With the regular season of the College Football season reaching its end and the NFL season over its halfway mark, teams are at the early stages of creating their boards, determining their major needs and what players fit their needs. At this point the teams in the AFCE have a pretty good idea what their biggest needs are.
New York Jets: Amari Cooper, WR from Rawl Tyde
The Jets are going to more than likely clean house and a new coaching staff and possibly new GM (I however believe Idzik stays) means there will be a lot of changes. The Jets have a lot of needs from QB, WR, CB, LB, OL and they really could and should use their 1st pick on either Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariotta. However drafting a QB with no support is leaving him to fail which is why they use their first pick on the best playmaker in this draft, Amari Cooper. Cooper is all you want in a WR, he has good hands, an above average route runner, very good after the catch and this year has shown the ability to get physical and win jump balls. The new Head Coach who more than likely will be an offensive minded guy (someone like Darrell Bevell, Josh McDaniels, Adam Gase, Pete Carmichial and just for fun Lane Kiffin) will know how to use him and help out whoever the QB is whether Geno Smith (who finally will have a HC who knows what offense is) or someone else.
Miami Dolphins: Shaq Thompson, LB from Washington.
The Dolphins don’t have a lot of big needs as most positions they are set with a starter or it is not a position you use your 1st pick on. The Fins use their 1st pick upgrading the Linebacker position which is their biggest need outside of kicker. After whiffing on Ellerbe and Phillip Wheeler being meh, the Dolphins could use that dynamic player at linebacker to really complete an already good defense. Thompson is a two-way player at Washington and on defense he is everywhere, his awareness and instincts are superb as he is very good in coverage and against the run. Thompson is just what the Fins need at LB, plus he has Shaq-fu.
New England Patriots: Cameron Erving OL from FSU
Against the U, Erving moved from left tackle to center and he actually did a pretty good job at it. Since he has moved to center, the offensive line for FSU has been leaps and bounds better than before and the run game went from non-existent to being a key part of the offense. This move to center has helped stop Erving’s draft plunge and a move to the interior offensive line is in his future. While at tackle he struggled this year against the faster edge rushers and with his size (6’6 330) he is better suited inside. He will be a great fit for the Patriots as they will need a guard and he can come right away and play left and right guard and stabalize the position. Plus with his experience at Tackle and Center, if injury occurs, he can immediately be moved over and be adequate there. The Patriots drafted one Seminole last year in Stork and he is the main reason why they are the best team in the AFC, I’m sure he can persuade them to pick another considering how successful he has been for them.
Buffalo Bills: Nick O’Leary, TE from Florida State University
Scott Chandler is not a good tight end. He may be big at 6’7 but he lacks speed and he isn’t extremely athletic or a consistent receiving option. That is why the Bills use their 1st pick in the draft on a tight end and the best option being Nick O’Leary, the grandson of Jack Nicklaus (something announcers mention every game). He isn’t huge at 6’3 245 but in his four years he has a been reliable and consistent and a go-to guy for whoever was his QB. He wasn’t the fastest guy in the world or the most athletic player but he found a way to get open and he is quite possibly immortal after surviving two wrecks in two years. He also plays with a toughness and can break some tackles and shows no mercy. The biggest area he needs work is blocking and with his size he struggles sustaining blocks against bigger lineman. But right away he provides a valuable safety valve in the offense and despite his size is a decent red zone target. He is a throwback tight end and right away he would form a solid 1-2 tandem with Chris Gragg and Chandler can be used a red zone target where he belongs.