Tag Archives: AFC East 2021 NFL Draft recap

2021 NFL Draft Recap: AFC East

The AFC East 2021 NFL Draft recap features a Patriots team that kept up with the Joneses and a Jets squad who picked its franchise quarterback. The Bills got longer on defense while the Dolphins increased its team speed.

Buffalo Bills      
SelectionTeamPlayer selectionPosition-SchoolDN Big Board Rank/GradeNotes
1st Round, 30th overallBuffalo BillsGregory Rousseau6’6 5/8” 266/DE-Miami (Fla.)8/1st RoundThe Bills take a pass rusher with 11-inch hands and an 83” wingspan. Rousseau had 15.5 QB sacks in 2019 and was tough to latch while working from a number of spots.
2nd Round, 61st overallBuffalo BillsCarlos “Boogie” Basham6’3 1/2” 274 DE-Wake Forest36/2nd RoundFrom a technical perspective, Basham is pretty advanced with his pass rush moves working off the edge. Some teams won’t like his hand size and arm length, but he is slippery and strong in the lower body. Few players in the ACC matched Basham’s production.
3rd Round, 93rd overallBuffalo BillsSpencer Brown6’8 314/OT-Northern Iowa100/3rd RoundThe former eight-man Iowa high school football standout transitioned impressively to 11-man football. He’s gained nearly 100 pounds (94) since his high school days. His chest exposure is simply due to leverage, but his ability to sit down can be seen in the pre-snap, when his body is lower than the rest of his offensive line.
5th Round, 161st overallBuffalo Bills (from Las Vegas Raiders)Tommy Doyle6'8 320/OT-Miami (OH.)184/3rd RoundAs a taller tackle, he will always be challenged by his posture versus leverage-based defensive ends. He compensates with a heavy punch to widen them in either the run or pass game.
6th Round, 203rd overallBuffalo Bills (from Washington Football Team via Houston Texans, Las Vegas Raiders and Miami Dolphins)Marquez Stevenson5'10 182/All-Purpose-Houston256/4th RoundStevenson has been a game breaker for the Cougars working in the slot or as a return specialist. He endured a number of major injuries in school and there are questions on how he responds to the physicality of the NFL.
6th Round, 212th overallBuffalo Bills (from Houston Texans via New Orleans Saints)Damar Hamlin6’0 201/S-Pittsburgh176/3rd RoundGood length. Smart. Communicates with fellow safeties using hand signals. He has decent feet and enough movement skills. He’s almost like an extra nickel back in their schemes.
6th Round, 213th overallBuffalo BillsRachad Wildgoose5'11 197/CB-Wisconsin238/4th RoundWe project him as a nickel defender on the next level because of his experience in a pro-style scheme under creative Wisconsin defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard. He has some physical similarities to Kansas City Chiefs defensive back Rashad Fenton.
7th Round, 236th overallBuffalo Bills (from Carolina Panthers)Jack Anderson6’4 309/OG-OC-Texas Tech165/3rd RoundYou can turn on the video from 2018 to see that he was going to be an NFL prospect. His awareness, footwork and balance all rank among the best in this year’s class of interior linemen.
Miami Dolphins
SelectionTeamPlayer selectionPosition-SchoolDN Big Board Rank/GradeNotes
6th overallMiami DolphinsJaylen WaddleWR-Alabama28/2nd RoundWaddle is the next receiver to go off the board to be re-united with his former college QB. His foot speed expands the Dolphins’ vertical passing game.
18th overallMiami DolphinsJaelen Phillips6’5 260 DE-Miami (Fla.), UCLA43/2nd RoundPhillips has all of the tools to become an instant contributor opposite Emmanuel Ogbah. Can he stay healthy?
36th overallMiami DolphinsJevon Holland6’1 207/S-Oregon15/2nd RoundThe All-Pac-12 defender, and our top-ranked S/NB, is a former high school wide receiver with the instincts to anticipate ball location. It is a big reason why he made a number of plays versus fade patterns when defending slot receivers.
42nd overallMiami Dolphins (from New York Giants)Liam Eichenberg6’6 303 OT-Notre Dame32/2nd RoundWhenever a collegian has outstanding technique NFL teams begin to wonder about upside. Maybe it should be the other way around.
Continued flexibility gains should be in order for the Saint Ignatius High School product, who earned All-American honors because he reduced the pre-snap mistakes.
81st overallMiami DolphinsHunter Long6'5 253/TE-Boston College116/3rd RoundBased on the Eagles’ run-heavy schemes, he often got behind defenses because he was used as a hand in the dirt tight end. A solid in-line blocker with good, but not great strength, Long exudes a smoothness on the field that translates to Sundays. We were not necessarily impressed with the suddenness in which he got of his breaks, but at his size he doesn’t have to really be open. His 83-inch wingspan affords him to only have to get a step on the defender on tightly contested throws.
6th Round, 231st overallMiami Dolphins (from Houston Texans)Larnel Coleman6’6 308/OT-UMass319/4th Round84 3/8” wingspan.
Primarily a tackle-only prospect, he does have experience at both tackle spots. The Massachusetts native is not a consistent bender, but plays with hot feet. He has the ability to mirror yet doesn’t truly sit in the chair.
The former basketball standout has technical flaws but competed well in the film viewed.
7th Round, 244th overallMiami Dolphins (via Washington Football Team from Las Vegas Raiders)Gerrid Doaks6'0 230/RB-Cincinnati182/3rd RoundFor a running back weighing in the 230-pound range, Doaks is athletic, fast enough and tough. We were perhaps most impressed with his hands out of the backfield as a receiver and his pass blocking skill in blitz pickup.
New England Patriots
SelectionTeamPlayer selectionPosition-SchoolDN Big Board Rank/GradeNotes
1st Round, 15th overallNew England PatriotsMac Jones6’2 217 QB-Alabama39/2nd RoundJones goes to the Patriots to develop in a system that could spotlight all of his respective strengths.
2nd Round, 38th overallNew England Patriots (from Cincinnati Bengals)Christian Barmore6'5 310/DT-Alabama14/2nd RoundThe Philadelphia native is more of a heavyweight boxer than anything else. For him to truly evolve into a consistent disruptor at the next level, he has to master the intricacies of footwork versus different run blocking schemes.
3rd Round, 96th overallNew England PatriotsRonnie Perkins6’2 1/2” 253/DE-OLB-Oklahoma65/2nd RoundStanding 6-foot-2, he is able to play with a forward lean while keeping good balance. Rarely is he extended too far over his toes.
Academic warrior. Plays in a three-point, two-point or four-point stances on the edge.
4th Round, 120th overallNew England PatriotsRhamondre Stevenson6’0 230/RB-Oklahoma289/4th RoundThe good thing for Stevenson is that there are not a lot of miles on his tires. This bodes well for his 2021 outlook and beyond when it comes to the NFL. He may get more carries in his first NFL season than he did in all of college.
6th Round, 177th overallNew England Patriots (compensatory selection)Cameron McGrone6’3 236/LB-Michigan179/3rd RoundHis field speed is unquestionable and we saw him contribute on special teams. Special teams will be his lifeline as he adjusts to the fast-paced nature of the NFL game. Or, if healthy, will the NFL have to adjust to his fast-paced nature?
6th Round, 188th overallNew England Patriots (from Houston Texans)Joshuah Bledsoe5’11 201/S-Missouri321/4th RoundThere were some missed tackles in the film viewed as a result of the aforementioned stiffness. The former multi-position prep level standout has a good feel for the game and is a competitive player. He played his best in critical moments (see Arkansas, LSU in 2020).
6th Round, 197th overallNew England PatriotsWilliam Sherman6'3 304/OL-Colorado264/4th RoundHe successfully made the switch from left tackle to right tackle and then back to left tackle as a senior. At just one-half inch over 6-foot-3, New England may envision Sherman moving inside to guard. He even worked out at the center position on his Pro Day.
7th Round, 242nd overallNew England PatriotsTre Nixon6’1 187/WR-UCF, Ole Miss188/4th RoundIn just four games in 2020, Nixon averaged 65 yards per contest and this was in an offense that spread the ball around quite a bit. His size, speed and route-running remind us of former Pittsburg State wideout John Brown (Cardinals, Bills) coming out of college.
New York Jets
SelectionTeamPlayer selectionPositionSchoolNotes
1st Round, 2nd overallNew York JetsZach Wilson6'2 214/QB-BYU25/2nd RoundWilson could be a BYU mix of former Cougar standouts Jim McMahon and Steve Young.
1st Round, 14th overallNew York Jets (from Minnesota Vikings)Alijah Vera-Tucker6’4 302/OT-USC6/1st RoundVera-Tucker could pair with Becton on the left side to potentially power an offensive line that could develop into one of the AFC’s best.
2nd Round, 34th overallNew York JetsElijah Moore5’9 184/WR-Ole Miss44/2nd RoundFrom the opening week breakout performance against Florida (10 receptions, 227 yards) through the rest of the season, he found ways to extricate Ole Miss out of trouble.
4th Round, 107th overallNew York JetsMichael Carter5’8 201/RB-UNC60/2nd RoundCarter, who won UNC’s Strength and Conditioning Award for Outstanding Lifter, makes it happen in a powerful fashion. How often do you hear that statement made about a 5-foot-7, 202-pound running back? He is built low to the ground and contains outstanding contact balance.
5th Round, 146th overallNew York JetsJamien Sherwood6’2 204/S-Auburn369/5th RoundHe played a number of roles for the Tigers, but the nickel LB spot was where he showed a lot of skills. Sherwood finished his career with 10 tackles for loss and posted 75 tackles in 2020.
154th overallNew York Jets (from New York Giants)Michael Carter II5’10 184/Nickel-Duke360/5th RoundDue to his plus play speed and instincts, Carter II earned third-team All-ACC honors in 2020. He struggled with torn knee ligaments in 2018 and struggled the rest of the year.
5th Round, 175th overallNew York Jets (via Kansas City Chiefs)Jason Pinnock6’0 1/2” 204/CB-Pittsburgh233/4th RoundPinnock, a former high school wide receiver, played with confidence when on the field. He was able to perform at either nickel or cornerback with equal parts bravado. He tackled adequately and -despite getting spun around in press-man too easily at times- held his line in the sand more often than not.
6th Round, 186th overallNew York JetsHamsah NasirHamsah Nasirildeenildeen6’3 213/S-FSU59/2nd RoundLong. 34 1/2-inch arms. Fluid enough. Positive knee bend for a taller DB. Has played DB and LB while in school.
As a 6-foot-3, 213- pounder, is he going to be used as a sub-package matchup player? If so, he could find a home at the linebacker spot.
6th Round, 200th overallNew York Jets (via Las Vegas Raiders)Brandin Echols5'10 179/CB-Kentucky138/3rd RoundHis size remains a question mark. The movement skills, instincts and body control are not question marks. Neither is his effort. The former state champion long jumper has the potential to be a starting nickel back in the NFL.
6th Round, 207th overallNew York Jets (from Kansas City Chiefs via Pittsburgh Steelers through Miami Dolphins)Jonathan Marshall6’3 309/DT-Arkansas223/4th RoundMarshall is a former prep level basketball player with positive movement skills on the field. He impressed with his power and strength in the film viewed at the zero-technique nose guard spot.