Thursday, March 8, 2012
AFC East mock drafts
By James Walker
Lost in the mix of Peyton Manning being released Wednesday and potentially joining the AFC East were two new mock drafts from ESPN's Mel Kiper and Todd McShay .
Let’s take a look at both experts and see where they think teams in the division are leaning.
Pick: No. 8
Kiper: Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
McShay: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
Analysis: These are two names that constantly come up with the Dolphins, and I don't like either selection. Reiff is versatile but in Miami he would play right tackle. Is it smart to take a right tackle with the No. 8 overall pick? I would get a pass-rusher here who can make more of an impact or consider trading down. The AFC East blog listed some trade possibilities for Miami last week. Tannehill's stock is rising fast to the point where McShay thinks he's a top-eight pick. I don't think Tannehill is worth such a high a pick and don't see Miami taking him here, especially if the Dolphins land Manning or Matt Flynn in free agency.
Pick: No. 10
Kiper: Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina
McShay: Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama
Analysis: I like the thinking of both Kiper and McShay here. Buffalo should look for the best pass-rusher available with this pick. Quinton Coples would be ideal, but he's probably off the board at No. 10. Both Ingram and Upshaw have good motors and can get sacks. But Buffalo is switching to a 4-3 defense this year and would have to decide which player would be the better fit.
New York Jets
Pick: No. 16
Kiper: Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama
McShay: Mark Barron, S, Alabama
Analysis: I think the Jets would be fortunate if either player fell to No. 16. The Jets need a safety badly, and Barron is the best of the bunch. He has some health ailments he's working through during the pre-draft process and that could place Barron in the teens. But his game tape shows he's an aggressive player the Jets would like. Upshaw is probably a top-10 pick and I don't see him falling this far. But if he does, Upshaw could bring the aggressive pass rush the Jets need.
New England Patriots
Picks: No. 27 and 31
Kiper: Kendall Reyes, DT, Connecticut; Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama
McShay: Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois; Devon Still, DT, Penn State
Analysis: Defense, defense, defense, defense. This is perfect for New England. Although I think New England attacks its secondary -- either corner, safety, or both -- it's hard to argue with three defensive linemen. The Patriots need help at all three levels. New England, the reigning AFC champ, has the luxury of taking the best player on the board. As long as it helps the 31st-ranked defense, there shouldn't be any complaints. By the way, I would be surprised if Jenkins nearly falls out of the first round.