OK, so we’re like 30 hours away from the 2017 NFL Draft. There are a few things we can be assured of over the next few days, 1. Roger Goodell will get booed vociferously. 2. Every pick the Pats make will be lauded as genius by the Boston media (and most of the fans). 3. Every pick the Jets make will be laughed at by the majority of America, yet their fans will swear that each of these guys is an elite talent that is good for 1-2 wins by themselves. 4. Every pick that the Bills make will be the wrong one. 5. Somehow, even with a rookie wage scale, every guy the Fins pick will be viewed as overpaid.
Here’s how I see it shaking down. (team needs are in no particular order)
Jets Needs: ILB, OLB, CB, QB, QB, OL, S, GM, HC
Since you can’t draft GMs or Head Coaches, the Jets will more than likely screw up their first selection. Unless Myles Garrett somehow falls to #6 (a la that DT from USC they got a few years ago), the Jets will likely take Fournette or one of the crappy QBs available. There is some talk about the Jets trading out of this spot, but somehow I don’t see that happening; the Jet are more of a trade up type of organization. So now that they’ve over drafted an offensive guy, the Jets will likely go defense in the 2nd. This is a deep draft, especially on the edges, so you can look for the Jets to go OLB here and take a corner with the following pick. The Jets roster currently resembles a fine cheese from Switzerland (overpriced and full of holes), so fans should not expect much out of the draft. This is at best a 6 win team in 2017, not much that they do will change that.
Fins needs: CB, OL, QB, DL, OLB
As per usual, the Fins offensive line is offensive. So logic would dictate that they take an offensive lineman; so we can be sure that they won’t. I have a sneaking suspicion that they go DT (Lamp) or do something incredibly stupid and take Dalvin Cook if he’s on the board. Another intelligent move here would be to get one of those edge rushers, so they won’t. As for the 2nd and beyond, the Fins will definitely get an OL in the 2nd or 3rd, then try and grab their next backup QB in the later rounds. Expect the middle to late rounds to be full of defensive picks, in hopes that they can stumble across someone their fans will fall in love with. You can also bet they’ll grab a WR at some point, because they are the Dolphins after all.
Bills Needs: CB, S, LB, OL, RB, QB, GM
The Bills are in an interesting spot. They have a decent roster, but with a new HC there could be some surprises. With Doug Whaley still in charge, there is always the chance that once again they spend two first round picks on an oft-injured WR from Clemson, but I think it more likely that they address some of their losses on defense. There should be a very good corner or safety available for them at 10 and with a defensive minded HC, that should be the pick. They’ll address the developmental QB situation in the 2nd, if someone falls, otherwise they wait until the 5th or so and grab Kelly. If there is no QB in the 2nd for them, I think they’ll go offense, likely WR. Then grab an OL in the 3rd. If the Bills play this draft right, they could be in position to break their playoff drought, if they play it wrong, they could be blowing the whole thing up come February.
Pats Needs: OL, OLB, OLB, ILB, ILB, QB, TE
Well unless something changes (please trade Jimmy, please trade Jimmy) the Pats don’t have a pick until the 3rd round. So who really knows what they’ll do (not like anyone ever knows anyway). With no decent prospects coming out of Rutgers this year, BB will likely have to find some other 3rd rate school to overdraft players from. By the looks of it, Vanderbilt might be the one. I expect the Pats to go LB (both inside and outside) heavy with their earliest picks regardless if they trade up or not. After that, they’re going to need linemen. I’d be content if they used all (currently 6) of their picks on OL and B this year. It’s not too sexy, but Tom Brady has enough sex appeal for the whole team.