AFC East Off-season Analysis/Team Needs

As the opening stanza of free agency has come to a close, many NFL teams have lost critical players from their previous year's roster. The AFC East has seen two teams take an aggressive approach to free agency, and two more fill only a few holes waiting for the draft to further improve their roster.

Both the Jets and the Dolphins have given up their second round picks for players while New England has five initial day picks, including two in the top sixty selections. Buffalo meanwhile decided to fly under the radar in Mike Mularkey's first season as a head coach.

Buffalo Bills

Chris Villarial, Troy Vincent

Antoine Winfield, Reuben Brown, Sam Gash, Dave Moore

Offensive Analysis: Though Reuben Brown has had a great career his last few years in Buffalo have not been among his best. The Bills have drafted well at offensive line in recent years and the FA addition of Chris Villarial should buy them at least a few years. At the combine, Mike Mularkey spoke with TFY about his desire to have both Willis McGahee and Travis Henry on the field at the same time. With Mularkey's offensive prowess and their talented RB tandem don't be surprised to see their offense be quite a bit more dynamic than in past years. Josh Reed has yet to establish himself as a starting caliber WR, something the Bills need desperately opposite Eric Moulds.

Defensive Analysis: The loss of Antoine Winfield, the teams best defensive back, would worry almost anyone. The addition of Troy Vincent, however, could very well be an upgrade at the position. Vincent is still one of the best CB's in the game and his veteran presence should go along way towards developing Nate Clements. With a deep defensive line and all their defensive starting positions filled the Bills are likely only to consider adding a few young LB's and DB's to develop for the future.

Draft Analysis: The Bills team needs stack up as being WR, OL, S, CB, and LB. Most of the defensive needs are for backups, as is the OL, but the Bills really need to find a quality TE and WR. Mularkey's past success with players like Kordell Stewart and Antwaan Randle El suggests that the Bills might be willing to look for a "tweener" type player somewhere in this draft. So with a new head coach from an offensive background, and their two biggest needs on the offensive side of the ball look for the Bills to draft for offense early and often unless a great defensive value is present when they pick on the first day.

Miami Dolphins

AJ Feeley, Jeno James, John St. Clair, David Boston, Reggie Howard, Damion McIntosh, Antuan Edwards

Todd Wade, Jamar Fletcher, Brian Griese, Brock Marion, Mark Dixon, Tim Ruddy, Todd Perry

Offensive Analysis: The Dolphins have been one of the most proactive teams this season on the offensive side of the football. Adding AJ Feeley and David Boston is a sign that management is under pressure to win now and feels the need to have more than a solid defense to do so. Even with the teams offensive additions their offensive line still has some question marks surrounding it and there is no guarantee that Feeley will work out. In fact, they decided to bring veteran QB Jay Fiedler back as insurance. Look for the Dolphins to continue adding offensive talent throughout the offseason.

Defensive Analysis: So far, the team has not dealt Adewale Ogunleye despite plenty of interest. It is not out of the question that Ogunleye will be traded before the draft's first day ends, but to whom and for what remain to be seen. Signing Reggie Howard was supposed to be the precursor to losing Sam Madison until Madison took a pay cut to stay on board. Still, the Dolphins need to infuse some more youth into a rapidly aging defense, especially if Ogunleye is not retained.

Draft Analysis: The Teams needs help at OT, OG, WR, S, and DE should Ogunleye leave. The Dolphins are almost certain to take either the best offensive lineman on the board when they pick in the first round. After that, with as many needs as they have, though most of their needs are for backup and developmental players, the Dolphins have the luxury of trading down or taking the BPA throughout the draft. With no second round pick, look for the Dolphins to get as much value as they can out of their 1st and 3rd round picks, something that is doable if they stick to the WRs and offensive linemen.

New England Patriots

Keith Traylor, Josh Miller

Damien Woody, Ted Washington

Offensive Analysis: Offensively, the Patriots lost possibly their best offensive lineman in Damien Woody. Fortunately, they have the luxury of losing him due to the many players they have developed in the recent past on the offensive line. The Patriots have talent all across their offense but RB continues to be a glaring need for them. Though they resigned RB Kevin Faulk, it is difficult to believe they intend for him to be anything other than what he has already been for them.

Defensive Analysis: The loss of Ted Washington should be huge, but is offset by the arrival of his former teammate Keith Traylor. Defensively, the Patriots are excellent and it's difficult to second-guess any player on their roster. It is unlikely, however, that head coach Bill Belichick will not make some defensive adjustments. Especially considering the growing animosity between CB Ty Law and the team.

Draft Analysis: With five first day picks, including two in each of the first two rounds, the Patriots are the most likely team to make a deal on draft day. The Pats must get a RB and the team has been linked to trade rumors involving the Redskins and Lions. Other than a RB, the Pats could use help at DT, CB, and S. The Patriots will likely not pass on any defensive impact players though. It is also likely that Belichick will use one of his early picks to deal into a high pick in next year's draft.

New York Jets

Justin McCareins, Reggie Tongue, Eric Barton, David Barrett

Aaron Beasley, Tyrone Carter, Mo Lewis, Marvin Jones, Sam Garnes, Curtis Conway

Offensive Analysis: The addition of Justin McCareins for the price of a second round draft pick was a great move by the Jets. McCareins is a young and talented WR that will be able to start and produce immediately, something no player picked at 41 would have been likely to do. With no other major roster moves, the Jets look poised to improve defensively and possibly add some depth to their offense. With the likely release of QB Vinny Testaverde after June 1st, the Jets need to find a veteran backup to replace him.

Defensive Analysis: With Ted Cottrell no longer the teams defensive coordinator a shift in personnel will likely occur. With head coach Herman Edwards favoring the 4-3 defense and given the Jets roster purge of older players earlier this year, it is highly likely the team focuses on defense with their remaining picks.

Draft Analysis: The team has needs at LB, CB, and S and could also use some more depth along the offensive line, especially considering Kareem McKenzie could leave after next season. With no second round pick due to the McCareins trade, the Jets could either take the best available defensive impact player at 12, likely a CB or possibly trade down to acquire extra picks.

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