The 2009 NFL Draft is in the books, here is a look at the AFC East Draft Summaries, by team.
The composition of the Bills offense has changed some this off-season with the trade of LT Jason Peters and the suspension for 3 games of Marshawn Lynch. The Bills had some key needs, particularly on the offensive line, heading into ’09 and while they took a C/OG in late round 1 (Eric Wood) and another versatile G/T type in round 2 (Andy Levitre) this draft seems stale to the casual observer.
Summary: The Bills made noise with the Terrell Owens signing but if they can’t get their offensive line straightened out, it won’t matter. TE Shawn Nelson was a good value pick in round 4, he could surprise as a receiver immediately (and be open in a suddenly deep Bills receiving core) but he needs to work on his blocking to be a regular contributor.
The Dolphins took one of the more intriguing QB prospects in round 2 (Pat White), presumably he’ll lead up their wildcat formations in ’09 and get an opportunity to challenge for a more permanent role behind center in the future. The only other skill position selections of note are WR’s Patrick Turner (3rd) & Brian Hartline (4th) who both come from top college programs, have big frames but neither were expected to be drafted that early.
Summary: The Dolphins didn’t do much on the offensive side of the ball outside of adding Pat White, who will reduce the number of direct snaps Ronnie Brown takes but will add an important multi-dimensional element to the Dolphins offense. Generally the Dolphins skill position players will enter ’09 as they left ’08, with the possibility of Turner and/or Hartline getting regular rotation within a below average receiving group.
New England Patriots
The Pats seemed to be trade happy and ended up with twelve picks and a couple ’10 picks from their efforts. The interesting picks from a fantasy perspective are the two offensive lineman in round 2 & 4 (T Sebastian Vollmer & G Rich Ohmberger) and arguably one of the higher risk/reward WR picks in the draft of Brandon Tate in round 3. Also of note the Pats took a QB in round 6, Julian Edeman, however unlike Tom Brady & Matt Cassel, he’ll be more of a wildcat & special teams player.
Summary: The Pats didn’t make any dramatic additions to their already outstanding skill position talent. Most notably, the lack of a RB selection means the Pats are still counting on Laurence Maroney in some manner, albeit possibly behind Sammy Morris & Fred Taylor in ’09.
New York Jets
The Jets made some bold moves in this draft, coming out with only 3 players in the process but they are important. Their first selection was the #5 overall, QB Mark Sanchez who they believe will be their franchise guy for years to come. To get Sanchez they had to give up their 1st, 3rd & three players (including QB Bret Ratliff). Then to start the 3rd round, the Jets packaged 3 more later round picks to select RB Shonn Greene. Greene has the potential to be a starter down the road but he’ll be a backup to start.
Summary: If the Jets hit on Sanchez, this will be a solid to great draft for them, if not, it’ll be remembered as a bust. Sanchez has the look of a potential top 10 fantasy QB though, so from that perspective this was a good pick. Greene is less of a certainty but he does bring a banger mentality and new HC Rex Ryan wants to implement a 3 headed committee with Thomas Jones, Leon Washington & Greene. This reduces the value of all three but ensures each will have weeks when they shine.