Friday, April 26, 2013
AFC East Day 2 NFL draft preview
By James Walker
Let's update needs and prepare for Friday’s second and third rounds of the NFL draft in the AFC East.
Here is a preview for the division:
First-round pick: QB EJ Manuel, Florida State
Saturday’s picks: Second (No. 41 and No. 46), third (No. 78)
Remaining needs: LB, G, WR, CB, S
Analysis: The Bills made the most shocking pick of the first round by drafting Manuel at quarterback. It was a move that will be questioned for weeks and months to come. However, the Bills did make a wise decision to at least trade back in the first round from No. 8 to No. 16. Buffalo gained the St. Louis Rams’ second-round pick and swapped third rounders that will be used today. The Bills have a good chance to boost their new-look defense under Mike Pettine on Saturday. Keep an eye on players such as Florida International safety John Cyprien, LSU middle linebacker Kevin Minter or even (gasp!) Notre Dame middle linebacker Manti Te’o in the second round.
First-round pick: DE Dion Jordan, Oregon
Saturday’s picks: Second (No. 54), third (No. 77 and No. 82)
Remaining needs: LT, CB, G
Analysis: The Dolphins traded their highest second-round pick to move up in the first round. But Miami still has a second-round pick and two third-round picks to use tonight. Left tackle is still a huge need for the Dolphins. Miami will see if it can work something out with Kansas City for veteran Branden Albert. If not, the Dolphins could take a second-tier left tackle or address other needs such as cornerback, where Mississippi State’s Johnathan Banks and Boise State’s Jamar Taylor are both solid options.
New York Jets
First-round picks: CB Dee Milliner, Alabama; DT Sheldon Richardson, Missouri
Saturday’s picks: Second (No. 39), third (No. 72)
Remaining needs: TE, QB, WR, G, S
Analysis: The Jets are clearly going with the best available players on their board. Cornerback and defensive line were not major holes, but Milliner and Richardson are both good prospects that the Jets believe can make an impact. However, the issue is New York has yet to address most of its needs, particularly on offense. The Jets at some point will pick their quarterback of the future and will have a chance to do so Saturday. Keep an eye on quarterbacks Ryan Nassib of Syracuse, Geno Smith of West Virginia or Mike Glennon of NC State in the second round. The Jets also could target Oklahoma’s Landry Jones or Tennessee’s Tyler Bray if they wait until the third round. But I would be somewhat surprised if New York doesn't have a rookie quarterback by the end of the night, considering Mark Sanchez and David Garrard could both be gone in 2014.
New England Patriots
First-round pick: None
Saturday’s picks: Second (No. 52 and No. 59), third (No. 83 and No. 91)
Remaining needs: WR, CB, DE
Analysis: New England, as expected, traded out of the first round and gained four picks from the Minnesota Vikings. The Patriots have an extra second-, third-, fourth- and seventh-round selection as their disposal. The second round is deep and the Patriots should be able to land some quality talent. Keep an eye on the receiver position, where players like Tennessee’s Justin Hunter, USC’s Robert Woods, Cal’s Keenan Allen and Marshall’s Aaron Dobson are all still available. New England also could address the secondary with a cornerback like Blidi Wreh-Wilson of Connecticut or the pass-rush with SMU’s Margus Hunt.