Dec 7, 2013; Waco, TX, USA; Baylor Bears guard Cyril Richardson (68) during the game against the Texas Longhorns at Floyd Casey Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Draft: Top Blunders And Burglaries For AFC East


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.

Buffalo Bills

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.

Miami Dolphins

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.

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Tags: 2014 Nfl Draft Buffalo Bills Miami Dolphins New England Patriots New York Jets

  • Miami Jules (Julian)

    Wow! If Ja’Wuan James is our “blunder”, that must mean we had an excellent draft. Early on, back in December of ’13, before the season was over and based on measurements alone, I decided to start taking a closer look at the RT from Tennessee, yes, I wrote right tackle not left tackle because that’s the position he played and we (as in the Dolphins) needed to fill the most. I always place a lot of value on the perspective of locals, so I asked PhinPhanatic’s Eric Roddy, who was kind enough to share his perspective with me, and helped increase my level of attraction towards the young ex-Vol. I still had a thing for Jack Mewhort because of his flexibility so I would go back and forth between the 2 of them. James stated to move up in the rankings as we inched closer to the draft and when the time came to put out my last final mock, it was James who occupied the 2nd pick at 50 or a 1st round pick at 30 in a possible trade-down scenario. The Dolphins stayed put at 19 and picked a position of priority first, with the best ranked player at that position and took no chance on losing him. I understand you had to write down a name for the Dolphins and I get that but the fact it was James should make Dolfans feel so much better about the aqua and orange latest draft effort… my steal would have to be Arthur Lynch at 125 although he was ranked very far from his actual draft spot, TE’s were going fast and we lucked out he wasn’t gone earlier. I agree with most if not all (except the Phins’). Good stuff.

    • Erik Lambert

      I knew some people wouldn’t agree with that selection but I genuinely felt they could’ve at least traded back and still got James. Taking him at #19 was the reason I called it a blunder. Thanks for reading, Jules.

      • Miami Jules (Julian)

        Allow me to get a bit quasi poetically philosophical here Erik (I have a weakness for the dramatic)… (fade from black, roll piano music) sometimes in life, being in a position of dire need requires a man (or a woman or a team [PC moment]), to not take chances, for the gray and defeating impending fate… a doomsday of the gridiron, might’ve ensued had we come out of the draft with anything less than a starter. Looking at it mathematically and not from a position of near desperate necessity, yes, trading down with San Francisco would’ve compensated the Dolphins with an additional low 3rd round pick, and minimized to a lesser degree, the near 230 trading value points lost in the selection, especially if one were to consider that no other team between 19 and 30, picked an OT… but tempting fate was not a luxury Philbin’s Hickey could afford… imagine had James been there after 19, another team that went in a different direction, might’ve jumped at the opportunity of acquiring a top rated RT.. that, we will never know, but today, we can say we have our man and just like Fluker turned out to be a better choice than say Lane Johnson in hindsight, who’s to say Ja’Wuan James wont turn out to be that stud at right tackle… we shall see in a few months (fade to black, fade music out).

        • Erik Lambert

          As a former fiction writing major in college I always applaud those with a flair for the dramatic. I fully understand your position, and it is a logical one. There is a risk James wouldn’t have been there if they moved back into say the mid to late 20s. Still, I maintain my belief he would’ve been and the extra picks could’ve been put to great use by Hickey. Not saying you’re wrong, just saying that is my personal assessment.

          • Miami Jules (Julian)

            Very cool… Production major here (long on technical stuff, short on writing itself) but I used to be a commercial spots copy/script writer… I also majored in accounting (major contradiction). Good stuff Eric.

          • Erik Lambert

            You too, Jules.

  • Frank B13

    Hey Erik Lambert you consider yourself a professional Sports Writer!!!!!!! Cause if you do your NOT doing your homework, FYI Ja’Wuan James RT from Tennessee played 4 years as a Right Tackle and was rated by many as the # 1 RT in the draft and is a TRUE RT. I think you should read up about whom you post about before you babble. BTW watch out for Jarvis Landry he is there steal of the draft.

    • Erik Lambert

      Funny Frank because most scouting reports I read said he’s a more natural fit at left tackle considering he struggles to generate movement or power in the run game. His footwork is raw and he’s not in top shape. His best attributes are hand placement and patience in pass protection. To me that is not worth the 19th overall pick. Miami should’ve at least traded back before getting him.

      • Frank B13

        How can a player who’s played RT all his college days be switched th the left side, and I don’t know where your reading that !!! I don’t think a trade down is the best idea all the time, I would have loved it to pick up an extra draft pick. But just think and if you look in the second round how many other teams had tackle NEEDS. How could he trade back w/ the chance and a great chance of another team jumping in front of our Fins to steal him. Hickey did the RIGHT thing and drafted him. In my mind your greatest need is not a reach if you get YOUR MAN. 58 sacks you need OL help and we got it

        • Erik Lambert

          His problem doesn’t lay in athleticism, it’s weight and footwork. Those are two problems that can be corrected with coaching. If left tackles can become right tackles coming out of college, it’s not crazy for the other to happen from time to time. James has that ability. You say it’s the right thing to get your man, which is true. However, Jimmie Johnson said it’s important to get your man at the right price. If your guy is valued less by others, then it makes perfect sense to move down and take him at a cheaper price, which he did to outstanding effect in Dallas.

          • Frank B13

            And he SUCKED in Miami!!!!!! If his weight and footwork is your problem w/ him is, how the hell is moving to LT make it better. BTW the left side is most QB’s blindside which is the defenses best side for their TOP linemen. I just finished reading 10 other Draft reviews and 7 of them rated Ja’Wuan James as their TOP RT and said 4 other teams had Ja’Wuan rated late 1st/early second.

          • Erik Lambert

            Not sure I’d call making the playoffs three times sucking but everybody has an opinion. Also don’t forget he swiftly rebuilt the Dolphins defense into one of the best in football. As for James, if you’re a better pass protector than a run blocker, then common football decree dictates you fit better on the left side than the right to, as you say, face the best pass rushers of the opponent. James has experience on the right side, which is good but from a natural fit perspective at the pro level, he might be better served shifting left or even inside to guard as Mike Mayock said.

          • Frank B13

            I guess that’s why 4 OL men were drafted before Maycock mock pick for the Dolphins was picked BAD CHOICE!!!!! and his mock pick an injury prone OT w chronic knee problems GREAT pick. And Jimmy is Jimmy u love or hate him yes he brought us to 5 playoffs w/3 loses and when the kitchen got to HOT he QUIT. REMEMBER

        • Miami Jules (Julian)

          Yes, I agree Frank… losing him wasn’t worth the risk to those like me who felt we could not afford coming out of this draft without a top RT and that was exactly my point, which could’ve been the motivation behind Philbin’s Hickey. “Trade value don’t win no games… players do” Copyright Miami Jules 2014 (but y’all can use it too)

    • Miami Jules (Julian)

      I have to admit Landry was not a player I had on my wish list, because, let’s face it, we have a fairly deep WR corp and although we do have injuries, we also have interesting prospects who may just be promoted from the practice squad ie Spadola whom I’ve had my eye on since early on in the off season. I wanted a tall WR (I think I started the trend back in January of writers and fans calling for a tall WR, when on an article I wrote for the site I write for, I called for K. Benjamin and later for Rutgers’ B. Coleman… modesty aside of course), but the more tape I watch of Landry, who is barely 6′, the more I look at his measurements, the more I am becoming a fan of this pick… huge hands for one thing and a determined attitude to not be denied… it may just be the steal indeed. Right now I’m excited about Lynch because frankly, I didn’t think we would be able to get a blocker/receiver of his caliber that late in the draft, but the proof will be in the pudding once the season starts.

  • Paul Newbold

    I’m still dazed from the results of this year’s draft for the Jets. First two rounds, good deal. From McDougal on, it was rather hard to see any logic behind some of their picks! Dozier may very well turn out to be one of the best picks of this draft. His size and athleticism are scary, not to mention his versatility, with a bit of pro coaching and some time to make the adjustments to the pro game, and he may very quickly become a starter!
    McDougal had several upper body injuries in his collegiate career to go along with his recent shoulder injury. A majority of his injuries came while tackling collegiate athletes. This is the pros, the hits are much bigger and come much faster! His durability is a huge question! Add to that his lack of experience playing man, having played in a zone defense, and not having the strength to fight with pro receivers! Finally, the Jets needed a corner for the outside to replace Cromartie, and McDougal was scouted as more of slot/nickel corner!! Incredible reach on that pick!!

    • Erik Lambert

      You and I are on the same page there, Paul. A number of quality corners still available when they made that pick.

  • MARCUS A. NESBITT

    Juwan James, has been a right tackle his entire college career. So what is this clown talking about. This is what happens when you rely on someone else’s opinion instead of doing your own investigation to verify if what is being said is the truth. If drafting a player to play his natural position a player who set a school record by starting all 49 games for the Volunteers at right tackle. Was credited with 35 blocks resulting in touchdowns over his final three seasons. In his final 29 games, he allowed two sacks and eight pressures at right tackle. And that’s a blunder? Are you kidding me! Seems like the only blunder is the person who wrote this article.

  • MARCUS A. NESBITT

    Ja’Wuan James, has been a right tackle his entire college career. So what is this clown talking about. This is what happens when you rely on someone else’s opinion instead of doing your own investigation to verify if what is being said is the truth. If drafting a player to play his natural position a player who set a school record by starting all 49 games for the Volunteers at right tackle. Was credited with 35 blocks resulting in touchdowns over his final three seasons. In his final 29 games, he allowed two sacks and eight pressures at right tackle. And that’s a blunder? Are you kidding me! Seems like the only blunder is the person who wrote this article.