Miami Dolphins (B)
- 2.20 – Cam Smith (CB)
- 3.21 – Devon Achane (RB)
- 6.20 – Elijah Higgins (WR/TE)
- 7.21 – Ryan Hayes (O/L)
As one of the teams with the fewest draft picks, Miami made the most they could in the draft. Cam Smith is a solid slot corner that was a good value in the second draft. Devon Achane is a young version of Raheem Mostert, who fits well in the offense. This selection puts Achane into the first round of rookie drafts. Elijah Higgins is a wide receiver, likely converting to a tight end. There will be a learning curve for the raw prospect. Hayes is a swing tackle that probably will be good depth.
Miami could have done more as I get trying to keep their secondary young, but there were other needs they could have addressed earlier. Taking a more talented offensive lineman or an all-around tight end early would have made more sense. Since they had just four picks, they made the most of it, so a B is the grade they will get.
Buffalo Bills (B+)
- 1.26 – Dalton Kincaid (TE)
- 2.28 – O’Cyrus Torrence (OG)
- 3.28 – Dorian Williams (ILB)
- 5.16 – Justin Shorter (WR)
- 7.13 – Nick Broeker (OG)
- 7.35 – Alex Austin (CB)
I’ll be the first to tell you that Kincaid to the Bills doesn’t make the most sense to me for this team. Kincaid had a first-round talent for sure and should make an impact on the team. He is a round-two value in rookie drafts. Torrence was a steal in the second round, as he had a first-round grade in his game. Williams is a solid piece that should be a day-one starter and take over the Tremaine Edmunds spot. I was surprised with the Shorter pick, I had him graded as a late-round seventh or undrafted prospect, but the Bulls liked him to give him fifth-round capital. He has the downfield ability, but I won’t be selecting him in rookie drafts. Broeker is an experienced tackle that should prove to be excellent depth, and Alex Austin is a physical corner that can push for playing time.
I gave the Bills a B+ due to their picks of Torrence and Williams. I wasn’t a major fan of the Kincaid or Shorter selections. The Bills should have traded up for one of the elite receivers or gone the defensive back route early on. The Kincaid pick could come back to bite me later on.
New England Patriots (A-)
- 1.17 – Christian Gonzalez (CB)
- 2.15 – Keion White (DE)
- 3.13 – Marte Mapu (ILB)
- 4.05 – Jake Andrews (C)
- 4.10 – Chad Ryland (K)
- 4.15 – Sidy Sow (OG)
- 5.10 – Atonio Mafi (OG)
- 6.10 – Kayshon Boutte (WR)
- 6.15 – Bryce Baringer (P)
- 6.33 – Demario Douglas (WR)
- 6.37 – Ameer Speed (CB)
- 7.28 – Isaiah Bolden (CB)
When you have a lot of picks, you better not mess up this draft, and drafting Gonzalez was a solid move and good value. He can cover receivers all over the field, and the AFC East receivers are a ton to worry about. White has talent and is a hybrid player who can play outside or inside, which can be good for any defensive line. Mapu is a reach in the third round but has star potential for the Patriot’s special teams unit. In the fourth round, they get great value with Jake Andrews, the center, who can play multiple offensive-line positions. The Patriots are early to take a kicker in the draft, which still seems like a mistake this early. Ryland was a solid kicker out of Eastern Michigan.
The Patriots continued to build on the line by adding back-to-back guards Sow and Mafi, who will make great depth pieces for the Patriots. In the sixth round, getting the far-upside talent in Boutte is interesting for the Patriots. He is a physical slot receiver who needs to regain his talent. Boutte is a fourth-round pick with an upside for fantasy football if he can find his footing. The Patriots completed the special teams unit but selected Bryce Baringer, a punter, in the sixth round. They also grabbed a potential return man in Douglas, a small speedster in the sixth round. Douglas probably doesn’t have much fantasy value, but his speed can help on plays with the Patriot’s offense. Rate and Bolden bring some size and athleticism to the defensive back position.
I think the Patriots drafted their team by getting the core players they wanted on the team to give consistent talent. I wish they would have attacked the receiver position to give Mac Jones an option, but they chose to take the patriot’s route. A- for getting impactful and team-fit players on the team.
New York Jets (C+)
- 1.15 – Will McDonald IV (OLB)
- 2.12 – Joe Tippmann (C.)
- 4.18 – Carter Warren (OT)
- 5.09 – Israel Abanikanda (RB)
- 6.27 – Jarrick Bernard-Converse (CB)
- 7.03 – Zach Kuntz (TE)
The Jets had an interesting draft as they selected McDonald in the first round. He offers length and flexibility, but I felt the Jets took him earlier than they should have. He could be a force if he learns to get off the line consistently. I felt this pick was a reach at 1.15. I like their second-round pick, Joe Tippman, as the Jets need to protect Rodgers. He has the size to be center and the mobility to clear lanes to help the run game out. The Jets stayed on the offensive line and drafted Warren in the fourth round, an athletic offensive tackle who could be a steal one day.
In the fifth round, the Jets drafted a favorite prospect of mine in Abanikanda, who was a questionable pick for their needs. Abanikanda can come in a be the true backup to Breece Hall and handle any workload if Hall is to miss time. He is likely a late third-round pick in most rookie drafts. Bernard-Converse is a fine-depth piece that could move towards safety. Kuntz was a steal for the value but a questionable non-need pick with a crowded tight-end group already. Kuntz is likely off rookie boards unless there is news he is the starter or backup on the team.
I gave the Jets a C+ grade because I felt the team reached for picks through the drafts. Also, while I liked some of their later-round picks due to their excellent value, the question is the selection of those picks based on their team’s needs.
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