It would come as a surprise if the Bills wanted to invest any major resources in their offensive skill positions, beyond what they spent acquiring Stefon Diggs this offseason; the major core of Josh Allen, Devin Singletary, Diggs, John Brown, and Cole Beasley looks solid, and while they didn’t get great play from 2019 third-rounder Dawson Knox at tight end, he’s probably considered the future starter at the position. They’re probably unlikely to take action at the tackle spots or center after investing second-round picks in tackles Dion Dawkins (2017) and Cody Ford (2019) and signing Mitch Morse to a big deal in free agency to man the pivot, although Ford’s struggles could potentially cause the team to consider sliding him inside. The guards are a bigger problem, with both Quinton Spain and John Feliciano struggling last year.
Buffalo heavily invested on their defensive line, drafting Ed Oliver on the first round last year and also signing Star Lotulelei and Vernon Butler. They also have solid starters at defensive end in Jerry Hughes and Trent Murphy. The team’s linebackers struggled last year, with 2018 first-rounder Tremaine Edmunds not living up to expectations so far and Matt Milano and A.J. Klein falling off as well. Opposite Tre’Davious White, the team signed Josh Norman in an attempt to resurrect his career, and also have overachiever Levi Wallace in the mix, who played better in 2018 but was still adequate last year. They may want to introduce a younger, more talented player to groom for a potential starting role down the line. The team has three solid safeties in Micah Hyde, Jordan Poyer, and Jaquan Johnson.
Top Needs: OG, LB, CB
Expiring Contracts: OT Dion Dawkins, OG Jon Feliciano, DE Trent Murphy, LB Matt Milano, CB Tre’Davious White, DB Jordan Poyer
Ryan Fitzpatrick played pretty well last year, but behind him Josh Rosen looks more like a bust than a serious potential franchise quarterback at this point. The Dolphins have signed Jordan Howard to serve as their starting running back, and DeVante Parker is starting to look like a legitimate option at receiver as well. Undrafted free agent Preston Williams flashed opposite him last year, but it’s possible the Dolphins may want to look at some receivers, as Albert Wilson and Allen Hurns are closer to replacement-level. Miami invested a second-round pick in tight end Mike Gesicki in 2018, but he’s been a liability as a blocker and just adequate in the passing game. The Dolphins brought in Ereck Flowers to play guard and Ted Karras to play center this offseason, but their returning linemen aren’t impressive, those being left tackle Julie’n Davenport, right guard Michael Deiter (a 2019 third-round pick), and right tackle Jesse Davis.
Upgrading the defense was a big focus this offseason. The Dolphins have a pretty solid duo of interior defenders with Christian Wilkins and John Jenkins, and also signed Shaq Lawson to rush the passer off the edge, who will play opposite Emmanuel Ogbah; both of those players looked serviceable in rotational roles last year, and Charles Harris could be in the mix as well. Brian Flores brought over Kyle Van Noy and Elandon Roberts to join Vince Biegel and Raekwon McMillan. In summary, beyond Van Noy, the edge players and linebackers are closer to a collection of serviceable players than studs, but both position groupings are pretty deep. Byron Jones was the team’s biggest free-agent acquisition; he will start at cornerback opposite Xavien Howard, who really struggled last year and who they might want to line up a replacement for. The Dolphins have four different safeties who played at least 300 snaps last year, none of them particularly good.
Top Needs: QB, OL, CB, DB
Expiring Contracts: QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, WR Albert Wilson, OT Julie’n Davenport, DE Charles Harris, LB Raekwon McMillan
New England Patriots:
Losing Tom Brady makes quarterback the team’s biggest need; currently, 2019 fourth-rounder and journeyman Brian Hoyer would be competing for the job. Sony Michel had a down year running the ball in 2019 but the Patriots are pretty deep at running back, and although the team’s receivers played poorly last year, the exception being Julian Edelman, they have invested heavily in N’Keal Harry and Mohamed Sanu, who were both dealing with injuries in 2019. New England basically has nothing at tight end, although they can at least take solace in knowing that with Joe Thuney returning under the franchise tag and David Andrews likely to get back onto the field at center, their offensive line looks very solid. If Thuney leaves after the season, they could potentially slide left tackle Isaiah Wynn inside, or draft another guard.
The Patriots lost some pieces from their excellent 2019 defense, but the unit still looks good overall. Lawrence Guy is a end/tackle hybrid who excels against the run, and while they lack a top pass-rusher opposite him, some of their rotational players have flashed, namely Deatrich Wise, Chase Winovich, and John Simon. Dont’a Hightower and Ja’Whaun Bentley are back at linebacker, although Jamie Collins and Kyle Van Noy are not, so they may want to get another jack-of-all-trades type, possibly a conversion from an edge rusher like those two were; the first crack at that role will be Shilique Calhoun, who the team just re-signed. The secondary is deep, as the McCourty brothers were both re-signed and Duron Harmon was replaced by signing Adrian Phillips. The Patriots have arguably the league’s best cornerback in Stephon Gilmore, as well as one of its top slot corners in Jonathan Jones. Patrick Chung is a good if aging strong safety, while JC Jackson and Joejuan Williams are candidates to eventually replace Jason McCourty.
Top Needs: QB, TE, DT, DE, LB
Expiring Contracts: RB James White, WR Mohamed Sanu, OC David Andrews, DL Lawrence Guy, LB Dont’a Hightower, CB Jason McCourty
New York Jets:
The Jets have Sam Darnold at quarterback, and are stuck with Le’Veon Bell at running back, although they may want to start lining up a replacement for 2021 given his struggles last year. Wide receiver may be a need after losing Robbie Anderson; they replaced him with Breshad Perriman, and have a solid slot receiver in Jamison Crowder, although Quincy Enunwa missed almost the entire 2019 season. They could stand to upgrade over Ryan Griffin at tight end, and need a lot of help on the offensive line as well. Left tackle Kelvin Beachum hasn’t been re-signed, and beyond center Connor McGovern, none of the other players in the mix for starting jobs – George Fant, Chuma Edoga, Greg Van Roten, Alex Lewis, and Brian Winters – were impressive last year, although Van Roten has just been signed and Edoga was a 2019 third-round pick.
The defensive line has plenty of run stuffers, and while they’re lacking a primary pass-rusher, the Jets also have a couple of decent stand-up edge defenders in Tarell Basham and Jordan Jenkins, along with Jordan Willis, who flashed in limited snaps. Both of the Jets’ big acquisitions at linebacker last offseason, CJ Mosley and Avery Williamson, got hurt, but they’ll almost certainly go into the season confident that the two can rebound, making the high selection of an off-ball linebacker unlikely. Brian Poole was surprisingly good at cornerback last year and the team has a couple of potential slot guys in Maurice Canady and Blessuan Austin, but Pierre Desir played poorly on the boundary, so a #1 defender at the position is a big need. New York is set at safety with Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye.
Top Needs: RB, WR, TE, OL, DE, CB
Expiring Contracts: OG Brian Winters, DL Steve McLendon, DE Tarell Basham, LB Avery Williamson, DB Jamal Adams, DB Marcus Maye