Saturday, April 28, 2012

Grading The Draft: AFC East

The 2012 NFL Draft is over and teams are scrambling to sign undrafted free agents. Mr. Irrelevant (Chandler Harnish out of N. Illinois) has been named. Now it is time for me to start grading the draft for each team. I will start with the AFC East because it has the Buffalo Bills. Let's start right there:

Buffalo Bills: Initially I did not like the first round pick. I would have been happier with the Bills drafting Michael Floyd. I still think I would have been happier with Floyd on Buffalo, but I understand the need for Gilmore. He's a physical back who should be able to come in and start from day one. In the second round they got an absolute steal in Cordy Glenn. He is versatile and will most likely start the year at tackle (most likely left, but could be right). Zebrie Sanders and Tank Carder in the fifth round is absolute steals. Sanders could be the starting right tackle by the start of the season and Carder could pressure Sheppard for the starting position. I do not like TJ Graham that much because I feel like he could have been drafted later. Overall, the Bills addressed two major needs in corner back and offensive line help. Their grade goes up because they were able to get lucky with Sanders and Carder in the 5th, along with Cordy Glenn in the 2nd. However, they did not address the backup quarterback need and may have not of addressed the wide receiver position : Grade: A-

Miami Dolphins: I am not sure what to make of the Dolphins draft. As a Bills fan, Ryan Tannehill sort of scares me. He is athletic and has one heck of an arm. Jonathan Martin should help their offensive line and keep the rookie quarterback on his feet. They may have secured a steal in Lamar Miller who, because of his speed, could be a home run threat from day one. Michael Egnew cannot block but is a great athlete with amazing hands. Oliver Vernon should be a situational pass rusher that could develop into a starter. B.J. Cunningham could become a perfect number two receiver by the time the season starts. However, they did not really address the receiver need. This grade will depend on Ryan Tannehill but for now : Grade: B-

New York Jets: The Jets looked to be having a great draft in the beginning two days but fell apart on day three. I really like Quinton Coples. Him and Muhammad Wilkerson could become a force to deal with in the AFC East. Stephen Hill was seen by many as a first round pick and could become the number two receiver the Jets are looking for. However, the rest of their picks seemed like they were reaching more than getting value. They passed on some talent in the third round and did not have picks again until the sixth. The draft started bright, but faded in the end. Grade: C+

New England Patriots: Ugh where to start with the New England Patriots. It happens every year, the Patriots select players and the analysts gush over how great their picks were and how smart the Patriots are to have drafted them. And guess what, it happened again this year and still the Patriots did nothing special. Chandler Jones is a one trick pony. I watched him for four years at Syracuse and was never as impressed as the analysts seemed to be. However, he did go to New England so of course they were impressed. I do like Dont'a Hightower. I think he will flourish alongside Jerod Mayo. Their second round safety was a head scratcher. After that, their only stand out was Alfonzo Dennard and he has been in nothing but trouble since the off-season began. I can almost guarantee the media will give the Patriots a high grade, most likely a B+ or even A- but I do not think they did as good as most. I will be writing an article on the gushing of the media over the New England Patriots soon as I think all of their moving on around on draft day actually is costing them more than they think. I think Dont'a Hightower will be the only one from this draft that sticks around:  Grade: B-

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