AFC East: Grading 2010 AFC East Draft

The AFC East blog continues its series on grading the 2010 draft class.

Next we take a look at the New England Patriots.

2010 picks: DB Devin McCourty (first round), TE Rob Gronkowski (second), LB Jermaine Cunningham (second), LB Brandon Spikes (second), WR Taylor Price (third), TE Aaron Hernandez (fourth), P Zoltan Mesko (fifth), G Ted Larsen (sixth), OT Thomas Welch (seventh), DE Brandon Deaderick (seventh), DT Kade Weston (seventh), QB Zac Robinson (seventh)

Analysis: This was a very good draft class for the Patriots. Many of these players are important contributors three years later and a big reason why New England remains on top of the AFC East and in Super Bowl contention. The Patriots have five starters from this class: McCourty, Gronkowski, Spikes, Hernandez and Mesko. Gronkowski is an elite tight end and Hernandez also is a top-10 player in the same position. New England also had a nice find in the seventh round with Deaderick, who is improving as a part-time pass rusher off the bench.

Walker's grade: A-
The AFC East blog continues its series this week on grading the 2010 draft classes.

Next we take a look at the Miami Dolphins.

2010 picks: DE Jared Odrick (first round), LB Koa Misi (second), G John Jerry (third), LB A.J. Edds (fourth), CB Nolan Carroll (fifth), S Reshad Jones (fifth), LB Chris McCoy (seventh), LB Austin Spitler (seventh)

Analysis: Miami didn’t have a star-studded draft class in 2010, but it was solid. The Dolphins got four starters out of this group with Odrick, Misi, Jerry and Jones. None of them are stars but all four contribute. Carroll also played a sizable role in Miami’s secondary last year, but that will probably change after the team made several additions at corner this offseason. Jones was the best value pick out of this group. He was taken in the fifth round and has the athleticism and potential to be one of the top safeties in the AFC. Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland gets a lot of heat in Miami. He didn't hit any home runs in this draft, but he hit a lot of doubles.

Walker’s grade: B-

Grading the 2010 draft: Jets

May, 8, 2013
The AFC East blog continues its series this week on grading the 2010 draft.

Next we take a look at the New York Jets

2010 picks: CB Kyle Wilson (first round), G Vladimir Ducasse (second), RB Joe McKnight (fourth), FB John Conner (fifth)

Analysis: The Jets and former general manager Mike Tannenbaum only had four picks in this draft. Wilson is a decent first-round selection. He showed he can be a starter for the first time last season. But the Jets still brought in competition with 2012 first-round pick Dee Milliner, who potentially could take Wilson’s job at some point in 2013. Ducasse is a huge bust. The Jets knew they were getting a raw prospect in the second round but could not get anything out of Ducasse. It's time for the Jets to give up on this project. McKnight has been inconsistent as a running back and kick returner. Conner was a hit in New York for a little more than two years with his “Terminator” nickname. But he was eventually released last season.

Walker's grade: D
Following the NFL draft last week, some in our community wanted post-draft grades from me. But I've said numerous times that it's not an exercise I prefer to do. It takes at least two or three years to accurately grade a draft class, in my opinion.

With that said, I’ve come up with a good middle ground this week. Let’s examine and grade the 2010 draft classes in the AFC East, starting Monday with the Buffalo Bills.

2010 draft picks: RB C.J. Spiller (first round), DT Torrell Troup (second), DE Alex Carrington (third), WR Marcus Easley (fourth), OT Ed Wang (fifth), LB Arthur Moats (sixth), LB Danny Batten (sixth), QB Levi Brown (seventh), G Kyle Calloway (seventh)

Analysis: Buffalo’s 2010 draft is filled mostly with disappointments. It’s one of the reasons the Bills continue to have the NFL’s longest non-playoff streak, which dates back to 1999. Spiller is the obvious gem of this draft class. The Bills have struggled to find ways to properly use the dynamic tailback until last season. Now, Spiller has a chance to be one of the top running backs in the NFL entering his fourth season. Troup and Carrington will be fighting for roster spots in training camp. There is a good chance at least one of these top draft picks won't make Buffalo's 53-man roster. The same goes for Easley, who hasn’t been able to stay healthy and will be fighting with Buffalo's younger receives to make the team. Moats was a decent value pick in the sixth round. He's recorded 87 career tackles and five sacks in three seasons. But if you take Spiller out of the equation, Buffalo's 2010 draft class mostly was a flop.

Walker's grade: D