Wed. Nov 30th, 2022

We have arrived. The 2022 NFL Draft is finally upon us and the AFC East will be one of the divisions you’ll want to keep a keen eye on as this three-day spectacle rolls forward in Las Vegas. 

While we already have one Super Bowl contender sitting in this division in the Buffalo Bills, you can make the case that the AFC East is one of the ascending divisions in the league. Both the Jets and Patriots took quarterbacks in the first round a year ago and are now looking to build around those franchise cornerstones even further. Meanwhile, the Dolphins have spent the entire offseason surrounding their former first-round signal-caller in Tua Tagovailoa with an arsenal of weapons, including star wideout Tyreek Hill. 

Two playoff teams came out of this division in 2021 in the Bills and the Patriots. That said, the entire AFC has loaded up this offseason, making the need to find instant impact players in this draft that much more important so that both of those teams — along with the Dolphins and Jets — can keep up with the arms race and contend for a postseason appearance in 2022. 

And with that, let’s jump into each AFC East team’s top needs, draft picks, and selection grades. 

Buffalo Bills

Top 5 needs (unranked): CB, OL, WR, RB, DT

The Buffalo Bills are the current betting favorite to win Super Bowl LVII, so naturally, there are not a ton of pressing needs that are jumping off the depth chart. That said, they did lose star offensive coordinator Brian Daboll this offseason as he accepted the head coaching gig with the Giants. As they look to keep this high-powered offense skipping under new OC Ken Dorsey, they’ll enter the draft with eight picks where they could look to add another running back to pair with Devin Singletary and Zack Moss. Defensively, the potential addition of another outside corner would help ease the return of Tre’Davious White, who tore his ACL last offseason. 

2022 draft picks:

1 (25)

TBD

2 (57)

TBD

3 (89)

TBD

4 (130)

TBD

5 (168)

TBD

6 (185)

TBD

6 (203)

TBD

7 (231)

TBD

New England Patriots

Top 5 needs (unranked): CB, WR, LB, OL, DT

New England was able to get back into the postseason after a one-year hiatus, but was quickly sent packing by the Bills on Super Wild Card Weekend. That loss showed the Patriots are still a few tiers below true Super Bowl contention, but they could gain ground with a strong draft for the second year in a row. Unlike last offseason, the Patriots took a quiet approach to free agency and come to the draft with several holes to fill on the roster. Most notably, cornerback is a position of need for Bill Belichick’s club, especially following the departure of All-Pro J.C. Jackson earlier this offseason. That will likely be an area the team targets at some point in this draft as it holds a total of nine picks. 

2022 draft picks:

1 (21)

TBD

2 (54)

TBD

3 (85)

TBD

4 (127)

TBD

5 (158)

TBD

5 (183)

TBD

6 (200)

TBD

6 (210) TBD

7 (245)

TBD

Miami Dolphins

Top 5 needs (unranked): IOL, LB, OT, RB, CB

Outside of another seismic trade into the upper echelon of the draft, it may be a quiet couple of days for the Dolphins before they are on the clock. They currently do not own any picks inside the top 100 and that’s large in part due to the blockbuster trade that saw them acquire star receiver Tyreek Hill. Miami sent its first-, second-, and fourth-round picks this year (along with two other future selections) to Kansas City to land Hill, so they are only left with four total entering Thursday. On top of Hill, the Dolphins spent big in free agency, inking offensive tackle Terron Armstead, receiver Cedrick Wilson and running backs Chase Edmonds and Raheem Mostert. With that in mind, this small collection of picks could be earmarked to address the defensive side of the ball. 

2022 draft picks:

3 (102)

TBD

4 (125)

TBD

7 (224)

TBD

7 (247)

TBD

New York Jets

Top 5 needs (unranked): WR, EDGE, CB, S, DL

The New York Jets are locked and loaded with a number of high picks in this draft, including two inside the top 10. That gives GM Joe Douglas a tremendous opportunity to bring in even more blue-chip talent that’ll continue to build around former No. 2 overall pick Zach Wilson. In all, five of the Jets nine draft picks come inside the top 70. After losing out on Tyreek Hill, a wide receiver could be a main target with one of their first-rounders. However, for a team that is still rebuilding, going with the best talent available may be the correct route. 

2022 draft picks:

1 (4)

TBD

1 (10)

TBD

2 (35)

TBD

2 (38) TBD

3 (69)

TBD

4 (111)

TBD

4 (117)

TBD

5 (146)

TBD

5 (163)

TBD





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