1. Buffalo Bills
All the pieces are in place for them to take the top spot in the AFC.
2. Miami Dolphins
A busy offseason that involved a coaching change and the acquisition of WR Tyreek Hill.
3. New England Patriots
They will remain competitive, but almost the entire conference has a better crop of players.
4. New York Jets
They should be better as Robert Saleh has them trending in the right direction.
Head Coach: Sean McDermott
Key Position: Defense
We all know what happened in the Divisional Round last year against Kansas City. Two things were done to remedy that; one was signing Von Miller to provide a consistent pass rush and the other was shoring up the secondary by drafting Kaiir Elam in the first round. If CB Tre’Davious White returns to full health, then this unit will be a dominant force once again.
Key Acquisitions: WR Jamison Crowder (NY Jets), QB Case Keenum (Cleveland Browns), DT DaQuan Jones (Carolina Panthers), DE Shaq Lawson (NY Jets), LB/DE Von Miller (LA Rams), OG Rodger Saffold (Tennessee Titans), DT Jordan Phillips (Arizona Cardinals)
Key Rookies: CB Kaiir Elam, RB James Cook, LB Terrel Bernard
Head Coach: Mike McDaniel (San Francisco 49ers)
Key Position: Running Back
They were the 30th ranked rushing attack in the league last season. That won’t cut it for new head coach Mike McDaniel who is accustomed to running the ball effectively in San Francisco. Miami brought in former 49er Raheem Mostert to shore up the backfield and added a wild card in Chase Edmonds who will be utilized a lot as a receiver.
Key Acquisitions: OT Terron Armstead (New Orleans Saints), QB Teddy Bridgewater (Denver Broncos), RB Chase Edmonds (Arizona Cardinals), WR Tyreek Hill (Kansas City Chiefs), FB Alec Ingold (Las Vegas Raiders), LB/DE Melvin Ingram (Kansas City Chiefs), RB Raheem Mostert (San Francisco 49ers), OG Connor Williams (Dallas Cowboys), WR Cedrick Wilson Jr. (Dallas Cowboys)
Key Rookies: LB Channing Tindall
Head Coach: Bill Belichick
Key Position: Wide Receiver
This unit was inconsistent at times last season. Kendrick Bourne and Nelson Agholor will need to do more as does TE Jonnu Smith. Enter DeVante Parker who was acquired in a trade from Miami. He has been a thorn in the side of New England for almost a decade. Now the Patriots expect him to add some life to the passing attack.
Key Acquisitions: WR DeVante Parker (Miami Dolphins), DB Jabrill Peppers (NY Giants)
Key Rookies: OG Cole Strange, WR Tyquan Thornton, CB Marcus Jones, RB Pierre Strong Jr.
Head Coach: Robert Saleh
Key Position: Everything
They had a very productive offseason. Bringing in Laken Tomlinson to shore up the offensive line was a great signing. D.J. Reed and Jordan Whitehead are solid additions to the secondary. Getting two tight ends (Uzomah and Conklin) who can provide a safety net for QB Zach Wilson was smart. But the draft is where they hit some home runs with their three first round selections. Getting Breece Hall in the second round wasn’t bad either.
Key Acquisitions: OT Duane Brown (Seattle Seahawks), TE Tyler Conklin (Minnesota Vikings), LB Marcell Harris (San Francisco 49ers), CB D.J. Reed (Seattle Seahawks), DL Solomon Thomas (Las Vegas Raiders), OG Laken Tomlinson (San Francisco 49ers), TE C.J. Uzomah (Cincinnati Bengals), S Jordan Whitehead (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Key Rookies: CB Ahmad Gardner, WR Garrett Wilson, DE Jermaine Johnson, RB Breece Hall