In this installment of what do you need, our own Mac Morey gives his take on what the teams in the AFC East need to take their games to the next level.
Patriots – Linebacker
The Patriots defense struggled last season and even tough they found their footing late in the regular season and into the postseason, the Pats defense was not what it needed to be in 2017.
This team cannot keep expecting Tom Brady to do the impossible, because obviously, he can’t.
Three of the final four teams in the conference championship games were the top three defenses in the league, the Patriots were the lone team in that bunch that didn’t have a top defense.
A number one ranked offense can’t always get the job done when the run defense was as abysmal as it was.
Pure rank won’t show that, but they allowed the second highest yards per carry in the league at 4.7.
In a division they are set to win yet again, they will most likely walk into the first or second seed in the AFC, which may just be a problem for them.
With Dont’a Hightower not being able to stay healthy for a couple of years now, releasing Shea Mclellin and with the loss of Malcolm Butler their defense is gonna need some grit.
They are also set to lost James Harrison to free agency or retirement and his addition proved to give New England fantastic depth at linebacker late in the year.
The signing of Adrian Clayborn was a good one, but past that starting front four, the Patriots will need to answer some questions before the season starts.
Bills – Wide Receiver
This Bills team never ceases to amaze me with the adjustments that they make.
Getting AJ McCarron this offseason was such an underrated move that will deeply benefit them next year.
However, for McCarron to have the best chance at success possible, Sean Mcdermott is going to have to get some more weapons around him.
LeSean McCoy in the backfield is not what he used to be, but can still be more than sufficient at the position and help make plays for McCarron when needed.
As far as wideouts are concerned for this squad, it is slim pickings.
Kelvin Benjamin is highly overrated and has shown a problem with being able to cut weight and has now shown with his level of performance on the field.
Dez Bryant is now not going to sign until May and the Bills have been mentioned in the runnings for landing the ex Cowboys wide receiver.
If they can land him along with drafting a few other weapons, this offense could have the best season it’s seen in a while.
However, depending on how long Bryant decides to wait could provide issues for Buffalo adding him.
The longer Bryant waits the more teams may jump in the race to land his services in 2018 and the fact that he reportedly wants a one year deal makes adding him a bit more risky then if he were to want a multi year deal.
Jets – Running Back
This team has made a few mistakes in the offseason.
They had a chance at getting Kirk Cousins, then backed out, they could have also acquired Ndamukong Suh from their division rival but instead let him join the already insanely powerful Los Angeles Rams.
The choice to stay passive during this offseason when it was full of big names, is one that means this team is looking to the draft and heading towards a long and young rebuild.
If that is the case, this team needs to get Saquon Barkley.
The Browns are probably going to pick Josh Allen or Baker Mayfield, so he will definitely be available at the number three pick.
Barkley is a player that is going to immediately come in and make a ginormous impact on the offensive side of the ball for years to come.
One of the best running back talents the draft has seen since possible Adrian Peterson, that is how good this guy can be in the league.
Running Backs don’t usually get taken that high, but with his skill set, he is more than worth it.
Even if the Jets don’t get another QB in the draft, McCown can hold up the fort another season and help progress this rebuild in the right direction.
Dolphins – Cornerback
Going into last season this team came in with one of the better running back tandems in the league with Jay Ajayi and Kenyan Drake.
They of course ended up making the decision to give up Ajayi to the Eagles giving them the best duo in the league in the backfield other than possibly the saints. The Dolphins counteracted that this offseason in acquiring Frank Gore, who is on maybe his last season but can still provide valuable minutes in the backfield.
The acquisition of Danny Amendola has also drastically improved this offense.
All that and I haven’t even mentioned Ryan Tannehill, who had his best season before getting hurt in the 2017 offseason.
Now that this team has done some work on the offensive side, the defense still stands in need of some help.
Ndamukong Suh, a top five interior defensive lineman in the league is gone and Robert Quinn is a great replacement, but he does not solve that gap in the middle but rather just improves their edge rush.
That pass rush will be great even without Suh, so now they need to be able to cover receivers.
This Dolphins team does not have a cornerback on the roster right now that has over five years of experience in the league.
That is scary in a league that relies mainly on passing down field.
For this Dolphins team to have a chance at the winning the division instead of New England, they will need to get some help in the secondary.
Written by: Mac Morey
Edited by: Sam Forman