LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 18: USC Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams (13) looks to throw the ball during a college football game between the UCLA Bruins and the USC Trojans on November 18, 2023, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, CA.
Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

2024 NFL Draft: Biggest Needs, Potential Players for Top 10 Picks

All eyes are on the tightening playoff races as the NFL season nears its conclusion, not every franchise has sights set on January football.

For teams that have dealt with significant injuries, poor coaching, or failed to meet expectations, those franchises have at least on evaluating both the current roster and which holes might need plugged this offseason in order to be in a position to meaningfully compete in 2024.

Each week, until season's end, FanBuzz Senior NFL Insider Matt Lombardo and Editorial Director Tyler Brooke will put the teams currently projected to select inside the top-10 picks of the 2024 NFL Draft, using Tankathon.com's latest projections, by breaking down each team's biggest positions of need and the top prospects who can fill them:

1. Chicago Bears (via Carolina Panthers) (1-2)

Positions of Need (Matt Lombardo): QB, OT, WR, LB. Ryan Poles got a head start at the trade deadline, filling a glaring need at edge rusher by trading a second-round pick for Montez Sweat, jumping the line ahead of what looks to be an underwhelming draft class at the position. Justin Fields is playing significantly better over the past three weeks, which could change the conversation around Halas Hall, if that continues. However, the Bears will need to address their quarterback of the future — Fields, or who they believe is the top passer in this class. If the answer is Fields, offensive tackle, wide receiver, and linebacker are all in focus.

Players to Watch (Tyler Brooke): Caleb Williams (QB, USC), Drake Maye (QB, North Carolina), Marvin Harrison Jr. (WR, Ohio State)

2. New England Patriots (3-10)

Positions of Need (Lombardo): QB, WR, TE, OT. It became glaringly obvious in New England this season that neither Mac Jones nor Bailey Zappe are the solution at quarterback. The search for Tom Brady's successor continues onward into 2024. But, the Patriots have fallen woefully behind the rest of the AFC East in terms of personnel, especially at critical offensive skill positions like wide receiver and tight end. Keeping the next quarterback upright is also a significant need, amid an underwhelming season from the offensive line.

Players to Watch (Brooke): Drake Maye (QB, North Carolina), Marvin Harrison Jr. (WR, Ohio State), Olu Fashanu (OT, Penn State)

3. Arizona Cardinals (3-10)

Positions of Need (Lombardo): OL, RB, WR, EDGE, QB. The biggest question surrounding the Cardinals entering 2024 centers on the quarterback. Arizona has certainly played more competitive this season with Kyler Murray in action, but even if the Cardinals still believe Murray has upside, prioritizing the interior offensive line then becomes a top priority. Otherwise, if Arizona is targeting a quarterback, there's a chance it will be picking high enough to come away with one of the top-two prospects at the position. Defensively, Jonathan Gannon's defense lacks a dominant edge rusher. That could change next spring.

Players to Watch (Brooke): Olu Fashanu (OT, Penn State), Marvin Harrison Jr. (WR, Ohio State), Joe Alt (OT, Notre Dame)

4. Washington Commanders (4-9)

Positions of Need (Lombardo): OT, OG, EDGE. After trading away both Sweat and Chase Young at the deadline, Washington is going to need to make edge rusher a key target via free agency and the draft next spring. However, presuming that the Commanders are moving forward with Sam Howell, there is no more pressing need on this roster than offensive line.

Players to Watch (Brooke): Olu Fashanu (OT, Penn State), Joe Alt (OT, Notre Dame), Laiatu Latu (EDGE, UCLA)

5. Chicago Bears (5-8)

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - DECEMBER 03: Malik Nabers #8 of the LSU Tigers celebrates after scoring a 34 yard touchdown against the Georgia Bulldogs during the third quarter in the SEC Championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 03, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Positions of Need (Lombardo): QB, OT, WR, LB. The Bears could potentially own two of the top-five picks, which creates the flexibility, should Poles believe that Fields can be the solution at quarterback, to trade back while adding even more future draft capital and accumulating picks to address some of the Bears' biggest question marks.

Players to Watch (Brooke): Malik Nabers (WR, LSU), Joe Alt (OT, Notre Dame), Rome Odunze (WR, Washington)

6. Las Vegas Raiders (5-8)

Positions of Need (Lombardo): QB, CB, DT, OL. If the Raiders are going to get serious about making a real playoff or Super Bowl push in Davante Adams' remaining prime, Las Vegas needs to find its long-term solution at quarterback this offseason. Similarly, as dominant and game-changing as Maxx Crosby has been, the Raiders' defense lacks true difference-makers, especially along the interior of the defensive line and at cornerback.

Players to Watch (Brooke): J.J. McCarthy (QB, Michigan), Kool-Aid McKinstry (CB, Alabama), Jer'Zhan Newton (DL, Illinois)

7. New York Jets (5-8)

Positions of Need (Lombardo): OT, OL, TE, WR. The 2024 season, for the Jets, is going to be all about maximizing Aaron Rodgers' chance of winning a Super Bowl. With the exception of running back Breece Hall and wide receiver Garrett Wilson, the offense needs weapons. The Jets' offensive line desperately needs an overhaul. Expect the offense to take center stage in New York's 2024 draft class.

Players to Watch (Brooke): Joe Alt (OT, Notre Dame), J.C. Latham (OT, Alabama), Brock Bowers (TE, Georgia)

8. New York Giants (5-8)

Positions of Need (Lombardo): QB, WR, OL, LB. The combination of Daniel Jones' torn ACL and the Giants' success on offense with their $40 million quarterback sidelined should be enough to lead general manager Joe Schoen looking for a major upgrade this offseason. Whoever is behind center for the Giants in Sept. 2024, even if it's upstart rookie Tommy DeVito, it is imperative that the Giants add game-altering playmakers at wide receiver, but more importantly, give the offensive line a major boost.

Players to Watch (Brooke): Jayden Daniels (QB, LSU), Rome Odunze (WR, Washington), Malik Nabers (WR, LSU)

9. Tennessee Titans (5-8)

Positions of Need (Lombardo): CB, OT, WR. Chief among the Titans' priorities will be fortifying the cornerback position, especially with Kyle Fuller slated to become an unrestricted free agent. But, equally important, is continuing to build the offense around Will Levis, who seems to have risen to the occasion as Tennessee's quarterback of the future. That will mean strengthening the offensive line in front of Levis, and adding effective secondary receiving options alongside Deandre Hopkins.

Players to Watch (Brooke): Kool-Aid McKinstry (CB, Alabama), J.C. Latham (OT, Alabama), Malik Nabers (WR, LSU)

10. Los Angeles Chargers (5-8)

Positions of Need (Lombardo): OG, OT, WR, CB: The combination of Justin Herbert's myriad nagging injuries, including a fractured finger that ended his season, and the Chargers' inability to deliver in clutch moments late in games, underscores the need to give Herbert a stronger line to play behind. Meanwhile, in such an explosive division, adding playmakers to Herbert's arsenal, as well, needs to be a priority for the Chargers next spring.

Players to Watch (Brooke): Tailese Fuaga (OT/iOL, Oregon State), Malik Nabers (WR, LSU), Kool-Aid McKinstry (CB, Alabama)

MORE: 2024 NFL Mock Draft: First-Round Projections Heading Into Bowl Season