AFC Notes: Bills, Dolphins, Jets, Patriots

     

Bills

  • Bills’ GM Brandon Beane told the media a little about what DE Carlos Basham would be bringing to Buffalo in 2021: “Strong and dense body type. Long enough and we like his versatility. Good player with good instincts. He has no problem going inside and can rock guys back. He’s got hand use. DL coach Eric Washington has a plan for him.” (Chris Brown)
  • Basham on his fit in Buffalo’s defensive system: “I think I fit in with the other young guys who want to learn and I love competing. With the 3 young guys (Rousseau, AJ, him) we’ll be getting after it. I stayed in touch w/AJ Epenesa when he went through the draft process last year.” (Chris Brown)

Dolphins

Dolphins’ first-round WR Jaylen Waddle said he already had chemistry with Tua Tagovailoa from their time together at Alabama and is eager to get back to work with him. 

“Chemistry is there for sure,” Waddle said, via Cameron Wolfe of ESPN. “I’m coming to work. I’m sure he is too.”

Waddle is grateful to be a part of the Miami Dolphins and “make plays” with Tagovailoa. 

“It’s just great to be a Dolphin. We are going to do our best to make plays,” Waddle said. “I’m trying to be a part of something special.”

Waddle mentioned that he’s drawn a lot of comparisons to Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill based on his size and speed, but is dedicated to becoming his “own player.” 

“I get a lot of comparisons to Tyreek because of his size and what I can do as a runner. But I want to be my own player. I’m going to be the player that I always have,” Waddle said.

  • Dolphins’ GM Chris Grier on why the Dolphins moved up to No. 42 and selected Notre Dame Liam Eichenberg: “We knew there was going to be a run of offensive linemen in the second round. It was important to get up and get him. He’s tough, competitive, been coached well.” (Josh Tolentino)

Jets

BYU OC Jeff Grimes believes QB Zach Wilson will fit into Jets OC Mike LaFleur‘s offense after playing in a similar college system. 

Zach’s pretty unusual,” Grimes said, via Brian Costello of the New York Post. “I really think he could do about anything you’d want him to do. I think he can fit into any number of different offensive styles. He’s got the arm strength to play in an offense that’s going to feature the vertical passing game and the play-action stuff. We did a lot of that at BYU.”

Grimes added that Wilson is versatile in terms of what you can ask him to do at quarterback.

“He can operate under center,” Grimes said. “He can operate in the gun. He can operate in a spread [run/pass option] system where he’s being asked to make quick decisions and quick, rhythm, timing throws. He can do really anything you’d like a guy to do in the passing game and he’s obviously athletic enough to extend plays with his feet and make plays with the run game, as well.”

Grimes also stressed the significance of Wilson’s ability to complete passes out of awkward body positions. 

“He just has an unbelievable ability to throw the football anywhere he wants it to go off any platform,” Grimes said. “Having your body in an awkward position is something that happens a lot in the NFL due to pressure, and he doesn’t have to have the traditional throwing platform that a lot of guys have to in order to throw the ball where it needs to go. He’s incredibly accurate regardless of the position his body is in. He just has incredible arm talent.”

  • Jets’ QB Zach Wilson on wanting to play for New York: “I’m going to give it everything I have. There’s not another team I’d want to play for besides the Jets. We’re going to be a special team. We’re going for the Super Bowl.” (Manish Mehta)

Patriots

  • Per ESPN’s Mike Reiss, Patriots first-round QB Mac Jones‘ rookie deal is for four years and $15.58 million, all of it guaranteed, with an $8.6 million signing bonus and a fifth-year option.
  • Reiss notes the Patriots didn’t expect DT Christian Barmore and DE Ronnie Perkins to be there in the second and third rounds respectively but off-field questions appeared to push them down the board.
  • Barmore had a challenging start to his final year at Alabama, posting on social media he wanted out before ultimately hitting his stride on the field late in the season. Reiss says Perkins reportedly failed a drug test and was suspended in his final college season. 
  • While Patriots’ HC Bill Belichick went out of his way to affirm his commitment to Cam Newton as the starting quarterback, Reiss notes it’s generally seen as a matter of when, not if, Jones takes over
  • Belichick told reporters that this draft would be the last for football research director Ernie Adams. (Adam Schefter)
  • Belichick on the legendary career of Adams in New England: “He’s literally been involved in every single aspect of the football program at every level. … He’s done an outstanding job.” (Jeff Howe)

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