The NFC owns 18 picks in the first round, which will bring an infusion of young talent and address some pressing needs that remained after free agency. Here are the most pressing draft needs for each team in the NFC:
49ers: Offensive guard
Laken Tomlinson departed in free agency and Daniel Brunskill did not grade out well last year. In addition, they lost assistant offensive line coaches Butch Barry and Zach Yenser. It is not easy finding an immediate starter along the offensive line without a first-round pick, but that is probably the route San Francisco needs to take.
Bears: Wide receiver
There are several needs on Chicago's roster, so the intent should be to surround Justin Fields with the talent necessary for him to have success. The offensive line would be the top priority, but it is more difficult to find those solutions through the draft if the team does not have a first-round pick. General manager Ryan Poles has already signed free agent Lucas Patrick, and the hope is that Teven Jenkins is more capable of contributing in 2022. It is more likely that Chicago can find a wide receiver capable of helping Fields on Day 2. As it stands, his top three options are Byron Pringle, Darnell Mooney and Cole Kmet.
Buccaneers: Offensive guard
Tampa Bay lost Ali Marpet to retirement and Alex Cappa to free agency. It acquired Shaq Mason in a trade with New England, but the other position is open unless it plans to empower Robert Hainsey. It would not be a surprise to see the team address the wide receiver or defensive line positions early, either. The Buccaneers have a viable option for essentially every role, so their needs are more of a conversation of luxury.
Any Cardinals conversation has been overshadowed by the demands of Kyler Murray and whether or not the franchise will be willing to meet those demands. However, after taking a few shots at the position over the past three years, it is time for Arizona to sink some serious assets into the position.
Believe me, quarterback was a temptation. Fans are tired of hearing about it, though. The coaching staff will probably give more time to those young linebackers, so cornerback could be in focus. The contract given to William Jackson last year was clearly above value as he is on pace to be a roster cut next year. There is no harm in harboring depth, and they should be able to walk away with a starter through the draft.
Cowboys: Defensive tackle
It would not be shocking if Dallas took another wide receiver early after Amari Cooper was traded, Cedrick Wilson left in free agency and Michael Gallup is returning from injury. There is an acceptable plan in place with CeeDee Lamb and Gallup, though. Defensive tackle is the more concerning position on the roster. They have bodies but no impact players. In a more general sense, they need help up the middle. Linebacker is a position that could be upgraded as well. Micah Parsons is fantastic but his strength is not necessarily fitting the A gap. A Nakobe Dean from Georgia would be a great fit for Dallas.
No team is in a better position to address needs current and future than the Eagles. They have three first-round selections. A case could be made for wide receiver, cornerback or safety. There is a sense that general manager Howie Roseman may not be done adding to those positions, specifically the secondary, through free agency. With that being said, linebacker is the answer. It is time for Philadelphia to add a reliable linebacker to the roster.
Falcons: Wide receiver
There are a number of positions that could be listed here, including quarterback. Atlanta signed Marcus Mariota in free agency to replace Matt Ryan, but he has little to throw to beyond Kyle Pitts. Calvin Ridley is serving a suspension and Russell Gage signed with the rival Buccaneers in free agency. Olamide Zaccheaus is the most recognizable returning wide receiver. The Falcons hold the No. 8 overall selection.
Giants: Right tackle
New York fans have seen enough of Matt Peart at right tackle. The team holds two picks in the top seven, and many draft prognosticators have associated top offensive tackle prospects with the Giants. One would assume the team's preferred outcome would be Alabama's Evan Neal considering his past playing the right tackle position.
Detroit needs help up the middle on defense. Defensive tackle and linebacker are both concerns. It has some promising edge rushers, but the rest of that defense is up in the air. Fortunately, the team is equipped with the No. 2, No. 32 and No. 34 overall selections. Draft picks do not matter unless good players come of them, but the Lions have more chances to get it right.
Packers: Wide receiver
Following the trade of Davante Adams, Randall Cobb and Allen Lazard are the only wide receivers on the roster who played more than 150 snaps last season. Armed with additional picks in the first and second rounds, Green Bay has plenty of opportunities to take at least one wide receiver during the 2022 NFL Draft. There is some uncertainty along the offensive line as well.
Panthers: Left tackle
Taylor Moton has been one of the better offensive tackle prospects in the NFL in recent years, but left tackle has been a huge concern. The team handpicked Brady Christensen last year, but he does not seem like the answer. Carolina has been active in its pursuit of an upgrade at the quarterback position, but that player is going to be hard pressed to find success without competency along the offensive line.
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Rams: Edge rusher
Edge rusher, linebacker and cornerback are the three positions that stand out as being of need for Los Angeles. The Rams were aggressive in trading for Von Miller last year and had hoped he would return for the upcoming season. When he signed with the Bills, it created a need at the position.
Saints: Wide receiver
Unless there is newfound faith in Deonte Harris, Marquez Callaway and Lil'Jordan Humphrey, New Orleans is placing a lot of confidence in Michael Thomas, who played zero snaps in 2021. No quarterback was going to get a lot of assistance from that position group. They are in a position to get a good wide receiver at No. 18 overall.
Seahawks: Offensive line
Seattle is in a position where it could add a good player at the quarterback position without giving up much in return. Baker Mayfield may never be that top 10 quarterback who is able to overcome circumstance, but he is good enough to get a capable team to the playoffs. Drew Lock is not the answer in the short or long term. Seahawks personnel executive Alonzo Highsmith had been in Cleveland when Mayfield was taken No. 1 overall.
No quarterback is going to be successful unless the talent level along the offensive line is elevated. They were a very bad unit last year and Duane Brown remains unsigned, so it has only gotten worse this offseason. Speaking in hyperbole a bit, the team may need to use every draft pick on that front.
Edge rusher and cornerback were believed to be the two biggest areas of need for Minnesota in the draft. At the time, there was discussion that the Vikings may release or trade Danielle Hunter. Instead, they signed Za'Darius Smith. Those moves have transferred focus to the cornerback position where -- despite drafting four cornerbacks in the first round since 2013 -- the team lacks reason for excitement.