2014 NFL Draft Grades: AFC East

Buffalo Bills – Sammy Watkins: B+

This is a home run pick for the Buffalo Bills. Personally, I believe that Sammy Watkins is the best wide receiver in this year’s class. So, bravo to the Buffalo Bills for selecting him. The only problem that I have with this selection is the fact that they needed to trade up to be able to draft him. Buffalo gave up a first and fourth round pick in next year’s draft. Trading those draft picks for a player like Watkins is totally justifiable; however, that should be a move made if you believe that you are only a player or two away from contention, which the Bills are not. It’s still a very good pick for the Bills, don’t get me wrong. However, for a team that is building, shipping away first round draft picks might not be the best move.

Miami Dolphins – JuWuan James: C

The Miami Dolphins entered this year’s draft with their main priority being to fill out the holes on their offensive line. They we’re able to do so by drafting JuWuan James; however, you have to think the Dolphins could have done a little bit better. After the Dolphins selected James, no other team chose an offensive tackle. This clearly shows that teams did not value James that high. Now, I’m not sure if they tried, but Miami should have found a trade partner, moving back in the draft, while acquiring more picks. They need more help at the cornerback position, and with Darqueze Dennard being available, they could have improved their depth in the secondary. With Head Coach Joe Philbin fighting for his job and the possibility of first year General Manager Dennis Hickey potentially being one and done, JuWuan James better be a big time player for the Dolphins.

New England Patriots – Dominique Easley – C+

This is a hit or miss pick by the New England Patriots. Normally, they are also active on the first day of the draft, either moving up or down the draft boards. We’re not used to seeing them actually making a pick where they are supposed to. With that being said, Dominique Easley has the potential to be a really good player for the Patriots. At the University of Florida, Easley was able to often showcase his talent; however, he was often held back due to injury. At Florida, he suffered from two separate knee injuries. The best thing for Easley is the fact that he’ll be able to be a rotational guy. He is not going to be pressured to come in and start immediately. If he can learn that Patriot way and stay healthy, this could be a great pick for New England. This is definitely a bit of a risk pick, but ultimately, I think this is a really good fit for both teams.

New York Jets – Calvin Pryor: A-

Bravo to the New York Jets; this is an excellent first round selection. Calvin Pryor is could potentially be the New York Jets safety of the future. During the offseason, the New York Jets made it clear that their main priority was to rebuild their offense. They went out and signed Michael Vick, Eric Decker, Chris Johnson and Jacoby Ford. Clearly, they are confident in their offensive acquisitions. With the recent success of the Baltimore Ravens, San Francisco 49′ers and Seattle Seahawks, I think it is clear that defense is the way to win championships in this league. Drafting Pryor helps New York with rounding out their defensive unit. Calvin Pryor is a big hitter and is extremely athletic. He has tremendous upside and with Rex Ryan being a defensive minded coach, Pryor can quickly develop into one of the top safeties in the league. The pick also brings stability to a secondary that struggled at times last season.

Tags: 2014 NFL Draft 2014 NFL Draft Grades Buffalo Bills Calvin Pryor Dominique Easley JuWuan James Miami Dolphins New England Patriots New York Jets NFL Draft Sammy Watkins

  • Matthew Mason

    I beg to differ on your analysis of the Dolphins pick. James doesn’t have to be a bigtime player for Miami, only a solid RT for 5-7 years. Yes, Miami could have traded down, but what if James was the OT highest rated at that point on their board? So, they trade down a few slots, get a 3rd or 4th and potentially lose the guy they have rated where they are??? James might have been taken higher, but OT are over valued now in the NFL, so most OT will be taken higher than expected. Last year they made the mistake by going for best player on the board, and left their OL open to almost destroy Tannehill. Unless James is a complete bust, he doesn’t need to be great, just solid.

    • David Thompson

      Yeah he’s way off base there. They would have been idiots to take a CB for depth in the 1st, (how many times people the 1st isn’t for depth) Grimes, 2 high 2013 draft picks, Courtland Finnegan at CB. Literally not even a warm body at RT. I mean yeah you don’t want to have to draft for need but when things are 58 sacks bad its not about what you WANT to do.