2011 NFL Draft First Round Review: AFC East


Buffalo Bills: Marcell Dareus, DL, Alabama (3rd overall)

This was a very solid pick for the Bills, who were one of the worst teams last year in terms of stopping the run. Marcell Dareus is a physical defensive tackle who will anchor their 3-4 defensive alignment as a five technique with the versatility to be moved around. This is a guy who can make plays all over the field. He has great quickness, great strength, and excellent size.

The Bills will love to have this guy. He’s probably not going to be flashy, but he will make plays and he will have a solid career if he stays healthy.

Miami Dolphins: Mike Pouncey, G/C, Florida (15th overall)

This pick should have been a no-brainer in your mock draft, but I went with the sexy pick in Colin Kaepernick. Pouncey was drafted ahead of the spot his brother was drafted last year, probably not fairly so. This is a guy who can come in immediately and start for the Dolphins at guard or center, and as Mike Mayock says, he is a “plug and play”.

Miami could have done a lot worse with this pick. This is a safe pick for them, and they get a guy who is ready to play now.

New England Patriots: Nate Solder, OT, Colorado (17th overall from Oakland)

The Patriots took advantage of their trade with the Raiders by taking their left tackle of the future in Nate Solder. Solder is a superb athlete and a former tight end who can start for them this year if needed. He needs to improve against more powerful players, but the Pats know how to develop offensive linemen. I thought this was a curious pick given their needs defensively, but this was a good pick for the Patriots, and this is a guy that they can develop into a big time offensive lineman.

New York Jets: Muhammad Wilkerson, DE/DT, Temple (30th overall)

Muhammad Wilkerson was a name that shot up draft boards this year after he showed that at 310 pounds he can really get to the quarterback. Wilkerson has a nasty streak about him, and will instantly upgrade the Jets’ defensive line. This was a smart value pick here, and one that Jets fans have to be excited about, because their line was getting older. Wilkerson has the ideal size and nastiness to succeed in Rex Ryan’s defense.

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