2018 NFL Draft In Review, AFC East

Buffalo Bills

Draft picks: Wyoming QB Josh Allen (No. 7 overall), Virginia Tech LB Tremaine Edmunds(No. 16 overall), Stanford DT Harrison Phillips (No. 96 overall), Weber State DB Taron Johnson (No. 121 overall), Jacksonville State DB Siran Neal (No. 154 overall), Virginia Tech OG Wyatt Teller (No. 166 overall), Clemson WR Ray-Ray McCloud (No. 187 overall), North Carolina WR Austin Proeh(No. 255 overalll)

Josh Allen is not for everyone but he is the QB that the Buffalo Bills have decided to invest their future with. Acquiring Allen wasn’t cheap as it came at the expense of Cordy Glenn (the pre-draft trade to get them to number 12) and two second round selections. It was a bold selection that will either simply prove worthy or set the franchise back several years. Edmunds is a monster and the value was too good not to move up and select the young linebacker. Edmunds seems to project best as an outside backer but might be forced to play inside in Buffalo to fill a hole in the lineup. Phillips is a good value player and will fit in very nicely in the rotation and locker-room. The Bills found depth in the secondary but may have reached in both the Johnson and Neal picks. The McCloud and Proehl selections were interesting to say the least. Not in a million years was it expected that McCloud would be drafted ahead of teammate Deon Cain. The Bills desperately need help at WR and its odd that only spent later round picks on players that will work out of the slot instead of players that line up outside. Teller will play guard for the Bills and might have the chance to compete for a spot early on.

Miami Dolphins

Draft picks: Alabama DB Minkah Fitzpatrick (No. 11 overall), Penn State TE Mike Gesicki (No. 42 overall), Ohio State LB Jerome Baker (No. 73 overall), Notre Dame TE Durham Smythe (No. 123 overall), Arizona State RB Kalen Ballage (No. 131 overall), Southern Mississippi S Cornell Armstrong (No. 209 overall), Ohio LB Quentin Polling (No. 227 overall), New Mexico K Jayson Sanders (No. 229 overall).

While the nickel/safety position wasn’t Miami’s biggest need coming into the draft selecting Minkah 11th overall was an easy decision as he provides just too good of value for a team who probably isn’t ready to win next year regardless. Gesicki is a guy that could see similar success that Giants TE Evan Ingram enjoyed during his rookie year if he is used in a similar fashion. Gesicki is far from a complete TE but plays around the rim in the end zone. Smythe is a TE that can both block and catch and was a nice add doubling down at the position. While the team needed LB help, Jerome Baker will probably be featured only as a role player at the position instead as a permanent fixture in the lineup unless he can bulk up. Ballage can provide a spark in the offense as a receiving option out of the backfield for Tannehill. It is surprising that Miami did not at least take a flyer on DT and QB to address those specific needs.

New England Patriots

Draft picks: Georgia OT Isaiah Wynn (No. 23 overall), Georgia RB Sony Michel (No. 31 overall), Florida CB Duke Dawson (No. 56 overall), Purdue LB Ja’Whaun (No. 143 overall), Arizona State LB Christian Sam (No. 178 overall), Miami WR Braxton Berrios (No. 210 overall), LSU QB Danny Etling (No. 219 overall), Western Carolina DB Keion Crossen (No. 243 overall), Florida State TE Ryan Izzo (No. 250 overall).

Bill Belicheck doesn’t care that almost everyone in the world projected Wynn as a NFL guard and not a tackle. While Wynn doesn’t have the height that most teams covet he does have long arms and pops out of his stance very quickly. There were also rumors that Michel was going to slide due to medical concerns. Obviously Sony got the thumbs up from New England’s medical staff and will be an explosive option in New England’s deep RB stable. Dawson may have been over-drafted but is a good player that fills a need. Bentley and Sam will provide depth and competition at LB. Berrios is a player that might just stick in the slot. Izzo is good value late in the draft as the team begins to prepare for the possibility of life after Gronk after next season. Can Etling be a guy they can develop into a dependable number two?


New York Jets

Draft picks: USC QB Sam Darnold (No. 3 overall), Fort Hays State DT Nathan Shepherd (No. 72 overall), Miami TE Christopher Herndon (No. 107 overall), Tulane CB Parry Nickerson (No. 179 overall), Connecticut DT Folorunso Fatukasi (No. 180 overall), Virginia State RB Trenton Cannon (No. 204 overall).

By most accounts, the Jets decision to move up to the number three spot landed them this year’s best QB. Darnold is a good player, a good person, and has a ton of upside. Spending a year in the QB room with Josh McCown is going to help his development early on. Shepherd is a small school prospect who will have a chance to compete for the starting NT spot. Nickerson is a small corner who might develop into a nice player in the slot. Herndon is a solid pickup at the TE position. The Jets had a lot of needs without a lot of picks. For what seems like the millionth year in a row they were not able to find an elite edge rusher to develop or get younger on the offensive line. If Darnold does become the guy they’ve been waiting for they will not regret parting with the three second round picks.

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