Every team made a blunder and a burglary in the 2014 NFL draft. So which was which for the AFC East division?
New York Jets
Burglary: Dakota Dozier
Expectations were high for Furman tackle Dakota Dozier who had a very solid pre-draft process. He has the look of a pro starter from the balance, to the size and power base. Several experts had him going in the 3rd and even 2nd round range. So to get him with a compensatory selection in the 4th round is terrific value for the New York Jets.
Blunder: Dexter McDougal
By that same token the Jets may have fallen victim to the process with cornerback Dexter McDougal. If not for a great pro day that showcased his elite speed, logic would’ve prevailed. McDougal is shorter than ideal for a 3-4 corner, lacks physical strength and suffered a troubling shoulder injury in 2013. So to take him in the 3rd round seems like a bit of a reach.
Burglary: Cyril Richardson
If not for an up-and-down Senior Bowl that showed his lack of polish in pass protection, Baylor guard Cyril Richardson would’ve gone earlier. Instead the Buffalo Bills were able to get him and his dominant run blocking in the 5th round. He also brings experience playing tackle, which adds to the value.
Blunder: Preston Brown
It should be prefaced that Louisville linebacker Preston Brown is a good player. He hits, tackles and has the smarts to man the middle next to Kiko Alonso. By that same token they jumped on him in the 3rd round with Chris Borland still on the board, whom many had rated higher. Not to mention they passed up chances to get help at safety and tight end.
Burglary: Jordan Tripp
He became a favorite late in the 2014 NFL draft process. Jordan Tripp is not only a leader on the field, he’s also very versatile with good athleticism and field speed that allows him to make plays all over the field. His small school standing should not follow him to the Miami Dolphins.
Blunder: Ja’Wuan James
Taking an offensive linemen was expected for the Dolphins, but the fact that it was Tennessee standout Ja’Wuan James caused some confusion. Most had him as a 2nd to 3rd round pick and more ideally suited to play left tackle. Since Miami already added Branden Albert to that position, names like Joel Bitonio or Cyrus Kouandjio might’ve fit their needs at right tackle or guard better.
New England Patriots
Burglary: Cameron Fleming
Bill Belichick always finds his kind of players and Cameron Fleming never gets enough credit. He’s not a premier athlete but he’s big, strong, very smart and doesn’t get beat by pass rushers. So to get him on the low end of the 4th round is exactly the kind of thing the New England Patriots can hope for.
Blunder: Bryan Stork
By that same token they may have overthought things with 3rd round pick Bryan Stork. While the center was a big part of the Florida State national championship run, his short arms and limited athleticism make some think he was helped greatly by two very good guards next to him. So to take him early in the 4th round with not only a higher rated center in Russell Bodine available but help at tight end and safety as well, it must be viewed as a reach.