(Image credit Jeff Hanisch/ USA Today Sports)
Written by: Nicholas Mullick
With the Super Bowl now completed the NFL is entering the offseason. It is time to look at 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 NFC North.
No question the Lions absolutely need to get receivers on this team. Excluding Amon-Ra St. Brown the Lions don’t have much talent at receiver. Plus Kalif Raymond, Josh Reynolds, and KhaDarel Hodge are all free agents this offseason. If their offense wants to improve they need to get receivers for Goff to throw the ball too.
2. DE/EDGE The Lions Pass Rush was awful last season. The most sacks from a single player this season were 7.5 by LB Charles Harris and nobody else had more than 5 sacks. Trey Flowers is only here because of his bad contract as well and could use an upgrade. They absolutely need to get a pass rusher in the offseason and I think it is safe to say they will likely get one in the NFL Draft with either Kayvon Thibodeaux or Aidan Hutchinson.
3. CB Another need for the Detroit Lions as their cornerbacks were awful last season. There are no shutdown cornerbacks on this roster and I highly doubt that Jeff Okudah is that player. He can barely stay on the field and when he does Okudah is not any good at all. The Lions have to get a consistent and durable cornerback on this defense.
The safeties did not help as well and made the secondary worse. The only safety that had shown flashes and promise is Tracy Walker. The problem is Walker is a free agent this offseason and who knows if he will be back with the Lions. But the Lions should also look to upgrade at safety.
5. QB Say what you want about the Lions this season but Jared Goff is not the long-term QB for the Detroit Lions. It might be time to start looking for a replacement once the Lions don’t have to deal with his awful contract anymore. Plus Tim Boyle and David Blough are free agents this offseason so they will need a backup.
1. OT The Bears need to give Justin Fields protection. Jason Peters is likely going to retire from the NFL. Hopefully, Tevin Jenkins can stay healthy but they're going to need another tackle to protect Justin Fields and help give him time to move throughout the pocket plus give him plenty of time to throw the football.
Absolutely a must for the Bears to upgrade. Especially as I doubt that Allen Robinson will be back with the Bears. He clearly did not want to be in Chicago anymore and I was shocked he was not traded during the deadline. Marquise Goodwin, Damiere Byrd, Jakeem Grant are all free agents heading into the offseason. The only receivers under contract as of now for next season are Darnell Mooney and Dazz Newsome. Mooney showed promise last season but it is clear that they are going to need more than 1 receiver.
3. OG The Bears are going to need to get a guard in the offseason. Especially as James Daniels is a free agent this offseason and the only player that is signed for next year is Cody Whitehair. So they're going to need to get depth pieces as well.
4. LB This is a need for the Bears. Danny Trevathan and Roquan Smith are under contract for next season but a lot of depth pieces are free agents this offseason. Including Bruce Irvin, Joel Iyiegbuniwe, Christian Jones, Cassius Marsh, and Alec Ogletree. The Bears are going to need to replace them if they fail to re-sign them to another contract.
The Bears are going to need to give Justin Fields as many targets to throw the football too. Plus they need depth at this position as Jimmy Graham, Jesse James, J. P. Holtz, and Jesper Horsted are free agents this offseason. Cole Kmet is okay but he is not the greatest option at Tight End.
1. CB Definitely, a must for the Vikings as the cornerbacks were a liability for this team. Brashad Breeland was so awful that he was cut in the middle of the season. Patrick Peterson was a flop and I doubt he is back as a Viking next season. The only cornerback that showed potential is Cameron Dantzler. The Vikings must improve the cornerback position during the offseason.
The Vikings finally hit on getting two offensive tackles (Brian O’Neal and Christian Darrisaw) and got a center in Garett Bradberry. The Vikings now need to get some guards> Ezara Cleveland was solid last season. But Wyatt Davis barely saw the field. The Vikings need to get more o-line help to protect Kirk Cousins and open holes for Dalvin Cook to run through.
3. TE Never hurts to give Kirk Cousins more weapons. Especially weapons that can be durable as Irv Smith did not play due to a knee injury. Trading for Chris Herndon was never going to work as he was abysmal and got worse by the week. Again I thank former Minnesota Vikings GM Rick Spellman for giving the New York Jets a 4th round pick in exchange for Herndon. Tyler Conklin is a free agent this offseason as well.
Vikings need to find the eventual replacement for Harrison Smith as he showed a ton of regression last season. Plus the Vikings could use some depth pieces at safety as well, especially as Xavier Woods is a free agent this offseason.
The Vikings could use a replacement for LB Anthony Barr. Especially as Barr is a free agent this offseason and Barr has not been able to stay healthy. It would not be surprising to see the Vikings shake things up in the linebacker core.
Green Bay Packers
No question here in this position being a need. I am going to list all of the wide receivers that are hitting free agency Davante Adams, Allen Lazard, Equanimeous St. Brown, Malik Taylor, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. I doubt they will resign any of them due to being 37 million dollars under the salary cap. Plus I would be shocked if Randall Cobb is still on the roster for next year so they can lessen the amount under the salary cap.
2. DE/EDGE The Packers pass-rushing squad is going to look a lot different and will undergo changes. Especially as they are 28 million dollars under the salary cap. I won't be shocked if they decide to let go of Za'darius Smith and Preston Smith this offseason. The Packers will have to replace them in the offseason.
Never hurts to build the offensive line. Especially when the Packers will likely start their rebuild this offseason. The best place to start is the o-line. I have no idea if David Bakhtiari can be durable and Billy Turner is turning 30. It might be a good idea to get younger on the o-line and gain depth if either of them gets hurt.
4. DT Besides Kenny Clark, the Packers don’t have any other defensive tackle signed to a contract. They're going to need to bring in depth options behind Kenny Clark if he gets hurt later in the season.
5. TE Rob Tonyan is a free agent this season and no word yet on if Marcedes Lewis will retire or not. They're going to need a tight end to replace the gap at Tight End. Josiah Deguara is okay but he is not that good of an option either.