David Syvertsen gives us his look at the top needs for each team in the NFC heading in to the 2010 off-season!NFC East

Philadelphia Eagles

1 – LB

2 – G

3 – CB

4 – DE

5 – RB

We did not specify where the Eagles need help in terms of inside/outside at the linebacker position because of the options they already have there.  They could be open to bringing in a guy for the middle which would put Stewart Bradley back his more natural strong side spot, or they could bring in an outside linebacker to replace Chris Gocong, a very limited defensive force.

Dallas Cowboys

1 – S

2 – ILB

3 – OT

4 – WR

5 – NT

The Cowboys secondary was expected to be a unit of strength over the past couple of seasons but they have been a major disappointment.  They have a couple of promising players on the outside but their safeties have hurt their defensive performance in more ways than one.  Right in front of them  are two aging inside linebackers that won’t stick around for long, and you can’t have a strong unit when the middle on the last two levels is under-performing.

New York Giants

1 – MLB

2 – OT

3 – S

4 – C

5 – DT

Antonio Pierce has been on a steady decline over the past two years and with this recent injury, his days as a Giant are numbered.  They play a defense where more athleticism is needed at that position and this could be the ideal year to go after a young middle linebacker.  David Diehl and Kareem McKenzie both have struggled with consistency in pass protection this year and Eli Manning’s security in the pocket is too unstable for the $100 million quarterback.

Washington Redskins

1 – QB

2 – OT

3 – RB

4 – DE

5 – OLB

With yet another season of poor performance on offense, it is time to go another route at the quarterback position.  When you have such a high level of inconsistency there, progress is nearly impossible to reach.  However there still needs to be upgrades in the trenches, especially on the edges with Chris Samuels nearing retirement.  If Portis actually is done for good, the backbone of their team is gone and a new presence will be needed in the backfield.

NFC North

Minnesota Vikings

1 – CB

2 – OLB

3 – QB

4 – RB

5 – TE

Tough to find a true weakness on the deepest team in the NFC, but there has been a lot of up and down play at the corner positions.  Winfield is one of the game’s best and most overlooked cover men, but age is a concern and their number two, Cedric Griffin, has looked like a nickel back since being given the starting job.  The linebacker set may have to be shuffled around with EJ Henderson’s injury threatening his career, and that move could be weak side ‘backer Ben Leber in to the middle- creating an opening on the outside.

Green Bay Packers

1 – G

2 – OT

3 – OLB

4 – C

5 – S

The Packers are on the brink of being one of the NFL’s elite, and the timing could not be any better with the Vikings reign as the class of the NFC North may only last a year or two.  However before they get to the top, they need to completely overhaul the offensive line.  Their best blockers are aging, and their young guys are mediocre at best and have been responsible for Aaron Rodgers spending too much time on his back.


Chicago Bears

1 – WR

2 – OT

3 – CB

4 – G

5 – RB

With Jay Cutler in place for the long term, he desperately needs a true number one target on the outside.  The likes of Hester, Knox, and Bennett are complimentary-type receivers that are not capable of taking over games when the team needs it most.  With that said, the protection needs to be more efficient up front and if Chris Williams can make the move back over to the left side, there still needs to be an addition to the other edge to prevent Cutler from rushing in to poor decisions.


Detroit Lions

1 – DE

2 – DT

3 – CB

4 – OT

5 – MLB

Jim Schwartz has brought a solid scheme to Detroit and with poor personnel, the unit has vastly improved since week one.  However there are a few holes up front that need a boost and if he wants to obtain what he had going on in Tennessee, he will have to go after some quality players up front.  They are consistently getting beat at the point of attack and that really hinders the play of each player on every level.

NFC South

New Orleans Saints

1 – OT

2 – OLB

3 – S

4 – G

5 – QB

Now that the Saints offensive force is at the top of the league, they need to take part in just one more personnel strategy:  Improve the offensive line, which is already a strong unit, to the point where it is one of the best.  Their mission has to be to keep Drew Brees upright as much as possible because he is proving that given the time and considering the young weapons they have, he could be as unstoppable as anyone in the league.

Atlanta Falcons

1 – DE

2 – CB

3 – S

4 – WR

5 – OLB

The Falcons defense has been very susceptible to the big play and one could point to a variety of reasons for that.  The quickest way to improve that part of the defense is to obtain a pass rusher, and with Jamaal Anderson failing to adhere to his top 10 pick potential, Atlanta should look to add another edge rusher.  The corners have been abused all season and it is possible they could enter the 2010 season with two new starters.

Carolina Panthers

1 – QB

2 – DT

3 – OLB

4 – TE

5 – OT

It is all but official the Panthers will be looking for their franchise signal caller this upcoming offseason.  Jake Delhomme has completely lost i,t but the team simply has too much talent to go through a complete overhaul.  On the defensive side, the Panthers makeshift interior defensive line won’t cut it as they simply rotate a bunch of mediocre talent in there.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

1 – DT

2 – DE

3 – CB

4 – WR

5 – S

While there is some interesting, young talent on the defensive line in Tampa, that unit has really been the focal point of the team’s defensive struggles this season.  The Bucs will be in a prime position to obtain some top tier talent to add to the trenches across the line and Raheem Morris understands how much of an impact that can make right away.

NFC West

Arizona Cardinals

1 – ILB

2 – OT

3 – CB

4 – OLB

5 – TE

With the offense putting up big points yet again, the defense has finally caught up and turned the Cardinals in to one of the best teams in the NFC.  Now that they have the talent in their starting lineup, depth needs to be added at some key spots, inside linebacker in particular.  The offensive line has played well but an upgrade at left tackle should be in the long term vision.

San Francisco 49ers

1 – OT

2 – OLB

3 – G

4 – S

5 – CB

With Alex Smith appearing to be a guy that can be relied upon for the long term future, the protection in front of him needs a boost.  Joe Staley has done a decent job, but it would be nice to lock up the other edge and plug a hole in the middle before the 2010 season is under way.  The third down struggles on the defensive side of the ball could be attributed to the inconsistent pass rush from the linebackers, and a force coming off the edge could make a huge impact.

Seattle Seahawks

1 – QB

2 – S

3 – OT

4 – CB

5 – OLB

It looks like Matt Hasselbeck has very little, if anything, left in the tank.  While they do have Mike Teel waiting in the wings, I don’t see him being anything more than the backup type in the NFL.  The back end of the secondary has played poorly for more than a year now and with an unstable unit at cornerback, those safeties need to be upgraded.

St. Louis Rams

1 – QB

2 – DE

3 – OLB

4 – G

5 – WR

There is little doubt in my mind that the Rams are going to have the opportunity to take which ever quarterback they want in the 2010 draft.  Marc Bulger is too frail and has a lot of zip on his ball to be counted on and Kyle Boller is a mediocre backup.  Steve Spagnuolo will try to find some pass rushers that can diversify his defensive front and fit his scheme, and the edge is where he will look first.