AFC Notes: Bills, Dolphins, Patriots

     

Bills

  • Bills GM Brandon Beane said the team will wait until after the draft to address the fifth-year options for QB Josh Allen and LB Tremaine Edmunds, and that those decisions will affect next year’s cap. (Chris Brown)
  • Beane also said that Allen’s upcoming extension will have an impact on how the team builds its roster going forward. (Brown)
  • Beane mentioned he talked with Allen’s representatives once about an extension, but doesn’t think it will happen soon: “I can’t guarantee you it will be this year.” (Sal Capaccio)
  • Beane said that having no combine this year meant they had to do more individual work for players’ medical histories. (Brown)
  • For the Bills first-round pick, Beane said they are “thinking long term more than short term.” (Marcel-Louis Jacques)
  • Beane also said the team will take the best player at pick No. 30, and whether or not that player starts will depend on the position he plays. (Brown)
  • If a player the team likes falls to the back of the first round, Beane said they will at least consider trading up. (Capaccio)
  • Beane mentioned that the team prefers not to take huge risks on day two of the draft, since it is important not to waste those picks. (Brown)
  • Beane expects the team to get offers for pick No. 30 from teams picking at the top of the second round: “I’d be surprised if we don’t get some calls for 30.” (Capaccio)
  • As for the team’s plans at running back, Beane said: “I’m not going into this draft saying, ‘we’ve got to find a back.'” (Jacques)
  • According to Beane, the Bills expect TE Tommy Sweeney back in 2021 after he missed last year due to COVID complications. (Matthew Fairburn
  • Justin Melo reports San Diego State DB Darren Hall had a second virtual meeting with the Bills.

Dolphins

  • According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, part of the rationale for the Dolphins in trading a future first-round pick to jump back up to No. 6 overall was to keep them in the mix for the top players in the draft, even potentially squeezing another team that wants to come up for a quarterback. 
  • The Miami Herald’s Adam Beasley says not to discount the possibility that the Dolphins move back from pick No. 6, and up from No. 36, as they have the assets to acquire a third first-round pick.
  • Joe Schad of the Palm Beach Post writes that Miami would have to absolutely trust that TE Kyle Pitts and WR Ja’Marr Chase were going to be drafted by the Falcons and Bengals in order to trade back.
  • He does say that the team could pick up another very high draft pick or a few picks by trading down to pick 8 or 9 and would still be able to draft a player like WR DeVonta Smith, WR Jaylen Waddle, T Penei Sewell, or T Rashawn Slater.
  • Schad also states that the Dolphins have always been most likely to draft the best offensive playmaker available, yet adds that the signing of G D.J. Fluker is unlikely to influence their thoughts on a potential Pro Bowl player like Sewell.
  • Josh Tolentino of The Athletic says that Fluker will provide depth at both tackle and guard for Miami, and along with G Jesse Davis, will provide another “versatile chess piece” for OC Josh Boyer.
  • Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline notes that while the Dolphins like Alabama RB Najee Harris, he would put the chances at less than 50 percent that they draft him with their second first-round pick. 

Patriots

  • ESPN’s Mike Reiss notes the Patriots often take a two-year approach when looking at needs in the draft. With that in mind, they could address a number of positions, including cornerback, as both starters are in contract years. Reiss identifies South Carolina CB Jaycee Horn as a potential target if he’s available. 
  • At linebacker, Reiss points out Dont’a Hightower, Ja’Whaun Bentley and Raekwon McMillan are all in contract years. He thinks Ohio State LB Baron Browning is a name to watch on Day 2. 
  • Reiss’ hunch is that the Patriots pick up LT Isaiah Wynn‘s fifth-year option. If they don’t, though, it would mean both of New England’s starting tackles are free agents after 2021 and could push the Patriots toward drafting USC OL Alijah Vera-Tucker if he’s on the board at No. 15. 
  • The Patriots need a long-term passing back replacement for RB James White and Reiss highlights North Carolina RB Michael Carter as a potentially strong fit in the middle rounds. 
  • Reiss raises the possibility of the Patriots drafting Northwestern CB Greg Newsome and converting him to safety to fill a pending need there. 

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