Free agency didn't change the fact that stopping the run remains the Bengals' weak link on defense. An upgrade in the middle of the line is mandatory, and Johnson is the consensus top gap-clogging tackle available.
With Pat Williams added, they're set at defensive tackle. With Fred Smoot on board, they're set at cornerback, too. James gives them an edge pass-rush presence, and suddenly the Minnesota D-line is looking pretty formidable.
The Rams' troubles at offensive right tackle have been well documented. The Kyle Turley acquisition was a coach-killer (sorry, couldn't resist), and Brown would solidify a position that has been a revolving door since 2002.
With the defense getting help from Merriman at No. 11, the Cowboys need to find a big-play receiver. White is the draft's second-best burner after Williamson. Oklahoma's Mark Clayton should be another consideration.
Given the Jags' troubles at DE last season, they still could go for Georgia's David Pollack, even after signing Denver's Reggie Hayward in free agency. But there's need at cornerback too, making Jackson too good to pass up.
Even with Derrick Mason on board, the Raves could use more help at receiver. Clayton is too highly rated for the draft-savvy Ravens to pass on. If he's is gone, Washington offensive tackle Khalif Barnes makes sense.
The Seahawks' defensive line needs help and they have options here. Pollack has a great motor and intensity level in the mode of Grant Wistrom, but Seattle also could consider USC's DE/DT Shaun Cody, Oklahoma DE Dan Cody or Iowa DE Matt Roth. Pollack gets the slightest of nods.
The Packers have more pressing needs at guard and safety, but it's tough to spend first-round money on those positions unless there's a no-brainer pick. The Pack has spent heavily on cornerbacks, but Washington's speed makes him too tempting. Florida LB Channing Crowder could be the choice, too.
With Reggie Hayward lost to free agency and Trevor Pryce's back injury still a potential issue, the Broncos would be wise to upgrade their defensive line with somebody other than former Browns. Roth is versatile enough to fit into Denver's plan to play some 3-4 scheme in 2005.
Ideally, the Jets need a replacement for run-stuffing nose tackle Jason Ferguson. While Cody might not be the perfect fit, he did prove he can play inside in college, and he was part of the nation's No. 1 rush defense. If CB Fabian Washington lingers, New York would consider nabbing him.
The Falcons can go a lot of different ways, but we're going to give them Brown, a local product, because their most glaring need is a No. 1 receiver for Michael Vick. Washington OT Khalif Barnes, LB Crowder or DT Anttaj Hawthorne are all names to keep track of.
After going defense with their No. 12 pick, the Chargers probably are thinking receiver with this selection. But all the really good ones are gone. Barnes is the only true left tackle in the draft, and he'll be Roman Oben's eventual replacement.
The Colts going defense seems to be the lock of the draft. We'll give them Cody because he's the best remaining pass rusher, and ideally he would help free up fellow end Dwight Freeney. Cody has proven himself in key games in a big-time program.
Miller is a great value this low in the round, and he'll give Ben Roethlisberger another target now that Plaxico Burress is on the Giants. The Steelers would be ecstatic if the play-making Miller falls to them.
The Eagles could opt for receiving help for No. 1 pass-catcher Terrell Owens, and that's where the Matt Jones speculation makes things interesting. But Ware is the kind of edge rusher who can make things happen at both defensive end or linebacker.
Even with Duane Starks replacing Ty Law, the Patriots still could be in the market for more depth in the secondary. Miller also is a return specialist, and we all know how much the Pats like guys who can do more than one thing. Finding a potential replacement for ILB Tedy Bruschi is another priority.