Every team in the AFC East has at least one pressing need. Will these squads be able to find guys who fit their needs in the draft? We’ll find out soon enough. For now, let's take a closer look at what exactly everyone is looking for.
Buffalo Bills: LB, WR, Depth on defense
While many people are saying that the Bills also need to find a franchise quarterback, I don’t think this is the year for that. The Bills have a great backfield in Spiller and Jackson, but couldn’t use them as much as they would’ve liked because their defense couldn’t keep them in games. They desperately need LB help (Te’o?) and it would be nice if Fitzpatrick had another WR option besides Stevie Johnson. Also, injuries certainly played a part in the Bills defensive struggles—ranking 28th against the run—that is why I believe they could use some depth on the defensive side.
Miami Dolphins: WR and CB
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Some people would also include OT for the Dolphins, but I am not convinced they are going to let Jake Long walk, so they can address this position in one of the much later rounds. As of right now, their top Corner last year—Sean Smith—is a free agent. They need to resign him and find him some help on the other side of the field.
While Hartline and Bess are great possession/underneath type receivers, the Dolphins should try to find an outside playmaker for their new franchise quarterback to throw to. Although, it is rumored they may solve that problem with Greg Jennings.
New England Patriots: WR and CB
While Tom Brady has continued to put up MVP like numbers, he hasn’t had a down field WR threat since Randy Moss. With Welker and Edelman hitting the free agent market, the Patriots desperately need to resign at least one of them and then draft some receivers as well. After all, they can’t keep calling Deion Branch forever. Also, CB Dennard isn’t bad, but the Patriots definitely need to find a way to bring back Talib and then try to find some depth at the CB position. Especially since the Pats secondary was torched week after week last year.
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I could also include LB on this list, but I think these are the most pressing needs.
New York Jets: QB, LB, QB, Pass rush from ANYwhere
Yes, I listed QB twice. However, I don’t know if that need is addressable in this year’s draft, which is why I also listed LB and some sort of pass rush. The Jets ranked 25th this year in sacks with only 30 on the season, which directly correlates to them needing LB help. Because in a 3-4 defense, being able to get your linebacker’s to the quarterback is absolutely crucial. They didn’t have that LB threat this past year.
Bottom line: Mark Sanchez is apparently staying put, which means this defense must find a way to get them to the postseason and they need a pass rush and LB help to do it.
Follow Cole Stevenson on twitter: @Cole_Stevenson