[Editor’s note: The following is our first in a series of NFL Draft team needs by division.]
1. OT: Bills fans don’t want to hear it, but Dick Jauron overachieved considering this roster. There are gaping holes everywhere but the secondary and running back. Fixing the tackle spot is a nice place to start.
2. QB: I’m one of the few people left that believes Trent Edwards could be capable with the right group around him, but no one in Buffalo seems to share that optimism. Including Chan Gailey.
3. DL: There is some talent here with Kyle Williams and Dwan Edwards, but Marcus Stroud was a bust in ’09 and only Williams is a true fit for Buffalo’s new 3-4 defense.
4. WR: James Hardy, ostensibly the team’s second receiver, has ten career catches and wasn’t impressive as a rookie before ACL surgery. Roscoe Parrish, the team’s third receiver, is always on the trade block. Steve Johnson, he of 12 career catches, might pass them both. That’s not good.
4.(tie) LB: The defense needs to make a fast transition from light, quick, and injured to stout, versatile and healthy. Paul Posluszy and Aaron Maybin are the only two current linebackers that should be on the team in ’12.
1. OLB: It will be tough for Bill Parcells to find his next DeMarcus Ware, but he knows there isn’t anyone close on his roster. The Dolphins need more than Charlie Anderson and Cameron Wake, whether Jason Taylor returns or not.
2. S: A rookie free safety may not be much better than Gibril Wilson was last year, but he should be a lot cheaper.
3. WR: This group is better than you think, but it has too many Indians without a true Chief. Davone Bess, Greg Camarillo, and Brian Hartline can make tough catches, but don’t have speed. Ted Ginn can blaze, but can’t make tough catches. (Or easy catches.) Dez Bryant makes a lot of sense.
4. DT: Miami’s defensive line may be the most underrated in the league, but they still need a long-term replacement for Jason Ferguson. Paul Soliai is better as a part-time player.
1. OLB: This is supposed to be a defense defined by its linebackers. But that last decent outside pass rusher Bill Belichick drafted was Tully Banta-Cain. The last one before that was in Cleveland.
2. TE: Alge Crumpler may be the size of two men, but he only takes up one spot on the depth chart. It wouldn’t surprise us to see New England go Jermaine Gresham or Rob Gronkowski in round one.
3. DE: When in doubt, Belichick usually takes a space-clogging defensive end. There is an opportunity to play right away with Mike Wright currently occupying a starting job.
4. WR: Brandon Tate and Julian Edelman are building blocks for the future, but the Patriots must continue to plan for life after Randy Moss.
New York Jets
1. DE: The Jets are thin up front, and have to be worried about Kris Jenkins’ durability issues. Mike Devito was a great story at defensive end last year, but the team needs depth.
2. OLB: It’s weird to think the Jets have more pressing needs on defense than offense, but Rex Ryan ultimately needs turn this roster over with guys he drafted.
3. WR: Mark Sanchez needs more toys. And the Jets need an option when they get tired of Braylon Edwards.
4. G/T: Alan Faneca is one of the most overrated players in football, and the Jets could use a long-term option to eventually replace RT Damien Woody.