This is a look at the first-round order for the 2024 NFL Draft heading into Week 9 of the 2023 NFL season, along with the top five 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 that would make the playoffs if the season ended today 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.
Arrows reflect movement from last week’s order.
Biggest needs: CB, WR, DT, Edge, OG
Week 9 opponent: at Browns
The Cardinals are allowing 7.2 yards per pass play, fourth-most in the NFL. The team has selected corners Garrett Williams (third round, 2023), Kei’Trel Clark (sixth round, 2023) and Marco Wilson (fourth round, 2021) in recent years, but Arizona should be looking for a true No. 1 outside defender in next year’s draft.
PICK ACQUIRED FROM THE CAROLINA PANTHERS
Panthers’ record: 1-6 (.593)
Panthers’ Week 9 opponent: vs. Colts
Bears’ biggest needs: OT, IOL, Edge, WR, TE
I expect the Bears’ much-maligned offensive line to undergo a transformation after the season. They’ve given up 28 sacks, third most in the league. Selecting an elite left tackle early in the draft to pair with last year’s 10th overall pick, right tackle Darnell Wright, would make plenty of sense.
See the bottom of this article for analysis of the Panthers’ needs.
Week 9 opponent: at Saints
See Pick No. 2 for analysis of the Bears’ needs.
Biggest needs: RB, OL, TE, DT, S
Week 9 opponent: at Raiders
The Giants lost Darren Waller to a hamstring injury in the second quarter against the Jets, leaving them with only Daniel Bellinger at tight end for the rest of the game. Adding another young TE with blocking skills would be wise.
Biggest needs: QB, OT, TE, WR, RB
Week 9 opponent: vs. Commanders
The Patriots will need to address their weaknesses at wide receiver. Demario Douglas shows some promise in the slot, but Kendrick Bourne suffered an ACL tear on Sunday and is due to become a free agent after the season. Tyquan Thornton is still working his way back from an injury and DeVante Parker is not providing much production.
Biggest needs: OT, S, IOL, WR, CB
Week 9 opponent: vs. Rams
There are only two Packers safeties under contract for 2024 (Zayne Anderson, Anthony Johnson Jr.) so the team must decide whether to bring back Darnell Savage, Rudy Ford and/or Jonathan Owens. They have not selected a safety in the first six rounds of the draft since trading up to pick Savage in 2019.
Biggest needs: OT, C, RB, CB, DT
Week 9 opponent: vs. Giants
David Long, Marcus Peters and Amik Robertson are among the Raiders’ impending free agents at cornerback, while Nate Hobbs will be in a contract year in 2024. Rookie fourth-round pick Jakorian Bennett should get his chances next year, but having depth at the cornerback position is still critical.
Biggest needs: Edge, LB, OT, IOL, TE
Week 9 opponent: at Patriots
Cody Barton, Khaleke Hudson and David Mayo are not under contract for 2024, so the Commanders might need to select an inside linebacker to pair with 2021 first-round pick Jamin Davis. Even if one of those players is retained with a reasonably inexpensive contract, finding a young tackler should be in the cards.
Biggest needs: DT, Edge, CB, S, C
Week 9 opponent: Bye
Even after a strong performance against the Chiefs, Denver gives up a league-worst 5.4 yards per rush. Zach Allen could use some help up front, as they have upcoming free agents on the defensive line in Mike Purcell and Jonathan Harris after allowing Dre’Mont Jones and DeShawn Williams to depart last spring.
Biggest needs: OT, CB, Edge, DT, S
Week 9 opponent: at Packers
The Rams used three draft picks on edge rushers this year and Michael Hoecht does a nice job outside despite being 300-plus pounds. The team has just 15 sacks in eight games, however, and gave up 285 passing yards to the Cowboys even though Dak Prescott sat for most of the fourth quarter on Sunday. Budding star Byron Young needs more help to get the team off the field on third down.
Biggest needs: DT, WR, CB, S, Edge
Week 9 opponent: at Panthers
Julian Blackmon, the Colts’ most dependable defensive back, should be re-signed after the season, or else the team will have to find another starting safety. Another former third-round pick, Nick Cross, could be in the mix to start, but additional defensive backs are needed for competition and depth.
PICK ACQUIRED FROM THE HOUSTON TEXANS
Texans’ record: 3-4 (.519)
Texans’ Week 9 opponent: vs. Buccaneers
See Pick No. 1 for analysis of the Cardinals’ needs and the playoff teams section of this article for analysis of the Texans’ needs.
Biggest needs: WR, DT, RB, OT, Edge
Week 9 opponent: at Steelers
DeAndre Hopkins and rookie quarterback Will Levis gave Titans fans hope for the future on Sunday, connecting four times for 128 yards and three scores. Treylon Burks’ injuries and inconsistency have limited his effectiveness, however, and veterans Chris Moore and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine are scheduled for free agency this spring.
Biggest needs: CB, RB, DT, TE, WR
Week 9 opponent: at Jets
Keenan Allen and Mike Williams have been a talented duo for the Chargers, but both will be in their 30s in 2024 and each has missed time due to injuries in recent years. Also, Allen, Williams and Josh Palmer have contracts that expire after next season. Selecting Quentin Johnston and Derius Davis this year might turn out to be a good start, but more depth will be needed sooner rather than later.
Biggest needs: QB, IOL, WR, LB, S
Week 9 opponent: at Texans
Longtime starting linebackers Lavonte David and Devin White have deals that expire after the season. Two fifth-round picks, K.J. Britt (2021) and SirVocea Dennis (2023), might get their chances, but Tampa Bay could be in the market at linebacker.
Biggest needs: OT, CB, WR, TE, OG
Week 9 opponent: vs. Bears
The Saints’ tight end group is averaging 8.4 yards per catch with two scores in eight games, and that includes Taysom Hill. Jimmy Graham will soon be 37 years old and is not signed beyond this season. Adding a true big-play threat through the draft would make Derek Carr and the team’s receivers more effective.
Biggest needs: OT, WR, TE, DT, IOL
Week 9 opponent: vs. Bills
The Bengals won at San Francisco on Sunday, but reigning Defensive Player of the Year Nick Bosa still managed to rack up 12 quarterback pressures during the game. Jonah Williams could exit in free agency after getting moved from left to right tackle for this season. The line’s depth is lacking outside, as well, as Jackson Carman might not be handed the right tackle job without competition if Williams departs.
Biggest needs: OT, IOL, QB, S, WR
Week 9 opponent: vs. Chargers
Garrett Wilson is a star, and the Jets should continue adding complements for him. Mecole Hardman was signed in the offseason but was traded to Kansas City for very little (improving their 2025 seventh-round pick to a sixth) after making only one catch for six yards in five games.
Biggest needs: QB, WR, CB, Edge, LB
Week 9 opponent: vs. Vikings
Will Levis’ four scores against the Falcons’ secondary on Sunday highlighted the team’s need at corner. Jeff Okudah will be a free agent after the season, as will Tre Flowers. A.J. Terrell and Mike Hughes will be in contract years next fall.
Biggest needs: QB, Edge, DT, OG, CB
Week 9 opponent: at Falcons
Kirk Cousins suffered a season-ending Achilles injury late in the Vikings’ win over Green Bay. His future with the team was already in question because his contract expires after this season, and now the 35-year-old passer faces a long road to recovery. Unless fifth-round pick Jaren Hall stars over the course of the rest of this season, Minnesota will likely be in the market for a quarterback next spring.
Biggest needs: CB, IOL, WR, OT, DT
Week 9 opponent: vs. Titans
The Steelers’ interior offensive line is average at best. Guards James Daniels and Isaac Seumalo have significant cap numbers in 2024 and the team could be looking for an upgrade at center. Drafting an interior player would be a good move.
PICK ACQUIRED FROM THE CLEVELAND BROWNS
Browns’ record: 4-3 (.577)
Browns’ Week 9 opponent: vs. Cardinals
Texans’ biggest needs: CB, DT, Edge, TE, OT
Unless the Texans re-sign George Fant or move starting guard Tytus Howard back to right tackle for 2024, they will need to address the position. C.J. Stroud has looked good as a rookie but finding a strong partner for Pro Bowl left tackle Laremy Tunsil seems prudent.
See the bottom of this article for analysis of the Browns’ needs.
Biggest needs: OT, IOL, TE, CB, Edge
Week 9 opponent: Bye
Pro Bowler George Kittle went off in Sunday’s loss to the Bengals, catching nine passes for 149 yards. However, backups Ross Dwelley and Charlie Woerner have a total of one catch for 12 yards so far this season. One or both might leave via free agency, putting the Niners in the market for depth behind their 30-year-old star.
Biggest needs: DT, S, Edge, CB, WR
Week 9 opponent: at Bengals
Greg Rousseau has a promising future, but the Bills could see a lot of turnover at edge rusher in 2024. A.J. Epenesa, Leonard Floyd and Shaq Lawson are not under contract for next year. Given the team’s penchant for picking defensive ends early in the draft, I suspect this need will be met quickly come April.
Biggest needs: OT, RB, C, CB, DT
Week 9 opponent: at Eagles
I’ve already discussed Dallas’ looming decision regarding left tackle Tyron Smith this offseason, but their center, Tyler Biadasz, also is ticketed for free agency in the spring. The Cardinals, Commanders, Jets and Patriots used two picks on offensive linemen in the first four rounds of this year’s draft. The Cowboys could follow suit this April.
Biggest needs: LB, OG, S, WR, DT
Week 9 opponent: at Ravens
Jamal Adams and Quandre Diggs have two of the largest cap numbers for safeties in the NFL next fall. Adams makes an impact when he is healthy, but he has not played more than 12 games in a season since joining the Seahawks in 2020. Diggs has made the last three Pro Bowls but turns 31 in January and will be a free agent in 2025, as will Week 8 defensive hero, Julian Love. I won’t be surprised if there are some changes in the group for 2024, including the addition of a relatively early draft selection.
Biggest needs: OT, IOL, DT, S, WR
Week 9 opponent: vs. Chiefs
Jevon Holland did not play against New England on Sunday because he was in concussion protocol, but he is under contract for 2024. Brandon Jones and DeShon Elliott are not, however, so Miami must add talent to its safety room in the middle rounds of the draft.
Biggest needs: RB, WR, DT, CB, OG
Week 9 opponent: vs. Seahawks
The Ravens’ defensive line might look a lot different in 2024. Nose tackle Michael Pierce has a chance to earn a big-time payday in free agency, clearing a spot for 2022 third-round pick Travis Jones to step up, while Justin Madubuike and Brent Urban could also find different homes on the open market. Baltimore will be looking at free agents and draft picks to rebuild up front if necessary.
Biggest needs: DT, OT, CB, WR, Edge
Week 9 opponent: vs. Dolphins
Left tackle Donovan Smith is a 2024 free agent and Jawaan Taylor has not been dominant on the right side. Even if 2023 third-round pick Wanya Morris plays a larger role next season, the Chiefs need to add depth, and possibly a starter, at tackle to protect Patrick Mahomes.
Biggest needs: OG, WR, CB, DT, Edge
Week 9 opponent: Bye
Aidan Hutchinson looks like a perennial Pro Bowler on the edge, but running mates Julian and Romeo Okwara and Charles Harris are all free agents for 2024. Pass-rush specialist James Houston could return from a broken ankle this year, but more depth outside is needed.
Biggest needs: Edge, WR, OG, CB, DT
Week 9 opponent: Bye
The Jaguars could be looking for help at guard this offseason. Brandon Scherff will once again be one of the highest-paid players at the position, but Ben Bartch and Tyler Shatley are impending free agents. Walker Little saw snaps at left guard against Buffalo in Week 5 before getting injured, but I’m not certain his NFL future is on the interior.
Biggest needs: RB, Edge, WR, LB, IOL
Week 9 opponent: vs. Cowboys
The Eagles did not sack Washington QB Sam Howell until late in their 38-31 victory on Sunday. The Commanders had allowed the most sacks in the league coming into the contest. Philadelphia has to hope first-round pick Nolan Smith, Haason Reddick and Josh Sweat can be leaders on the edge in 2024, but Derek Barnett and Brandon Graham are impending free agents.
TEAMS CURRENTLY WITHOUT A FIRST-ROUND PICK
TRADED FIRST-ROUND PICK TO THE CHICAGO BEARS
Biggest needs: Edge, WR, LB, IOL, CB
Week 9 opponent: vs. Colts
Carolina earned its first win of the season in dramatic fashion on Sunday, with the Panthers’ Bryce Young outdueling the Texans’ C.J. Stroud in a battle of this year’s top two draft picks. Young was sacked six times, however, and the Panthers rushed for just 44 yards. With 2022 first-round selection Ikem Ekwonu and veteran Taylor Moton likely to play the tackle spots in 2024, I expect the team to look to upgrade the interior of the offensive line through the draft.
TRADED FIRST-ROUND PICK TO THE HOUSTON TEXANS
Biggest needs: S, LB, OT, Edge, DT
Week 9 opponent: vs. Cardinals
Za’Darius Smith has played well across from Myles Garrett, but Smith is not under contract for 2024. Garrett had the Browns’ only sack in their Sunday loss to the Seahawks. Cleveland should certainly be looking to add youthful edge talent next spring.
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