1. Why Buffalo, New York and Miami all drafted defensive linemen
The Bills, Jets and Dolphins all drafted defensive linemen with their first-round picks. Buffalo took Ed Oliver at No. 9, New York took Alabama’s Quinnen Williams at No. 3 and Miami grabbed Clemson’s Christian Wilkins at No. 13.
Why did all three teams take pass rushers? The Draft Network’s Joe Marino has the answer; Tom Brady.
The Patriots have been AFC East Division Champions in 16 of 18 seasons since Brady has been at the helm. Today’s offenses are often made on the idea of quick passes and teams need to create quick pressure to make their defense more effective, says Marino.
Oliver doesn’t have the typical height, weight and arm length of most interior lineman but his combine and college results “speak to his potent ability to wreck the line of scrimmage and make plays in the backfield,” writes Marino.
The trio of talented defensive tackles added to the division in the 2019 Draft collectively averaged a tackle for loss per game across a combined 121 games played in college. It could be coincidence but the stylistic similarities in the Bills, Jets and Dolphins 2019 first round picks send a clear message to Tom Brady and the Patriots in that they want to wreck the line of scrimmage, get into the backfield and apply heat in the face of Tom Brady.
2. Can Cody Ford start as a rookie?
The Bills currently have 14 offensive linemen on its roster with 11 able to play either the tackle or guard position. Buffalo traded up to select Cody Ford with the No. 38 pick in last weeks 2019 NFL Draft and now the question remains if he will be a starter in his rookie season.
NFL analyst Bucky Brooks weighed in.
“Absolutely, I think he has the versatility to play right tackle or right guard and he’s physical,” Brooks said. “He does a great job of working to the next level. As you continue to build this offense around Josh Allen, you got to make sure he’s protected. But not only that, you have to be able to run the football because Josh Allen is a very prolific runner. Cody Ford can certainly help him and open up some holes.”
Ford earned First-Team All-Big 12 honors this past season and was part of the top offensive line in the country that allowed Oklahoma to run for 247.9 yards a game this past season and make it to the College Football Playoff.
3. Grading the AFC East draft hauls
The Bills were graded as an A- by NFL.com’s Dan Parr for their 2019 NFL Draft. Buffalo brought in eight new players over the seven rounds and earned Parr’s favorite selection of the division getting Ed Oliver at No. 9.
This is a game wrecker, and Sean McDermott is just the coach to get the most out of him. The Bills landed the draft's fourth-best player, per Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Gil Brandt, with the ninth overall pick. And he filled a need. That's gravy. If Oliver is considered the best player from this class five years from now, I won't be surprised.
After Oliver, Buffalo shifted the focus back to offense and trying to add talent around Josh Allen. The Bills built a very solid foundation to their draft class and a “fine coda to what’s been a strong offseason for the front office.”
Devin Singletary will be a nice addition to the backfield of LeSean McCoy, Frank Gore and T.J. Yeldon and Parr cites NFL analyst Lance Zierlein on comparing Dawson Knox to Kyle Rudolph.
That's the cherry on top of the team's quality work in the first two days of the draft, and Buffalo added some promising depth on Day 3, including the speedy Joseph.
The Bills still ranked second in Parr’s rankings behind New England who was given an A for their draft class, while Miami was given a B+ and the Jets a B grade.