Under the cloud of the lockout, the NFL completed its draft Saturday.
With teams handcuffed by not being able to trade players or sign free agents, this year’s draft took on more significance as needs had to be filled by incoming college players.
Here is a look at what the teams needed entering the draft and how those holes were filled:
What they needed: OL
How they drafted: For first time since 1997 the Colts took offensive linemen in the first two rounds. First-round pick Anthony Castonzo will protect Peyton Manning’s blind side at left tackle, and second-round pick Ben Ijalana of Villanova will likely move from tackle to guard. Indianapolis also added to its rushing attack by taking running back Delone Carter of Syracuse with its fourth-round pick, and the Colts helped their defensive line by taking defensive tackle Drake Nevis of LSU in the third round. Michigan State cornerback Chris L. Rucker was the team’s final selection in the sixth round.
What they needed: OL, WR, DT, LB
How they drafted: The Bears took offensive tackle Gabe Carimi of Wisconsin with their first pick, Oregon State defensive tackle Stephen Paea in Round 2 and California safety Chris Conte in Round 3. Then finished their draft picking quarterback Nathan Enderle of Idaho in Round 5 and adding to linebacker corps with sixth-round pick J.T. Thomas of West Virginia.
What they needed: QB, OLB, DE, CB, ILB, OL
How they drafted: After addressing their cornerback need by taking LSU’s Patrick Peterson in the first round, the Cardinals, who already have Beanie Wells and Tim Hightower, surprised a lot of people with the selections of running backs Ryan Williams of Virginia Tech in the second round and Anthony Sherman in the fifth round.
What they needed: WR, RB, Pass rusher
How they drafted: The Falcons invested a lot to add the receiver they coveted, sending Cleveland their first-, second- and fourth-round picks from this year’s draft and a fourth-round selection in 2012 to move up to the No. 6 overall slot to take Alabama’s Julio Jones. Atlanta then added depth at linebacker Akeem by taking Georgia’s Akeem Dent in the third round.
What they needed: CB, WR, OT
How they drafted: Baltimore addressed several needs, most notably filling holes by taking cornerback Jimmy Smith of Colorado in the first round, wide receiver Torrey Smith of Maryland in the second round and offensive tackle Jah Reid of Central Florida in the third round. The Ravens added Indiana receiver Tandon Doss in the fourth round.
What they needed: DL, LB, OL
How they drafted: The Bills addressed what they perceived as their most pressing need by selecting seven defensive players. They started by taking Alabama defensive tackle Marcel Dareus with the third overall pick, then added defensive back Aaron Williams in Round 2, LSU linebacker Kelvin Sheppard in Round 3 and four more defensive players on the draft’s final day.
What they needed: QB, WR, DT, DE, CB
How they drafted: The Panthers stated their need for a star under center by taking Auburn’s Cam Newton No. 1 overall. And they beefed up their defensive line taking two defensive tackles Terrell McClain of South Florida and Sione Fua of Stanford in the third round.
What they needed: QB, WR, RB, S, CB, OL, LB
How they drafted: The Bengals chose players in the first two rounds who are expected to take over for moving-on stars. First-round pick A.J. Green of Georgia is expected to replace receiver Chad Ochocinco, and second-round selection Andy Dalton of TCU will get a chance to move into Carson Palmer’s spot – the franchise quarterback has thrown in the towel on a team with only two winning records in the last 20 years.
What they needed: WR, DL, RT
How they drafted: With the Browns switching from a 3-4 to a 4-3 scheme, they started on the defensive line by taking Baylor defensive tackle Phil Taylor in Round 1 and Pittsburgh defensive end Jabaal Sheard in Round 2. Cleveland moved to the offense with its next three picks, selecting North Carolina receiver Greg Little in Round 2 and USC tight end Jordan Cameron and Stanford running back Owen Marecic in Round 4.
What they needed: OT, DE, CB, DB
How they drafted: The Cowboys bulked up and got a couple of all-purpose offensive players. Dallas took 6-foot-5, 310-pound offensive tackle Tyron Smith of USC in the first round, and it added 6-foot-5, 302-pound guard David Arkin from Missouri State in the fourth round. Oklahoma running back DeMarco Murray, their third-round pick, and East Carolina receiver Dwayne Harris, who was taken in the sixth round, both had more than 6,300 all-purpose yards in college.
What they needed: DL, LB, WR
How they drafted: The Broncos infused youth, athleticism into their defense. They took four defensive players with their first five picks: Texas A&M linebacker Von Miller in Round 1, UCLA defensive back Rahim Moore in Round 2, N.C. State linebacker Nate Irving in Round 3 and Oklahoma defensive back Quinto Carter in Round 4
What they needed: CB, LB, OT
How they drafted: Detroit started by taking Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley in the first round and used second-round picks on Boise State receiver Titus Young and Illinois running back Mikel Leshoure. In the fifth round, the Lions chose Syracuse linebacker Doug Hogue, and they finished by tacking South Carolina State offensive tackle Johnny Culbreath in Round 7.
Green Bay Packers
What they needed: OT, G, C, DE, OLB, RB
How they drafted: The Packers used six of their 10 picks on offense, starting with Mississippi State tackle Derek Sherrod in the first round. The Super Bowl champions then added Kentucky receiver Randall Cobb in Round 2, Hawaii running back Alex Green in Round 3, Arkansas tight end D.J. Williams in Round 5, Utah guard Caleb Schlauderaff in Round 6 and North Carolina tight end Ryan Taylor in Round 7.
What they needed: DL, CB, S
How they drafted: The Texans took a half-dozen players to improve one of the league’s worst defenses. Houston took Wisconsin defensive end J.J. Watt in the first round, Arizona linebacker Brooks Reed and Miami cornerback Brandon Harris in the second round, Virginia Tech cornerback Rashad Carmichael in the fourth round, Idaho safety Shiloh Keo in the fifth round and Rice linebacker Cheta Ozougwu in the seventh.
What they needed: DE, S, LB, CB, C, G, QB, WR
How they drafted: After taking Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert in the first round, the Jaguars turned to small colleges in the draft. Jacksonville chose Lehigh guard Will Rackley in the third round, Mount Union receiver Cecil Shorts and Middle Tennessee State cornerback Rod Issac in the fifth round.
Kansas City Chiefs
What they needed: WR, C, G, LB, NT
How they drafted: With their first three picks, the Chiefs focused laser-like on their three most pressing needs – wide receiver (Pittsburgh’s John Baldwin, first round), offensive line (Florida State center Rodney Hudson, second round) and outside linebacker (Georgia’s Justion Houston, third round).
What they needed: RB, QB, TE, G, S, WR, OLB, ILB
How they drafted: Kansas State running back Daniel Thomas is such a versatile player the Dolphins gave up three draft picks, giving Washington picks in the third, fifth and seventh rounds to take Thomas in the second round. Miami opened the draft by taking Florida center Mike Pouncey in the first round as it used its first four picks on offense.
What they needed: QB, OL, DL, CB
How they drafted: The Vikings filled their quarterback need with a surprising pick, taking Florida State’s Christian Ponder with the 12th overall selection. Minnesota gave Ponder a big target by taking Notre Dame tight end Kyle Rudolph in the second round. Minnesota addressed its line needs with Iowa defensive tackle Christian Ballard in the fourth round, Arkansas offensive lineman DeMarcus Love and Slippery Rock center Brandon Fusco in the sixth and Arizona defensive end D’Aundre Reed in the seventh.
New England Patriots
What they needed: OL, LB, DE
How they drafted: The Patriots started by taking tackle Nate Solder of Colorado in the first round, Virginia cornerback Ras-I Dowling and running back Shane Vereen of California in the second and quarterback Ryan Mallett of Arkansas in the third. New England also picked up a first-round pick from New Orleans and a second-rounder from Oakland to add to its five draft selections in 2012.
New Orleans Saints
What they needed: DL, LB, RB
How they drafted: The Saints used five of their six picks on defensive players, taking California defensive end Cameron Jordan in Round 1, Illinois linebacker Martez Wilson and Louisville cornerback Johnny Patrick in Round 3 and Pittsburgh defensive end Greg Romeus and Illinois linebacker Nate Bussey in Round 7. They also traded into the first round to take Alabama running back Mark Ingram.
New York Giants
What they needed: OT, G, C, DE, OLB, RB
How they drafted: The Giants were thrilled to have Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara fall to them in the first round and North Carolina defensive tackle Marvin Austin in the second round. They then turned to needs taking Troy receiver Jerrel Jernigan in the third round, Indiana offensive tackle James Brewer in the fourth, Michigan State linebacker Greg Jones, Iowa safety Tyler Sash and South Florida linebacker Jacquian Williams in the sixth round and Maryland running back Da’Rel Scott in the seventh.
New York Jets
What they needed: DL, S, LB, WR, RT
How they drafted: After addressing defensive needs with Temple defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson in the first round and Hampton nose tackle Kenrick Ellis in the third, the Jets turned to their offense. They drafted Louisville running back Bilal Powell in Round 4, TCU receiver Jeremy Kerley in Round 5 and Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy and Colorado receiver Scotty Knight in Round 7.
What they needed: OL, DB, QB
How they drafted: Having to wait until the second round to make their first selection, the Raiders went for Penn State’s Stefen Wisniewski, whom they plan to use at center – a position he played for one season with the Nittany Lions. Oakland also took two of the fastest players available, picking up cornerback Chimdi Chekwa from Ohio State and Eastern Washington running back Taiwan Jones in the fourth round
What they needed: OL, CB
How they drafted: The Eagles’ first-round pick had more than football in his background. Baylor guard Danny Watkins, 26, is a former firefighter who is the oldest player taken in the first round since 25-year-old Billy Sims went to Detroit at No. 1 overall in 1980. Philadelphia then addressed its secondary by taking defensive backs Jaiquawn Jarrett of Temple in the second round and Utah State defensive back Curtis Marsh in the third round. Philadelphia made eight picks on the final day.
What they needed: OL, CB, DL
How they drafted: For the first time since 2005, the Steelers did not make a draft-day trade and picked 31st in every round. They started with Ohio State defensive end Cameron Heyward in the first round and took Florida offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert in the second. Pittsburgh addressed its needs at cornerbacks in the third and fourth rounds, taking Texas’ Curtis Brown and The Citadel’s Cortez Allen.
St. Louis Rams
What they needed: WR, LB, S
How they drafted: After adding a pass rusher with North Carolina defensive end Robert Quinn in the first round, the Rams loaded up on offensive talent. St. Louis chose Wisconsin tight end Lance Kendricks in the second round, Boise State receiver Austin Pettis in the third round and Hawaii receiver Greg Salas in the fourth round. The Rams finished by taking defensive backs with three of their last four picks, selecting Ohio State’s Jermale Hines in the fifth round along with Baylor’s .Mikail Baker and Oklahoma’s Jonathan Nelson in the seventh.
San Diego Chargers
What they needed: OLB, DE, OT, S
How they drafted: The Chargers went heavy on defense in the draft’s first three rounds. San Diego took Illinois defensive end Corey Liuget in the first round, Clemson cornerback Marcus Gilchrist and Michigan linebacker Jonas Mouton in the second round and USC cornerback Shareece Wright in the third round.
San Francisco 49ers
What they needed: QB, CB, DE
How they drafted: The 49ers hit all three of their need areas in the first three rounds. San Francisco took Missouri defensive end Aldon Smith, whom they will likely turn into a pass-rushing outside linebacker, in the first round, Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick in the second and South Carolina defensive back Chris Culliver in the third.
What they needed: QB, OL, DL, WR, CB
How they drafted: The Seahawks upgraded their offensive line with their first two picks, taking Alabama tackle James Carpenter in the first round, and after trading out of the second round, they grabbed Wisconsin guard John Moffitt in the third round. Seattle focused on its secondary on the final day, taking cornerback Richard Sherman and Appalachian State free safety Mark LeGree in the fifth round and Clemson cornerback Byron Maxwell in the sixth.
Tampa Bay Bucs
What they needed: DE
How they drafted: The Buccaneers were defensive minded with their first three picks, taking Iowa defensive end Adrian Clayborn in the first round, Clemson defensive end Da’Quan Bowers in the second and Washington linebacker Mason Foster in the third. After focusing on the front seven, the Bucs added to the back of their defense using a fifth-round pick on Florida safety Ahmad Black and a seventh-round pick on Florida International cornerback Anthony Gaitor.
What they needed: QB, DT, DE, LB
How they drafted: The Titans found their successor to Vince Young, whose relationship with the team soured the past two years, with another first-round pick in Washington’s Jake Locker. Tennessee then turned to beefing up its defense taking UCLA linebacker Akeem Ayers in the second round, USC tackle Jerrell Casey in the third, Miami linebacker Colin McCarthey in the fourth, Iowa tackle Karl Klug in the fifth and Auburn tackle Zack Claton and California (Pa.) cornerback Tommie Campbell in the seventh.
What they needed: QB, RB, WR, DT, DE, LB, FS
How they drafted: Washington used its first two picks to upgrade the pass rush, taking Purdue defensive end Ryan Kerrigan, who will move to linebacker, in Round 1 and Clemson defensive end Jarvis Jenkins in Round 2. On the draft’s final day, After taking Miami receiver Leonard Hankerson in the third round, the Redskins raided Nebraska, taking running back Roy Helu in the fourth along with safety DeJon Gomes and receiver Niles Paul in the fifth.