1. Wide Receiver
The Minnesota Vikings need to upgrade the talent around Christian Ponder. Michael Jenkins has already been cut, and to make matters worse, it sounds as though Percy Harvin could be traded at some point this offseason. This is a position that must be address with a high-profile free agent, or in the first round of the draft.
The Vikings could use an upgrade at both middle and weak-side linebacker, especially if Erin Henderson isn’t re-signed. Arthur Brown and Alec Ogletree could be options in the first round.
3. Defensive Tackle
The Williams wall crumbled a few years ago and the Vikings interior defensive line hasn’t been the same since. They could use a nose tackle to plug in next to Kevin Williams.
1. Weak-side linebacker
The Cincinnati Bengals have relatively few glaring holes to fill. As a result, their primary needs are fairly specific. Vontaze Burfict is expected to shift to inside linebacker to replace Rey Maualuga, leaving a gaping hole on the weak side. This could be addressed in the second round with Arthur Brown.
2. Right Tackle
Re-signing Andre Smith would solve this issue, but he’s expected to command a fairly hefty price tag, and considering his inconsistency and weight issues, he may not be worth it. The Bengals may consider addressing this in the first round with Alabama’s D.J. Fluker.
3. Running Back
BenJarvus Green-Ellis is servicable, and the Bengals could certainly survive another year with him as the feature back. But they should at least entertain the idea of adding a younger option such as Eddie Lacy in the first or second round.
1. Offensive Line
If the Chicago Bears could pull it off, they would love to tear down the offensive line and start over in 2013. Even 2011 first-round pick Gabe Carimi’s job is in jeopardy, as he may be moved inside to guard in the near future. They have to come away with at least one starting lineman in free agency and another within the first three rounds of the draft.
2. Tight End
The Bears have some of the best blocking tight ends in the league in Kellen Davis and Matt Spaeth, but with Mike Martz long gone it’s time to find another pass catcher. Tyler Eifert would be a great addition in the first round.
The Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs era is nearly over, and no one on the current roster is ready to fill their shoes. Both could be back in 2013, but youth and depth are definitely needed.
1. Middle Linebacker
The New York Giants can’t seem to find a capable mike linebacker. Chase Blackburn, Mark Herzlich, Greg Jones and Jacquian Williams have all tried and failed to fill the hole over the past two seasons. Kevin Minter and Alec Ogletree could be options in the first round. Manti Te’o is another possibility.
2. Tight End
Martellus Bennett may be re-signed, but if he’s allowed to walk the Giants have a glaring hole at tight end. Bear Pascoe is a great blocking tight end, but Eli Manning needs someone who can be a weapon in the passing game. Tom Coughlin has always preferred well-rounded tight ends, which limits his options, but Tyler Eifert might be a perfect fit in the first round.
3. Offensive Line
The Giants could get by in 2013 with the line as its currently constructed, but the could use some upgrades (especially at left guard) and some added depth. Three of their starters (Diehl, Snee and Baas) are 31 or older.
1. Offensive Line
Tyron Smith and Nate Livings have the left side of the Dallas Cowboys line under control, but the other three positions are up for grabs. Right guard might be the most glaring hole, but there’s been talk of moving Doug Free inside, which would open up the right tackle position. D.J. Fluker could be an option in the first round.
2. Defensive Line
The Cowboys don’t have a glaring hole in the defensive line, but depth is needed and a few upgrades couldn’t hurt. There transitioning to Monte Kiffin’s 4-3 defense, which means personnel changes are definitely coming. Kawann Short could be a first-round possibility.
3. Strong Safety
Neither Danny McCray nor Barry Church have gotten the job done in recent years. They need to add a safety who can step up and play the run. Matt Elam would be a great addition in the second round.