Team needs

April 19, 2002|By Ken Murray

AFC East

Buffalo Bills

2001 record: 3-13

Total picks: 11

First round: No. 4

Needs: DT, QB, FS

Draft scenario: The Bills desperately need a QB, but they're still trying to pry Drew Bledsoe loose from New England and they have doubts about QB Joey Harrington's arm strength, especially in wintry Buffalo. They'd like to trade down to get either DT Ryan Sims or S Roy Williams. They can't go far, though, to get Sims, who fills the greater need.

Miami Dolphins

2001 record: 11-5

Total picks: 5

First round: None (first pick is 90th overall)

Needs: DE, OT, SS

Draft scenario: After losing two DEs in free agency, the Dolphins are planning to move DT Daryl Gardener outside. They need depth there and in the offensive line behind injury-prone OT Leon Searcy. The Dolphins also want a pass-catching tight end for offensive coordinator Norv Turner's new offense. Depth is the keynote when you don't pick until the third round.

New England Patriots

2001 record: 11-5

Total picks: 9

First round: No. 32

Needs: OLB, DE, WR

Draft scenario: The Patriots would do well to upgrade their pass rush, either at OLB or DE. If they are going to get something meaningful in a trade for Bledsoe, it needs to happen before the draft. New England also needs to give QB Tom Brady more big-play targets in the passing game. The Patriots won't sneak up on anyone this year.

New York Jets

2001 record: 10-6

Total picks: 5

First round: No. 22

Needs: DT, CB, OT

Draft scenario: The Jets ranked 28th against the run last season and would love to get one of the top four DTs. But the only way that happens is by trading up, a strategy they used last year to snag Santana Moss. The Jets are not enamored of the second-tier DTs, so they could grab a CB (Lito Sheppard or Mike Rumph) at 22 or trade down. Right now, 5-8 Ray Mickens is a starter at CB.

AFC North

Cincinnati Bengals

2001 record: 6-10

Total picks: 7

First round: No. 10

Needs: CB, QB, TE

Draft scenario: The only real weakness in the Bengals' defense last year was at the corners. Even with Artrell Hawkins re-signed and Jeff Burris added, the Bengals might go for CB Phillip Buchanon. They need to address their QB quandary again and might go for either Patrick Ramsey or Kurt Kittner. Plus, last year's tight ends had just 29 catches and one TD.

Cleveland Browns

2001 record: 7-9

Total picks: 9

First round: No. 16

Needs: RB, OT, WR

Draft scenario: After significantly upgrading his defense a year ago, Butch Davis must improve his supporting cast for QB Tim Couch. Brawny RB T.J. Duckett could fill the team's biggest need. The Browns tried to do it on the cheap a year ago with third-round pick James Jackson. It didn't work. The Browns also need to shore up the offensive line and receiver.

Pittsburgh Steelers

2001 record: 13-3

Total picks: 8

First round: No. 30

Needs: OL, ILB, WR

Draft scenario: The Steelers are drafting from strength. They covered free-agent losses by adding K Todd Peterson and LB James Farrior. Two offensive line starters, T Wayne Gandy and G Alan Faneca, enter the last year of their contracts, so OL is a possibility. The Steelers could use depth at WR, too, after losing slot receiver Bobby Shaw.

AFC South

Houston Texans

2001 record: This is first season

Total picks: 13

First round: No. 1

Needs: DE, S, RB

Draft scenario: After taking QB David Carr with the first pick, the Texans can fill their remaining holes with a glut of selections. They want to get a DE for their 3-4 scheme, perhaps with the first pick of the second round, and they could use a safety and an inside linebacker. The Texans already have a solid base with their expansion draft acquisitions.

Indianapolis Colts

2001 record: 6-10

Total picks: 8

First round: No. 11

Needs: DT, DE, CB

Draft scenario: The NFL's 29th-ranked defense can use help everywhere. New coach Tony Dungy will implement his cover-2 scheme and start with an overhaul. He lost a CB and cut a safety, for starters. Up front, the Colts weren't tough enough to stop the run. They're almost assured to get one of the top four DTs in this draft.

Jacksonville Jaguars

2001 record: 6-10

Total picks: 8

First round: No. 9

Needs: DT, OT, WR

Draft scenario: The Jaguars surrendered their cornerstone, LT Tony Boselli, and two defensive tackles in the expansion draft. They will put a priority on those two positions in this draft. They'll likely start on defense because the two best OTs will be gone, but not the four best DTs. The Jaguars like Ryan Sims, Wendell Bryant and John Henderson at DT.

Tennessee Titans

2001 record: 7-9

Total picks: 9

First round: No. 14

Needs: CB, DT, C

Draft scenario: The Titans ranked last in the league in pass defense, and it's not hard to see why. Even after signing DE Kevin Carter, they managed just 32 sacks. They need a better rush out of Carter (two sacks), but they also need a starting CB in this draft. They don't have a center on the roster, but GM Floyd Reese has never taken a center or a safety in the first round.

AFC West

Denver Broncos

2001 record: 8-8

Total picks: 8

First round: No. 19

Needs: WR, OL, DB

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