The 2023 NFL Draft is behind us and now we head into the review process. Over the next two weeks, the Draft Countdown staff will break down each team’s draft hauls, division-by-division. Today, I look at the four teams in the AFC East!
How did the Bills, Dolphins, Jets, and Patriots make out? Let’s take a look.
AFC East 2023 NFL Draft Recap
|7||252||CB||Alex Austin||Oregon State|
The Bills did a great job adding impact pieces to their roster. Dalton Kincaid will pair nicely with Dawson Knox. In fact, I would suspect Kincaid will take a lot of the slot snaps vacated by Cole Beasley. O’Cyrus Torrence is a bully in the run game but could use some refinement as a pass blocker. I expect him to replace Ryan Bates at right guard soon. Buffalo had a need at LB and Dorian Williams is a great seek-and-destroy type of player. I believe that Nick Broeker and Alex Austin can compete for reserve roles on the team. I have no such confidence in WR Justin Shorter.
Best Pick: O’Cyrus Torrence, IOL, Florida
Biggest Reach: Justin Shorter, WR, Florida
Day 3 Pick to Watch: Nick Broeker, IOL, Mississippi
PFA Name to Know: Richard Gouraige, OT, Florida
|2||51||CB||Cam Smith||South Carolina|
|3||84||RB||Devon Achane||Texas A&M|
The Dolphins only had four picks but they made them count. Cam Smith was a tremendous value pick in round two. He should be the first corner off the bench this season. With an eye toward eventually replacing Xavien Howard or Jalen Ramsey. Devon Achane is one of the fastest players in this draft class. He averaged over 7 ypc in the SEC this past season. Achane can run competently between the tackles, despite his smaller frame. Elijah Higgins should seamlessly fill in for Mike Gesicki in the big slot role on their offense. Ryan Hayes could be a nice reserve lineman.
Best Pick: Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina
Biggest Reach: None
Day 3 Pick to Watch: Elijah Higgins, WR, Stanford
PFA Name to Know: Aubrey Miller Jr., LB, Jackson State
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
|2||46||EDGE||Keion White||Georgia Tech|
|3||76||S||Marte Mapu||Sacramento State|
|4||117||IOL||Sidy Sow||Eastern Michigan|
|6||192||P||Bryce Baringer||Michigan State|
|6||214||CB||Ameer Speed||Michigan State|
|7||245||CB||Isaiah Bolden||Jackson State|
The Patriots had 12 picks in this year’s class. They did a great job maneuvering around the board. They dropped back three spots in round one and took my top CB in this class, Christian Gonzalez. Gonzalez has the length and speed New England sorely lacked at that spot a year ago. It should also allow Marcus Jones to kick inside to nickel if they want. The Patriots added a potential upgrade at 5-tech with Georgia Tech’s Keion White. Marte Mapu is a hybrid safety/LB that fits the Patriots’ defense like a glove. They have had a ton of success with small school players in the past like Kyle Dugger.
I like them seeing their interior offensive line depth was lacking and they took Jake Andrews (C/G), Antonio Mafi (G/T), and Sidy Sow (G/T). I also like taking a flier on Kayson Boutte in the 6th. If he can regain his form from two years ago at LSU, great! if not, no big loss.
New England was also clearly not happy with their special teams’ units. They selected kicker Chad Ryland in the 4th and punter Bryce Baringer in the 6th. Long snapper Joe Cardona was clearly safe.
Best Pick: Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon
Biggest Reach: Jake Andrews, IOL, Troy
Day 3 Pick to Watch: Kayshon Boutte, WR, LSU
PFA Name to Know: Johnny Lumpkin, TE, Louisiana
NEW YORK JETS
|1||15||EDGE||Will McDonald IV||Iowa State|
|6||184||LB||Zaire Barnes||Western Michigan|
|7||220||TE||Zack Kuntz||Old Dominion|
The Jets kind of reached for a few picks at the top. After losing out on Broderick Jones in round one, it seems they grabbed Will McDonald IV about a half-round too soon. The same can be said for IOL Joe Tippman. I like the day three selections of RB Israel Abanikanda and CB Jerrick Bernard-Converse. TE Zack Kuntz is the most athletic tight end to test since 1987. That is worth a gamble in round 7.
Best Pick: Will McDonald IV, EDGE, Iowa State
Biggest Reach: Carter Warren, OT, Pittsburgh
Day 3 Pick to Watch: Israel Abanikanda, RB, Pittsburgh
PFA Name to Know: Jason Brownlee, WR, Southern Miss
2023 NFL DRAFT REVIEWS