Biggest remaining needs for each team in the NFC for 2020:

The big free agency period and draft are now in the books, so we have reached what I like to call the “dark hole” of the offseason. You don’t have a lot of trades or signings going on and the biggest news are about teams changing their uniforms. However, what this part of the year allows me to do, is watch the film of some players I wasn’t really able to during the regular season and evaluate how teams are built.

I looked through the rosters of all 32 NFL organizations and tried to pin-point the one spot they could still use an upgrade at. That can be a very specific fit for their scheme, a true impact starter, depth at a certain position group or whatever. I tried to go through some of the areas of improvement I looked at, how they might have addressed some of them already and how I got to the conclusion of what their biggest need is.

You can also listen to my breakdown on Youtube and I will put out my AFC version of this next week.

 


 

NFC North:

 

Chicago Bears – Strong safety  Bears

There are certainly question marks about Chicago’s offense, starting with the battle for the starting quarterback gig, but if the Bears are going to be in the mix for this division, they will have to dominate on defense once again. Looking at this unit last year, the D-line was hurting with Akiem Hicks out, but even when Roquan Smith missed time, Nick Kwiatkowski filled in nicely (earning himself a pretty good contract with the Raiders) and while they did lose Prince Amukara in free agency, I think 50th overall draft pick Jaylon Johnson is ready to step in and contribute right away. The one spot I still have questions about is strong safety. Chicago lost Adrian Amos last offseason and took a step back with Haha Clinton-Dix. They might be getting worse again. It just looked like a battle between Deon Bush, Jordan Lucas and maybe Kentrell Brice to pair up with Eddie Jackson. The Bears did sign Tashaun Gipson a good two weeks ago after the Texans let him go, but he will turn 30 in August and probably played the worst season of his career in 2019. While he did make 11 plays on the ball, his play in deep coverage was rather questionable and he missed 15 percent of his tackling attempts. Eddie Jackson is one of the elite safeties in the league and has the instincts and range to play single-high more, but as it stands, the Bears do want to run quite a few two-high safety looks and then be able to rotate them in kind of an interchangeable fashion. I’m not sure if you can expect that from Gipson, since he biggest issue come to daylight when he is put in space with great athletes, That’s one of the reason I was so annoyed with the Bears selecting Notre Dame tight-end Cole Kmet with their second-round pick in the draft, when Minnesota’s Antoine Winfield Jr. was on the board and would have been a perfect match here.

 

Detroit Lions – Punter  Lions

For a team that just had the third pick in the draft, the Lions have a pretty complete roster in my opinion. You can look at the guard position, since they did lose Graham Glasgow in free agency and Joe Dahl was sub-par in his only season as a starter, but I expect their third- and fourth-round picks in Jonah Jackson and Logan Stenberg to earn the two starting guard spots. Edge rusher has been a big need for them in recent years ever since Ziggy Ansah first got banged up, but they did invest heavily in Trey Flowers from New England last offseason and I think Julian Okwara could be an impactful edge player if they get him to play more consistently. And they now one of the better trios of corners when healthy. Instead I am looking at a specialist for them – more specifically the punter. Detroit lost Sam Martin to the Broncos in free agency, who paid the 30-year old just outside the top in average salary among the position. Now the Lions go into camp with a battle between Jack Fox, who was an undrafted free agent last year, and Arryn Sippos, who they pay over two million dollars a year coming over from the Australian Football League in 2018 and then averaging 44.0 yards per punt for Auburn over these last two seasons, When you look at the Lions’ draft, they want to play ball-control and win with their defense. They selected Georgia running back D’Andre Swift 35th overall to form a dynamic duo with the often-banged up Kerryon Johnson, whose touches they want to limit. You can question Matt Patricia paying everybody the Patriots can’t afford, but with Jamie Collins, Duron Harmon and others I see what he wants to build on defense. If that is the way you want to play, you need to be able to flip the field consistently and I just don’t know what to think of their punter situation.

 

Green Bay Packers – Z receiver  Packers

The Packers are coming off a 13-3 campaign and a trip to the NFC Championship. While they did get hammered in San Francisco and the win total was kind of fluky with an 8-1 record in one-score games, this team was in situation where it needed to add those couple of pieces to remain a contender. The defense finished top ten in points allowed for the first time since their Super Bowl season in 2010 and Aaron Jones was their first 1000-yard rushers since Eddie Lacy in 2014. Green Bay had the 30th overall pick in the draft and everybody had them going wide receiver at that stop, but instead they drafted Aaron Rodgers’ future replacement in Utah State’s Jordan Love. You can argue with me about how Rodgers’ play has fallen off recently and I don’t hate the range the rookie QB was selected in, but for them to actually use a fourth-round pick to trade up four spots and take him there, when you just extended your current franchise player for another four years, 134 million can certainly be questioned. Even worse – they didn’t select a single receiver among an all-time great class. The Packers have to hope for Rick Wagner to get to back form and replace Bryan Bulaga at right tackle and I also considered interior defensive line after the 49ers just steamrolled them in the NFC Championship game, but I still hold out hope for some of those young guys they have on their roster. Instead I come back to the receiver position and in particular, I am looking for a speed receiver, who can stretch the field and create space underneath on post and go-routes. Davante Adams is a bonafide stud, but nobody else has been able to establish themselves as the number two, while Allen Lazard and Equanimeous St. Brown would definitely benefit from more space being created. The one guy who has it all, but simply hasn’t been able to put it all together is Marquez Valdes-Scantling.

 

Minnesota Vikings – Outside receiver  Vikings

The Vikings did lose quite a few pieces this offseason with Everson Griffen, Linval Joseph, their two starting corners and trading away Stefon Diggs, but they also just made the most selections in the draft ever (15) and have a lot of competition across the board now. Defensively they now have a lot of young corners they are looking for to develop and by bringing back Anthony Harris on the franchise tag, they still have one of the premiere safety tandems in the league. The D-line is a bit of a question mark with Griffen and Joseph out of the building. Ifeadi Odenigbo came on late in the season and Minnesota just signed Michael Pierce to a three-year deal, who might actually be an upgrade over Joseph at shade nose. Shemar Stephen played just over half the snaps last season and they other guys they have some other promising young players in Jaleel Johnson and Armon Watts, who have been learning behind those other guys. They also brought in some guys late on day three in the draft. So the bigger need at 3-tech would be for one of those candidates to emerge. I trust Mike Zimmer to fit those pieces together and look back at the offensive side of the ball. The Vikes are plugging 22nd overall pick Justin Jefferson from LSU in for Stefon Diggs, even if I think he did almost all of his damage from the slot. Contrary to popular belief, Adam Thielen actually lines up out wide more than in the slot, but what I like about these two guys is the fact they are kind of interchangeable. With the amount of 12 and 21 personnel they run, Minnesota only needs two receivers out there for about half the snaps, but I just believe they could use someone else who can play on the outside, since the depth chart behind them doesn’t blow anybody away and all those guys are better suited for an inside role as well.

 


 

NFC East:

 

Dallas Cowboys – Strong safety Cowboys

Man, looking at this roster, this team is just so damn talented. The whole contract drama with Dak Prescott is certainly hanging over them like a dark cloud and the players still have to actually put it to the field, but they have all the pieces to compete for the NFC in theory. Offensively, they are still kind of re-grouping up front after the retirement of Travis Frederick, but they have added a lot of quality pieces in draft these last couple of year. Dallas is expecting Blake Jarwin to take a big step in his first season as a full-time starter, to go with a tremendous of trio of receivers, as they might run more 11 personnel than any other team in the league. While a large portion of their offensive production was empty calories and they did shrink in some big games, to me the defense is where they really need to improve. Their interior D-line rotation is outstanding and as long as they find someone outside of DeMarcus Lawrence who can stay focused, their pass-rush could be vicious. Depending on how Leighton Vander Esch has recovered from that neck surgery, they could once again have guys who can fly around on the second level. The loss of their top corner in Byron Jones definitely hurts, but their draft picks Trevon Diggs and Reggie Robinson II certainly have all the talent to play there, to go with a big group of quality slot defenders. Instead I’m going back to the safety position. The coaches seem to love Xavier Woods at free safety, but I don’t think who they want to pair him up with long-term. Haha Clinton-Dix is an adequate starter, but he is really better suited in deep coverage and there is a reason he has been on three teams over the last two season, while being on a one-year deal with Dallas right now. With new DC Mike Nolan, the defense will not be as simplistic with single-high coverages, but you still a safety who can play closer to the line of scrimmage.

 

New York Giants – Edge rusher Giants

The Giants went into this offseason with two major areas of improvement – protecting their young quarterback and getting after opposing ones. They finished bottom five in sacks and QB hits allowed, while nobody on the roster – since Marcus Golden wasn’t resigned (yet) – logged five sacks or more last season. Well, the Giants drafted Georgia offensive tackle Andrew Thomas fourth overall, selected another developmental tackle in Matt Peart (UConn) in the third round and one of my favorite guards in Shane Lemieux (Oregon) in the fourth. Big Blue did draft Oshane Ximines and Lorenzo Carter last year and they selected four linebackers in late April, with two of them having outside flexibility, but they lost their leading sacker in Golden and they just don’t have that true dog up coming off the edge. I like the signing of Kyler Fackrell, who should take over at SAM with a healthy competition for that second spot on the outside, but who will come around the corner and put the heat on opposing quarterbacks consistently? Leonard Williams – who they acquired via trade mid-season and have put the franchise tag on – has some edge flexibility, but I just see a run-plugging beefy D-line that might not be able to get home with their pass-rush. I liked B.J. Hill coming out of N.C. State a couple of years ago with his ability to beat guards, one of their 2019 first-rounders Dexter Lawrence can definitely create push up the middle and Dalvin Tomlinson is excellent at setting up stunts and twists, to create opportunities for his teammates. However, when you look at all those great offensive tackles in the NFC East, I’m just not sure who the G-Men have to seriously threaten off the edge consistently. If they can bring back Golden or sign one of those other veterans out on the market, I would certainly feel better about them. Also because it would help a young room of guys at that position.

 

Philadelphia Eagles – SAM linebacker  Eagles

I had the Eagles as NFC favorites coming into 2019, but after DeSean Jackson went down following a monster week one performance, that entire receiver room was split into pieces and they were desperate for speed. That’s why they selected TCU’s Jalen Reagor in the first round, traded for Marquise Goodwin and drafted Boise State’s John Hightower on day three. With those guys added to the best tight-end duo in the league, a breakout back like Miles Sanders going into year two and a strong O-line to support Carson Wentz, I really like this offense. Defensively, they traded for Darius Slay, who was a top ten corner for a long stretch until he was a little banged up last season and they signed Javon Hargreave to add to the interior D-line. However, that whole linebacker corp may not be a strength for them next season. I like T.J. Edwards as a thumping MIKE and Duke Riley when healthy and kept clean can make some plays from the weak-side, but then at SAM I certainly have question marks. Right now it looks like Nathan Gerry and Jatavis Brown could compete for that spot, but depending on how they want to use that position, I don’t see them putting either one over the tight-end to control the point of attack. The Eagles drafted Colorado’s Davion Taylor in third round, who I had as about my 20th-ranked linebacker. He was basically a big nickel in college and certainly is the kind of explosive athlete who can make some splash plays, but he was never really tagged with box duties and weighed in at under 230 pounds at the combine. Their fourth-rounder K’Von Wallace from Clemson is a natural fit in the slot, but Philly also lost Malcolm Jenkins in free agency. NFL teams play with 5+ DBs on the field over 70 percent of the snaps on average, but against heavy personnel this group of backers could be exposed, and the two LBs they would keep on the field on sub haven’t been true difference-makers in the league.

 

Washington Redskins – Slot receiver Redskins

There are some things Ron Rivera still has to figure out about this Washington defense, depending on the status of Reuben Foster at linebacker and how he wants to assemble the secondary, but with a defensive line that now has Chase Young, Jonathan Allen, Da’Ron Payne, Montez Sweat and others, they are going to wreak some havoc. For this team it is really more about the offense and in particular what Dwayne Haskins can do in year two. His support system wasn’t great in 2019, with Adrian Peterson being their top back and their most productive receiver being third-round pick Terry McLaurin, who Haskins had just been throwing passes to at Ohio State and had an excellent rookie campaign considering the erratic QB play. While Trent Williams is now finally off the team, this year’s third-rounder Saahdiq Charles should at least be an upgrade over what they had last season and I like some of other guys they added. I would have definitely said tight-end here, but to get Thaddeus Moss as an undrafted free agent, who may not be the most dynamic pass-catcher, but is very reliable pass-catcher and an excellent in-line blocker, could fix that issue. Instead I’m looking more towards the receivers. I had last year’s sixth-rounder Kelvin Harmon ranked over guys like Patriots first-round pick N’Keal Harry and the Colts’ second-rounder Parris Campbell and then Washington got another one of my favorites this time around with Liberty’s Antonio Gandy-Golden in the fourth round. What do all three of those guys have in common? – They did most of their damage on the outside in college. McLaurin has played some in the slot and could move inside on 11 personnel sets, but their best true slot receiver is Trey Quinn, who didn’t even crack the 200-yard mark last season and caught just one TD. I certainly believe they could use an upgrade there, in the mold of what Haskins had in his one year as a starter in college with the aforementioned Campbell, to get involved on jet sweeps, shallow crossers and other easy yardage plays.

 


 

NFC South:

 

Atlanta Falcons – WILL linebacker Falcons

The Falcons defense was a mess last season, with a mixture of bad play and miscommunication. With all the investments they made on the offensive line a year ago, they could completely focus on the defensive side of the ball. I first thought about edge rusher for Atlanta, because they lost Vic Beasley, who might have never lived up to his draft status outside of one abnormal 15.5-sack campaign, but was still a high-upside pass rusher when allowed to just go. However, I think Dante Fowler will be an upgrade and their first-rounder from 2017 in Takk McKinley has shown flashes. I certainly have questions about they interior, where I thought they would actually go if they found a partner to trade up with in the draft. Grady Jarrett is one of the best 3-techs in the league, but he has barely had help around him and actually had to line up in the A-gaps more than he would like to. The Falcons selected Auburn’s Marlon Davidson early on day two of the draft, who I think best fits shading the outside shoulder of guards as well, so maybe they plan on moving Jarrett inside even more. Davidson played a hybrid outside backer in college, so he could play some heavy end as well and then you possibly have Fowler at SAM with more Over looks. The other options on the inside are a run-stopping Tyler Davidson and Deadrin Senat, who has some potential. I think a more proven 1-tech would have been a good addition, but instead I’m focusing more on the second level of the defense. Deion Jones is a super-rangy MIKE, who can cover shifty backs one-on-one as well, but Atlanta lost his partner in crime in De’Vondre Campbell. They brought in Fresno State’s Mykal Walker early on day three of the draft, who lined up a lot on the edge in college and could potentially start on the strong-side for them, but they still need a WILL, who can take away cutback lanes in the run game and punish single receivers for catching simple slant routes.

 

Carolina Panthers – Right guard  Panthers

You could maybe nit-pick at a spot or two on defense for the Panthers, but when you spend all seven of your draft picks on that side of the ball, you can’t really complain and we really still have to see how they put all those pieces together. Instead I’m looking at the offensive line, where they just traded away Pro Bowl guard Trai Turner for a fragile tackle in Russell Okung from the Chargers. I would strongly guess that this was more due to cap purposes, but after losing Andrew Norwell in free agency last year already – who in fairness has been a disappointment in Jacksonville so far – that group has gone from a strength to more of a concern. I could see Okung move inside in order to let their talented second-round pick from 2019 in Greg Little develop, but he looked pretty lost out there as a rookie. John Miller who projects to be the starter at left guard had a solid start to his career with Buffalo, but took a step back with a lackluster Bengals O-line last season and Dennis Daley is really more of a natural fit on the edge. With what they have on their roster right now, flipping Okung to the right side and moving Taylor Moton one spot to the inside, with Little being thrown in the fire again, would probably put their best five out on the field, but I think they would be best suited to add another interior O-lineman to at least add some competition. New QB Teddy Bridgewater finished dead-last among starting QBs in intended air yards last season. I still have to see how that meshes with those vertical targets the Panthers have in D.J. Moore, Robby Anderson and to some degree Curtis Samuel, who I personally believe Joe Brady will use more on slants and crossers underneath – his version of Justin Jefferson so to speak.

 

New Orleans Saints – Speed receiver Saints

When I looked at this Saints roster in preparation for my 2020 mock draft, it was tough to find a true hole on the depth chart. The one position I thought they could address was MIKE linebacker, since their only LB on their roster with at least 30 percent of the snaps outside of Demario Davis is now gone, and I thought Patrick Queen would be a good fit in this pass-heavy division. Instead they went with my top-rated interior O-lineman in Cesar Ruiz before letting Larry Warford go, which is a little bit of a head-scratcher simply because they only got cheaper – not necessarily better. Still, I think third-rounder Zack Baun (Wisconsin) will start at SAM and I love their undrafted free agent Joe Bachie (Michigan State), who I believe could start at MIKE for them as a rookie and then be subbed off more on third downs possibly. Therefore I went back to the receiver position, which I thought was their biggest area of improvement before bringing in Emmanuel Sanders in free agency. Drew Brees may no longer throw the deep ball very effectively or want to at all, but you still need to somehow stretch the field and clear space. Michael Thomas broke the single season reception record because he is a physical possession-type receiver, who they heavily target on slants and crossing routes. Sanders once was a true deep threat, but he is now 33 years old and wins more with crafty route-running (even though he had a step on the defense for a potential game-winner in this past Super Bowl). So with Drew you may not be able to fully utilize that deep threat, but having somebody who can use that speed horizontally on crossers and just to open up room underneath would help the other pass-catchers there a lot. Tre’Quan Smith has that long speed, but he hasn’t developed the way I thought he could.

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Offensive line depth Buccaneers

No team in the league has shifted expectations more than these Bucs. It is not only about Tom Brady being brought in, but also Gronk coming out of retirement and some nice additions in the draft. When you look at their defense finishing 29th in the NFL in terms of points allowed, you certainly want to improve on that, but they quietly were the number one run-stopping unit in the league and they bring everybody back in their second season under Todd Bowles. They have all the players to take the next step, plus another chess piece in Minnesota Antoine Winfield Jr. as Bowles’ version of the Honeybadger, and they won’t be put in so many tough spots off turnovers by their offense, where the opposing team is in scoring range right away or these guys are just tired out. Their group of skill-position players on offense is up there with the best, so it’s really about protecting Brady. Now with Tristan Wirfs being drafted 13th overall to add to the mix, this starting five looks pretty strong. It will be between their 2018 third-rounder Alex Cappa and veteran Joe Haeg as well as about how much Wirfs can clean up his footwork in pass-protection – in a heavily shortened offseason program at the very least – who will be that second starter on the right side at guard or tackle. Either way, Tampa Bay should have one solid backup but I don’t know who they plan on being their seventh guy on gameday and I don’t believe a lot of people have even heard the names Brad Seaton, Zack Bailey or Aaron Stinnie before. I’m still very interested to see how much of a hybrid between Bruce Arians’ vertical passing offense and New England’s Erhardt-Perkins system – which allowed Brady to spread the defense out and create mismatches – this will be. No matter what, protecting the 43-year old legend is priority number one and you can’t be one injury away from having a liablity on the O-line potentially.

 


 

NFC West:

 

Arizona Cardinals – Secondary depth Cardinals

The Cardinals went into the offseason with two major needs to make this Kliff Kingsbury offense work – a true number one receiver and a starting right tackle. A good month before the draft, it looked like they would have to decide on either one of the two with their eight overall pick. Instead they were able to package a bad contract of David Johnson and a second-round pick for superstar DeAndre Hopkins and I believe they found their starting tackle in the third round with Joshua Jones, who I had graded as a late first-rounder, which allowed them to select Clemson do-it-all defender Isaiah Simmons with that top ten pick. That’s about as good they could have hoped for and with beef added to the D-line on day three to compete in a run-heavy division, they can now address the 31st-ranked pass defense. I’m not totally sure about how they will utilize their corners. Patrick Peterson looked a little slow and old last season, but he should be a fixture for them. Last year’s second-round pick Byron Murphy out of Washington had some growing pains early on, but he was my CB1 in the draft and definitely showed fight as well as improvement throughout the season. The Cardinals also brought in veteran Robert Alford, so I could see them moving Murphy more into the slot. I’ve always loved Budda Baker as a little lighter version of Tyrann Mathieu and I still believe in one of their day three selection in last year’s draft in Deionte Thompson from Alabama, who only fell due to injury concerns, but has the range and feel to excel in a free safety role, if he can clean up his tackling a little bit. It will be interesting to see how exactly the Cards will utilize Simmons and another versatile first-round linebacker from in 2018 in Haason Reddick, but when it comes to true defensive backs, right now they probably rely on Jalen Thompson and the third-most popular Chris Jones in the NFL as their first backups in the secondary. That leaves something to be desired.

 

Los Angeles Rams – Edge rusher  Rams New

To be honest, I’m a little concerned about these Rams. Acquiring Jalen Ramsey for two first-round picks is worth it for me, considering he could be the premiere corner in football for the next five years or so, and I like the players they selected in the draft in a vacuum, but since the regular season concluded, I’m not sure they got better at one single position. I think the combination of Darrell Henderson and second-rounder Cam Akers (Florida State) will be more effective than what they had in a banged up Todd Gurley and Florida’s Van Jefferson is an exquisite route-runner, who can produce right away – unlike Brandin Cooks, who simply hasn’t really been available. However, they lost a rangy linebacker in Corey Littleton and their top edge rusher in Dante Fowler through free agency, while not doing anything to improve the O-line. To replace Fowler, they brought in Leonard Floyd, who is a good Robin, but they don’t have a real Batman coming off the edge. In the third round of the draft they selected Terrell Lewis, who had top 50 talent, but he only had one full season with Alabama and I’m not sure if you can expect him to play all 16 games as a pro in 2020. Samson Ebukam has given the team some production and I liked their fifth-rounder out Oklahoma from a year ago in Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, but those guys might be more rotational pass-rushers. Maybe they hope for Jachai Polite to get his act together, but when you consider the Jets let him go early on after spending a day two pick of him and needing somebody on the edge desperately themselves, that is more of a shot in the dark. Obviously you have an elite player on the interior in Aaron Donald and he makes a lot of issues disappear, but nobody has really established himself on the edge for L.A. I also don’t know if Lirim Hajrullahu, who I had never heard before, can replace Greg Zuerlein at kicker.

 

San Francisco 49ers – Cornerback  49ers

Coming off a devastating Super Bowl loss, I believe the 49ers have done a really solid job retooling their roster. Trading away a team MVP in DeForest Buckner obviously hurts, but replacing him with a similar type of player with sky-high potential in Javon Kinlaw from South Carolina with that pick you just acquired and you pay him less than a fifth of the price, makes that much easier to swallow. Their other first-rounder Brandon Aiyuk (Arizona State) gives them any YAC weapon in place of Emmanuel Sanders and they basically got All-Pro left tackle Trent Williams for peanuts, with the retirement of Joe Staley pending. I’m not worried about the offense with Kyle Shanahan calling the shots, as long as Jimmy G can shake that fourth quarter of the Super Bowl. Their defense was elite already last season, but that doesn’t mean they can’t still improve, especially when you looking at their secondary situation. Richard Sherman, K’Waun Williams and Ahkello Witherspoon will all become free agents in 2021. Witherspoon is still so up-and-down with lackluster technique. I like Emmanuel Moseley as that second guy on the outside and Jason Verrett still is an X-factor here, because he was one of the rising stars early on in San Diego, but I feel like I haven’t seen him play in like five years. D.J. Reed is a really nice backup nickel and Dontae Johnson was a solid player for them in his first stint with San Francisco, but he has barely seen the field these last three years. As part as covering the slot goes, whether it’s putting Jaquiski Tartt down against bigger bodies in base sets, keeping K’Waun Williams at nickel and even a guy like Reed coming in off the bench, are all viable options, but in terms of true outside corners, you are looking at a 32-year old Richard Sherman and a battle of what are more backups on most rosters. The Niners are set for a while at several positions, but cornerback isn’t one of them.

 

Seattle Seahawks – Right tackle  Seahawks

I don’t understand how some people still think of the Seahawks as some kind of dominant defense. They finished last season 26th in the league in yards allowed and they gave up 20+ points in all but two games. I think they have issues at corner (depending on the status of recently acquired Quinton Dunbar) and without Jadeveon Clowney their pass-rush is underwhelming, with Bobby Wagner being the only elite player on that unit. However, they did go defense-heavy in the draft and I wouldn’t say they don’t have the bodies to compete, so I’m going back to the continual problem child. The Seahawks have ignored issues on the offensive line for years now and once again this time around I mocked a tackle to them in the first round. Instead they went with a surprise pick – as they always do – in Texas Tech linebacker Jordyn Brooks. They did select LSU guard Damien Lewis early in the third, but he was not nearly my top guy available at that point. They also cut long-time center Justin Britt and the powerful D.J. Fluker who has guard/tackle flexibility. So I certainly don’t believe they got better up front. B.J. Finney looks to slide in at center and in this offense without a ton of true drop-back passes Lewis at least competes for a starting guard spot, but Cedric Ogbuehi is still not the solution at right tackle. The Hawks went from one of the biggest liabilities at that spot in Germain Ifedi to a maybe even bigger one in Ogbuehi. In his two seasons as a starter in Cincinnati, the new acquired tackle was responsible for 14.5 sacks. These last two years he hasn’t been in the starting lineup and now faces the likes of Chandler Jones, Nick Bosa and others in the NFC West. That is a recipe for disaster. Maybe Seattle moves Ethan Pocic to right tackle if two other guys impress at those guard spots.

 



 

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