(Image credit Denny Medley/ USA Today Sports)
Written by: Nicholas Mullick
With the Super Bowl now completed the NFL is entering the offseason. It is time to look a the 5 big team needs that every NFL team should address in the 2022 off-season. This article focuses on the team needs for every team in the AFC West.
1. QB It is obvious that there is no long-time franchise QB on this team. I love Teddy Bridgewater but he can’t stay healthy at all plus he is a free agent this season. The team has given up on Drew Lock and when he played Lock was awful. Brett Rypien is a scrub. The Broncos need to find their franchise QB in the offseason.
2. OT Who knows who the Broncos QB for the 2022 NFL Season will be but one thing is for sure they desperately need another tackle. Garret Boles is a good blindside tackle but they have a huge hole at right tackle. It never hurts at all to build the offensive line and protect the quarterback. So getting another tackle should be high on the To-Do list for the Denver Broncos.
The Broncos defense was solid last season. Honestly, when they traded Von Miller away it kind of helped them get better. But they have a need at DE/EDGE rusher to pair with Bradley Chubb. It is important to also mention Chubb has durability concerns as well. Jonathon Cooper showed promise last season but he is more of a rotational player.
The Broncos run defense was not horrendous but it was lacking a bit this year. The only player that was consistent was Dre'Mont Jones. The Broncos could absolutely use an upgrade to help pair with Jones and get depth at the position.
5. RB Melvin Gordon is a free agent this upcoming offseason. Even if they resign him he is not the long-term option. Javonte Williams showed promise last season but the Broncos could use depth at the running back position. Plus getting another back would give whoever there quarterback next season is another target to utilize.
Los Angeles Chargers
1. DT One of the biggest issues with the Chargers mainly relies on defense. Especially with their run defense as it was easily one of the worst in the 2021 season. Jerry Tillery is solid but he is more of a pass-rushing defensive tackle. Justin Jones and Linval Joseph are both free agents entering the 2022 offseason. The Chargers will absolutely invest in improving the run defense and it starts at defensive tackle.
This is another need for the Chargers defense as their linebackers last season were absolutely abysmal. Kenneth Murray who they traded up for in the 2020 draft is awful. They don’t really have much depth as well at linebacker and absolutely need to be upgraded in the offseason.
3. OG The Chargers already have a center (Corey Linsley) and two tackles (Rashawn Slater Jr. and Bryan Bulaga) to protect Justin Herbert. They need to get a guard to give more protection to Herbert and have interior lineman consistently open holes for the running back.
4. WR Especially when improving the depth of receiver on the team. It is likely that the Chargers decide to use the franchise tag on Mike Williams but I wonder if they can come to a long-term deal in the future. Plus Keenan Allen is turning 30 in April and could be declining soon. The Chargers don’t have much at receiver and the Chargers could fix that by giving Justin Herbert more targets to throw the football at.
5. TE Jared Cook is a free agent this offseason plus he is not the long-term option at Tight End. It might be time for the Chargers to look at a younger option at Tight End for Justin Herbert.
Las Vegas Raiders
Ever since Henry Ruggs suffered his Fall From Grace as a result of that car accident the Raiders were clearly missing something on offense. They tried to replace him with Desean Jackson but that obviously did not work. The Raiders needed to get a number 1 receiver in the offseason or in the NFL Draft.
2. DE/EDGE The Raiders could use another EDGE rusher to pair with Maxx Crosby. Clelin Ferrell is a complete bust and I am shocked he is still on the Raiders roster. They absolutely need to find an upgrade over him in the offseason.
3. CB Corner is a need as Casey Hayward and Desmond Trufant both are free agents entering the 2022 Offseason. Damon Arnette last season had his fall from grace. Nate Hobbs has promise but has had off-the-field issues. The Raiders are going to need to bring in players at cornerback that they can depend on and off the field.
4. DT The Raiders are losing Gerald McCoy this offseason and are going to need to find a replacement. Plus they need depth as Solomon Thomas, Quinton Jefferson, and Johnathan Hankins are also testing free agency as well. So the Raiders could use a draft pick on a DT as a result
It still scratches my head why the Raiders decided to blow up the o-line last offseason. Especially trading Trent Brown. Then the whole medical malpractice stuff came out. The Raiders drafting tackle Alex Leatherwood helped but he is more of a fit at guard than he is at tackle. The Raiders are going to need to find an upgrade at the tackle position.
Kansas City Chiefs
1. CB It was heavily exposed that the Chiefs needed to get a cornerback. I don’t see Mike Hughes, Deandre Baker, or Charvarius Ward as shutdown corners. Plus all of them are leaving in the offseason and they're going to have to find a replacement for them.
The Chiefs need to get another safety along with Tyrann Mathieu. Also, Tyrann Mathieu will be a free agent next season as well and might not be re-signed as the Chiefs will be in a cap crunch due to Mahomes’s massive contract. So the Chiefs need to get help at safety.
3. DE/EDGE I won’t be surprised if the Chiefs decided to cut Frank Clark as he was a disappointment last season. The Chiefs are going to need to find a replacement for him and Melvin Ingram if he leaves in free agency.
4. WR The Chiefs need to give as many targets for Patrick Mahomes to throw the ball too. I thought about it as well. Last season they were absolutely missing a Sammy Watkins type receiver on this offense. I could absolutely see the Chiefs get more depth at receiver either in the draft or in free agency.
5. OT Never hurts to get more protection for QB Patrick Mahomes. Especially as he did get hit more often than he did. Plus it is likely that the Chiefs are going to Franchise Tag Orlando Brown Jr. It might be a good idea to draft another tackle just in case he decides to hold out for a contract or that they can’t come to terms with another contract.