AFC East Notes: Dolphins, Jets, Patriots

     

Dolphins

  • According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, no team has done more work on Oregon QB Justin Herbert over the past two years than the Dolphins. 
  • Dolphins GM Chris Grier said there are about eight or nine players Miami is looking at with the No. 5 pick. (Adam Beasley)
  • Presumably Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa and Herbert are in that cluster. Grier talked generally about both without tipping the team’s hand: “They’re both interesting kids. Really good people, good players. … We spent a lot of time on the top players. They’re both very talented players, intelligent players.” (Beasley)
  • LSU RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire had a top-30 visit scheduled with the Dolphins before the shutdown. Miami has held a video interview with him. (Barry Jackson)
  • Miami also invited Ohio State RB J.K. Dobbins, Georgia RB D’Andre Swift and Florida State RB Cam Akers for top-30 visits, though Dobbins was the only one who was able to make the trip. 
  • The Dolpins have also had contact with Mississippi State LB Willie Gay Jr.

Jets

  • ESPN’s Rich Cimini and Jordan Raanan analyze the offensive tackle class, which is tightly bunched with little consensus among the top four as evidenced by their poll of 11 NFL evaluators.
  • Both the Giants and Jets are candidates to take one of Louisville’s Mekhi Becton, Alabama’s Jedrick Wills, Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs or Georgia’s Andrew Thomas in the top 11 picks. 
  • Becton is seen as the player with the most potential given his staggering size and athleticism at 6-7 and 360+ pounds. However, there are some work ethic and technique concerns by some scouts. He has the “gold-jacket potential” Gettleman covets but also more risk, while the Jets would be nuts to pass on him if he falls to them, per ESPN. 
  • Raanan and Cimini say the buzz for Wills to the Giants has been building given the connections to Alabama on New York’s coaching staff. Wills would start on the right side and could eventually move to the left. He’s seen as the most pro-ready of the group and a great fit at right tackle for either the Jets or Giants. 
  • The evaluators pegged Wirfs as the most athletic and scheme versatile of the top guys, with some believing he’d be an elite guard. Both the Giants and Jets would be strong fits. 
  • Thomas is seen as the most game-ready of the top four tackles at left tackle despite some technique issues. However, there hasn’t been a ton of buzz connecting him to the Giants. Cimini thinks the Jets might consider a receiver before Thomas, but he does have the intangibles GM Joe Douglas looks for. 
  • The Jets had an offer on the table for RB DeAndre Washington before he chose the Chiefs, per Herbie Teope of the Kansas City Star. 
  • NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport expects the receivers to start coming off the board around the Jets’ pick at No. 11 or the Raiders at No. 12. 
  • Ralph Vacchiano of SNY mentions that the Jets have a difficult decision in the 2020 NFL Draft with the No. 11 overall pick given they must either select the “fourth offensive tackle” off the board or the “first receiver” available. 
  • Vacchiano notes that Jets GM Joe Douglas has been “laser-focused” in improving their offensive line, he points out that it would be difficult for New York to pass up on WRs Henry Ruggs III or Jerry Jeudy
  • Vacchiano reports that the Jets have been eying Ruggs “very closely” during the pre-draft process, while “everyone loves” Jeudy. 
  • However, Vacchiano mentions that Douglas may lean towards drafting an offensive tackle due to the depth at receiver in the 2020 NFL Draft with “first-round quality talent” that will be available in the second round. 
  • Vacchiano names Notre Dame WR Chase Claypool and LSU WR Justin Jefferson as players who could fall to the second round, while there are around 20 receivers with first- or second-round grades. 

Patriots

A lack of receiving weapons helped sink the Patriots in 2019, but so far in 2019 the only notable addition they’ve made on offense is WR Damiere Byrd. Patriots S Devin McCourty is lobbying for the team to bring back a familiar face — WR Chris Hogan who spent last year with the Panthers. 

“You heard it here first, man: Chris Hogan back to New England. We get him back there, we got 7-Eleven, always open. We’ve got a new quarterback, let’s bring an old target back,” McCourty said on his podcast via NESN.com. “That’s what we do in New England. LeGarrette [Blount] came back, next thing you know, 18 touchdowns. That’s what happens in New England. Deion Branch came back in 2010, touchdowns everywhere. So New England, get a head start. Start your articles now. It’s 8:47. Devin has said it.”

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