2012 NFL Draft: AFC East Team Needs
John Tuvey
April 20, 2012

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MIAMI DOLPHINS (8th overall pick)

Eight picks: 1.8; 2.10; 3.9; 3.10 (from CAR via CHI); 4.8; 5.10; 6.26; 7.8

The Dolphins whiffed on Peyton Manning, passed on Matt Flynn, and failed to move up for Robert Griffin III. That leaves them heading into the season with Matt Moore and David Garrard at quarterback; in other words, a trade up or a signal caller early is definitely on the table. Miami also needs to replace the departed Brandon Marshall and will look at o-line and linebacking help as well. The secondary added a pair of free agents but could stand to add depth.

Possible options: QB Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M; OT Riley Reiff, Iowa; DE/OLB Quinton Coples, North Carolina; WR Michael Floyd, Notre Dame; WR Alshon Jeffery, South Carolina; WR Marvin Jones, California; DE Chandler Jones, Syracuse; S Markelle Martin, Oklahoma State

BUFFALO BILLS (10TH overall pick)

Nine picks plus one compensatory pick: 1.10; 2.9; 3.8; 4.10; 4.29 (from BAL); 5.9; 5.12 (from SEA); 6.8; 7.10; 7.44 (compensatory pick)

Buffalo re-upped Stevie Johnson and wooed Mario Williams to fill two of their more critical needs, but the free agency departure of Demetress Bell leaves a major hole on the offensive line. The Bills could also use a complementary receiver to run with Johnson, and even after adding Williams the defense is hardly a finished product; expect early picks to address the back seven with an eye on pressuring the passer.

Possible options: WR Michael Floyd, Notre Dame; OT Jonathan Martin, Stanford; OT Riley Reiff, Iowa; LB Courtney Upshaw, Alabama; S Mark Barron, Alabama; OT Mike Adams, Ohio State; WR Mohamed Sanu, Rutgers; CB Alfonzo Dennard, Nebraska

NEW YORK JETS (16th overall pick)

Six picks plus four compensatory picks: 1.16; 2.15; 3.14; 5.19; 6.17 (from PHI via IND); 6.32 (compensatory pick); 6.33 (compensatory pick); 7.25 (from DEN); 7.35 (compensatory pick); 7.37 (compensatory pick)

The Jets’ roster isn’t set in stone, but there aren’t a whole lot of openings up for grabs. Expect early selections to be focused on the offensive and defensive line, though Rex Ryan always has room for an athletic linebacker who can get to the quarterback. The wide receiver corps could stand a few fresh faces as well, and though the Jets have talked about how much they like Joe McKnight New York could dip into a deep class of running backs as well.

Possible options: OG David DeCastro, Stanford; LB Nick Perry, USC; LB Courtney Upshaw, Alabama; DT Dontari Poe, Memphis; LB Andre Branch, Clemson; DT Brandon Thompson, Clemson; OT Mike Adams, Ohio State; OG Amini Silatolu, Midwestern State; RB Isaiah Pead, Cincinnati

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (27th overall pick (from NOS), 31st overall pick)

Six picks: 1.27 (from NOS); 1.31; 2.16 (from OAK); 2.30; 3.30; 4.31

Thanks to past trades the Patriots have five of the first 92 picks in the draft—for now. The way New England plays the draft board, they could move up or down and make two picks in two days—or stockpile picks for 2013. Also, as evidenced by last year’s first-round grab of Nate Solder the Pats don’t necessarily pick for immediate need; instead, it’s a crystal ball process, as with Matt Light likely to retire Solder is in place to start in 2012. New England did use free agency to load up at wide receiver, but that doesn’t mean they won’t touch on that position at some point in the draft. Your best bet with New England is looking at the proverbial best players available, with a focus on athletic defenders who can play multiple roles—though last season’s thinned secondary could prompt the Patriots to make a couple extra dips into the defensive backs talent pool.

Possible options: LB Nick Perry, USC; LB Andre Branch, Clemson; DT Jerel Worthy, Michigan State; S Mark Barron, Alabama; LB Shea McClellin, Boise State; DE Kendall Reyes, Connecticut; OLB Vinny Curry, Marshall; CB Josh Robinson, Central Florida; CB Brandon Boykin, Georgia; DT Brandon Thompson, Clemson; WR Joe Adams, Alabama

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