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Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Todd McShay's AFC East mock draft

By James Walker

Due to responsibility of covering the Super Bowl, I never got around to Todd McShay's latest mock draft for the AFC East.

Let's take a look at McShay's second offering.

Miami Dolphins (No. 8 or No. 9)

McShay's pick: Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina

Analysis: Nothing against Ingram, who is a good prospect. But the Dolphins need several positions before they add a pass-rushing defensive end/outside linebacker. Miami already has one of those in Cameron Wake. What they don't have is a franchise quarterback, a play-making safety or a right tackle. Defensive tackle Paul Soliai also is a free agent and may need to be replaced. Perhaps most of these needs will be addressed in free agency before the draft. But with the way the roster currently stands, some other players may be a better fit in the first round.

Buffalo Bills (No. 10)

McShay's pick: Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama,

Analysis: Upshaw would be a great pick for Buffalo. He does everything well for a linebacker, including rush the passer, which is needed. Upshaw also is versatile, although the Bills appear to be going strictly to a 4-3 next season. Upshaw can bring that nasty mentality and a pass rush that Buffalo has been looking for. The Bills need a difference-maker on defense and Upshaw has that potential.

New York Jets (No. 16)

McShay's pick: Mark Barron, S, Alabama

Analysis: I also agree with this pick for the Jets. New York has several needs, but perhaps no need is bigger than safety. The Jets may need to replace both safeties next season. Jim Leonhard is a free agent coming off a season-ending knee injury and Eric Smith had a terrible year. Opponents often avoided New York's corners and had a field day throwing over the middle against the safeties. Barron could help stop that trend.

New England Patriots (No. 27 and No. 31)

McShay's picks: Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse; Brandon Thompson, DT, Clemson

Analysis: McShay sees the Patriots rebuilding the defensive line. I think New England needs more help on the back end with the secondary (corner and safety). But I really don't have too big a problem with this, as long as the Patriots are drafting defense in the first two rounds. I wouldn't mind if New England spent its first four picks on defensive players. Also keep in mind Patriots head coach Bill Belichick likes to trade these picks. But I think it's wise for New England to finally cash in.