: NFC Picks and Needs
The countdown to the 2018 NFL draft has turned to days, as all 32 teams will gear up to sign their next batch of players.
Today, I will look at each team in the NFC, give all their picks in the draft and examine their biggest needs of this draft, which starts Thursday evening and runs up until Saturday.
For AFC teams, click here.
- Picks: 1(15), 2(15), 3(15), 3(33), 4(34), 5(15), 6(8), 7(36)
- Needs: QB, OL, WR, CB, S
The Cardinals are notorious for not drafting a quarterback in the first round, but with an unreliable option at Sam Bradford, the Cardinals need all the help they can get. A second round pick in Lamar Jackson could work, while they draft a corner or safety in the first round to address their problems on defense.
- Picks:1(26), 2(26), 3(26), 4(26), 6(26), 7(26), 7(38)
- Needs: DT, WR, TE, DE, FB
Losing defensive lineman Dontari Poe, the Falcons hope to capitalize on a late first-rounder for the defensive front. However, if a receiver like DJ Moore or Christian Kirk are available late in the first, the Falcons might very well take an extra receiver early on.
- Picks: 1(26), 2(26), 3(26), 4(26), 6(26), 7(26), 7(38),
- Needs: WR, CB, DE, OL, S
If there’s a sharp wideout that’s worthy of a first-round pick, the Panthers will take one at No. 26. But an immediate help would be drafting a lineman early on. If Carolina goes that route, they can end up drafting secondary help in the third and fourth rounds.
- Picks: 1(8), 2(7), 4(5), 4(15), 5(8), 6(7), 7(6)
- Needs: CB, OL, EDGE, DL, ILB
Anything the draft will give, the Bears will take. They need more depth at the corner spot, a consistent pass rusher and a run-stopper on the defensive front. Their opportunities are open on the defensive side, which they will probably address through the first four rounds. Getting a guard in the second round wouldn’t be unexpected either.
- Picks: 1(19), 2(18), 3(17), 4(16), 4(37), 5(34), 6(18), 6(19), 6(34), 7(18)
- Needs: WR, DT, LB, OG, TE
With Dez Bryant gone, all eyes point to the Cowboys drafting a receiver in the first round. However, if Jerry Jones doesn’t like the options available at receiver, don’t be surprised if he uses a pick on a defensive lineman early on. In the later part of the draft, the Cowboys may draft some skill-set players, like a better backup for Dak Prescott or some help for Ezekiel Elliott.
- Picks: 1(20), 2(19), 3(18), 4(17), 5(16), 7(19)
- Needs: DE, TE, RB, OG, LB
Detroit will examine this first round pick very carefully and assess what needs to be done first. If they believe they need a running back above anything, they’ll snatch an early tailback. But, problems on the offensive line and the necessity of a pass rusher makes their first round draft pick that much more interesting.
Green Bay Packers
- Picks:1(14), 2(13), 3(12), 4(1), 4(33), 5(1), 5(35), 5(37), 6(12), 6(33), 7(14), 7(21)
- Needs: CB, OT, WR, OLB, ILB
Injuries plagued the Packers line last year, but some help in the secondary might be a priority in the first round. The Packers need some new receivers in the mix, especially due to the departure of Jordy Nelson. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Green Bay take Calvin Ridley in the first round.
Los Angeles Rams
- Picks: 3(23), 4(11), 4(35), 4(36), 6(2), 6(9), 6(20), 6(21)
- Needs: ILB, C, DE, OG, RB
After losing Alec Olgetree to the Giants this offseason, the Rams will need some new threats at pass rusher. Problem is, the Rams don’t have a pick until the late third round. Los Angeles here might decide to trade for a second round pick, but shouldn't be willing to give too much for it. A nice running back to compliment Todd Gurley in the backfield would also be nice, which could possibly be Nick Chubb of Gurley’s alma mater.
- Picks:1(30), 2(30), 3(30), 5(30), 6(30), 6(39), 6(44), 7(7)
- Needs: OL, CB, S, WR, TE
After their illustrious season last year, Minnesota will need to grab some secondary depth in the draft and get some much-needed protection for new quarterback Kirk Cousins. The Vikings also have answers to fill at the receiving and tight end spots, to simply add some depth. This problem can easily be solved with their five picks on Saturday.
New Orleans Saints
- Picks: 1(27), 3(27), 4(27), 5(10), 5(27), 6(15), 6(27), 7(27)
- Needs: TE, WR, OL, QB, EDGE
Targets and lineman are what the Saints need to focus on in the draft, but the biggest question is what will they start off with? Do they think they can get a lineman that can play immediately and help be a tough run blocker for this dynamic duo of Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara, or do they believe that drafting a receiver like Christian Kirk or Courtland Sutton is the best move? It will be interesting to see where they decide to go.
New York Giants
- Picks: 1(2), 2(2), 3(2), 3(5), 4(8), 5(2)
- Needs: QB, OL, RB, EDGE, WR
The Giants seem to be thinking Eli Manning can continue at quarterback for the organization, which makes it either pass rusher Bradley Chubb or running back Saquon Barkley for the Giants at No. 2. Beyond that, New York might try to get a lineman early in the second or third round, and another quarterback late in the draft to be an insurance policy for Manning.
- Picks: 1(32), 4(30), 4(32), 5(32), 6(32), 7(32)
- Needs: LB, TE, RB, WR, OL
The defending Super Bowl champs have some flexibility here at the No. 32 pick. They will probably go with a much-needed linebacker, which can help them out defensively, but it wouldn’t be shocking if instead they went the lineman route early on. With five picks on day three of the draft, the Eagles can pick some depth at the receiver or running back positions.
San Francisco 49ers
- Picks: 1(9), 2(27), 3(6), 3(10), 4(28), 5(6), 6(10), 7(5), 7(22)
- Needs: EDGE, OG, CB, WR, TE
Being ranked 26th in the NFL for sacks isn’t good for the 49ers, who are becoming one of the most interesting teams in the league. They can draft a guard or a corner later in the draft, but a linebacker or a pass rusher in the first round is all they need.
- Picks: 1(18), 4(20), 5(4), 5(9), 5(19), 5(31), 7(8), 7(30)
- Needs: OL, CB, DL, TE, S
Seattle needs to improve their offensive line and it should be their top priority in the first round. Losing the likes of Richard Sherman means they need some help in the secondary, but that can be solved by some overlooked products in the fifth round.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Picks: 1(7), 2(6), 4(2), 5(7), 6(6), 6(28), 7(37)
- Needs: RB, CB, DL, S, OL
Tampa Bay is hoping that somehow, some way, Barkley falls down to No. 7. However, that won’t likely happen, so the Bucs will have to settle on a strong secondary member in the draft early on. With a strong running back class, Tampa Bay can draft one or two prospects in the fourth or fifth rounds.
- Picks: 1(13), 2(12), 4(9), 5(5), 5(26), 6(31), 7(13), 7(23)
- Needs: DL, LB, CB, OG, QB
In a beefy run-stopping draft class, the Redskins are sure to shine in getting a big man up front early on. Beyond that, the Redskins need help defensively, starting at the linebacker spot. In later rounds, Washington will be free to get some talent at the quarterback spot to mold under Alex Smith, or even a running back to add to their group.