AFC Notes: Bills, Dolphins, Patriots

     

Bills

  • NFL Media’s Charley Casserly writes Bills second-round DE A.J. Epenesa and third-round RB Zack Moss are viewed by the team as immediate impact rookies. 
  • Epenesa will push Mario Addison and Trent Murphy for a starting job at defensive end, though the Bills employ a heavy rotation on the defensive line. 
  • Casserly adds some other key position battles are at guard, with Jon Feliciano, Quinton Spain, 2019 second-rounder Cody Ford and free-agent pickup Daryl Williams battling for two starting spots. Ford and Williams will also compete for the starting right tackle gig. 
  • Bills CBs Josh Norman and Levi Wallace will compete for the second starting outside corner job. 
  • Casserly says the other big storyline for the Bills in 2020 is whether QB Josh Allen can continue to improve. 

Dolphins

  • NFL Media’s Charley Casserly writes Dolphins first-round OT Austin Jackson will be given a chance to start at left tackle as a rookie, though he might need a year of development before he’s truly ready. 
  • Dolphins second-round OT Robert Hunt will have his first shot to start at tackle, with Miami ready to move him inside to guard if he can’t hack it on the outside. 
  • Casserly says Dolphins first-round QB Tua Tagovailoa is healing well and is a strong fit in new OC Chan Gailey‘s system, but both Miami’s ability to protect him and Tagovailoa’s ability to protect himself will factor into when he starts as a rookie. 
  • Casserly notes there are a number of position battles in Miami going into 2020. Dolphins WRs Allen Hurns, Albert Wilson, Isaiah Ford and Jakeem Grant are competing for the No. 3 role. 
  • Along the offensive line, Dolphins OL Jesse Davis will like start at right guard, though he’ll be pushed by 2019 third-rounder Michael Deiter. If Hunt is moved inside, Davis will kick out to tackle. 
  • The only two starters solidified on the Dolphins offensive line are left guard Ereck Flowers and C Ted Karras, per Casserly
  • At inside linebacker, Jerome Baker, Elandon Roberts, Kamu Grugier-Hill and Raekwon McMillan will compete for two starting jobs. 
  • Casserly mentions the Dolphins still need to sort out their secondary aside from their two starting cornerbacks. First-round CB Noah Igbinoghene will compete with Nik Needham and Jomal Perry for the nickel job, while Eric Rowe, Bobby McCain and third-round rookie Brandon Jones will compete at safety. 

Patriots

For 20 years, the Patriots offense has had the constant of QB Tom Brady and has taken on Brady’s style as a result. But now that New England could be moving on to QB Cam Newton as the new starter, the offense likely will take on his style, which in many ways is opposite from Brady. Former Patriots WR Randy Moss says to buckle your seatbelt. 

“I think we are really getting ready to see how fun that offense can really be,” Moss said on ESPN via NJ.com’s Chris Ryan. “Not discrediting anything Tom accomplished because he accomplished some great things, but I think being able to have a guy like Cam Newton that can run the ball, they are able to spread guys out, and then being able to be that viable threat in the passing game that he can just tuck the ball and run.”

  • Per ESPN’s Dianna Russini, an AFC East head coach doesn’t think it’s a foregone conclusion Newton starts ahead of 2019 fourth-round QB Jarrett Stidham: I think they are going to keep 3 QBs. Use Cam Newton perhaps as the wild card. I actually don’t see him starting Week 1 in the offense…I know one thing for a fact: the Patriots love Jarrett Stidham.”
  • Patriots WR Mohamed Sanu and Newton have linked up to work out in Los Angeles. (Nick Goss)
  • Patriots fifth-round K Justin Rohrwasser has removed the controversial “Three Percenters” tattoo from his arm. Rohrwasser said he was ignorant of the meaning when he got the tattoo at age 18 and started the removal process shortly after the draft. (TMZ)
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