The AFC East had a busy off season, and a wide variety of draft classes. The AFC East has quickly become a very competitive division as each team has loaded up to try and knock the Patriots off. All teams were able to fill holes on their rosters through the draft, and it is time to go back grade each teams draft.
Draft Picks: CB Ronald Darby, OL John Miller, RB Karlos Williams, LB Tony Steward, TE Nick O'Leary, WR Dezmin Lewis
The Buffalo Bills did not have a first round pick this year due to the Sammy Watkins trade last year. Getting Ronald Darby in round two wasn't really a big need, but he can play from day one has a nickel corner guy. Selecting John Miller was the Bills best pick. He fits perfectly into Rex Ryan's ground and pound offense and will give an attitude to that running game. Karlos Williams is an interesting back that they did not really need. Their backfield is already crowded with McCoy and Fred Jackson. After losing Scott Chandler they went out and got Nick O'Leary who was a tremendous producer for Florida State. It will be interesting to see how his skill set translates to the NFL game. Overall. it hurt the Bills not having a pick in round one, and they did not do much in the draft to close the gap in the AFC East.
Draft Picks: WR DeVante Parker, DT Jordan Phillips, OL Jamil Douglas, CB Bobby McCain, RB Jay Ajayi, S Cedric Thompson, CB/WR Tony Lippett
The Dolphins did not take long to replace Mike Wallace. Adding DeVante Parker was a huge pick for the Dolphins, he is a receiver that has similar skills to AJ Green. He can be a game changer in that offense. Selecting Jordan Phillips and putting him next to Suh gives them a formidable front seven. Jay Ajayi was a player that had a serious fall, dropping all the way to the fifth round. IF he can stay healthy he can be a dynamic player in the Dolphins offense. Tony Lippett is an interesting player. He was a WR at Michigan State, but also played CB for them. So he is someone that will definitely make their roster, most likely on special teams, but gives them depth at a lot of positions.
Draft Picks: DL Leonard Williams, WR Devin Smith, LB Lorenzo Mauldin, QB Bryce Petty, OL Jarvis Harrison, NT Deon Simon
The New York Jets had an extremely effective draft. They had to have been thrilled when the best player in the draft fell right into their hands. Williams is a pro ready prospect that can immediately play from day one. He will add to an already impressive front seven. Selecting WR Devin Smith in round two was a great value pick that will add a whole new dimension to that offense. With Decker and Marshall on both sides, Smith slides perfectly into that slot receiver role. Mauldin was a sneaky good pick, he can be an effective role player coming in as a third down rusher. The Jets got away with another steal in Bryce Petty. When it is all said and done, he could be the best QB out of this class. Petty could push Geno Smith right out of the starting role, and give an interesting jolt to the Jets offense.
Draft Picks: DT Malcom Brown, SS Jordan Richards, DL Geneo Grissom, DE Trey Flowers, OL Tre Jackson, OL Shaq Mason, LS Joe Cardona, LB Matthew Wells, TE A.J. Derby, CB Darryl Roberts, LB Xzavier Dickson
The Patriots did not have to wait long to replace Vince Wilfork, as they were able to land Malcom Brown in round one. The Colts should have taken him but instead they handed him to the Patriots. Many were confused by their picks of Jordan Richards, and Geneo Grissom, but Richards could end up being a very smart defensive player that winds up as the quarterback of the defense. Grissom adds depth to the defensive line. Trey Flowers was a great value pick, he will start as a situational pass rusher, but could eventually make his way into the starting rotation in a few years. The picks of Tre Jackson and Shaq Mason were one of the best picks of their draft. Shaq Mason is a traditional mauler, and will immediately make an impact in the run game. Cardona was said by many to be one of the best long snappers to come along and his role will be more solidified once the Navy allows him to play football. Wells, Derby, Roberts, and Dickson are all players that were worth taking flyers on late in the draft and will have to contribute on special teams to make the roster.
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