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HOW WILL YOU TURN AROUND YOUR FRANCHISE?
PETER KING
January 16, 2012
For the 20 NFL teams that didn't make the playoffs, the off-season will still be plenty busy. Here are the priorities for each between now and the April 26--28 draft, in order of selection
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January 16, 2012

How Will You Turn Around Your Franchise?

For the 20 NFL teams that didn't make the playoffs, the off-season will still be plenty busy. Here are the priorities for each between now and the April 26--28 draft, in order of selection

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1 | Indianapolis Colts

No matter who coaches this team, no matter who the general manager is, the Colts must use the first pick on one of the draft's two highest-rated QBs—Stanford's Andrew Luck or Baylor's Robert Griffin III. Peyton Manning will be 36 in March and is coming off three neck surgeries in two years.

2 | St. Louis Rams

They should ransom the second overall selection to a quarterback-needy team for at least three high draft picks. With wideout Brandon Lloyd likely to leave in free agency, St. Louis needs two receivers, a shutdown corner and a pass rusher to pair with defensive end Chris Long. And that's just to start.

3 | Minnesota Vikings

Trading down for multiple picks would help a team desperate for stalwarts at guard and left tackle. But the biggest trouble by far is at cornerback. Minnesota needs two, particularly with broken-down Antoine Winfield turning 35 next June.

4 | Cleveland Browns

President Mike Holmgren said last week that he's not ready to "anoint" Colt McCoy as the starting QB. But unless Luck or Griffin fall this low, the Browns should give McCoy a real chance and use their three picks (two in the first round, one in the second) to build an offense around him.

5 | Tampa Bay Buccaneers

After drafting primarily for defense in each of the last two years, general manager Mark Dominik must get quarterback Josh Freeman some help, both at tackle and at receiver. And because ownership must start spending money to show the fan base it cares, I'd start with one of the top free-agent cornerbacks out there: Cortland Finnegan of the Titans. He would bolster a defense that gave up a whopping 30 passing touchdowns this year and must play six games a year against Drew Brees, Cam Newton and Matt Ryan.

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