AFC East rookie watch 2024: Revealing each team’s 2024 NFL Draft mid-round gem

These hidden gems could shine in the AFC East.
Wisconsin running back Braelon Allen
Wisconsin running back Braelon Allen / David Berding/GettyImages

AFC East teams addressed some major needs in the first three rounds of the 2024 NFL Draft.  With the New England Patriots adding their potential quarterback of the future in Drake Maye and the Buffalo Bills adding Florida State receiver Keon Coleman on Day 2, the division will have some interesting rookies entering the league.

While those rookies will be in the spotlight, there are some mid-round picks for each team who could shine as gems in either adding depth at key positions or standing out as first year players making more of a contribution than expected.

Which 2024 NFL Draft mid-round picks will shine in the AFC East?

In this article, NFL Mocks looks at each AFC East team’s mid-round gem based on who can shine through and make a rotational impact.

Buffalo Bills – EDGE Javon Solomon (Round 5– Pick 168)

The Bills will be the perfect spot for former Troy star Javon Solomon.  Selected with the No. 168 overall pick in the fifth round, the edge rusher who led the FBS with 16 sacks will have an opportunity to learn behind one Von Miller.

Buffalo Bills rookie Javon Solomon will be a 2024 NFL Draft late round gem
NFL Combine / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

With Miller, Greg Rousseau and AJ Epenesa ahead of him, Solomon will make the 53-man roster, but will have to begin his NFL career as a special team’s player who may eventually work his way on the field on defense.  Although Solomon doesn’t have the prototypical size for an Edge rusher, the 6-foot-1, 246-pound rookie will surprise offensive lineman with his lower body strength and an array of moves that helps him collapse the pocket and get to the passer.

Scouted as an instinctive defender, Solomon is also solid against the run and again, his ability to get to the passer will earn him some snaps eventually during his rookie season.  He may eventually be a starter depending on how much he learns from players like Miller and Rousseau.

Miami Dolphins – EDGE Mohamed Kamara (Round 5, Pick 158)

The Miami Dolphins selected Chop Robinson in the first round to add some depth at edge rush behind both Jaelan Phillips and Bradley Chubb.  While those two studs aim to get back to full health, the Dolphins could have to depend a little more on a young player like Robinson at the start of the season.

Miami Dolphins fifth-round pick Mohamed Kamara a 2024 NFL Draft mid-round gem?
NFL Combine - Mohamed Kamara / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

Another player who could ease into that rotation is fifth-round pick Mohamed Kamara who could turn out to be a steal in the draft.  With a 4.57 40-time at the NFL Combine, the former Colorado State star has the speed to fit right into that Dolphins defense and he also comes with sack production racking up 30.5 total sacks during his career at Colorado State.  As a relentless force in getting to the quarterback, the Dolphins may have struck gold in the fifth round of the 2024 NFL Draft, especially with Kamara learning from Phillips, Chubb and learning aside fellow rookie Chop Robinson.

New England Patriots – RG Layden Robinson (Round 4 – Pick 103)

It’s easy to pick confident wide receiver Javon Baker here, but former Texas A&M guard Layden Robinson looks like he’ll have more of an opportunity to make an impact in his rookie season.

New England Patriots selected Layden Robinson with the No. 103 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft
New England Patriots OTA Offseason Workout / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

With starting left guard Cole Strange recovering from injury, there may be more dependence on Robinson in Year 1as he is a player who could push projected starter Sidy Sow for that right guard role while he fills in for Strange at left guard.  With Mike Onwenu at right tackle, third-round pick Caedan Wallace battling to fill the left tackle void and David Andrews at center, the Patriots could piece together a solid line once Strange is back to full health and Robinson ends up being a mid-round gem much like Onwenu was back in 2020.

Projected as a Day 3 pick prior to the 2024 NFL Draft, Robinson is a work in progress, but his power and ability to finish off blocks will win him some snaps as the Patriots look to build a versatile and reliable offensive line.

New York Jets – RB Braelon Allen (Round 4 – Pick 134)

The New York Jets aren’t playing around when it comes to their running attackThis AFC East squad already has Breece Hall locking down RB1, but still double dipped at the running back position on Day 3 of the draft with the selection of bruising running back Braelon Allen with the No. 134 overall pick and then they selected South Dakota State product Isaiah Davis with the No. 173 overall selection.

Why Braelon Allen will be a mid-round gem in the AFC East
Wisconsin's Braelon Allen / John Fisher/GettyImages

Both are interesting selections for the Jets as they look for a backup for Hall, but it is Allen who will energize the Jets’ offense in 2024 with his powerful style of running.  It will be the combination of Hall and Allen that will help Aaron Rodgers and the offense take flight in 2024.  Watch for the 235-pound Allen to be more than a short-yardage option, especially rushing for 3,494 yards during his collegiate career at Wisconsin.