The AFC’s biggest roster holes after the draft
Having the draft before free agency made things a little different over the weekend. It will certainly change the dynamics of free agency, whenever it finally starts.
Many needs were filled, but the teams that still have roster holes now could get desperate in free agency. We already looked at what teams still need quarterbacks, so let’s take a look at other big needs that weren’t addressed over the weekend. AFC up first.
Patriots pass rush: They don’t want Tully Banta-Cain or Mike Wright leading the team in sacks again. The defensive line’s youth infusion will have to wait a year and there still isn’t a difference-making outside linebacker on the roster. They could target an edge pass rusher in free agency.
Dolphins running back: Even after adding Daniel Thomas, they need to add a veteran to the mix.
Jets wide receiver: We expected the team to re-sign Braylon Edwards or Santonio Holmes, most likely Edwards. Now they have to sign at least one, probably two veterans. (Think Edwards and a lower cost option.) Their current No. 2 wideout is, uh, Mark Sanchez’s buddy Scotty McKnight? Patrick Turner?
Bengals running back: After failing to find a running back before the seventh round, they basically have to re-sign Cedric Benson.
Steelers cornerback: Free agent-to-be Ike Taylor has some leverage. The Steelers are used to a no-name cornerback crew, but they’ll want to fortify the position even after taking third-round pick Curtis Brown.
Jaguars defense: Taking two small school defensive backs on the third day of the draft isn’t enough. The Jaguars say they will be aggressive going after defense in free agency. Linebacker and more secondary help is in order.
Texans secondary: We know they added depth with three picks here, including a second round cornerback (Brandon Harris). They still need to add a veteran presence that could compete to start.
Broncos defensive tackle: They couldn’t fill every need in one draft, but it hurts they didn’t address their worst position over the weekend. The top of the depth chart right now: Kevin Vickerson and Ryan McBean. Uh oh.