2023-03-05 · 10 min read · NFL/Football
NFL Daniel Jones and Carson Wentz

G Fiume via Getty Images | ESPN

With the NFL Draft and free agency on the horizon, clubs across the league will be vying to get their hands on those missing pieces to improve their squad next season.
For some teams, this spring/summer will be about rebuilding and getting those pieces in place to turn around their fortunes, and for others, it's a time to find a key ingredient to put them over the top.
Here is a breakdown of all 32 teams and what each of them could use the most heading into the 2023 campaign.
Chicago Bears- Edge Rusher
Aside from the quarterback, just about every position on the Bears could use an upgrade from what we saw in 2022, but a quality edge rusher is probably the most important.
The Bears allowed more points per game on average (27.2) than anyone last season, finishing with the fewest sacks (20), and although they led the league in team rushing, overall offensively, they were near the bottom in 23rd.
Chicago has some tough decisions upcoming, whether to provide a better-supporting cast for Justin Fields and improve his protection or get some solid defensive players to give him more possessions.
Houston Texans- Quarterback
Davis Mills had the unenviable task of filling the massive void left by the departure of Deshaun Watson, and it'd be an understatement to say he failed.
Indeed, he didn't have many quality pass catchers, but he was also benched at one point last season, so new coach DeMeco Ryans has a lot of things to address in the weeks to come.
Arizona Cardinals- Edge Rusher
The retirement of J.J. Watt is a significant loss for the team from the desert, as he led the Cardinals in pressures (56), and pass rushing snaps (523) last season.
While Markus Golden has been a solid presence and showed he can step up his game, Jonathan Gannon could use more depth along the edge to hide some of the other deficiencies this group has.
Indianapolis Colts- Quarterback
It was only one year, but it feels like, given his age, there's enough evidence to suggest the Colts should move on from Matt Ryan as he threw for a mere 3,057 yards in 2022, the lowest of his NFL career, and he tossed 13 picks, while producing his second-worst QB rating since entering the league (83.9).
They haven't found a capable person behind center since Andrew Luck retired and seeing as they get the #4 overall pick in this year's draft, it'll be interesting to see if they trade up or decide to wait and hope someone they want is available.
Seattle Seahawks- Wide Receiver
The Seahawks have an outstanding young running back, who should be a mainstay for years to come, but veterans like DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett are getting up there in years.
Those two are reliable receivers that can still put up some solid numbers, but Pete Carroll's crew could use a number three target to make them a little more dynamic and less predictable in the passing game.
Detroit Lions- Cornerback
It's obvious what held the Lions back in 2022, the cover game, as Dan Campbell's team allowed a 110.4 passer rating and 9.2 yards per attempt.
There are several youngsters who they drafted at cornerback in recent years, but none have stepped it up as of yet, so Campbell has to figure out whether it's time to move on with someone new or find a way to develop the youngsters quicker.
Las Vegas Raiders- Quarterback
While it seemed like Derek Carr wasn't working out, no one else on Josh McDaniels' depth chart right now would make one feel confident that this offense can thrive in the passing department.
There's some quality, experience and explosiveness on this roster at the receiver position, but without an intelligent quarterback, all of that talent could go to waste.
Atlanta Falcons- Edge Rusher
Plenty of issues plagued this team defensively in 2022, as they gave up a score on 43.5% of their drives, and this team needs an injection of talent all over the field.
They also need to improve in pass coverage; however, being more aggressive and hurrying the quarterback seems like a need that's more urgent and can be addressed, be it at the draft or in free agency.
Carolina Panthers- Tight End
Carolina could use a reliable tight end who can help in pass protection and catching, as they were too predictable when throwing the ball last season.
Their top tight end was Ian Thomas, who had only 197 yards through the air, so Frank Reich has to find someone who can take some pressure off his wide receivers.
Philadelphia Eagles- Running Back
When you have the kind of season the Eagles just produced, there's not much missing, but with free agency just around the corner, the run game might need some help.
That's because Miles Sanders and Boston Scott are expected to be on the free agent market.
If they can't retain them, Nick Sirianni will have to look for someone capable of putting them in short-yardage situations and one who can finish drives, something Scott and Sanders did brilliantly in 2022.
Tennessee Titans- Wide Receiver
Derrick Henry seemed like he had the weight of the world on his shoulders at times last season because no one showed they could be a deep threat down the field.
In retrospect, trading A.J. Brown was a disastrous decision for the Titans, and although this team could use more speed and power along the offensive line, their top receiver Robert Woods only posted 527 yards through the air last year, while they had a mere 16 touchdown passes.
New York Jets- Quarterback
Zach Wilson looks like a draft bust, and Robert Saleh has said he wants Mike White back, though I don't think White’s body of work so far is enough to prove he can take this offense to the next level.
There are talented receivers like Garrett Wilson, while a healthy Breece Hall could help the run game, and if they can add a veteran presence behind center, be it Aaron Rodgers or someone else, it might be enough for them to become a playoff team.
New England Patriots- Receiver
With Jakobi Meyers expected to hit the free agent market, the Pats would be wise to add someone at that position.
Bill O'Brien should help this group offensively, but I believe they need a dependable pass catcher to enable Mac Jones to take a step further in his progression as an NFL starter.
Green Bay Packers- Tight End
Whether it's Aaron Rodgers or Jordan Love at quarterback in Green Bay, Matt LaFleur has to add an extra weapon or two in the receiving game.
The Packers' wideouts showed promise in 2022, but they are thin at tight end, with Mercedes Lewis seemingly near the end of his career and Robert Tonyan averaging a mere 1.27 yards per route run last season, only moving the chains 20 times.
Washington Commanders- Quarterback
Carson Wentz is off their books, and although Taylor Heinicke sometimes showed promise, and there's a belief that Sam Howell could be the guy, Ron Rivera could be gambling with either QB who do not have enough experience to suggest they’ll improve in the passing game in 2023.
Pittsburgh Steelers- Cornerback
The Steelers' cover game isn't bad, but they could use a ball hawk capable of containing some of the most dangerous wideouts in the NFL.
Last season Cameron Sutton allowed 50% of the targets against him to be caught, while Levi Wallace gave up 15.8 yards per catch.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Quarterback
Following in the footsteps of the G.O.A.T. is not a position anyone would envy, but someone in Tampa will have to step up, and at the moment, their quarterback depth is not great, with Blaine Gabbert at the top of the charts.
Perhaps the former Jag can have a Geno Smith-like rise, but it seems unlikely, while Kyle Trask has been buried for years as the third-stringer, so I think the Bucs need a QB with a solid resume in the worst way.
Los Angeles Chargers- Interior Defensive Line
The Chargers were dead last against the run last season, surrendering 5.4 yards per carry, and they crumbled in the playoffs when they needed a stop more than ever.
Austin Johnson and Sebastian Joseph-Day couldn't cut it in 2022, while Morgan Fox was the only interior defender with over 20 pressures, so I think the Chargers need someone to compliment Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa.
Baltimore Ravens- Wide Receiver
For obvious reasons, Lamar Jackson's future will be closely monitored over the coming weeks, but as things stand right now, whether he decides to move on or not, the Ravens didn't trust the passing game throughout last season.
An injury to Rashod Bateman put them in a bind, but even if he comes back and plays up to his potential, John Harbaugh could use an upgrade at that position.
Minnesota Vikings- Defensive Tackle
It remains to be seen if Za'Darius Smith and Danielle Hunter, who combined for 156 pressures last season, will return, but even so, this team needs some help stopping the run.
In 2022 the Vikings allowed a 4.5-yard average on the ground, which was 21st in the NFL, and aside from Dalvin Tomlinson, no one stepped up on the interior line to provide much heat.
Jacksonville Jaguars- Cornerback
The Jags took some massive steps in 2022, but this secondary is a far cry from the one we saw in 2017 when they had perhaps the two best corners in the game in Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye.
Shaquill Griffin has not done enough to earn his high salary, and he might be cut, while overall, this group was far too easy to throw against during the regular season and playoffs.
New York Giants- Interior Offensive Line
Although the Giants made great strides under Brain Daboll, pass protection was still a sore spot for them last season.
Andrew Thomas is an elite left tackle, and Evan Neal has the potential to be a great blocker along the right side; however, New York allowed 212 pressures in 2022, 114 of which came along the interior.
Dallas Cowboys- Wide Receiver
There's no doubt the Cowboys have some playmakers at wideout but receiving depth has been a problem since they dealt Amari Cooper to the Browns.
Outside of CeeDee Lamb, no one was particularly dependable at moving the chains in clutch situations, with Lamb accounting for 75 first downs, while no other Dallas receiver had more than 34.
Buffalo Bills- Offensive Line
If their loss to the Bengals in the postseason taught us anything, it's that as good as Josh Allen is at scrambling, this team has to do a better job at protecting their star quarterback.
The current offensive line is the most problematic thing plaguing Sean McDermott's squad, as they surrendered 211 pressures in 2022.
Although Stefon Diggs could use more help in the receiving department, fixing the O-line should come first.
Cincinnati Bengals- Offensive Tackle
There were times in 2022 when Joe Burrow had time in the pocket, but Zac Taylor's offensive line still lacked consistency.
Jonah Williams conceded the most sacks by any tackle in the 2022 regular season (12), while La'el Collins did his best work as a run blocker, though he surrendered 34 pressures.
New Orleans Saints- Defensive Lineman
Marcus Davenport has yet to justify his place as a solid D-lineman and moving up to draft him seems like a boneheaded move as he produced just 34 pressures in 2022 and struggled against the run.
At 34, time is catching up to Cameron Jordan, and the Saints need someone who can hurry opposing QBs next season.
Kansas City Chiefs- Edge Rusher
Outside of Chris Jones, the Chiefs have no one who opposing offensive lines should be afraid of, with Frank Clark and George Karlaftis providing little help in the pass-rushing department.
Jones can't do it all on his own, and the Chiefs should try and sign someone capable of bringing the heat, or else teams will double and triple team Jones in 2023, and if so, he may not be as effective at getting to opposing quarterbacks.
Cleveland Browns- Interior Defensive Line
The Browns were remarkably ineffective at generating pressure along the interior last year, with Taven Bryan leading the way, producing only 23 pressures from 359 pass-running snaps.
Myles Garrett may be one of the best defensive linemen in the game, but for now, he has little to no supporting cast.
Denver Broncos- Interior Defensive Line
The Broncos' defence was among the few bright spots in 2022, but the interior struggled.
Dre'Mont Jones had 45 pressures on 448 rushes which was the best for them on the interior, though that was not enough to provide them with enough pass-rushing depth.
Los Angeles Rams- Offensive Line
It's difficult to pinpoint all of the flaws of the 2021 Super Bowl champions, but protecting their quarterback was up there last year.
They allowed 23 pressures and took seven sacks in their season opener versus the Bills, and things only got worse as the season rolled along.
Miami Dolphins- Offensive Line
There is a trio of players who have sometimes been sharp in the Dolphins’ blocking game, namely Terron Armstead, Connor Williams and Robert Hunt; however, some weak links need upgrading.
The Dolphins would be wise to have a contingency plan and more depth to block inside if Armstead suffers another injury.
San Francisco 49ers- Interior Defensive Line
The NFC title game had to have caused the Niners' defensive line coach all sorts of fits as they couldn't contain the Eagles' running attack.
There are very few holes offensively and defensively on this team, but a proven run-stopper might be the only thing standing in their way of hoisting the Lombardi Trophy.
Sports Tree Profile

By: Joel Lefevre


Up Next

Sports Tree Blog


Read more2024-06-10 · 3 min read
UEFA Champions League/Soccer
Sports Tree Blog


Read more2024-05-10 · 2 min read

Sports Tree

© 2024 Sports Tree LTD.

The sports tree newsletter

Sign up for the newsletter

By submitting your email, you agree to our Terms of Service  and Privacy Policy. You can opt out at any time.