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NFL draft needs: East divisions

NFL draft needs: East divisions
Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford speaks with members of the media after a training camp practice on Aug. 20. (Matt Rourke / Associated Press)

The NFL draft will be held Thursday, Friday and Saturday in Chicago. Times NFL writer Sam Farmer examines team needs by division and in order of when they select.

The East divisions:

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NFC East

EAGLES – To put themselves in position to take one of the two top quarterbacks, wheeling-and-dealing Philadelphia made two trades to climb all the way up from No. 13 to the No. 2 spot. Now, the Eagles can select either North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz — believed to be their preferred choice — or California's Jared Goff. With DeMarco Murray gone, running back is on the radar.

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COWBOYS – Dallas can grab a defensive star with the No. 4 pick, a welcome change after the Greg Hardy experiment blew up. This could be a spot for UCLA linebacker Myles Jack. The team can grab a running back in a later round, and maybe a quarterback. Yes, the Cowboys have Tony Romo, but he's 36 and missed a dozen games last season because of injuries.

GIANTS – Coming off a season in which they were last in total defense, the New York Giants need to add some playmakers on that side of the ball. Getting to the quarterback is paramount. New York has used its top pick in the past four drafts on an offensive player. Still, the Giants could use more help along the offensive line to protect franchise quarterback Eli Manning.

REDSKINS – Washington's defense had a tough time getting to quarterbacks last fall, and particularly early in the season. The team is sorely in need of help along the defensive line. The situation isn't much better behind that defensive line, so don't be surprised if the Redskins go defense, defense, defense. On the other side of the ball, they're longing for a big receiver.

AFC East

DOLPHINS – As part of the deal for swapping its No. 8 pick for Philadelphia's No. 13, Miami picked up an experienced linebacker and cornerback. The Dolphins could be in good position to select Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott. They still need help in their secondary, though, so if a top cornerback were to slide, the team would have a tough time resisting.

BILLS – Buffalo's days of leading the league in sacks are behind it, so the Bills need to add speed and muscle to that pass rush. Rex Ryan has proven he's more than willing to take risks on players with character issues, as long as they're productive on the field. A more pressing need, though, is collecting proficient offensive linemen.

JETS – The New York Jets came off last season without a single outside linebacker on the roster who had starting experience. Todd Bowles will want to address that. On the offensive line, three starters are on the wrong side of 30, including both tackles. It seems the Jets are perpetually in search of the answer at quarterback. That hasn't changed.

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PATRIOTS – As part of the Deflategate penalty, New England doesn't have a pick in the opening round. That's especially significant when you consider how often Bill Belichick has hit on first-round selections. The club does have 11 picks in the rest of the draft, including back-to-back selections in the second. Among the positions on the wish list are running back, receiver, and defensive tackle.

The Rams have the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft Thursday. Coach Jeff Fisher and General Manager Les Snead met with the media Tuesday to discuss who they could select.

Follow Sam Farmer on Twitter @LATimesFarmer

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