New England Patriots: Post-NFL Draft AFC East Power Rankings
By Nick Ziegler
2.) Miami Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins are the team that has the best chance to dethrone the Patriots in the AFC East in 2017, but that doesn’t mean they will accomplish that goal. After reaching the playoffs in 2016, the Dolphins were eliminated by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Without their starting quarterback, the Dolphins were going to be hard-pressed to beat the Steelers. However, it was their defense that really let them down.
In the 2017 NFL Draft, the mission for the Dolphins was to improve that defensive unit. With their first three picks, the Dolphins selected a defensive player at all three tiers of their defense. In the first round, the Dolphins selected edge rusher Charles Harris from Michigan. Following the Harris pick, the Dolphins then took Raekwon McMillan from Ohio State. The selection of McMillan should help improve the Dolphins’ linebacking corps for years to come.
Finally, the Dolphins then took cornerback Cordrea Tankersley in the third round. After beating pretty badly at times in their secondary, Tankersley is a big cornerback that will be physical against wide receivers on the outside.
Even though the Dolphins had a good draft class, it wasn’t enough to make anyone believe that they are better than the Patriots heading into 2017. Unless they are able to win against them in the regular season, it will be hard for the Dolphins to jump New England in the rankings.