AFC East Post Draft June 2018
HC: Sean McDermott, 2017 record (9-7)
Buffalo came into the season with not much expected from them. With the Patriots being the prohibitive favorites to take the division no one really looked at the rest of the AFC East for a potential second playoff team. Lo and behold the Bills made the playoffs for the first time in 18 years! They were a welcome addition as they pushed the Jacksonville Jaguars to the brink of elimination in the Wild Card Round, but it almost never happened. The reason? The Nathan Peterman debacle. Sean McDermott’s hatred of Tyrod Taylor made the Bills Head Coach lose his absolute mind with one of the most ridiculous benchings I’ve ever seen, and it almost cost them a playoff spot. Hopefully, he can keep his head on straight because he cannot afford another huge mistake like that this year if the Bills want to have any shot at making it back to the dance.
OC: Brian Daboll (NEW)
What can I say about the Bills offense this upcoming season? Oh boy is it going to suuuuuuck! It doesn’t help when two offensive linemen retire after the season with Alex Wood and Richie Incognito. The middle of the offensive line is going to be a sieve with replacement players Russell Bodine (C) and John Miller (OG). This is going to translate into a really trying season for LeSean McCoy as he is the focal point of the offense and he is not getting any younger. I’m going to try and avoid McCoy if possible, but if he falls to the late second or early third rounds I may take a shot again on him. Buffalo fans are excited to have Josh Allen coming in from this year’s draft and hopefully the Bills do the right thing and let him sit all year because if he sees the field he is going to get killed both physically and mentally. Let AJ McCarron take the punishment with this mediocre set of receiving targets.
The wide receiver group is better than what the Bills were rolling out in 2017 which tells you all you need to know about the performance of former starting QB Tyrod Taylor. He did a fantastic job with very little. There’s something wrong with Zay Jones mentally and if anyone has seen the video of his spat with brother you would probably agree. I’m not drafting outside of best ball drafts and it would have to be my last pick where there was nothing left. I do have some interest in Kelvin Benjamin. I think he has a decent shot at being a WR2 type receiver based on volume on an offense that will probably have to come from behind often. Anywhere around the sixth round would be my preferred spot as he should get plenty of red zone looks because of his physical abilities. I’d also have some interest in Jeremy Kerley if he indeed becomes their slot guy and should be able to get him way late in drafts. Charles Clay should be the same player he was with Tyrod and a solid TE2.
DC: Leslie Frazier
The defense should be solid if a couple things work out. They hope that Tremaine Edmunds whom they drafted in the first round will be solid at MLB to help slow down opponents rushing attacks. This holds true for new DT Star Lotulelei who was signed from Carolina. They need him to bounce back in a big way and stuff the inside running lanes. They also brought in DE Trent Murphy from Washington and he is coming back from a torn ACL which he suffered last preseason. They signed him to a hefty contract for a guy who hasn’t performed to his ability, so he had better show up and bring some pass rush to help the secondary. Speaking of the secondary we have a new addition in Vontae Davis who has struggled to stay on the field recently be it from injury of PED suspensions. If he can regain his past high-end play, then the secondary is going to be very good.
HC: Adam Gase, 2017 record (6-10)
After losing QB Ryan Tannehill in the preseason the Dolphins went out and really shit the bed by signing Jay Cutler to run the offense. The only thing Jay Cutler ran was to the bank to cash the checks he stole from the team. Everything completely fell apart both offensively and defensively but may have realized the star potential of a certain running back. The Dolphins continue to be a mess year after year and shouldn’t change much this year. There’s always hope, but Adam Gase might need a modern-day miracle to make it past this season.
OC: Dowell Loggains (NEW)
Loggains comes in after being the OC for Chicago last year (let that sink in for a minute). He worked under Adam Gase before Gase left the Bears for Miami, so the offense should stay relatively intact system wise. The Dolphins should also get back Ryan Tannehill which is great because he’s apparently the only fucking guy who can competently run this offense for Coach Gase! The offensive line is mediocre but has improved with the signing of Josh Sitton (OG) and trade for Daniel Kilgore (C). Tannehill is the key here. If he is fully recovered from his ACL injury and can have a competent season than the offense should be decent. Decent as in, at least it’s not Jay Cutler!
Tannehill’s receiving targets have some familiarity with the return of both DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills. Both should be able to be taken late with Parker being a guy who should be drafted around the 8-10th round range and Stills going even later. Miami made a solid addition picking up Amendola and Wilson for the slot role. I would draft Amendola late and wait on Wilson for waivers if DA goes down. Mike Gesicki was drafted to be the starting TE but is struggling in OTA’s, so he is a complete stay away guy. The Dolphins absolutely couldn’t help themselves, screwing up this backfield by drafting RB Kalen Ballage. I still love Kenyon Drake and if he’s there in the fourth round and I have an RB need I’m going to pull the trigger. He is the best running back on this roster and its not even close. Frank Gore is going to break down at some point and he will steal carries from Drake. I just don’t think Frank Gore is going to last and that’s why I believe they drafted Ballage. Everyone seems to have a boner for this kid and I can’t figure out why. Here is Kalen Ballage’s college stats………
The only year that stands out is his Junior season of 2016. That year he had 15 total TDs for the Sun Devils with 8 of them coming in one game vs Texas Tech. It was also one of his better rushing performances with 137 yards. As much as his measurables make him look like a top running back prospect his tape makes him look terrible. He looks slow and tentative with poor vision and it’s no wonder he has never manned his own backfield. Outside of a dynasty league I wouldn’t touch this kid unless you were taking a way late shot in best ball to back up Drake. The problem is he’s moving up draft boards and I can’t figure out why because he shouldn’t.
DC: Matt Burke
The Dolphins defense still has its holes. The defensive line should be solid even with the loss of Ndamukong Suh as a cap casualty and he’s just a pain in the ass anyway. The linebacking corps should be improved with the addition of OLB Jerome Baker in the draft and the return of their 2017 pick in MLB Raekwon McMillan. Minkah Fitzpatrick joins Reshad Jones at S as well as Nickel CB Bobby McCain in the secondary which is a welcome addition. The outside CB spots are still shady at best with Xavien Howard and Cordrea Tankersley manning the starting roles. It’s going to be a long season for the Fins if those two do not play well.
New England Patriots
HC: Bill Belichick, 2017 record (13-3)
One of the more despised franchises from the outside looking in kept rolling along in 2017 making it all the way to the Super Bowl. While the defense struggled early it finally found its footing and helped to give Tom Brady and company plenty of opportunities to score. The offense kept humming along for another year finishing as the top overall offense. With that being said, it was a very good running game that kept the offense on the field and gave the defense the in-game rest it needed.
OC: Josh McDaniels
The Patriots offensive line is incredibly stable and rivals in my opinion as the best line outside of Dallas. They need to continue to be at their best to make sure Tom Brady can make it through another complete and productive season. He’ll have to do it the first four games of the season without Julien Edelman who was set to return this year after missing all of 2017. As of this writing his suspension wasn’t official but when that news drops the appeals process that we here about is pretty much dead. Edelman was being taken later than usual around the 6-8th round range and now with the news should be available around the 10th round. Tough to keep a suspended player on your bench for that long in most seasonal leagues but in best ball would be a steal. Hogan’s value shoots up a little, but I still wouldn’t touch him higher than the 6th round and I keep hearing thoughts on Jordan Matthews as a guy to look at. Keep it, I’m not touching Matthews as he’s been done for the last two seasons. I will look at Malcolm Mitchell again late and if he can stay healthy could be a super late draft pick darling if Edelman does indeed miss time. Gronk is Gronk, but you don’t have to spend a first round pick on him. He’s going late second and into the third round.
As far as the backfield goes I think its Sony Michel’s job, but you will still see Burkhead and White involved. I think Gillislee stays around but is basically still there because of his contract while Jeremy Hill gets cut. Michel should be drafted in the 4th round but wouldn’t fault anyone for taking him late 3rd in best ball. Burkhead and White are also draftable in best ball but not until maybe the 8th round or later. Burkhead would be my first target out of the two.
DC: Brian Flores (not confirmed but expected)
Flores has been seen handling the duties during OTA’s and has been rumored to be the defacto next coordinator. It makes sense to see the Patriots continue to promote from within, but don’t think for a second that Old Bill doesn’t have his hands in this cookie jar. There has been talk that the defense is going to be more aggressive this season. With the additions of Jason McCourty, Adrian Claybourn, Danny Shelton and rookie Duke Dawson its not hard to see why. This defense is pretty damn solid outside of the linebacking corps who need to step up. I think they will and this is definitely a defense to look at as the East is there’s to lose………AGAIN!
New York Jets
HC: Todd Bowles, 2017 record (5-11)
It’s hard for me to write about the Jets without taking a dig at them. They’re just not very good. There was false hope of a playoff push in the middle of the season when the offense was humming along even against higher end defenses. Then Josh McCown broke his hand and that ended the seasonal push. Matt Forte had a rude awakening that he should’ve just retired instead of giving it one more year. I really don’t know how Bowles has kept his job going into a 5th season as the head coach. I don’t think them drafting a QB early will help him keep his job beyond 2018, but if he does we know he has evidence about someone in the organization.
OC: Jeremy Bates (NEW)
Because I can’t only write about 31 of 32 teams here we are with the Jets. The offensive line is absolutely wretched, but I can tell you they have a solid LT in Kelvin Beechum. That’s it?!?! One Goddamn good offensive lineman?!?! Josh McCown can’t wait to relinquish the starting QB job to rookie Sam Darnold and teach him from the sidelines. I have no interest in Crowell or Powell at running back. That is unless I happened to get Crow in the late 4th maybe 5th round which won’t happen and Powell super late in drafts. It’s that bad of an outlook.
The Jets brought in continuous failure Clive Walford to lead their TE’s until Chris Herndon is ready to start. Herndon I like in dynasty because he is talented but is going to need a year as this team needs to work on the offensive line, so he’s not just utilized as a blocker. I still have interest in Robby Anderson who has looked fantastic in OTA’s. The Jets are going to have to throw to move the ball no matter what Jeremy Bates says. Anderson has bucked the charges against him earlier this year so there should be no suspension risk and I would take a shot on him anywhere in the 8th to 10th rounds this year in best ball and possibly redraft leagues. I still like Kearse in the slot and you wouldn’t have to pay anything at all for him as he should be available at the end of the draft. Then there is Terrelle Pryor……I was not on him last year but coming into this year I have regained some interest. The offense is going to be bad and he should be allowed to create his own routes much like when he was in Cleveland two seasons ago. I’d hope to see him after the 10th round before taking a shot on him and I think he should still be there.
DC: Kacy Rodgers
Lots of moving parts for the Jets defense and I have to say they did a damn good job for one offseason of work. They had to work some magic after giving away plenty of draft picks to move up and select Sam Darnold. Morris Claiborne and Marcus Maye did not have great 2017 seasons but with the addition of Henry Anderson from Indy at DE that should put more pressure on the opposing QB and help the secondary spend less time in coverage. Darron Lee is a weakness for the LBs too but the Jets also acquired Avery Williamson for Tennessee and he should really help Lee in the middle against the run and in coverage. If the offense can stay on the field and not put great pressure on this unit they could be a nice sleeper for a team defense.
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