2020 NFL draft nuggets, picks and what you need to know for all 32 teams

ByESPN.com ESPN logo
Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Editor's note: This piece was originally published on Dec. 12. It has been updated through the Week 15 games.

There are two weeks left in the NFL regular season, which means the 2020 NFL draftis inching closer, and fan bases are starting to look ahead to the offseason.

TheESPN Football Power Index (FPI), whichprojects the 1-32 first-round order by simulating the remainder of the season 10,000 times, has the Cincinnati Bengals as the overwhelming favorites to pick No. 1 overall, followed by the New York Giants, Miami Dolphins and Washington Redskins.

With ESPN NFL draft experts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay unveiling their early look at the 2020 class,we asked NFL Nation reporters to detail the most important things fans need to know about all 32 teams' draft situations right now:

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Buffalo Bills

Projected first-round pick: No. 23

Buffalo's top three priorities for the offseason, in order: playmakers, playmakers and playmakers. Receiver John Brown infused life into the Bills' passing game, but there remains a lack of dynamic playmakers at the skill positions. Luckily, this year's receiver class is expected to be among the best ever, and there should be plenty of opportunities for Buffalo to add a difference-maker. Edge rusher and outside linebacker should also be addressed, though the Bills might have an easier time doing so via free agency. -- Marcel Louis-Jacques

Miami Dolphins

Projectedfirst-roundpicks: Nos. 4, 20, 24

The Dolphins have three (!) first-round picks and a projected 14 selections in total, making the draft a perfect opportunity to give this rebuilding roster a makeover. Dolphins general manager Chris Grier's biggest decision will be how to address the quarterback position; it's imperative for Miami to nab its quarterback of the future. But what if that QB isn't available at No. 4, where the Dolphins are projected to pick? It'd be an extreme disappointment if Miami doesn't draft a quarterback in the first round after the pains of the 2019 season, but offensive line and edge rusher are needs as well. -- Cameron Wolfe

New England Patriots

Projected first-round pick: No. 30

The Patriots are without a second-round pick after trading it to the Falcons for receiver Mohamed Sanu Sr., but they have no shortage of draft ammunition with a first-round pick, a third-rounder and two projected third-round compensatory picks. Arguably their best offensive lineman, left guard Joe Thuney, is scheduled for free agency, and if he isn't back, that would further highlight the need to bolster this line. That has been the foundation for the struggles on offense this season. -- Mike Reiss

New York Jets

Projected first-round pick: No. 7

The Jets have four picks in the first three rounds, and they should use at least two of them on offensive linemen. They haven't picked a lineman in the first round since center Nick Mangold in 2006, which helps explain the current state of disrepair. Specifically, the Jets need a left tackle, as current starter Kelvin Beachum will be a free agent. With a likely pick in the top 10, they should be able to address the need. -- Rich Cimini


Baltimore Ravens

Projected first-round pick: No. 32

Baltimore hasn't selected a pass-rusher in the first round since Terrell Suggs in 2003. The defense lost Suggs and Za'Darius Smith in free agency last offseason, and it was unable to get an impact pass-rusher in free agency (Justin Houston and Clay Matthews signed elsewhere) or the 2019 draft (Brian Burns was off the board by the time Baltimore selected in the first round). The Ravens have had to blitz more than any other team in the NFL to generate pressure on quarterbacks. Now getting a young edge rusher has to be a priority. -- Jamison Hensley

Cincinnati Bengals

Projected first-round pick: No. 1

Cincinnati's anticipation for the 2020 draft started in October, when the Bengals began trending toward the No. 1 overall pick. All of the discussion surrounding the upcoming draft will focus on one position: quarterback. The Bengals will likely be in the market for a young QB to replace veteran Andy Dalton, who will be 32 when next season starts. LSU's Joe Burrow is currently the top-ranked quarterback for ESPN draft analysts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay, with Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa and Oregon's Justin Herbert next in line. -- Ben Baby

Cleveland Browns

Projected first-round pick: No. 14

The Browns desperately need help along the offensive line, especially at tackle. General manager John Dorsey is sure to take another run at trading for Washington's Trent Williams in the offseason, but either way, drafting a tackle in the first round seems inevitable for a team that needs to protect franchise quarterback Baker Mayfield long term. Cleveland has an extra third-rounder from the Duke Johnsontrade, which will allow the Browns to adequately address other needs (safety is another position to watch). -- Jake Trotter

Pittsburgh Steelers

Projected first-round pick: None

The Steelers traded away their first-round pick for the first time since 1967, but given how quickly and how significantly safety Minkah Fitzpatrick has contributed this season, Pittsburgh is plenty fine with sitting out the first night. When their first pick of the draft comes up in the second round -- projected to be in the 50s -- the Steelers will need to target offensive skill players. The team has cobbled together skill players around Devlin Hodges and Mason Rudolph this season, but the Steelers need an NFL-ready receiver (or running back) who can make an impact immediately in what could be one of Ben Roethlisberger's final seasons. -- Brooke Pryor


Houston Texans

Projected first-round pick: None

For the second time in three years, the Texans won't have a first-round pick, having used draft capital to instead make gains through trades. Nor will they have a third-round draft pick -- unless they receive a compensatory pick for safety Tyrann Mathieu -- after trading for LT Laremy Tunsil, WR Kenny Stills, RB Duke Johnson Jr. and CB Gareon Conley since cutdown day. -- Sarah Barshop

Indianapolis Colts

Projected first-round pick: No. 15

The Colts used seven of 10 draft picks on defensive players in the 2019 draft, and now they need to shift to the offensive side of the ball. They are set at running back with Marlon Mack, who is on pace to rush for 1,000 yards for the first time in his three-year career, but the absence of T.Y. Hilton has shown the need for an upgrade at receiver to help Hilton and to step into the No. 1 role if Hilton is unavailable. The Colts have struggled to find a go-to player in the six games Hilton has missed this season. -- Mike Wells

Jacksonville Jaguars

Projected first-round picks: Nos. 8, 19

Thanks to the Jalen Ramsey trade, the Jaguars have two first-round picks. That's good because there are needs at nearly every position. Offensive line should be the top priority, followed closely by the interior defensive line and linebacker. The biggest unknown, however, is who will be in charge of making the picks. Owner Shad Khan might clean house after another disappointing season, potentially dumping executive VP Tom Coughlin, GM Dave Caldwell and coach Doug Marrone. -- Mike DiRocco

Tennessee Titans

Projected first-round pick: No. 21

The Titans might not find themselves in need of spending an early pick on a quarterback this season thanks to the rebirth of Ryan Tannehill. Given where they will likely be selecting, they probably wouldn't be in position to take one of the top prospects anyway. Now they can turn their focus to the best player available, which should fit a variety of needs, considering that they have 23 pending free agents. Cornerback, outside linebacker, running back, tight end and offensive tackle all figure to be areas the team will need to address. -- Turron Davenport


Denver Broncos

Projected first-round pick: No. 12

The Broncos project to have 12 picks in April's draft, and it is one of the most important drafts of John Elway's tenure as chief decision-maker. After stumbles in the 2016 and 2017 drafts, the Broncos have righted themselves in the previous two. One more quality run through April and an already young team could be poised to compete for a playoff spot. There were 12 players from the 2018 and 2019 drafts combined in uniform for Sunday's win in Houston. The Broncos need to stick to the formula that has been best for them and lean toward multiyear starters in college, team captains and established résumés. -- Jeff Legwold

Kansas City Chiefs

Projected first-round pick: No. 28

Cornerback is a position to watch for the Chiefs in the draft. Three of their five -- Bashaud Breeland, Kendall Fuller and Mo Claiborne -- are in the final seasons of their contracts. The Chiefs could be looking for a starter and perhaps a nickelback. -- Adam Teicher

Los Angeles Chargers

Projected first-round pick: No. 10

With quarterback Philip Rivers turning 38 last week and in the final year of his contract, the Chargers should be looking to select his eventual replacement early in the draft. The Bolts also have to replenish an aging offensive line that has been banged up this season, so QB and offensive tackle should be high on the list for L.A. in 2020. -- Eric D. Williams

Oakland Raiders

Projected first-round picks: Nos. 11, 16

The Raiders have two first-round picks next spring -- their own and the Bears' from the Khalil Mack trade -- and have two glaring and specific needs: a true No. 1 receiver and a middle linebacker. Oakland thought it had a WR1 in Antonio Brown until his histrionics prompted his being cut, and Vontaze Burfict was the defense's quarterback at middle linebacker until the league slapped him with a season-long suspension. Nailing those two positions in the draft would accelerate this rebuilding project in the franchise's first year in Las Vegas. -- Paul Gutierrez


Dallas Cowboys

Projected first-round pick: No. 22

At least the Cowboys will have a first-round pick in 2020. They were more than willing to sit out Day 1 in 2019 after giving up their top pick to Oakland for receiver Amari Cooper. But they have received little production from their 2019 rookie class for a variety of reasons and need to make sure they hit on their first-rounder in April. The Cowboys contemplated giving up a first-round pick to the Jets for Jamal Adams but did not give in to the Jets' wishes. Now the Cowboys' pick could be a lot higher than many imagined at the start of the season -- perhaps high enough for them to consider a top defensive tackle, safety or cornerback to help a defense that could see change through free agency. -- Todd Archer

New York Giants

Projected first-round pick: No. 2

It's likely that the Giants are going to pick in the top six for the third straight year. The previous two drafts landed them running back Saquon Barkley and quarterback Daniel Jones. This year, they need a defensive player, preferably a pass-rusher (maybe Ohio State defensive end Chase Young). The Giants are desperate for defensive playmakers, even if the need for offensive line help holds true for the eighth straight year. -- Jordan Raanan

Philadelphia Eagles

Projected first-round pick: No. 18

The Eagles will be on the hunt for a difference-making wide receiver. That has been a blind spot in recent seasons: Of the six receivers drafted since 2014 -- Jordan Matthews, Josh Huff, Nelson Agholor, Shelton Gibson, Mack Hollins and rookie J.J. Arcega-Whiteside -- only Agholor and Arcega-Whiteside remain, and they have a combined 464 receiving yards this season. With DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery in the twilight of their careers, Philadelphia needs to find some legit WR weapons to pair with Carson Wentz long term. -- Tim McManus

Washington Redskins

Projected first-round pick: No. 3

The Redskins need help at multiple premium positions, including left tackle, with the likelihood of Trent Williams being dealt in the offseason, and cornerback, where Josh Norman probably will be cut. They also need help at skill spots on offense, from another pass-catching tight end to another top receiver talent. Washington probably will have eight draft picks, thanks to compensatory selections, but it doesn't have a second-rounder. Trading Williams would bring back a good pick or two, but with so many needs, it'll be tough for Washington to fill them all in one draft. -- John Keim


Chicago Bears

Projected first-round pick: None

The Bears have to find a reliable pass-catching tight end to replace veteran Trey Burton, who is guaranteed $4 million of his 2020 base salary if he's still on the roster by the third day of the upcoming league year. The odds of Burton and former second-round pick Adam Shaheen being on the roster next season are not promising. Both struggled to stay healthy or offer much production at important positions -- the "U" and "Y" tight end spots -- in Matt Nagy's offense. The Bears are finally getting some decent play from tight ends J.P. Holtz and Jesper Horsted, but investing at least one draft pick on a higher-profile prospect at the position makes a lot of sense. -- Jeff Dickerson

Detroit Lions

Projected first-round pick: No. 5

Somehow, despite having a need the past three seasons and giving Trey Flowers monster offseason money, the Lions still need a pass-rusher. Detroit is trending toward a top-five pick, which is good news in the chase forChase Young. The Lions continue to have other holes to fill (cornerback and linebacker), but finding an edge rusher who can become a star needs to be priority No. 1. -- Michael Rothstein

Green Bay Packers

Projected first-round pick: No. 26

The Packers haven't drafted a receiver in the first round since Javon Walker in 2002. It might be time to break that trend, given the dearth of playmakers at Aaron Rodgers' disposal. It is Davante Adams and a bunch of former undrafted free agents atop the depth chart. Former fifth-round pick Marquez Valdes-Scantling has disappeared late in the season. GM Brian Gutekunst went all-in on defense last offseason. He'll have to address the other side of the ball this time around. It's time to get Rodgers some top-notch help. -- Rob Demovsky

Minnesota Vikings

Projected first-round pick: No. 25

Remember Mike Zimmer's "just one more" stance on cornerbacks? Given the uncertainty beyond this season for Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander in Minnesota, the Vikings might opt to use a high draft pick on a cornerback to retool their secondary should any of the aforementioned names not be part of the team next season. Minnesota has drafted four cornerbacks in the first or second round since 2013, choosing to develop that position with homegrown talent over signing pricey defensive backs in free agency. -- Courtney Cronin


Atlanta Falcons

Projected first-round pick: No. 13

The Falcons need to find pass-rush help immediately. Their ugly cap situation for 2020 means they probably won't be able to lure a top-flight edge rusher in free agency. Although this draft class might lack dominant pass-rushers, the Falcons -- and whoever is calling the shots next season -- need to find a gem among the draftees. Vic Beasley Jr., the league leader in sacks in 2016, leads the team with six sacks, but he's unlikely to be back next season, given his inconsistency. Former first-round pickTakk McKinley still needs some work.-- Vaughn McClure

Carolina Panthers

Projected first-round pick: No. 9

Much depends on what the Panthers decide to do with quarterback Cam Newton and how he recovers from foot surgery. If the Panthers release him, quarterback moves to the top of their board, despite their having used a third-round pick on Will Grier in 2019. Even if they keep Newton, they might want to use a first- or second-round pick on a signal-caller with Newton, 30, entering the last year of his deal. Carolina needs long-term insurance, and the new coach will want to build around his guy just as Ron Rivera did when he took Newton with the top pick in 2011. After that, the Panthers will look to rebuild the interior lines on both sides of the ball. The defensive front especially needs an overhaul, with several players at the end of deals and getting up there in age. -- David Newton

New Orleans Saints

Projected first-round pick: No. 29

The Saints will have only one pick in the top 90 or so because they traded away their second-rounder to move up for center Erik McCoy this year and should be picking late in every round. But they can always move up again, and you'd have to imagine that wide receiver will be a top target in a draft class that is supposed to be loaded with good ones. Michael Thomas has nearly 100 more receptions than any other receiver on the team. -- Mike Triplett

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Projected first-round pick: No. 15

Coach Bruce Arians said he's more concerned about winning than draft position. But the Bucs' wins will cost them valuable draft real estate. If they were 3-10 and hadn't won their past three games, they'd hold a top-five pick. But because they've been eliminated from playoff contention, they can't pick lower than 20th. -- Jenna Laine


Arizona Cardinals

Projected first-round pick: No. 6

The Cardinals have their quarterback, so now it's time to get Kyler Murray some help. Arizona's approach to its first-round pick this year should focus on wide receiver, offensive line or defensive line. The Cardinals need a true No. 1 receiver who can take Larry Fitzgerald's place whenever he retires. They also need to add more athleticism on the offensive line to help execute Kliff Kingsbury's up-tempo offense, and they need a high-impact defensive lineman who can take some pressure off Chandler Jones. -- Josh Weinfuss

Los Angeles Rams

Projected first-round pick: None

The Rams traded their 2020 first-round pick, along with a 2021 first-round and 2021 fourth-round pick, to the Jaguars in October in exchange for cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who now awaits what is expected to be an NFL-record payday. Unless the Rams trade into the first round, they will go five years without making a first-round selection. Look for them to try to find value in the middle rounds, especially on the offensive line, where depth is a concern. -- Lindsey Thiry

San Francisco 49ers

Projected first-round pick: No. 31

After trading premium picks for defensive end Dee Ford and receiver Emmanuel Sanders, the Niners are slated to pick in the first round and not again until Round 5. That's a long wait for a team that has used the middle rounds to find starters such as Fred Warner, Deebo Samuel and Ahkello Witherspoon in recent years. As it stands, San Francisco has six picks in the 2020 draft, with only one of those in the first two days. It wouldn't be surprising if the Niners move down or out of the first round to add more capital for Rounds 2-4. -- Nick Wagoner

Seattle Seahawks

Projected first-round pick: No. 27

Eight of the 16 Seahawks who are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents are either starters or regular contributors along the offensive and defensive lines. The team agreed to not use the franchise tag on perhaps the most important of those players, Jadeveon Clowney, which will complicate efforts to re-sign him. Assuming some of those eight will be lost to free agency, it could be a lineman-heavy draft for the Seahawks. It's a good thing they won't be strapped for picks like they were last year, when they had a league-low four of them before trading Frank Clark the week of the draft. -- Brady Henderson

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