Anne Photograp News 2024

NFL offseason: Biggest remaining roster holes for all 32 teams

NFL offseason: Biggest remaining roster holes for all 32 teams

Some NFL teams draft for need and others with a strict eye on talent. Either way, most teams still have roster weaknesses when the draft is over.

Below, I’ve taken a look at the biggest hole on each NFL roster now that the 2024 NFL draft is done. At this point in the offseason, a roster hole does not necessarily mean a position with no clear starters; most teams have filled those holes and are left only with units where depth is sketchy. Many of the advanced stats referenced below, such as DVOA and DYAR, are explained here.

Jump to a team:
NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | PHI | PIT | SF


Roster hole: Wide receiver

We can have some interesting arguments about Keon Coleman, whom the Bills took at the top of the second round. My friend Mike Tanier pointed out that Coleman’s film is filled with him almost making a lot of highlight catches in 2023: tracking the ball well but lacking top-end speed and getting it knocked away or not catching the ball cleanly. Coleman’s Playmaker Score was fairly typical for a second-round receiver.

The problem is that Coleman may now be the Bills’ best wide receiver. Khalil Shakir is a speed demon who had excellent advanced metrics last year (55.1% DVOA on 45 targets!), but is he ready to be a starter in the NFL? Curtis Samuel is an average slot receiver who has never ranked above 39th in receiving DYAR. Mack Hollins will be 31 years old this year. Recent signee Chase Claypool is on his fourth team since 2022 and hasn’t been able to replicate his rookie year production in 2020. KJ Hamler and Quintez Cephus are “never healthy” lottery tickets. Forget Stefon Diggs; I’m not sure this team has really replaced Gabe Davis yet, either.

Roster hole: Wide receiver depth

This is a very strong roster with qualified starters at every position and a good mix of backups that either have experience or are young, ascending players. The biggest issue may be the depth behind the two primary pass-catchers. It was clearly the biggest issue before the Dolphins signed Odell Beckham Jr. It’s less of an issue now, but there would still be a big problem if the Dolphins lost either Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle.

Slot receiver Braxton Berrios has caught only 45 passes in the last two seasons and is no better than average. But the bigger issue is who would play on the outside after the three veteran starters. River Cracraft has never caught more than 10 passes in a season. Erik Ezukanma has one catch for 3 yards in his first two NFL seasons. The Dolphins didn’t address the position until the sixth and seventh rounds of the 2024 draft with Malik Washington and Tahj Washington. Waddle could play outside in case of a Hill or Beckham injury, and Berrios could replace Waddle, but after that the Dolphins would be in trouble

Roster hole: Left tackle

The Patriots would be in a much better position if they could somehow figure out how to field two right tackles with no left tackles. Right now, there are two candidates to start at left tackle: Chukwuma Okorafor, who played strictly at right tackle in six seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers and was benched halfway through last season, and Caedan Wallace, a third-round rookie who played right tackle at Penn State and was drafted far ahead of where he was rated consensus boards. Vederian Lowe is also around but finished dead last in pass block win rate (74.7%) among qualifying tackles in 2023. Conor McDermott was a candidate and started five games last year, but the Patriots cut him a few days ago.

Roster hole: Tight end

The Jets have a pretty steady and deep roster across the board, with the big issue being the lack of a star at tight end. Tyler Conklin, who signed with New York from the Vikings in 2022, hasn’t had a positive receiving DVOA in six NFL seasons and ranked 43rd among qualifying tight ends in the past two seasons. Jeremy Ruckert, a third-round pick in 2022, could take over as the starter after becoming a bigger part of the Jets’ passing game in Weeks 10-14 last season. The Jets should consider bringing in quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ former Green Bay target Robert Tonyan, who is still a free agent.


Roster hole: Left guard

Right now, the penciled-in starter at left guard is Andrew Vorhees. Many scouts considered him a Day 2 prospect at USC until he tore his right ACL at the combine. That dropped him to the seventh round and cost him his rookie season in the NFL. If Vorhees isn’t ready to start, the Ravens could move over swing tackle Patrick Mekari or perhaps stick in 2023 sixth-round pick Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu, who spent his entire rookie season as a healthy inactive.

Baltimore’s other position of need is backup quarterback, where a Lamar Jackson injury would force the Ravens to start 38-year-old Josh Johnson.

Roster hole: Wide receiver

Wide receiver is only a “hole” for the Bengals because we still don’t know what will happen with franchise-tagged Tee Higgins and his trade request. If Higgins stays in Cincinnati, the Bengals should have a reasonable group to fill out the wide receiver depth chart: third-round pick Jermaine Burton, the always underrated Trenton Irwin (110 and 83 receiving DYAR in the past two seasons) and promising second-year receiver Andrei Iosivas. However, any of these players would be stretched as a full-time starter opposite Ja’Marr Chase.

If the Bengals bring Higgins back into the fold, the biggest hole might be cornerback depth, although a positional change for Dax Hill helps with that problem.



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Roster hole: Cornerback depth

Here’s another roster where the starters are solid across the board. Most of the positions have strong depth as well. Cornerback is an exception. The starting trio of Denzel Ward, Martin Emerson Jr. and Greg Newsome II is excellent.

If one of those players gets injured, there will be worries. Cameron Mitchell, a fifth-round pick out of Northwestern in 2023, had three starts as a rookie. But Justin Hardee, signed from the Jets, is primarily a special teams gunner. Myles Harden came from South Dakota in the seventh round this year. Everyone else on this depth chart is a recent undrafted free agent.

Roster hole: Nickelback

Cornerbacks Joey Porter Jr. and Donte Jackson will be the starters on the outside, but who will play in the slot for the Steelers this season? Darius Rush and Josiah Scott each were charted with just four targets in 2023. Other options include sixth-round rookie Ryan Watts out of Texas and second-year cornerback Cory Trice Jr., a 2023 seventh-round pick out of Purdue who spent his rookie season on injured reserve. Perhaps the Steelers should consider a small contract to bring back a veteran ex-Steeler, such as Patrick Peterson or Ahkello Witherspoon.


Roster hole: Right cornerback

The Texans’ roster has no real holes right now, which is astonishing when you consider what this team looked like a year ago. There are starters set with reasonable depth at every position. The biggest question mark is what the Texans can get out of the right cornerback position opposite Derek Stingley Jr.

As of now, that spot is going to one of two former first-round picks who have never lived up to their potential in the NFL: Jeff Okudah or CJ Henderson. Okudah has been the superior cornerback in the pros and ranked 22nd in cornerback coverage DVOA last season. (Henderson would have been near the bottom if he had enough targets to be ranked.) It’s possible that second-round pick Kamari Lassiter will start opposite Stingley, but it’s more likely that Lassiter will be the nickelback in his rookie season.

Roster hole: Right guard

The Colts have an interesting roster in which a lack of holes is balanced by a lack of stars. There are a lot of players here who rate as B-minus starters, rather than clear holes that need to be upgraded. The weakest position might be right guard with Will Fries, but Fries was only slightly below average in ESPN’s pass block win rate last season (91%) and was average among guards in run block win rate (70.3%). If the Colts want to go with something new at the position, they’ve got fourth-round rookie Tanor Bortolini, who started games at all three interior line spots at Wisconsin.

Roster hole: Strong safety

The biggest hole for the Jaguars involves replacing the departed Rayshawn Jenkins, who signed with Seattle in free agency. Antonio Johnson is a 2023 fifth-round pick out of Texas A&M who started three games a year ago. He had two picks and a sack with good coverage, charting numbers in limited use. Five-year veteran Andrew Wingard, the starter in 2021, sits on the depth chart behind Johnson. Erick Hallett II spent the 2023 season on the practice squad after the Jaguars took him a round after Johnson in last year’s draft.

Roster hole: Safety depth

The Titans entered 2023 without much safety depth behind Kevin Byard III and Amani Hooker. Then they traded Byard to the Eagles and let Terrell Edmunds, whom they got in return, walk in free agency. Right now, former cornerback Elijah Molden is penciled in as the free safety next to Hooker. There’s very little depth behind them: seventh-round pick James Williams out of Miami and Mike Brown, who has been on and off practice squads for four franchises in a two-year NFL career.


Roster hole: Center

I am tempted to put quarterback here, but the Broncos drafted Bo Nix at No. 12 overall with the idea that he’s ready to be their starter. Even if most draft watchers disagree, a position you fill with a first-round pick is not a hole on the roster. The Broncos are less sure about their succession plan for the departed Lloyd Cushenberry at center.

Luke Wattenberg, a 2022 fifth-round pick, has only started one regular-season game. If he’s not ready to start, the Broncos can go with former Bears starting center Sam Mustipher, but he was disappointing enough for the Bears that they didn’t offer him a tender as a restricted free agent after the 2022 season. Mustipher played for Baltimore last year and got two starts as a backup to Tyler Linderbaum.

Roster hole: Cornerback depth

The Chiefs are the defending Super Bowl champions, so it is difficult to find holes on their roster. Wide receiver may be a problem if Rashee Rice’s legal issues lead to a long suspension, but even after Rice, the Chiefs do have Skyy Moore, Justin Watson and whatever they can get out of Kadarius Toney.

There’s less depth behind the starting cornerback trio of Joshua Williams, Jaylen Watson and Trent McDuffie. The fourth corner is probably sixth-round rookie Kamal Hadden. Nic Jones, a seventh-round pick last year, barely played in his rookie season. Everyone else is a street free agent. This would be a great landing spot for a veteran such as Ahkello Witherspoon, who might be willing to take a small contract to go ring-chasing as a depth player.

Roster hole: Edge rusher

Maxx Crosby is awesome: a Defensive Player of the Year candidate every season. Unfortunately, he is not two people. Somebody has to play opposite Crosby, and other players have to be there to rotate in at edge rusher. Tyree Wilson was disappointing in his rookie season and could move to defensive tackle full time. If that happens, the other starter at edge rusher will be Malcolm Koonce. Koonce had eight sacks last season but succeeded partly because, among qualifying edge rushers, only Byron Young from the Rams was double-teamed less often.

A bigger issue is what’s behind Wilson and Koonce: undrafted free agents and veterans who have bounced around the league such as Janarius Robinson (one career sack) and Elerson Smith (zero career sacks). A veteran free agent addition such as Bud Dupree or Yannick Ngakoue would make that inside move for Wilson a lot easier.

Roster hole: No. 1 wide receiver

The Chargers drafted three wide receivers this year, so the problem is no longer depth. Now, the problem is quality, especially at the top. No one comes close to being a clear No. 1 option at the position. Quentin Johnston had a lousy rookie year, finishing 60th in receiving DVOA and failing to take hold of the top spot in the lineup despite injuries to (the now-departed) Keenan Allen and Mike Williams.

Joshua Palmer was 47th in receiving DVOA in 2023; he started most of 2022, getting only to 769 yards and three touchdowns. Is second-round pick Ladd McConkey ready to be a No. 1 target in his first NFL season? Probably not. Recent signee DJ Chark has struggled with injuries and inconsistency since his 1,008-yard season in 2019. There are also questions along the Chargers’ interior defensive line, but the lack of a top target for quarterback Justin Herbert is the bigger issue.



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Roster hole: Third safety

Look, we could put running back here, and you would all agree, but I think the Cowboys’ lack of a back is an overstated issue. This will be an interesting test of the analytical precept that running back is a mostly fungible position, and Ezekiel Elliott was fine with the Patriots last season (955 total yards, five touchdowns). A bigger issue for the Cowboys might be safety because this defense used three so often in 2023. The Cowboys used at least six defensive backs roughly 73% of the time last season, more than twice as often as any other defense. (New England was second at just 26%.)

With Jayron Kearse still unsigned, there’s no clear third safety for the Cowboys to use in the dime package. Juanyeh Thomas, a 2022 undrafted free agent, is primarily a special teams player, although he did have six games with double-digit defensive snaps last season. Fourth-year veteran Israel Mukuamu is the other possibility to play this role; he’s similar to Thomas but had just three games with double-digit defensive snaps. Sheldrick Redwine, who started eight games for the Browns a few years ago, played just one game for the Cowboys in 2023. Kearse is still out there if the Cowboys want to bring him back.

Roster hole: Tight end

This is another team with questions at running back even after free agent addition Devin Singletary, but we’ll go with tight end as the team’s largest hole. That assumes that Darren Waller retires, which is up in the air. If Waller leaves, the Giants will go back to starting Daniel Bellinger, who caught just 30 passes as a rookie in 2022 and then 25 more last season. The G-Men spent a fourth-round pick on Theo Johnson out of Penn State to back up Bellinger and/or Waller. They also have veteran blocking tight end Chris Manhertz and former Eagles backup Jack Stoll. For a team coming off a 6-11 season, the Giants have a surprisingly hole-free starting lineup — as long as you don’t want to have a complicated debate about the quarterback position.

Roster hole: Interior defensive line depth

For a long time, the strength of the Eagles’ 4-3 defense was the ability to constantly rotate defensive linemen to keep the defense fresh. Now the Eagles will play a 3-4 defense, and the depth suggests that there will be a lot less rotation. Jordan Davis, Jalen Carter and Milton Williams are a good set of starters, and it’s certainly possible that the Eagles will play a lot of 2-4-5 nickel and need only two of those players at a time. Behind them are some question marks. Marlon Tuipulotu has proved himself to be a useful player in three NFL seasons. He had two sacks and 22 combined tackles last season. However, Moro Ojomo had just three tackles as a seventh-round rookie, and PJ Mustipher had just four tackles playing for the Saints.

Right guard is also a question, but the Eagles have faith in second-year guard Tyler Steen, a 2023 third-round pick, and they have former Falcons center Matt Hennessy to back him up.

Roster hole: Wide receiver depth

Here’s another team with a surprising lack of holes in the starting lineup. That’s what happens when you have a couple of years with a lot of draft capital and follow that up with a lot of free agent signings. The biggest issue with the Commanders might be figuring out the wide receivers behind the great Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson.

They’re depending on rookie Luke McCaffrey to come in as the main slot receiver immediately, and we’ll have to see if the 100th overall pick can make that happen. Behind McCaffrey, the Commanders have Dyami Brown, who has never lived up to his potential and caught just 12 passes last season; veteran Olamide Zaccheaus, who had just 10 catches for the Eagles in 2023; and Dax Milne, who lost all of last season to a groin injury. Jamison Crowder is also here, but he will be 31 years old and has just 22 catches in the past two seasons.


Roster hole: Quarterback depth

Caleb Williams is the No. 1 pick and has huge potential. He better live up to it — and stay healthy — because the Bears don’t have much else to go to if Williams can’t play. Tyson Bagent, last year’s backup, started four games but played essentially at the replacement level. Brett Rypien was awful in his one start for the Rams last season (130 passing yards and an interception) and wasn’t very good in three years for the Broncos before that.

Roster hole: Wide receiver

Amon-Ra St. Brown is a star and was worthy of his recent huge contract extension, but the Lions are depending on a lot of hope after St. Brown. Jameson Williams had a negative DVOA last season with just 24 catches, and the Lions hope he can finally develop his potential as a starting outside receiver. Kalif Raymond had a 37.4% DVOA last year on 44 targets but was an average starting receiver with more usage in 2021 and 2022. Donovan Peoples-Jones had surprisingly good advanced metrics in Cleveland but didn’t stand out last season for Detroit.

Beyond those three receivers are street free agents, 2023 seventh-round pick Antoine Green and Tom Kennedy, a player who has been on and off the Lions’ practice squad for years. This would be an excellent landing spot for a remaining veteran free agent receiver like Michael Thomas.

Roster hole: Cornerback

The main issue is the outside cornerback spot across from veteran Jaire Alexander. Right now, the plan is to start Eric Stokes. However, the 2021 first-round pick has played only 12 games in the past two seasons due to different injuries, including ankle and hamstring problems, and the Packers decided not to pick up his fifth-year option. The next man up would be Carrington Valentine, a 2023 seventh-round pick who ranked 64th in coverage DVOA out of 93 qualifying cornerbacks when forced into the starting lineup because of injuries last season.

Another possibility here is Corey Ballentine; he allowed a low minus-16% DVOA in coverage while the passes targeting him were a very deep 15.0 air yards on average. One of these three cornerbacks will need to claim the starting job and play consistently for the Packers to return to the playoffs in 2024.

Roster hole: Slot receiver

Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison are an awesome team on the outside, but the Vikings’ receiving corps really falls off after those two. Brandon Powell is likely the starting slot receiver. He did manage an average DVOA on 44 targets in 2023, but his 324 receiving yards represented a career high after six years in the league. Trent Sherfield caught just 11 passes in Buffalo last season. Jalen Nailor has just 12 catches in two years for the Vikings. There are a lot of unknown names on this depth chart, and the Vikings would be the perfect team to give a call to an unsigned free agent.


Roster hole: Strong safety

Jessie Bates III is a star at free safety, but the Falcons’ strong safety position is a mess. Richie Grant has regressed significantly in his three NFL seasons, in particular giving up a lot of big plays to opposing tight ends. (Atlanta ranked 31st in DVOA in covering tight ends last season.) The alternative to Grant is 2023 seventh-rounder DeMarcco Hellams. He’s physical but lacks speed, so he might also be a problem when covering tight ends. Micah Abernathy is primarily a special teams gunner. Lukas Denis spent all last year on Atlanta’s practice squad.

Roster hole: Cornerback depth

The top three Carolina cornerbacks look set, but that assumes Jaycee Horn can stay healthy. He has played only 22 games over three NFL seasons. There’s very little depth behind Horn, Dane Jackson and Troy Hill. The fourth corner is fifth-round rookie Chau Smith-Wade: His Scouts Inc. scouting report notes that he’s strong in zone coverage, but he’s a smaller cornerback (5-10, 184 pounds) and “not a ball hawk or playmaker.” Dicaprio Bootle spent the first part of last year on the practice squad and the last part on injured reserve (knee). In between, he allowed a poor 22.1% DVOA in coverage. D’Shawn Jamison, a 2023 undrafted free agent, played more than 10 defensive snaps in only Weeks 4 and 5.

Roster hole: Free safety

Is Jordan Howden ready to start for the entire season in New Orleans? A fifth-round pick out of Minnesota in 2023, Howden started for the second half of his rookie season, but his DVOA allowed in coverage (11.3 yards allowed per target) ranked 72nd out of 82 qualifying safeties. Behind Howden are Johnathan Abram, who is much more of a box safety, and J.T. Gray, who played just five defensive snaps last year.

Roster hole: Slot receiver

Similar to the Vikings, the Buccaneers have two stars at the outside wide receiver positions and questions about their third spot. Trey Palmer ranked 79th in DVOA among qualifying wideouts last year, with just 385 receiving yards and three touchdowns. The spot might instead go to rookie third-round pick Jalen McMillan (Washington), who knows a thing or two about sharing the spotlight with two other star receivers. Further down on the depth chart, Deven Thompkins had a lower receiving DVOA than Palmer last year, and everyone else is an undrafted free agent in his second season.


Roster hole: Slot receiver

This isn’t a huge hole, as there are a few veterans the Cardinals can use along with Marvin Harrison Jr. and Michael Wilson. But the Cardinals need to figure out who can be productive in this spot. Greg Dortch surprised people when he ended up with some fantasy football viability in 2022, but he also ranked 64th in receiving DVOA that year and had only 24 catches last season. Veteran Chris Moore was 62nd in receiving DVOA for Houston in 2022 and then had 22 catches for Tennessee in 2023. Zach Pascal had some good numbers when he played for the Colts from 2018 to 2021, but he was an afterthought in 2023 with just four catches. Sixth-round rookie Tejhaun Palmer is another option.



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Roster hole: Inside linebacker

The problem here is not the main inside linebacker, Ernest Jones IV, but rather the second inside linebacker who plays in base defense as well as 2-4-5 nickel looks. Christian Rozeboom filled this position in 2023 and is penciled in again for 2024, but his average run tackle came after a gain of 4.3 yards last year, which ranked 60th among linebackers. He’s not great in pass coverage and was targeted often when on the field. Rozeboom is backed up by veterans Troy Reeder and Jacob Hummel.

Roster hole: Right tackle

The 49ers did not draft a player to challenge right tackle Colton McKivitz, although they did sign veteran Brandon Parker away from the Raiders. McKivitz was the clear weakness of the 49ers’ line last year. FTN recorded him with 39 pressures allowed, tied for 10th in the NFL. He was 50th among tackles in pass block win rate (85.3%). Parker ranked a more acceptable 29th in pass block win rate (88.7%) when he started for the Raiders in 2021, but a triceps injury cost him the entire 2022 season, and he was demoted to the practice squad for most of 2023.

Roster hole: Center

The Seahawks are unsure about the starters at both center and right guard, but there are stronger options at guard with Anthony Bradford now backed up by third-round rookie Christian Haynes and veteran Tremayne Anchrum Jr. At center, it’s going to be up to 2023 fifth-round pick Olu Oluwatimi to be ready to be an NFL starter in his second season. Oluwatimi won the Rimington Trophy and the Outland Trophy for Michigan in 2022 but fell to the fifth round because of limited lateral range and worries about a Michigan scheme designed to help him succeed. The backup here is Nick Harris, formerly of the Browns.