Monday, March 25, 2013
Updating AFC East needs: Dolphins, Jets
By James Walker
NFL free agency has slowed down as AFC East teams filled several of their major needs. With that in mind, here are updated team needs for the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets.
Key free agents: WR Mike Wallace, WR Brandon Gibson, LB Dannell Ellerbe, LB Philip Wheeler, TE Dustin Keller
Updated needs: CB, OT
Analysis: Miami spent big and filled many of their needs in free agency. But cornerback and offensive tackle are still two holes on their roster. The Dolphins lost cornerback Sean Smith and left tackle Jake Long in free agency. The Dolphins also can use an additional pass-rusher, but that need isn't as big as some think. Jared Odrick is good against the run as a defensive end, but he's not an elite edge rusher. I also like 2012 third-round pick Olivier Vernon, who has some potential as a situational pass-rusher. The market for pass-rushers is thinning now that Elvis Dumervil and Osi Umenyiora are both signed. Miami will try use some of their 11 picks in next month's NFL draft to fill remaining holes.
New York Jets
Key free agents: RB Mike Goodson, QB David Garrard, OL Willie Colon, LB Antwan Barnes
Updated needs: QB, WR, S, TE, LB
Analysis: The cash-strapped Jets made several cost-effective signings in free agency. But this team still has a long way to go in order to become a contender. New York needs more talent at quarterback, receiver, safety, tight end and linebacker. The Jets plugged a couple holes at tailback and offensive line. Goodson is an underrated signing. He fits New York’s quick-hitting, West Coast offense well and has more home-run potential than former starter Shonn Greene. Colon also is a quality veteran with a lot of winning experience with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He should be an immediate starter. The Jets don't have much cap room to plug these holes and must rely on a good draft.