Welcome back to Sports Krunch with DKrom ladies and gentlemen, I’m your host David Kromelow. The 2018 NFL Draft is in the books, but there is no way we stop our 2018 Dash To The Draft series without a recap of each team’s draft haul. Just like our draft previews for each team, these recaps will be done on a division-by-division basis. We begin these recaps with the AFC East and it was a pleasure to have Connor Rogers join us to help break it all down. Along with renown NFL draft analyst Matt Miller, Connor co-hosts “Stick To Football”, one of THE best football podcasts out there, and he also contributes to Bleacher Report. Without further ado, here is Connor’s take on the 2018 draft classes of the Jets, Bills, Dolphins and Patriots.
- The Jets had to be praising the heavens that Sam Darnold, the top QB on their board as well as on most other boards around the league, fell in their lap with the third overall pick. Now that the celebration is over, the main issue with Darnold is when should he see the field this season. Regardless of how he progresses with his mechanics these next few months, would it be better for him to be the starter week 1, or would it be better for him to spend the first 4-8 weeks of the season on the bench?
- Another thing I really liked about this Jets draft is how they reloaded their defensive line…and that front three is a crucial staple of Todd Bowles’ scheme. In round three, they drafted Nathan Shepherd (Fort Hays State), who was a top-50 talent on many boards. In round six, they might have gotten a steal with Foley Fatukasi (Connecticut), whom Lance Zierlein and Dane Brugler had a late third/early fourth round grade on. And last but not least, they shipped one of their seventh round picks to the Colts for Henry Anderson. How will those three additions help Leonard Williams become even more of a disruptive force this season?
- The Bills decided to be the team that would take a chance on Josh Allen…who is from a statistical perspective, the riskiest QB prospect to enter the NFL Draft in the past 60+ years. However, given the below average QB play ahead of him, there is a good chance he gets rushed into action far too soon behind a depleted offensive line. Moreover, if that does indeed happen, Allen will be throwing to arguably the worst pass-catching corps in the entire league. Is Buffalo the worst spot imaginable for Josh Allen to have landed?
- Given the impressive additions the Bills made to the defensive side of the ball in this draft…can this Buffalo D consistently keep them in games? They’re going to have to because this offense is poised to take a big step backwards this season.
- The main knock on Minkah Fitzpatrick from some in the draft community is that he is a “jack of all trades master of none” talent that needs a permanent position in order to fully achieve his tremendous potential. In this Dolphins scheme, is that position slot corner, is it box safety, or is it elsewhere?
- The fourth-round selection of Arizona State RB Kalen Ballage has the potential to be a major steal for the Dolphins. In a recent article on NFL.com, Bucky Brooks mentioned Ballage as a sleeper OROY candidate for 2018. Since the Dolphins drafted another mismatch weapon in Mike Gesicki two rounds earlier, the Dolphins should have a lot of ways to get Ballage in space, especially if both he and Gesicki are on the field at the same time. Do you see Ballage making as big of an impact as Gesicki this year?
- Does Sony Michel essentially replace Brandin Cooks as the new home run threat in the Patriots offense and would you be surprised if he ends up being their lead back?
- Aside from Michel and Isaiah Wynn, which other players from this Patriots draft class will provide immediate contributions this season?
Thank you Connor…and that’s it for today here on Sports Krunch with DKrom. Be sure to check out the episode archive as well as an up-to-date blog of mine at SportsKrunch.com!! And if you enjoy these podcast episodes please consider leaving us an iTunes review and donating to our Patreon at Patreon.com/SportsKrunch so we can improve our iTunes ranking and afford to produce even more shows with awesome guests like Joe, especially since there’s NEVER an “offseason” for talking football.
For Connor Rogers, our producer Chris Brodhead, this is David Kromelow saying so long, and as usual, stay awesome!!!
Connor’s Twitter handle: @ConnorJRogers