This is the last article when it comes to grading and analyzing a team’s draft. The AFC is a star packed conference and each team vastly improved from the draft even in the smallest amount. Today we cover the AFC East which consists of the New England Patriots, New York Jets, Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins.
New England Patriots
1. Isaiah Wynn, Tackle/Guard, Georgia with the 23rd pick
1. Sony Michel, Running Back, Georgia with the 31st pick
2. Duke Dawson, Cornerback, Florida with the 56th pick
5. Ja’whaun Bentley, Linebacker, Purdue with the 143rd pick
6. Christian Sam, Linebacker, Arizona State with the 178th pick
6.Braxton Berrios, Wide Receiver, Miami with the 210th pick
7. Danny Etling, Quarterback, LSU with the 219th pick
7. Keion Crossen, Cornerback, Western Carolina with the 243rd pick
7. Ryan Izzo, Tight End, Florida State with the 250th pick
The Patriots acquired Danny Shelton, Jason McCourty, Trent Brown, Marquis Flowers and Cordarrelle Patterson with 2018 draft picks. Right there alone, the Patriots addressed major needs on both defense and offense. Wynn fills a huge gap on the offensive line and will likely play left tackle. Michel will be a huge playmaker for the Patriots. Berrios will likely be the replacement for Amendola and Dawson will hopefully fight to play at the slot position.
1. Josh Allen, Quarterback, Wyoming with the 7th pick
1. Tremaine Edmunds, Linebacker, Virginia Tech with the 16th pick
3. Harrison Phillips, Defensive Tackle, Stanford with the 96th pick
4. Taron Johnson, Cornerback, Weber State with the 121st pick
5. Siran Neal, Defensive Back, Jacksonville State with the 154th pick
5. Wyatt Teller, Offensive Guard, Virginia Tech with the 166th pick
6. Ray-Ray McCloud, Wide Receiver, Clemson with the 187th pick
7. Austin Proehl, Wide Receiver, North Carolina with the 255th pick
I was not a fan at all of the Bills trading away the No. 53, No. 56 and the No. 63rd pick in the draft just so they can move up to take Allen who is an inaccurate quarterback. Even with a strong arm, I don’t see an incredible ceiling for Allen. Edmunds is an off ball linebacker but at 19 years old, he still has plenty of time to learn and grow. I think the Bills mishandled their situation and with so many holes on the offensive line I think they missed out on a solid draft. Kyle Williams will be able to mentor Harrison Phillips. Phillips is an incredible run stuffer, but will have to gain more skill in the pass rushing game to truly be dynamic in the AFC East. Teller is truly the only pick I was a fan off because it addressed the offensive line issues after both Woods and Incognito retired.
1. Minkah Fitzpatrick, Defensive Back, Alabama with the 11th pick
2. Mike Gesicki, Tight End, Penn State with the 42nd pick
3. Jerome Baker, Linebacker, Ohio State with the 73rd pick
4. Durham Smythe, Tight End, Notre Dame with the 123rd pick
4. Kalen Ballage, Running Back, Arizona State with the 131st pick
6. Cornell Armstrong, Cornerback, Southern Miss with the 209th pick
7. Quentin Poling, Linebacker, Ohio with the 227th pick
7. Jason Sanders, Kicker, New Mexico with the 229th pick
Fitzpatrick will likely start at safety while seeing some time at the slot corner position from time to time. At first I was not happy with the Dolphins drafting two tight ends, but after digging deeper into the situation it makes a lot of sense after all. Gesicki is an outstanding athlete with really good hands but doesn’t block that often. Smythe will be used during those situations as a more blocking tight end like during his college career. Smythe is a strong athlete who can hold his ground. Baker will have a valuable role as he has impressive success pairing up against running backs and tight ends. Ballage will likely compete for a RB2 as he has the tools and ability to put up good yards. Armstrong and Poling will likely play on special teams for the time being while Sanders gives some needed competition on special teams.
New York Jets
1. Sam Darnold, Quarterback, USC with the 3rd pick
3. Nathan Shepherd, Defensive Tackle, Fort Hayes State with the 72nd pick
4. Chris Herndon, Tight End, Miami with the 107th pick
6. Parry Nickerson, Cornerback, Tulane with the 179th pick
6. Foley Fatukasi, Defensive End, UConn with the 180th pick
6. Trenton Cannon, Running Back, Virginia State with the 204th pick
Sam Darnold will be the future of the Jets organization. He gets to learn from a quality starter in McCown before taking the helm for the Jets. Shepherd was an outstanding athlete who made tackles with ease and closed gaps like it was nothing. Herndon has the ability to play either H-Back or in the slot and although he torn his MCL, he is a terrific pick up if he can come back healthy and back to normal. Nickerson was one of the best corners in the draft and has not only the speed to preform but he also has the athletic ability and ball skills to be a serious threat on the field. Fatukasi was a steal, he has the size and ability to fill a big need for the Jets on the line.