The NFL draft has ended and the teams we see now are more likely than not going to be the teams we see come training camp and when the season starts. In an effort to make this offseason move faster, let us rank the 4 teams in the AFC East from worst to first. Please be advised that outside the #1 team, the other 3 teams could finish between 4 and 2 as they all are more likely than not missing the playoffs.
#4 New England Patriots
The Patriots lost their offensive coordinator who took the Raiders head coaching job where they have their own Mac Jones at QB. To replace him the Patriots have we don’t know as offensive coordinator as they never officially filled the position which makes no sense at all. They added to the offensive coaching staff Matt Patricia and Joe Judge, two coaches who while head coach had terrible offenses and neither has real experience on offense. Also in the draft in what was a great receiver class, they reached on a one trick pony who doesn’t use the best talent of your starting QB; his quick passing game. Also a young QB needs a strong offensive coaching staff to help him develop and I don’t even know who will help him in the coaching staff. The offense which looked like it should progress looks like it might stagnate or regress.
The defense looks like an ideal regression candidate as they lost their best cornerback and their linebacking group lacks some real speed which is needed in today’s NFL. In the draft they drafted undersized corners who might be good in the slot but very unlikely will be good in the outside. They signed Devin Hafford as an UDFA. I have no idea who he is but based off their history he will probably be a pro bowl corner who leaves for greener pastures in 3 or 4 years. I don’t see the defense getting better and with the rest of the AFC East getting better, the Patriots are not.
#3 New York J-E-T-S JETS! JETS! JETS
The Jets last year were in the first year or a rebuilding year and were green in a lot of areas. This year they will have a 2nd year QB and OC and hopefully will grow into being potentially serviceable. This offseason the Jets took advantage of their large cap space to address their offensive line and used the draft to get a #1 CB, a #1 WR and a pass rusher to complement their big free agency signing from a year ago. They also traded a 5th round pick to move up to get the best RB in this class and the Jets will run the ball a lot considering they are running a Shannahan influenced offense. Many analytics people hated this move because they prefer quantity over quality when it comes to drafting as they don’t account for player development.
The Jets now have a solid WR trio, they also got some pretty solid TEs, their OL might be the best in the AFCE, and they might have the best RB in the AFCE (Patriots have the best RB room since they have 20 of them on the roster). The Jets are now banking on Zach Wilson taking that next step which he was starting to show after coming back from injury. The defense should also be better as they are solid on all three phases and shouldn’t get destroyed by every team. On paper this team should win 8 games and I think they are a year away from really making some noise in the AFC. The biggest question mark will be the QB and the coach and how they do this year will give us an idea where they go.
#2 Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins went from defensive minded HC who didn’t care about the offense to an offensive minded HC who decided to let the defense stay the way it was last year. The Dolphins made the biggest moves in star power this offseason, signing a top 5 LT in free agency and trading for a top 5 WR. The Dolphins offense has two solid WRs and now that they play in the Shanny system, Tua will automatically be a competent QB. The run game will be good and the offensive line will be better now they have actual coaching instead of the Flores answer which was just trade for Watson and he will fix it. On defense the same defensive coordinator is running it but there might be a regression depending on how much Flores had to do with that side of the ball. The Dolphins are probably a 10-11 win team but probably will miss the playoffs since the AFC is stacked.
#1 Buffalo Bills
The Bills are a top 5 team in the NFL. Their only goal is to make the Super Bowl and win it. They have one of the 3 best QBs in the NFL and you could argue the best QB in the NFL. Their defense improved with an addition of an actual #2 CB and a great pass rusher. The offensive line got a solid under the radar guard and improved by bringing back Aaron Kromer as OL coach who made the Bills OL a strength in the Rex Ryan disaster (like the only bright spot of those years). The only concern is the OC heading to the Giants as HC and a first time play caller in Ken Dorsey but I think this offense will be Josh Allen’s offense and he will have a lot of say in what happens. The offense should be top 5 yet again, the defense should be good, now they just need to get over the hump. Oh and they drafted the punt god so opposing teams might as well get used to starting in their own 20 every series.