NFL DRAFT PREVIEW: AFC EAST

April 26, 2016

 

BUFFALO BILLS

TEAM NEEDS:

LDE, SLB, ILB, WR, QB2, RG/RT, DT, WLB

 

PROSPECT TRACKER

Jared Goff, Paxton Lynch, Dak Prescott, Cardale Jones, Josh Doctson, Charone Peake, Matt WeiserTaylor Decker, Shaq Lawson, Kevin Dodd, Emmanuel Ogbah, Bronson Kaufusi, Sheldon Rankins, Jarran Reed, Vernon Butler, Adolphus Washington, Darron Lee, Reggie RaglandAntonio Morrison, BJ Goodson, Leonard Floyd, Eli Apple, Cyrus Jones, Vonn Bell, Su'a Cravens

 

VISIT

PRIVATE WORKOUT

 

PROJECTED DRAFT:

(19)   DT SHELDON RANKINS

(49)   LDE BRONSON KAUFUSI

(80)   QB CARDALE JONES

(117) WR CHARONE PEAKE

(139) ILB ANTONIO MORRISON

(156) RG AVERY YOUNG

(192) SLB TRAVIS FEENEY

(218) WLB JAMES BURGESS

 


The Bills are throwing out more smokescreens than a Horsea in regards to their QB situation, but Rex Ryan needs to add some playmakers to this defense if he wants to compete in the division. Kyle Williams has hit that age where injuries are going to keep nagging him, and if Sheldon Rankins is available at 19, he would be the perfect heir apparent to Williams and give the Bills some more interior juice on third and long situations. Although Mario Williams was a shadow of his former self in 2015, his departure leaves a huge hole on the depth chart, and a player like Bronson Kaufusi gives the Bills the flexibility to operate their hybrid scheme. Although there is a lot of Paxton Lynch traction in the days leading up to the draft, I have a gut feeling that Cardale Jones is the apple of Doug Whaley's eye and will be the ideal developmental QB to replace Tyrod Taylor if the two sides cannot come to an agreement following the season. Charone Peake provides a reunion of Clemson WRs and gives the Bills offense some extra help on the perimeter opposite Sammy Watkins. Although Gators ILB Antonio Morrison did not time well in the pre-draft process, he is an instinctual linebacker who visited the Bills facility and reminds me of Channing Crowder. The Bills are hoping for a big jump in year two from John Miller at RG, but the selection of Avery Young provides some competition at the position, and Young can play RT if Seantrel Henderson struggles. Travis Feeney and James Burgess are both fast, athletic linebackers who could become mavens on special teams and challenge for starting positions at outside linebacker.

 

MIAMI DOLPHINS

TEAM NEEDS:

LG, CB, RG, RB, DE, FS, DT, CB

 

PROSPECT TRACKER:

Connor CookBrandon Doughty, Ezekiel Elliott, Devontae Booker, Kenyan Drake, Jonathan Williams, Laquon TreadwellLeonte Carroo, Daniel Braverman, Devin Fuller, Jakeem GrantRobby AndersonStephen Anderson, Thomas Duarte, Germain Ifedi, Josh Garnett, Spencer Drango, Isaac SeumaloKevin Dodd, Ryan Brown, DeForest Buckner, Vernon Butler, Trevon ColeyMyles JackSu'a Cravens, Mackensie Alexander, William Jackson III, Eli Apple, Xavien Howard, Taveze Calhoun, Kevon Seymour

 

VISIT

PRIVATE WORKOUT

 

PROJECTED DRAFT:

(13)   DE KEVIN DODD

(42)   CB ARTIE BURNS

(73)   RB KENYAN DRAKE

(107) LG SPENCER DRANGO

(147) TE THOMAS DUARTE

(186) WR DANIEL BRAVERMAN

(227) RG VI TEOFILO

(231) DT TREVON COLEY

 

 

All signs point to Kevin Dodd being the pick for the Dolphins at #13, unless by some chance Buckeyes RB Ezekiel Elliott drops to them. I think Dodd has been their number one target all along and that factored into their decision to swap picks with the Eagles and acquire Byron Maxwell and Kiko Alonso. Dodd gives them depth at the defensive end position and a premium pass rusher to start grooming as Cameron Wake's replacement, who is getting long in the tooth and coming off of a major injury. In the second round, the Dolphins stay local and take Miami Hurricanes CB Artie Burns, giving them two CBs  who have stiff hips when paired with Maxwell. In the third round, the Dolphins could look for speed RB Kenyan Drake to pair up with wrecking ball Jay Ajayi, giving them a nice tandem in the backfield. The Dolphins address their biggest need by selecting Spencer Drango out of Baylor in the fourth round to play LG, and then follow up by selecting Charles Clay's replacement in Thomas Duarte, who Adam Gase could use as a move TE and create mismatches all over the field and in the red zone. Once viewed as their biggest strength, the Dolphins go WR at 186 with draft darling Daniel Braverman who has the ability to line up at any WR spot. In the seventh round, the Dolphins go with mauling Arizona State guard Vi Teofilo to compete with Billy Turner at the RG spot, and then round off their haul with under-the-radar DT Trevon Coley to add depth to the interior of the defensive line. 

 

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

TEAM NEEDS:

ILB, RDT, C, WR, RB, CB, RDE, FB

 

PROSPECT TRACKER:

Kevin Hogan, Jake RudockDevontae Booker, Jonathan Williams, Tyler Ervin, Daniel Lasco, Glen Gronkowski, Dan Vitale, Leonte Carroo, Jay LeeMalcolm Mitchell, Keyarris GarrettDemarcus AyersDevin FullerStephen AndersonDavid Morgan IIGermain Ifedi, Shon Coleman, Cole Toner, Bronson Kaufusi, Matt JudonYannick gNakoueJordan JenkinsVernon ButlerJoel Heath, Jalen Mills, Cyrus JonesSean Davis, Taveze Calhoun, Anthony Brown, Vonn Bell

 

VISIT

PRIVATE WORKOUT

 

PROJECTED DRAFT:

(60)   WR LEONTE CARROO

(61)   RB DEVONTAE BOOKER

(91)   CB JALEN MILLS

(96)   DT HASSAN RIDGEWAY

(196) WR DEVIN FULLER

(204) ILB DOMINIQUE ALEXANDER

(208) FB DAN VITALE

(214) WR KEYARRIS GARRETT

(221) C COLE TONER

(243) RDE JASON FANAIKA

(250) WLB STEVE LONGA

 

 

The Patriots may not have a high pick in the draft, but they certainly have a high volume of picks that they could use to re-boot their roster. Bill Belichick loves his Scarlet Knights, and Rutgers WR Leonte Carroo could finally give them their #1 WR that they have been missing since Randy Moss. While Dion Lewis looked good before getting hurt last season, Devontae Booker is just the type of receiving back that could thrive in this Patriots offense. At the Senior Bowl, the Patriots scouting staff gave LSU defensive back Jalen Mills an iPad and roasted him for over an hour, and while that doesn't mean anything, he certainly fits the bill for what they are looking for in a nickel cornerback who could turn into a playmaker. DT Hassan Ridgeway comes in to reunite with fellow Texas Longhorn Malcolm Brown and takes over the pass rushing DT spot that Dominique Easley was supposed to man. Speedy WR Devin Fuller offers the Pats a ton in the return game and gives them the option to keep Julian Edelman at WR full-time, keeping him healthy deep into the season. Oklahoma LB Dominique Alexander could play either inside or weak side linebacker in the Patriots defense, and FB Dan Vitale is one of the best at his position in this draft. Although a third WR is a stretch, I think this is the year the Patriots really try to clean up that position group and Keyarris Garrett is too good of a value to pass up if available at 214, giving them another option in the red zone. Local product Cole Toner of Harvard is the type of cerebral player who could compete to start at the center position, and defensive end Jason Fanaika is the type of effort player on the edge who could spell new free agent acquisition Chris Long and keep him fresh. Lastly, Belichick book ends his draft with Scarlet Knights, grabbing junior linebacker Steve Longa to help with special teams. 

 

NEW YORK JETS

TEAM NEEDS:

QB, LOLB, RT, RG, TE, ILB, NT, CB

 

PROSPECT TRACKER:

Carson Wentz, Jared Goff, Paxton Lynch, Christian Hackenberg, Jacoby Brissett, DeAndre Washington, Darius JacksonJakeem GrantNick Vannett, Jason Spriggs, Germain Ifedi, Le'Raven Clark, Keith Lumpkin, Shilique Calhoun, Carl Nassib, Jason Fanaika, Anthony Zettel, A'Shawn Robinson, Vernon Butler, Shaq Lawson, Noah SpenceLeonard FloydJordan JenkinsYannick Ngakoue, Dadi Nicolas, Victor Ochi, Myles Jack, Reggie Ragland, Mackensie Alexander, Rashard Robinson, Ryan Smith

 

VISIT

PRIVATE WORKOUT

 

PROJECTED DRAFT:

(20)   QB PAXTON LYNCH

(51)   RT JASON SPRIGGS

(83)   RILB KENTRELL BROTHERS

(118) CB RASHARD ROBINSON

(157) LOLB DADI NICOLAS

(241) LDE ANTHONY ZETTEL

 

 

As desperate as the Jets are for a force edge player who can rack up some sacks, their need for a QB as it currently stands is much more dire. If Paxton Lynch is there at 20, the Jets should take him and never look back. If not, watch out for players like Noah Spence or Leonard Floyd to be the pick for Todd Bowles and the Jets. Stalwart LT D'Brickashaw Ferguson's retirement left the Jets in a bit of a pickle, and while trading for Ryan Clady helped address the position, the RT position is still a mess, and Jason Spriggs could step in and beat out Breno Giacomini right off the bat while also providing insurance at LT if Clady gets hurt again. Missouri thumper Kentrell Brothers fills the void left by Demario Davis, who left in free agency to sign with the Browns. Rashard Robinson takes over the roster spot vacated by Antonio Cromartie, and both CBs are similar in build and temperament. Virginia Tech's Dadi Nicolas finally addresses the hole at edge rusher, and if he can add weight at the NFL level, he could end up being a steal for the Jets at 157. Lastly, the Jets end their draft with Penn State defensive linemen Anthony Zettel, who provides depth on a line that could lose Muhammad Wilkerson during a draft day trade.

 

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