An AFC Breakdown of the First Day of the Draft

NFL Draft Jets Football
AFC East:

Miami Dolphins:

25. Vontae Davis, CB, Illinois
44. Pat White, QB, West Virginia
-traded no. 56 for no. 61 and no. 165
61. Sean Smith, CB, Utah

Analysis: Clearly Bill Parcells and Tony Sparano were concerned with their secondary going into the draft. Davis was great value in at number 25, as some had him rated as the number one corner in the draft. Pat White gives them another tool for their Wildcat offense, while Sean Smith is very tall corner with receiver ball skills.

New England Patriots:

-traded no. 23 for no. 26 and no. 126
-traded no. 26 for no. 41, no. 73, no. 83
34. Patrick Chung, S, Oregon
40. Ron Brace, DT, Boston College
41. Darius Butler, CB, Connecticut
58. Sebastian Vollmer, OT, Houston
-traded no. 47, no. 124, and no. 199 for no. 40

Analysis: Belichek was up to his usual tricks, trading out of the first round to stock up on picks. The Patriots had four second round selections, and will have another four in the third round. Chung gives them a compliment to former first rounder Brandon Meriweather on the back end. Brace gives them a good nose tackle rotation, while Butler has been impressive in offseason workouts. Vollmer is a project who won’t see the field for a couple of years.

New York Jets:

-traded no. 17, no. 50, DE Kenyon Coleman, QB Brett Ratliff, S Abraham Elam for no. 5
5. Mark Sanchez, QB, USC

Analysis: The Jets wanted their franchise QB, and they paid a price to get him. Not only did they give up their first and second rounders, but also Coleman, who is a serviceable 3-4 DE, Ratliff, who has some starting potential, and Elam, who is a promising young safety. Sanchez will have a ton of pressure, but he should be used to it after playing under the spotlight at USC.

Buffalo Bills:

11. Aaron Maybin, DE, Penn St.
28. Eric Wood, C, Louisville
42. Jairus Byrd, CB, Oregon
51. Andy Levitre, OT, Oregon St.

Analysis: Before the draft even started, the Bills had been linked to Maybin, and they didn’t hesitate to get their card in when he was there at 11. Maybin should help out their brutal pass rush, although he is very raw. Byrd has great value at 42 and should help out in the secondary. Wood and Levitre are two lunch bucket offensive linemen who should help ease the loss of Jason Peters.

AFC South:

Indianapolis Colts:

27. Donald Brown, RB, UConn
56. Fili Moala, DT, USC
-traded no. 61, no. 165 for no. 56

Analysis: The Colts did a fantastic of feeling their needs, while getting value as well. Brown is a blue collar back who gives his all on every touch. He will help take some of the load off the shoulders of Joseph Addai, who was banged up last year. Moala fills a huge hole on the defensive line at tackle. He fits perfectly into the Colts system, and should help clog up the running lanes, while also rushing the passer.

Tennessee Titans:

30. Kenny Britt, WR, Rutgers
62. Sen’Derrick Marks, DT, Auburn

Analysis: Their were no surprises on draft day this year by Jeff Fisher and the Titans. Britt is a big play receiver who is great after the catch, and has the hands and size to go over the middle. Marks is obviously a response to losing Haynesworth, but those are huge shoes to fill, and although Marks will help, he is not the same type of impact player.

Houston Texans:

15. Brian Cushing, LB, USC
46. Connor Barwin, DE, Cincinnati

Analysis: The Texans filled a huge need at outside linebacker by taking Cushing. However, there are some questions as to whether he is an every down player. Barwin wowed scouts at the combine, and it is unsure as to where the Texans will play him. He has a ton of upside, but was projected more for the 3-4, and is capable at TE, DE, and OLB.

Jacksonville Jaguars:

8. Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia
39. Eben Britton, OT, Arizona

Analysis: Clearly the Jags wanted to make sure they wouldn’t have another situation like last year, where their entire offensive line gets hurt. With Monroe and Britton, as well as free agent signee Tra Thomas, they have a solid tackle core for both now and the future. Although wideout was a big need, they haven’t had luck with high draft picks at that position in the past so they obviously decided to go the safe route.

AFC North

Pittsburgh Steelers:

32. Evander “Ziggy” Hood, DT, Mizzou
-traded no. 64 to Broncos

Analysis: The Super Bowl champs were relatively quiet on day one, only drafting one player, Ziggy Hood. The Steelers are great at finding value on their board, and Hood is a steal at 32. Their defensive line is aging, and although it is unsure as to where Hood fits in, I’m sure he can find a spot somewhere.

Baltimore Ravens:

23. Michael Oher, OT, Ole Miss.
-traded no. 26, and no. 126 for no. 23
57. Paul Kruger, DE, Utah

Analysis: The Ravens paid a very little price to move up and take one of the draft’s top left tackle prospects. Although offensive line wasn’t a huge need for them, Oher gives them flexibility, and could be a potential steal here. Kruger isn’t a flashy player, but he is the type of guy who will do whatever it takes to get on the field and help his team, a definite character guy for the defense.

Cleveland Browns:

-traded no. 5 for (see New York Jets)
-traded no. 17 for no. 19, and no. 191
-traded no. 19 for no. 21, and no. 195
21. Alex Mack, C, Cal
36. Brian Robiskie, WR, Ohio St.
50. Mohamed Massaquoi, WR, Georgia

Analysis: Mangini did his best Belichek impression by moving all the way back to 21 and taking Alex Mack. He was the top center on most boards and replaces the aging Hank Fraley. The other two picks were wideouts, which may be a sign that the Browns aren’t happy with Edwards, and clearly Stallworth won’t be back anytime soon.

Cincinnati Bengals:

6. Andre Smith, OT, Alabama
38. Rey Maualuga, LB, USC

Analysis: This was an outstanding day one for the Bengals. First, they got their top rated tackle prospect in Andre Smith, and then they have Maualuga fall into their laps at 38. Smith should start right away at left tackle, while Maualuga could probably start right away at middle linebacker, forming a nice duo with fellow Trojan Keith Rivers.

AFC West:


San Diego Chargers:

16. Larry English, DE, Northern Illinois

Analysis: The Chargers only had the one pick on day one, and surprised some people by taking English. He will probably just spell Merriman and Phillips to begin with, and maybe play on third and longs. Solid insurance in case Merriman hasn’t fully healed from season ending surgery.

Denver Broncos:

12. Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia
18. Robert Ayers, DE, Tennessee
37. Alphonso Smith, CB, Wake Forest
-trade 2010 1st round pick for no. 37
48. Darcel McBath, S, Texas Tech
64. Richard Quinn, TE, North Carolina

Analysis: Josh McDaniels caused another stir by taking a running back with his first pick, even after signing Corell Buckhalter, LaMont Jordan, and J.J. Arrington to free agent contracts. The rest of the draft was defense, and you can’t argue with most of the selections, other than the fact that he gave up a future first rounder to move up in the second round. Ayers should fit in at DE, while Smith has everything except for prototypical size. McBath is a ballhawk in the secondary, and Quinn is a great blocker with receiving upside.

Oakland Raiders:

7. Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Maryland
47. Mike Mitchell, S, Ohio

Analysis: Al Davis is becoming increasingly predictable in his drafts. Basically, no matter what kind of production you had in college doesn’t matter, it’s all about measurables. Both of his picks were giant reaches, and only time will tell if they pay off. Heyward-Bey has a ton of potential, but does not have much college production to speak of, while Mitchell is a huge reach that could have been available way later.

Kansas City Chiefs:

3. Tyson Jackson, DE, LSU

Analysis: When analyzing the Chiefs draft, it is important to recognize that they basically got Matt Cassell and Mike Vrabel in the second round. As far as Jackson, he is a bit of a reach, but Pioli thinks that he is capable of being the Richard Seymour of his defense.


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