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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Grading the NFL Draft - The AFC East. Ryan Tannehil is the Biggest Name, But Not the Best Pick

Ryan Tannehill may be getting the most press but he wasn't the best player taken in the AFC East during the draft. 

Here are the AFC East Grades:

Patriots - Grade A

I'm a Belichick fan but, his reputation as a Draft and Defensive Genius outpaced the reality of his teams performance over the last few years.  Yes his team made it to the Superbowl but, he had no defense.  In previous drafts the Patriots were continuously trading down and collecting picks and it left them using a for QB, turned WR playing DB in the Superbowl.

This year they finally used all their picks and even moved up to improve their Defense.  They moved up and selected Chandler Jones to improve their pass rush and followed that by taking Hightower, the LB out of Alabama.  The rest of their draft was used to fill holes on Defense. 

Jets - Grade C

The Rex Ryan era has been an interesting one.  It's been full of boasting and promises of winning and found some early success with two trips to the AFC Championship.  When the Jets were winning Rex was a passionate leader and his team was seen as tough and responding to his leadership.  When the team wasn't winning, Rex was seen as a loose cannon and his team fell apart. 

I don't think the Jets did much to solidify their team as a winner in that division.  Coples, the DE out of North Carolina, was their first pick.  He has a lot of talent but is known for not playing hard every game.  How will he respond on a team with internal issues.  The they also took WR Hill out of GT.  This is a very telling pick in my mind.  Hill played in the same option heavy offense as Tebow's WR in Denver Thomas.  Hill is use to blocking for an option offense and understands that he is not going to get 100 catches a season.  In my mind, this is a pick for Tim Tebow and shows that the Jets will have Tebow starting before the season ends.

Bills - Grade B

The Bills came on strong last year with Stevie Johnson and Fitzpatrick adding some firepower to their offense.  Their weakness was on Defense.  They added the biggest Denfensive free agent in Mario Williams to help things out.

In the Draft the Bills helped their Defense by adding South Carolina DB Gilmore to help their backfield.  They also added talent to their OLine by taking Cody Glenn out of Georgia.

This team continues to head in the right direction. 

Dolphins - Grade D

The Dolphins struggled last year and ended up with Matt Moore as their starting QB.  While Reggie Bush had a surprisingly strong season, they lost WR Brandon Marshall in the offseason and weakened their Offense.  This team lacks talent in a lot of positions.  They also missed out on the Manning Sweepstakes and surprisingly missed on out Matt Flynn also.  This left the Dolphins in a desparate need for QB.

As a reaction to their desparation, they turned to a WR made QB in Ryan Tannehill.  While Tannehill may have potential, in my opinion you don't draft project QB until the second or third rounds.  The Dolphins took Tannehill 8th.  I just don't see how this will be successful in the NFL.  We'll see.  The Dolphins spent the rest of their Draft adding talent everywhere because they need it.

Overall the AFC East had some big Winners and some Losers.  I think that the Bills are slowly building in the right direction and will start to challenge the Patriots in the next couple years.

More on the other divisions to come.

Scott King - @footballxtrpnts

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