A good draft can often make the difference between a good and a great season, but you want to have a solid roster to build on rather than having to reach to fill gaps with your rookie class.
That’s easier said than done when you don’t have much cap space to work with, while it could be even tougher with suggestions that the cap could reduce ahead of next year.
The good people at Over The Cap have projected how much space every team has to work with ahead of free agency, and it’s fair to say that some are in a much better situation that others.
The Jaguars and the Jets are both in the fortunate position of having $77m and $67m to spend respectively and they have the top picks in the draft, so there’s no excuse for them to produce similar records to last season.
The other teams with a lot of space are the Colts ($69m) and the Patriots ($63m), both will need a QB so that space gives them the ability to sign any free agents if they want, while you would also expect them to bring in some genuine quality to make them playoff contenders ahead of next year.
On the other end of the spectrum there are some franchises who are in serious trouble, with New Orleans looking in a particularly rough spot.
They are currently $74m over the cap but Drew Brees has just restructured his deal so that should help, but it’s the Eagles ($49m over) and the Falcons ($31m) that you do worry about because they have so many holes in the roster.
Perhaps the Falcons might move on from Jones and Ryan to make up for that and they do pick 4th overall so a new QB could be found there, while the Eagles may need to get as many picks as they can for Wentz to try and plug some of those gaps.
READ MORE: Video: Watch the Super Bowl streaker slip past two security guards before meeting a ferocious end
It does suggest that there won’t be so much money on offer for any big ticket free agents this time round so that might convince some to stay put on team friendly deals, but it does mean the draft could be more important than ever.