NFL Draft Grades: AFC East
With the 2021 NFL Draft officially complete, theScore's NFL editors hand out their initial grades for how teams fared.
Desperate to find a franchise pass-rusher - especially with Jerry Hughes entering a contract year - the Bills spent their top two picks on edge defenders. Rousseau is a raw boom-or-bust prospect, but Buffalo mitigated the risk of drafting him by taking Basham, a more polished prospect with a higher floor in the second round. One of those two is bound to hit. The Bills also added depth to their offensive line, a position group that can never have enough good players. All that's missing from this class is a plug-and-play cornerback and perhaps a running back, though the 2021 class was thin in the backfield.
The Dolphins reeled in two of theScore's top 11 overall prospects, making their class a success before Day 2 began. Waddle's a dynamic weapon who can stretch the field, and the chemistry he had with Tua Tagovailoa at Alabama should pay off immediately. Phillips was our top-ranked pass-rusher - Chris Grier has to be thrilled about landing him at No. 18. Holland and Eichenberg will compete for starting roles immediately, while Long is a polished prospect whose blocking ability will get him on the field in a part-time role as a rookie.
New England Patriots
It's no secret the Patriots needed a quarterback, and they got their man without having to trade up, as prognosticators suspected they would. Jones may not have "superstar" written all over him, but his skill set is compatible with the complex, quick-pass offensive system New England deploys. In the second round, the Patriots wisely moved up for Barmore, the top defensive tackle prospect by a wide margin. The rest of their class is more likely to produce role players than stars, and that includes McGrone, who slid to the fifth round amid concerns he'll spend the 2021 season recovering from a torn ACL.
New York Jets
The Jets never surrounded Sam Darnold with the right supporting cast, but Joe Douglas did his best to ensure history doesn't repeat itself with Wilson. After selecting the BYU passer second overall, the Jets picked up three offensive prospects with plug-and-play potential: Vera-Tucker has positional versatility but is likely to settle in at one of the guard spots, Moore figures to man the slot while playing next to second-year wideout Denzel Mims, and Carter should be the leading candidate to start in a thin backfield. The Jets have endured some rough times, but their 2021 draft couldn't have gone much better.
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