Wednesday, May 1, 2013
AFC East mailbag: NFL draft recap
By James Walker
The NFL draft is complete, and many fans in our community have questions about their favorite AFC East teams.
Let’s take a quick peak at the division mailbag.
Tim Sherman from Conception Bay South, Newfoundland writes: Bills drafting and signing guys with "character" issues," I think too much is being made of this. If you look at each of these guys, I think each has learned from their mistakes and all are very talented.
James Walker: I agree with you to some degree, Tim. I'm not a huge stickler for character issues until it happens in the pros. That means a player, who is being paid millions in many cases, is not professional enough to grow up. People doing dumb things in college are more understandable. The question is, as you mentioned, have Kiko Alonso, Duke Williams and Da’Rick Rogers learned from those mistakes and grown up? No one knows for sure. The Bills simply have to trust their background checks and looks into these players.
@Chrisp4321 via Twitter writes: James, do you think the Bills could have taken Tavon Austin for themselves in the first round and still got EJ Manuel in the second?
Walker: Good question, Chrisp4321. It’s all hypothetical at this point, but there is a good chance Buffalo could have waited until No. 41 to take Manuel. No quarterback was taken in the first 32 picks of the first round. The Jets didn’t take Geno Smith until No. 39. So unless another team was in love with Manuel like Buffalo was, there is a solid chance he could have been a high second-round pick. That meant the Bills could have gotten a highly-rated player at No. 8 or No. 16.
Christian from Ho-Ho-Kus, N.J., writes: Best guess for Mark Sanchez’s record if he were to start vs Geno Smith’s record if he started? At the end I think your right. I still don't see the Jets getting over five wins. Might as well give Geno the experience and see what he's made of.
Walker: That was one of my major points in going with Smith right away, Christian. We already know where the Jets’ train is going with Mark Sanchez. New York is a rebuilding team going nowhere next season with or without Sanchez. Why not spend the year developing your quarterback to springboard Smith into 2014. It’s really the Miami Dolphins’ blueprint from last season. The Dolphins were rebuilding in 2012 and went with his rookie quarterback. Ryan Tannehill earned 16 games of experience, and the Dolphins are now set up well to make a push in Year 2.
Jared from Tampa, Fla., writes: I know most NFL teams do not need or want to bring in Tim Tebow as a quarterback. If Tebow was willing to change positions to TE to you think other teams such as the Bucs would take a realistic look at him?
Walker: Tebow would open more possibilities if he was open to a position change, but it doesn’t appear that’s the case. Tebow believes he’s a quarterback. He’s not a punt protector and an H-back like he was with the New York Jets. We will see if Tebow sticks to that if there’s no interest.
Mike Maynard from Gaithersburg, Md., writes: Yes, the New York Jets are going to be Rich Kotite-bad this year.
Walker: Let’s wait and see, Mike. The talent level certainly isn’t there. Maybe the coaching staff can get the best out of these players and squeeze out a few wins people didn’t expect.
@Show_1 via Twitter writes: The last drafted wide receiver for New England able to be consistent and do anything? Terry Glenn perhaps?
Walker: It hasn’t been that long, Show. Patriots coach Bill Belichick has struggled mightily with receivers, but he did hit 11 years ago with Deion Branch, who had a good career with New England. The problem is for every Branch, there are four busts at receiver like Ben Tate, Taylor Price, Chad Jackson and PK Sam. It’s simply not a strength of Belichick’s. However, New England has potential to finally get it right with rookie receivers Aaron Dobson and Josh Boyce.
Chris from Cleveland writes: Hey James, just had a suggestion on a piece for you. I know that you posted an article on Kiper's draft grades but I was thinking you should put out an article with your own draft grades.
Walker: Thanks for the suggestion, Chris. But I’m not huge on grading drafts before any of these players show what they can do. We have specific experts at ESPN.com like Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay for this kind of thing. I prefer to wait two or three years. Maybe I will do a series on grading the 2010 drafts.
@KevJPotter via Twitter writes: Any chance now that Miami drafted Dion Jordan that Jared Odrick gets traded?
Walker: I do not see it, Kev. Odrick is a versatile defensive lineman with some value. He can start inside and outside and doesn’t cost a ton of money. The Dolphins need as many good players as possible and I expect them to hold onto that depth. Jordan is an interesting case, because you’re not exactly sure how well he fits as a 4-3 defensive end. He may need to bulk up. Jordan also has the athleticism to play some outside linebacker, but he would be very raw. The coaching staff has a tremendous talent and must figure out what to do with him.