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Replay: Patriots Unfiltered Tue Jun 18 - 11:55 AM | Thu Jun 20 - 09:55 AM

A look inside the AFC East

The Patriots are favored to win the AFC East yet again in 2006 and while the other three teams in the division may not be in the Patriots league now, a couple of them are heading in the right direction to be contenders in the future.

Buffalo Bills

Key Additions: S Matt Bowen (Washington), WR Andre' Davis (New England), QB Craig Nall (Green Bay), WR Peerless Price (Atlanta), G Tutan Reyes (Carolina), TE Robert Royal (Washington), DT Larry Tripplett (Indianapolis).

Key Losses: DT Sam Adams (Bengals), DT Justin Bannan (Baltimore), S Lawyer Milloy (Atlanta), WR Eric Moulds (Houston), OT Mike Williams (Jacksonville).

Draft Selections

1A. Donte' Whitner, S Ohio State1B. John McCargo, DT North Carolina State3. Ashton Youboty, CB Ohio State4. Ko Simpson S, South Carolina5A. Kyle Williams DT, LSU5B. Brad Butler, OT Virginia6. Keith Ellison, LB Oregon State7A. Terrance Pennington, OT New Mexico7B. Aaron Merz, G California

Draft BreakdownI really didn't understand the Bills draft at all. While I do like some of the players they selected, I'm not sure they addressed their most pressing needs. The Patriots and Eagles do a very good job at maneuvering in the draft. Both teams got good players in the first round and then traded up in the second round to get another highly rated prospect. In essence, both the Patriots and Eagles got two first round selections.

The Bills did the exact opposite. I like Whitner and McCargo but the team reached for both players. I thought Buffalo should have gone with Brodrick Bunkley with their first selection but they decided to address their secondary –which is the strength of their defense – instead. That just doesn't make much sense to me.

You don't select a player at 26 when you can get him later in the draft. Besides, if McCargo is gone, he's gone. It's not like he's the kind of player a team can't live without. I find it hard to believe they needed to have him that badly. The Bills decided not to take a receiver or a tight end and didn't address their offensive line until late in the draft.

Overall, the Bills did a poor job of managing the draft. Marv Levy was a good coach but being a general manager is a totally different ball game and this draft showed his inexperience. A very perplexing draft all the way around.

Bottom Line: The Bills have a long way to go before they're in position to challenge the Patriots. This is a team with a lot of uncertainty and their moves this offseason did nothing to clear that up.

Miami Dolphins

Key Additions: QB Daunte Culpepper (Minnesota), CB Will Allen (Giants), FB Fred Beasley (San Francisco), CB Andre' Goodman (Detroit), CB Renaldo Hill (Oakland), LB Sedrick Hodge (New Orleans), OT Mike Pearson (Jacksonville), OT L.J. Shelton (Cleveland).

Key Losses: CB Reggie Howard, S Tebucky Jones (New England), CB Sam Madison (Giants), OT Damion McIntosh, QB Sage Rosenfels (Houston), LB Junior Seau.

Draft Selections

1. Jason Allen, DB Tennessee3. Derek Hagan, WR Arizona State4. Joe Toledo, OT Washington7A. Fred Evans, NT Texas State – San Marcos7B. Rodrique Wright, NT Texas7C. Devin Aromashodu, WR Auburn

Draft Breakdown
Nick Saban was kind of at the mercy of the old regime in Miami, who traded away a lot of this year's draft choices in a final ditch effort to win right away. Miami also traded a second-round pick for Daunte Culpepper, who may not be ready to play until November.

I wasn't as high on Allen as some people were but I can't really argue with the selection. He's a versatile defensive back that Saban can line up all over the field and that was the Dolphins biggest need going into the draft.

I didn't like the selection of Hagan in the third round because receiver really isn't a pressing need for the Dolphins. Drafting a receiver who has questionable hands when you have bigger holes to fill was a bit of a reach.

Getting Toledo in the fourth round was an excellent selection. He's a big, smart tackle who can be groomed to take over for L.J. Shelton – a player viewed as more of a short- term solution at left tackle.

Evans is a developmental-type from a small school but coaches like Saban have a knack for finding those players late in the draft. Wright might have been a first-day pick but rumors about a possible rotator cuff injury saw him slip to the seventh round.

The Bottom Line: A lot of people expect the Dolphins to compete with the Patriots for the division title in 2006 but I think they're still one year away. In 2007, when Culpepper is healthy and Saban has more draft under his belt, Miami will be a much more serious threat to the Patriots. This team overachieved last year, so they may take a step back before they move forward.

New York Jets

Key Additions: CB Andre Dyson (Seattle), DE Kimo von Oelhoffen (Pittsburgh), QB Patrick Ramsey (Washington).

Key Losses: DE John Abraham (Atlanta), OT Jason Fabini (Dallas), QB Jay Fiedler, LB Barry Gardner, CB Ty Law, DT Lance Legree, C Kevin Mawae (Tennessee), FB Jerald Sowell (Tampa Bay).

Draft Selections

1A. D'Brickashaw Ferguson, OT Virginia1B. Nick Mangold, C Ohio State2. Kellen Clemems, QB Oregon3A. Anthony Schlegel, MLB Ohio State3B. Eric Smith, S Michigan State4A. Brad Smith, WR Missouri4B. Leon Washington, RB Florida State5. Jason Pociask, TE Wisconsin6. Drew Coleman, DB TCU7. Titus Adams, DT Nebraska

Draft BreakdownEric Mangini learned a lot from Bill Belichick when it comes to selecting players on the first day of the draft. On the second day, however, not so much. The Jets took the opposite (and right) approach than the Bills did by building their team in the trenches first. New York had a terrible offensive line in 2006 and they helped solidify that by grabbing Ferguson and Mangold in the first round. Both players should come right in and start as rookies.

I loved the Clemens pick in Round 2. An injury late in his senior year hurt Clemens' draft stock but I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up being one of the best quarterbacks to come out of this class.

Some people thought Schlegel was a bit of a reach but I like the pick. He was made to play inside linebacker in a 3-4 defense and could wind up being the Jets version of Ted Johnson.

After Schlegel, things went south for the Jets. I thought Eric Smith, Brad Smith and Leon Washington were all reaches with much better players on the board at those positions when they were selected. Brad Smith played quarterback in college and doesn't really have a position in the NFL yet, so using a fourth-round pick on him is a reach. Washington may help in the return game but I don't think any of these guys will make much of an impact.

Overall, a great first day by the Jets but they made some questionable picks on Day 2. Still, with Ferguson and Mangold in the fold, the Jets offensive line will be much improved next season.

The Bottom Line: The Jets are headed in the right direction under Mangini but it's going to take him a year or two to implement his system and get his type of players in New York. Rome wasn't built in a day and the Jets are probably two years away from competing for a playoff birth.

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