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Thursday, April 25, 2013
McShay and Kiper’s final AFC East mock

By James Walker

After months of reports, analysis and speculation, it is finally time for the NFL draft.

We are just several hours away from one of the biggest days of the league year, and ESPN draft experts Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr. offer their final first-round predictions.

Here is how both analysts see the first round playing out for the AFC East:

Buffalo Bills, No. 8

McShay: QB Ryan Nassib, Syracuse

Kiper: G Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina

Thoughts: The projections for the Bills continue to be all over the place. Most experts agree with McShay that Nassib is their guy. The natural fit with Bills coach Doug Marrone makes sense, although I think taking any quarterback in the top 10 of this draft is a mistake. I would prefer Alabama's Chance Warmack over Cooper in this spot, but both guards are very good. The Bills will be one of the most unpredictable teams in the first round.

New York Jets, No. 9 and No. 13

McShay: TE Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame; G Chance Warmack, Alabama

Kiper: DE Barkevious Mingo, LSU; WR Tavon Austin, West Virginia

Thoughts: These are interesting pairs from McShay and Kiper -- and both are realistic. Jets general manager John Idzik is in a good spot with two high picks. I like the combination of Mingo and Austin a little better, because I think both can be impact players early for the Jets. They need pass-rushers and offensive playmakers, and the first round could plug those two holes. Taking Eifert at No. 9 feels a little high, but Warmack would be a solid (but not spectacular) pick for New York at No. 13.

Miami Dolphins, No. 12

McShay: LT D.J. Fluker, Alabama

Kiper: G Chance Warmack, Alabama

Thoughts: I totally disagree with McShay’s pick on this one. Fluker is a natural right tackle, and it’s questionable if he can play on the left side at the next level. The Dolphins already have a right tackle in Jonathan Martin. If Miami can’t find a natural left tackle at No. 12, the team should draft another position. Kiper’s pick of Warmack isn’t bad. He’s one of the best guard prospects to come out in the past several years. However, I think Miami should avoid the offensive line tonight unless a stud left tackle is available.

New England Patriots, No. 29

McShay: CB Xavier Rhodes, Florida State

Kiper: CB Desmond Trufant, Washington

Thoughts: The Patriots would be happy with either player in this scenario. Rhodes or Trufant would fill a need at cornerback and present solid value at the end of the first round. My initial thought is New England should trade down to acquire more picks. The Patriots lost three selections this year due to prior trades involving Chad Johnson, Albert Haynesworth and Aqib Talib. But if value picks like this fall in New England’s lap this late in the first round at need positions like cornerback or receiver, the Patriots should use the pick.