NFL Draft: 2014 Draft Needs

2014 Draft Needs: NFC West 

January, 10, 2014
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A strong argument could be made that the NFC West is the best division in the NFL. In fact, there were three teams that held winning records. Seattle was 13-3 while securing the top seed in the NFC, San Francisco finished 12-4 while securing a wild-card spot and the Cardinals were on the outside looking in despite an impressive turnaround from last year and getting to 10-6. In addition, the Rams were able hold things together with a 7-9 record, despite the loss of quarterback Sam Bradford, and they have a bright future as a young and talented roster continues to gain experience.

With that said, here is a look at the positions and prospects each team could be targeting in the final division of our league-wide series the past two weeks. As usual, draft-eligible non-seniors are denoted with an asterisk.

ARIZONA CARDINALS (10-6)

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2014 Draft Needs: NFC North 

January, 9, 2014
Jan 9
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Blake BortlesMatt Kartozian/USA TODAY SportsWill Central Florida QB Blake Bortles be around long enough to land with the Minnesota Vikings?

We're examining the NFC North in our division-by-division early breakdown of team needs. The Lions and Bears both faltered down the stretch, allowing the Packers to steal the division crown although they finished with just an 8-7-1 record. There will be a few new coaching regimes within the division in 2014, as both the Lions (Jim Schwartz) and Vikings (Leslie Frazier) fired their head coaches.

Here is a very early look at the position along with a few prospects that each team could be targeting as we get closer to this May's draft. As usual, draft-eligible non-seniors are denoted with an asterisk.

CHICAGO BEARS (8-8)
Draft Position: No. 14 overall
Needs: Defensive line, defensive back, guard/center

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2014 Draft Needs: NFC East 

January, 9, 2014
Jan 9
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The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft is less than a week away and we are three months from the start of free agency, but it's never too early to start examining teams' potential needs and possible fits for the 2014 draft. Adjustments can always be made along the way.

Here's an early look at the NFC East, where Washington is one of the more intriguing teams heading into the offseason. The Redskins have just hired Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden as head coach and are without a first-round pick coming off a 3-13 season.

There are plenty of plotlines when it comes to the other three teams too. Can Dallas find the players it needs to strengthen the defense and get back into the playoffs? Can a Giants organization that has seen quarterback Eli Manning's numbers regress over the past two seasons and has several decisions to make in free agency make the right moves to regain its Super Bowl-contender status? Can the Eagles build on a strong start under first-year coach Chip Kelly and take the next step in Year 2?

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2014 Draft Needs: NFC South 

January, 7, 2014
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BarrJonathan Moore/Getty ImagesCould UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr end up playing for Lovie Smith in Tampa Bay?

The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft is Jan. 15 and we are two months away from the start of free agency, but it's never too early to start examining teams' potential needs and possible fits for the 2014 draft. Adjustments can always be made along the way.

Here's an early look at the NFC South, where the silver lining for Atlanta fans coming off a disappointing season is the Falcons pick No. 6 overall. It will also be interesting to see what Tampa Bay does with the No. 7 overall pick. New coach Lovie Smith reportedly has the final say over all personnel matters, and the Buccaneers have yet to name a new general manager.

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2014 Draft Needs: AFC West 

January, 6, 2014
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Today, we make an early breakdown of the team needs for AFC West in our division-by-division series. Denver continued to have a stranglehold on the division, securing their third straight division title. After having the first overall pick in last year's draft, the Chiefs made huge strides to close the gap with the Broncos as they operated under new management. San Diego was able to sneak into the playoffs (and advance to the divisional round) while the Raiders continue to search for answers in trying to end a streak of 11 straight losing seasons.

Here is a quick look at what positions and prospects each team could target in the 2014 draft. As always, draft-eligible non-seniors are denoted with an asterisk.

DENVER BRONCOS (13-3)

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2014 Draft Needs: AFC East 

January, 2, 2014
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The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft is Jan. 15 and we are three months away from the start of free agency. Still, it's never too early to start examining teams' potential team needs and possible fits for the 2014 draft. Adjustments can always be made along the way.

Here's an early look at the AFC East, where the Patriots continue their division dominance despite appearing vulnerable this year. So what do the Jets, Dolphins and Bills need to do to get back into the playoffs and compete for a championship? As usual, draft-eligible non-seniors are denoted with an asterisk.

BUFFALO BILLS

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2014 Draft Needs: AFC South 

December, 31, 2013
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Jadeveon ClowneyAP Photo/Stephen MortonWill South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney end up in the AFC South?

New head coaches means likely changes in the kind of player respective teams will target, the deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft is Jan. 15 and we are three-plus months away from the start of free agency.

Still, it's never too early to start examining teams' potential needs and possible fits for the 2014 draft. Adjustments can always be made along the way.

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