- WR Hartline cut after 6 seasons WR Gibson was also released
- Mike Tannenbaum hired... ...as Dolphins' executive VP of football operations
- Philbin retained Coach Philbin was given a contract extension
- Fins season ends on low note Jets down the Fins to end their season 8-8
AFC East Depth Watch – WR/TE
As we move along to the receivers and tight ends, I faced a bit of a dilemma. Some teams, like the Patriots, utilize a two TE system, while a team like Miami is planning on a more 3 and 4 receiver set offense.
The different schemes means adjustments to who is considered a starter and who isn’t.
So I decided, for the sake of simplicity, to eliminate the top 2 receivers and starting TE of each AFC East team when looking at their depth. I realize this may askew the results slightly, but oh well.
- At number #4, the Buffalo Bills.
The Bills are at the bottom because after WR Stevie Johnson, they have a bunch of question marks. Buffalo lost both Donald Jones and David Nelson to free agency. Only TJ Graham and QB/WR Brad Smith remain from last year, and Graham looked lost at times last season.
The Bills did draft Robert Woods (USC) and Marquise Goodwin (Texas) this year. But receivers take time to develop, and I was not high on either guy in this year’s draft.
Backup Dorin Dickerson had 9 catches for 117yards last season as an H-Back. He will be moved full time to the TE spot this year. TE Lee Smith is predominately used as a blocker.
- The Jets take the number #3 spot.
Jeremy Kerney lead the team with receptions and yardage last season as their slot receiver. While he averaged over 14 yards per catch, he reached the endzone only twice.
Speedster Clyde Gates still doesn’t have much else to go on other than his speed. He had only 16 catches last season, though he did average over 14 yards per catch.
The Jets backup TE, Konrad Reuland, is used almost exclusively as a blocker, though he does an adequate job in that role.
- Miami comes in at #2.
A lot of fans think that Brandon Gibson was brought in to replace Bess in the slot position…which is only partially true. Coach Philbin wants receivers that are interchangeable, and Gibson can play all three WR positions.
Last year in St. Louis, Gibson caught 51 balls for 691 yards and 5 TDs. He is more of a red-zone threat than Bess.
The coaching staff is high on Armon Binns, whom the Bengals cut late last year but had hoped he would clear waivers. He didn’t, and in two games for the Fins he grabbed six balls for 67 yards. Not bad for a youngster who had just joined the team. Also in the mix is Rishard Matthews.
I have been pretty high on rookie TE Dion Sims, and expect him to be the backup since he is Miami’s best blocking TE. Charles Clay also showed glimpses of ability last year, but needs to step it up and become more consistent.
- The Pats make the #1 spot, though it’s kinda funny, because I’m not overly impressed with the Pats WRs as a whole.
I’m listing Danny Amendola and Donald Jones as the starters at receiver, and Gronkoski is listed as the starting TE.
Edelman has some MAJOR shoes to fill in replacing departed Wes Welker. Edelman is in his 5th year and needs to stay healthy. So it is “Make or Break” time for him.
Michael Jenkins came over from the Vikings. Not great speed, but a decent route runner and good hands, he had 440 yards and 2 TD catches last year. He should fit the Pats schemes.
The Pats drafted both Aaron Dobson and Josh Boyce. They have the talent to succeed, though New England has struggled to develop drafted WR talent over the years.
What bumps the Pats up to #1 is backup TE Aaron Hernandez. A Pro bowl talented TE, Hernandez could start for over half the teams in this league. Hernandez missed last season with an ankle injury, but he should be back this year and will cause defensive coordinators fits. But like Edelman, he needs to stay healthy.
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