Skip to main content

2020 NFL Draft order: Redskins vault to No. 2; Cowboys in top 15

This is a look at the first-round order for the 2020 NFL Draft heading into Week 17, 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.

We're six days away from locking in the first 20 spots in the 2020 NFL Draft order, but as you have heard by now, we already know where the Cincinnati Bengals will be picking. In fact, it seems a lot of folks think they know *whom* the Bengals will be picking now that they have secured the first overall pick.

There's movement throughout the top 10 in the order beyond Pick No. 1, though. Yes, there's still regular-season-finale intrigue in this space, even with the first selection already locked up.

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.

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

Record: 1-14 (.571 strength of schedule)

 **Previous week:** No. 1 
 **This week's game:** vs. Browns 
 **Biggest needs:** QB, OL, LB 

The Red Rifle almost turned straight-up heroic Sunday, nearly leading his team to what could have been a highly consequential comeback win after facing a 23-point fourth quarter deficit. Alas, Andy Dalton did not foil the Bengals' bid for the No. 1 overall pick and most likely guaranteed the team will select his replacement to kick off the 2020 draft.

Record: 3-12 (.500)

 **Previous week:** No. 4 
 **This week's game:** at Cowboys 
 **Biggest needs:** OL, CB, pass catcher 

Washington was victorious in defeat on Sunday. You read that right. The 'Skins made a potentially franchise-altering move from fourth to second in the order, switching spots with the rival Giants as a result of its overtime loss to the G-Men. That's the kind of late-season twist fans of the two teams might be talking about for years.

Record: 3-11-1 (.487)

 **Previous week:** No. 5 
 **This week's game:** vs. Packers 
 **Biggest needs:** CB, OL, edge rusher 

Silver lining? After losing 11 of 12, the Lions are now in line to pick in the top three for the first time in a decade. Will they add protection for Matthew Stafford or a defender to help pull that unit from the abyss?

Record: 4-11 (.467)

 **Previous week:** No. 2 
 **This week's game:** vs. Eagles 
 **Biggest needs:** Edge rusher, DB, OT 

The more points this offense puts up down the stretch (75 in the last two games!), the more it looks like the Giants can make fixing one of the league's worst pass defenses Priority No. 1 this offseason.

Record: 4-11 (.471)

 **Previous week:** No. 3 
 **This week's game:** at Patriots 
 **Biggest needs:** QB, OL, edge rusher 

Here's something no one expected to be writing in the final days of 2019: The Dolphins are playing .500 ball over their last eight games. That includes a win over a potential division champion (Eagles). Miami's done this with the worst offensive line in the league and a defense that still ranks dead last. I see you, Brian Flores.

Record: 5-10 (.484)

 **Previous week:** No. 8 
 **This week's game:** vs. Colts 
 **Biggest needs:** CB, front-seven playmaker, OL 

Whoever is running the draft for the Jags next year -- whether it's David Caldwell or someone else -- will have his work cut out for him. There are needs almost everywhere you look on this roster, and Jacksonville has to make a call on whether it will be Nick Foles, Gardner Minshew or a different guy under center in 2020.

Record: 5-10 (.496)

 **Previous week:** No. 9 
 **This week's game:** at Chiefs 
 **Biggest needs:** OL, QB, CB 

The mission for the Chargers coming out of Week 17 is pretty clear cut: Figure out if you want Philip Rivers back or not ( he wants to keep playing) and put a plan together to pump capital -- through the draft or free agency or both -- into patching up an O-line that ranks in the bottom five in both pass and run blocking, per Pro Football Focus.

Record: 5-10 (.531)

 **Previous week:** No. 10 
 **This week's game:** vs. Saints 
 **Biggest needs:** DB, DL, OL 

Like some of their NFL brethren with uncertain quarterback situations heading into 2020, Carolina's needs will largely be dictated by the direction the team decides to go in at QB. For now, we're fine with having two areas of the defense lead the list of needs after watching the Panthers allow a league-high 171 points over the past five weeks.

Record: 5-9-1 (.531)

 **Previous week:** No. 6 
 **This week's game:** at Rams 
 **Biggest needs:** Defensive playmaker, OL, pass catcher 

Nice win for the Cardinals to hang their hat on, beating the Seahawks by two scores at their place in a game where Arizona lost Kyler Murray to injury early in the third quarter. Unfortunately, this remains one of the league's worst defenses -- no team has allowed a higher passer rating (110.0), and every team ranked in the bottom 10 of that category has a losing record.

Record: 6-9 (.462)

 **Previous week:** No. 7 
 **This week's game:** at Bills 
 **Biggest needs:** OL, edge rusher, CB 

Hey now! The Jets are 5-2 in their last seven, dealing deflating blows to the playoff-hopeful Raiders and Steelers in that span. Give Sam Darnold a better supporting cast and this defense another playmaker or two, and watch the preseason buzz roll in once again.

Record: 6-9 (.522)

 **Previous week:** No. 11 
 **This week's game:** vs. Raiders 
 **Biggest needs:** Interior D-line, OL, DB 

Like the Jets, the Broncos have crushed their chances of picking in the top five thanks to a late-season awakening. Denver is 3-1 since handing the keys to Drew Lock. It's too early to say if they have their QB of the future, but it's hard to imagine them deciding to restart at the position again unless the rookie lays a massive egg at home against the Raiders.

Record: 6-9 (.558)

 **Previous week:** No. 15 
 **This week's game:** at Bengals 
 **Biggest needs:** OT, S, interior OL 

We're not listing the position here (yet), but it's worth asking the question -- do the Browns want to make big changes at tight end this offseason? Former first-round pick David Njoku, who is signed through 2020 with a team option for 2021, has been a healthy scratch for the past two weeks.

Record: 6-9 (.558)

 **Previous week:** No. 12 
 **This week's game:** at Buccaneers 
 **Biggest needs:** Edge rusher, DB, OL 

Atlanta has gone from holding the fifth overall pick a few weeks ago to potentially sliding into the back half of Round 1. The Falcons have won five of their last seven, but the primary needs remain the same even with free-agent-to-be Vic Beasley heating up during the team's second-half surge.

Record: 7-8 (.478)

 **Previous week:** No. 13 
 **This week's game:** at Broncos 
 **Biggest needs:** WR, CB, edge rusher 

The Raiders made a leap this season, and Mike Mayock will get a chance to drive this team to the next level in April, when he'll be holding two first-round picks and three third-rounders. They should have a chance to land the WR1 they were hoping for at the time of the Antonio Brown trade.

Record: 7-8 (.496)

 **Previous week:** Playoffs 
 **This week's game:** vs. Redskins 
 **Biggest needs:** DB, pass catcher, DL 

Welp. It appears the underachieving label is going to stick in Dallas. And ... now what will be the strategy this offseason? This looked like a team with needs everywhere on Sunday, but obviously it's more talented than that. Big decisions await Jerry Jones, who has nine starters heading toward free agency in 2020.

Bears' record: 7-8 (.498)

 **Previous week:** No. 17 
 **This week's Bears game:** at Vikings 

The Raiders acquired this pick in the Khalil Mack trade. See No. 14 for the Raiders' needs and the bottom section of this file for analysis of the Bears' needs.

Record: 7-8 (.498)

 **Previous week:** No. 14 
 **This week's game:** at Jaguars 
 **Biggest needs:** DL, pass catcher, QB 

Combine Jacoby Brissett's second-half cratering with the uninspiring backup situation at quarterback for the Colts, and, yes, QB absolutely deserves a place on the needs list. The franchise should invest a pick in the position for the first time since drafting Andrew Luck.

Record: 7-8 (.507)

 **Previous week:** No. 18 
 **This week's game:** vs. Falcons 
 **Biggest needs:** OL, DL, QB 

While Jameis Winston understandably draws the headlines, he's not the only big-name pending free agent the Bucs will need to make a decision on before their draft needs come into clearer focus. Longtime starting tackle Demar Dotson, edge rushers Shaquil Barrett (who ranks second in the league in sacks) and Jason Pierre-Paul and DT Ndamukong Suh are among the key veterans due to hit the market.

Steelers' record: 8-7 (.478)

 **Previous week:** Playoffs 
 **This week's Steelers game:** at Ravens 

The Dolphins acquired this pick in the Minkah Fitzpatrick trade. See No. 5 for the Dolphins' needs and the bottom section of this file for analysis of the Steelers' needs.

Rams' record: 8-7 (.549)

 **Previous week:** No. 20 
 **This week's Rams game:** vs. Cardinals 

The Jaguars acquired this pick in the Jalen Ramsey trade. See No. 6 for the Jaguars' needs and the bottom section of this file for analysis of the Rams' needs.

Record: 8-7 (.469)

 **Previous week:** No. 16 
 **This week's game:** at Giants 
 **Biggest needs:** DB, WR, edge rusher 

The Eagles were able to quiet a sloppy Cowboys passing game, but the secondary has often been a glaring issue for Philly. Plus, three of its four starting DBs are ticketed for free agency in 2020 -- Ronald Darby, Jalen Mills and Rodney McLeod.

Record: 8-7 (.484)

 **Previous week:** No. 19 
 **This week's game:** at Texans 
 **Biggest needs:** OL, edge rusher, RB 

With Cameron Wake entering his age-38 season and Harold Landry having an up and down first year as a full-time starter, it makes sense for Tennessee to be looking to add to its pass rush off the edge. PFF ranks the Titans' rush in the bottom quarter of the league.

Record: 10-5 (.453)

 **Previous week:** Playoffs 
 **This week's game:** vs. Jets 
 **Biggest needs:** WR, DE, OL 

As the Bills look to build long-term around Josh Allen, the O-line will need to continue to be a point of emphasis for GM Brandon Beane. LG Quinton Spain is in a contract year, while LT Dion Dawkins, RG Jon Feliciano and backup OT Ty Nsekhe have deals that will expire after next season.

Record: 10-5 (.471)

 **Previous week:** Playoffs 
 **This week's game:** vs. Bears 
 **Biggest needs:** DB, OL, DL 

What does it look like when Kirk Cousins faces consistent pressure? As we witnessed on Monday night, it ain't pretty. Cousins isn't going anywhere, so it appears the Vikings are going to need to add to an offensive line that couldn't keep the QB clean against a swarming Packers pass rush.

Texans' record: 10-5 (.516)

 **Previous week:** Playoffs 
 **This week's Texans game:** vs. Titans 

The Dolphins acquired this pick in the Laremy Tunsil trade. See No. 5 for the Dolphins' needs and the bottom section of this file for analysis of the Texans' needs.

Record: 11-4 (.511)

 **Previous week:** Playoffs 
 **This week's game:** vs. 49ers 
 **Biggest needs:** DL, OL, DB 

Seattle ranks second to last in pass blocking and pass rush, per PFF's grades, which should give John Schneider a pretty good idea of where he needs to look for help this offseason. Both sides of the line need some retooling, at minimum.

Record: 11-4 (.527)

 **Previous week:** Playoffs 
 **This week's game:** vs. Chargers 
 **Biggest needs:** CB, LB, OG 

How about this Chiefs defense? Once maligned as the thing that would hold the team back, this D now ranks seventh in points allowed. The last time someone scored more than 17 points against Kansas City was Nov. 10. However, the question for the offseason will be whom can they keep from this much-improved unit? Pro Bowl DL Chris Jones and CBs Bashaud Breeland and Kendall Fuller are among K.C.'s pending free agents.

Record: 12-3 (.469)

 **Previous week:** Playoffs 
 **This week's game:** at Lions 
 **Biggest needs:** OT, pass catcher, ILB 

If RT Bryan Bulaga is re-signed, pass catcher will vault to the top of the needs list in Green Bay. Aaron Rodgers still needs a third option after Aaron Jones and Davante Adams.

Record: 12-3 (.476)

 **Previous week:** Playoffs 
 **This week's game:** vs. Dolphins 
 **Biggest needs:** OL, TE, S 

The Patriots haven't drafted a safety since 2015. Will that streak end in 2020, with Devin McCourty (a pending free agent) and Patrick Chung in their mid-30s?

Record: 12-3 (.493)

 **Previous week:** Playoffs 
 **This week's game:** at Seahawks 
 **Biggest needs:** DB, OL, WR 

The Niners have a few core players scheduled to hit the market -- Emmanuel Sanders, Arik Armstead, Jimmie Ward -- but part of the draft strategy in 2020 will probably be dictated by which 2021 free agents they can or cannot extend this offseason. That group includes George Kittle, Richard Sherman, DeForest Buckner, Jaquiski Tartt, K'Waun Williams, Ahkello Witherspoon, Kyle Juszczyk and Tevin Coleman.

Record: 12-3 (.496)

 **Previous week:** Playoffs 
 **This week's game:** at Panthers 
 **Biggest needs:** WR, DB, interior OL 

While Michael Thomas is out here breaking records with 145 grabs, the Saints' other wide receivers have combined for a catch total that should also make jaws drop: 50. That's it. He's proving he doesn't need help from his fellow WRs, but the Saints still should endeavor to find him a complement at the position.

Record: 13-2 (.496)

 **Previous week:** Playoffs 
 **This week's game:** vs. Steelers 
 **Biggest needs:** Edge rusher, ILB, interior OL 

While a more immediate need than the interior O-line could develop depending on Eric DeCosta's free-agency strategy (for example, CBs Marcus Peters and Jimmy Smith are due to hit the market), perennial Pro Bowl OG Marshal Yanda's deal expires after next season, and he considered retirement last season. Not a bad idea to fortify that area for whenever he does call it quits.


Biggest needs: OL, DB, QB

After leading the league in takeaways last season, the Bears are tied for 25th in the category, and they have the third-fewest INTs in the league. In fact, the defense has forced only one turnover in the last four games. While the biggest concerns for this team are on offense, Ryan Pace could use another playmaker for a secondary that might be replacing pending free agent Ha Ha Clinton-Dix this offseason.

Biggest needs: Edge rusher, OL, CB

The Texans have made huge investments in the O-line -- mortgaging the future on Laremy Tunsil and spending two of their top three 2019 draft picks on the front five -- but it remains one of the league's worst run-blocking units, per PFF. They should be looking for more help at guard and better overall depth.

Biggest needs: OL, edge rusher, DB

Edge rusher looms large for the Rams. Dante Fowler is due to become a 25-year-old free agent coming off a double-digit sack season (he has a career-high 11.5 entering Week 17). Cha-ching! And the team's other starter at the position (Clay Matthews) will be a free agent after next season.

Biggest needs: Edge rusher, TE, OL

Yes, the Steelers have one of the best pass-rushing tandems in football with T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree, but half of that duo might be set to walk. Like the aforementioned Fowler, Dupree is due to reach free agency in his mid-20s coming off a huge year (10.5 sacks, four forced fumbles), but Pittsburgh is strapped for cap space. It appears finding a quality backup for Big Ben will need to be high on the to-do list, as well.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content