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Friday, 27 March 2015

First-Round Pick Analysis By Division: AFC East

Buffalo Bills:

The Bills do not have a first-round pick this year due to trading up for Sammy Watkins in the 2014 draft, but if they feel strongly enough about a prospect they can trade up into the bottom of the first. They might trade up for are Marcus Mariota if he falls or an inside linebacker. If they want to trade up they would have to talk to the Broncos, as the Colts, Packers, and Saints all have holes at inside linebacker, among other needs, while the Patriots will likely not make an early draft trade to a divisional rival.

Top Three Prospects:

1.) Marcus Mariota - QB   Oregon

2.) Eric Kendricks - ILB   UCLA

3.) Stephone Anthony - ILB   Clemson

Miami Dolphins:

At the fourteenth spot, the Dolphins are in a troublesome position in the first round. Their biggest needs are at receiver, guard, and defensive back. The Rams, Vikings, and Browns all have holes at wideout, with the Raiders expected to pick one up in the top five, so there is a possibility that all of the three top receivers, Amari Cooper, Kevin White, and DeVante Parker, are not available when the Dolphins are on the clock. The Rams and Vikings though, both have holes in their interior line too so guys like La'el Collins and Brandon Scherff can go instead of the aforementioned receivers. However, if those teams opt to pick a receiver, the Dolphins would be more than happy to pick up Collins or Scherff. As for defensive back, they will likely take a long look at Trae Waynes, but as the top-ranked corner in the draft, a team ahead of them may reach for him. Marcus Peters, Jalen Collins, and Kevin Johnson are all expected to go in the first round, but all three are expected by most to fall into the bottom half.

Top Three Prospects:

1.) Trae Waynes - CB   Michigan State

2.) DeVante Parker - WR   Louisville

3.) La'el Collins - OT   LSU

New England Patriots:

The Patriots sit at the bottom of the first round and are a potential candidate to trade down. Coming off of a Super Bowl win, one could say that they are the best team in the NFL, but they have lost some quality starters. With their recent departures, they have holes at defensive tackle and corner, but both positions have plenty of first-round talent. Jordan Phillips and Eddie Goldman are both possibilities, but it would be risky for the Patriots to sit back at 32 and wait for one of them. The Bengals, Lions, and Cardinals as well as some teams higher up in the draft need a big man up front and may select them ahead of the Patriots. Marcus Peters, Jalen Collins, and Kevin Johnson are all expected to fall into the bottom half of the first round, but how far is debatable. It is a position of need for many teams, so they Patriots may have to look at second-round/borderline first-round prospects Ronald Darby, P.J. Williams, and Byron Jones. Another position they may address with their first pick is wide receiver. They have a reliable slot receiver in Julian Edelman and a nice contributer in Brandon LaFell, but neither guy strikes fear in opposing corners. Breshad Perriman and Devin Funchess are some risers in the draft that the Patriots could justify selecting in the first.

Top Three Prospects:

1.) Jordan Phillips - NT   Oklahoma

2.) Eddie Goldman - DT   Florida State

3.) Devin Funchess - WR   Michigan

New York Jets:

The Jets are in a flexible spot, with the firepower to trade up as well as sit back and still get a quality player. Three of the teams ahead of them seemingly have their picks set--the Buccaneers with Winston, the Jaguars with an edge rusher, and the Raiders with a wide receiver--but there are question marks surrounding the Titans' and Redskins' plans. Either team could select Marcus Mariota where they stand while they both remain possible trade partners for teams looking to move up. If the Jets are sold on Mariota, it would be smart of them to trade with the Titans and secure their guy. However, if they look to address one of their other needs, with outside linebacker and guard coming to mind first, they will do fine just sitting. The Jets can happily pick up the second or third-ranked edge rusher while they could trade back a bit and pick up a starting-quality guard.

Top Three Prospects:

1.) Marcus Mariota - QB   Oregon

2.) Dante Fowler - OLB   Florida

3.) Vic Beasley - OLB   Clemson


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