AFC East: Offensive Line
Finally we get to the trenches and move to the most important position group in the NFL (outside of long snapper), the offensive line.
4) Miami Dolphins
Last year, the Fins were involved in a large bullying scandal that forced them to gut four of their five starters, and the only returning player is unfortunately facing a potentially serious hip injury. The good news is this offseason they took advantage of the large amount of cap room and signed Brandon Albert to man the LT position and Shelly Smith to man the RG/LG position. In the draft, they got themselves a LG/RG and RT in Juwann James and Billy Turner who are both upside guys as well as leaps and bounds better than Martin/Incognito. However, they are still rookies and will have growing pains. The good news is they upgraded the offensive line and in the long term will be better for it. However, they are losing their best player on that line for at least the very beginning of the season, which spells doom for quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
3) Buffalo Bills
Last year, the Bills had not only the worst LG in the NFL, they also had a garbage RT too. To address that issue and ensure QB E.J. Manuel doesn’t end up with robotic knees, they put lots of effort in upgrading those two positions. For the LG position, they signed Chris Williams, who last year was “meh” for the Rams’ offensive line. In the draft, they added guard Cyril Richardson, who hopefully will man the starting LG position in 2015, letting Williams be a super-utility Williams. For the RT position, they drafted Cyrus “the Virus” Kouandjio who shows no mercy and holds nothing back. Right now the Bills have a top 10 LT in Cordy Glenn, a C in Eric Wood who has the best sponsor ever, and two “meh” guards and a RT who has a lot of upside but is also still growing as a pass blocker. While the Bills run game will get better, the pass protection will struggle again…at least E.J. is used to having no o-line.
2) New York Jets
The Jets have an offensive line that is very good, but at the same time is getting up there in age. Leading the group is Nick Mangold who is a pretty good center. The LT position is manned by D’Brickashaw Ferguson, who is pretty good though also getting old. At the guard positions, they have Dakota Dozier, who is going to be a stud (just look at the name), and Willie Colon who is serviceable when healthy. With the Jets running a No Passing offense, these guys are perfect for just that. Overall, while the Jets have been neglecting the skill positions on offense for quite a while, at the very least, they have invested a lot into the offensive line and it shows. Plus, when their RT Austin Howard went to the Raiders to finish 2-14, the Jets got the RT from the Seahawks, whose name no one can spell properly (he must be related to Jimmy Garrapopopolololo).
1) New England Patriots
The Patriots have a pretty good LT in Nate Solder (though not as good as Glenn), and Logan Mankins has proven to be a pretty good player. Last year, they had Sebastian Vollmer, who played pretty well until a gruesome injury. For insurance, they drafted Cameron Fleming, who is wicked smaht and will probably be playing at some point this year. The only gaping hole is the RG position, where they drafted Jon Halapio, who has bust all over him (never trust a Gator). Overall, the Patriots have a pretty good line that makes the run game work and gives Tom Brady time to throw to the arsenal of small slot receivers. What tops it off is Bryan Stork, who, without playing a down, is already the best center in the NFL and of all time. He along with Solder give the Patriots a pretty good line that is a core reason why every year they are either 1st or 2nd in scoring.