Team Needs  

Pizza Hut  

As Pats aim to add talent, Bills might opt for solution at QB

  • By Pat Kirwan NFL.com
More Columns >
Amy Sancetta / Associated Press
With two picks in the first round, the defending AFC East champion Pats should be able to add to their talent pool.


Pat Kirwan examines the draft needs for all 32 teams, by division, this week. The biggest need for each team is listed first and followed in descending order.


AFC East

Buffalo Bills

Needs: QB, LT, G, DE, OLB, TE

While the Bills like quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, I'm not sure they think he is the long-term answer. They will be able to take one of the top two quarterbacks if they like either Cam Newton or Blaine Gabbert.

Projection game: Two-round mock
There has been some talk that the Bills could opt for a quarterback with the third overall pick in the draft, but Pat Kirwan sees the team addressing the defensive line in Round 1. More ...

Otherwise, Buffalo takes a top-flight defensive lineman or could trade down to help add picks and inject as much talent as possible. They already have eight choices, including four in the top 100, but one more wouldn't hurt, especially if they have an eye on a QB like Christian Ponder later in the process.

Keep in mind, the Bills coached Von Miller at the Senior Bowl, which could add some intrigue.

Buffalo also needs offensive tackle help. Although it's too early to take one with the third overall pick, the run could be over when the Bills are back on the clock in the second round.

*Draft choices: Nos. 3, 34, 68, 99, 121, 130, 164, 195

Miami Dolphins

Needs: RB, G, TE, QB, FS, CB

Miami hasn't solved its quarterback issues. Chad Henne is under tremendous pressure to deliver or things could get ugly for everyone. Needs at guard, tight end and safety should be addressed later in the draft, but filling those holes is harder without a second-round pick. Moving down to acquire a choice late in the second round should be considered.

The Dolphins have to get younger at running back, and many think Mark Ingram is destined to be in Miami. I'm not sure that is the direction the organization will go in the first round. It looks like offense will be the focus, at least for the first two days.

*Draft choices: Nos.15, 79, 110, 143, 174 207, 208

New England Patriots

Needs: Pass rusher, LT, DE, Big WR, OLB, RB

With two picks in the first round and six in the top 92, the Patriots will get what they want and parlay a few choices into 2012 selections. They need a pass rusher, left tackle, a good big man on the defensive line and an outside linebacker. A tall wide receiver to "take the top off" the defense is always a consideration, but that might come a bit later in the draft since Tom Brady can help coach him up.

Bill Belichick has always liked defensive players with experience rushing the passer with their hand on the ground and an ability to play in coverage. He also has a very strong connection with the Florida Gators and will study that roster.

*Draft choices: Nos.17, 28, 33, 60, 74, 92, 124, 156, 188

New York Jets

Needs: OLB, DE, G, WR, S

Even though the Jets get a lot of mileage out of their creative defensive scheme, they need more talent at end and outside linebacker. No more scheme pass rush, this unit needs a few players who can beat a block so there are enough guys in coverage against Tom Brady.

A right offensive tackle could be a top priority, and the highest graded player left on the board when the Jets pick in the first round just might be a tackle. Without a second-round selection, they might have to reach a bit in the first round since 64 players will come off the board between their first and second pick. Somewhere in this draft, the Jets have to grab a safety because injuries at that position changed everything last year.

*Draft choices: Nos.30, 94, 125, 158, 189, 197

*The draft picks are unofficial at this point. The league is expected to release the complete draft order by the end of March.

Headlines

The previous element was an advertisement.

NFL Shop

NFL News
CONTENT
15