Published On: Fri, Apr 27th, 2018

5 glaring areas of need entering NFL Draft Round 2

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With only the Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, New England Patriots, and Baltimore Ravens having multiple picks in Thursday’s first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, other teams were unable to address multiple areas of need on their respective rosters.

It’s far too early to seriously criticize first-round selections, but these five teams are left with glaring weaknesses heading into Rounds 2 and 3.

Seahawks’ offensive line


The Seahawks made a bold pick in taking running back Rashaad Penny at No. 27. He’ll form a well-balanced tandem with sophomore Chris Carson in his return from injury to start the 2018 season, but the team will first need to get them some help up front.

Regardless of the backfield talent, both rushers – and quarterback Russell Wilson – will face further difficulty if the team doesn’t address an offensive line that ranked 27th last season, according to Pro Football Focus. Only two teams allowed more than their 209 pressures, and only nine conceded more sacks.

Seahawks rushers averaged just 1.15 yards before contact in 2017, the fifth-lowest rate in the league.

Broncos’ red-zone presence

Only two teams have scored touchdowns on fewer than 50 percent of their red zone visits in each of the past two seasons: the Kansas City Chiefs and the Denver Broncos, the latter of whom scored on just 39.58 percent of trips to the opponent’s 20-yard line in 2017.

Running back C.J. Anderson was released by Denver, leaving Devontae Booker and De’Angelo Henderson atop the RB depth chart. The free-agent signing of quarterback Case Keenum will boost the productivity of wide receivers Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, but a running back and a big tight end should be targeted to convert easy goal-line scores.

Colts’ pass defense

The Indianapolis Colts‘ 3,946 passing yards allowed last season ranked 28th. They allowed 23 touchdowns to just 13 interceptions and recorded fewer sacks than all teams but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

They strengthened their own offensive line in Round 1 with guard Quenton Nelson at No. 6 overall, but will need to find a way through the opponent’s front with more consistency in order to pressure quarterbacks and force more off-target throws.

Bills’ rush defense


Defensive tackle Star Lotulelei was signed as a free agent to play beside Jerry Hughes but is coming off a poor 2017 season with just 1.5 sacks in his final year with the Carolina Panthers, and the left side of the line needs addressing.

The Bills allowed a league-worst 22 rushing touchdowns and only three teams gave up more rushing yards last season.

Lions’ rushing attack

The Lions added tough center Frank Ragnow with the 20th overall selection. He’ll bring physicality and stability in the middle of the offensive line, but needs some help on his left side.

In choosing Ragnow in the first round, the Lions allowed the second and third running backs of the draft to go off the board in Penny and Sony Michel, respectively. LeGarrette Blount was added via free agency, but at 31 years old, he shouldn’t be counted on to lead the attack. Even if Blount can manage goal-line duties, the team will want to upgrade their supporting cast of Ameer Abdullah, Theo Riddick, and Zach Zenner.

(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)



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