The 2015 NFL Draft has come and gone and now it’s time for mini-camps and offseason training to begin. This is part one of a divisional breakdown of each teams best draft pick for 2015. Some teams drafted what they needed, others drafted the best player available, and some teams took a gamble. Here’s a look on how the AFC East did in this year’s draft….
Best Draft Pick: Texas defensive tackle Malcolm Brown (1st round)
Why: The Patriots needed a replacement for Vince Wilfork after releasing the veteran after winning Super Bowl 49. At 6’2” and 319 pounds, Brown has the size to play nose tackle in the Patriots 3-4 base defense. Wilfork was released because the Patriots wanted to get younger at the nose tackle position, drafting Brown allows them to do just that.
Outlook: If Brown doesn’t start as a rookie, he will definitely be in the regular season rotation.
Best Draft Pick: Louisville offensive guard John Miller (3rd round)
Why: The Bills needed to improve on the interior of the offensive line, especially after acquiring LeSean McCoy to be their running back. McCoy loves to run between the tackles, plus Miller is expected to provide improved pass protection for whomever the Bills start at quarterback this season.
Outlook: Miller has an excellent chance to start as a rookie.
Best Draft Pick: Boise State running back Jay Ajayi (5th round)
Why: It’s been a while since the Dolphins have had an every down running back. This is exactly what they’re getting with Ajayi. He can run both between the tackles and sideline to sideline, he can also be a threat in the passing game when needed. His pass protection needs a little improvement, but overall he gives the Dolphins offense a boost.
Outlook: If Ajayi stays healthy he will make an immediate impact for Miami.
Best Draft Pick: This one is a tie between Ohio State wide receiver Devin Smith (2nd round), and Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty (4th round).
Why: Smith gives the Jets that extra receiver that they so desperately needed. His hands, speed, and route running ability will give this offense a huge assist. As for Petty; the Jets opted not to re-sign the aging Michael Vick, Ryan Fitzpatrick is a career journeyman who doesn’t stay in one place for too long, Matt Simms has yet to prove himself at the pro level, while Geno Smith has had a great deal of difficulty adjusting to the NFL.
Despite playing in a spread offense in college, Petty is considered a pocket passer. He’ll need to learn to take snaps from under center. But he arguably has the best arm strength among this year’s crop of rookie signal callers, and his spot-on accuracy earned him a ton of attention from scouts.
Outlook: Smith will be interjected into the offense right away. Expect an open competition for the starting quarterback job with Petty getting more than a fair chance to win the starting role.
In part two, I’ll review the NFC East. Follow me on Twitter!