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2020 NFL Draft order: Dolphins No. 1 at midseason; Giants No. 6

This is a look at the first-round order for the 2020 NFL Draft heading into Week 9, 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.

I know I've pointed to the Bengals-Dolphins Week 16 matchup as the main event among games with NFL draft order implications this season. But with that big payoff still several weeks away, Sunday's slate does offer us something to whet our appetites.

The Dolphins and Jets -- with a total of one win between them -- will meet in Miami, where Gang Green has not left town as a victor in more than four years. The Bengals are on bye, leaving the Dolphins as our only hope of creating chaos at the top of the board in Week 9. We really can't count them out vs. New York with Sam Darnold seeing ghosts and dispensing picks like Halloween candy. Beware, apple cart. You could be upset.

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.

The order and needs will evolve as we go along. Stay tuned. It's going to be a rather inglorious ride.

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

Record: 0-7 (.558 strength of schedule)

 **Previous week:** No. 1 
 **This week's game:** vs. Jets 
 **Biggest needs:** QB, OT, edge rusher 

For a while on Monday night, I thought I was going to have to explore the possibility of the Dolphins being in position to win two games in a row. That was weird. This team is hanging in there, which is about as much as you can ask of it right now.

Record: 0-8 (.642)

 **Previous week:** No. 2 
 **This week's game:** On bye 
 **Biggest needs:** QB, OL, LB 

The Bengals wrapped up an 0-8 first half of the season with a couple plays that perfectly encapsulate their 2019 campaign. In the fourth quarter of a 24-10 loss to the Rams, three different Cincy defenders got hands on a Jared Goff throw that should have been picked off. Instead, it fell to the ground as an incomplete pass. Earlier in the game, cornerback B.W. Webb slipped and fell, leaving Cooper Kupp to make a catch and break free for a 65-yard score. Painful.

Record: 1-7 (.567)

 **Previous week:** No. 3 
 **This week's game:** at Bills 
 **Biggest needs:** OL, CB, TE 

It's possible that left tackle Trent Williams and cornerback Josh Norman will be playing elsewhere before the end of Tuesday, as Washington has seemingly warmed to the idea of a fire sale. Even if they aren't dealt before the trade deadline, it's pretty clear they have no future with this team beyond 2019, which is why their positions are at the top of the needs list.

Record: 1-7 (.611)

 **Previous week:** No. 4 
 **This week's game:** On bye 
 **Biggest needs:** DL, DB, OL 

Atlanta snapped a four-game streak of failing to record a sack, but owner Arthur Blank still walked away with the same extremely disappointing feeling as his team fell to a putrid 1-7. Only one team -- the Dolphins -- is allowing more points per game than the Falcons (31.2).

Record: 1-6 (.660)

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

Seven INTs over the span of seven days is not going to cut it, of course, but it's hard not to feel for Sam Darnold. His offensive line ranks 27th in pass blocking, per Pro Football Focus.

Record: 2-6 (.550)

 **Previous week:** No. 8 
 **This week's game:** vs. Cowboys 
 **Biggest needs:** Edge rusher, DB, OT 

Don't get it twisted. I know the Giants could use a No. 1 WR, even though I'm not listing it as a top-three need this week. They're badly in need of help at other spots I'm not including here (like insider linebacker), too. However, you could make the case that nothing is more important than finding a player who can be the long-term answer for protecting Daniel Jones' blindside ( Nate Solder might not be long for the job).

Record: 2-6 (.557)

 **Previous week:** No. 7 
 **This week's game:** vs. Browns 
 **Biggest needs:** Interior D-line, OL, DB 

It would be nice to get a long look at second-round pick Drew Lock, who has yet to be activated off injured reserve, in 2019 to gauge how high quarterback should be on the needs list going into the offseason, but, hey, Brandon Allen, come on down! Stretch those hands and let it rip! He'll become the sixth different quarterback to start for Denver since Peyton Manning retired after the 2015 season.

Record: 2-5 (.623)

 **Previous week:** No. 11 
 **This week's game:** at Seahawks 
 **Biggest needs:** QB, edge rusher, OL 
 Jameis Winston, who seems determined to play his way out of Tampa Bay in a contract year, followed up his 
 six-turnover debacle with a four-turnover monstrosity and now he leads the league with 15 giveaways. Somehow, the Bucs still 
 almost won on Sunday. 

Record: 2-5 (.679)

 **Previous week:** No. 9 
 **This week's game:** at Broncos 
 **Biggest needs:** OT, S, interior OL 

The schedule eases up now, with the Browns playing just two teams that currently have a winning record the rest of the way. It's going to be tough to stack wins if they keep playing sloppy football, though. Since 1990, the Browns have started 2-5 or worse 11 times, and they didn't make the playoffs in any of those seasons.

Record: 3-5 (.432)

 **Previous week:** No. 6 
 **This week's game:** vs. Packers 
 **Biggest needs:** OL, CB, QB 

The bumbling Bears provided a nice respite from the doldrums, but the Chargers' slim hopes might be dead before they get to their Week 12 bye. They get to host the red-hot Packers next, then travel on a short week to visit the scrappy Raiders before coming back home to play a Chiefs team that will likely have Patrick Mahomes back.

Bears' record: 3-4 (.527)

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

The Raiders acquired this pick in the Khalil Mack trade. See No. 13 for the Raiders' needs and the bottom section of this file for analysis of the Bears' needs.

Steelers' record: 3-4 (.547)

 **Previous week:** No. 10 
 **This week's Steelers game:** vs. Colts 

The Dolphins acquired this pick in the Minkah Fitzpatrick trade. See No. 1 for the Dolphins' needs and the bottom section of this file for analysis of the Steelers' needs.

Record: 3-4 (.611)

 **Previous week:** No. 18 
 **This week's game:** vs. Lions 
 **Biggest needs:** Edge rusher, CB, WR 

All things considered, going 2-3 during their 48-day odyssey between home games is pretty respectable. The next step is going from the plucky upstart to winning games on a consistent basis. Will that phase begin against a Lions team in a similar situation?

Record: 3-4-1 (.467)

 **Previous week:** No. 16 
 **This week's game:** vs. 49ers 
 **Biggest needs:** OL, edge rusher, pass catcher 

The Saints gave the Cardinals a rude awakening from their three-game winning streak, which came against teams with a combined record of 3-21. Now Kyler Murray and Co. get to face the red-hot 49ers in two of their next three games, which will show Arizona just how far it has to go to hang with the bully in the division.

Record: 4-4 (.400)

 **Previous week:** No. 13 
 **This week's game:** at Panthers 
 **Biggest needs:** QB, OL, RB 

They were by a combined seven points against losing teams, but the Titans have won two games in a row for the first time this season. Wait a second. Is Tennessee destined to go 9-7 for the fourth year in a row?

Record: 4-4 (.452)

 **Previous week:** No. 15 
 **This week's game:** vs. 
 Texans (in London) 
 **Biggest needs:** CB, DL, OL 

The Jaguars have had a 100-yard wide receiver in three of the past four games and Leonard Fournette is second in the league in rushing. This team is better at the skill positions than it gets credit for.

Record: 4-4 (.475)

 **Previous week:** No. 14 
 **This week's game:** vs. Bears 
 **Biggest needs:** DB, edge rusher, WR 

It's too early for must-win games, but Sunday's joust with the Bears is a pretty big one for both clubs involved. A path to the division title is still there for the Eagles, but if they lose to Chicago, they'll enter the bye week staring at a 4-5 record with the Patriots and Seahawks up next.

Record: 3-3-1 (.545)

 **Previous week:** No. 12 
 **This week's game:** at Raiders 
 **Biggest needs:** CB, OL, WR 

Detroit snapped its three-game losing streak against the Giants, but you could see the cracks in the armor, particularly in a secondary that is operating at far less than full strength. Daniel Jones had more pass TDs (four) than in his previous three games combined a week after Kirk Cousins scorched the Lions for four TD passes.

Record: 4-3 (.538)

 **Previous week:** No. 20 
 **This week's game:** vs. Titans 
 **Biggest needs:** DB, OL, DL 

After suffering a shellacking from the 49ers, it's hard to see the Panthers starting a new winning streak in November. Yes, the Titans (Week 9) and Falcons (Week 11) are eminently beatable, but road trips to Green Bay (Week 10) and New Orleans (Week 12) are looming.

Rams' record: 5-3 (.483)

 **Previous week:** No. 19 
 **This week's Rams game:** On bye 

The Jaguars acquired this pick in the Jalen Ramsey trade. See No. 16 for the Jaguars' needs and the bottom section of this file for analysis of the Rams' needs.

Record: 4-3 (.407)

 **Previous week:** Playoffs 
 **This week's game:** at Giants 
 **Biggest needs:** DB, pass catcher, DL 

We will reach the midway point of the season without any tangible evidence that the Cowboys can beat a winning team. They have yet to do so this season. We'll have our answer by the end of November, with games against the Vikings, Lions, Patriots and Bills. The combined record of the teams Dallas has defeated is 7-23.

Texans' record: 5-3 (.525)

 **Previous week:** Playoffs 
 **This week's Texans game:** vs. 
 Jaguars (in London) 

The Dolphins acquired this pick in the Laremy Tunsil trade. See No. 1 for the Dolphins' needs and the bottom section of this file for analysis of the Texans' needs.

Record: 5-3 (.575)

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

The Chiefs' defense wasn't up to the task against one of the league's top passers. That's a familiar storyline in Kansas City, which gets another test against a QB who's been unstoppable of late with Kirk Cousins coming to town.

Record: 5-2 (.352)

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

The Bills haven't beaten a team that's .500 or better entering Week 9, but the schedule won't present them with one until Week 13 (Cowboys). The record of their next four opponents is 5-25. Enjoy this ride, Buffalo.

Record: 5-2 (.368)

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

The Ravens are on pace to record 27 sacks this season, which would be their fewest in a campaign in nearly a decade. The trenches should be the focus for GM Eric DeCosta this offseason.

Record: 5-2 (.418)

 **Previous week:** Playoffs 
 **This week's game:** at Steelers 
 **Biggest needs:** DL, pass catcher, DB 

Frank Reich's too good of a coach to let his team fall into cruise-control mode, although he did almost get a surprise from the Broncos on Sunday. That said, the Colts have made the playoffs each of the 11 times they have started 5-2 or better since 1990, and they don't face a team with a winning record in their next three games. The way things are shaping up, it would be surprising if the Colts don't make the postseason.

Record: 6-2 (.402)

 **Previous week:** Playoffs 
 **This week's game:** at Chiefs 
 **Biggest needs:** OL, DB, DL 

Things are peachy at the moment for Minnesota, coming off four straight wins, but it's going to be an interesting offseason, especially at the cornerback position. The Vikings have little in the way of salary-cap flexibility, Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander are due to hit the market, and one of the team's most expensive players -- Xavier Rhodes -- is having a disastrous year.

Record: 6-2 (.434)

 **Previous week:** Playoffs 
 **This week's game:** vs. Buccaneers 
 **Biggest needs:** Edge rusher, DT, OL 

The depth of this offensive line -- one of the worst pass-blocking units in the league, according to PFF -- continues to be tested. Center Justin Britt is done for the season, which is awful news for an O-line that's about to tangle with far more capable fronts than the Falcons' toothless troop. Their first meeting of the season with the 49ers is only a game away.

Record: 7-1 (.508)

 **Previous week:** Playoffs 
 **This week's game:** at Chargers 
 **Biggest needs:** OT, WR, TE 

This O-line is playing well right now, no doubt. So why is OT atop the needs list? Keep in mind that Bryan Bulaga is 31 and in a contract year and David Bakhtiari will be in the same situation a year from now.

Record: 7-1 (.533)

 **Previous week:** Playoffs 
 **This week's game:** On bye 
 **Biggest needs:** CB, WR, QB 

This train is going to just keep chugging along. Drew Brees is back, the defense continues to ball and they go Falcons-Buccaneers-Panthers- Falcons in November. Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Record: 8-0 (.259)

 **Previous week:** Playoffs 
 **This week's game:** at Ravens 
 **Biggest needs:** TE, OL, S 

New England has clowned on the rest of the league to this point as the beneficiaries of the NFL's softest schedule thus far. An absolute grinder of a stretch awaits, though. Before relief comes in the form of the Cincinnati Bengals in mid-December, the Patriots will go at Ravens, bye, at Eagles, vs. Cowboys, at Texans, vs. Chiefs. No team from that group is below .500.

Record: 7-0 (.327)

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

Six of the 49ers' final nine games are against teams that have posted records above .500 to this point, so yes, we know that their strength of schedule is the second-lowest in the league and tougher tests await. But this team is looking downright Patriot-like in crushing everything that gets in its way.


Biggest needs: QB, DB, OG

I'm sorry, my fellow Chicagoans, but it's time to face it. As's Bucky Brooks recently wrote, the fading Bears have to think about who's next at quarterback. Some of the coaching decisions haven't been much better than Mitchell Trubisky's play, though.

Biggest needs: Edge rusher, OL, CB

A team that boasted enviable depth off the edge just a couple months ago is now looking awfully thin at the position. The news of J.J. Watt's season-ending injury broke after Houston failed to sack Derek Carr, who recorded his highest passer rating in a year on Sunday at NRG Stadium. The Texans have just two sacks in their last three games, and their leader in sacks -- Whitney Mercilus -- is in a contract year. Watt, who'll be 31 in March, will have missed half the team's games from 2016-2019 by the time this season comes to an end.

Biggest needs: OL, edge rusher, DB

The Rams made easy work of two of the league's worst teams (Falcons and Bengals combined record of 1-15) to head into the bye on a winning streak, but there are some lingering concerns here. Los Angeles' run defense struggled against the worst rushing team in the league (Cincinnati) on Sunday and still ranks in the league's bottom seven in run and pass blocking, per PFF.

Biggest needs: Edge rusher, pass catcher, OL

Bud Dupree is having a career year just in time for free agency. Will the Steelers be willing/able to clear enough cap space to keep him? Even if he's back in 2020, Pittsburgh has to add depth at the position behind Dupree and T.J. Watt.

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