With the 2018 NFL Draft in the books, Daniel Mosher breaks down how the weekend’s selections will impact the AFC East.
Jets fans, I want you to look at something:
POLL: Which AFC East team has the worst QB situation at this moment?
— Andy Slater (@AndySlater) April 27, 2018
Now, sure, this isn’t necissarily a Gallup poll; but man, oh man, when was the last time the Jets QB situation wasn’t the laughing stock of the AFC East? Sure feels good, don’t it?
The Jets added a handful of draft picks set to contribute in their rookie year, all of whom you can read about on TOJ.
Rd. 1: QB Sam Darnold
Rd. 3: DT Nathan Shepherd
Rd. 4: TE Christopher Herndon
Rd. 6: CB Parry Nickerson
Rd. 6: DT Foley Fatukasi
Rd. 6: RB Trenton Cannon
Plus acquired DE Henry Anderson from the Colts with their 7th Round pick.
Quick grade: B+
— Daniel Mosher (@DanielMosherNY) April 28, 2018
However, while we may be focused on who the Jets are bringing in, let’s take a look at how the rest of the division came out of draft weekend.
The Class: DB Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama (11); TE Mike Gesicki, Penn State (42); LB Jerome Baker, Ohio State (73); TE Durham Smythe, Notre Dame (123); RB Kalen Ballage, Arizona State (131); S Cornell Armstrong, Southern Mississippi (209); LB Quentin Polling, Ohio (225); K Jason Sanders, New Mexico (229).
Best pick: The obvious star in a somewhat lackluster draft class is Fitzpatrick. The Alabama DB offers Jamal Adams type leadership and can play absolutely anywhere on the back end.
Worst pick: Gesicki was my third ranked TE of the class and Miami decided to take him while Dallas Goedert was still available. Gesicki’s pure inability to block backed them into wasting another draft pick on Smythe, an inline TE.
Sleeper: Ballage was a great value pick and should serve as a solid compliment to future Hall of Famer Frank Gore on what has to be final year or two of his career. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Ballage getting more carries than Gore as the season goes on.
The Dolphins put together a pretty uninspiring draft class. Fitzpatrick, Baker and Ballage were solid picks but Miami chose not to address their two biggest needs: Quarterback and Defensive Line.
The Class: QB Josh Allen, Wyoming (7); LB Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech (16); DT Harrison Phillips, Stanford (96); DB Taron Johnson, Weber State (121); DB Siran Neal, Jacksonville State (154); OG Wyatt Teller, Virginia Tech (166); WR Ray-Ray McCloud, Clemson (187); WR Austin Proehl, North Carolina (255).
Best pick: Edmunds is an absolute freak of nature. Pulling the trigger to get him at 16 was a great move by GM Brandon Beane. Bills fans should be looking forward to this 19 year old flying all over the field for the next 15 years.
Worst pick: An obvious answer here. Allen is the glaring sore spot on what turned out to be a pretty great draft otherwise for the Bills. Allen was my QB6 for a whole host of reasons, and while he very well could prove me wrong, landing in Buffalo where he’s likely to start sooner rather than later may not be his best bet.
Sleeper: We all have watched Kyle Williams dominate on the Buffalo D-Line, and just as his career winds down, they get his replacement in Harrison Phillips. Incredible value, grabbing him at the end of Round 3, Phillips will be an immediate impact player on that defensive front.
It’s a shame that Beane will be solely judged on the success of the Allen pick, because this was actually a really great draft class, otherwise.
New England Patriots
The Class: OL Isaiah Wynn, Georgia (23); RB Sony Michel, Georgia (31); CB Duke Dawson, Florida (56); LB Ja’Whaun Bentley, Purdue (143); LB Christian Sam, Arizona State (178); WR Braxton Berrios, Miami (210); QB Danny Etling, LSU (219); DB Keion Crossen, Western Carolina (243); TE Ryan Izzo, Florida State (250).
Best pick: This one’s a tie because the Patriots doubled up dawgs and took two of my favorite players in the class. Wynn and Michel are going to be high impact starters for the next decade.
Worst pick: Etling, unfortunately gets pegged as the worst pick here, for the sole reason being that he isn’t Lamar Jackson. While the Pats had a successful draft, passing on Jackson will prove to be a big mistake.
Sleeper: Izzo was the 77th ranked prospect on Connor Rogers’ Top 100, so managing to get him at the very end of the draft gives the Patriots some absolutely insane value. Izzo is a well rounded, inline tight end that will slide right into the TE2 slot opposite Gronk.
As I said before, the legacy of this draft class will be the Patriots passing on Lamar Jackson. Outside of that mistake, they did pick up four impact players in Wynn, Michel, Dawson and Izzo, but seemed to have taken big swings on some true JAG’s otherwise. Belichick also maneuvered the draft board extremely well picking up a 2nd, 3rd and 7th in next year’s draft.
Oh and the Braxton Berrios pick is just.. *chef kiss*