Draft Grades  

 

AFC East draft grades: Patriots fortify D; Jets gamble on athletes

NFL.com analysts Bucky Brooks and Chad Reuter are handing out grades for every team following the 2012 NFL Draft. Click the team name to see each team's entire class.

Buffalo Bills: B-

Draft Grades & Team Holes
NFL.com analysts Bucky Brooks and Chad Reuter graded the draft classes for each team from the 2012 NFL Draft, and analyst Elliot Harrison addressed what holes remain.

NFC East: 2012 Draft Grades | Remaining Holes
AFC East: 2012 Draft Grades | Remaining Holes
NFC North: 2012 Draft Grades | Remaining Holes
AFC North: 2012 Draft Grades | Remaining Holes
NFC South: 2012 Draft Grades | Remaining Holes
AFC South: 2012 Draft Grades | Remaining Holes
NFC West: 2012 Draft Grades | Remaining Holes
AFC West: 2012 Draft Grades | Remaining Holes

Buddy Nix has done a good job of rebuilding the roster in Buffalo this offseason. Some solid additions in this draft class should put the Bills in playoff contention. South Carolina CB Stephon Gilmore gives the team another cover corner to match up with the wide-open offenses in the AFC. Cordy Glenn and Zebrie Sanders could solidify the Bills' offensive line with their size and versatility.

Best pick: Cordy Glenn, OT/OG, Georgia (Round 2, 41st overall pick).
The mammoth lineman (6-foot-5, 345 pounds) displayed outstanding versatility during his career at Georgia. He can play guard or tackle (most likely on the right side) at the NFL level.

Questionable pick: T.J. Graham, WR, North Carolina State (Round 3, 69).
Graham is a former track star who clocked an official 40 time of 4.41 at the NFL Scouting Combine. Despite this blazing speed, Graham has limited football skills.

Sleeper pick: Ron Brooks, CB, LSU (Round 4, 124).
Overshadowed by Morris Claiborne and Tyrann Mathieu at LSU, Brooks projects as a nickel corner with tremendous speed and quickness.

Miami Dolphins: B

The Dolphins' draft will be defined by the performance of quarterback Ryan Tannehill, but Jeff Ireland deserves kudos for putting together an impressive haul. Jonathan Martin and Lamar Miller were regarded by many as first-round talents, and they should provide key contributions in their rookie seasons. However, Miami failed to land a No. 1 receiver in the draft, and the lack of a proven threat in the passing game limits their offensive potency.

Best pick: Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford (Round 2, 42).
The Dolphins did very well in landing an all-star-caliber edge blocker in the second round. Martin should instantly upgrade the offensive line as a starting right tackle.

Questionable pick: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M (Round 1, 8).
How long will it take Tannehill to develop into a productive NFL starter? That answer could determine the fate of Ireland and others in Miami.

Sleeper pick: Lamar Miller, RB, Miami (Round 4, 97).
Adding a dynamic runner with home-run speed and elite quickness will alleviate some of the pressure on Reggie Bush to carry the offense.

New England Patriots: A

Brooks: Who struck draft gold?
Bucky Brooks takes a look at which teams hit it big in the draft and which should be hoping they didn't strike out. More ...

Bill Belichick cleverly maneuvered around the draft board to address the Patriots' suspect defense. He nabbed a pair of first-round difference makers in Chandler Jones and Dont'a Hightower, and found a few potential sleepers in Alfonzo Dennard and Jake Bequette.

Best pick: Dont'a Hightower, LB, Alabama (Round 1, 25).
Hightower is a productive player capable of filling a variety of roles in the Patriots' hybrid defense.

Questionable pick: Tavon Wilson, DB, Illinois (Round 2, 48).
Wilson is not a household name and his second-round selection stunned many observers, but his versatility could prove invaluable in the back end.

Sleeper pick: Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska (Round 7, 224).
Dennard's draft stock fell dramatically after a poor performance at the Senior Bowl and questionable character decisions in recent weeks (including an arrest for allegedly assaulting a police officer just days before the draft). However, he has considerable talent and could carve out a big role as a nickel corner.

New York Jets: C+

Rex Ryan is gambling on raw talent over production with the Jets' 2012 draft class. Quinton Coples and Stephen Hill are certainly two of the most impressive athletes in this draft, but neither guy played at an exceptional level during his final college season and that should raise red flags in war rooms. Although it is very possible that both players turn it around as pros, it is more likely they continue to rank as underachievers, based on their history.

Best pick: Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina (Round 1, 16).
Yes, I expressed my concerns with this pick above, but Coples was considered by some to be a potential top-10 pick and could prove to be good value at No. 16. He's a naturally gifted defender capable of playing multiple spots along the frontline.

Questionable pick: Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech (Round 2, 43).
Hill's an enticing height/weight/speed prospect with upside, but he hasn't put it together yet.

Sleeper pick: Terrance Ganaway, RB, Baylor (Round 6, 202).
First-rounders Robert Griffin III and Kendall Wright weren't the only offensive weapons at Baylor. This hard-nosed runner has a nice combination of speed and power.

Follow Bucky Brooks on Twitter @BuckyBrooks

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