- Gary Horton, Scouts Inc.
With NFL free agency slowing down, teams are in the middle of setting their draft boards for the 2012 NFL draft. No team filled all of its roster holes in free agency, so where are the areas of weakness for each roster heading into the draft?
Here are the top six needs for every NFL team leading into the draft, broken up by division. The AFC was released on Thursday. Here is the NFC file.
1. Cornerback: This defense gave up 34 touchdown passes a year ago with only eight interceptions. They just don't match up well even though they cover up their deficiencies with their Cover 2 zone schemes. Antoine Winfield is 35 years old and slowing down, Cedric Griffin is gone, Asher Allen, Marcus Sherels, Chris Carr and Zack Bowman add depth, but they are not elite players. However, Chris Cook is back after being cleared of serious legal problems, and he has some upside. They need a potential starter at CB from this draft.
2. Left tackle: This O-line gave up 49 sacks in 2011 and many of the problems were from QB Christian Ponder's blind side. Charlie Johnson got beat far too often. He isn't a terrible tackle but is better suited at guard, and his backup, DeMarcus Love, has some developmental qualities but is also probably better at guard. If they can find a starter and move Johnson inside, it will upgrade two positions.
Gary Horton of Scouts Inc. breaks down the top six offseason needs for every team in the NFC North.