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2012 YDKF Mock Draft – AFC East

Our GMs for the AFC East teams share the reasons behind their picks. Have a dispute? Take it up in the comments or join us in the YDKF Forums.

BUFFALO BILLS

Rd 1 – (10) – Riley Reiff – OT – Iowa Now, I don’t know if Reiff ends up being the Bills final pick.  They may go and break my heart and take Michael Floyd, which would be an amazing pick for them.  However, I do know that with Bell leaving for the Eagles on a 5 year deal, the Bills left tackle position is a gigantic black hole at the moment. I do have concerns if Reiff can be a long term fixture at left tackle, and I like him more as a surefire right tackle, but with the tackle depth being what it is in the 2012 NFL Draft, Reiff for a year or two will be the team’s left tackle. He is great at creating gaps and Fred Jackson and the QB duo of Smith/Fitzpatrick will love that, but he has some footwork issues as far as pass protection goes. It is certainly coachable, but it’ll take some time to get that down.

Reiff won’t be a standout of this draft class right away, but if he fixes the few chinks of his armor, he could be a really, really good tackle. The only way Reiff won’t succeed (outside of injuries of course) is if expectations are high enough that people want Reiff to be the savior at a tackle position that hasn’t seen its brighter days in a while.  After all, the lone decent one was Jason Peters, and even he had his flaws. He won’t be Joe Thomas, but he will be more than serviceable, even if that may not satisfy Bills fans after using the 10th overall pick on a player.

Rd 2 – (41) – Mohamed Sanu – WR – Rutgers  One of my favorite players in the draft, Sanu in his Rutgers stint was absolute money whenever Teal or Nova would turn to him. He’d sprinkle in that eye popping catch every now and then, but there wasn’t a bigger victim of the inconsistent Rutgers QB play than Mohamed Sanu. Sanu adds playmaking ability, steady run blocking on the outside, which is important for Bills, and reliability. Value wise, Sanu may be a mid to late 2nd rounder, so it might be a slight reach, but with the WRs like Alshon Jeffery and Rueben Randle going in early round 2, there was no shot Sanu was lasting for BUF in Round 3. The Bills WRs minus Stevie Johnson just aren’t starting caliber so Sanu, if he really wants it, can very well see himself matched up against Antonio Cromarie, Kyle Wilson, and the Jets in his return to the North Jersey.

It stinks to see Sanu go to neither the Jets nor Giants but to that “other” New York team, but it can be a golden opportunity for Sanu to be not only the No.2 WR but maybe even overtake Johnson as the go to guy late in a game, especially if “Why So Serious” continues to not be serious about late game heroics as far as catching goes.

Rd 3 – (71) – Brandon Boykin – CB – Georgia  Had it not been for the health concerns, Boykin would be a lock for round 2. Shoot, with Dennard’s Saturday night punch against a cop, I think Boykin may climb the mountain as far as draft position goes thanks. Regardless, though, if Boykin can simply overcome the health obstacles, then you’re looking at the opening weekend No.2 cornerback for the Bills when they visit the Jets (barring McGee staying healthy, of course).  He brings everything you can want out of a corner: great tackling, can get up to break up passes, pretty quick, although not the fastest.  He could be among the top 3 in terms of cornerbacks when it is all said and done. The Bills, who have the wonderful cornerback trio of Terrance McGee, who is always hurt, Drayton Florence, who is always out of position and is yellow flagged, and Leodis McKelvin, who is so inconsistent and has been burned one too many times, so an upgrade needs to happen early and often.

I heard the Bills really like Josh Robinson of UCF, so I was hoping I could bypass him in Round 2 and let him falll to Round 3, but that wasn’t meant to be. I wanted Dennard but I may have dodged a bullet there with the possible draft plunge he may be in for.

Rd 4 – (105) – Keenan Robinson – OLB – Texas The inside/middle linebackers of the Bills right now are: Kelvin Sheppard, Scott McKillop, Chris White. Yeah, that’s not going to work in the AFC East. Keenan Robinson brings much needed versatility as a guy who can work as an outside linebacker and as a guy who can give you help on the inside if needed. The Bills did sign Kirk Morrison, but Morrison’s been plagued by injuries throughout his NFL career and hasn’t stuck as a Jag or Raider. Add Nick Barnett, who’s had his fair share of IR appearances, and it seems to me that the Bills can use a linebacker or two in this draft. Robinson’s a very sound player who specializes in run stopping, something the Bills got gashed by and then some in 2011. Now, Robinson certainly comes with baggage, having been in the wrong place at the wrong time a few years back, but he’s learned and hopefully matured for the better.

Robinson could very well end up in late round 3 so getting him round 4 certainly works. With Merriman/Anderson/Mario Williams as the pass rushing trio, the Bills can afford to have a run stopping oriented linebacker like Keenan Robinson. Now, it’ll be ideal if Keenan adds a step or two on his pass rushing technique, but right now, Robinson can contribute on opposing RB screens and open tackling.

Rd 4 – (124) – James-Michael Johnson – ILB – Nevada James-Michael Johnson is a very underrated player. Nothing truly flashy, but he’s a guy who will be right there in every tackle. Doesn’t shy from the big hits but is more of a technically sound inside linebacker, which is what Buffalo can use. Since Paul Posluszny bolted for the Jags and Kawika Mitchell never played the same way he did as a member of the Giants, the Bills have been looking for inside linebacker help. They took Kelvin Sheppard in round 3 last year, which I think was a good move as I like what Sheppard can bring to the table moving forward. However, make no mistake: the Bills need another ILB if Dave Wannstedt shakes it up and runs 3-4 schemes on defense.

Much like with the Keenan Robinson pick, both Robinson and Johnson will bring depth to the ILB group which can really use it. Both guys will be fighting with one another all training camp long to see who starts over who, and the other will spot in for both Sheppard and whoever wins this battle. Nothing like competition, as they say. I don’t think Wannstedt will stick with a 4-3 all the time, as a lot of the players on defense were 3-4 fixtures.

Rd 5 – (144) – Tom Compton – OT – South Dakota Compton’s your typical project offensive tackle. Every draft has a few of them. Some of them pan out, some of them amount to nothing. I do like Compton’s ability moving forward as a right tackle in this league and think he at the very least adds depth to this position for the Bills. Now, I’d have Compton primarily as a backup to learn while observing, but I think he can be alright if called upon in a game. He’ll have moments of getting absolutely blown up and he will have moments of brilliance as a rookie. Its more ideal for Compton to learn behind Reiff and Chris Hairston, but if raised up right, Compton could be a really solid right tackle for a while.

Rd 5 – (147) – Russell Wilson – QB – Wisconsin I passed on Nick Foles for Wilson just because I think Wilson will be such a great fit in a spread offense and would be an ideal passer for Chan Gailey. Wilson’s doubters have brought up his height as a problem, but considering he has thrown behind the behemoth O-Line that the Badgers had, I don’t think the problem will be field vision. Sure, big DE/DTs will bat his passes up, but what’s neat about Wilson is that he’s the most athletically gifted QB in this draft class. A former baseball player, Wilson can make stuff happen while on his feet and can scramble to negate the height issues and basically improvise until a target gets open. Make no mistake about it, Wilson will need quite a bit of seasoning….and it’s why he will be the Bills No.3 QB behind Ryan Fitzpatrick and Tyler Thigpen(Maybe even behind Brad Smith on wildcat-esque plays). However, dating back to his time as a Wolf Pack, there was no question about the intangible and playmaking ability that Russell carries. Wilson should go around round 5, so it’s fine from a value perspective in my opinion.

Rd 6 – (178) – DeAngelo Peterson – TE – LSU I was debating with myself if I should have gone with a tight end earlier, but I ended up grabbing one in round 6. I was hoping Michael Egnew could fall to round 5.  Since he didn’t, I just held off on the TEs in round 5. I was considering Peterson in round 5 with one of the two picks, so I was more than happy when he fell in round 6. He may not have the highest potential compared to some other TEs, but he was a steady 4 year player in LSU, blocked against some explosive pass rushers in the SEC and when actually used on offense (almost never, thanks Jordan Jefferson), he contributed. Peterson will be fighting to be Scott Chandler’s backup pretty much, who the Bills are high on after his breakout season last year. He’s a very athletic player, and I think he can make the Bills even if he may be redshirted early…but just like LSU’s Randle, Peterson again got limited due to the poor QB play.

Rd 7 – (217) – Mike Harris – CB – Florida State The reason I took Harris here is to give the Bills some insurance if Boykin’s injuries begin to flare up in his rookie year. Mike Harris is what he will be, a guy who probably has maxed out in his potential but a guy who can be an option as a 3rd/4th CB for the Bills on opening weekend. Harris has always been reliable for the Noles throughout his days and he really impressed me against Michael Floyd in the Champs Sports Bowl. He may very well go undrafted but I think he’s worth a round 7 flier just because he’s a 4 year starter and has experience on his hands. If Harris is lucky, he could be a similar story to Jacob Lacey(Of the Lions and formerly of the Colts).

Rd 7 – (251) – Markus Kuhn -DT – North Carolina State  Kyle Williams just came off the IR last season and you can never have enough of a big guy. Regardless, whoever was picked here was going to be a project. I don’t know if Kuhn can make it in a 3-4, but he has a high motor and that should at the very least give him a puncher’s chance on making the team. Can never get enough of those constant hustling players on a football team, that’s for sure.

MIAMI DOLPHINS

Rd 1 – (8) – Quinton Coples – Defensive End – University of North Carolina There has been a lot of talk about Ryan Tannehill for Miami, but thankfully Cleveland rendered that moot in this draft because I wasn’t going to take him anyway. Miami needs a blue chip franchise QB; with the way that the Bills have strengthened their defense I don’t see Miami contending this season with Tannehill, so the strategy is to put in place all the tools necessary for a genuinely elite QB to come in next year, either through FA or a very well loaded draft at the position. Miami has a lot of other needs, and we can fill most of them if we make do with Garrard and Moore for a year.

The Dolphins will use a lot more four man fronts under new DC Kevin Coyle, and this presents them with a huge glaring need for a pass rush threat from their defensive ends – Jared Odrick is an effective player, but Langford and McDaniel are not going to keep QBs awake at night. Quinton Coples might though, just as long as he is willing to learn and put in the work. There are concerns over his commitment after he was accused of taking it easy in some games during his senior season to avoid injury, but his talent and athletic abilities give him the opportunity to become an elite defensive player in the NFL.

Rd 2 – (42) – Juron Criner – Wide Receiver – Arizona Miami’s receiving corps currently consists of Davone Bess. They need weapons, lots of them, and luckily for Miami, this draft is full of receivers. First on the list for new OC Mike Sherman is a replacement for Brandon Marshall. He’s very quick over the first five yards, he uses his size to his advantage and he catches the ball well. Lack of outright speed is more than compensated for by his impressive highlight reel that demonstrates an ability to bring down balls that he has no right to get to – something that will be of huge value to a team with a non-elite or rookie quarterback. Would have gone higher were it not for lingering medical concerns, but as they aren’t related to moving parts (he had complications from an appendectomy) I’m placing my faith in the team doctors.

Rd 3 – (72) – Audie Cole – Inside Linebacker – North Carolina State Cole is a smart, tough linebacker who has the versatility to play three downs. He’s aware of where the ball is, can read the plays and is mobile enough to drop into coverage as necessary, which it is on a regular basis when you’re in a division with the New England tight ends.

Rd 3 – (73) – James Brown – Offensive Tackle – Troy Last season Miami’s QBs were sacked 52 times, good enough to be ranked 30th in the league. With the arrival of Super Mario in Buffalo and almost certainly an improved pass rush in East Rutherford, the Dolphins have to get better at keeping their QB clean and James Brown should be able to help with that by replacing the frankly atrocious Marc Colombo, who just signed a one day contract to retire with Dallas. Brown’s versatility along the line makes him a good addition in this round.

Rd 4 – (103) – Brock Osweiler – Quarterback – Arizona State With Garrard and Moore we know what we’re getting, and more importantly we know what we aren’t getting. Garrard’s recent injury history and his style of play make him way too big a risk to count on for 16 games, and Moore did better than expected last year but is equally a risk. Both are out of contract after this season and Miami needs depth at the position; Osweiler is big value in the fourth round. His height (6’8″) gives him great field visibility, and as we see linemen getting better every year at getting their arms up at the LOS, Osweiler’s high release point makes him well suited to get past that. He isn’t the most mobile of quarterbacks, but he’s accurate and has a big arm. His success will depend upon the Dolphins providing a consistently solid pocket, so I’d expect him to have very limited time on the field this season barring significant injury or a complete failure by the more experienced tandem.

Rd 5 – (145) – Chris Rainey – Wide Receiver – Florida Local boy Rainey is the perfect player for a team in transition like Miami. Despite his diminutive size, Rainey is an incredibly fast (4.35 in his pro day) and nimble receiver who also represents a significant threat out of the backfield and is a very dangerous return threat on special teams.

Rd 6 – (196) – Lance Lewis – Wide Receiver – East Carolina Miami completes the overhaul of its receiving corps with the addition of Lewis. He’s a big, strong receiver who catches the ball well; he’ll need to learn how to make yards after the catch, but has potential as a slot receiver.

Rd 7 – (215) Derek Dennis – Offensive Guard – Temple Unlikely to be starting any time soon, but Dennis has a good size and build for the position and has shown himself to be effective in pass protection. He’ll need to become a better blocker if he’s to get a chance of starting, but he’s definitely a worthwhile project pick.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

Rd 1 (27) – Whitney Mercilus – DE/OLB – Illinois At this point in the offseason, the Patriots are without Mark Anderson and Andre Carter, who were responsible for 20 of the team’s 32 sacks. Last year, Mercilus showed a knack for getting to the QB and led the NCAA in sacks. With New England still deciding between running a 3-4 and a 4-3, the Illinois star should be able to help the Patriots get to the QB. If Mercilus lives up to his potential, Bill Belichick could be getting the top pass rusher in this year’s draft.

Rd 1 (31) – Devon Still – DE/DT – Penn State As mentioned in the other Patriots’ pick, versatility is a major plus when it comes to the front seven for New England. Devon Still can play inside in a 4-3 or as a DE in the 3-4. Last year, the Patriots brought in aging veterans Albert Haynesworth and Shaun Ellis to try to fix their troubles in the trenches. It is time for New England to bring in some younger players to fill the gaps up front, not more 30 year olds like Jonathan Fanene. Devon Still will fill in holes and help the Patriots’ pass rush early on his career.

Rd 2 (48) – Trumaine Johnson – CB/S – Montana Everyone who watched the Patriots last year knows that they need help defending against the pass. New England desperately needs a ball hawk they can pair with Patrick Chung on their back line. Although Johnson played CB at Montana, he projects much better as a safety in the NFL. With 14 picks at Montana with QBs trying to avoid him, Johnson should look forward to playing centerfield in the NFL and becoming a playmaker.

Rd 2 (62) – Zach Brown – OLB – North Carolina Falling this far in the draft, Brown looks to be one of the bigger steals in the draft. Brown is an athletic freak who could blossom in the NFL under Bill Belichick. Like many Tar Heels, the linebacker is a pretty raw product, but New England should find a way to use him in their system. His athleticism will not go to waste.

Rd 3 (93) – Casey Hayward – CB – Vanderbilt Hayward is an underrated prospect coming out of Vanderbilt. Although he is just 5’11, Hayward has the ability to play much bigger than that, as he exhibited against SC’s Alshon Jeffrey. It will take more than one player to fix New England’s 31st ranked pass defense. With both Johnson and Hayward, teams will have a much harder time passing against the Pats.

Rd 4 (126) – Tommy Streeter – WR – Miami Finally the Patriots make a selection on the offensive ball. Despite currently having double digit receivers on their roster, Streeter’s potential is too much to pass up. Streeter has the speed/height combination that you cannot teach. In addition to Brandon Lloyd, Streeter will help New England stretch the field like they couldn’t last year. Like Brown, if he plays to his potential he will be scary.

NEW YORK JETS

Rd 1 – (16) – Cordy Glenn – OL – Georgia With the way the board fell, Cordy Glenn was an easy pick for me to make for the Jets at #16. Mark Sanchez, in his own words, “took a beating last season,” and that has to change for the franchise QB. The 6’5, 345 pound Glenn is a freakish athlete and can play guard or tackle. Newly hired offensive coordinator Tony Sparano specializes in the offensive line, and would love to be able to coach up a talent like Glenn. A mauling run-blocker, Glenn fits perfectly into Rex Ryan’s “ground and pound” philosophy. Whether Glenn replaces Brandon Moore or Matt Slauson at G with their injury concerns, or the struggling Wayne Hunter at RT, he should be an immediate upgrade on the line and a step towards the right direction in restoring the Jet offensive line.

Rd 2 – (47) – Vinny Curry – DE/OLB – Marshall Everyone knows about the Jets’ concerns at OLB.  Even after the re-signing of Bryan Thomas and emergence of Aaron Maybin, new OLB talent is needed. Vinny Curry may have been the BPA at 47 anyway, and should provide an immediate pass rushing presence. Some question his ability to stand up in a 3-4, but Ryan would love the opportunity to coach him up. He possesses the size Ryan covets in an OLB (6’4, 260), and is certainly athletic enough to operate in space

Rd 3 – (77) – George Iloka -S- Boise State Another glaring hole for this defense is safety. Eric Smith shouldn’t be a starter and LaRon Landry has injury concerns. George Iloka is a tall, rangy free safety who can hopefully solve the Jets troubles in covering tight ends. Iloka demonstrated his athleticism, instincts, and intelligence during a great senior bowl. He is a complete safety who wraps up on tackles and uses his length well in coverage.

Rd 5 – (154) – DeVier Posey – WR – Ohio State I finally had a chance to draft a WR with great value in the 5th round in DeVier Posey. He has great size and speed at 6’2 with a 4.5 flat 40. Posey can be a deep threat, red zone target, great run blocker, and possession receiver all in one. His average stats don’t do him justice as he missed some time and played with the run first Terrelle Pryor. Posey has a legit shot at becoming a starting NFL #2 WR.

Rd 6 – (187) – Evan Rodriguez – TE – Temple  The Jets have shown a lot of interest in Temple’s Evan Rodriguez. Sparano covets athletic tight end prospects like Rodriguez, who can also operate as a fullback or H-back. His versatility gives him a chance at filling the Jets hole at #2 TE and makes Rodriguez well worth a shot in the 6th round.

Rd 6 – (202) – BJ Cunningham – WR – Michigan State  BJ Cunningham is extremely underrated and shouldn’t have been around at the bottom of the 6th. Sure he has small hands, but he simply produced at a ridiculous level throughout his entire college career as he became Michigan State’s all-time leader in receptions and yards.

Rd 6 – (203) – Tauren Poole – RB – Tennessee Tauren Poole demonstrated his talent with a breakout junior season. He wasn’t as productive his senior year, but that can be attributed to the entire Tennessee program’s struggles in 2011-12. Poole again is excellent value this late and can be thrown into the running back competition.

Rd 7 – (232) – Terrell Manning – LB – North Carolina State Terrell Manning could end up going in the 4th round, so picking him in the 7th was easy. Manning has great size to be a 3-4 ILB, and had a knack for making plays at NC State. He may be able to replace Bart Scott in the future, plus I wanted to grab a player who looks like he will kill your family and burn down your village (Google him).

Rd 7 – (242) – Jaye Howard – DL – Florida
Rd 7 – (244) – Terrence Frederick – CB – Texas A&M
Jaye Howard and Terrence Frederick are two players who produced at proven programs and who play positions where you can never have enough depth (DL and CB). In the 7th round, players like that are worth giving a shot at your roster.

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