The AFC East had a top heavy draft in my opinion. They all had solid 1st round picks, and with the free agency of the Bills, Dolphins, and Jets, they probably didn’t need as much depth as one would have originally thought, but they didn’t have too many, if any late round steals. As the Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, and New York Jets all try to chase down the New England Patriots, they are still going to have to fill some holes, have their good players play up to expectation, and get some breaks. I think the Patriots came back to the pack a little, but they are still at the top of the hill. So with that said, let’s go over the remaining AFC East Team Needs.
Buffalo Bills – The Bills went into the 2015 NFL draft with no 1st and 4th round picks due to trading up to get Sammy Watkins last year, so it’s hard to kill them over their draft, especially when they had such a great free agency period. So with the two picks in the 1st four rounds they did have, I feel the Ronald Darby pick was slightly unnecessary. Getting offensive tackle or a Safety would have been my preference, but they did get a much needed offensive guard. Their remaining holes are as followed:
Offensive Tackle – They currently have a 7th round pick slated to start at RT. Yes, offensive linemen come out of nowhere sometimes, but it’s still hard to depend on it.
Safety – The Bills should have used their pick on Landon Collins in my opinion, but they are going to go with 2013 4th round pick Duke Williams at SS, he split time last year and now will be given the whole store.
Inside Linebacker – Coach Rex Ryan’s hopes of David Harris were dashed when he went back to the Jets. Instead they will have to go with Preston Brown again.
Miami Dolphins – The Dolphins are the “Wise Guy” pick to come out the AFC East this year. Two years ago they surprisingly almost made the playoffs then last week they didn’t have a better record, but they seemed to play better. This year, they added big time in free agency and they probably had the best draft of any team in the division. They went into the draft needed to fill 3 holes and with their selections of DeVante Parker, Jordan Phillips, and Jamil Douglas, I think they did exactly that. Congratulations Dolphins fans, if your team stays healthy, they are the 1st time I observed that has no big holes to file.
New England Patriots – With the Patriots selecting Malcolm Brown as a possible NT solution and then draft Tre Jackson to play Guard, they filled two of the three holes I thought they needed to address. The Patriots lost a lot of veteran experience in the offseason and they have to hope that they are able to replace them with younger guys who fit the system and know how to play the Patriot way. The spot biggest hit was a CB, because of that, their one remaining team need was:
Cornerback – With the loss of Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner, and Kyle Arrington, it was a thought that they would address the CB position. However, they are going to go into the year with Malcolm Butler, newly signed Bradley Fletcher, and Logan Ryan.
New York Jets – I think the Jets were the only team in the division that drafted well late, however, and I’m in the minority here, but I didn’t like their picks in the 1st two rounds with Leonard Williams and Devin Smith. Jets have Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker, and Jeremy Kerley at WR and Sheldon Richardson and Muhammad Wilkerson at DE, both were positions of strength, neither really needed upgrading. Unless they trade one of their DEs or they are down on Kerley now, neither pick made sense. However getting Lorenzo Mauldin, Bryce Petty, and Jarvis Harrison made all the sense in the world, which leaves their one remaining need as:
Running Back – Whether they trot Geno Smith out there or unleash what could be a good sleep pick in Bryce Petty, they Jets are going to have to run the ball to take the pressure off their QB. I would have taken Todd Gurley in round one or Tevin Coleman/Ameer Abdullah in round two.
When you sum up the AFC East offseason they made the most improvements overall in the league. Dolphins have zero glaring holes, the Jets only need a RB, Bills still have some work to do but added a LOT of offensive talent, and the Pats are the defending Superbowl Champions, when you have that, you don’t really have to say nothing much else. It should be a fun year watching these divisional battles and it makes it a really good time to be a fan of the NFL.
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