Roster Deficiencies of the NFC East, North, and South Division Teams

Roster Deficiencies of the NFC East, North, and South Division Teams

NFC East

New York Giants: Cornerback and Tight End

 

The New York Giants were ninth-place defensive finish in 2020 and 23rd in the last season, the Giants cut James Bradberry and Logan Ryan.

 

The New York Giants released about 45 percent of their roster this offseason including the much-maligned Bradberry. His release weakened the Giants and now lacked an experienced outside cornerback opposite of Adoree Jackson; consequently, their depth took a hit when they sent off the burly cornerback.

 

The NY Giants have Aaron Robinson after a productive offseason workout program that provided high hopes. Evidently, the team needs more than Robinson.

 

In the event Robinson or Jackson suffer an injury on the field, the Giants will have a bleak situation in their hands.

 

Ex-Texan Jordan Akins joined the Giants but is preparing fourth-round rookie Daniel Bellinger (zero 400-yard receiving seasons at Georgia) a chance to start.

 

The team’s passing attack will funnel through its receivers and, health-permitting, Saquon Barkley will lead receivers in the passing assault. 

 

Philadelphia Eagles: Safety

 

The Philadelphia Phillies released six-year safety starter Rodney McLeod to the Indianapolis Colts and re-signed Veteran Anthony Harris at a cheaper rate.

 

The Phillies will be relying on ex-Minnesota Viking 6th rounder Marcus Epps. Epps made three starts last year and was granted a 117.3 passer rating. He’s smart and physical, tough and instinctive, a solid tackler, and does well to cover around the ball. 

 

But Epps has never been a full-time player. He had an average of 32 snaps per game last season and ranked 18th of all qualifying safeties according to Pro Football Focus, a notch higher than either Rodney McLeod (43rd) or Anthony Harris (53rd).

 

He only averaged 11 fewer snaps per game than McLeod, and all you’re asking is that he increases from 32 snaps per game to maybe about 50 snaps per game.

 

Philadelphia believes that Epps can be a reliable safety for the team. The Eagles didn’t sign any other safeties in free agency and they didn’t draft any safeties.

 

NFC North

Chicago Bears: Wide Receiver and Defensive Linebacker

 

The Chicago Bears had only a couple of wide receivers and the need to improve the depth is apparent. Firstly, the Bears need to address the issue of recruiting more wide receivers to their roster. The only experienced wide receivers they have are Darnell Mooney and Byron Pringle. 

 

Mooney’s impact was solid. Pringle carried doubts, since he had three largely unproductive years and even part of a fourth, before coming on strong at the end of 2021.

 

Fields must be able to throw to someone besides Mooney, Cole Kmet, and David Montgomery. The other free-agent receiver the Bears brought in is Equanimeous St. Brown, but he still has to prove himself on the gridiron. 

 

Secondly, Chicago also needs to address the need for a defensive linebacker. Since the injury of defensive tackle Henry Melton, the Bears were left thin in the middle.

 

The best way to remedy the problem could be for 2nd-rounder Jon Bostic to play in a four-linebacker alignment.

 

In addition to aligning their best front-seven players on the gridiron, utilizing four linebackers would give the Bears a much-needed boost in speed.

 

Bostic and Williams in the middle of the field will give the Bears the coverage in getting from sideline to sideline on the short passes that hurt them this season.

 

Green Bay Packers: Wide Receiver

 

The Green Bay Packers still need a good wide receiver after the 2022 draft. Green Bay took three wide receivers in the draft but one seasoned veteran could help push their chances for a shot in the Super Bowl. 

 

Wide Receiver Julio Jones caught the attention of the Green Bay Packers. The Tennessee Titans just released Jones after one season. He is on the open market at 33 years old and could still perform at the top-caliber level. 

 

Options to fill the WR void has Will Fuller, Odell Beckham Jr., and Emmanuel Sanders on the list. The Packers did not do enough to build receptionists for Aaron Rodgers’ projectiles.

 

They now realize that they need efficient receivers – lessons learned from last season. The influx will test Rodgers’ and his 39-year-old throwing arm.

 

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons: Safety and Quarterback

 

The Atlanta Falcons traded Matt Ryan to the Indianapolis Colts, ending a 14-year run that included four Pro Bowl appearances and an MVP award. Atlanta is now scrambling for a long-term replacement at quarterback. 

 

The Falcons are in need to fill the quarterback post to join Marcus Mariota. Mariota was not able to start since being benched for Ryan Tannehill in October 2019. After Mariota broke his leg in December 2016, his efficiency as a starter dropped.

 

Atlanta drafted Desmond Ridder to try it out for the season at the number 74 quarterback pick. Atlanta had been flirting with the idea of taking a quarterback in this year’s draft class after trading Ryan to the Colts and extending Mariota on a two-year deal.

 

An athletic quarterback with a long frame and strong arm is what the Falcons need in Ridder.

 

Atlanta also needs a Safety to augment its defensive line. The Falcons’ safety position currently has Jaylinn Hawkins, Richie Grant, Teez Tabor, Luther Kirk, and Erik Harris.

 

But the Falcons are likely to only keep four safeties, thus it would be Luther Kirk, a former dual-threat quarterback in High School will be the odd man out.

 

Expect changes as it will depend on who the team signs in the draft, taken as undrafted free agents, considering imminent injuries that may occur.

 

Carolina Panthers: Quarterback and Defensive End

 

The Carolina Panthers are looking for ways to improve their game-caller. Jimmy Garoppolo and Baker Mayfield were the potential candidates for the job, with both seeing the chance to start with a new team next season.

 

Carolina must find a QB that can fit into the starting role as soon as possible.

 

The Panthers also need a defensive end to settle on the line. Carolina’s defense did not execute. The team did not make plays and did not compete enough to earn a spot in the playoffs.

 

Panthers GM Scott Fitterer suggested Carolina needed to find a bigger presence on the edge to deliver a formula in this statistical category.

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tight End

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Rob Gronkowski finally made a decision to retire. Gronkowski contributed and filled up his role for the Bucs and will not be catching missiles from Tom Brady. His absence left a gaping hole for Tampa Bay to fill up.

 

There are in-house options that include Cameron Brate, Cade Otton, Ko Kieft, and Codey McElroy. There are also veteran free agents like Kyle Rudolph, Jared Cook, Jimmy Graham, and Eric Ebron. 

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