Home NFL Updated draft order: Bengals' options at No. 1 – NFL.com

Updated draft order: Bengals' options at No. 1 – NFL.com

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This is a look at the first-round order for the 2020 NFL Draft heading into Week 12, along with the top three needs for each team. The order is determined by record, using strength of schedule as the first tiebreaker (click here to see a full list of the draft-order tiebreakers). Keep in mind — teams 21-32 would make the playoffs if the season ended today and are marked as PL (short for playoffs) in the order below. The draft order for playoff teams is determined by the results of postseason play.

The outlook for the 2020 NFL Draft grew murkier over the weekend even though there was no movement at the top of the draft order.

The Bengals are still in the driver’s seat for the No. 1 overall pick with six more opportunities to move down the board via a surprise lane change that could lead to league-wide rubbernecking. However, the injury to Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa creates more uncertainty about what the future holds for the Crimson Tide star. It also seems to make the value of the top pick even greater for Cincinnati and its fellow QB-needy teams now that one of college’s football’s top QB prospects has to decide whether to return for his senior season or enter the draft coming off major surgery. Barring a surprise victory down the stretch, the Bengals may ultimately be choosing between picking red-hot LSU senior QB Joe Burrow, the draft’s best non-QB or trading the pick.

Now, the needs for each team listed below offer just a snapshot of the areas that project to require the most attention as of today. Draft needs for NFL teams don’t crystallize until the spring, after free agency plugs some holes and creates others, but we are firm believers that it’s not too soon to see what might be coming around the corner.

The order and needs will evolve as we go along. Stay tuned. It’s going to be a rather inglorious ride.

Arrows indicate how far up or down a team has moved relative to last week.


Record: 0-10 (.639 strength of schedule)

Previous week: No. 1

This week’s game: vs. Steelers

Biggest needs: QB, OL, LB

Thanks to their defense, the
Bengals got back to being competitive
on Sunday. But this franchise still is destined for its first season with more than 10 losses since a 4-12 2010 campaign, which preceded the selections of
Andy Dalton, whose replacement —
Ryan Finley — is looking very backup-like through two NFL starts in an unenviable situation.


Record: 1-9 (.545)

Previous week: No. 2

This week’s game: vs. Lions

Biggest needs: OL, CB, pass catcher

thumped by the 2-7 Jets at home after having a bye week to prepare? Let there be no doubt: The
Redskins are still in the race for the No. 1 overall pick for a reason. Washington looks like it could use help across the board, but for now, we’re sticking with left tackle as Need No. 1 even though the secondary got shredded by
Sam Darnold.


Record: 2-8 (.490)

Previous week: No. 3

This week’s game: at Bears

Biggest needs: OT, edge rusher, DB

I know a lot of folks point to wide receiver as a pressing need for the
Giants, who who haven’t won a game since September. To me, that position is a luxury compared with the three areas listed above. A true WR1 would be nice, but riding with a pass-catching corps of
Golden Tate,
Sterling Shepard,
Evan Engram and
Darius Slayton for another year might be the way the team goes.



Record: 2-8 (.554)

Previous week: No. 5

This week’s game: at Browns

Biggest needs: QB, OT, edge rusher

This group came back down to Earth
against the Bills after winning two in a row, but Sunday went perfectly for
Dolphins fans rooting for the best possible draft positioning next year. Miami lost, and so did the teams — the
Texans and
Steelers — who traded their 2020 first-rounders to the Fins. It’s the first time all three teams have lost in the same weekend since Week 1.



Record: 3-7 (.490)

Previous week: No. 4

This week’s game: vs. Raiders

Biggest needs: OL, edge rusher, CB

Similar to their MetLife Stadium cohabitants, the
Jets could use a WR1, but … first things first. The three spots mentioned above are the more pressing needs, none more so than the O-line. Only the
Dolphins and
Titans have allowed more sacks this season, and it’s going to be hard for
Sam Darnold to get the ball to a WR1 if Gang Green doesn’t have guys who can block for him.



Record: 3-7 (.544)

Previous week: No. 7

This week’s game: at Bills

Biggest needs: Interior D-line, OL, DB

Rough day for the Denver secondary, one of the main culprits in the team’s
collapse against the Vikings.
Kirk Cousins had just 6 incompletions on Sunday, and only one of them came on a breakup by a defensive back. Impending free agent CB
Chris Harris Jr. is having the worst season of his career,
per Pro Football Focus’ grades.



Record: 3-7 (.589)

Previous week: No. 8

This week’s game: at Falcons

Biggest needs: QB, OL, DB

As you may have heard,
Jameis Winston has trouble taking care of the ball. That’s no one’s fault but his own. However, it can’t help matters that he plays behind a leaky offensive line, one that allowed 12 QB hits
against the Saints on Sunday. Better blocking — and better QB play — should be the leading priorities for the Bucs this offseason, who also need to establish a running game they can trust (RBs had a total of six carries vs. New Orleans).



Record: 3-7 (.593)

Previous week: No. 6

This week’s game: vs. Buccaneers

Biggest needs: Edge rusher, DB, OL

I guess Dan Quinn should have shaken up his staff even earlier. The
Falcons have done a complete reversal since he moved Raheem Morris
from offense to defense, blowing out division foes in consecutive weeks. In fact, Atlanta has more sacks (11) in its last two games than it did in its first eight games this season (7). I’m not moving edge rusher off the top of the needs list, though, with
Vic Beasley and
Adrian Clayborn (4 sacks apiece; tied for second on the team) headed for free agency.



Record: 3-7-1 (.532)

Previous week: No. 10

This week’s game: On bye

Biggest needs: OL, defensive playmaker, pass catcher

Protecting the franchise — a.k.a.
Kyler Murray — leads the to-do list now and for as long as he’s the
Cardinals‘ QB1. However, a close second is figuring out how to fix a pass defense that is the league’s worst.



Record: 3-6-1 (.514)

Previous week: No. 11

This week’s game: at Redskins

Biggest needs: CB, OL, edge rusher

Time to reassess the ol’ defensive strategy. The
Lions now rank 27th in points allowed per game (27.2) and 30th in yards allowed per game (412.8). Matt Patricia’s unit could muster only one sack on an afternoon in which
Dak Prescott dropped back to pass 49 times.



Record: 4-7 (.500)

Previous week: No. 12

This week’s game: On bye

Biggest needs: OL, QB, CB

After 7 INTs in two weeks — both losses that easily could have been wins with fewer turnovers — QB moves up a notch on the needs list.
Philip Rivers seems to be crumbling before our eyes.



Record: 4-6 (.485)

Previous week: No. 13

This week’s game: at Titans

Biggest needs: CB, front-seven playmaker, OL

Jacksonville needs to figure out how to stop the bleeding vs. the run right quick with a matchup against
Derrick Henry up next. The
Jaguars are the only team in the NFL to allow 250-plus rush yards and 3-plus rush TDs in a game this season and they have done so twice (Sunday vs. the
Colts and Week 5 vs. the Panthers).

Raiders (via Bears)


Bears‘ record: 4-6 (.515)

Previous week: No. 14

This week’s Bears game: vs. Giants

Raiders acquired this pick in the
Khalil Mack trade. See No. 19 for the
Raiders‘ needs and the bottom section of this file for analysis of the
Bears‘ needs.



Record: 4-6 (.630)

Previous week: No. 9

This week’s game: vs. Dolphins

Biggest needs: OT, S, interior OL

Long-term, the offensive line’s deficiencies must be addressed, but we’ll give the group credit: It allowed only one sack
on Thursday night to the
Steelers, who were averaging 4.0 per game since Week 3. Cleveland’s front five gets a chance to look good again next week against a
Dolphins team that ranks last in the league in sacks.



Record: 5-5 (.500)

Previous week: No. 19

This week’s game: at Saints

Biggest needs: DB, OL, DL

It might not turn out to be as bad as last season’s collapse — when Carolina went 1-7 in its final eight games — but the
Panthers seem to be in line for a similarly ugly stumble to the finish line. Ron Rivera’s crew has dropped three of four, with a 29-3 drubbing at
the hands of the suddenly hot Falcons serving as the latest ominous signal of what lies ahead.


Record: 5-5 (.520)

Previous week: No. 17

This week’s game: vs. Seahawks

Biggest needs: DB, edge rusher, WR

As NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah mentioned in a
tweet on Sunday, the
Eagles need to add speed to their roster in the offseason. The team’s lack of it at wide receiver is glaring with
DeSean Jackson sidelined.



Record: 6-4 (.481)

Previous week: No. 20

This week’s game: at Jets

Biggest needs: CB, WR, edge rusher

It certainly was no issue against the hapless
Bengals passing game on Sunday, but the corner position figures to require Mike Mayock’s attention this offseason.
Gareon Conley was sent packing before the trade deadline and the team’s top corner,
Daryl Worley, is ticketed for free agency.

Jaguars (via Rams)


Rams‘ record: 6-4 (.490)

Previous week: No. 18

This week’s Rams game: vs. Ravens

Jaguars acquired this pick in the
Jalen Ramsey trade. See No. 12 for the
Jaguars‘ needs and the bottom section of this file for analysis of the
Rams‘ needs.


Record: 6-4 (.421)

Previous week: Playoffs

This week’s game: at Patriots

Biggest needs: DB, pass catcher, DL

Cowboys don’t have a win over a team that currently has a winning record, and they’ve lost to all three of the winning teams they’ve faced (
Packers and Vikings). They get another chance to deal a blow to the
can’t beat the good teams narrative on Sunday in Foxborough, but it’s probably going to take a better defensive showing than we’ve seen from them in the last couple weeks.



Record: 6-4 (.441)

Previous week: No. 16

This week’s game: at Texans

Biggest needs: DL, DB, pass catcher

The impending free agency of left tackle
Anthony Castonzo looms large, but he continues to play well and the
Colts will have
plenty of salary-cap flexibility this offseason. It would seem an easy choice to bring him back. As for the team’s 2020
NFL Draft plans, a disruptive interior D-lineman would be a nice weapon for Matt Eberflus to unleash.

Dolphins (via Texans)

Texans‘ record: 6-4 (.539)

Previous week: Playoffs

This week’s Texans game: vs. Colts

Dolphins acquired this pick in the
Laremy Tunsil trade. See No. 4 for the
Dolphins‘ needs and the bottom section of this file for analysis of the
Texans‘ needs.


Record: 7-4 (.549)

Previous week: Playoffs

This week’s game: On bye

Biggest needs: CB, LB, OG

This defense is still pretty Swiss cheese-like, but if the opposing QB throws the ball to them, they will catch it, as Monday night proved. They won’t see such inefficiency the next couple times out, though (vs.
Raiders, at Patriots).


Record: 7-3 (.330)

Previous week: Playoffs

This week’s game: vs. Broncos

Biggest needs: WR, CB, DE

The Buffalo defense continues to play good ball, but there will be some big questions facing this unit in the offseason. Can they upgrade at corner opposite
Tre’Davious White, and who will be helping
Jerry Hughes get after the passer with leading sacker
Jordan Phillips and former first-round pick
Shaq Lawson set to become free agents?


Record: 8-3 (.437)

Previous week: Playoffs

This week’s game: On bye

Biggest needs: OL, DB, DL

Vikings had their issues against the
Broncos‘ passing game on Sunday, but escaped mostly unscathed thanks to Denver’s
second-half disappearing act. A much more difficult test for the wobbly Minnesota secondary awaits coming out of the bye in the form of MVP candidate
Russell Wilson and Co.


Record: 8-2 (.436)

Previous week: Playoffs

This week’s game: at Rams

Biggest needs: Edge rusher, ILB, interior OL

The needs are unchanged here for now, but what a job Don “Wink” Martindale has done with his pass rush. The
Ravens had 7 sacks in the first four games combined. They had 7 sacks on Sunday
alone in a rout of the
Texans. Just the Niners and
Patriots have allowed a lower passer rating this season than Baltimore’s 79.5, even though Martindale’s crew has gone up against the likes of
Russell Wilson,
Tom Brady and
Deshaun Watson in the past month.


Record: 8-2 (.460)

Previous week: Playoffs

This week’s game: vs. Panthers

Biggest needs: WR, interior OL, QB

Michael Thomas receptions in 2019: 94. Rest of
Saints WRs combined: 32. It’s kind of wild to think that no defensive coordinator has figured out a plan this season to take Thomas away and make a different
Saints wide receiver step up. Someone is going to do that eventually, right?


Record: 8-2 (.490)

Previous week: Playoffs

This week’s game: at Eagles

Biggest needs: DB, DL, OL

Hopefully the
Seahawks put the bye week to good use. They only have one game remaining against a team that’s currently below .500, and three of their next four are on the road. Then again, Seattle has won five of its last six coming off the bye, and it’s 5-0 on the road this season.


Record: 8-2 (.500)

Previous week: Playoffs

This week’s game: at 49ers

Biggest needs: OT, pass catcher, ILB

Davante Adams has missed four games this season — 40 percent of the
Packers‘ contests in 2019 (yes, I did that math all by myself) — and there still isn’t a Green Bay wide receiver within 15 catches of his team-leading 39. That’s just wrong. Brian Gutekunst has to find
Aaron Rodgers a target he can trust opposite Adams this offseason.


Record: 9-1 (.382)

Previous week: Playoffs

This week’s game: vs. Packers

Biggest needs: DB, OL, WR

Yes, San Francisco has played the second-easiest schedule in the league to date, but its SOS is about to skyrocket. Next three games: vs. the
Packers, at the
Ravens and at the
Saints. Those three teams have a combined record of 24-6. Meat. Grinder.


Record: 9-1 (.400)

Previous week: Playoffs

This week’s game: vs. Cowboys

Biggest needs: TE, OL, S

The defense bounced back
against the Eagles, but the offense continues to struggle.
Tom Brady — who was 0 for 5 on deep passes and didn’t throw for a TD — was sacked only once, but Philly was credited with 6 QB hits and 6 tackles for loss one game after the
Ravens had 10 QB hits vs. New England. Defenses are spending a lot of time in the Pats’ backfield, and that’s a disturbing trend for this O-line.


Chicago Bears (4-6)

Biggest needs: QB, DB, OG

A hip injury — later revealed to be a hip pointer — affected Mitchell Trubisky in the second half of Sunday’s loss to the Rams before he was removed from the game late in the fourth quarter, Matt Nagy said. Unfortunately, I’m not sure there are many Bears fans that would tell you the results would have been different if Trubisky had been completely healthy. Sunday marked his fourth game this season with fewer than 5 yards per attempt (most in the NFL).

Houston Texans (6-4)

Biggest needs: Edge rusher, OL, CB

Who’s going to step up to get after the QB with J.J. Watt sidelined? No Texan was up to the task on Sunday, when Lamar Jackson torched the Houston D. Barring a breakthrough from someone in the next six weeks, it’s a question that will follow the team into the offseason, when Whitney Mercilus is due to hit the market.

Los Angeles Rams (6-4)

Biggest needs: OL, edge rusher, DB

Jared Goff had to chuck the rock just 18 times (a career-low in attempts) to put the Bears away, so Sunday night wasn’t the most intensive test for the Rams‘ O-line. But hey, any sign of improvement (the use of play-action helped, too) is welcome from Los Angeles’ pass protection, which kept Goff upright vs. Khalil Mack and Co. Can the Rams keep it going against the red-hot Ravens next week?

Pittsburgh Steelers (5-5)

Biggest needs: Edge rusher, pass catcher, OL

The O-line must stay on the radar here after Pittsburgh allowed seven sacks in the past two games, including a season-high four with 11 QB hits in the loss to the Browns. Adding to the concerns around the front five in the short-term is the fact that Maurkice Pouncey has been suspended for three games. The good news is that it will get a chance to bounce back against the Bengals next week before a rematch with Cleveland.

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