2019 AFC East Draft Grades


Image result for 2019 nfl draft logo nashville

New England Patriots

Grade: B+

First-Round Pick: N’Keal Harry-Wide Receiver-Arizona State

Best Pick: Round Three-Chase Winovich-Outside Linebacker-Michigan

The defending Super Bowl Champions entered the 2019 National Football League Draft with a slew of holes on their roster, and they went to work in regards to filling them.

With the loss of tight end Chris Hogan to free agency, and tight end Rob Gronkowski to retirement, the New England Patriots needed to find more pass catching options for veteran quarterback Tom Brady to throw the football to, and they found one with the last pick of the first round.

Image result for n'keal harry arizona state

N’Keal Harry

At 6’2″, 228 lbs., former Arizona State Sun Devils wide receiver N’Keal Harry is a big, physical pass catcher who knows how to bully smaller defensive backs. Harry also has a burst of speed attached to him and after he gets accustomed to the nuances of the Patriots immense playbook, he’ll have to get on the same page with Brady.

The second round would see New England select former Vanderbilt Commodores cornerback JoeJuan Williams. At 6’3″, Williams is a big corner, but in typical Patriots fashion, he was brought into their fray due to his smarts and versatility. Even on a football scholarship you don’t attend Vanderbilt if you’re not a smart person which is something that Patriots head coach Bill Belichick looks for in his players. Also, Belichick loves to have versatile defenders and you can expect Williams to be playing multiple positions in the secondary for the Pats.

The third round would see the Pats select former Michigan Wolverines outside linebacker Chase Winovich who fits into the realm of versatility that they are always seeking. Winovich can be an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense, or a defensive end in a 4-3 set. At Michigan, Winovich played in a pro-style defense that will translate over to the National Football League, and here in 2019, Belichick will have a hard time keeping him off of the field.

Overall New England made nine selections this past weekend in the draft which included taking former Auburn Tigers quarterback Jarrett Stidham as he could be the potential heir apparent to Brady. Five of New England’s selections came on the last day of the draft as nobody in the NFL is better than Belichick when it comes to finding diamonds in the rough.

Buffalo Bills

Grade: A

First-Round Pick: Ed Oliver-Defensive Tackle-Houston

Best Pick:Round Two-Cody Ford-Offensive Tackle-Oklahoma

Making smart decisions and the Buffalo Bills have not been used in the same sentence as of late in regards to the National Football League Draft, but 2019 was much different. The Bills entered the draft with a plan in regards to getting better and tougher within the trenches which is exactly what they did.

Image result for ed oliver houston

Ed Oliver

Former Houston Cougars defensive tackle Ed Oliver had the potential to be a top-five pick, but he slid to the Bills at ninth overall due to the fact that some teams who were picking ahead of Buffalo made some questionable choices on Thursday night. At Houston, Oliver was a three-time All-American, and he entered the draft as arguably the best defensive player available. Oliver has tremendous ability in regards to penetrating through an offensive line as he consistently commands a double team. And if teams will double team Oliver, it opens up his teammates on defense to make plays.

The second round would see Buffalo selected former Oklahoma Sooners offensive tackle Cody Ford who was a steal where he was drafted due to the fact that he was a first-round talent. Ford falls into that category of being a “road grader”, and he will bring a dose of nastiness to Western New York.

In the third round the Bills would select former Florida Atlantic Owls running back Devin Singletary who is an explosive ball carrier, but he comes to the NFL with plenty of tread on the tires. In three years at Florida Atlantic, Singletary carried the football more than 600 times as he was their feature back, and you have to wonder how much more that he will have in the tank .

In taking former Florida Gators outside linebacker Vosean Joseph in the fifth round, it falls into the category of being a “low risk, high reward” situation as he can be an impact player if he comes to play each game.

Overall six of the Bills eight selections this past weekend were on the offensive line, or the front seven of the defense as their head coach Sean McDermott is attempting to set the tone and make this team tougher heading into the 2019 season.

Miami Dolphins

Grade: B-

First-Round Pick: Christian Wilkins-Defensive Tackle-Clemson

Best Pick: Christian Wilkins

The Miami Dolphins entered the 2019 National Football League Draft in the very familiar position of starting over. Earlier this year Brian Flores became the Dolphins sixth different head coach this decade, and he has been hard at work to put his stamp on the beleaguered franchise.

Image result for christian wilkins clemson

Christian Wilkins

There was speculation that the Dolphins would look for a quarterback early in this year’s National Football League Draft, but they instead opted to go defense in the first round when they selected former Clemson Tigers defensive tackle Christian Wilkins. Wilkins was an All-American last year at Clemson, and at 6’3″, 315 lbs., he is a space eater on the defensive line as Flores is seeking to make this unit more athletic and tougher.

The remainder of the draft was pretty vanilla for the Dolphins, but there biggest move came when they were able to acquire quarterback Josh Rosen from the Arizona Cardinals. Rosen was a first-round pick last year by the Cards, but he came expendable in the desert when the team’s new head coach Kliff Kingsbury decided to take quarterback Kyler Murray first overall in this year’s draft. Rosen was a first-round pick last year, but in order for Miami to acquire him, it only cost them a second-round pick as he has the potential to be the Dolphins franchise quarterback for years to come.

The Dolphins feel that Wilkins and Rosen can be cornerstones for them as the process of attempting build something special is in full effect.

New York Jets

Grade: C

First-Round Pick: Quinnen Williams-Defensive Lineman-Alabama

Best Pick: Quinnen Williams

The New York Jets entered the 2019 National Football League Draft in the same position that they were last year as they were selecting third overall. But after the Jets found their franchise quarterback last year in Sam Darnold, this time around they went to beef up their defense.

Image result for quinnen williams alabamaThe Jets would former Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Quinnen Williams third overall as they are hopeful that his size, athleticism, and winning attitude will help improve a defense that was 25th in the National Football League in yards allowed last season. Due to a trade with the Indianapolis Colts to move up in the draft last year in order to select Darnold, the Jets lacked a second-round pick this year, but in the third round they would select former Florida Gators outside linebacker Jachai Polite. Polite could be a steal for the Jets as he is a play maker and disruptor, but the biggest thing for him at Florida was that he always did not play to his potential. But if new Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams can consistently keep a fire lit under Polite, he has the potential to have an impact for Gang Green in 2019.

The Jets were able to find potential impact players on defense in this draft, but they missed the boat in regards to not upgrading the skills positions on offense around Darnold.


About the Author:

Leave A Comment