NFL Draft 2024 needs for Patriots, Jets, Bills, Dolphins in AFC East, plus pick breakdown

Check the calendar.

It is April.

All due deference to the men’s and women’s NCAA basketball tournaments and the Masters, but this year April is NFL Draft month. The festivities begin on Thursday, April 25, with the first of seven rounds slated to get underway. Over three days in Detroit all 32 NFL teams will try and shape their present .. and future.

Now that free agency is winding down, here at SB Nation we are starting to turn our focus to the NFL Draft. Given the moves that have already been made, we now have a better understanding of where all 32 teams stand, and what they still have to address.

Let’s start by looking at the draft needs for all 32 teams, working division-by-division. We start in the AFC East, with one of the teams picking near the top of that first round.

New England Patriots

With Mac Jones now in Jacksonville backing up Trevor Lawrence, Bailey Zappe and the recently-signed Jacoby Brissett are the two main options at quarterback for the Patriots. That would certainly push QB up the list of needs in Foxborough, but it is not the only one. Plus, with the Patriots sitting at No. 3 overall, they might find themselves deciding between QB number three on the board, the best non-quarterback available, or even a trade down if a team offers them a king’s ransom for that selection.

Besides, there are other needs on the roster. Adding a wide receiver would certainly help whoever is taking the snaps next year, as would bolstering the offensive line. On the defensive side of the ball, getting Christian Gonzalez back after an injury cut his promising rookie season short should help, but bolstering the secondary as well as the defensive line should be options on Days 2 and 3.

New England Patriots draft selections

  • Round 1, Selection 3 (Pick No. 3 overall)
  • Round 2, Selection 2 (Pick No. 34 overall)
  • Round 3, Selection 4 (Pick No. 68 overall)
  • Round 4, Selection 3 (Pick No. 103 overall)
  • Round 5, Selection 2 (Pick No. 137 overall)
  • Round 6, Selection 4 (Pick No. 180 overall)
  • Round 6, Selection 17 (Pick No. 193 overall)
  • Round 7, Selection 11 (Pick No. 231 overall)

Miami Dolphins

A combination of departures, injuries, and injury concerns headline the Dolphins’ needs this spring. With Christian Wilkins off to the Las Vegas Raiders, adding along the defensive line should be a focus for Miami, and players such as Byron Murphy and T’Vondre Sweat from Texas, as well as Jer’Zhan Newton from Illinois are potential targets.

Bolstering the offensive line, starting with the interior, is also a need. The team added Isaiah Wynn from New England and they likely slide him to the inside, but making sure their IOL is solidified is a big need for Miami. Jackson Powers-Johnson from Oregon is a popular pick for the Dolphins in recent mock drafts, They could also look to the tackle spot, adding depth on Day 2 or Day 3.

Then there is the EDGE spot on defense. The Dolphins are getting Jaelan Phillips and Bradley Chubb back from season-ending injuries (Phillips with an Achilles’ injury and Chubb from a torn ACL) but giving them another option on the edge might be a smart play.

Miami Dolphins draft selections

  • Round 1, Selection 21 (Pick No. 21 overall)
  • Round 2, Selection 23 (Pick No. 55 overall)
  • Round 5, Selection 23 (Pick No. 158 overall)
  • Round 6, Selection 8 (Pick No. 184 overall)
  • Round 6, Selection 22 (Pick No. 198 overall)
  • Round 7, Selection 21 (Pick No. 241 overall)

Buffalo Bills

Depending on who you talk to, the list of needs for the Buffalo Bills could vary widely. Many look at the wide receiver group and believe the Bills would be smart to add at that position, even with Stefon Diggs, the newly-added Curtis Samuel, and an emerging slot weapon in Khalil Shakir. Others look to the defensive line and believe that Buffalo should bring in some talent on the edge, as well as the interior.

But then you look at safety. In recent years Buffalo could look to perhaps the best safety tandem in the league with Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer, but the tandem will not be back for 2024. Poyer is in Miami with the Dolphins, and Hyde is a free agent. While Sean McDermott left the door open to Hyde returning, that is still up in the air.

Either way, safety could be a big need for the Bills.

One thing is clear, the Bills have a lot of draft capital on Day 3. So they could look to use those picks and add depth, or move up at some point in the draft.

Buffalo Bills draft selections

  • Round 1, Selection 28 (Pick No. 28 overall)
  • Round 2, Selection 28 (Pick No. 60 overall)
  • Round 4, Selection 28 (Pick No. 128 overall)
  • Round 4, Selection 33 (Pick No. 133 overall)
  • Round 5, Selection 9 (Pick No. 144 overall)
  • Round 5, Selection 25 (Pick No. 160 overall)
  • Round 5, Selection 28 (Pick No. 163 overall)
  • Round 6, Selection 13 (Pick No. 189 overall)
  • Round 6, Selection 24 (Pick No. 200 overall)
  • Round 6, Selection 28 (Pick No. 204 overall)
  • Round 7, Selection 248 (Pick No. 248 overall)

New York Jets

The New York Jets entered the offseason with a pressing need.

Fixing the offensive line.

General Manager Joe Douglas used free agency to try and solve that particular problem, adding Tyron Smith, Morgan Mosen, and guard John Simpson over the past few weeks. Those additions give Douglas the freedom to address other spots in the draft, although he might look to add depth at the tackle spots.

New York also added Mike Williams in free agency, giving Aaron Rodgers a solid 1-2 combination of Williams and young WR Garrett Wilson. A slot option could be in play for them later in the draft, unless they simply love someone earlier. In terms of receiving options, giving Rodgers a dynamic tight end could be a move for the team, and if Georgia tight end Brock Bowers is available when the Jets are on the clock, that could be the move for them. Bowers has been a popular pick for the Jets in recent mock draft.

Defensively, looking at the secondary should be in play for the Jets, starting with the safety position. Bolstering cornerback depth could also be a wise investment later in the draft.

New York Jets draft selections

  • Round 1, Selection 10 (Pick No. 10 overall)
  • Round 3, Selection 8 (Pick No. 72 overall)
  • Round 4, Selection 11 (Pick No. 11 overall)
  • Round 4, Selection 34 (Pick No. 134 overall)
  • Round 6, Selection 9 (Pick No. 185 overall)
  • Round 7, Selection 36 (Pick No. 256 overall)
  • Round 7, Selection 37 (Pick No. 257 overall)

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