Sunday, April 29, 2012

Final Draft Grades: AFC East

Buffalo Bills With their first round selection the Bills made the safe pick in South Carolina DB Stephon Gilmore, which should improve their 19th ranked pass-defense. I call Gilmore a safe pick because he doesn't have the baggage that Alabama's Dre Kirkpatrick and Northern Alabama's Janoris Jenkins came along with, both of whom we considered better NFL prospects at the same position as Gilmore. That being said, Gilmore is a very solid pick inside the top ten. Adding Georgia offensive lineman Cordy Glenn falls into the same category as Gilmore, a very quality selection at the point in which he was selected (41st). Glenn is, to put it lightly, massive. He'll move to the inside on the Buffalo offensive line and really give them a push up front in their running game, the Bills got a steal getting first round talent in the second round here. We thought taking a slot receiver in North Carolina State's T.J. Graham in the third round was a reach, but as solid as they'd been already, you can't blame them for taking a shot with the 5'11" Graham. Lastly on Buffalo, we were very pleased with their selection of Tank Carder the outside linebacker from TCU in the fifth round. Carder is an interesting player and plays very instinctively, if it works out, the Bills may have grabbed a future leader in their locker room. Final Grade: B+

Miami Dolphins I was searching for a team which I could slam early on, and the Dolphins were a reasonable choice. I don't like Ryan Tannehill as a player at all, their 1st round selection (8th overall). Despite having an amazing looking wife, everything else Tannehill does is average at best for me. Dolphins fans are going to talk themselves into this pick because Tannehill's former college coach Mike Sherman is now the offensive coordinator in Miami and head coach Joe Philbin is the former Green Bay assistant who got current starter in Seattle Matt Flynn prepared to take on the league and of course coached up all-world quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Our contention you ask? Tannehill is neither Flynn or Rodgers. So, does Tannehill start over Matt Moore or David Garrard? I'm going to say he's 3rd on the depth chart however, you still thought he was worth the eigth overall pick? Last word on Miami's draft, I too like a Stanford offensive lineman and drafting Jonathan Martin is a quality pick in the second round. He'll eventually be the successor to Jake Long at left tackle, Miami's 2008 top pick overall who they are becoming more and more anxious to part ways with. Final Grade: C+

New England Patriots Great first round as I wrote (Friday), if Syracuse defensive end Chandler Jones stays healthy the Patriots may have committed the coup of the 2012 NFL Draft. After the first round however, the Belichick'ian' way took over. A safety from Illinois, (Tavon Wilson) which no one had coming off the board in the second round, and two more late round defensive backs showed what Belichick was looking to do, swing away at the secondary and hope you get lucky. All that being said, moving up in the first round not once but twice really showed everyone what the Patriots had in mind, sure up their defense, and they did just that.  Bama's Dont'a Hightower really is in the best position for him to come in and make a first round pick type impact. Final Grade: A-

New York Jets I'm starting to seriously dislike the Jets. I know, I'm late to that party. Seriously though, I'm smarter than Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum. If i was him, I'd have targeted Chandler Jones and or Melvin Ingram from South Carolina if I was in the market for a first-round defensive end, not the inconsistent North Carolina end Quinton Coples. Also, I get that it's simply splitting hairs, but we had South Carolina (slightly overweight) receiver Alshon Jeffery rated higher than the speedy Georgia Tech receiver Stephen Hill. One thing you can say about Jeffery that you can't about Hill, he's got no problem with his hands, something we like in a guy catching the ball. I like almost none of what the Jets have done in both free-agency and now the draft. Acquiring Tebow created a problem the Jets have under center, or amplified an existing problem, either way it's an issue that Tannenbaum and the Jets crreated, and then they reached on Coples in the first round, I just don't get it. Final Grade: C-

. . . .AFC North up next!

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