NFL Draft: AFC East team grades

NFL Draft: AFC East team grades
Reading Time: 4 minutes.

In the next in our series of team grades for the draft, we move over to the AFC East.

With divisional champs the Buffalo Bills liking to consolidate their position, the likes of the Dolphins and Patriots hoped to gain ground. Perennial underachievers, the New York Jets had the number 2 pick and were hoping to hit the reset button. So how did they all get on?


Buffalo Bills – A-
Image: The Game Haus
  • #30 –  Gregory Rousseau – EDGE – Miami
  • #61 – Carlos Basham Jr – EDGE – Wake Forest
  • #93 – Spencer Brown – OT – Northern Iowa
  • #161 – Tommy Doyle – OT – Miami (Ohio)
  • #203 – Marquez Stevenson – WR – Houston
  • #212 – Damar Hamlin – S – Pitt
  • #213 – Rachad Wildgoose – CB – Wisconsin
  • #236 – Jack Anderson – G – Texas Tech

The Buffalo Bills head into the 2021 season with one thing in mind – a Super Bowl run. Despite being mocked Running Backs and offensive linemen in the pre-draft process, General manager Brandon Beane made it quite clear that he felt their pass rush needed upgrading. Firstly they selected Gregory Rousseau (regular Podcast listeners will know my feelings on him!!) and followed this up with Boogie Basham. Add these to AJ Epenesa, Ed Oliverand Jerry Hughes, those young AFC East QBs better be well protected. Adding depth on the O-line is never a bad idea and the Bills did this with their next 2 picks. I would’ve liked a corner earlier in the earlier rounds but The Bills will hope the splendidly named Rachad Wildgoose will come good for them.

Miami Dolphins – A

Image: one foot

  • #6 – Jaylen Waddle – WR – Alabama
  • #18 – Jaelan Phillips – EDGE – Miami
  • #36 – Jevon Holland – S – Oregon
  • #42 – Liam Eichenberg – OT – Notre Dame 
  • #81 – Hunter Long – TE – Boston College 
  • #231 – Larnel Coleman – OT – UMass
  • #244 – Gerrid Doaks – RB – Cincinnati

Heading into the draft, I felt the Dolphins needed an explosive player maker, to improve the pash rush and strength the O-line. Well, they certainly did that. Jaylen Waddle is a ‘game changer’ at the wideout position, and if he is healthy, Jaelan Phillips could be the best defensive player to come out of this draft. Add in a rock-solid tackle in Eichenberg, Grier and Flores can be happy with their picks – landing 3 players in our Top 50, as well as JEvon Holland who was just outside this. All in all a good night in Miami.

New England Patriots – A+

Image: NFLmailbag

  • #15 – Mac Jones – QB – Alabama
  • #38 – Christian Barmore – DT – Alabama
  • #96 – Ronnie Perkins – DE – Oklahoma
  • #120 – Rhamondre Stevenson – RB – Oklahoma
  • #177 – Cameron McGrone– LB – Michigan
  • #188 – Joshua Bledsoe – S – Missouri
  • #197 – William Sherman – OT – Colorado
  • #242 – Tre Nixon – WR – UCF

I hate to say it, but for me The New England Patriots had one of the best drafts of any team. After their free agency spending spree, the one question that remained was finding a solution at the Quarterback position beyond Cam Newton. By allowing the draft to fall to them the Patriots were able to pick up National champion Mac Jones to attempt to fill this void. Adding Christian Barmore in round 2 was also a fine selection. Getting Ronnie Perkins, a guy I was much higher on than the rest of the Draft Talks guys, at 96 appears a steal. Cameron McGrone feels a very ‘Belichickian’ linebacker and Joshua Bledsoe nearly made my sleeper pick on defence. Could old Bill and the Patriots return to the top of the division?

New York Jets – A

Image: KSL sports
  • #2 – Zach Wilson – QB – BYU
  • #13 – Alijah Vera-Tucker – OL – USC
  • #34 – Elijah Moore – WR – Ole Miss
  • #107 – Michael Carter – RB – North Carolina 
  • #146 – Jamien Sherwood – S – Auburn
  • #154 – Michael Carter II – S – Duke
  • #175 – Jason Pinnock – CB – Pittsburgh 
  • #186 – Hamsah Nasirildeen – S – Florida State
  • #200 – Brandin Echols -CB – Kentucky
  • #207 – Jonathan Marshall – DT – Arkansas

The 2021 Draft was all about securing the Quarterback of the future, and putting him in a position to succeed, for the New York Jets. Selecting BYU’s Zach Wilson at number 2 was predicted many weeks ago, and the Jets stuck to their guns. Trading up for the top interior lineman in Alijah Vera-Tucker, snaring one of our favourite receivers in Elijah Moore in round too, and adding Michael Carter in round 4 were all sensible and good value moves. Hassan Nasirildeen was also a nice pick up on day 3. All in all, a very sound draft by the Jets GM Joe Douglas.

As always, let us know your thoughts on our team grades on Twitter @stuie17 and @NinetynineYards

Check out out other divisional team grades so far;

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