Top 5 Teams Who Need a Great NFL Draft Haul

While every team is trying to line up the best choices as the 2024 NFL Draft approaches, hitting on this draft is more important for some teams than for others. No team wants a poor draft, but some teams can survive even with a key miss or two. Others, not so much. For some teams, an unsuccessful draft could cost a head coach or general manager his job, or set back a rebuilding team another few seasons.

Meanwhile, a great draft can transform a team quickly. The Detroit Lions were already on the rise, but picking Sam LaPorta, Brian Branch, Jahmyr Gibbs, and Jack Campbell in 2023 helped take them to the NFC Championship Game. The Houston Texans went from one of the worst teams in the league to a playoff team after selecting C.J. Stroud, Will Anderson Jr., and Tank Dell last year.

Here are the five teams who most need to hit on this weekend’s draft picks:

1. New England Patriots

The Patriots are a mess, with one of the most depleted rosters in the NFL. Legendary coach Bill Belichick did not have an amazing track record in recent years, and the Patriots are lacking top-shelf talent and general depth. A strong draft could help the Jerod Mayo era get off to a good start.

The Patriots are expected to draft a quarterback this year, as their current starting quarterback option is Bailey Zappe. Selecting the right quarterback will be crucial for them to have a shot at relevancy in the 2024 season. Should they draft a quarterback like UNC’s Drake Maye, they will still need to draft more players to build around their potential franchise quarterback.

2. Buffalo Bills

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen
ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK – JANUARY 21: Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills runs off the field after being defeated by the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Highmark Stadium…

Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills tore apart their roster this offseason, parting ways with many of the veterans who helped them make the playoffs over the last five years, including Jordan Poyer, Tre’Davious White, Gabe Davis, Stefon Diggs, and Mitch Morse. The Bills have been trying to keep up with the Kansas City Chiefs and make a Super Bowl with Josh Allen, but they need more help for their star quarterback. Help is especially needed at wide receiver, a place the Bills should hit on in the draft. If the Bills plan to keep winning their division and making the playoffs, bringing in good young talent will go a long way toward keeping those plans alive.

3. Minnesota Vikings

After Kirk Cousins signed with Atlanta in March, the Vikings were one of several teams left needing a quarterback. The problem is the highest pick they have is No. 11 overall, which leads many to believe they’ll trade up to draft a quarterback. While several good options abound, the top three teams in the draft are all expected to take a quarterback, which could limit the Vikings’ options.

The pressure is also on for the Vikings to hit in this draft since they have two first-round picks, making these picks extra valuable. Their division looks like it will be a lot more competitive, with the Lions and Packers both making the playoffs last year, and the Chicago Bears likely to draft Caleb Williams at No. 1. If they don’t do well here, they could risk landing in the cellar of the division.

4. Las Vegas Raiders

Like the Vikings, the Raiders are also in need of a quarterback and might have to trade up to have a chance at landing a potential starter. Hitting on this draft is also important because the Raiders have not enjoyed consistent success in decades. There have been some talented players over that time, but few complete rosters and plenty of draft busts. While the team showed progress under new head coach Antonio Pierce last season, they could advance the standings quickly with a strong draft.

5. New York Giants

Similar to the Raiders, the Giants have also struggled in recent years to field a complete roster. Their general manager recently said he intends to stick with Daniel Jones at quarterback, but he has lacked long-term consistency.

If the Giants are truly uninterested in a quarterback, they need to surround Jones with talent to finally stay in contention. The Giants lost their best player in Saquon Barkley this offseason, so they need running backs, receivers, and offensive line upgrades if they really want to help Jones out.