AFC East Notes: Bills, Dolphins, Jets, Patriots


Bills GM Brandon Beane spoke in depth about his day two draft choices including selecting wide receivers in the fourth and sixth rounds.

“I got tired of hearing Sean (McDermott) call our group the smurfs,” Beane said, via Matthew Fairburn of The Athletic. “So we decided to get some larger ones. Honestly, that’s where it was on the board. We had some big guys, some slots, some guys that could play inside-out, and it really just worked that way.”

Beane also gave his insight about one of the Bills more interesting draft picks, which was their selection of Georgia QB Jake Fromm in the fifth round.

“He’s got all the intangibles,” Beane said. “He’s smart. When I went down to that school to watch him practice, at that point they didn’t know if he would come out. They said he loves being the guy at Georgia and he loves just being there. They said this guy would be there 11, 12 at night with the coaches walking out the door at the same times the offensive coaches are. Just a guy who loves everything about the game, the full process, the preparation, and that matters. Listen, if he had a big-time cannon arm, or he was 6-5, those types of things, he would have gone Day 1. He’s got all the other things. … He’ll have to earn a spot here, but just too good to pass up.”

As for their selection of K Tyler Bass in the sixth round, Beane made it sound as though a kicking competition will be on the horizon with Steven Hauschka and Kaare Vedvik on the roster.

“Last year, Stephen wasn’t able to kick the 55-plus balls as much,” Beane said of Hauschka. “But we were happy with Stephen’s accuracy at 50 and in. So that was one of the attractive things of Vedvik, you know, the various roles that he could play. So he’ll still be in that. And then, you know, same thing. We really liked (Bass) and my exposure to him was at the Senior Bowl, really did a nice job with his leg. … Live leg was banging some long field goals. And I was like, ‘Wow, this guy, you know, leg strength in Buffalo … we know how windy it is.’ Kickoffs are super important. So we put him where we thought he belonged on the board, and you know, he was the best player there.”


There were a host of rumors surrounding the Dolphins with the No. 5 overall pick. Miami was linked to Oregon QB Justin Herbert and even a trade up into the top three picks for an offensive tackle. In the end, though, the Dolphins did what everyone thought they would do a year ago — draft Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa despite the plot twist of his medical situation. 

“Yeah, we’re very comfortable,” Dolphins GM Chris Grier said via Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer. “Really, it’s nothing different. We all know in this game, people get hurt. He’s had some injuries that people talk about, but the part that people miss is a couple of the surgeries he had, he was doing it to rush back sooner, to be with his teammates and play. Some people may have elected not to do it, and kind of ride it out. He handled adversity well and showed his mental toughness, and his work ethic to come back from those things. Our doctors and trainers did an outstanding job, like they do on every player. With him specifically, they did nothing above and beyond of the same thing they do. They checked all the boxes and made sure we were all comfortable and feeling good about it. Brian [Flores], myself, ownership, we were very comfortable with it.”


The Jets tried to take major steps this offseason to improve their defense, offensive line and receiving corps. But at the end of the day it will still fall on QB Sam Darnold‘s shoulders to elevate the team to the heights it wants to go. In that regard, this virtual offseason isn’t ideal as Darnold still has a lot of growing to do headed into his third season, but Jets HC Adam Gase is confident in Darnold’s progress. 

“Sam’s trying to do the right thing as far as making sure that he knows this offense cold and he knows all the little details that he needs to do, day in and day out, and we just have to help get all these guys who are new caught up to speed as fast as possible,” Gase said via Newsday’s Neil Best. “I mean, he’s really kind of an extension of the coaching staff in that aspect, because he has more experience in this offense than most of the guys that are here, and he’s going to have to do a good job of just making sure that he’s on point.”

  • Per SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano, Gase said the Jets’ rebuilt receiving corps of veteran holdover Jamison Crowder, free-agent addition Breshad Perriman and second-round rookie Denzel Mims was “a pretty good group” and had praise for Perriman: “His skill set fits in well with what we do. He can create explosive plays for us.”
  • Regarding the lack of participation by S Jamal Adams in voluntary OTA’s, Gase said: “This is voluntary. That’s just what it is. That’s the CBA rules. And there’s nothing we can do about that.” (Manish Mehta)
  • The Jets had some discussions with the Texans about a trade for WR DeAndre Hopkins, but they apparently didn’t progress that far per GM Joe Douglas: “(I) didn’t have a ton of discussions with the Texans.” (Rich Cimini)


  • Jeff Howe of The Athletic says that the actions of the Patriots and GM Bill Belichick during the draft showed that they value QB Jarrett Stidham as their current starter.
  • Howe believes Stidham would rank beneath quarterbacks Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa, but above the rest of the class.
  • Howe adds teams were skeptical about several of the prospects in this quarterback class including Justin Herbert, Jake Fromm, Jacob Eason, Anthony Gordon, and Jalen Hurts.
  • As for the Patriots selecting S Kyle Dugger in the second-round, Howe thinks the team may have drafted him due to his athleticism, and while he won’t start right away, Howe says that he could become a stud in New England’s system.
  • New England selected Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene in the draft, and Howe notes that as the second and fourth tight ends drafted, the Patriots passed on other notable prospects such as Adam Trautman, Harrison Bryant, and Albert Okwuegbunam.
  • Howe remains critical of the team’s decision to pass on receivers such as Brandon Aiyuk, Devin Duvernay, James Proche, and K.J. Hill. However, Howe adds that the team did sign receiver Marqise Lee prior to the draft.
  • With C David Andrews returning from injury, Howe notes that the team will be returning all three interior linemen next season, yet they still addressed the group by selecting guards Michael Onwenu and Justin Herron in the sixth round and center Dustin Woodard in the seventh round.
  • CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora mentions a source tells him the Patriots would have had Stidham as no worse than the fourth-best quarterback in this draft class. 
  • The Patriots still haven’t shown any interest in former Panthers QB Cam Newton. (Howe)

Looking for the latest NFL Insider News & Rumors?

Be sure to follow NFL Trade Rumors on TWITTER and FACEBOOK for breaking NFL News and Rumors for all 32 teams!

Leave a Reply