NFL: What the 32 teams need headed into 2010 draft
MIAMI, Fla. — The Super Bowl’s over, Drew Brees has been cheered at Disney World and the New Orleans Saints are being celebrated in their city.
On to football, 2010.
With free agency set to start March 5, and the draft following in April, this a quick look at what each team has and needs headed into the offseason.
Needs: Reliable kicker, perhaps another receiver to keep defenses from smothering Miles Austin.
Strengths: Seven-man front on defense, especially OLB DeMarcus Ware and NT Jay Ratliff; trio of quality running backs.
Need: Help on defense: pass-rushing end, linebackers, strong safety.
Strengths: Young, talented group at offensive skill positions.
Needs: All over defense, especially in the middle at tackle, linebacker and safety; health at RB; infusion of youth on OL.
Strengths: QB Eli Manning; young corps of WRs.
Needs: At least two offensive linemen, probably three; running back with speed; DBs who can cover.
Strengths: Defensive front seven led by Albert Haynesworth (when he’s on the field) and Pro Bowl players London Fletcher and Brian Orakpo.
Needs: Playmaking, sure-tackling safeties; QB of the future for when old man Brett Favre finally hangs it up; MLB and DT.
Strengths: RB if they bring Chester Taylor back to team with Adrian Peterson; WR, where Sidney Rice blossomed into Pro Bowler and Percy Harvin was Offensive Rookie of Year; pass rushers.
Needs: Offensive line, where veteran OTs Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher are free agents.
Strengths: Passing game with rising star Aaron Rodgers; defensive line; inside linebacker.
Needs: Improvement on both lines and in secondary; a healthy MLB Brian Urlacher; better decisions from Jay Cutler, who threw league-leading 26 interceptions with 27 touchdowns; No. 1 receiver.
Strengths: Special teams; linebackers, particularly if Urlacher stays healthy. Cutler, if he cuts down on mistakes.
Needs: Many. Defensive linemen and cornerbacks to help historically bad defense; offensive guards; a playmaker to complement WR Calvin Johnson.
Needs: Despite winning it all, there are some holes. Better pass rush; speed at OLB; power RB.
Strengths: Everywhere on offense, especially at QB with Drew Brees and at skill positions; safety; MLB Jonathan Vilma; special teams.
Needs: More offensive consistency; another solid WR; steadier secondary; more dangerous pass rush.
Strengths: QB Matt Ryan, WR Roddy White, ageless TE Tony Gonzalez; budding linebackers.
Needs: DE, with Julius Peppers’ future uncertain and fellow starter Tyler Brayton also a free agent; decision on QB; another WR to complement Steve Smith.
Strengths: RB tandem of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart; LB and CB with Jon Beason, Thomas Davis, Chris Gamble and Richard Marshall.
Needs: More playmakers on offense, particularly WRs; pass rush and run stoppers; safety.
Strengths: QB Josh Freeman, 3-6 as rookie starter; TE Kellen Winslow; RBs with Cadillac Williams rebounding from second career-threatening injury and Derrick Ward pushing him; cornerback.
Needs: Better offensive linemen and outside linebackers; more depth in secondary. Another QB with Kurt Warner retired.
Strengths: WR, even if they trade Anquan Boldin; RB; starting safeties; interior of defensive line; punter.
Needs: Upgrading return game; San Francisco was last in average punt return yardage as Niners missed playoffs for seventh straight year. Kurt Schottenheimer was hired as special teams coordinator. Finding out if Alex Smith is right QB.
Strengths: RB with workhorse Frank Gore; inside LB with All-Pro Patrick Willis; possibly receiver if Michael Crabtree develops quickly.
Needs: Linemen who can actually block; pass rushers; playmaking WRs; players who fit new coach Pete Carroll’s run game.
Strengths: Linebackers, if middle man Lofa Tatupu can stay healthy; PK Olindo Mare, who could be a free agent; P Jon Ryan.
Needs: Everything after 1-15 record, worst in league. Rams were outscored 436-175, own first pick in draft.
Strengths: RB Steven Jackson, some young defensive players such as DE Chris Long.
Needs: A third WR behind Randy Moss and Wes Welker, especially if Welker misses start of season with knee injury; better pressure on opposing quarterback; improved offensive play calling.
Strengths: QB in Tom Brady’s second season after knee injury; middle of defense with nose tackle Vince Wilfork, ILB Jerod Mayo and safety Brandon Meriweather.
Needs: Depth in secondary, particularly at CB opposite Darrelle Revis; legitimate pass rusher off the edge.
Strengths: Offensive line is one of league’s best; Revis is shutdown cornerback; David Harris and Bart Scott are solid playmakers at ILB; running game, as long as they bring back Thomas Jones and Leon Washington is healthy.
Needs: A No. 1 receiver to stretch field, linebackers and a strong safety.
Strengths: Offensive line, especially left tackle with Pro Bowler Jake Long; cornerback, where two impressive rookies started in 2009.
Needs: A new offensive approach and a franchise QB. Bills hired Chan Gailey as head coach to bolster offense that has finished 25th or worst for seven consecutive seasons.
Strengths: When healthy, defensive backfield, led by CB Terrence McGee and emerging safety Jairus Byrd, who tied for NFL lead with nine interceptions as rookie.
Needs: A deep-threat receiver and a tight end who can block and catch.
Strengths: Bengals have one of best cornerback tandems in Johnathan Joseph and Leon Hall.
Needs: A big-play wide receiver to provide Joe Flacco a viable target along with venerable Derrick Mason.
Strengths: Running game behind Ray Rice and young offensive line that includes tackles Jared Gaither and Michael Oher.
Needs: A cornerback and additional help for aging defense in which nearly every starter is 30-plus — and a healthy Troy Polamalu and Aaron Smith.
Strengths: Ben Roethlisberger’s right arm, dependable receivers.
Needs: A quarterback. Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson have both failed prolonged tryouts; dependable right tackle to balance offensive line heavily tilted to Joe Thomas’ side
Strengths: Exceptional special teams with KR Joshua Cribbs, K Phil Dawson and P Dave Zastudil.
Needs: Not much, despite Super Bowl flop. Continued development of OL; another sturdy LB; decision on PKs Vinatieri and Stover.
Strengths: Peyton Manning-led offense, bolstered by young receivers; aggressive and deep secondary; excellent coaching staff.
Needs: Running back to complement Steve Slaton; inside pass rusher to help Mario Williams.
Strengths: DeMeco Ryans and Brian Cushing are developing into one of best linebacker combinations in league; passing game when Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson both are healthy.
Needs: Restock talent on defense; do they keep DE Kyle Vanden Bosch and OLB Keith Bulluck?
Strengths: Running game thanks to Chris Johnson and offensive line that should return nearly intact.
Needs: More pass rush after finishing with league-low 14 sacks.
Strengths: RB Maurice Jones-Drew and WR Mike Sims-Walker have given offense more big-play ability.
Needs: RB with LaDainian Tomlinson unlikely to return; offensive line; nose guard to eventually replace Jamal Williams.
Strengths: QB Philip Rivers, TE Antonio Gates, P Mike Scifres, WR Vincent Jackson, although he’s facing suspension if he gets convicted of pending second DUI; LB if Shawne Merriman ends up restricted free agent; PK Nate Kaeding, at least until playoffs.
Needs: Reinforcements in porous 3-4 defensive alignment; beefier OL as team switches from famed zone blocking scheme to power run game; probably more pass catchers with Brandon Marshall, Tony Scheffler and Brandon Stokley likely not coming back.
Strengths: Secondary even with four starters over 30 because of young safeties Darcel McBath and David Bruton.
Needs: Decision whether to keep coach Tom Cable; consistent quarterback play; improved offensive line; playmakers on offense.
Strengths: CB Nnamdi Asomugha; kicking game with P Shane Lechler and PK Sebastian Janikowski.
Needs: Safeties, linebackers, wide receivers, offensive linemen, tight end.
Strengths: Running back if slender Jamaal Charles can stay healthy; punting and placekicking; young defensive line if Tyson Jackson, Glenn Dorsey continue to develop.