Patriots’ AFC East Rivals Building Toward Division Crown in 2010 NFL Draft


Patriots' AFC East Rivals Building Toward Division Crown in 2010 NFL Draft Despite the Jets' playoff run and aggressive start to the offseason, the AFC East is still the Patriots to lose. Though Bill Belichick and crew have a number of holes to fill, they sit atop the division until someone knocks them off.

By starting the draft off right, the Jets, Dolphins and Bills took the first step toward stealing the division crown in 2010.

Buffalo Bills
The hapless Bills were the first AFC East team to make a pick in on Thursday, using the ninth overall selection on dynamic playmaker C.J. Spiller. The Bills still have Marshawn Lynch, but Spiller provides the offense with a different look. Where Lynch is more of a between-the-tackles runner, Spiller has the quickness and speed to get to the outside and put six points on the board every time he touches the ball. Though he doesn't have the size to be an every-down back, he will create serious matchup problems.

Bringing Spiller to Buffalo is a nice start, but they are not one player away from contention. Two of the cornerstones of an NFL offense — quarterback and left tackle — are still problem areas for Buffalo. Luckily for Bills fans, some first-round shenanigans should have plenty of talent falling to them, and they still could come out of Day 2 with some quality players.

ESPN is reporting that Buffalo has contacted the Rams about trading for the 33rd overall pick, Friday's first, likely in an attempt to nab Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen. If they miss out on the trade, they could possibly still grab signal-caller Colt McCoy or a tackle like Rodger Saffold or Charles Brown as a future blind-side linchpin.

Miami Dolphins
After losing Jason Taylor to the Jets, the Dolphins are in desperate need of a pass rusher. But rather than sitting on the 12th pick and grabbing a speed rusher like Jason Pierre-Paul, Miami elected to trade down, finally sliding in at No. 28 where they grabbed defensive lineman Jared Odrick. While not an edge rusher, Odrick provides versatility along the D-line, yet lacks the size to play nose tackle, a position of need for Miami.

By trading down, the Dolphins moved into the top of a second round where highly rated edge rushers Sergio Kindle and Everson Griffen are still available. If that duo of quarterback killers is gone, Miami could go again for the interior and grab nose tackle Terrence Cody.

New York Jets
Last season, the Jets moved up to get quarterback Mark Sanchez, but after trading picks for proven talent like Antonio Cromartie and Santonio Holmes, GM Mike Tannenbaum decided to sit tight and let the board fall to him. His man ended up being Kyle Wilson, who fell all the way to 29 after nearly being scooped up by the Cleveland Browns at No. 7. With Jason Taylor putting a temporary stopgap on the need for a top edge -rusher, the Jets were free to take the brash Boise State corner to add to the league's top pass defense.

With only one pick on Day 2, the Jets may miss out on the top talent that fell through the first round. Sitting at No. 61, New York is likely to take an interior lineman like Massachusetts' Vladimir Ducasse to eventually replace Pro bowl guard Alan Faneca. They addressed their wideout need by trading for Holmes, and now can focus on safety. Both Nate Allen and Major Wright are good fits in Rex Ryan's defense if they are available.

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