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NFL Draft Order 2013: Teams That Will Use Position to Fill Major Offensive Need

BERKELEY, CA - OCTOBER 06: Wide receiver Keenan Allen #21 of the California Golden Bears catches a pass for a touchdown past cornerback Sheldon Price #22 of the UCLA Bruins during the third quarter at California Memorial Stadium on October 6, 2012 in Berkeley, California. The California Golden Bears defeated the UCLA Bruins 43-17. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
Jason O. Watson/Getty Images
Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistJanuary 1, 2013

With the first 20 picks of the NFL draft set in stone, teams can start thinking about how to attack their big boards in April.

Some teams will opt for defensive players with their first pick, but others will decide to fill a major offensive need right away.

Even though this draft class isn't filled with star-caliber offensive players, there will still be very talented players available in the first half of the first round.

Let's take a look at three teams that will address a huge offensive need before the top 20 picks are all said and done.

 

No. 16 St. Louis Rams

There were worse offenses in the NFL this season, but the Rams still need more talent on the outside if Sam Bradford is going to take the next step in his development.

St. Louis is lucky because it has two first-round picks in its back pocket. The second one will be decided once the Washington Redskins are eliminated from the playoffs.

Ideally, the Rams find a wide receiver here. It could be someone like Justin Hunter or Keenan Allen, or another dynamic target could rise up draft boards by the time April comes around.

The other option would be offensive tackle, and players will be available there as well. Central Michigan's Eric Fisher, Michigan's Taylor Lewan or Texas A&M's Jake Matthews could all be on the board at this point.

The Rams made huge strides under Jeff Fisher this season, but more work needs to be done. Finding a vertical threat for Sam Bradford has to be priority No. 1.

 

No. 9 New York Jets

The Jets could go any conceivable direction here. Improving the offense for next year just has to happen, one way or another.

Taking a quarterback would be ideal, but this year's QB crop is weak. Matt Barkley, Tyler Wilson or N.C. State's Mike Glennon will all be possibilities, but all three are far from a sure thing at this point.

Selecting a running back would also be ideal, but that's not going to be a possibility because of a weak running back class.

Because of Mark Sanchez's struggles, I expect the Jets to reach for a signal-caller. However, they have to be careful not to miss on another hyped prospect like they did with Sanchez.

It would also be logical because, after Mike Tannenbaum was fired on Monday (via ESPN's Rich Cimini), the new general manager will want his own guy running things behind center.

New York is probably going to be a mess next season no matter what, but filling an offensive need would help.

 

No. 12 Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins could also use some help at cornerback to bolster the 27th-ranked pass defense in the NFL this year, but this team is definitely onto something on the offensive side of things.

Most of that can be attributed to Ryan Tannehill's solid play in his rookie season. He benefited from a dangerous run game, but the first-year signal-caller managed the offense very well on his own when he needed too.

If Tannehill is going to start making more big plays, Miami needs to find him a big target to throw to. The Dolphins will look for the same guys that St. Louis will be looking for with the 16th pick, although every receiver outside of Allen could be considered a reach at this point.

The Dolphins aren't that far away from being a very dangerous team in the AFC, but the offense has to be more explosive next season.

Drafting a wide receiver with No. 1 potential would be a major step in that direction.

 

*Draft order courtesy of CBS Sports' Dane Brugler


1 Kansas City
2 Jacksonville
3 Oakland
4 Philadelphia
5 Detroit
6 Cleveland
7 Arizona
8 Buffalo
9 NY Jets
10 Tennessee
11 San Diego
12 Miami
13 Tampa Bay
14 Carolina
15 New Orleans
16 St. Louis
17 Pittsburgh
18 Dallas
19 NY Giants
20 Chicago

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