With the draft looming a few short weeks away, teams are busy figuring out who can make their teams better. Here’s my take on what your team needs to do in the draft to take the next step.
AFC East -New England Patriots
1st Round: 32
2nd Round: 56, 64
3rd Round: 74, 98, 102
After winning the Super Bowl, where do the Patriots go? Well, as per usual, they part ways with players that want to be paid near the top of the market. Much has been made of Trey Flowers disruptive abilities this season, and his departure. So, what’s the plan? The Patriots brought in former Legion of Boom and recent Eagles pass rusher Michael Bennett in free agency, who, it should be noted, had more sacks and tackles for loss last season and will cost almost exactly half of what Flowers is now making in Detroit. What about Trent Brown? The stout offensive lineman departed after a great season protecting Tom Brady. That role is likely already filled by last year’s first pick by New England, Isiah Wynn. Brown took over after an injury sidelined Wynn for the entire season. He’ll be back in 2019, and we can assume he’s the incumbent. So, what does New England need with their six-pack of picks in the first three rounds? Speed on defense, and boy, is this the draft to shore that up. A run-stuffing linebacker would be a good add for a defense that allowed too many first down yards on the ground, as would a long, athletic target at wide receiver, but I think the area of greatest need is at tight end. You can’t replace Gronk, but you can find a sure-handed receiver that can make some blocks, and for the champs to repeat, I think they’ll need that weapon in their arsenal. Interesting question: Will Josh Gordon be back, and will he stay back? The Patriot’s faith in the answer to that question could also greatly affect draft plans on the offensive side.