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AFC East Projected Starters


kevinc855

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As you might expect, big compliments and excitement about the offense. Possible breakout year for Darnold and Herndon supported by Bell and Crowder with Gase calling the plays is exciting.

Knock is on center and arguably having the worst corner group in the league. To win, we are gona have to put up points and get creative with blitz packages. If QBs are sitting in the pocket we may be in trouble. Plus with Q and Leo and Mosley I don't see opposing offenses preferring running over passing against us. 

 

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000001029997/article/afc-east-projected-starters-jets-set-to-fly-patriots-roster-hole

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11 minutes ago, kevinc855 said:

As you might expect, big compliments and excitement about the offense. Possible breakout year for Darnold and Herndon supported by Bell and Crowder with Gase calling the plays is exciting.

Knock is on center and arguably having the worst corner group in the league. To win, we are gona have to put up points and get creative with blitz packages. If QBs are sitting in the pocket we may be in trouble. Plus with Q and Leo and Mosley I don't see opposing offenses preferring running over passing against us. 

 

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000001029997/article/afc-east-projected-starters-jets-set-to-fly-patriots-roster-hole

I am not convinced corner is as bad as it seems. Bowles put our corners in impossible situations

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2 minutes ago, johnnysd said:

I am not convinced corner is as bad as it seems. Bowles put our corners in impossible situations

Corner is worse than I ever imagined it would be especially considering how much money Macc has thrown at the position in 5 years.

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5 minutes ago, T0mShane said:

Corner is definitely an issue if Williams wants to play press and blitz. The bigger issue is that the Jets can’t absorb an injury at any OL position other than ORT without tanking their season. 

This has been an issue for years and still hasn’t been addressed. 

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5 minutes ago, New York Mick said:

This has been an issue for years and still hasn’t been addressed. 

So weird that a team with a young QB who finished their season playing their third string center went through an offseason and didn’t even bring in a center, and now they’re left sifting through the dumpster for a starter.

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Darnold has the best skill-position supporting cast in the division, and it's not particularly close. From perhaps the best three-down back in football to deep speed and a surplus of options between the hashmarks, new coach Adam Gase has a little bit of everything.

Biggest change from a year ago: Darnold has experience, a better offensive coaching staff and far better weapons. Time to fly.

Interesting take.  I don't disagree.

Now, the Offensive Line has questions, particularly at Center, but I think it's upgraded as compared to last year with the addition of Osemele and a bit of a lottery ticket in Chuma Edoga (who I expect to be starting at RT by the end of the year).

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Gregg Rosenthal will project post-draft starting lineups for all 32 teams, because there's no better way to celebrate the arrival of spring.

BUFFALO BILLS

 

QB: Josh Allen 
RB: LeSean McCoy 
WR: John Brown 
WR: Zay Jones 
WR: Cole Beasley 
TE: Tyler Kroft 
LT: Dion Dawkins 
LG: Quinton Spain 
C: Mitch Morse 
RG: Spencer Long 
RT: Cody Ford

DE: Jerry Hughes 
DT: Ed Oliver 
DT: Star Lotulelei 
DE: Trent Murphy 
OLB: Matt Milano 
MLB: Tremaine Edmunds 
OLB: Lorenzo Alexander 
CB: Tre'Davious White 
CB: Kevin Johnson 
S: Jordan Poyer 
S: Micah Hyde

» It was hard to leave Robert Foster -- last year's undrafted find at wide receiver -- out of the starting lineup. He's already shown more raw ability than third-year pro Zay Jones, who is still the more logical complement (because of playing style) to surefire starter John Brown. No matter how the group shakes out, Josh Allen has far more weapons than he did a year ago.

» The upgrade in offensive depth extends to running back. General manager Brandon Beane swears that LeSean McCoy remains the starter at running back, although the veteran combination of Frank Goreand T.J. Yeldon could ultimately make Shady expendable.

» I spent way too much time (which is any time at all) on a spring afternoon day debating where to insert free-agent pickup Ty Nsekhe in the starting lineup. The Bills have a lot of options, because their top three tackles (Dion Dawkins, rookie Cody Ford and Nsekhe) all have flexibility to move inside to guard. If Dawkins is displaced, which is possible after a rough second season, the Bills could have five new starters up front.

» The previous line got me thinking ... It's not that impossible to think the Bills will have 11 new Week 1 starters compared to a year ago. McCoy could be cut, Foster might replace Jones and Dawkins may lose his starting job.

 

 

» The long-term vision of Beane and coach Sean McDermott can best be seen on defense, where they finished second in DVOA a year ago. After Buffalo's addition of a premier talent in No. 9 overall pick Ed Oliver, there is an encouraging number of solid players coming off the bench, Shaq Lawson and Harrison Phillips among them.

» Cornerback could be the weakness of the defense. Tre'Davious White was one of the few true No. 1 corners last season who traveled with the opposition's best wideout, although that might have been necessary because there was such a steep drop-off to No. 2. Former Texans first-rounder Kevin Johnson is listed as a starter for now, but E.J. Gaines and Levi Wallace are other options. McDermott has done a nice job coaching up secondary production throughout his career.

» Middle linebacker Tremaine Edmunds' development is a big key to the defense. After a rough start to his rookie campaign, he made strides as a 20-year-old 15-game starter. If Edmunds takes a big leap in Year 2, he and Matt Milano will be an excellent duo.

Biggest change from a year ago: The offensive talent around Allen has been upgraded across the board, from the line to each skill position.

MIAMI DOLPHINS

 

QB: Josh Rosen 
RB: Kenyan Drake 
WR: Kenny Stills 
WR: Albert Wilson 
WR: DeVante Parker 
TE: Dwayne Allen 
LT: Laremy Tunsil 
LG: Michael Deiter 
C: Daniel Kilgore 
RG: Chris Reed 
RT: Jesse Davis

DE: Charles Harris 
DT: Davon Godchaux 
DT: Christian Wilkins 
OLB: Kiko Alonso 
MLB: Raekwon McMillan 
OLB: Jerome Baker 
CB: Xavien Howard 
CB: Cordrea Tankersley 
CB: Bobby McCain 
S: Reshad Jones 
S: Minkah Fitzpatrick

» Ryan Fitzpatrick's contract and experience make him a slight favorite to start Week 1, but I'm going with Rosen as the underdog making a second-year leap in new surroundings. While the Dolphins didn't draft Rosen, they used the second pick of the Chris Grier/Brian Flores era to acquire him. If the quarterback battle is close in camp, tie goes to the kid.

» I gave Dwayne Allen, a blocking specialist, the edge at tight end over last year's second-round pick, Mike Gesicki. Perhaps the new staff will find a way to use Gesicki's straight-line speed, but he had a long way to go last season.

» Albert Wilson was crucial to the Dolphins' offense a year ago before suffering a season-ending hip injury in late October. If he and Drake can increase their usage without getting hurt, this offense has some explosive elements. Drake will be battling second-year pro Kalen Ballage for snaps.

» Three spots appear open on the offensive line, with only LT Laremy Tunsil and C Daniel Kilgore locked in. Jesse Davis should play somewhere on the right side. Third-round pick Michael Deiter is another option at right tackle. Getting this group competent could be the most significant challenge of the new offensive coaching staff.

 

 

» While there are many questions about the Dolphins' offense, the defensive roster is even more unsettled. I only listed one defensive end (Charles Harris) because there are practically no other players to choose from. It's quite possible they move Harris, an unproductive 2017 first-round pick, to outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense, but the team looks at least a year away from making a successful transition there. Kiko Alonso may not be a fit for the new scheme.

» It appears Reshad Jones will be on the roster, at least for one more season, unless the Dolphins can somehow find a trade partner. The secondary, led by Xavien Howard, can be a strength of the team if Minkah Fitzpatrick makes progress in his second year.

» The Dolphins should be the most active team in football in late August, snapping up veterans from other rosters to play meaningful roles. This is what happens when a new regime takes over a talent-poor organization.

Biggest change from a year ago: The Dolphins are no longer trying to fool anyone. They know they aren't ready to win big right now.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

 

QB: Tom Brady 
RB: Sony Michel 
RB: James White 
WR: Julian Edelman 
WR: N'Keal Harry 
WR: Phillip Dorsett 
LT: Isaiah Wynn 
LG: Joe Thuney 
C: David Andrews 
RG: Shaq Mason 
RT: Marcus Cannon

DE: Michael Bennett 
DT: Lawrence Guy 
DE: Deatrich Wise 
OLB: Kyle Van Noy 
ILB: Dont'a Hightower 
ILB: Ja'Whaun Bentley 
CB: Stephon Gilmore 
CB: Jason McCourty 
CB: Joejuan Williams 
S: Devin McCourty 
S: Patrick Chung

» Josh Gordon, currently on an indefinite suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy, will beef up the receiver group as the team's top option, if the league reinstates him again. He ranked in the top 15 among wide receivers in yards between Weeks 8 and 14 last season (once he was up to speed in the Patriots' offense). Gordon and N'Keal Harry, the team's first-round pick, would comprise the biggest outside-receiver duo of the Belichick era by far.

» No tight end is listed above because I doubt any tight end currently on the roster will wind up with more snaps than James White or a third wide receiver. Matt LaCosse would be atop my depth chart, because he was given a $500,000 signing bonus to help as a blocker. Austin Seferian-Jenkins will battle for pass-catching snaps, but there's a strong chance another veteran (Ben Watson?) will be added to the mix.

» Running back is so deep that it's hard to see Rex Burkhead making the roster if everyone is healthy.

 

 

» One of the best offensive lines in Patriots history returns four of its five starters, with last year's No. 23 overall pick, Isaiah Wynn, sliding in for Trent Brown at left tackle. Wynn is a non-traditional (shorter than standard) blind-side option with no NFL games under his belt, coming off a torn Achilles tendon in last year's preseason. A veteran addition at the position -- or third-round pick Yodny Cajuste -- could also compete to start.

» The front seven is notably lacking in game-breaking talent -- especially at defensive tackle, where free-agent pickup Mike Pennel is my best guess as second in line for snaps.

» The Super Bowl was a showcase for the Patriots' secondary depth, and the depth chart looks even better now. The nickel package above doesn't even have room for Super Bowl starter Jonathan Jones, safety Duron Harmon, undrafted find J.C. Jackson or last year's second-round pick, Duke Dawson. Few teams will be able to match up to specific receivers and handle spread offenses better than Bill Belichick's crew.

Biggest change from a year ago: The Patriots had the greatest tight end of all time. Now they have one of the thinnest TE depth charts in football, easily the worst in Belichick's tenure.

NEW YORK JETS

 

QB: Sam Darnold 
RB: Le'Veon Bell 
WR: Robby Anderson 
WR: Quincy Enunwa 
WR: Jamison Crowder 
TE: Chris Herndon 
LT: Kelvin Beachum 
LG: Kelechi Osemele 
C: Jonotthan Harrison 
RG: Brian Winters 
RT: Brandon Shell

DE: Leonard Williams 
DT: Quinnen Williams 
DE: Henry Anderson 
OLB: Jordan Jenkins 
ILB: C.J. Mosley 
ILB: Avery Williamson 
CB: Trumaine Johnson 
CB: Darryl Roberts 
CB: Brian Poole 
S: Jamal Adams 
S: Marcus Maye

» Darnold has the best skill-position supporting cast in the division, and it's not particularly close. From perhaps the best three-down back in football to deep speed and a surplus of options between the hashmarks, new coach Adam Gase has a little bit of everything.

» The Jets are understandably excited about tight end Chris Herndon. With all the defensive attention paid to free-agent pickups like Le'Veon Bell and Jamison Crowder, the second-year tight end has a chance to be the offense's breakout player. He skipped right past the usual rookie TE learning curve.

» This is the most talented Jets roster in years. If there's a flaw, it's that the remaining roster holes appear particularly vacant. They should still be looking for a center. They haven't had a proven edge rusher this decade, which is why Jordan Jenkins is the only one listed above. (Third-rounder Jachai Polite has a shot to make an impact.) And the team's cornerback group is among the NFL's worst, especially if the league's most expensive free agent last offseason, Trumaine Johnson, can't bounce back after a rough 2018.

» New defensive coordinator Gregg Williams will have to decide how best to deploy Quinnen Williams' and Leonard Williams' considerable skills together, but that's a good problem to have. There will probably be too much focus on whether the Jets use a three- or four-man front, when the team is bound to have multiple fronts (like every team), with a focus on getting its best players on the field.

» It's pretty rare nowadays for a franchise to pay two inside linebackers significant money. Avery Williamson and C.J. Mosley will be tested as pass defenders, assuming they line up next to one another on most snaps.

Biggest change from a year ago: Darnold has experience, a better offensive coaching staff and far better weapons. Time to fly.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal

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49 minutes ago, T0mShane said:

Corner is definitely an issue if Williams wants to play press and blitz. The bigger issue is that the Jets can’t absorb an injury at any OL position other than ORT without tanking their season. 

Meh. Most teams falter when they absorb injury to a starter. If we sign or make 1 move for a center suddenly we’re a deep oline. Dozier was never too bad in spot duty and neither was Qvale nor Harrison. This year Edoga, Qvale, Compton and maybe a pick up, like Wisniewski, means we have talent to absorb injury. 

CB is a just a mess unless Jones or Austin or Robinson or Nickerson is ready to step up.

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11 minutes ago, jetstream23 said:

Interesting take.  I don't disagree.

Now, the Offensive Line has questions, particularly at Center, but I think it's upgraded as compared to last year with the addition of Osemele and a bit of a lottery ticket in Chuma Edoga (who I expect to be starting at RT by the end of the year).

You highlighted the less interesting part of that quote; the writer thinks the JETS have the best set of supporting offensive weapons in the East right now. That's a CRAZY thought, and it might not be inaccurate, but then Brady can win a championship with a box of scraps and the Fins and Bills aren't word beaters either so...

 

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Center, EDGE and CB are the big worries this time out, but the team does have a LOT of strengths elsewhere. That middle of the defense is stout and can maybe make up for the lack of proven production at EDGE or a disappointing Johnson at Corner.

And BTW, there's all this worry in O-line depth but I'm more worried about the depth at WR than anything else. We've the starting XYZ guys, but what about beyond that?

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33 minutes ago, Tony MaC said:

Center, EDGE and CB are the big worries this time out, but the team does have a LOT of strengths elsewhere. That middle of the defense is stout and can maybe make up for the lack of proven production at EDGE or a disappointing Johnson at Corner.

And BTW, there's all this worry in O-line depth but I'm more worried about the depth at WR than anything else. We've the starting XYZ guys, but what about beyond that?

Bring back Devon Smith?

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45 minutes ago, Tony MaC said:

You highlighted the less interesting part of that quote; the writer thinks the JETS have the best set of supporting offensive weapons in the East right now. That's a CRAZY thought, and it might not be inaccurate, but then Brady can win a championship with a box of scraps and the Fins and Bills aren't word beaters either so...

 

kind of depends on how well bell plays.  if he returns to form then the jets do have the best offensive skill positions.  imo the corner position isn't going to be that bad if they get pressure and trumaine shows he's not wilky junior. the surprising thing is the bills did a nice job with their oline.

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2 hours ago, T0mShane said:

So weird that a team with a young QB who finished their season playing their third string center went through an offseason and didn’t even bring in a center, and now they’re left sifting through the dumpster for a starter.

Sadly though, it isn't weird. It's standard practice for this team. Schmucks they are...

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2 hours ago, joewilly12 said:

Darnold has the best skill-position supporting cast in the division, and it's not particularly close.

Not the sort of thing I generally expect to read. 

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