NFL: AFC East Team Needs

There’s a clearer picture forming of what each NFL team’s roster will look like heading into the draft. While there will be some further additions prior to the draft, teams have a range of needs to address one way or another. Here is a look at the AFC East’s team needs:

Buffalo Bills

The Bills’ biggest need heading into 2019 was offensive weapons. They have already begun addressing that by adding Frank Gore at Running Back, Tyler Kroft at Tight End, and a few Offensive Linemen. Gore adds some nice depth, but is the third RB over the age of 30 on the roster. Kroft was unreliable in Cincinnati, and both of these positions need solidifying and youth.

On the other hand, Wide Receiver is no longer the Bills’ biggest need. With Robert Foster coming on strong late in 2018, the team added John Brown and Cole Beasley. Brown is a nice deep threat who will suit Quarterback Josh Allen’s strong arm and Beasley was a solid slot receiver in Dallas. But it wouldn’t hurt for the Bills to explore another big playmaker early in the draft, especially with a strong WR class.

On Defense, the main needs are in the secondary, alongside depth on the Defensive Line and at Linebacker. Upgrades are needed at both Safety positions, and the team should look to pair another Cornerback with last season’s rookie Tre’Davious White.

Miami Dolphins

Miami has a very glaring need (Quarterback) that will dictate their entire draft strategy. Although they added Jake Rudock in Free Agency, the position is far from decided. The Dolphins will probably miss out on the Kyler Murray sweepstakes, but could be in play to trade for Josh Rosen, if they decide to not draft Dwayne Haskins or a different QB.

The rest of the offensive positions are also in poor condition aside from TE. RB remains a need, for either depth if the team trusts Kenyan Drake as the starter, or to replace him as the lead back. The OL lacks both quality and depth, and while WR has a few solid pieces, the Dolphins lack a true number 1 receiver. Despite DeVante Parker signing an extension, he has failed to be the playmaker the team needs on a consistent basis.

Defensively, the interior of the Line must be addressed, and the team should also look at replacing Cameron Wake at Defensive End. The LBs also need some work, while the Defensive Backs are in a strong state overall. New Head Coach Brian Flores will probably help the LBs improve, but might insist on the team fixing the position as a priority to make his scheme work.

New England Patriots

What does a Super Bowl champion need to address? The Special Teams, for one, especially with Belichick’s emphasis on this area. Both Punter Ryan Allen and Kicker Stephen Gostkowski are Free Agents, so unless either one is brought back these will remain ongoing needs.

Then there’s the question of Tom Brady’s replacement. Sooner or later, the team will need to bring in their QB of the future. It’s possible this is the year they do it, although don’t be surprised to see them ignore for another year.

The DBs are another ageing group that could do with an injection of youth. While they drafted a pair of CBs last year, a Safety could be added in the draft in preparation for the future.

The rest of the Defense only needs some depth added at Defensive Tackle and Middle LB. However, Albert McClellan could still re-sign with the team over the coming weeks. Michael Bennett has been brought in already to replace the loss of Trey Flowers on the DL.

The OL has been strong for years now, and is unlikely to see a facelift this year. Rob Gronkowski is consistently rumoured to be nearing retirement, and the Patriots could easily look at taking a TE in the draft. The RBs and WRs are also stable, but don’t be surprised to see either position added to in the draft. In particular, a big-bodied receiver could be a priority for the team since Brady’s deep accuracy has started to decline.

New York Jets

The Jets have been one of the most active teams in Free Agency this year. They’ve already addressed multiple needs, including ILB, WR, RB, and OL. Adding Le’Veon Bell at RB will give QB Sam Darnold a lot of help, but WR should continue to be a focus. That being said, the Center and Tackle spots of the OL are bigger needs. Without them, both Darnold and Bell will struggle throughout 2019.

The other major move by the Jets, signing ILB CJ Mosley, gives the Defense a dominant spine through the middle. But the Jets still need more help on the edge and should target pass rushers, especially with a deep DL class. CB and a Safety to pair with Jamal Adams would further solidify the Defense. However, the Jets have a lot of needs and won’t be able to fill all of them, and the DBs are probably low on the list of priorities.

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