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How free agency has affected the top 10 draft picks

Posted Mar 14, 2014

The first wave of free agency has had an impact on each of the NFL clubs with a top 10 draft choice. Here's a look as to how the positional needs of each of those teams may have changed.

The free agent market has been open for less than a week, but the level of activity has enabled many NFL clubs to mark off positional needs on their offseason to-do list. That includes a host of teams that are drafting in the top 10 this spring in the 2014 NFL draft. Below we take a look at each of the teams picking in the top 10 to see who they’ve added, who they’ve lost and what glaring positional needs remain.

1 – Houston Texans


Key Adds: Re-signed TE Garrett Graham, DE Ricky Sapp
Key Losses: TE Owen Daniels, DT Earl Mitchell (Miami)

Assessment: The final verdict for QB Matt Schaub has yet to occur as the Texans wait and see if a trade offer comes along. Assuming Bill O’Brien is still looking to turn the page at quarterback, using their top pick on a signal caller is still a strong possibility. Of course so is a defensive end with the likes of UB’s Khalil Mack and South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney at the top of the board.

2 – St. Louis Rams


Key Adds: Re-signed OT Rodger Saffold
Key Losses: G Chris Williams (Buffalo), CB Cortland Finnegan (released), G Harvey Dahl (released)

Assessment: The Rams needed help on their offensive line before they lost Williams to the Bills. That need has now been elevated. They also still need a true number one receiver outside. Safety and linebacker should be addressed later in the draft.

3 – Jacksonville Jaguars


Key Adds: G Zane Beadles (Denver), DL Red Bryant (Seattle), DE Chris Clemons (Seattle), DL Ziggy Hood (Pittsburgh), RB Toby Gerhart (Minnesota), re-signed QB Chad Henne, re-signed DE Jason Babin
Key Losses: QB Blaine Gabbert (Traded to San Francisco),

Assessment: Gus Bradley fortified his defensive front with some of his former players in Seattle, so the need for a pass rusher has been addressed, but they need to add a franchise quarterback now more than ever.

4 – Cleveland Browns


Key Adds: LB Karlos Dansby (Arizona), S Donte Whitner (San Francisco), WR Andrew Hawkins – offer sheet (Cincinnati)
Key Losses: LB D’Qwell Jackson (Indianapolis), S T.J. Ward (Denver), QB Jason Campbell (released), QB Brandon Weeden (released)

Assessment: Cleveland needs help on offense at quarterback and running back. They’re looking at Houston free agent RB Ben Tate, but their needs at the most important position on the field remain. An addition at cornerback is also in order.

5 – Oakland Raiders


Key Adds: OT Austin Howard (Jets), DL Justin Tuck (NY Giants), OLB LaMarr Woodley (Pittsburgh)
Key Losses: OT Jared Veldheer (Arizona), DE Lamarr Houston (Chicago), RB Rashad Jennings (NY Giants), CB Tracy Porter (Washington)

Assessment: The Raiders addressed offensive tackle and their defensive front, but a top flight receiver, quarterback and defensive back depth are still on the priority list.

6 – Atlanta Falcons


Key Adds: DT Paul Soliai (Miami), G Jon Asamoah (KC), DL Tyson Jackson (KC)
Key Losses: LB Stephen Nicholas (released), CB Asante Samuel (released), TE Tony Gonzalez (retired)

Assessment: The Falcons solidified their defensive front, but an argument could still be made for a successor to Osi Umenyiora as the team’s top pass rusher. Offensive tackle looks to be the top need however, with tight end on the add list for later in the draft.

7 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers


Key Adds: CB Alterraun Verner (Tennessee), OT Anthony Collins (Cincinnati), DE Michael Johnson (Cincinnati), QB Josh McCown (Chicago), TE Brandon Myers (NY Giants)
Key Losses: CB Darrelle Revis (New England), LB Adam Hayward (Washington), LB Dekoda Watson (Jacksonville)

Assessment: The Bucs added their dominant edge rusher in Michael Johnson and the veteran QB new coach Lovie Smith wanted in McCown. They also addressed their offensive tackle need, but some interior line help is in order along with linebacker depth.

8 – Minnesota Vikings


Key Adds: DT Linval Joseph (NY Giants), LB Jasper Brinkley (Arizona), CB Captain Munnerlyn (Carolina), Re-signed DE Everson Griffen, Re-signed QB Matt Cassel
Key Losses: DE Jared Allen, DT Kevin Williams, QB Josh Freeman

Assessment: Quarterback remains a possibility even though they kept Cassel in the fold. A top flight pass rusher and depth at linebacker is also on the needs list.

9 – Buffalo Bills


Key Adds: OL Chris Williams (St. Louis), CB Corey Graham (Baltimore), LB Keith Rivers (NY Giants), Re-signed K Dan Carpenter. Re-signed TE Scott Chandler
Key Losses: FS Jairus Byrd (New Orleans)

Assessment: Buffalo shored up the interior of the O-line, tight end as well as cornerback and linebacker depth. A number one wideout outside, a successor at offensive tackle remain the priorities.

10 – Detroit Lions


Key Adds: WR Golden Tate (Seattle), DE Corey Irvin (Dallas), Re-signed RB Joique Bell
Key Losses: S Louis Delmas (Miami), DE Willie Young (Chicago)

Assessment: The Lions effectively addressed their receiver need with Tate, but they need help at offensive tackle and safety. They need cornerback depth and a tight end if free agent Brandon Pettigrew departs.