By: Michael Adamo @Madamo1
Draft Needs: The AFC East
Buffalo Bills: QB, LB, DT
Amid a playoff chase, the Bills replaced starter Tyrod Taylor with 2017 5th round draft pick Nathan Peterman against the Los Angeles Chargers. Peterman responded by going 6/14 with 66 passing yards and 5 interceptions. The position was one of the weakest in the NFL has they finished with the second least passing yards in the league. Taylor might be on his way out of Buffalo, as he does not want to restructure his contract for the second offseason in a row. “”Definitely not part of my mindset,” Taylor said, per the Buffalo News. “I’ve done that before. I don’t think there’s a need to do that again. That’s definitely not part of my mindset.” If they release Taylor this offseason, QB should be their number one priority. With two first round draft picks, the Bills could sit and wait or move up to get a QB. If they sit and wait, Lamar Jackson could be an option, or if they move up Baker Mayfield might be their guy. The next two needs are due to the Bills struggle in stopping the run, as they ranked 29th in rushing yards allowed in 2017. A switch from the 3-4 defense to the 4-3 defense could have affected the Defense, as Lorenzo Alexander went from having a career year to a decent year. Include Zach Brown leaving in free agency and the preseason trade of Reggie Ragland, and the LB corps was much different than 2016. A selection at this position would help, as players like Rashaan Evans, Malik Jefferson or Senior Bowl standout Darius Leonard should be targets early for the Bills. DT should also be looked at, as the midseason trade of Marcell Dareus and the aging Kyle Williams has that position looking thin for the future. Taven Bryan, Maurice Hurst or Justin Jones could be looked at in Rounds 2-3.
Miami Dolphins: OG, LB, WR
When both of your Guards are impending free agents in the same offseason, then you know that position must be a priority. With Ted Larsen and Jermon Bushrod impending free agents, the Dolphins have to ensure Ryan Tannehill (if he’s 100%) has time to throw, since he is coming off of an ACL operation. While Offensive Guard isn’t a highly drafted position, the Dolphins could have a chance to get the best Guard the draft has seen in a while. Quenton Nelson is viewed as a safe prospect, albeit with tremendous potential. Some scouts have a higher grade on Nelson than Logan Mankins, David Decastro and Brandon Schreff, all who have been Pro Bowl player. If he is gone by their pick in Round 1, then Will Hernandez or Braden Smith could be looked at in Round 2. On the other side of the ball, LB is a glaring need for this team, as 2017 2nd rounder Raekwon McMillan is coming off of a torn ACL and Kiko Alonso and Lawrence Timmons look like shells of their former selves. This should squarely make Miami look at their replacements, as Roquan Smith, Tremaine Edmunds or Jerome Baker could help solidify that position. The last position of need is based on the fact Miami might not resign Pro-Bowl WR Jarvis Landry. Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald “still gets the “sense” that Jarvis Landry’s “most likely scenario” is leaving the Dolphins in free agency.” If that is the case, their two starting receivers will be Kenny Stills and DeVante Parker. While that is not a bad duo, they would need to add someone else to the equation, as players like D.J. Chark, Javon Wims or Dante Pettis could be mid-round selections to fill the gap Landry would leave.
Missing the thrill of a live draft? Join Drafters today and get $10 just for signing up. Get in a live snake draft for FREE! No deposit required!
New England Patriots: DT, LB, LT
When a team like the Patriots, who consistently drafts 24th or later every year for what seems like the past decade drafts, they have to hit on their draft picks as the won’t get the best player available unless they trade up. This year for the Patriots, with it being a deep class, they have the luxury of sitting back and having a good player fall to them. With DT, they used their 2015 1t round pick on Malcom Brown. While he and Lawrence Guy prove to be a decent combo, they don’t have a difference maker from the inside. Getting pressure from up the middle could be a difference maker for this defense, especially with DC Matt Patricia moving onto Detroit. Players like Tim Settle, R.J. McIntosh or Rasheem Green could all be that difference maker from DT. Once Dont’a Hightower tore his pec in Week 8, the Patriots have scrambled to find a decent replacement for him, which David Harris and Elandon Roberts have done an ok job. However, the Patriots need to find a replacement this offseason. Josey Jewell, Oren Burks or small school standout Nick DeLuca could be upgrades come the Draft. Left tackle could be a position of need if the team does not decide to re-sign starter Nate Solder, as he is an impending free agent. If they choose not to resign him, they would need to find his replacement, which players like Kolton Miller or Isaiah Wynn would be great fits.
New York Jets: QB, CB, OLB
Stop if you heard this before, the New York Jets need a Quarterback for the 2018 season. For the past couple of years, the Jets have relied on veterans to lead the position. While that is fine for a short period of time, they need to find their next franchise QB. With this draft, there will be a top QB when the Jets pick at 6. Who that QB will be you don’t know, as it is still early in the process. If I’m a Jets fan however, I am hoping and praying they draft Baker Mayfield. Other options are Josh Allen or Lamar Jackson, if the Jets decide to reach on a difference maker. Cornerback is a position of need due to the fact their best starter in 2017, Morris Claiborne, is headed towards Free Agency. Buster Skrine is a good CB, but more suited for the slot position. If they resign Claiborne or not, they would need depth, as the rest of the Corners struggled. Carlton Davis, Donte Jackson and Mike Hughes could be answers to the help the Jets need at the position. Finally, the LB position needs an upgrade, which is nearly the same reason as Corner. Demario Davis, their best LB, is heading towards Free Agency. If he is not resigned, they have a hole in the middle of the defense. The Jets need to find someone who could generate a rush on the QB, as Muhammed Wilkerson seemed to check out once he signed his extension. Arden Key, Marcus Davenport or Harold Landry could all fit the bill, and generate some pass rush from the position the Jets haven’t had since Calvin Pace left town.