I looked at each team’s IDP drafts and how it will affect the players already on the team. I’m not going to spend time discussing picks who likely won’t make the team or whose ceilings are to be a Special Team contributor. That usually means any EDGE drafted after R3 and any LB or Safety drafted after R4.
1.16 Tremaine Edmunds MIKE Virginia Tech
3.32 Harrison Phillips 4-3 DT Stanford
4.21 Taron Johnson CB Weber State
5.17 Siran Neal SS/SCB Jacksonville State
Edmunds likely got the best landing spot in the league. As a slightly developmental prospect, there were some landing spots he could’ve gone to where he would’ve ended up with training wheels for the first season or two. Buffalo is going to make him learn on the fly. Edmunds is locked in at the MIKE with little to no depth chart beneath him, and he’s got one of the friendliest stat crews in the league. I think they awarded him an assist for his hug with Goodell… Let’s take a look at recent LB production in Buffalo.
In 2015, Preston Brown at 3-4 ILB: 120 total tackles
In 2016, Preston at 3-4 ILB: 139 total tackles and Zach Brown at 3-4 ILB: 149 total tackles
In 2017, Preston at MIKE: 144 total tackles and Ramon Humber/Matt Milano at WILL: 138 total tackles
I know there’s some buzz around Phillips, but he has some depth chart issues. Kyle Williams likely has one year left before joining the AARP. Star Lotulelei signed a 5-year deal. Adolphus Washington was a R3 pick back in 2016. Phillips could start earning starters snaps next year, or he could still be behind Washington.
Johnson looks to be a slot CB, which will cap his upside. Neal could be interesting though. He’s a SS/SCB hybrid who could back up Micah Hyde, in what could be a productive role if Hyde missed time with injury.
1.11 Minkah Fitzpatrick S/SCB Alabama
3.09 Jerome Baker WILL? Ohio State
6.35 Cornell Armstrong DB Southern Miss
7.09 Quentin Poling 4-3 LB Ohio
It comes down to Minkah here. Given Minkah’s use at Alabama, coupled with his draft capital, they should find a way to keep him on the field for all 3-downs. He’s likely set to cover the nickel in sub packages. The question becomes, where will he play in base packages? They called him out as a Safety, so it’s unlikely they play him at outside CB. Reshad Jones and TJ McDonald both have untouchable contracts for at least a year or two. Maybe they plan on playing Big Nickel as their base, but then why draft an LB in R3?
Baker’s best position is WILL. His best-case scenario would be Kiko Alonso moving back to MIKE and red-shirt freshman Raekwon McMillan playing SAM and coming off the field in sub packages. Of course, that would mean taking their R2 pick off the field to make way for their R3 pick (that’s not likely). Baker’s next best case scenario would be a Kiko injury. Also, is there a prop bet I can throw down somewhere that Miami will draft an Ohio State LB next year?
There are no new additions to Miami’s d-line. Akeem Spence was added after the draft and should start next to R5 sophomore Davon Godchaux. Robert Quinn’s addition likely puts off R1 sophomore Charles Harris’s breakout. Of course, the chances of Quinn playing 16 are slightly better than the opportunities Ben Roethlisberger volunteering for Big Brother/Big Sister as a Big Brother.
New England Patriots
2.24 Duke Dawson CB Florida
5.06 Ja’whaun Bentley[profiler] LB Purdue
6.04 [profiler]Christian Sam LB Arizona State
7.25 Keion Crossen DB Western Carolina
Dawson profiles as a slot CB. Stephon Gilmore will be an every down CB. They brought on Jason McCourty, hoping the Wonder Twin powers activate. Eric Rowe has been an every down CB for them in the past. Cyrus Jones was drafted in R2 in 2016. He played 147 defensive snaps as a rookie before ending up on IR as a sophomore. That said, Jones was drafted to be a return specialist and not a slot CB.
People are going to get excited and draft Bentley and Sam. Please refer to my AFC North recap to get my thoughts on R5 LBs. R6 LBs are even worse. Dont’a Hightower won’t play 16 games, I would bet money on that. But they’ve still got Kyle Van Noy and Elandon Roberts. With the addition of Adrian Clayborn and a healthy Derek Rivers, coupled with a more seasoned Deatrich Wise, Van Noy will likely spend more time at LB this season.
New York Jets
3.08 Nathan Shepherd 3-4 IDL Fort Hays State
6.05 Parry Nickerson CB Tulane
6.06 Foley Fatuski 3-4 IDL Connecticut
It is a rough landing spot for Shepherd. However, he should see snaps. Leonard Williams is the only set piece of that D-line. They recently brought Henry Anderson over from Indy. They’ve still got Xavier Cooper who was a former R3 pick in Cleveland. Steve McLendon was the starting NT last year, even though there was speculation he could be released before the start of last year, seeing as he was one of only a few players on the roster who had been alive for three decades.
The complete lack of pass rush has to continue to be concerning. Their starting OLBs will be Jordan Jenkins and Lorenzo Mauldin who missed last year because of injury. But they didn’t address it in the draft.
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