AFC Notes: Dolphins, FA Grades, Manziel

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes that, although wide receiver might be the deepest position on the Dolphins‘ roster, and although the team likes the top receivers on its depth chart–Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline, Brandon Gibson, and Rishard Matthews–Miami wants to continue adding to its receiving corps.

The Dolphins were unable to land Nate Burleson, who ultimately signed with the Browns, but they did recently add Damian Williams along with “long shots” Kevin Cone and Mike Rios. More importantly, they have devoted at least three of their 30 official visits to wide receivers who are projected to be taken in the first several rounds of next month’s draft. The team will visit with Ole Miss receiver Donte Moncrief and Clemson wideout Martavis Bryant, along with USC’s Marqise Lee.

As Jackson observes, the attention to receivers is motivated at least in part by the recent surgeries that Hartline, Gibson, and the “intriguing” Armon Binns have undergone. No doubt the Dolphins are also intent on giving quarterback Ryan Tannehill as many explosive weapons as possible by mining the deepest wide receiver draft class in recent memory.

Some more notes from around the AFC:

  • Jason Fitzgerald of continues his series of offseason evaluations as he takes a look at how AFC West teams fared in free agency. He believes the Raiders‘ offseason looks like an attempt to recreate a Pro Bowl roster from 2009 and gives the team a “D” grade (link), while the Chiefs and Chargers receive similarly disappointing “C-” grades (links here). The Broncos, meanwhile, receive a “B” for their efforts (link), as Fitzgerald respects their bold acquisitions but wonders if Eric Decker and Darrelle Revis would have made more sense than Emmanuel Sanders and Aqib Talib. Since the team is sacrificing its cap health in 2015 anyway, Decker/Revis indubitably looks like the better play on paper.
  • Mike Preston of the Baltimore Sun provides a similar evaluation of the Ravens‘ offseason, noting that the club has “closed the gap” in the AFC North with its savvy series of re-signings and modest but potentially valuable additions like Steve Smith and Owen Daniels.
  • After writing that the Texans would take Johnny Manizel and Blake Bortles in his first two mock drafts, John McClain of the Houston Chronicle has shifted gears and now believes the team will select Jadeveon Clowney with the No. 1 overall pick.
  • ESPN Insider Field Yates (subscription required) takes a look at how the Browns and Jaguars have gone about their respective rebuilding processes and evaluates the merits of each approach.
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