BUF | MIA | NE
| NYJ | DAL
| NYG | PHI | WAS
Biggest Needs: QB, LT, WR, RT
Quarterback and QB protection are the main priorities for the
Bills. After drafting J.P. Losman a few years ago, they quickly
realized he wasn't their guy and moved on to Trent Edwards. So
what's behind door number 3? Itís time to spend a high draft
pick a QB.
The Bills hold two picks in the first 41 selections, giving them
two chances to fill their two most glaring needs: QB and OT. If
Terrell Owens doesnít resign, theyíll be forced to
look at WRs after that.
If Sam Bradford and Jimmy Clausen are both gone, itís hard
to see Buffalo spending their number nine pick on a Colt McCoy
or Tim Tebow ó although Chan Gailey has been able to work
wonders with athletic, mobile quarterbacks over the years, and
both McCoy and Tebow fit the bill.
Other areas the Bills will undoubtedly work on are right tackle,
as well as adding some explosiveness at receiver, and possibly
even tight end.
Potential Free Agent Targets: A
weak free agent pool at QB ó headed by Chad Pennington,
Daunte Culpepper ó may force the Bills into a trade for
Jason Campbell or Michael Vick, but if they waltz into the draft
still undecided, they may be forced to pull a move.
Draft Picks: 1.09; 2.09 (41): In
a perfect world, the Bills will get their QB and then look to
the second round for O-line help. The Bills gave up the fourth-most
sacks in the NFL and the second most hits league-wide. If they
miss out on Bradford or Claussen in Round 1, then names like Oklahoma
Stateís Russell Okung or Rutgers Anthony Davis Ė both the highest
rated OTís in the Draft -- will pop up on Buffalo's radar.
Biggest Needs: OLB, DT, DE, ILB
With the Bills expected to transition from their traditional
4-3 to a more explosive 3-4, the biggest thing for them is to
address who works on their current roster, and who doesn't.
The potential retirement of stud defensive end Aaron Schobel
could actually go a long way in helping them decide some moves,
but really, they need to figure out any dead weight they'll be
cutting loose before they start adding the core for their defense.
Outside linebacker may not actually be the teamís most
pressing defensive need, but it's a obvious factor with the transition
to the 3-4. Not all of Buffalo's linebackers are best suited for
the 3-4, making the addition of a true pass rusher on the outside
a great necessity. They also need to look for a nose tackle that
can plug the gap and take on two or more offensive linemen at
the same time.
Potential Free Agent Targets: Moving
Aaron Maybin to OLB would allow the Bills to pursue an experienced
linebacker that has worked in a 3-4. Larry Foote turns 30 in June
and was excellent playing in Pittsburghís 3-4 for seven
seasons. Theyíll probably look to add a defensive lineman
thatís not only young enough, but smart enough to know how
to play in a 3-4. Dallas DL Marcus Spears isn't a double-digit
sacks threat, but he plays exceptionally well against the run,
is only 27 and has played DE in a 3-4.
Draft Picks: 1.09; 2.09 (41): It's
almost a certainty that the Bills will go after help for their
offensive line or for a franchise quarterback (if available) with
their first pick, but if that changes for some reason, they could
take a hard look at Texas OLB Sergio Kindle or Clemson OLB/DE
Ricky Sapp. Both have excellent size and versatility, and are
regarded as two of the top pass-rush specialists for the NFL 3-4.
TCU DE Jerry Hughes and Michigan DE Brandon Graham are solid possibilities,
but their ability to make the transition from the defensive line
remains in question.
Biggest Needs: WR, OL depth
The Dolphins now have a passable quarterback in Chad Henne and
one of the better offensive lines in the AFC. Henneís ability
to cobble together decent drives, coupled with the explosiveness
of the Wildcat, has made this a pretty effective unit. But itís
not going to get to the next level without a top WR.
The teamís leading receiver in 2009 was Davone Bess, who
logged only one start and was used primarily in the slot. Ted
Ginn is a glorified special-teamer who hasnít progressed
very far in the past three years. Brian Hartline could emerge
as a starter down the line, but receiver is the main area they
need to improve. While the starting offensive line is solid, a
couple key injuries would cause a major disruption in the offense.
Potential Free Agent Targets: Since
the team didnít sign a guy like Antonio Bryant (CIN), they
could be in the T.O. hunt or try to pry Vincent Jackson or Malcolm
Floyd away from San Diego before they sign deals.
Draft Picks: 1.12; 2.12 (44): Bill
Parcells isnít likely to waste his first-round pick on WR,
(although he could if Dez White falls into his lap at 1.12). There
are a few big-target guys that could fall to Round 2, and thatís
where the Dolphins could end up with LSU wideout Brandon LaFell
or Georgia Techís Demaryius Thomas.
Biggest Needs: 3-4 NT, 3-4 OLB,
3-4 ILB, S
The Dolphins must address their aging defensive unit. Veteran
defensive lineman Jason Ferguson is old and coming off surgery
to repair an injured quad. An upgrade up front could also help
improve the teamís undersized inside linebackers, guys who
didnít make the plays in 2009. Both Channing Crowder and
Akin Ayodele had terrible seasons.
At outside linebacker, Joey Porter and converted DE Jason Taylor
did a good job in pass rush, but are closing in on retirement.
The team did sign Karlos Dansby Ė a complete linebacker
who can line up anywhere and handle some pass coverage Ė
but that doesnít help their need for a strict pass rusher.
Gibril Wilson was a liability last season, so they could draft
a safety if one of the big names is available to them at 1.12.
Potential Free Agent Targets: Signing
Dansby was a solid move, and theyíre likely to fill the
rest of their defensive holes through the draft.
Draft Picks: 1.12; 2.12 (44): The
Dolphins need so much help at LB, I canít discount the possibility
of them drafting one in the first round. Alabamaís Rolando
McCain is one of those all-around LBS who could plug in anywhere
and succeed. Other options include USC safety Taylor Mays or Texas
safety Earl Thomas.
Biggest Needs: OG, TE, WR depth
The offensive line is one of the bigger areas of concern. Tom
Brady saw more pressure last season than ever before, and itís
obvious there are weaknesses that need to be addressed. Both starting
guards (Logan Mankins and Stephen Neal) will become free agents
at the end of the year, and one, or both, might be allowed to
walk, as per Bill Belichickís modus operandi. While Belichick
will do some cost-cutting this offseason, heíll also be
scouring the draft for talent.
The Pats may decide to bring in a couple receivers, but they
have the luxury of drafting a project to study under Randy Moss
and replace the veteran in a few years. With the emergence of
Sam Aiken, itíll be tough to justify spending a top pick
on a WR.
Potential Free Agent Targets: David
Patten has been brought back to add depth to the receiving corps
but a legitimate threat a wideout is needed should Wes
Welker's injury linger during the season. Pickings are slim
Draft Picks: 1.22; 2.12 (43); 2.17 (47);
2.22 (54): The Pats have a lot of room to move around,
but their top offensive targets in Round 2 include Florida TE
Aaron Hernandez, UMass LT Vladimir Ducasse, and West Virginia
OT Selvish Capers.
Biggest Needs: 3-4 OLB, 3-4 DE,
ILB depth, CB
The front seven needs work. At outside linebacker, the defense
could use a consistent pass rusher, though the return of Tully
Banta-Cain this offseason has given the Patriots an unexpected
boost. Veterans Adalius Thomas and Derrick Burgess havenít
worked out the Pats need to go young to get some firepower in
At ILB, the Patriots are solid with Jerod Mayo and Gary Guyton,
but thereís little depth to speak of. The Patriots are still
trying to find an adequate replacement for Richard Seymour, who
got franchised by the Raiders. His departure was felt in every
aspect of the mediocre defense. Jarvis Green and Myron Pryor are
passable, but an improvement at DE could go along way if paired
with the right outside linebacker acquisition.
Adding a corner could also help, although the team usually fixes
those holes through free agency, not the draft.
Potential Free Agent Targets: CBs
Will Allen (DB, DB), Nick Harper, Anthony Henry and Deshea Townsend all
stick out as veterans Belichick would consider adding to beef
up the secondary.
Draft Picks: 1.22; 2.12 (43); 2.17 (47);
2.22 (54): TCUís Hughes could be a good fit in the
Patsí defense ó he led the nation in sacks with 15
in 2008 and is probably the top 3-4 pass rush OLB in the draft.
The truth is that with three second-round picks, the Pats can
play around and add the best value at LB, pretty much whenever
they want. Iowa CB Amari Spievey has been mentioned as a possibility
in the late second round.
Biggest Needs: OG, slot WR, O-line
Gang Green always does a solid job filling holes through FA acquisitions,
trades and the draft, and this off-season is no different. Itís
a team that just got a few clicks better by bringing in veteran
RB LaDainian Tomlinson, who should help with the progress and
development of RB-of-the-future Shonn Greene.
The plan, for now, is to ride out Mark Sanchezís growing
pains and surround the kid with talent. He definitely needs a
shifty young slot receiver to help him convert third downs. While
the offensive line is above average in pass protection and blows
open some big holes for the backs, itís a line thatís
notably advancing in age. Both Alan Faneca and Damien Woody will
be out of the league in a few years, and thereís not a lot
of depth should one of them go down.
Potential Free Agent Targets: I
could see the Jets bringing a veteran lineman like Chad Clifton
aboard to add depth, but thereís probably a few teams in
the running to outbid them and offer him a starting gig. At WR,
Greg Lewis, Arnaz Battle and Ruvell Martin might make sense as
Draft Picks: 1.29; 2.29 (61): The
Jets will resort to a value-based pick at 29, which probably means
forgoing offense for a couple rounds unless they can make a trade.
Biggest Needs: 3-4 OLB, 3-4 DE,
CB, ILB depth
Despite carrying the top-rated defense in the NFL, thereís
plenty or work to do regarding the future. Both Shaun Ellis and
Marques Douglas are aging defensive ends without obvious replacements.
The outside linebackers have also struggled and 2008 first-round
draft pick Vernon Gholston hasnít gotten a chance to play
ó largely because heís not ready. The Jets need another
pass rusher. With Lito Sheppard gone and Donald Strickland signing
with San Diego, the Jets needed to find a capable corner opposite
all-world CB Darrelle Revis, so they added Antonio Cromartie.
Potential Free Agent Targets: Defensively,
the Jets donít have to spend big money, but there are a
few spots to shore up. Theyíll likely take a look at adding
LBs like Pino Tinoisamoa, Matt Wilhelm, Angelo Crowell and Paris
Draft Picks: 1.29; 2.29 (61): Possible
picks include Penn State DT Jared Odrick, Florida State CB Patrick
Robinson, or one of the many talented LBs predicted to fall near
the end of the first round/beginning of the second, including
the tweener Kindle, Missouriís Sean Witherspoon, and Floridaís
Brandon Spikes. In the second round, CBs Kareem Jackson (Alabama)
and Donovan Warren (Michigan) both make sense.
Biggest Needs: OT, OG Depth
First and foremost, the Cowboys need to draft a road-grading left
tackle to replace Flozell Adams. While Adams still has skills,
heís an erratic player who commits the most penalties in
the league. RT Marc Colombo is coming off an injury-plagued season
and was terrible during the playoffs. The line could also use
some depth at offensive guard, where injuries and age invariably
become a factor during the season.
At the skill positions, thereís really not too much room
for improvement, other than depth issues at QB. But the Cowboys
could really use a talented, consistent kicker ó an issue
that popped up when former Pro Bowler Nick folk hit the skids.
Potential Free Agent Targets: Itís
widely assumed that the Cowboys will sign restricted free agent
Miles Austin to a long-term deal. But the Cowboys havenít
signed any big-name free agents since 2007 when they signed Leonard
Davis from the Cardinals. Itís not likely theyíll
make a move for an offensive player aside from the draft.
Draft Picks: 1.27; 2.27 (59): Now
that the Cowboys have a first round draft pick, they can go get
one of the offensive tackles they covet. If heís still on
the board at 1.27, theyíre likely to select Bruce Campbell,
a 6-7, 310-pound freak of nature thatís one of the most
athletic in a deep class of tackles. He needs work, but theyíll
have time to develop him. Other possibilities include Idaho OG
Mike Iupati, who can play anywhere on the line, and Ducasse.
Biggest Needs: FS, 3-4 DE, ILB,
3-4 DE Marcus Spears might not be back, and the linebackers are
getting old. While Bradie James and Keith Brooking played well
in 2009, they could use a sideline-to-sideline presence at ILB.
The Cowboys could also add more depth to the linebacking corps,
while grooming a player to eventually take over for Brooking.
Jason Williams and Bobby Carpenter are okay, but both are still
The Cowboys have been successful drafting CBs recently, with both
Mike Jenkins and late-rounder Orlando Scandrick working out. But
CB depth is an issue. Adding a ballhawk in the secondary at FS
is a top priority heading into the draft, and itís possible
the Cowboys trade up to get one of the studs.
Potential Free Agent Targets: RFA
Gerald Sensabaugh has a slew of suitors, even though he was tendered
at the second round level of $1.8 million for next season. The
Cowboys would get a second round pick if he signed elsewhere,
but they definitely want him back. Itís entirely possible
their letting other teams set the market so they can match the
Draft Picks: 1.27; 2.27 (59): Both
Larry Asante from Nebraska and Darrell Stuckey from Kansas make
sense as safeties the Cowboys could target in the second round,
since itís likely theyíll spend their first-round
pick addressing the offensive line.
Biggest Needs: OT, C, RB depth
The Giants offense isnít a bad unit, despite its inconsistency.
They have running backs, and while the line seems to be regressing,
itís still capable in run-blocking and pass protection.
Shaun OíHaraís the best lineman on the team, but he
could use a successor, and William Beatty could be the future
at LT if David Diehl goes back inside. The rest of line has taken
a step back and depth is an important issue that needs to be addressed.
They have the players they need at the receiver positions and
in the slot, and could draft a back with more lateral speed to
transition away from Brandon Jacobs.
Potential Free Agent Targets: In
all likelihood, the Giants are done adding key talent via free
agency ó especially considering most of the marquis and
second-tier unrestricted free agents have already found homes.
Draft Picks: 1.15; 2.15 (47): Itís
doubtful the Giants will spend either of their first two picks
on offense, unless they make a move for one of the top offensive
tackles. But Javhid Best, a RB from California, projects around
the middle of the second round and could fit nicely in the Giantsí
Biggest Needs: DT, S, MLB, CB depth
Antrel Rolle's signing was a big move, especially with questions
popping up about Kenny Phillips and his recovery from microfracture
knee surgery. Phillipsí career is in obvious jeopardy, although
Tom Coughlin is optimistic the young safety will make a full recovery.
Coughlin also said both Phillips and Rolle will be used in the Giantsí
The team got off to a good start last year, but its dismal second
half knocked them out of the playoffs ó largely because of
their depleted secondary. The defense lacked its former fire, was
an overpaid bunch of underachievers and couldnít make big
stops when the game was on the line. As much as the word rebuilding
is a red flag for fans, itís appropriate here. The Giants
need a solid, space-eating, run-stopping defensive tackle, and the
linebackers are old, slow and lacking in talent. Thereís much
work to be done.
Potential Free Agent Targets: The
Giantsí big acquisition is Rolle (released by the Cardinals
just prior to the start of free agency). The Giants made him one
of the highest paid players at his position with a five-year, $37
million contract that includes $15 million in guaranteed money.
They probably wonít be able to spend to much more, but could
look at one of the many cheaper veteran linebackers available on
the free agent market.
Draft Picks: 1.15; 2.15 (47): Taylor
Mays (S, USC) is a name that keeps popping up around the middle
of the first round. Other possibilities include Texas safety Earl
Thomas and CBs Parrish Cox (Oklahoma State) and Kyle Wilson (Boise
Biggest Needs: OG, RB depth
The Eagles are almost always a playoff team capable of advancing
to the championship games, but they need to fill in a couple key
spots to stabilize the offensive line, allowing them to have more
options on offense. They are too much of a pass-first team. Shawn
Andrews is a stud, but heís always struggling with injuries
and itís imperative the Eagles draft another lineman. Winston
Justice got an extension, erasing one of the teamís biggest
needs, but thereís still a gaping hole at RG. The team may
also try to find more depth and talent at running back to try
and replace Brian Westbrook in the future.
Potential Free Agent Targets: They
could make a play for Stephen Neal, whoís an unrestricted
free agent and may have worn out his welcome in New England with
Draft Picks: 1.24; 2.24 (56): The
Eagles will probably look to solidify their defense with their
first two selections, but have two third-round draft picks they
could spend on Illinois G Jon Asamoah, another tackle, and even
a RB to replace Brian Westbrook, somebody like Mississippiís
Dexter McCluster, USCís Joe McKnight or Stanfordís
Biggest Needs: DE, FS, CB depth, OLB
Defensively, there are several areas that need improvement. The
pass rush blitzing (a product of the late Jim Johnson) is a thing
of beauty, but on non-blitzing downs, the defense gives up yardage.
If Trent Cole gets paired up with another natural pass rusher, the
Eagles defense will be more of a force on first and second down.
As long as Stewart Bradley recovers from injury, they should have
enough of a presence at MLB, but they need another coverage/blitz
combo OLB to assist CBs Sheldon Brown and Asante Samuel. Depth at
CB is also a concern.
Potential Free Agent Targets: They
recently signed Marlin Jackson to an incentive-laden two-year deal,
and Iím betting they look to the draft for a top DE. Other
than that, they might sign a couple veteran backup CBs among Ralph
Brown, Anthony Henry, Dre Bly or Vernon Fox on the cheap.
Draft Picks: 1.24; 2.24 (56): The
Eagles will take a serious look at TCU OLB Jerry Hughes and USC
defensive end Everson Griffen if either slips to 24, but they truly
need a solid pass-rushing DE, and Florida standout Carlos Dunlap
fits the bill at that spot. Andy Reid isnít scared of players
with a little attitude and personal issues, and Dunlap is an immense
talent that shouldnít be passed up. Another possibility is
Sergio Kindle (OLB, Texas).
Biggest Needs: OT, QB, RB, OG,
Itís a pretty simple scenario, even if the task at hand
is difficult: The Redskins need to improve the offensive line
and get both a quarterback and a RB to succeed Clinton Portis.
Jason Campbell is okay, and heís got a decent arm, but heís
not a leader and canít make decisions when heís under
pressure. Chris Samuels is retiring, and the rest of the line
is in shambles. Portis is nearly 30 and doesnít have more
than a year or two left in the tank. Heís scheduled to make
an average of over $8 million per year over the next four, which
means the Redskins need a miracle transformation for him to hang
Potential Free Agent Targets: The
Redskins got their running back to pair with Portis, signing Larry
Johnson to a three-year deal worth $3.5 million as a base and
up to $12 million in incentives.
Draft Picks: 1.04; 2.04 (36): The
best QB for their scheme is probably Oklahomaís Sam Bradford,
who is the obvious QB choice if the Skins decide not to draft
Russell Okung, the top OT from Oklahoma State. Okung is a top-level,
blind-side protecting LT who might be the first step in assuring
whomever plays QB for the Skins will have an opportunity to throw
the ball. If the Skins take Okung, they might make a play for
QBs Colt McCoy (Texas) or Tim Tebow (Florida) in Round 2. If they
take Bradford, theyíll probably take Ducasse or second-tier
guy like South Carolinaís Charles Brown.
Biggest Needs: SLB, LB depth
Pairing Albert Haynes worth with former Carolina DT Maake Kemoeatu
was a smart move. It will allow Haynesworth to focus on making
plays instead of taking up space while he eats up blockers and
double-teams. The Skins have done a good job acquiring defensive
talent Ė through free agency and the draft. They have a
solid unit that defends both the run and pass fairly well. They
have some concerns at safety and strongside linebacker, but those
are the only real areas of weakness. Rookie Brian Orakpo was a
pleasant surprise and has developed into a playmaker with a huge
ceiling, especially after moving to defensive end (his natural
position) in the second half of the season.
Potential Free Agent Targets: They
signed DL Maake Kemoeatu and probably wonít make too many
impact moves moving forward.
Draft Picks: 1.04; 2.04 (36): Itís
not likely the Skins will use either of their top picks on defense.