2015 NFL Draft in Review: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly (AFC and NFC EAST)

AFC EAST

New England 

The Good: Most New England drafts are a potent mix of steals, and genuine “what the heck were they thinking?” moments, and this draft was no different. They opened the draft with a steal in terms of value, landing consensus top 20 overall DT Malcolm Brown. He’s not flashy, and he probably won’t be a star, but what he is, is the third best DT in the draft, and a pretty good one at that. He should be able to roll right in, and take over for Wilfork. He won’t be of that caliber, but he should be a solid starter in their interior, and they had no right to expect him to fall this far considering he was projected to go about 15-20, maybe 25 at the latest.

Landing Trey Flowers and Tre jackson early in the fourth round was also a tremendous piece of good fortune. Both players were projected to go substantially earlier, and both should be able to contribute quite quickly, Flowers as a DE, and Jackson as a nice interior lineman to develop into a long term starter. To land both of these guys in the fourth was profound good fortune.

The Bad: A long snapper in round 5? Seriously? This is idiotic. I understand the story angle, but you don’t draft long snappers, especially early on day 3.  Joe Cardona is a great story, just not so sure he’s a great pick.

The Ugly: Overdrafting in round 2 is problematic, overdrafting by 60-75 slots is particularly problematic.  Taking Jordan Richards in round 2 when so many great potential steals were available, and better safeties as well strikes me as a little bit odd.

 

 Miami 

The Good: Opening the draft with back to back outstanding picks is nothing to sneeze at. Miami landed Devante Parker at 15, and then stole Jordan Phillips in the mid-2nd, a huge value if he can clean up his act and play with better consistency. Landing Jay Ajayi in the fifth round will go down as one of the steals of the draft if he can stay healthy, however I am wondering where he can play considering the promise shown by Lamar Miller last season.

On day 3 they grabbed a whole pile of potential contributers for the line and the playmaking positions. The Dolphins had a top 5 class, and no “bad” or “ugly” moments beyond my concern that Parker could end up an inferior WR prospect to guys like Perriman and Dorsett.

 

Buffalo

The Good: They collected a bunch of prospects from FSU’s 26-1 squad, including starting corner Ronald Darby who could be a nickel, and possibly a starter, and Karlos Williams who has impressive talent, but a lot of knocks in terms of mental make up. Jack Nicholas’ nephew Nick O’Leary is a great hands, but athletically limited TE/H-Back as well and could help a bit. The best piece was what cost them this year’s 1st rounder, Sammy Watkins, a near lock to be a perenial tier 1 WR in the NFL.

The Bad: No answers at QB still, and they got no difference making help whatsoever in the draft, all the pieces they added were complimentary with league below average potential as starters, not great.

The Ugly: Considering the loss of their first rounder, and the sheer number of fast falling values, why didn’t they scoop up a single one of the nice values available at slot? At no point did they land a difference making talent.

 

New York Jets 

The Good: Landed the #1 rated player on the draft according to many, and made the pick regardless of need, a risk, but still, the way you build great teams is with great football players, and if he’s healthy, Williams has a chance to be a poor man’s Richard Seymour, in other words, one of the 3-5 best DT’s of the past 15 years.

Landed Devin Smith in round 2, right around where his value dictated he should be picked. Smith is an excellent deep threat, with deceptive value in the short game, with Smith they’re getting what they hoped to get, and failed with Stephen Hill.

Mauldin should be able to help in terms of pass rush, and man, if he delivers that is one impressive front.

The Bad: Didn’t really get the elite edge rusher they had hoped for, and in a draft featuring a lot of interesting running backs, they eschewed the position.

The Ugly: Nothing, it was a good, quality draft, there were no decisions that strike me as particularly poor.

 

 

NFC EAST

 

Dallas

The Good: Took a flyer on Randy Gregory, a consensus top 5 pick until the last six weeks, Gregory is regarded in most quarters as the best pure pass rushing prospect in the draft, though he needs help against the run.

The Bad: A lot of reaches, and a weak day three really drove down their grade. Byron Jones ran an impressive 40 and was a key figure/captain with Duke, but was he really worth that high of a pick? He should step in and start, but is unlikely to be more than serviceable.

The Ugly: As mentioned early, the day 3 selections look like a mix of waiver wire material, projects and depth. Even worse, if Gregory doesn’t pan out, they may have gone 0 for the entire draft save for their 1st rounder in Jones, and possibly their developmental OT prospect Chaz Green who could eventually find his way into the starting lineup.

 

Philadelphia 

The Good: Shored up their secondary with Eric Rowe and JaCorey Shepard selections. Shepard has a ton of upside as a corner, and was a steal that late on day 3, while Rowe is a conerted safety with corner potential. Both players likely will develop into starters for the Eagles in the secondary.

The Bad: Not a fan of the Nelson Agoholor pick. I’ll grant Chip Kelly may be mroe acquainted with him than some, but he’s basically an attempt at a pick to replace Maclin with a likely slot guy that won’t be as good as Maclin. A strange choice when they could have simply retained Maclin, and drafted a player that more fit their needs.

The Ugly: Went to a ton of trouble supposedly to draft Marriota, but failed in their attempts, multiple players likely to be upset over this which could cause some chemistry issues, and with Sam Bradford at QB, they’re worse off than they were last year with Foles and Sanchez. Befuddling decision. Add in the day 3 selections which were pretty disappointing beyond Shepard and you have a weak draft.

 

New York Giants 

The Good: O.O. in round three. Rated as high as a potential early second rounder, O.O. slipped all the way to the mid-third round and right into the Giants arms. He’s been compared to a developmental Jason tuck type, and while that may be high praise, there is no doubt that O.O. is a physical specimen who plays to the final whistle. Incredible tenacity and effort, his issues are in technique and skill where he is largely a very raw prospect who doesn’t understand what he’s doing much of the time.

The Bad: Erick Flowers was their pick at 9, I didn’t have Flowers in the top 25. A massive reach for a player not particularly a good fit for their system, and exceedingly raw and weak as a technical pass blocker. They seemed set on Scherrf with some rumors of Peat at 9 as well, then Flowers. Quite the obtuse decision.

The Ugly: Landon Collins, a genuine contender for biggest reach in the draft, Collins fell from top 10 consideration a year ago to the early second round in 2015. The big issue is that he’s a box safety that can’t perform other tasks particularly well at all. He struggles quite badly when asked to cover deep, and will need to work in the box to be effective, he can do that, but is he really worth a top 40ish pick for skill in only one area and a limited one at that? Lack many day 3 picks, and the ones they had were largely wasted. Hart’s an interesting project out of FSU, but otherwise, not inspiring at all.

 

Washington Redskins

The Good: Preston Smith was a good value at 38, and Jamison Crowder could step right in, while linebacker prospect Martrell Spaight has the ability to land a starting linebacker gig, and Koujo, an interesting Guard prospect from Alabama, might be able to become a solid interior lineman given time.

The Bad: Massive reach for Matt Jones in the late third, Jones has an injury history and doesn’t really seem likely to be anything more than a body in the run game, possibly a short yardage, red zone back. Most of the day 3 picks were metrics guys with unproven film. A lot of speculative targets rather than fast falling value picks.

The Ugly: Taking a consensus 7th-9th guy overall at 5 is a reach and a bad one when you add in that he’s a guard, and even uglier when you realize that one of three players associated with #1 overall in Williams, was available, and the Redskins passed for a run blocker who needs work in the passing game, and whose best position is Guard. Really iffy decision.

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