AFC Notes: Dolphins, Jets, Patriots

     

Dolphins

  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer believes Alabama WR Jaylen Waddle is a candidate for the Dolphins at No. 6 overall. 
  • CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora writes that he gets the sense the Dolphins are very serious about potentially drafting Alabama RB Najee Harris at No. 18 overall. 

Jets

The Jets are widely expected to take BYU QB Zach Wilson No. 2 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft slated for the end of the month. With the who taken care of, the question now turns to whether Wilson will be able to succeed in New York where others have failed. New York is a tough place to play and is just about the opposite of playing in Provo, Utah. But ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit has spent time around Wilson and thinks he has what it takes to succeed in the NFL. 

“The mental toughness, which is what you need to be able to go into [New York]. I don’t think I personally would question it,” Herbstreit said via ESPN’s Rich Cimini. “I’d be careful of looking at him with his baby face and growing up in Utah and judging the cover of book on what you see. This kid’s got some good wiring. I love guys that are out to prove everybody wrong, and I think he’s not emotional about it or he’s not like (on) social media [saying], ‘You’ll see.’ It’s nothing like that. It’s like an internal fire that’s burning, that I think is real.”

  • Cimini writes that he would narrow the Jets’ options with their second first-round pick at No. 23 overall to either cornerback or edge rusher given how GM Joe Douglas values using first-round picks on premium positions. That would take guard, running back and off-ball linebacker off the table. 
  • Cimini adds new Jets HC Robert Saleh values size in his cornerbacks, so Virginia Tech CB Caleb Farley is someone to keep an eye on if he’s available that late. 
  • He also notes Saleh is a believer in having a deep pass rush, so an edge rusher isn’t out of the question for the Jets even after spending big money on DE Carl Lawson in free agency. 
  • Wilson’s QB coach John Beck said the Jets are conducting multiple virtual interviews with his client: “From my understanding, the interviews are going really well with teams. The Jets are getting to know Zach as best as they possibly can, outside of being able to do a private workout.” (Peter King)

Patriots

  • NBC Sports’ Peter King doesn’t rule out the idea of the Patriots and HC Bill Belichick trading up for a quarterback in the draft this year, though he has a hard time seeing them be willing to give up a future first-round pick. 
  • According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, Patriots QB Cam Newton is in attendance for the start of the team’s voluntary offseason programs.

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