After a brief hiatus, our good buddy Greg Cosell of NFL Films and ESPN's NFL Matchup is back to talk a little football. And with more than a month passed since the draft, we thought it would be interesting to review that selection process by division, now that teams have given a bit of insight into how their new players will be used. We've already covered the NFC West, AFC West, AFC South, NFC South, NFC North, and AFC North. Now, we'll move to the AFC East to see how the Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, and New York Jets did with their selections.
On the Buffalo Bills' first-round pick, Florida State QB E.J. Manuel: "He's a size/movement quarterback, and we've talked many times about the fact that size is a positive attribute. Manuel is 6-foot-5 and 240 pounds, and he would not have been a first-round pick with his throwing skill set if he was 6-foot-3 and 205. Because to me, he is not a natural passer. He's not the kind of guy who can just roll out of bed and throw the ball really well. He's somewhat of a manufactured passer. He's a little stiff, but because he's so big, and provides the read-option element ... [new Bills head coach] Doug Marrone at Syracuse did line Ryan Nassib up in the shotgun, and did use a lot of those principles. Nassib didn't run a lot, but the principles were there. Manuel does give you that, and it's somewhat en vogue in the NFL."
On the Miami Dolphins' first-round pick, Oregon linebacker/end Dion Jordan: "At the end of the day, there aren't a lot of guys who are built like that who can move like that. He's one of those players you look at and ... he has a chance to be special. He's got length, flexibility, and athleticism, and he can bend the edge as a pass-rusher. He can also play in space, which he did a lot at Oregon. You almost might say that he's coming into the NFL without a true natural position, but I think that can be a positive in today's NFL."
On the New England Patriots' second-round pick, Marshall WR Aaron Dobson: "I liked him on film -- he had a few easy drops, which you don't want to see. But for the most part, watching him on film, I thought he had really good hands and made a lot of difficult catches. He's got a very good size/hands combination, in my opinion, and he's a pretty easy mover. I wouldn't call him explosive as a vertical guy, but with experience, he will be a vertical threat. But he's not a 'burner' in the traditional sense -- he's more of a fluid, long-striding receiver."
On the New York Jets' first-round pick, Alabama CB Dee Milliner: "A lot of people will say that Alabama corners struggle in the NFL, and I guess there's a bit of a track record for that. Kareem Jackson and Dre Kirkpatrick, the jury's still out. When I watch Milliner, I think he's going to be a good pro player. The way he plays, I actually thought there were some similarities to [Buffalo Bills cornerback] Stephon Gilmore out of South Carolina the year before. Because Gilmore played the boundary corner position at South Carolina, and therefore, he defended the run really well like Milliner did, and he blitzed from the boundary like Milliner did."
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