2010 NFL Draft: AFC East Predictions

Mark Pare@NEPats17Correspondent IIMarch 26, 2010

FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 22: Brandon McGowan #30 of the New England Patriots and Mark Sanchez #6 get tangled during a game against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium on November 22, 2009 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

With the NFL draft under a month away, teams are starting to think about what to look for.

The AFC East is arguably one of the toughest divisions in the NFL.

Don't believe me? Look at the last two years.

In 2008, New England and Miami both secured an 11-5 record (Miami won the division through tiebreak, while New England failed to qualify for the postseason), while the Jets snatched a 9-7 record.

In 2009, New England won the division with a 10-6 record, while New York took a 9-7 record and a wild-card berth into the playoffs. The Jets went on a run that saw an AFC Championship berth against the Colts.

Here's a breakdown of the teams and what they might be looking at for this year's draft.

Buffalo Bills (No. 9 pick)

The Bills had a great season but will need to shore up a position much talked about: the offensive tackle.

Sure, with Terrell Owens leaving for greener pastures (not official yet—Owens is still open for a return to the Bills), the easy guess would be to grab a WR in the draft. However, the QBs on staff right now will not get the Bills to a postseason berth; simple as that.

That said, with many talented QBs and WRs on the market this offseason, including possibly Brandon Marshall or Miles Austin at WR and Chad Pennington or Kyle Orton at QB, OT is the best option for the first pick of the Bills' draft.

A guy like Bruce Campbell or Anthony Davis would be a great fit for the future of the franchise.

Miami Dolphins (No. 12 pick)

Miami's goal is to make the defense a little younger. Many of the players on the roster are getting older and have become injury-prone as of late, so the first pick will be for a defensive player, possibly a safety.

With the need for some defense, if still available, Taylor Mays out of Southern Cal is probably the best safety in the draft. He has great speed and great awareness but has the tendency to be quite aggressive, worrying more about the player than where the ball is. Bill Parcells can give Mays ample time for improvement.

New England Patriots (No. 22 pick)

Defense seems to be the theme of this year's draft, and it doesn't speak as loudly as the Pats' need for defense. Obviously, the New England offense is probably the best in the NFL when healthy; it is the defense that has prevented a Super Bowl championship for them since 2004.

Richard Seymour was a huge loss for them this season, and this draft is an opportunity to fill the void that the longtime Pat—now Raider—left.

Dan Williams from Tennessee or Jared Odrick from Penn State could grow in the defense that is getting younger, year after year, with past picks like Brandon Meriweather and Jerod Mayo.

New York Jets (No. 29 pick)

This is an uncharacteristic late pick for a Jets team that has the potential to make another postseason appearance. The No. 1-ranked defense in the NFL last season will no doubt draft an offensive player by this time, as most of the quality players at other positions will be taken. With Jerricho Cotchery and Braylon Edwards at WR, we could see another WR added for depth.

Golden Tate from Notre Dame would be an excellent choice here. He is quick and talented, and put in a limited role, he could look to make the most of the opportunity and give Mark Sanchez more options under centre.


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