- James Walker, ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter
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With five picks in the first round, it was a busy time for the AFC East in the 2013 blogger mock draft. Our annual projection of the NFL draft took place again this week with some surprise picks. Our division made a draft board and did our best to stick to it.
Here is how things went for the AFC East:
No. 3: Miami Dolphins
Pick: LT Eric Fisher, Central Michigan
Analysis: Surprise! Yes, the Dolphins were extremely aggressive in the blogger mock draft, which falls in line with general manager Jeff Ireland's mindset this offseason in free agency. Miami has 11 draft picks total and can afford to make a major move up to get an elite left tackle. I didn't expect Oklahoma's Lane Johnson to fall in my lap at No. 12 overall. So I kept in touch with AFC West blogger Bill Williamson with the Oakland Raiders at No. 3 and NFC North blogger Kevin Seifert with the Detroit Lions at No. 5. I decided to go big with Fisher, who I really wanted. I traded Miami’s first-round pick, second-round pick and two third-rounders to move up to No. 3 for Fisher. It's a steep price, but Miami takes protecting quarterback Ryan Tannehill seriously. The Dolphins also keep one of their second-round picks to fill another hole at cornerback or defensive end in the next round.
No. 8: Buffalo Bills
Pick: WR Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee
Analysis: I was looking to trade down with Buffalo but didn’t receive any interest. All three left tackles (Luke Joeckel, Fisher and Johnson) were gone. So all I heard was crickets. On top of that, Alabama guard Chance Warmack was taken one pick higher at No. 7 to the Arizona Cardinals. Having to make the pick, I trusted our final board and went with Patterson. He has a lot of upside and could fit in well next to 1,000-yard receiver Steve Johnson. There has been a lot of speculation about the Bills taking quarterback Ryan Nassib at No. 8 overall, but that thought never crossed my mind. If Buffalo wants to risk taking a second-round prospect No. 8 overall, that's on the Bills. It turns out no quarterback was taken in the first round of our blogger mock draft. That sets up pretty well for the Bills to take a quarterback at the top of the second round. That's the better route for the Bills to take on Thursday.
No. 9 and No. 13: New York Jets
Analysis: I view this pair as a success. The Jets have two picks in the top 13 and drafted two players from our final board who can make an immediate impact. Mingo and Austin are two of my favorite players in this draft and provide a solid foundation to rebuild the Jets. Mingo can provide an important pass rush and Austin is a playmaker who can boost New York's anemic offense. The Jets gained the second first-round pick from the Darrelle Revis trade. This pair could make Jets fans start to move on.
No. 29: New England Patriots
Picks: USC WR Robert Woods
Analysis: This was a tricky pick as I waited for nearly the entire first round to develop. I even got an offer from NFC East blogger Dan Graziano, whose Philadelphia Eagles were interested in West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith. New England needs picks, and the Eagles offered their second- and fifth-round pick for No. 29. The value just wasn’t good enough, so the Patriots balked and filled a major need at receiver with Woods. I liked two receivers in this spot for New England: Woods and Justin Hunter of Tennessee. Hunter was taken by the St. Louis Rams at No. 22. Woods does a lot of things well and looks NFL ready. The Patriots need receivers on the outside who could fill in for Brandon Lloyd, who was cut this offseason.
Overall, it was another successful blogger mock draft for the AFC East. I landed an elite left tackle for Miami, a receiver with plenty of upside for Buffalo, a pass-rusher and dynamic offensive playmaker for New York and a possible starting receiver for the Patriots.
Do you agree or disagree with the picks? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.
With five picks in the first round, it was a busy time for the AFC East in the 2013 blogger mock draft. Our annual projection of the NFL draft took place again this week with some surprise picks.