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2024 NFL Draft Positional Team Needs Analysis

Evolving NFL Team Building Strategies

Building a successful team in the ever-evolving landscape of the NFL has seen significant shifts, particularly in the approach to the off-season and draft strategies. Traditionally, the backbone of roster construction lay in the gradual accumulation of talent through the NFL Draft, with free agency playing a supporting role. However, recent trends have showcased a change in philosophy, with some franchises adopting a more aggressive stance in both the draft and free agency.

Los Angeles Rams: A Case Study in Aggressive Team Building

The Los Angeles Rams’ 2021 Super Bowl victory, driven by their bold trade for quarterback Matthew Stafford, exemplifies this new approach, demonstrating that immediate success can be achieved by pushing all chips to the center. Yet, the subsequent season highlighted the risks of such a strategy, as the Rams faced challenges in sustaining their success due to heavy investment in a few key players and depleted draft capital.

Blended Approaches: Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs

On the other hand, teams like the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs illustrate a more blended approach. The Eagles, leveraging aggressive moves - like acquiring AJ Brown - and astute draft choices, have managed to strike a balance, propelling them to Super Bowl contention. Similarly, the Chiefs, led by Patrick Mahomes, embody a philosophy of steady, long-term team building through the draft, supplemented by strategic free-agency decisions. This approach, akin to the Patriots' during their dynasty years, suggests a sustainable model for consistent success.

The Dynamic NFL Landscape and Future Strategies

These varied strategies underscore a more dynamic NFL landscape, where the draft remains a fundamental element but is now part of a broader, more nuanced approach to team building. The key for franchises lies in adapting to this changing environment - balancing the immediacy of free agency acquisitions with the long-term benefits of a well-executed draft strategy - to craft a championship-quality roster.

Leveraging Analytical Models and Film Review in the NFL

In the intricate and competitive realm of the NFL, the importance of leveraging analytical models and film review for self-scouting and evaluating draft talent is paramount. Every NFL team employs a comprehensive approach, integrating data analysis and detailed film review to understand their team's strengths, weaknesses, and needs. This meticulous process forms the backbone of preparing for the NFL Draft, allowing teams to pinpoint prospects that align with their specific requirements strategically.

Team Needs Analysis for the 2024 NFL Draft

The Team Needs analysis offered provides an early, insightful overview of potential strategies and considerations for each team ahead of the 2024 NFL Draft. By analyzing positional needs and assessing the current roster, teams can navigate the draft with a clear understanding of which positions require bolstering. This is not just about finding the best talent available; it's about finding the right fit for each team's unique system and future aspirations.

Importance of Positional Need Understanding for NFL Teams

Additionally, understanding the level of need by position is crucial for NFL General Managers and front-office personnel. This knowledge equips them to prepare for various scenarios, whether trading up for a high-value player or finding hidden gems in later rounds. The positional overview we provide in the below analysis is derived from comprehensive team needs data. This strategic insight is invaluable for making informed decisions that shape the future of NFL franchises.

NFL Team Needs Overview

The data below is an overview of positional needs for every NFL team.

  • Offensive Linemen (OL): 23%

  • Cornerbacks (CB): 23%

  • Edge Rushers (Edge): 23%

  • Wide Receivers (WR): 14%

  • Defensive Tackles (DT): 14%

  • Quarterbacks (QB): 9%

  • Tight Ends (TE): 9%

  • Other Needs: 8%

The current data indicates a substantial demand among NFL teams for bolstering their offensive lines, with 23% of team needs focused on Offensive Linemen (OL). This trend is reflective of the league's emphasis on protecting quarterbacks. Similarly, with the NFL evolving into a predominantly passing league, the same percentage of needs (23%) is directed toward acquiring skilled Cornerbacks (CB) and Edge Rushers (Edge). These positions are critical for enhancing pass defense and applying pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

Preliminary Individual NFL Draft Team Needs Analysis

Chicago Bears (via CAR)

  • Primary Need: OL

  • Alternate Needs: OT, IOL, WR, TE, Edge

  • Needs Analysis: Focus on interior offensive line and overall depth.

Arizona Cardinals

  • Primary Need: CB

  • Alternate Needs: CB, WR, DT, IOL, TE

  • Needs Analysis: Decisions to make regarding tight end and wide receiver positions.

New England Patriots

  • Primary Need: QB

  • Alternate Needs: QB, CB, TE, OT, WR

  • Needs Analysis: Require attention to offensive line depth.

Chicago Bears

  • Primary Need: OL

  • Alternate Needs: OT, IOL, WR, TE, Edge

  • Needs Analysis: Focus on interior offensive line and overall depth.

Washington Commanders

  • Primary Need: EDGE

  • Alternate Needs: Edge, WR, OT, LB, CB

  • Needs Analysis: Necessity for linebacker and depth in various positions.

New York Giants

  • Primary Need: OL

  • Alternate Needs: RB, DT, QB, OL, TE

  • Needs Analysis: Emphasis on building around young offensive linemen.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Primary Need: IOL

  • Alternate Needs: QB, IOL, LB, S, CB

  • Needs Analysis: Likely looking for a long-term solution at quarterback.

New York Jets

  • Primary Need: OT

  • Alternate Needs: OT, IOL, QB, S, WR

  • Needs Analysis: Consideration for wide receiver and offensive line.

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Primary Need: CB

  • Alternate Needs: CB, RB, DT, TE, WR

  • Needs Analysis: Need for depth at receiver and possible changes in the roster.

Tennessee Titans

  • Primary Need: OT

  • Alternate Needs: OT, WR, Edge, RB, DT

  • Needs Analysis: Focus on interior defensive line and overall roster depth.

Baltimore Ravens

  • Primary Need: IDL

  • Alternate Needs: DT, WR, OG, RB, CB

  • Needs Analysis: Running back as a potential need.

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Primary Need: CB

  • Alternate Needs: RB, Edge, WR, LB, CB

  • Needs Analysis: Focus on defensive line.

No 1st Round Pick - Carolina Panthers

  • Primary Need: OL

  • Alternate Needs: Edge, WR, CB, LB, IOL

  • Needs Analysis: Focus on offensive improvement and receiving corps.

No 1st Round Pick - Cleveland Browns

  • Primary Need: OT

  • Alternate Needs: S, OT, Edge, DT, LB

  • Needs Analysis: Emphasis on defensive backfield and line.


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