The 2011 NFL Draft is over, but every team still faces questions. Over the next week, we'll present a question for each team. Each team's success may depend on finding an answer. Today, the AFC East.
Where does the pass rush come from? In 2010, the Bills had just 27 sacks as a team last season. That's no good. While third overall pick Marcell Dareus will help some, 3-4 ends aren't known as as big sack artists. Unless the Bills bring in a top free agent, they'll be depending on Shawne Merriman, who has been hurt the last three seasons.
What is Miami doing at quarterback? Among Miami's many issues on offense, chief among them is quarterback play. Chad Henne had 15 touchdowns and 19 interceptions last season and is looking like Miami's starting quarterback again in 2011. It's not like the team has a great second option. Tom Brandstater is a career third quarterback and Chad Pennington and Tyler Thigpen are free agents. This looks like a team that will be taking a quarterback early in 2012.
New England Patriots
Is Jermaine Cunningham the answer at outside linebacker? The popular notion this offseason is that Cunningham is going to blossom as a pass rusher in the Patriots' scheme. The trouble is that in 16 games as a rookie, he had just one sack. He was never known as a big sack guy in college, so the notion of him getting double-digit sacks may be wishful thinking.
New York Jets
Once again, how about that pass rush? Seeing a theme in the AFC East? For the Jets, Calvin Pace has never had more than eight sacks and is already 30. The odds of him becoming a big threat at this point is unlikely. Even though head coach Rex Ryan is on record saying the Jets need a pass rush, the team didn't address it in the draft. Like Buffalo with Dareus, picking end Muhammad Wilkerson should help some, but probably not enough.