In a draft heavy on pass rushers and offensive linemen, the news out of the AFC East in the 2013 NFL draft involves trades. So far, in the first nine picks, there has been three moves by AFC East teams.
First, the Miami Dolphins traded up to the third overall pick to grab outside linebacker/defensive end and pass-rush specialist Dion Jordan out of Oregon. The Duck pass rusher cost them some picks, but the Dolphins were desperate to improve their pass rush opposite defensive end Cameron Wake and the cost is hardly prohibitive if he plays like “the next Jason Taylor”, as he was billed as before the draft. The Dolphins fill a major need, especially playing New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady twice a season. The best way to beat the Patriots is to pressure with the front four, and the Dolphins have another piece now in their plan to dethrone the Patriots reign in the AFC East.
The Buffalo Bills were on the clock at number eight overall, and were smart to trade down with the St. Louis Rams. The Bills, as referenced here, have desperate needs at wide receiver, quarterback, and guard. Drafting a player at any of those positions at number eight would have been a huge reach. General Manager Buddy Nix dropped to number sixteen overall and added additional picks for the Bills in the draft. This was a great move by Buffalo moving back, as they need to accumulate multiple picks to try and patch as many holes as possible.
The New York Jets were up at number nine overall, and the Jets grabbed the first cornerback for Dee Milliner out of Alabama. The Jets are betting that Milliner is truly the “next Darrelle Revis”, and they need him to be exactly that. There is a lot of pressure on a top ten pick to step in and make an impact, let alone replacing a future hall of famer like Revis. Jets coach Rex Ryan is basically betting his job on these two first round picks, as he got a mulligan after the draft after adding raw prospects defensive end Quentin Coples and wide receiver Stephen Hill, who did contribute as much as the Jets fans had hoped for last season.
The Jets also have the number thirteen overall pick to add to their team, as they have multiple needs to rebuild after their disastrous 2012 season. If these picks do not come out and contribute immediately, and Coples and Hill don’t take huge steps forward in 2013, lame duck coach Rex Ryan could be taking the first step towards looking for a new job next year.