AFC Notes: Bills, Dolphins, Jets, Patriots

     

Bills

  • Bills GM Brandon Beane said the team needs a strong pass rush, which is why it took two pass rushers in the first two rounds: “That’s just an area I believe in that you’ve got to be very strong. The teams I’ve been a part of in this league, we had dominant D-Lines when we had success.” (Sal Capaccio)
  • Beane also said picking up LB Tremaine Edmunds‘ fifth-year option was dependent upon if it made salary cap-sense based on how successful of a team they have been: “The math has been very hard.” (Capaccio)
  • Beane gave a vote of confidence to cornerbacks Levi Wallace and Dane Jackson, and said the board didn’t fall to the point where they wanted to take a corner in the draft: “By the time we were picking in round two there was still another drop-off from where we had cornerbacks … but I’m always looking.” (Capaccio)
  • Beane also said drafting offensive line help was a priority: “We really felt we needed to find a tackle. We drafted (OT) Spencer Brown, then round 5 came around and (OT) Tommy Doyle was the highest player on our board.” (Capaccio)

Dolphins

Dolphins’ GM Chris Grier says it is too early to know if the roster is already better than it was last year.

“It’s hard to say,” Grier said, via Armando Salguero of The Miami Herald. “We feel good about the moves we’ve made, but at the end of the day, when you go through it, the players have to go and perform and we’re excited. We have a very good coaching staff and we think these players are the right types of kids to come in and develop. And, again, we’re always working through the roster trying to churn it over and work to improve. So we feel we’re in a good place right now, but it’s just getting started. The offseason program is here and players will start coming in – the ones that are around – and so for us, we feel good where we are, but it’s a long way to go before we kick off in September.”

Dolphins’ HC Brian Flores was also unwilling to address the idea but did comment on what type of role WR Jaylen Waddle could play in Miami’s offense.

“I think we like the guys that we added this weekend, but I’ll say this – and hopefully the rookies get hold of this and are listening,” Flores said. “These guys have a long way to go. They’ve never played in an NFL game. They’ve never stepped foot in an NFL meeting or a walk-through or anything. So to put – I wouldn’t call it ‘pressure, but to sit here and …. they’ve got a long way to go. So it’s our jobs as coaches to help these guys get acclimated, learn the system, learn the terminology, learn how we practice, learn how we walk-through, how to become professional. It’s not like you just jump in and you can do it, so we’ll get them coached up, but we like the talent that we’ve added.”

“His role is going to be what he makes it. Based on all the films we’ve seen, we think he’ll fit inside or outside. We think he’ll add a speed element. Obviously, he has some value in the return game. I think his versatility is a big part of this. His ability to play inside, play in the slot, play on the perimeter, play in the return game.”

One situation that many fans are curious about is the Dolphins’ backfield. Flores mentioned that running backs Myles Gaskin, Salvon Ahmed, and newcomer Malcolm Brown have all shown they have what it takes to compete for the No. 1 spot.

“I think I saw a lot of growth from Year 1 to Year 2,” Flores said of Gaskin. “I think we all saw that. When he goes in the game, he’s productive. He missed a number of games last year due to injury, but when he was in there, he was productive in the run game and the passing game, and the protection game. Same thing with (Salvon) Ahmed. He’s going to have to get his feet wet a little bit, but he got better over the course of the season. And then we add Malcolm Brown. But I think as far as specific to Myles, who you mentioned, he’s a hard-working kid. It’s important to him and he’s going to do everything possible to get every bit of production out of himself. The same thing with Salvon and I think we’ll get the same out of Malcolm Brown also.”

Grier praised seventh-round RB Gerrid Doaks, the team’s only running back addition over the weekend.

“He is a tough, physical runner but plays the game with energy, and passion,” Grier said. “He’s got toughness, he’s got power. So he was someone that we looked at and we started talking about him in the later parts of the draft and Brian, myself – we’re very excited about him.”

  • Albert Breer of SI thinks that Miami may receive trade calls for receiver/returner Jakeem Grant as Waddle has made his skillset somewhat redundant.
  • Breer adds that LB Jaelan Phillips could be the “slam-dunk” pick for the team coming out of the draft.

Jets

  • The Athletic’s Connor Hughes writes that the connection between the Jets and free-agent CB Richard Sherman is obvious given the presence of new HC Robert Saleh and the fact New York didn’t really address its glaring need at corner in the draft. However, Sherman probably is more interested in landing on a contending team. 
  • An insurance policy at cornerback that might make more sense for the Jets is Prince Amukamara, according to Hughes. 
  • Hughes points out Saleh is a big believer that you can never have too many pass rushers, so DEs Melvin Ingram or Justin Houston are options. 
  • He adds DE Vic Beasley has a connection to Jets DC Jeff Ulbrich and could be a good low-risk gamble. 
  • Another former Saleh connection who might be more willing to sign with the Jets is LB K.J. Wright, per Hughes, as he’d fill a need at linebacker and provide valuable veteran leadership. Kwon Alexander is another option if he’s healthy. 

Patriots

  • Jeremy Fowler reports the Patriots’ interest in new Ravens OT Alejandro Villanueva cooled when they traded for OT Trent Brown.
  • The Patriots will receive a roster exemption for FB Jakob Johnson, who entered the NFL through the International Pathway Program. He will not count against the 90-man roster limit, leaving the Patriots with eight remaining spots. (Mike Reiss)
  • Statement from Ernie Adams, who is retiring from his position with the Patriots: “The last 21 seasons with the New England Patriots have been extraordinary for me. I am fortunate to have been part of a team along with Bill Belichick, outstanding colleagues, patient owners, and a lot of great players. It is time for me to stop working and join the many wonderful fans who have been with us for this run.” (Mike Reiss)

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