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Team Needs for 2014

                        Early Team Needs 

1. Houston Texans

2013 Record: 2-14 
Team needs: QB, RT, OLB 
Analysis: The Texans have been relatively quiet in free agency and quarterback remains their top need. I'm not convinced Case Keenum is the long-term answer. I would be very surprised if they passed on the top signal-caller in this draft.

 2. St. Louis Rams

 2013 Record: 7-9 (Redskins, 3-13) 
  Team needs: WR, OL, S 
  Analysis: Rodger Saffold's return will plug one hole on the offensive line and his versatility means the Rams could address either tackle or guard in a strong OL draft. They have drafted several wide receivers in the last few years, but they still need a true No. 1 wide receiver. Tavon Austin has a bright future in the slot, but they still need a go-to-guy on the outside.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars

2013 Record: 4-12 
Team needs: QB, RB, OT 
Analysis: The Jaguars needed to upgrade their defensive front and they've done so with an aggressive free agency approach, by re-signing Jason Babin and adding Chris ClemonsRed Bryant and Ziggy Hood. Now, the clear draft focus has to be quarterback.

4. Cleveland Browns

2013 Record: 4-12 
Team needs: QB, OG, RB 
Analysis: I will be very surprised if theBrowns take any position other than a quarterback with their top pick, especially after releasing Brandon Weedenand Jason Campbell during the first week of free agency. They are loaded with extra picks in this draft, and they could package a few of them to move up for a QB of their liking.

5. Oakland Raiders

2013 Record: 4-12 
Team needs: QB, OL, WR 
Analysis: The Raiders, like three of the four teams drafting directly in front of them, are unsettled at quarterback. They could also use a legitimate No. 1 wide receiver. The free-agent additions of DE Justin Tuck and OLB LaMarr Woodley filled some needs. They are high on second-year OT Menelik Watson and newly acquired OT Austin Howard. However, they could use a talent upgrade at the guard spots and someone to push their two starting tackles.

6. Atlanta Falcons

2013 Record: 4-12 
Team needs: OLB, OT, TE 
Analysis: The Falcons got much bigger on defense with the free-agent additions of DE Tyson Jacksonand DT Paul Soliai, but they are still in dire need of a dynamic edge rusher. An offensive tackle like Jake Matthewswould also make a lot of sense with the top pick. It's a good tight end crop to find a replacement for Tony Gonzalez.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2013 Record: 4-12 
Needs: OT, OG, CB 
Analysis: New GM Jason Licht was ultra aggressive in free agency but the Buccaneerscould still use another guard and tackle (Michigan's Taylor Lewan would be a good fit with top pick) as well as more depth at corner. I wouldn't be shocked either if the Bucs used their top pick on a quarterback even after signing Josh McCown in free agency.

8. Minnesota Vikings

2013 Record: 5-10-1 
Team needs: QB, OG, S 
Analysis: In free agency, the Vikings kept their young pass rusher (Everson Griffen) and made additions to the cornerback spot. However, I don't believe Matt Cassel is the answer at QB, a position that will likely be addressed early in the draft.

9. Buffalo Bills

2013 Record: 6-10 
Team needs: RT, LB, WR 
Analysis: The Bills are set at one tackle spot with Cordy Glenn but they could use an upgrade on the opposite side. They added Keith Rivers in free agency but he's never lived up to his first-round billing, so LB still remains a position of need. If Sammy Watkins would somehow fall to No. 9, it would be difficult for Buffalo to pass.

10. Detroit Lions

2013 Record: 7-9 
Team needs: S, CB, OT 
Analysis: The Lions lack a playmaking safety and could also use an upgrade at cornerback, where it might be smart for them to draft more than one in the early rounds. Golden Tatewas a nice pickup in free agency and eases the WR need a bit.

11. Tennessee Titans

2013 Record: 7-9 
Team needs: QB, CB, RB 
Analysis: The Titans are a sleeper team to select a quarterback in the first round, and if not, they will likely address it somewhere because of Jake Locker's inability to stay healthy. Also, they must replace Pro Bowl cornerbackAlterraun Verner.

12. New York Giants

2013 Record: 7-9 
Team needs: DT, WR, CB 
Analysis: The Giants have been busy in free agency, adding depth to the offensive line and securing a power running back. They did suffer a couple losses along the defensive line, including DE Justin Tuck and DT Linval Joseph, that could be addressed early in the draft. They are also in need of some more speed and athleticism in the secondary.

13. St. Louis Rams

2013 Record: 7-9 
Team needs: WR, OL, S 
Analysis: If the Rams want to upgrade the safety position, they could easily slide down the board, collect some extra picks and still land one of the two elite safety prospects in this draft. They could address their need at wide receiver -- a position of strength and depth in this draft -- in the later rounds.

14. Chicago Bears

2013 Record: 8-8 
Team needs: S, CB, DT 
Analysis: Lamarr Houston was a nice addition to this defensive front but they still have plenty of issues on that side of the ball that need to be addressed in the draft.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers

2013 Record: 8-8 
Team needs: CB, DL, WR 
Analysis: The Steelers brought in safety help (Mike Mitchell) during the early portion of the free agency period but they need to add some youth to the cornerback spot.

16. Dallas Cowboys

2013 Record: 8-8 
Team needs: DT, DE, S 
Analysis: The Cowboys must replace DE DeMarcus Ware and DT Jason Hatcher and they are desperate for an impact safety. The safety position has been an issue for the past few years and it wouldn't be a surprise if they decided to address that problem with their first-round pick.

17. Baltimore Ravens

2013 Record: 8-8 
Team needs: C, RT, S 
Analysis: The Ravens locked up OT Eugene Monroe to play the left side but they need to replace Michael Oher on the right side. They also need to land a starting safety to play alongside Matt Elam, last year's top pick.

18. New York Jets

2013 Record: 8-8 
Team needs: OG, WR, CB 
Analysis: The Jets added Eric Decker in free agency but they could use another playmaker at wide receiver. Fortunately, this draft is loaded at the position and they could address other needs in the first round.

19. Miami Dolphins

2013 Record: 8-8 
Team needs: RT, OG, RB 
Analysis: Offensive tackle Branden Albert was a nice addition in free agency, but there's still plenty of work to be done with the offensive line. The Dolphins also need to find a three-down running back.

20. Arizona Cardinals

2013 Record: 10-6 
Team needs: CB, S, QB 
Analysis: The Cardinals already addressed their biggest need when they signed LT Jared Veldheer in free agency. With Carson Palmer 34 years old, they need to start thinking about his eventual replacement.

21. Green Bay Packers

2013 Record: 8-7-1 
Team needs: DL, S, WR 
Analysis: The Packers paid top dollar to keep CBSam Shields but they have some work to do in their defensive front, although bringing back B.J. Raji helps. Green Bay will also need to find TE Jermichael Finley's replacement.

22. Philadelphia Eagles

2013 Record: 10-6 
Team needs: S, OLB, DL 
Analysis: The Eagles added one safety in free agency (Malcolm Jenkins) but they still need another one.

23. Kansas City Chiefs

2013 Record: 11-5 
Team needs: WR, OG, S 
Analysis: The Chiefs lost two solid offensive guards in free agency (Jon Asamoah andGeoff Schwartz) and didn't land an impact wide receiver. Both areas should be addressed in the draft.

24. Cincinnati Bengals

2013 Record: 11-5 
Team needs: DE, OL, CB 
Analysis: The Bengals must replace DE Michael Johnson and OT Anthony Collins, and they need to add some young talent to the cornerback position.

25. San Diego Chargers

2013 Record: 9-7 
Team needs: CB, NT, WR 
Analysis: The Chargers need to upgrade the cornerback position and they need another young receiver to complement rising star Keenan Allen.

26. Cleveland Browns (from Colts)

2013 Record: 4-12 (Colts, 11-5) 
Team needs: QB, OG, RB 
Analysis: If the Browns pass on a quarterback with the fourth pick, they could grab one at 26, the pick they acquired from the Colts in the Trent Richardson trade. There are plenty of needs on offense.


27. New Orleans Saints

2013 Record: 11-5 
                     Team needs: CB, OL, OLB 
                     Analysis: The addition of Jairus Byrd gives the Saints one of the top safety tandems in the league. However, they still need to add an edge rusher and must upgrade the offensive line, especially at tackle. With all of the young, talented quarterbacks in the NFC, you can never have enough corners.

28. Carolina Panthers

2013 Record: 12-4 
Team needs: OT, DB, WR 
Analysis: The Panthers need to give Cam Newton more weapons on the outside, especially now with Steve Smith and Ted Ginn gone. They also must address the free agency losses of FS Mike Mitchell and CB Captain Munnerlyn in the secondary.


29. New England Patriots

2013 Record: 12-4 
                     Team needs: DL, C, WR 
                     Analysis: The Patriots need to get younger and more explosive in their defensive line. They have some promising young wideouts but they lack someone with the potential to be a true No. 1 receiver.

30. San Francisco 49ers

2013 Record: 12-4 
Team needs: WR, CB, ILB,C 
Analysis: The 49ers have tremendous talent on their roster but they could use an explosive wide receiver and more depth along the defensive front. Daniel Kilgore was re-signed to man the center position but it wouldn't hurt to bring in some competition.


31. Denver Broncos

2013 Record: 13-3 
                    Team needs: CB, WR, LB 
                    Analysis: The Broncos hit several home runs in free agency but they need more depth at the three spots mentioned above.

32. Seattle Seahawks

2013 Record: 13-3 
Team needs: WR, TE, DL 
Analysis: The Seahawks are loaded in the secondary and have plenty of pass rushers. However, they could use a big body up front to replace Red Bryant and a new weapon in the passing game for Russell Wilson to replace Golden Tate.

Teams currently without first-round pick after trading it away

Indianapolis Colts (traded to Browns)

2013 Record: 11-5 
Team needs: S, WR, LB 
                     Analysis: The Colts upgraded their defensive front by signing Arthur Jones but they must replace long-time starting safety Antoine Bethea. Would be nice to get Andrew Luck another receiving weapon, too.

Washington Redskins (traded to Rams)

2013 Record: 3-13 
Team needs: S, OL, LB 
Analysis: I love the addition of DE Jason Hatcher, but the back seven still has several holes that need to be filled.


                     2014 salary cap                                                  per team

                                2014 cap is projected to be                                   133 million

Team-by-team salary cap space after 3 week of trades

1. Oakland Raiders

Approximate Current Available Cap Space - $47.8 million (figure doesn’t include the signings of Justin Tuck, Lamar Woodley and Antonio Smith)


After failing to secure any of the market’s top guys, Reggie McKenzie opted to spend Oakland’s unlimited funds on veterans in their decline phase (Justin TuckLaMarr Woodley) and second-tier free agents (Tarell BrownAntonio Smith). If you forced me to come up with a compliment for McKenzie’s offseason thus far (not an easy task), he did correctly structure the deal of Austin Howard. The lack of a signing bonus in the Howard deal means no dead money is attached to this contract after 2014. Chances are he used this same front-loading method in the Tuck, Woodley and Smith deals, but I have not yet received those contract specifics.


2. Cleveland Browns

Approximate Current Available Cap Space - $39.9 million (figure doesn’t include the signing of Ben Tate)


Since 2007, 12 different quarterbacks have had the honor of starting a game for the Cleveland Browns. In an attempt to stabilize the position, Ray Farmer cut ties with both Brandon Weeden and Jason Campbell this past week—two moves that actually resulted in a net loss of 2014 salary cap space.


Two of Farmer’s other noteworthy transactions involved replacing recently departed defenders with high-profile free agents. Karlos Dansby takes the place of the recently released D’Qwell Jackson, while Donte Whitner will step in for T.J. Ward. What’s a bit surprising about the deals of Dansby and Whitner is that they each contained prorated signing bonuses. With an abundance of 2014 cap space, these deals could have been structured with more up-front money to avoid future cap obligations.


In an upgrade from the corpses that filled in for the Browns at running back after the Trent Richardson trade, Farmer also signed former Houston Texan Ben Tate (these contract specifics are not yet in.)  The Browns still have plenty of cap space, so look for them to try and lock Joe Haden and Alex Mack into long-term extensions in the coming weeks.


3. Cincinnati Bengals

Approximate Current Available Cap Space - $28.1 million


Notorious non-spenders, somebody should let the Bengals know that free agency started. The only team to enter the free agency period with more than $20 million in available cap space and somehow have more a week later, Cincinnati has done nothing to help its 2014 cause. They predictably let Michael Johnson walk, and reportedly won’t match Cleveland’s offer sheet for wide receiver Andrew Hawkins (which would add another $1.4 million to their current available cap figure). After having spent only $95,057,771 in cash last year, their 2014 current cash spending totals $88,727,771. They’re well behind pace in terms of meeting the NFL’s minimum spending requirements.


4. Jacksonville Jaguars

Approximate Current Available Cap Space - $25.3 million


Credit the Jaguars for not only using their fortunate cap situation to infuse the roster with talent, but also for structuring the contracts of this talent in an economically efficient manner. The deals of newly signed Zane Beadles,Chris ClemonsToby Gerhart and Dakota Watson all contain $0 in prorated bonus money.  GM David Caldwellalso used this “pay-as-you-go” method of structuring deals with Red Bryant and Chad Henne, who were locked up just prior to the start of free agency. The benefit of for Jacksonville is that they forego the ever-risky “kicking the can forward.”


5. New York Jets

Approximate Current Available Cap Space - $27.8 million


The age-old adage “if you’ve got it flaunt it” (or maybe those are Beyoncé lyrics) doesn’t apply to the current CBA. Due to the new carryover rules, there’s no reason to unnecessarily spend all of your available cap space. Fully aware of these circumstances, John Idzik—the former right-hand man to John Schneider—refuses to make any impulse buys.


The Jets not only received good bang for their buck with the signing of top free agent wide receiver Eric Decker, but Idzik structured the contract in an efficient manner. The dead money associated with the deal decreases from $11 million in 2015 to $4.5 million in 2016, meaning Gang Green will be able to part ways with Decker after two seasons if the signing doesn’t work out. Idzik also got good value on Austin Howard-replacement Breno Giamomini’s contract. With plenty of 2014 cap room left, look for Idzik to continue to look for market-bargains. 

6. Miami Dolphins

Approximate Current Available Cap Space - $25.2 million (figure doesn’t include the signing of Cortland Finnegan)


Miami used the first week of free agency to bolster its interior. They signed left tackle Brandon Albert to a contract (five years, $47 million) that contains no guaranteed money after 2015; the deals of defensive tackle’s Earl Mitchell(four years, $16 million) and Randy Starks (two years, $10 million) can both be cheaply ripped up after 2014. Miami also took a flyer on cornerback Cortland Finnegan (these contract specifics are not yet in), and even got some (potential) compensation for lost cause Jon Martin. With plenty of cap room still available, new GM Dennis Hickeywill continue to survey the market. He’s done well thus far.


7. Green Bay Packers

Approximate Current Available Cap Space - $24.2 million (figure doesn’t include the signing of Julius Peppers)

Like the Broncos, Patriots and Saints, the Packers are blessed to have a quarterback who, when healthy, ensures the franchise won’t ever be in a “rebuilding mode.” But unlike the situations in Denver, New England and New Orleans, Aaron Rodgers is just 30 years old and under contract until 2019. This has enabled the always-deliberateTed Thompson to meticulously navigate the 2014 open market despite having entered free agency with almost $30 million in cap space.


After re-signing B.J. Raji to a one-year pact and reportedly guaranteeing just $7.5 million of the 3 year, $30 million deal given to the aging Julius Peppers, Thompson will continue to look for free agent bargains. He is also in prime position to lock up Jordy Nelson and/or Randall Cobb (both free agents after 2014) to team-friendly extensions.


8. Philadelphia Eagles

Approximate Current Available Cap Space - $18.8 million (figure doesn’t include the extension of Darren Sproles)


The NFL’s most active team just prior to free agency, the Eagles added two significant pieces over the past week. The three-year, $15 million deal given to Malcolm Jenkins was structured in a team-friendly manner. Jenkins, who only received $6 million in full guarantees, could conceivably be released after this season if he suffers a serious injury towards the end of 2014. Philadelphia then made sure to extend Darren Sproles after trading for him, though I have not yet seen the specifics on the extension. The Eagles still possess one of the NFL’s more favorable salary cap pictures.


9. Buffalo Bills

Approximate Current Available Cap Space - $18.3 million (figure doesn’t include the re-signing of Scott Chandler)


Buffalo’s biggest splash came via the signing of free agent cornerback Corey Graham. Aside from a few other small moves, the Bills have remained quiet over this past week. Still way under the 2014 cap, look for the Bills to be more involved in free agency’s second week.


10. Minnesota Vikings

Approximate Current Available Cap Space - $16.3 million


After locking up Everson Griffen just prior to the start of free agency, the Vikings continued to add pieces to their defense. The five-year deal given to defensive tackle Linval Joseph, worth a total of $31.25 million, makes him the NFL’s 11th highest paid defensive tackle in terms of average annual salary.  It reads as a true two-year, $13 million deal (or $12.8 million if Joseph chooses to skip OTA’s this year), as his dead money figure decreases from $6 million in 2015 to $1.8 million in 2016. Captain Munnerlyn’s three-year, $11.25 million deal is certainly affordable. Even with Griffen and Joseph accounting for almost $15 million in 2014 cap space, Minnesota still has plenty of spending money.


                                 My 49ers 11 picks forecast                                                                Round 1, Pick 30 Trade up w/ Dallas for                                       16 pick Dallas gets 94 and 4th rounder                                          Brandin Cooks WR                                                                  Round 2 Pick 56  Trade up with                                                     Wash. for 34th pick                                                                           Wash gets 56, 77,242 f/ sf                                                             Jason Verrett CB                                        

                Round 2 Pick 61 Marus Martin C                                   Round 3 Pick 77 to Washington                                     Round 3 Pick 94 to Dallas 

                 Round 3 pick 100 (Comp pick)                               Aaron Colvin                                                         Round 4 Pick 129 Trade to Dallas                    

                 Round 5 Pick 170 Brandon Thomas

                 Round 6 to Jac. for Gabbert

                 Round 7 Picks 242 to wash, 243,                                        and 245


                                                                (OLD) Value Chart

Round 1

Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Round 6 Round 7
1 3,000 33 580 65 265 97 112 129 43 161 27 193 14.2
2 2,600 34 560 66 260 98 108 130 42 162 26.6 194 13.8
3 2,200 35 550 67 255 99 104 131 41 163 26.2 195 13.4
4 1,800 36 540 68 250 100 100 132 40 164 25.8 196 13
5 1,700 37 530 69 245 101 96 133 39.5 165 25.4 197 12.6
6 1,600 38 520 70 240 102 92 134 39 166 25 198 12.2
7 1,500 39 510 71 235 103 88 135 38.5 167 24.6 199 11.8
8 1,400 40 500 72 230 104 86 136 38 168 24.2 200 11.4
9 1,350 41 490 73 225 105 84 137 37.5 169 23.8 201 11
10 1,300 42 480 74 220 106 82 138 37 170 23.4 202 10.6
11 1,250 43 470 75 215 107 80 139 36.5 171 23 203 10.2
12 1,200 44 460 76 210 108 78 140 36 172 22.6 204 9.8
13 1,150 45 450 77 205 109 76 141 35.5 173 22.2 205 9.4
14 1,100 46 440 78 200 110 74 142 35 174 21.8 206 9
15 1,050 47 430 79 195 111 72 143 34.5 175 21.4 207 8.6
16 1,000 48 420 80 190 112 70 144 34 176 21 208 8.2
17 950 49 410 81 185 113 68 145 33.5 177 20.6 209 7.8
18 900 50 400 82 180 114 66 146 33 178 20.2 210 7.4
19 875 51 390 83 175 115 64 147 32.6 179 19.8 211 7
20 850 52 380 84 170 116 62 148 32.2 180 19.4 212 6.6
21 800 53 370 85 165 117 60 149 31.8 181 19 213 6.2
22 780 54 360 86 160 118 58 150 31.4 182 18.6 214 5.8
23 760 55 350 87 155 119 56 151 31 183 18.2 215 5.4
24 740 56 340 88 150 120 54 152 30.6 184 17.8 216 5
25 720 57 330 89 145 121 52 153 30.2 185 17.4 217 4.6
26 700 58 320 90 140 122 50 154 29.8 186 17 218 4.2
27 680 59 310 91 136 123 49 155 29.4 187 16.6 219 3.8
28 660 60 300 92 132 124 48 156 29 188 16.2 220 3.4
29 640 61 292 93 128 125 47 157 28.6 189 15.8 221 3
30 620 62 284 94 124 126 46 158 28.2 190 15.4 222 2.6
31 600 63 276 95 120 127 45 159 27.8 191 15 223 2.3
32 590 64 270 96 116 128 44 160 27.4 192 14.6 224 2