2015 NFL Draft Review: AFC East

New York Jets The Jets had to be ecstatic when USC defensive tackle Leonard Williams fell to them. Many people, including myself, had Williams as the top player on their board. While the Jets are already strong across the defensive front, you can never have too many quality defensive linemen. As for the reported labrum injury, that is a concern for the medical staff. If the injury was severe enough, the medical staff would have red flagged the player and the Jets would have passed on him. Devin Smith is a quality vertical threat who plays faster than his 4.42 time. He is just beginning to come into his own and has great upside. Few have outside linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin’s competitive nature. He plays until the whistle every snap. He is also a top edge pass rusher with 16 sacks over the last two season. He still needs some work in pass coverage. There were four quarterbacks in this draft that I felt had a chance to come in and eventually be a quality NFL starter. Bryce Petty was one of the four. Coming from the Baylor offense, he is far from stepping on the field, but he has outstanding football character, and his desire to be great will take him where he wants to go. Jarvis Harrison could be a fifth round steal. He has tremendous talent but doesn’t always show a strong sense of urgency. He needs to improve in the compliance area. If he puts it all together, he can be a very good starting NFL guard. Deon Simon is a good fit as a nose tackle but still needs some developing. He may need to spend a year on the practice squad. Buffalo Bills After their move in the 2014 draft to move up in the first round to get Sammy Watkins, the Bills were without a first round pick. They have to feel fortunate that a player of corner Ron Darby’s talent level was there late in the second. Darby has very good cover skills and is better than average versus the run. He needs to improve his overall ball skills, having had only two career interceptions. He may be the fastest corner in this draft. Louisville’s John Miller is a tough, strong and physical interior offensive lineman. At 6’2, he may be best suited to play center. As a rookie, he will most likely be a guard/tackle swingman. To get a running back the caliber of Karlos Williams in the fifth round is a steal. He is big and physical with outstanding top end speed. Nick O’Leary has to be a “move” tight end. He isn’t as big or fast as you would like, but he has been a four year playmaker while at Florida Stare. Wide receiver Dezmin Lewis from Central Arkansas is still a bit raw, but he has the natural traits to eventually develop into a quality third or even second receiver in the league. Miami Dolphins Most analysts had Louisville wide receiver DeVante Parker ranked as the third best receiver in the draft. He is big and physical with excellent hands and run after skills. He should be able to come in and start right away and provide an upgrade to the Dolphins receiving corps. I felt Oklahoma’s Jordan Phillips was a late first round talent. By lining him up next to Ndamukong Suh, the Dolphins will be almost impossible to run against. Phillips also has some good inside pass rush talent. Arizona State guard Jamil Douglas is best inside but can also play tackle. He will be an eventual starter at guard but as a rookie will play as a guard/tackle swingman and dress on Sunday. In Memphis corner Bobby McClain, the Dolphins got a slot corner. He lacks the size teams want to play outside. He has the suddenness needed to play well over the slot. Most people has running back Jay Ajayi rated as a solid second round talent. He dropped to the fifth round because of an old ACL injury. If healthy, he will be a fifth round steal Cedric Thompson and Tony Lippett are both backup types who need to show they can be quality special teams' performers. New England Patriots Year after year, the Patriots and Bill Belichick are picking late in each round but they still find a way to get quality players. Such was the case with Texas defensive lineman Malcom Brown. He was a player that could have gone any time after about the 15th pick and to get him at 32 is a steal. He has outstanding versatility. I thought the Pats may have reached a little for Stanford safety Jordan Richards, but with all the success Belichick has had in the draft, who am I to argue with his pick? Oklahoma defensive end Geneo Grissom has the versatility to play both up and down and be productive from either spot. Arkansas defensive end Trey Flowers is similar to Grissom but just doesn’t have the athletic traits to play on his feet. He can become a very good edge pass rusher and has a great motor. Both Shaq Mason and Trae Jackson are big, tough, and physical interior offensive linemen. Some medical people questioned Jackson’s knee and that is why the Pats got him in the fourth. He was a second round talent. Arkansas tight end A.J. Derby fits in with the type of athletic tight ends New England has been successful with. Marshall corner Darryl Roberts is very raw but he has the natural athletic traits to eventually excel. He may need a year on the practice squad. Follow Greg on Twitter @greggabe

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