AFC East Needs
With the NFL offseason in full swing, it’s time to take a look at what each team in the AFC East needs.
It’s a division featuring two teams with young quarterbacks to build around in the New York Jets and the Buffalo Bills, the defending champions in the New England Patriots, and a team that is starting to rebuild in the Miami Dolphins. So, let’s take a look at what each still needs to address this offseason.
Needs: DT, DE, RB, TE, OL
After the Bills made a shocking postseason appearance back in 2017, it was time to truly rebuild in 2018. The Bills drafted quarterback Josh Allen seventh overall and began to build this roster up.
The Bills have already addressed a bunch of their needs during free agency, as they signed wide receivers John Brown and Cole Beasley, and made Mitch Morse the highest paid center in the NFL. However, they still need to fill the hole left at defensive tackle due to the retirement of Kyle Williams.
Drafting Ed Oliver from Houston would be a great fit for the Bills. They also need to get more out of their pass rush, as Jerry Hughes was the only consistent force the Bills had on the edge. They did bring defensive end Ziggy Ansah in for a visit, which should be something to keep an eye on.
The Bills need to get younger at running back since they have the oldest group of running backs in the NFL. Lastly, an athletic, vertical threat tight end along with some more offensive line help could be huge for Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills.
Needs: QB, DT, DE, S, CB
The Dolphins theme this offseason keeps changing. They fired head coach Adam Gase and brought in former Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores as their new head coach. They just traded former eighth overall pick quarterback Ryan Tannehill. It’s clear that the direction of the Dolphins is that they are just starting to rebuild.
Since trading Tannehill, it’s clear that the Dolphins are going to have to bring in someone at quarterback. As it stands, currently the starting quarterback for Miami would be Jake Rudock, and that’s got to change as soon as possible.
The Dolphins also needs to address the whole defensive line, as they really lack any big-time talent other than Robert Quinn. They need to get younger at those positions. The same could also be said for the Dolphins secondary as outside of Minkah Fitzpatrick and Xavien Howard they really lack any big-time talent in their secondary. Expect the Dolphins to be very active about trading big contract veterans for draft picks as the Tannehill trade confirms that Miami is starting over.
New York Jets
Needs: OL, EDGE, CB, WR, TE
The Jets, like the Bills, know they have a young quarterback to build around. Sam Darnold showed more than enough to prove that he could the franchise guy for the Jets.
New York missed out on a lot of the elite offensive line talent in this year’s free agent class, so the Jets must address this in the draft. The Jets could also use a dominating pass rusher as they don’t have any EDGE defenders that would strike fear in offenses.
They could also help themselves by getting out of some horrible contract they made with cornerbacks Mo Claiborne or Trumaine Johnson and bring in a younger and cheaper option. Additionally, the Jets need to surround Darnold with some more weapons to throw to.
New England Patriots
Needs: WR, OT, TE, S, CB
Even the world champion New England Patriots have some needs. The Patriots could use a wide receiver pretty bad. They lost Josh Gordon to suspension and are letting Chris Hogan walk. This leaves them with just Julian Edelman and Phillip Dorsett. A new weapon for Tom Brady could go a long way.
Also losing Trent Brown in free agency means offensive tackle is a position where the Patriots have a hole to fill. With Gronk’s future up in the air once again, the Patriots might want to start looking at some potential replacements. T.J. Hockenson from Iowa would be an excellent grab for New England.
Lastly, the McCourty brothers are getting older with each season and with Pat Chung struggling to stay healthy, their secondary is a place that they must address.
Mitch Broder is a freshman majoring in journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Contributors
Junior / Digital/Print Journalism
Mitch currently a junior at Penn State University in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications majoring in digital/print journalism. Mitch is currently a member of CommRadio, Penn State’s student-run radio station where he writes articles, hosts a radio talk show, beat writes/broadcasts live sporting events, contributes to Wednesday newscasts, and participates in podcasts about different sports. He’s also a contributor for the Buffalo Fanatics, which is a football blog focusing on the NFL and the Buffalo Bills in particular.