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Team Needs
AFC / NFC East
3/17/10
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BUF | MIA | NE | NYJ | DAL | NYG | PHI | WAS

AFC East

Buffalo BillsBUFFALO BILLS

Offense

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.

Defense

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.

Miami DolphinsMIAMI DOLPHINS

Offense

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.

Defense

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.

New England PatriotsNEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

Offense

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 however... Josh Reed, Terrell Owens, Muhsin Muhammad?

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.

Defense

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 that department.

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.

New York JetsNEW YORK JETS

Offense

Biggest Needs: OG, slot WR, O-line depth

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 slot additions.

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.

Defense

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 Lenon.

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.

AFC East

Dalas CowboysDALLAS COWBOYS

Offense

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.

Defense

Biggest Needs: FS, 3-4 DE, ILB, CB depth

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 developing.

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 offer.

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.

N.Y. GiantsNEW YORK GIANTS

Offense

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 scheme.

Defense

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 defensive scheme

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 State).

Philadelphia EaglesPHILADELPHIA EAGLES

Offense

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 erratic play.

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 Toby Gerhart.

Defense

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).

Washington RedskinsWASHINGTON REDSKINS

Offense

Biggest Needs: OT, QB, RB, OG, C

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 on.

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.

Defense

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.

Next: AFC/NFC South