The 2021 NFL Draft ended this weekend after 7 eventful rounds full of surprise. There were reaches, like Florida WR Kadarius Toney going round 1, while other teams had very good drafts, including the Carolina Panthers. That’s for another day though; in this article we will recap the draft class from the AFC East.
- Round 1, pick 2: Zach Wilson, QB, BYU. The Jets found their QB of the future, and have done a great job building around him. Giving him Alijah Vera-Tucker, Michael Carter, Elijah Moore, along with Corey Davis, Keelan Cole, and Tevin Coleman in FA.
- Round 1: pick 14: Alijah Very Tucker, OL, USC. Amazing upside here. AVT gives the Jets starter quality play from day 1 at a position they desperately needed.
- Round 2, pick 34: Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss. Moore was regarded as a 1st round pick by many around the league, and had a fantastic season at Ole Miss, totaling 1,193 yards, and 9 TDs as a Junior. Moore, lined up alongside Corey Davis & Denzel Mims, will give most secondary’s nightmares for years.
- Round 4, pick 107: Michael Carter, RB, UNC. Carter should step in and give the Jets decent production year 1, likely splitting time with Tevin Coleman right away. Carter, totaling 1.2K yards, 9 rushing TDs, and 2 receiving TDs last year, most likely won’t see a lot of production right away, but should start to see more upside later into the season.
- Round 5, pick 146: Jamien Sherwood, S, Auburn. Sherwood, who played Safety in college, will play WLB for the Jets this year, acting as a Keanu Neal type of player for the Cowboys. Sherwood switching to LB gives him a great shot to play right away due to how thin they are at the position. Standing 6’2 220 lbs, Sherwood will provide them with good ST play if his number is called there.
- Round 5, pick 154: Michael Carter II, CB, Duke. The Jets drafting 2 Michael Carter’s made everyone laugh when the pick was announced. But other than the funny coincidence of names, Carter will provide the Jets with solid depth, switching from Safety to CB in the pros. NY views Carter as a nickel corner & will most likely start in the slot. In his final year, Carter II totaled, 41 tackles, 2 INTs, and 8 passes defended.
- Round 5, pick 175: Jason Pinnock, CB, Pitt. Pinnock will most likely take a year or two to develop on the practice squad, but will provide the Jets with aggressive play in the secondary. He also has great ball skills, totaling 6 INTs & 19 passes defended in his 4 year career at Pitt.
- Round 6, pick 186: Hamsah Nasirildeen, S, FSU. Nasirildeen, like Sherwood, will make the switch from S to WLB in the Jets system as they transfer from 3-4 to 4-3. Nasirildeen, touted as one of the best safeties available late in the draft, will give the Jets a versatile option on the new look defense. He totaled 233 tackles & 4 INTs in his career at FSU.
- Round 6, pick 200: Brandin Echols, DB, Kentucky. Jets keep adding to their secondary here with a speedy CB, running a 4.28 40 at his Pro Day. The Jets will most likely stash him on the practice squad right away & look for him to continue developing there. Until then, Echols will have a tough hill to climb in a crowded Jets secondary.
- Round 6: pick 207: Jonathan Marshall, DT, Arkansas. Marshall started 10 games for the Razorbacks last year, totaling career highs with 35 tackles, 6.5 TFLs, and 1 sack.
Round 1, pick 6: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama. Waddle may not have been their 1st choice at WR, but he will have a great impact on Miami’s offense. Waddle paired with Will Fuller, DeVante Parker, and Lynn Bowden will help a lot with Tua’s growth over the next few years. He will also help in more ways than just on offense. Waddle should take over the return duties on ST, and thrive in there too. In a limited amount of games due to injury, Waddle totaled 591 yards & 4 TDs last year.
Round 1, pick 18: Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami. This is a phonemail pick if Phillips can stay healthy this year. My only knock on Phillips was his injury concerns, suffering 2 concussions, a wrist injury, and ankle injuries over the course of his career, which forced him to medically retire. When healthy, I think Phillips is the most skilled pass rusher in this class, totaling 45 tackles, 15.5 TFLs, & 8 sacks last season.
Round 2, pick 36: Jevon Holland, S, Oregon. Holland will help out the Dolphins secondary very well, and should have an impact right away. He will match up well vs slot receivers, allowing a 53% completion percentage, 1 TD, & 3 INTs.
Round 2, pick 42: Liam Eichenberg, Ol, Notre Dame. Eichenberg provides the Dolphins with flexibility on the OL. With Robert Hunt likely moving inside, this will pave the way for Eichenberg to start at RT. Eichenberg is a big, physical OT, standing at 6’6 302 lbs, pass rushers will have a hard time getting past him.
Round 3, pick 81: Hunter Long, TE, Boston College. Long is an interesting pick to me since the Dolphins already have Mike Gesicki & Adam Shaheen. Nevertheless, the Dolphins are trying to give Tua as many weapons as they can find him, which is the smartest thing you can do for a young QB.
Round 7, pick 231: Larnel Coleman, OL, UMass. Talk about big Lineman. Larnel sits at 6’6 307 lbs. The AFCE’s motto this year was to find as many big lineman (offense & defense) as you can possibly find in 1 draft. Larnel will likely take a year to develop before he competes for the backup job.
Round 7, pick 244: Gerrid Doaks, RB, Cincinnati. The Dolphins finally added a RB, and it only took until the 7th round. Doaks totaled 673 yards & 7 TDs in his final year. If they can develop him, he could be a solid RB2.
The Bills figured they need to upgrade their pass rush this off-season if they want to beat the Chiefs, and it makes sense too. Watching the Buccaneers pass rush keep Mahomes unsteady is the only way for anybody to stop him.
Round 1, pick 30: Gregory Rousseau, DE, Miami. Rousseau is a complete Bills pick. A raw, undeveloped player with tons of upside. Standing a 6’7 265 pounds, Rousseau will likely start out inside rushing against guards, where he thrived in college. In 2019, Rousseau totaled 15.5 sacks.
Round 2, pick 61: Carlos Basham, DE, WF. The Bills completely revamped their DE room this year, adding 2 in the draft, along with Efe Obada in FA. They’re clearly looking to the future, pairing Rousseau & Basham with AJ Epenesa. Basham was considered a 1st round pick to the Bills in a few mock drafts, and PFF rated him as the 42nd best player in the class. His best season came in 2019 where he totaled 57 tackles, 10 sacks, and 18 TFLs.
Round 3, pick 93: Spencer Brown, OT, Northern Iowa. The Bills continue to look to the future, drafting the possible replacement of Darryl Williams, who has an out in his contract in 2022. Brown will likely take this year to develop before Buffalo slides him into RT. Brown celebrated being drafted in the most Buffalo way possible, by jumping into a table.
Round 5, pick 161: Tommy Doyle, OT, Miami (OH). The Bills continue their run on maulers with Tommy Doyle. Doyle gives them competition at tackle, and will get the chance to beat Bobby Hart & Ryan Bates for the backup role.
Round 6, pick 203: Marquez Stevenson, WR, Houston. Stevenson gives the Bills some speed at the receiver position, running a 4.45 40. Stevenson will compete with Isaiah McKenzie for the returner role to start, and could slide into the offense once and a while for jet sweeps. Stevenson totaled 889 yards & 3 TDs as a returner in college
Round 6, pick 212, Damar Hamlin, S, Pitt. Buffalo has been looking for some Safety depth with the loss of Dean Marlowe, and they found some competition with Damar Hamlin. Hamlin was named All-ACC 2nd team last season where he totaled 7 PBUs and 2 INTs.
Round 6, pick 213: Rachad Wildgoose, CB, Wisconsin. The Bills add a little CB depth here with Rachad Wildgoose. Gildgoose, when developed, will likely turn into a solid CB3-4 with a nice contribution on ST. He will have a tough hill to climb with Dane Jackson, Cam Lewis, and Siran Neal at corner. Could be a nice ST stash.
Round 7, pick 236: Jack Anderson, IOL, Texas Tech. The Billsend the draft the same way they started it, drafting a mauler. Anderson started 38 games at Texas Tech, including 10 this year, all at RG. Anderson will fit better in passing downs than anything & will need time to develop his run blocking
New England Patriots
Round 1, pick 15: Mac Jones, QB, Alabama. The Patriots fall short of Justin Fields, however, they still land Mac Jones. New England drafts a 1st round QB for the 1st time since 1993 (Drew Bledsoe) as they rebuild from losing Tom Brady. New England set up their starter this year with an improved offense, signing Kendrick Bourne, Nelson Agholor, Hunter Henry, and Jonnu Smith. Mac should win the starting job from Cam Newton, and hope to get the Patriots back to their dynasty.
Round 2, pick 38: Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama. Barmore was a surprising fall out of round 1, so the Patriots got a nice pick here. Losing Adam Butler to Miami left a hole to fill at DT. Barmore will step in and provide them with quality play next to Matt Judon & Lawrence Guy.
Round 3: pick 96: Ronnie Perkins, EDGE, Oklahoma. Perkins is a nice developmental pick for the Patriots, and will take over for Henry Anderson soon (Better hope it’s right away). Perkins totaled 23 tackles & 5.5 sacks last season.
Round 4, pick 120: Rhamondre Stevenson, RB, Oklahoma. An interesting pick for New England, given they already have a deep RB room. Stevenson will battle with Damien Harris, Sony Michel, James White, along with others for a spot on the roster. He totaled 665 yards & 7 TDs last season.
Round 5, pick 177: Cameron McGrone, LB, Michigan. The Patriots continue to add to an already deep LB room, so a spot on the PS for a year won’t be a bad thing for McGrone. As a redshirt freshman in 20219, he totaled 66 tackles & 4 sacks as a starter.
Round 6, pick 188: Joshua Bledsoe, S, Missouri. Much like McGrone, Bledsoe will have an uphill battle to climb with Jalen Mills, Kyle Duggar, Adrian Phillips, and more at the position. The Patriots could look to stash him on the PS and become a productive depth player in future years.
Round 6, pick 197: William Sherman, OT, Colorado. Sherman, a 3 year starter, is much more suited to play RT, where he ended his collegiate career at, than where he started at LT. He will be a project backup in the league, needing to work on his balance at the point of attack.
Round 7, pick 242: Tre Nixon, WR, UCF. The future WR1! Just kidding Patriots fans. In 2019 behind Gabe Davis, Nixon shined, totaling 830 yards & 7 TDs. He looked promising & was on his way too successful 2020 season before the season got delayed & he broke his collarbone. If he can develop under the right coaching, he could be a good rotational player in New England.