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2016 AFC Draft Grades

AFC East

Buffalo Bills: A

I thought the Bills did a very nice job addressing their issues on defense. Shaq Lawson will be a great 3-4 outside linebacker for coach Rex Ryan opposite of Jerry Hughes. They needed a leader at middle linebacker and got a great one in Reggie Ragland. They needed youth at 3-4 defensive end and got a player that could be developed in Adolphus Washington. Tyrod Taylor has only one year left on his contract and they needed a clear backup and possible future option other than E.J. Manuel. Jones will get a year of development and be a possible starting option for 2017 if Taylor heads elsewhere next season. LeSean McCoy and Karlos Williams had trouble staying healthy and adding Jonathan Williams gives them depth to make sure they can always have a run game. They hope Kolby Listenbee can be a deep threat opposite of Sammy Watkins. Adding Kevon Seymour gives them more depth if he can stay healthy.


Miami Dolphins

Grade: B

I have mixed feelings on the Dolphins draft. Tunsil could be a steal if he truly stays out of trouble and matures. They didn’t need to make the move to get Xavien Howard, he won’t be a great starter early in his career and needs more development. They needed more of a feature back and instead drafted an explosive player that is a third down back and change-of-pace back. Who is the main back for this team? I understand they need wide receiver depth, but could have waited until the last rounds or even went with some undrafted free agents. They could have gotten some younger pass rushers or defensive lineman instead of drafting wide receivers. Jordan Lucas will be a great special teams player. Doughty could be developed into the No. 2 quarterback for them after Matt Moore retires. Thomas Duarte may be more of a move tight end for this offense and could turn into a serious weapon in coach Adam Gase’s offense.


New England Patriots

Grade: B

The Patriots’ draft was a classic Bill Belichick-type draft. Cyrus Jones is a perfect cornerback for their defense as a slot corner and return man. Thuney is a solid offensive lineman who can play multiple positions. Jacoby Brissett will turn into a solid quarterback that could be Tom Brady’s successor. Vincent Valentine could be a solid nose guard for this team if he can stay healthy. Malcolm Mitchell is an outside receiver with solid big play potential that the Patriots need on the outside. Kamu Grugier-Hill is a great athlete, and is a New England-type project who will likely turn into a nickel package inside linebacker in coverage. Elandon Roberts will be more of a special teams contributor. Karras is a powerful guard that needs development. Devin Lucien is a Patriots-type of slot receiver that makes plays in the open field.


New York Jets

Grade: B+

I really like what the Jets did, except for one pick. Darron Lee gives them much more athleticism at the linebacking position and could be their future at the position. Jordan Jenkins is an underrated outside linebacker and will be a quality player for them for years. Burris is a solid cornerback project and could be a starter with some coaching sooner rather than later. Shell is a road-grader and fits nicely in the Jets offensive line scheme. Edwards is a much-needed punter they lacked last season. Charone Peake needs to work on his hands, something that can be developed, but is an issue. Hackenberg should not have been drafted in the second round. He has no mobility, accuracy issues and needs plenty of development. Now their quarterback depth chart of Hackenberg, Geno Smith and Bryce Petty. They need to re-sign Ryan Fitzpatrick and drop Geno Smith for this team to be successful in 2016. The issue that I have is that Bryce Petty and Hackenberg are big projects and likely not the answer for the future.

About Dan Collins

I have always been an avid football enthusiast. The NFL Draft and Fantasy Football is my passion in the realm of football. I write Mock Drafts and inform readers of what is happening during the critical stages of the NFL Draft. I spend way too much time working through Fantasy Football analysis, situations, and thoughts; it is an issue. Follow on Twitter @Dan_R_Collins for Football info and the occasional joke or wisecrack.