The Miami Dolphins took three times, the New York Jets took one and the New England Patriots traded from the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft entirely on Thursday night.
That Buffalo Bill had no choice either because they traded it to Minnesota last month for recipient Stefon Diggs.
It was an offseason that changed the division to AFC East. Tom Brady brought his talent to Tampa Bay and Miami Dolphins secretly compiled the second best list in this division.
After the dust died down on the first round on Friday morning, here are some of the winners and losers from Day 1 of the draft at AFC East.
Winner: Bills general manager Brandon Beane
When Beane explained why he pulled the trigger on the Diggs deal, he was sure to mention that he didn’t think he could swap high enough to get one of the elite recipients in the draft.
Alabama recipients Henry Ruggs and Jerry Jeudy and CeeDee Lamb from Oklahoma all made the 17 first choices. So, instead of swapping the first round and maybe the second round to arrange candidates, Beane landed the proven NFL commodity at Diggs, which came from a season of 1,000 consecutive yards.
Winner: Billing violation
The Bills didn’t make a decision but adding Diggs to the passing 26th passing offense from last season could be the most impactful move taken by any team for the 2020 season. If Diggs was at the Bills for the last two seasons, he would lead the team in goal capture and receive a total yardage . Diggs took pressure from John Brown and had to open up everything for other playmakers in Bills offense.
Loser: Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels
Peter King of NBC asked the Patriots to trade in his mock design to draft Jordan Love Jordan’s military quarterback. They could have had Love but instead traded out of pick 23 to add the second and third, leaving love for Green Bay Packers, who traded a few picks later at 26 to get their heir apparent to Aaron Rogers.
That left New England with second-year midfielder Jarrett Stidham and veteran Brian Hoyer. They can still fly veteran starters like Cam Newton or Jameis Winston, or draft Jalen Hurts or Jacob Eason, but now McDaniels has enough work ahead of him in 2020. After years with Brady McDaniels will probably have to teach and develop young quarterbacks Next season.
Winner: Sam Darnold’s quarterback Jets
Only time will tell if New York gets the best tackles from this class, but Mechi Becton from Louisville, who stands 6 feet 7 inches and weighs 364 pounds and becomes Jet through pick No. 11, has a legitimate opportunity to be like that.
Darnold’s biggest struggle came last season as a result of the below-average offensive line which handed over the fourth most sack in the NFL (52). Becton will start Day 1 on the left tackle and if he gives them stability there coach Adam Gase can use the help of general manager Joe Douglas gathered at the free agency (handling George Fant, guard Greg Van Roten and center Connor McGovern to name a) several) to make a track that can be fixed in front of Darnold.
Becton is the third tackle on the board. Georgia Andrew Andrew Thomas goes No. 4 to the New York Giants and Alabama’s Jedrick Wills goes No. 10 to the Cleveland Browns.
Losers: Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen
After defeating the Patriots on Sunday 17 and entering an amazing season in 2019, Fitzpatrick held out hope he would get another chance as a starter in Miami.
The good news is he might still be starting the season to give the No. 1 pick. 5 Old Tagovailoa time to reach 100 percent because of a hip injury. But once Tua is ready, he will become the quarterback franchise, Dolphins have been waiting for decades … if he can stay healthy.
It is difficult to predict what Tagovailoa’s arrival for Rosen means except for the fact that his time in Miami will soon be over. Rosen, pick No. 12 in 2017 by the Arizona Cardinals, out of choice.
Winner: Dolphin defense
It’s hard not to see the cornerback spot on the Dolphins depth chart and not impressed. Miami recruits Noah Igbinoghene from Auburn with pick No. 30. Rookie will join additional agents besides Byron Jones and Xavien Howard to form one of the best corner groups in the NFL.
The dolphins who signed pass passages of Shaq Lawson and Kyle Van Noy at the free agent and are set to potentially add another when they choose 39 near the top of the second round. The two remaining targets on the council are Iowa A.J. Yetur Gross-Matos from Epenesa and Penn State.
Winner: Tagovailoa’s Old Dolphins quarterback
Tua landed in a nice place with a redevelopment franchise with an upward trajectory. But general manager Chris Grier uses pick No. 18 to give Tagovailoa a young offensive attack on USC Austin Jackson. An initial commitment to build an offensive line in front of the young midfielder is very important in helping his growth.
Winner: quarterback Bills Josh Allen
It’s a waste to return to Diggs here again, but it’s important to highlight how important it is to make Allen an elite offseason weapon. In order for him to take the next step in his career, he needs to play more plays around him. Diggs is that weapon.
Darnold’s offensive line is better but it seems the Jets are one year behind when it comes to giving him the weapons that Allen has in his hands in Buffalo. Breshad Perriman is a great addition agent to be paired with Jamison Crowder in the slot, but New York still needs the big playmaker. They need their Digg. The bill finds that in March and the impact is still felt on Day 1 of the draft.
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