• Dion Jordan suspended 4 games Dion Jordan suspended 4 games DE Dion Jordan is suspended the first four games for violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing substances.
  • Mike Pouncey has hip surgery Mike Pouncey has hip surgery Fins OC could be out for 3 months
  • Fins suspend S Don Jones Fins suspend S Don Jones For his twitter comments about Ram's DL Michael Sam
  • Fins select OT Ja'Wuan James in 1st round Fins select OT Ja'Wuan James in 1st round James should challenge for the starting RT spot

     

AFC East Positional Grades – DL

bills1 AFC East Positional Grades   DL4) Buffalo Bills
Former GM Buddy Nix invested heavily in Mario Williams, Mark Anderson, Marcell Dareus in 2011 and 2012 to add to stalwort Kyle Williams. The Bills are moving from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defense under new DC Mike Pettine, and it appears that Williams and Dareus are good players but poor fits. Alan Branch has the size to play NT and versatility to play DE in the 3-4. Former 2nd and 3rd round picks Torrell Troup and Alex Carrington have ability, but their time is running out.
Grade: C+

jets AFC East Positional Grades   DL3) New York Jets
The Jets are #3 by default, as this is still a very good unit with youth. DE Muhammad Wilkerson, whom PFF ranked as the best 3-4 DE in the NFL last season aside from JJ Watt, had 5 sacks, 3 FF’s, and a TD last season. 1st Round pick DE Sheldon Richardson gives the Jets another young bookend, and also allows them to try Quinton Coples at OLB. NT is just OK with greybeard FA Antonio Garay battling Kendrick Ellis, a mammoth 3rd round pick in the 2012 draft whose rookie year was ruined by a knee injury and legal woes.
<strong>Grade: B

pats AFC East Positional Grades   DL2) New England Patriots
The Patriots are the only team fielding a 4-3 front in their base alignment. RDE Chandler Jones displayed star potential in his first 8 starts (6 sacks, 3 FF’s) before injuries limited him to 0 sacks and 0 FF’s in his final 8 games; he should be a star. DT Vince Wilfork is an immovible Pro Bowl force, and will be joined by massive Raiders castoff Tommy Kelly to give the team 700+ pounds of muscle on the inside. LDE Rob Ninkovich is a scheme-versatile Belichick favorite in the Mike Vrabel mold. 2nd round pick Jamie Collins should see time as a pass-rusher on 3rd down. Depth is an issue at both DT and DE.
Grade: B

fins AFC East Positional Grades   DL1) Miami Dolphins
GM Jeff Ireland’s decision to trade-up for DE Dion Jordan gives the Dolphins arguably the best DL in the NFL. Jordan will join Cameron Wake (15 sacks, 3 FF’s in 2012) in terrorizing opposing QB’s. DT’s Paul Soliai and Randy Starks, both in contract years, are an impressive duo constantly knocking on the Pro Bowl door. DE Olivier Vernon, DT Jared Odrick, and DT Vaughn Martin could start for a number of teams.
Grade: A-

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Brian Catanzaro

Brian is a 29-year-old Sales/Marketing Manager in St. Louis by day, but an NFL blogger and commentator by night. Follow me on Twitter @BrianCat13.

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