The draft whirlwind is finally slowing down, but the analysis is just picking up steam as we roll into the offseason.
Let's take a look at some of the best the division has to offer.
Knee-jerk reactions to the draft are nothing new, as pundits always rush to judgment on how a team did in the draft by trying to give grades. Mark Gaughan of The Buffalo News gets a gold star for this article, denouncing the process of grading drafts (while offering his own [tongue-in-cheek] grade).
Grades are not something I firmly believe in, at least not immediately after the draft. It's much better to wait until the players actually take the field, and see how they perform at the next level, because at this point, it's all guess work.
In that vein, Bleacher Report featured columnist Dan Van Wie gives good analysis on all of the Bills picks, without offering his own grades, but provides a sum-up of some national draft pundit grades for the team.
A philosophical shift is taking place in New England, and Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston has a great take on Bill Belichick's added emphasis to the sub package defense. Reiss gets brownie points for recalling a great quote from Belichick, who referenced Bob Dylan's classic, "The Times They Are a-Changin'."
In that light, Greg Bedard of The Boston Globe takes it one step further to point out the vast level of versatility on all three levels of the defense, with linebackers who can play on the line, linemen who can drop into coverage, safeties who can defend the run, cornerbacks who could shift to safety and the options go on from there.
An interesting story broke over the weekend regarding the Jets' selection of Quinton Coples with the 16th overall pick. That story, by Len Pasquarelli of The Sports Xchange, indicates that the Jets truly wanted West Virginia linebacker Bruce Irvin with the 16th pick, but that the Seahawks took him at No. 15. Well, Brian Bassett of The Jets Blog gives his take on the situation, pointing out that whoever told the story to Pasquarelli may have been trying to cover their own butt.
Rich Cimini of ESPN New York gives some leftover thoughts after the draft, pointing out that while general manager Mike Tannenbaum may have indicated that Tim Tebow would have a "subtle" impact on the Jets' draft, that impact may have ultimately been as "subtle" as a flying purple elephant. The team selected three players in Stephen Hill, Terrance Ganaway and Robert T. Griffin who all have experience playing in an option-style offense.
Speaking of elephants, while the Dolphins addressed their need for a quarterback of the future with the selection of Texas A&M's Ryan Tannehill, Armando Salguero of The Miami Herald points out that there's still an elephant in the room in the lack of wide receiver talent on the roster. If the Dolphins were trying to make Tannehill's future job easier, they didn't do a good job by waiting until the sixth round to grab a wideout.
But the future of the Dolphins is about more than just Tannehill and his weapons; two big contract situations loom on the horizon, including left tackle Jake Long and defensive end Cameron Wake. Jeff Ireland gave a press conference on Saturday night, and Izzy Gould of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel says that while Ireland addressed the former, he skirted the discussion of the latter.