After two decades of looking up at the Patriots in the standings, the Bills and Dolphins hope to continue looking down on them in 2021.
The AFC East did a great job this weekend, and all received grades B- or better. The NFL Draft provides hope for fans and gives us a good outlook on what teams value, and where they think they are in the league hierarchy.
Here are my draft grades and odds for each team to win the division. All odds are courtesy of BetRivers:
AFC East 2021 Draft Grades
After watching Patrick Mahomes pick apart his defense in the AFC Championship, General Manager Brandon Beane decided to address the pass rush in the first two rounds. Gregory Rousseau and Carlos Basham Jr. will step right into their defensive line rotation.
The Bills roster is ready to win now, and they did a good job of not reaching for any players. Buffalo is the favorite to win the division at -150 according to BetRivers
The Dolphins were hoping Kyle Pitts or Ja’Marr Chase would fall to them. Ultimately the Falcons passed on a quarterback, which forced the Dolphins to select Jaylen Waddle. Even though I like Waddle as a player, taking him at six isn’t the best value.
Having said that, the Dolphins ended up with Jaylen Waddle, Jaelan Phillips, and Jevon Holland all in the first two rounds. That’s a great haul. Tua Tagavailoa has no excuses anymore. He must take a step forward this year. The Dolphins are +333 to win the division according to BetRivers.
New England Patriots
I had Mac Jones going to the Patriots in both of my mock drafts, however, I thought Bill Belichick would have had to trade up to get him. Staying at 15 and still getting him is a huge success. Bill traded up in the second round to acquire Christian Barmore, and took Ronnie Perkins in the third round.
I love what Belichick did this weekend. Whether you like what he did in free agency or not, this team is ready to compete. The Patriots are +333 to win the division according to BetRivers
New York Jets
There is new hope for Jets fans, as they selected quarterback Zach Wilson with the second overall pick. The Jets traded Sam Darnold after drafting him 3rd overall just three years ago. That shouldn’t exactly give Wilson the biggest boost of confidence.
What should make Wilson confident is what general manager Joe Douglas has surrounded him with. He traded up in the first round to select guard Alijah Vera-Tucker and took Elijah Moore 34th overall. The Jets are +2000 to win the division according to Sugarhouse NJ