I be mad for constituents, because they are glamorous!!
This is a look at the first-round order for the 2020 NFL Draft heading into Week 9, 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.
I know I’ve pointed to the Bengals-Dolphins Week 16 matchup as the main event among games with NFL draft order implications this season. But with that big payoff still several weeks away, Sunday’s slate does offer us something to whet our appetites.
The Dolphins and Jets — with a total of one win between them — will meet in Miami, where Gang Green has not left town as a victor in more than four years. The Bengals are on bye, leaving the Dolphins as our only hope of creating chaos at the top of the board in Week 9. We really can’t count them out vs. New York with Sam Darnold seeing ghosts and dispensing picks like Halloween candy. Beware, apple cart. You could be upset.
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: 0-7 (.558 strength of schedule)
Previous week: No. 1
This week’s game: vs. Jets
Biggest needs: QB, OT, edge rusher
For a while on Monday night, I thought I was going to have to explore the possibility of the
Dolphins being in position to win two games in a row. That was weird. This team is hanging in there, which is about as much as you can ask of it right now.
Record: 0-8 (.642)
Previous week: No. 2
This week’s game: On bye
Biggest needs: QB, OL, LB
Bengals wrapped up an 0-8 first half of the season with a couple plays that perfectly encapsulate their 2019 campaign. In the fourth quarter of a
24-10 loss to the Rams, three different Cincy defenders got hands on a
Jared Goff throw that should have been picked off. Instead, it fell to the ground
as an incomplete pass. Earlier in the game, cornerback
slipped and fell, leaving
Cooper Kupp to make a catch and break free for a 65-yard score. Painful.
Record: 1-7 (.567)
Previous week: No. 3
This week’s game: at Bills
Biggest needs: OL, CB, TE
It’s possible that left tackle
Trent Williams and cornerback
Josh Norman will be playing elsewhere
before the end of Tuesday, as Washington has seemingly warmed to the idea of a fire sale. Even if they aren’t dealt before the trade deadline, it’s pretty clear they have no future with this team beyond 2019, which is why their positions are at the top of the needs list.
Record: 1-7 (.611)
Previous week: No. 4
This week’s game: On bye
Biggest needs: DL, DB, OL
Atlanta snapped a four-game streak of failing to record a sack, but owner Arthur Blank still walked away with the same
extremely disappointing feeling as his team fell to a putrid 1-7. Only one team — the
Dolphins — is allowing more points per game than the
Record: 1-6 (.660)
Previous week: No. 5
This week’s game: at Dolphins
Biggest needs: OL, edge rusher, CB
Seven INTs over the span of seven days is not going to cut it, of course, but it’s hard not to feel for
Sam Darnold. His offensive line ranks 27th in pass blocking, per Pro Football Focus.
Record: 2-6 (.550)
Previous week: No. 8
This week’s game: vs. Cowboys
Biggest needs: Edge rusher, DB, OT
Don’t get it twisted. I know the
Giants could use a No. 1 WR, even though I’m not listing it as a top-three need this week. They’re b
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