Wednesday, May 5, 2010
A look at the AFC East's post-draft voids
Football Outsiders writer Vince Verhei has conducted a post mortem on the AFC East draft to identify remaining holes for every roster.
Here's a synopsis of Verhei's findings for an ESPN Insider article.
Not surprisingly, the offensive line stands out as the biggest problem. Football Outsiders pinpointed the line as the primary concern heading into the draft, and the Bills waited until the fifth and seventh rounds to make their only O-line picks, tackles Ed Wang and Kyle Calloway.
Verhei writes that while ninth overall pick C.J. Spiller still could shine, "On third-and-long, though, prospects seem dismal. Bills quarterbacks could spend a lot of time on the Ralph Wilson Stadium turf -- or on the disabled list."
The Dolphins cut free safety Gibril Wilson and hotly pursued Ryan Clark before he re-signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers. So they recognized the need, then waited until the fifth round to draft Reshad Jones, who will compete with Tyrone Culver (two career starts in three NFL seasons) and Chris Clemons (two starts last year as a rookie).
"One of these men will be the last line of defense on a team with serious playoff aspirations in 2010," Verhei writes.
New England Patriots
Verhei identifies outside linebacker as the biggest weakness, but doesn't seem as down on this void as with the others. The Patriots drafted Florida pass-rusher Jermaine Cunningham in the second round. But Verhei calls Tully Banta-Cain's 10 sacks "a one-year fluke" and describes the rest of the depth chart as a collection of quasi-capable castoffs.
New York Jets
Two areas that seemed most pressing for the Jets heading into the draft were safety and getting younger along the defensive line. The Jets didn't select a safety or a D-lineman among their four picks.
Verhei sees defensive line as the biggest problem. Marques Douglas, a 12-game starter, remains unsigned and probably isn't coming back. The Jets have moved Vernon Gholston from outside linebacker to end.