New England Patriots
The Patriots are my favorite team to watch draft because even when it seems like the guy they wanted is gone, they still get the guy they want. They always have a well, devised plan and they execute it like no other. More praise goes to Belichick than the front office, after witnessing the failed “Patriot Project” by Scott Pioli with the Chiefs. I digress, the Patriots added two quality receivers in Marshall’s Aaron Dobson (Look up his one handed catch, SICK!) and TCU’s Josh Boyce. Dobson provides a big leaper with deep threat ability, kind of like another former Patriot and Marshall player…. I won’t do it. Boyce will provide a speedy, quick threat in the slot and we know Brady loves his slot receivers. Rutger teammates Duron Harmon and Logan Ryan will provide depth to an often inconsistent Patriots secondary. Scouts believe Harmon has an above average amount of potential. Many experts believe one of the best valued picks for the Patriots was Fighting Illini, Michael Buchanan. Buchanan will play the hybrid linebacker/rush end and hopefully provide a pass rush to a middle of the pack sack team last season.
Overall grade: B
New York Jets
The circus in the New Yorks Jet’s quarterback meeting room added another act, when Geno Smith was selected in the second round. Talk about a rough drop by Smith. New York is a mess. Rex Ryan is searching for tattoo removal services, Mark Sanchez ran into another one of his linemen’s bumber in the parking lot, he fumbled his phone and Tim Tebow is still running through the sprinklers shirtless. Where is the clown? By the way they just traded Darrelle Revis, its not looking good. They add Alabama cornerback Dee Millner, who’s injuries seemed to stack up as his career ended in Tuscaloosa. Sheldon Richardson , who was the only glimmer of light in Mizzou’s SEC debut year, will provide quality depth at the defensive line. Brian Winters has the ability to be quality asset as a starter, or provide much needed depth. A lot of talk will be about what to do with Sanchez and Tebow and Geno and veteran David Garrad joins the Jets organization.
Overall Grade: D+
The Dolphin will be remembered initially in the draft for not what they did get, but what they did not. It was publicly announced that the Chiefs were trying to send Brandon Alberts to Miami, in exchange for their second round pick and other picks possibly. The dolphins refused and opted for the services of Former Volunteer Dallas Thomas. Scouts praised him for his versatility and the ability to play more than one spot on the offensive line . However, many questioned his ability to fill the void left by All-Pro tackle Jake Long (STL). He will definitely need development and time. I do like what they did defensively in adding a potential game changer in Dion Jordan, who will become the sack-mate of current Dolphin, Chris Wake. They add two corners and Florida linebacker, Jelani Jenkins who provide depth.
Overall Grade: C-
The Bills pulled one of the first controversial moves in the draft by taking a quarterback at the sixteen spot. That’s not the surprising thing, most heads jerked when not Smith, not Nassib, nor Jones, Bray, but Manuel. The former signal caller joins the Bills, to become what they believe to be the future of the dismantled franchise. With Kevin Kolb there already, look for Manuel to sit and learn early. Robert Woods and former Texas track/football standout Marquise Goodwin as potential weapons for Kolb/Manuel. Also, they get a quality pass threat in Arkansas Tight End Chris Gragg. Defensively, they address the need for linebacker with the pick up of Kiko Alonso, who showed flashes of play making ability at Oregon. Also, they add two safeties in Duke Williams and Johnathan Meeks in back to back rounds. Manuel and Woods can be big pick ups if developed properly, however the bills have had a tough time of late doing so. Big risk with both.
Overall Grade: C+
New England Patriots – The Patriots have one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL. However, their defense is atrocious being the second worst defense in yards allowed. The Patriots focused on their defense in this years draft, especially on their pass rushing need. The Patriots drafted Chandler Jones, a defensive end and Dont’a Hightower a linebacker, both great at going after the quarterback. I expect the Patriots defense to be a vastly improved in the 2012 season.
New York Jets – The Jets finished a disappointing 8-8 this past season and missed the playoffs. The Jets will be looking for revenge. The teams defense and offense should improve this season. The Jets defense was good last season, but the expectations were so high, they could not be achieved. I expect the Jets to have a top five defense this season. The offense has been a work and progress these past three years. They have a young quarterback in Mark Sanchez who shows flashes of being a good NFL quarterback, but isn’t consistent enough yet. I expect the Jets to run the ball a lot more and have a more balanced offense.
Buffalo Bills- The Bills are going to have a tough time competing in this division. The bills have a talented team and have an incredibly talented defensive line. However, the Bills must be more consistent this year. Last season the Bills started 3-0 beating the Chiefs, Patriots, and Raiders, but they finished the season 6-10. The Bills must get more offensive playmakers especially at the wide receiver position. Besides Stevie Johnson, the Bills don’t have another dependable wide receiver.
Miami Dolphins – The Dolphins are going to have a tough time finishing over .500 this year. They are in a hard division and traded away Brandon Marshall, their best playmaker on offense. On top of that, the Dolphins will probably be starting a rookie quarterback midway through the season. The Dolphins will also have an inconsistent defense this season. The only thing the Dolphins will be able to do well this year is run the ball.