Back to school, here are some draft grades from the AFC East.
Buffalo Bills: B+
The Bills did a good job of marrying need and BPA with their first pick. Gilmore stormed up the draft board a couple of weeks before the draft being rumored to the Jags or Bucs but once he fell to the Bills, the Bill did the right thinking pouncing on him.
The Bills also got 1srt round talent with Glenn as most experts had Glenn as a first round prospect. Glenn like Gilmore fits a need for the Bills.
Because Buffalo made major free agency signings in Williams and Anderson they weren’t forced to reach on some of the average pass rushers in the earlier rounds. The Bills also drafted the NC State WR who should give the Bills receiving core some help. Graham is not my favorite choice however I still think he should be able to contribute quickly.
Round 1: CB Stephon Gilmore (South Carolina)
Round 2: OT Cordy Glenn (Georgia)
Round 3: WR T.J. Graham (North Carolina State)
Round 4: OLB Nigel Bradham (FSU), CB Ron Brooks (LSU)
Round 5: OT Zebrie Sanders (FSU), OLB Tank Carder (TCU)
Round 6: OG Mark Asper (Oregon)
Round 7: K John Potter (Western Michigan)
Miami Dolphins: TBD / B+
If you think Ryan Tannehill is a franchise QB than this draft is an A-, if you think Tannehill will bust than a C+ might be more appropriate. Any draft where you find your guy at QB is a draft to remember, so the real grade for this draft should come out in 3 years from now.
With that being said I am cautiously optimistic about Tannehill, Ryan has all the skills to be a franchise QB and with the help of solid coaching from Mike Sherman and Joe Philbin, the Texas A&M should have a solid chance at having success in the NFL.
Aside from the QB the Dolphins did pretty well getting a 1st round talent in Jonathan Martin and some value later on in the draft. Martin should start at RT from day 1 and provides insurance for Jake Long who struggled a little to stay healthy last year as well being in a contract year.
The Dolphins landed Olivier Vernon who Mike Mayock said was a second round talent by his standards. The real interesting pick by the Dolphins is local running back Lamar Miller who some had as the second best running back in this year’s draft and could make a lot of teams regret passing on him.
The Dolphins did a good job on finding both need and the best player available, however with that being said the Dolphins might only start seeing the benefits of this draft class in 2013.
Round 1: QB Ryan Tannehill (Texas A&M)
Round 2: OT Jonathan Martin (Stanford)
Round 3: DE Olivier Vernon (Miami, FL), TE Michael Egnew (Missouri)
Round 4: RB Lamar Miller (Miami, FL)
Round 5: OLB Josh Kaddu (Oregon)
Round 6: WR B.J. Cunningham (Michigan State)
Round 7: DT Kheeston Randall (Texas), WR Rishard Matthews (Nevada)
New England Patriots: A-
While I am not crazy about what the Patriots did after night one, the first two picks by the Patriots make them a much better team going into this season.
The Pats found two BB guys in Jones and Hightower and two players who can come in right away and start. Hightower was in a complicated Nick Saban defense and will be used in different ways in New England. Jones is another player who should start for the Patriots from day 1.
The Pats did as well as anyone in this year’s draft in matching need and best player available. The Patriots took two holes and made them better. Bequette is another guy who can be a potential role player and help out this defense.
Wilson was the only questionable pick by the Pats as most experts did not have him as a second round player.
Round 1: DE Chandler Jones (Syracuse), ILB Dont’a Hightower (Alabama)
Round 2: FS Tavon Wilson (Illinois)
Round 3: DE Jake Bequette (Arkansas)
Round 6: DB Nate Ebner (Ohio State)
Round 7: CB Alfonzo Dennard (Nebraska), WR Jeremy Ebert (Northwestern)
New York Jets: B
I believe the Jets really blew a good opportunity in the first round with a bunch of solid pass rushers on the board going with a guy with a questionable motor and work ethic. Don’t see the logic in bringing a guy with character issues into that locker room. It was a very Rex Ryan move that most people including myself do not agree with.
The second pick by the Jets however was much better; the Jets get a potential playmaker and first round talent in Stephen Hill who won many over at this year’s combine. Hill should make an impact from day one.
The Davis picks make sense for the Jets as well and should give them some help in the rushing department, that being said I think the Jets came up a little short in helping solidify their offensive line.
Round 1: DE Quinton Coples (North Carolina)
Round 2: WR Stephen Hill (Georgia Tech)
Round 3: OLB Demario Davis (Arkansas State)
Round 6: S Josh Bush (Wake Forest), RB Terrance Ganaway (Baylor),
Round 7: SS Antonio Allen (South Carolina), WR Jordan White (Western Michigan)