Fantasy Football 2014:

2014 NFL Draft Grades: AFC East

The SportsXchange

Grading an NFL Draft immediately after it occurs is akin to giving your compliments to the chef based on the menu. It will take at least three years before we can truly assess how the 32 NFL teams fared over the 2014 NFL Draft.

But waiting is no fun. So let's take a look at which teams appear to have done the best job of filling needs and building for the future.


BUFFALO BILLS: Wideout Sammy Watkins may very well be the difference-maker Buffalo is looking for to help take the pressure off 2013 surprise first round quarterback EJ Manuel, but the Bills gave up two first round picks to get him, which I believe will prove too much. I do like the focus on blockers with second rounder Cyrus Kouandjio, fifth rounder Cyril Richardson and the late gamble on the talented but troubled Seantrel Henderson. Defensive back Ross Cockrell could surprise, and I like Preston Brown's physicality in the middle.

Grade: C

MIAMI DOLPHINS: The Dolphins checked off most of their areas of concern with a very logical draft but I don't know the club received great value at any of their selections, starting with Jawuan James at No. 19 overall. Wide receiver Jarvis Landry and tight end Arthur Lynch are solid, pro-ready players but neither has the athleticism to ever likely more than complementary players in the NFL. Frankly, I'm more intrigued by the upside of the relative "small-schoolers" in Billy Turner, Walt Aikens and Jordan Tripp. James will start right away and Turner will develop into a starter relatively soon, filling huge gaps in Miami's offensive line. But are the Dolphins any closer to overtaking the Patriots with this draft?

Grade: C+

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: The Patriots' draft will be panned by some but I like the mix of gambling and safety. Certainly if Dominique Easley is fully healthy - and his trainer Tony Villani told us on's Draft Grades Live that he is - then he offers the type of disruptive ability in the middle the Patriots need with Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly aging. I'm also a big fan of the Jimmy Garoppolo selection because his sharp mind and lightning release make him a nice fit in New England's offense. Center Bryan Stork is a technician who also fits well and Cameron Fleming and Jon Halapio add toughness to New England's front. Watch out for diminutive playmakers James White, Jemea Thomas and Jeremy Gallon to also carve out niches.

Grade: B

NEW YORK JETS: Calvin Pryor was my top-rated safety and I have no doubt that he's going to be Broadway hit for the Jets. He plays with the instincts and physicality to star in Rex Ryan's aggressive scheme. I am not as high on the physicality factor of the Jets' skill-position additions of tight end Jace Amaro and wide receivers Jalen Saunders and Shaq Evans, but they each offer speed and are mismatches that Geno Smith (or Michael Vick) can exploit. I like the upside of Day Three picks cornerback Brandon Dixon and wide receiver Quincy Enunwa and feel that outside linebacker Trevor Reilly is going to prove a steal. Reilly is an older prospect (turns 26), which is why he dropped to the seventh round, but he'll make this squad.

Grade: B

(Rob Rang @robrang is a Senior Analyst for, a property of The Sports Xchange distributed in partnership with

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League type:
Free Yahoo League
League size:
10 players
Draft time:
Aug 27 9:00 am
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