Rivals.com has partnered with NFL scout and draft expert Frank Coyle of draftinsiders.com to analyze the five biggest needs of each NFL team. Today, we look at the AFC East.
New Dolphins vice president Bill Parcells holds the No. 1 selection and his team has some glaring needs. Will Parcells begin his rebuilding project by taking a quarterback, addressing another position or trading out of the pick? Frank Coyle breaks down the needs for each team in the AFC East.
Head Coach: Dick Jauron (Third Year)
Key needs: 1. Wide Receiver 2. Tight end 3. Cornerback 4. Offensive tackle 5. Linebacker
1. WIDE RECEIVER: The Bills lack a legit No. 2 receiver opposite Lee Evans and could dive into a deep position class. They probably will have a chance at the No. 1 receiver on the board, but most likely will wait until the second round. They like Indiana's James Hardy and LSU's Early Doucet in the second round. They would welcome the addition of players such as Kansas State's Jordy Nelson and Michigan's Mario Manningham with their third-round pick.
5. LINEBACKER: The Bills added Kawika Mitchell in free agency and they love rookie Paul Posluszny, who was injured after a great start last season. They most likely will address this area from the middle rounds on, with an emphasis on special teams. They most likely will add an outside linebacker.
1. QUARTERBACK: The Dolphins have struggled here since Dan Marino retired. They drafted John Beck last spring, and he saw limited action in a difficult rookie season. They could use the first overall pick on Matt Ryan, but they are hoping Atlanta or Kansas City trades up to the top spot to select the quarterback.
2. OFFENSIVE TACKLE: The Dolphins have struggled in protection in recent seasons. They have Michigan's Jake Long as a high priority with the first overall pick. With two second-round picks, Boston College's Gosder Cherilus could be available early in the round and USC's Sam Baker later in the round.
3. CORNERBACK: The Dolphins will look to add a starting corner in the early rounds, if the value is on the board. They like Kansas' Aqib Talib early in the second round. They also like Indiana's Tracy Porter, Iowa's Charles Godfrey and Penn State's Justin King in the third round. The Dolphins have little experience and marginal talent at this position.
4. WIDE RECEIVER: Top pick Ted Ginn was slow to contribute last season. The Dolphins will look to address this area early and maybe at 32nd overall if Michigan State's Devin Thomas or Indiana's James Hardy is available.
Head Coach: Bill Bellichick (9th Year)
Key needs: 1. Cornerback 2. Linebacker 3. Safety 4. Wide receiver 5. Offensve tackle
1. CORNERBACK: The Pats have signed several stopgap veterans and that may change their draft strategy with the No. 7 overall pick. They can select Troy's Leodis McKelvin or possibly Tennessee State's Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. McKelvin is the higher-rated prospect here. In the second and third rounds, they like cover men such as LSU's Chevis Jackson and Iowa's Charles Godfrey.
2. LINEBACKER: The Pats play a 3-4 and need new talent, both inside and outside. They could address this position a few times in the draft. They like Ohio State's Vernon Gholston, but they would need to move up to select him. They also like USC's Keith Rivers.
3. SAFETY: Former top pick Brandon Meriweather could move to safety in camp. That would minimize this need. They have little depth if Meriweather stays at cornerback.
4. WIDE RECEIVER: The Pats have little depth here. They like Michigan's Mario Manningham and Vanderbilt's Earl Bennett in the second round. They also like Kansas State's Jordy Nelson and Coastal Carolina's Jerome Simpson in the third round.
5. OFFENSIVE TACKLE: The Pats are starting to show some age along the line. They like Toledo's John Greco, who fits their profile for an offensive lineman. He could be available in the third round.
Head Coach: Eric Mangini (Third Year)
Key needs: 1. Linebacker 2. Cornerback 3. Defensve end 4. Offensive line 5. Tight end
1. LINEBACKER: The Jets signed LB Calvin Pace in free agency and he has the talent to be a difference-maker in their 3-4 scheme. His addition won't stop them from adding another edge rusher, such as Ohio State's Vernon Gholston, with the sixth overall selection. They also like Purdue's Cliff Avril and Auburn's Quentin Groves and could move in that direction in the second round.
2. CORNERBACK: The Jets will look to strengthen this position further after taking Darrelle Revis in the first round last season. At No. 6 overall, they could select either Troy's Leodis McKelvin or Tennessee State's Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. In the second round, they like Arizona's Antoine Cason and Auburn's Pat Lee. In the third round, they like Iowa's Charles Godfrey and LSU's Chevis Jackson.
3. DEFENSIVE END: The Jets would like to add a highly developed prospect here. They need a big body and like Eastern Michigan's Jason Jones, a versatile athletic lineman with a middle-round grade. He has played inside and outside. They also like Hampton's Kendall Langford in the middle rounds.
5. TIGHT END: The Jets like starter Chris Baker but would like to upgrade their depth. They may have a chance at a few of the top prospects in the third round, such as Tennessee's Brad Cottam, USC's Fred Davis or Texas A&M's Martellus Bennett. Cottam would be an excellent addition.
This is special to Rivals.com from Frank Coyle. Coyle has written about the NFL Draft in his newsletter for more than 15 years and has endorsements from NFL veterans like Gil Brandt, Phil Savage and Charley Casserly. Coyle's work can also be found at draftinsiders.com or you may call him toll-free at 800-776-1949.