These constituents are adorable!
This is a look at the first-round order for the 2020 NFL Draft heading into Week 8, along with the top three needs for each team. The order is determined by record, using strength of schedule as the first tiebreaker (click here to see a full list of the draft-order tiebreakers). Keep in mind — teams 21-32 would make the playoffs if the season ended today and are marked as PL (short for playoffs) in the order below. The draft order for playoff teams is determined by the results of postseason play.
For a while on Sunday, it looked like we were heading for a special kind of pandemonium in the race for the 2020 draft’s top pick. The league’s two winless teams — the Dolphins and Bengals — held second-half leads over the Bills and Jaguars, respectively, in Week 7, only to watch them evaporate in the fourth quarter.
Had Miami and Cincinnati held on, we could have entered the midway point of the season with five one-win teams vying for the right to draft first. Alas, it’s still a battle of land vs. sea, with The Fish and The Big Cats still on course to determine which club will top the board when they meet on Dec. 22. Until then, we’re just a few surprise occurrences away from a team without a major need at quarterback ending up with the top pick and gobs of leverage over those who’ll be bidding for the services of the presumed next big thing at the position.
The needs for each team listed below offer just a snapshot of the areas that project to require the most attention as of today. Draft needs for NFL teams don’t crystallize until the spring, after free agency plugs some holes and creates others, but we are firm believers that it’s not too soon to see what might be coming around the corner.
The order and needs will evolve as we go along. Stay tuned. It’s going to be a rather inglorious ride.
Arrows indicate how far up or down a team has moved relative to last week.
Record: 0-6 (.585)
Previous week: No. 1
This week’s game: at Steelers
Biggest needs: QB, OT, edge rusher
The team that is supposedly playing for the future rather than the present has flirted with winning in each of the last two weeks, which doesn’t say a lot for the
Bills. Anyway, the
Dolphins are playing better football since their Week 5 bye. Kudos to Brian Flores. Maybe Miami will shock someone before the finish line mercifully greets this squad.
Record: 0-7 (.641 strength of schedule)
Previous week: No. 2
This week’s game: vs.
Rams (in London)
Biggest needs: QB, OL, LB
I understand not wanting to hand the reins over to a rookie QB during a week when the team has to travel overseas to play
Jalen Ramsey and Co., but barring some kind of masterpiece by
Andy Dalton against the
Rams, we have to be nearing
Ryan Finley’s first career start … right? Dalton is coming off the worst game (
three INTs, including a pick-six, vs. Jacksonville) of his worst season (career-low 77.9 passer rating). I know he doesn’t have much help around him, but it’s time for a change.
Record: 1-6 (.552)
Previous week: No. 4
This week’s game: vs. Seahawks
Biggest needs: DL, DB, OL
Vic Beasley, the former first-round pick who has 11.5 sacks in his last 37 games, feels like
he’s let Dan Quinn down. The
Falcons are feeling like they’re ready to bring
the Beasley era to an end. It’s turned hopeless in a hurry for an Atlanta team that has the 5-2
Seahawks, a bye week (is that when Arthur Blank makes a coaching change?), and the 6-1
Saints up next. Oh, and the
Falcons defense has five sacks in 2019, which is the fewest through seven games of a season by any team since 2009.
Record: 1-5 (.700)
Previous week: No. 5
This week’s game: at Jaguars
Biggest needs: OL, edge rusher, CB
Jets might have been Cowboys-ready, but they weren’t Patriots-ready.
Sam Darnold, who lived out what I imagine was his worst nightmare on Monday night, still needs a much-improved O-line and a better receiving corps. Those holes on defense? The Pats did what the Pats do, exposing them for all to see.
Record: 2-5 (.389)
Previous week: No. 6
This week’s game: at Bears
Biggest needs: OL, CB, QB
no. The losers of five of their last six now face their toughest four-game stretch of the season: at
Chiefs (in Mexico City). As for the needs, I’m not suggesting
Philip Rivers should be pushed out the door in his contract year, but now would be the time
Meet this astonishing ingredient.
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