April 12, 2024

NFL Draft 2024 needs for Patriots, Jets, Bills, Dolphins in AFC East, plus picks breakdown

Check the calendar.

It’s April.

All with respect to the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments and the Masters, but this year April is NFL Draft month. The festivities kick off on Thursday, April 25, with the first of seven rounds kicking off. For three days in Detroit, all 32 NFL teams will try to shape their present and future.

Now that free agency is coming to an end here SB nation we’re starting to turn our focus to the NFL Draft. Given the steps already taken, we now have a better understanding of where all 32 teams stand and what they still need to address.

Let’s start by looking at the draft needs for all 32 teams, working division by division. We start in the AFC East, with one of the teams at the top of the first round.

New England Patriots

With Mac Jones in Jacksonville as Trevor Lawrence’s backup, Bailey Zappe and the recently signed Jacoby Brissett are the two main options at quarterback for the Patriots. That would certainly move QB up the list of needs in Foxborough, but it’s not the only one. Additionally, with the Patriots ranked third overall, the Patriots can decide between QB number three on the board, the best non-quarterback available, or even a trade if a team offers them a king’s ransom for that selection.

In addition, there are other needs on the list. Adding a wide receiver would certainly help whoever takes the snaps next year, as would strengthening the offensive line. On the defensive side, bringing back Christian Gonzalez after an injury cut his promising rookie season short would help, but strengthening both the secondary and defensive line should be an option on Days 2 and 3.

New England Patriots concept selections

  • Round 1, selection 3 (pick No. 3 overall)
  • Round 2, selection 2 (pick #34 overall)
  • Round 3, selection 4 (pick #68 overall)
  • Round 4, selection 3 (pick #103 overall)
  • Round 5, selection 2 (pick #137 overall)
  • Round 6, selection 4 (pick #180 overall)
  • Round 6, selection 17 (pick #193 overall)
  • Round 7, selection 11 (pick #231 overall)

Miami Dolphins

A combination of departures, injuries and injury concerns are the bulk of the Dolphins’ needs this spring. With Christian Wilkins heading to the Las Vegas Raiders, adding the defensive line should be a focus for Miami, and players like Byron Murphy and T’Vondre Sweat of Texas, as well as Jer’Zhan Newton of Illinois, are potential targets.

Strengthening the offensive line, starting with the interior, is also a necessity. The team added Isaiah Wynn from New England and they will likely move him to the inside, but making sure their IOL is solidified is a big need for Miami. Oregon’s Jackson Powers-Johnson has been a popular pick for the Dolphins in recent mock drafts. They could also look at the tackle spot, adding depth on Day 2 or Day 3.

Then there’s the EDGE spot on defense. The Dolphins are bringing back Jaelan Phillips and Bradley Chubb from season-ending injuries (Phillips with an Achilles injury and Chubb from a torn ACL), but giving them another option on the edge could be a smart move.

Miami Dolphins draft picks

  • Round 1, selection 21 (pick #21 overall)
  • Round 2, selection 23 (pick #55 overall)
  • Round 5, selection 23 (pick #158 overall)
  • Round 6, selection 8 (pick #184 overall)
  • Round 6, selection 22 (pick #198 overall)
  • Round 7, selection 21 (pick #241 overall)

Buffalo Bills

Depending on who you talk to, the list of needs for the Buffalo Bills can vary widely. Many look at the wide receiver group and believe it would be smart for the Bills to add at the position, even with Stefon Diggs, the newly added Curtis Samuel and an emerging slot weapon in Khalil Shakir. Others look at the defensive line and believe Buffalo needs to bring in some talent on the perimeter and interior.

But then you look at safety. In recent years, Buffalo could look forward to perhaps the best safety tandem in the league with Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer, but the tandem will not return in 2024. Poyer is in Miami with the Dolphins and Hyde is a free agent. While Sean McDermott left the door open for Hyde’s return, that’s still up in the air.

Either way, security could be a major need for the bills.

One thing is clear: the bills have a lot of draft capital on day 3. So they could try to use these picks and add depth, or move up at some point in the draft.

Buffalo Bills draft picks

  • Round 1, selection 28 (pick #28 overall)
  • Round 2, selection 28 (pick #60 overall)
  • Round 4, selection 28 (pick #128 overall)
  • Round 4, selection 33 (pick #133 overall)
  • Round 5, selection 9 (pick #144 overall)
  • Round 5, selection 25 (pick #160 overall)
  • Round 5, selection 28 (pick #163 overall)
  • Round 6, selection 13 (pick #189 overall)
  • Round 6, selection 24 (pick #200 overall)
  • Round 6, selection 28 (pick #204 overall)
  • Round 7, selection 248 (pick #248 overall)

Jets from New York

The New York Jets entered the offseason with a pressing need.

Restoring the offensive line.

General manager Joe Douglas used free agency to solve that particular problem, adding Tyron Smith, Morgan Mosen and guard John Simpson in recent weeks. These additions give Douglas the freedom to tackle other spots in the depth, although he may want to add depth at the tackle spots.

New York also added Mike Williams in free agency, giving Aaron Rodgers a solid 1-2 combination of Williams and young WR Garrett Wilson. A slot option could be in play for them later in the draft unless they just love someone sooner. In terms of receiving options, getting Rodgers a dynamic tight end could be a good move, and if Georgia tight end Brock Bowers is available when the Jets are on schedule, that could be the right move for them. Bowers has been a popular pick for the Jets in the recent mock draft.

Defensively, looking at the secondary should come into play for the Jets, starting with the safety position. Bolstering the cornerback depth could also be a wise investment later in the draft.

New York Jets draft picks

  • Round 1, selection 10 (pick No. 10 overall)
  • Round 3, selection 8 (pick #72 overall)
  • Round 4, selection 11 (pick #11 overall)
  • Round 4, selection 34 (pick #134 overall)
  • Round 6, selection 9 (pick #185 overall)
  • Round 7, selection 36 (pick #256 overall)
  • Round 7, selection 37 (pick #257 overall)

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