2024 NFL Draft: Top needs for all 32 teams

Knowing the difference between wants and needs can be a life skill. We’re about to find out where 32 NFL general managers rate in this category.

The 2024 NFL Draft kicks off April 25 and there are schools of thought in every front office as to whether the best player available — generally defended as the primary default setting for the draft — or best fit for a specific, existing need makes more sense.

In reality, a confluence of the two is the sweet spot every franchise targets.

Take the Chicago Bears.

Unless you are driving the Tyson Bagent bandwagon, quarterback stands as the No. 1 need for general manager Ryan Poles. He essentially made the same admission with the delayed consummation of a trade of 2021 first-rounder Justin Fields to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Chicago has the No. 9 pick to invest on another need — or BPA — or Poles could opt to trade down and gather more draft capital. The Bears have only four total draft picks thanks to trades for defensive end Montez Sweat and wide receiver Chase Claypool.

Here are the top needs for all 32 teams listed in the current 2024 draft order.

Chicago Bears

QB, Edge, OT, WR, DT

Set to select the first overall pick for the third time in franchise history, the Bears are still looking for stability at quarterback in what will be their 30th starter since 2000.

Washington Commanders

QB, OT, Edge

Another reset in Washington this offseason brings the search for a new QB to help the franchise reach its first Super Bowl in 32 years.

New England Patriots

QB, WR, CB, OT, DT

Owner Robert Kraft remains blunt about big changes to the offense – starting with a clean slate at quarterback.

Arizona Cardinals

WR, OL, CB, DL, RB

One pick away from the No. 3 slot where they selected Larry Fitzgerald in 2004.

Los Angeles Chargers

CB, RB, OT, WR, DT

Shoring up the defense and pass protection are peak priorities under new coach Jim Harbaugh.

New York Giants

CB, RB, WR, QB, S

With or without Daniel Jones, the Giants have work to do at a number of positions.

Tennessee Titans

Edge, OT, DT, WR, TE

Likely in position to select the best defensive player in the draft or a top-ranked playmaker, but need is great on offensive line, too.

Atlanta Falcons

CB, Edge, DT, OL, S

New coach Raheem Morris covets pass rush and takeaways.

New York Jets

OL, TE, WR, S, CB, QB

Aaron Rodgers returns from Achilles surgery as a pocket passer only preserved by pristine protection from the offensive line.

Minnesota Vikings

QB, OL, Edge, DT-NT, WR

Kirk Cousins hit the exit for Atlanta in free agency and Minnesota armed up with a second first-round pick to help fill the void.

Denver Broncos

QB, WR, CB, DT, Edge

No longer tethered to Russell Wilson — only by his record dead cap hit — it’s likely a transition season for the Broncos.

Las Vegas Raiders

QB, CB, WR, OT, OL

Head coach Antonio Pierce plans to construct a winner in the trenches.

New Orleans Saints

OT, WR, QB, CB, DT

Multiple offensive linemen could be added by the Saints due to injuries and ineffective play last season.

Indianapolis Colts

WR, CB, S, RB, TE

Michael Pittman stayed but offensive firepower must improve for second-year QB Anthony Richardson to reach his potential.

Seattle Seahawks

OL, TE, LB, Edge, DL

No longer Pete Carroll’s operation, the Seahawks still have vacancies at key front seven positions and the interior offensive line.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Edge, DT, CB, OT, WR

Josh Allen cashed in after his 17.5-sack season and would thrive with a better supporting cast.

Cincinnati Bengals

DT, OT, TE, WR, CB

An active interior pass rusher might lift the Bengals to the top tier of contenders.

Los Angeles Rams

DT, CB, OT, CB, QB

Aaron Donald’s retirement is cause for concern as the Rams make a first-round pick for the first time since 2016 (Jared Goff).

Pittsburgh Steelers

OT, WR, CB, DT, S

Pittsburgh invested its top pick on offense in every draft since 2019.

Miami Dolphins

OL, DT, TE, Edge, LB

Sneaky solid free agency haul left a few remaining voids, including right guard, and left tackle Terron Armstead’s durability is a lingering worry.

Philadelphia Eagles

S, CB, TE, OT, Edge

Welcomed back C.J. Gardner-Johnson in free agency but free safety and pass rushers are key concerns.

Dallas Cowboys

OT, LB, WR, RB, DT

No longer is Tyron Smith old reliable at left tackle. Even if Tyler Smith slides outside, offensive line additions are priority.

Green Bay Packers

OT, DT, CB, S, LB

With the future in Jordan Love’s hands, the Packers address front five.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Edge, CB, S, LB, OL

GM Jason Licht back to the well: Bucs drafted defensive linemen in first round in 2018, 2021, 2023.

Buffalo Bills

WR, DT, Edge, RB, CB

Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis are gone, leaving Buffalo with a largely new cast outside.

Detroit Lions

CB, S, Edge, OL, WR

Free agent addition Carlton Davis proclaimed himself the No. 1 corner in Detroit. Still, Lions GM admits team covets cornerbacks.

Baltimore Ravens

OL, WR, Edge, S, DL

Figuring out the left side of the line and a long-term plan at tackle would be wise given investment in Lamar Jackson.

San Francisco 49ers

OL, WR, LB, CB, TE

Defensive line remains a default play for GM John Lynch but the O-line is overdue some attention.

Kansas City Chiefs

OT, CB, RB, WR, TE

More playmakers won’t hurt Patrick Mahomes, as long as the Chiefs stabilize blocking, too. Leading receiver Rashee Rice’s arrest adds uncertainty despite KC signing WR Hollywood Brown.

Carolina Panthers

WR, CB, Edge, DT, TE

Heavily invested in improving offensive line. Time to find a big-play receiver for Bryce Young.

Houston Texans

CB, LB, OL, DL, TE

Pair of 2023 first-rounders worked out quite nicely (CJ Stroud, Will Anderson Jr.). Shopping to fill niche roles shows just how far the roster has come since 2022.

Cleveland Browns

QB, RB, LB, DT, WR

Deshaun Watson played 12 games in two seasons and is coming off of shoulder surgery, while RB Nick Chubb’s status will be up in the air until he proves recovered from knee reconstruction.

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