With the 2015 NFL Draft fast approaching, Bucky Brooks is breaking down the biggest areas of need for every team in the NFL, division by division. Below is his look at the AFC East. (NOTE: Click on tabs to see other divisions; click on team names to see a full list of draft picks.)
Biggest needs: Linebacker, offensive guard, quarterback.
The Bills have quickly assembled one of the most talented rosters in the NFL by making a series of bold moves over the past two seasons. Of course, general manager Doug Whaley's wheeling and dealing -- specifically, the draft-day trade last year that allowed him to snag Sammy Watkins -- has left the Bills without a first-round pick in 2015. Still, the team can plug its holes by taking a clever approach on the last two days of the draft. The loss of Kiko Alonso (via trade) and, potentially, Brandon Spikes (who remains an unsigned free agent) makes the linebacker position a top priority. UCLA's Eric Kendricks and Miami's Denzel Perryman are potential targets on Day 2. The addition of offensive lineman Richie Incognito won't prevent the Bills from looking at a rugged interior blocker like Duke's Laken Tomlinson or Florida State's Tre' Jackson as possible options. Buffalo's quarterback issues could definitely prompt Whaley to take a flier on an intriguing developmental prospect like South Alabama's Brandon Bridge or Southeastern Louisiana's Bryan Bennett.
Biggest needs: Receiver, linebacker, defensive tackle.
The Dolphins are on the verge of challenging for divisional supremacy, but first they need to add a few more playmakers on both sides of the ball. Identifying an explosive WR1 on the perimeter -- someone who could help Ryan Tannehill take another step in his development as a franchise quarterback -- should be a top priority. Louisville's DeVante Parker, Arizona State's Jaelen Strong and Missouri's Dorial Green-Beckham are big-bodied pass catchers with strong hands. Miami could also add a young, athletic defensive tackle to pair with Ndamukong Suh on the inside. Iowa's Carl Davis, Ohio State's Michael Bennett and Clemson's Grady Jarrett are viable Day 2 options. The search for a disruptive inside linebacker could make Clemson's Stephone Anthony, TCU's Paul Dawson and Miami's Denzel Perryman possible targets on Friday, as well.
Biggest needs: Cornerback, receiver, defensive tackle.
The Patriots claimed the Lombardi Trophy in February behind a championship-caliber defense that bullied opponents in the AFC last season. The losses of Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner leave that defense without a proven CB1. New England could expend a top pick on an athletic cover corner like Wake Forest's Kevin Johnson, LSU's Jalen Collins or Connecticut's Byron Jones. After letting veteran Vince Wilfork walk, the team is also in the market for a rugged defensive tackle. Texas' Malcom Brown, Florida State's Eddie Goldman and Oklahoma's Jordan Phillips are intriguing candidates who could be available. If the Patriots look to upgrade their receiving corps, Ohio State's Devin Smith, USC's Nelson Agholor and ECU's Justin Hardy are Day 2 possibilities, based on their workmanlike games on the perimeter. A hybrid pass catcher like Michigan's Devin Funchess could also be in the mix, based on his ability to create mismatches on the perimeter.
Biggest needs: Pass rusher, receiver, quarterback.
Based on the moves the Jets have made this offseason, it looks as if they'll continue to be a defense-oriented squad under new coach Todd Bowles. Reacquiring Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie gives them arguably the top cornerback tandem in the NFL, but the team still needs to upgrade the pass rush, to alleviate some of the pressure the dynamic duo will face on the perimeter. An electric pass rusher like Clemson's Vic Beasley or Missouri's Shane Ray could force opposing quarterbacks to throw more quickly from the pocket and give Gang Green an opportunity to feast on one-on-one protection with various blitz schemes. Offensively, the Jets must consider adding one of the top QB prospects, presuming one is available when the team is on the clock. Oregon's Marcus Mariota would appear to be a good fit in coordinator Chan Gailey's offense, based on his athleticism and playmaking ability. Baylor's Bryce Petty and UCLA's Brett Hundley could also be options on Day 2 as spread-offense specialists with intriguing physical tools. Adding a top receiver like Alabama's Amari Cooper or West Virginia's Kevin White would enhance a receiving corps that already features a few big-bodied pass catchers in Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall.