New York Jets: How AFC East's First- and Second-Round Picks Will Affect Jets
While most fans would say the New York Jets had a pretty solid draft and addressed a lot of needs, they were far from the only AFC East team with picks in the first couple of rounds.
The first two rounds are a chance for teams to address their biggest needs before they go and make more risky picks as the draft gets later. Every single team uses their first round pick to address what they think is the biggest weakness on their roster.
The three other teams in the AFC besides the Jets all made additions that will make them even more difficult to beat, and as Rex Ryan says in his new book, the team looks at division wins as a game and a half.
The following slide-show looks at how each new addition to the division rivals will affect the Jets when they take on these teams.
As always feel free to comment below.
Buffalo Bills: Marcell Dareus
The Buffalo Bills had the first pick of any of the AFC East teams, and at number three overall they selected Alabama defensive tackle Marcell Dareus.
Dareus is a strong but fast defensive tackle, and will greatly help the Bills run stop and pass rush.
Besides Nick Mangold at center, the middle of the Jets offensive line is either old or inexperienced. This means that Dareus could have an easy time getting to Mark Sanchez, or stopping Shonn Greene in his tracks.
The Jets may struggle a bit more offensively against the Bills with the addition of Dareus, especially when the weather is colder and the Jets are forced to run more.
Shonn Greene is much more of a power rusher than a player who is going to get to the edge, and this plays right into the hands of Dareus.
Buffalo Bills: Aaron Williams
The Buffalo Bills second round selection is someone who a few draft experts thought could potentially go to the Jets late in the first round, Aaron Williams.
Williams is a cornerback out of Texas who will very much help the Bills poor pass defense.
The Jets largely outnumbered the Bills in talented receivers to defensive backs last season, and although the addition of Williams will help, it won't make a massive difference.
Williams should play a lot for the Bills, and with Mark Sanchez stepping into his third year he should be able to outsmart Williams and catch him being overaggressive.
Miami Dolphins: Mike Pouncey
While most people thought the Dolphins would help their run game by selecting a running back, Miami instead went after one of the top rated linemen in the draft in Mike Pouncey.
Pouncey is the twin brother of rookie Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey of the Pittsburgh Steelers. If Mike can produce at all like his brother this will be a very smart pick.
In terms of how this will effect the Jets, New York may have dogged a bullet with the Dolphins passing on a quarterback or running back here.
While Pouncey is a smart selection, the Dolphins right now really don't have the pieces behind him to succeed, and this pick will definitely reap more benefits down the road.
Miami Dolphins: Daniel Thomas
Instead of taking Mark Ingram in the first round the Dolphins decided to drop down and wait until late in the second round to select their running back.
The player they choose was Daniel Thomas out of Kansas State.
Thomas is a downhill runner, who will bulldoze players on his way to the goal-line. With both Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams potentially on the way out, Thomas could be seeing a lot of carries right away.
The Jets first two picks seem to match up well against Thomas, with size and strength going up against size and strength.
With Chad Henne still at quarterback for the Dolphins, the Jets will be able to focus on stopping Thomas and the run.
New England Patriots: Nate Solder
The New England Patriots had plenty of early selections, and they used their 17th overall pick to select the massive offensive tackle out of Colorado, Nate Solder.
Solder stands at 6'8" and 319 lbs, making him big enough that pass rushers can't go through him but long and quick enough that they can't run around him either.
The playing time Solder gets this year will largely depend on if Matt Light leaves town. If he does than Solder will likely be protecting Brady's blind side.
The Jets defensive game plan is often to run though the offensive players in order to get to the runner or quarterback, and that is not going to work against Solder.
It looks like Bill Belichick makes another great selection that will make it even more difficult for the Jets to get to Brady.
New England Patriots: Ras-I Dowling
In a somewhat risky pick for the Patriots, they selected Ras-I Dowling, a cornerback out of the University of Virginia.
Dowling was considered to be one of the best defensive backs going into last season, but suffered injuries that really slowed him down. He bounced back well at his workouts, but has yet to show full health on the field.
Belichick should be able to use Dowling to blitz, which could cause problems for the Jets offensive line.
Dowling could be another star rookie corner for the Pats, or he could be a liability on the back line. Without really being able to tell it is tough to figure how exactly this selection will affect the Jets.
New England Patriots: Shane Vereen
The Patriots have been the kings of running back by committee the past few years, and the addition of Cal's Shane Vereen continues to drive that idea home.
Vareen can turn any run into a touchdown, and should be very valuable catching passes out of the backfield.
I don't think that the Jets will game-plan any different now that Vareen is on the Pats, as he is just another running back who isn't very special, but still a threat.
Overall the Pats didn't exactly fill a gap with their two second round picks, but rather looked for players who could be unexpected contributors.