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2023 AFC East Team Needs and Draft Prospect Fits

Joey Porter Jr

Joey Porter Jr

Getty Images North America

Kyle Dvorchak breaks down the positional needs of every AFC East team and some of the best prospects they could look to target in the 2023 NFL Draft.

New England Patriots

Needs: Cornerback, Wide Receiver, and Offensive Tackle

Top Picks: 14, 46, and 76

Riley Reiff can be penciled in as the team’s starting right tackle for 2023 and Calvin Anderson is a capable swing tackle, but the team still needs a plan for 2024 and beyond. A similar situation is brewing at receiver with Kendrick Bourne and DeVante Parker hitting free agency next offseason. The Pats brought back cornerback Jonathan Jones in free agency but still have a cast of question marks vying to start opposite him.

Though the Pats’ use of man coverage went down last year, but they still relied on it more than most teams and could lean back into that style if they land Joey Porter Jr. with their first selection. Porter is a physical, outside corner who also excels when pressing opposing receivers. Under Bill Belichick, 7-of-11 of New England’s top-100 picks spent on the offensive line have been non-Power Five players. North Dakota State’s Cody Maunch and BYU’s Blake Freeland fit that bill and could be available at 76. Wake Forests’ A.T. Perry has a great combination of size and speed, making him a possible replacement for DeVante Parker.

New York Jets

Needs: Offensive Tackle, Defensive Tackle, and Center

Top Picks: 13, 42, and 43

The Jets’ line is a mess. Duane Brown and Mekhi Becton could be a strong tackle duo, but Brown is 37 years old and Becton has rarely been healthy since he entered the league. On the interior, left guard Laken Tomlinson, now 31 years old, struggled in 2022 and Wes Schweitzer, a replacement-level player, is penciled in at center. On defense, the Jets could use a second defensive tackle to compliment Quinnen Williams’ pass-rushing excellence.

The consensus is that the Jets will keep their first-round pick in the Aaron Rodgers deal and give up a second-rounder this year and next year. That leaves them in play to take a tackle on either side of the ball at 13. Broderick Jones profiles as a possible franchise left tackle and Grinding the Mocks has his ADP at 14.5. On defense, Calijah Kancey bears an uncanny resemblance to fellow Pitt alum Aaron Donald and could still be on the board when the Jets take the podium. If GM Joe Douglas is only looking for insurance on his starters at offensive tackle, Syracuse’s Matthew Bergeron has experience on both sides of the line and profiles as an immediate swing tackle in the NFL. Center may have to wait until later in the draft. Michigan’s Olusegun Oluwatimi will need time to develop but could be a starter within a year.

Buffalo Bills

Needs: Wide Receiver, Linebacker, and Guard

Top Picks: 27, 59, and 91

Right tackle could also be considered a need, but Brandon Beane has given Spencer Brown his vote of confidence. That should leave them looking for an upgrade at guard to keep Josh Allen upright more often in 2023. Speaking of getting Allen some held, Buffalo desperately needs to find another wideout via the draft. They are also in need of a replacement for Tremaine Edmunds, who left for Chicago in free agency.

Beane would love to see one of Zay Flowers or Jordan Addison make it to him at No. 27. If they don’t, Florida lineman O’Cyrus Torrence is coming off back-to-back seasons with a top-five grade at guard by Pro Football Focus and could be an option for Buffalo. Penn State’s Parker Washington profiles as a physical slot receiver with strong YAC abilities that would help balance out Buffalo’s boom-bust passing attack. At linebacker, the Bills are in an awkward spot. They likely don’t need to take one as high as 27 to get a Week 1 starter but the top tier could be exhausted by the next time they pick. Iowa’s Jack Campbell would be a dream get for them, though they may have to move up to land him. If they shut out until the third round, Cincinnati’s Ivan Pace isn’t a replacement for Edmunds’ freakish size but is surprisingly strong and can stay on the field for every situation.

Miami Dolphins

Needs: Tight End, Offensive Tackle, and Defensive Tackle

Top Picks: 51, 84, and 197

The Dolphins addressed most of their needs in free agency, which is good because they have no draft capital to speak of. GM Chris Grier has prioritized fixing his offensive line in recent years, but there is still a considerable hole at right tackle. With the Mike Gesicki experiment failing under Mike McDaniel, Miami also needs to find a new starting tight end. Defensive tackle and guard will also be high on their list of positions to fill.

This tight end class is full of absurd athletes with solid pass-catching repertoires, but the Dolphins just let that archetype walk in free agency with Mike Gesicki. Cincinnati’s Josh Whyle has a strong athletic profile and scouts have noted his run-blocking prowess. Whyle is also projected to be a Day Three selection, giving the pick-starved Dolphins a shot at him. With their first pick, the Dolphins should be eying a centerpiece for Vic Fangio‘s defensive line. Michigan’s Mazi Smith wasn’t an elite pass-rusher in college but projects to immediately take on a role as a run-stuffer at the NFL level. At tackle, Tyler Steen, Alabama’s starting left tackle in 2022, could be a Day Two prospect the Dolphins have their eyes on. He would be making the move from left to right tackle in Miami, but his impressive lateral agility makes him a great fit for the Dolphins’ zone-blocking scheme.