Evaluating the AFC East’s 53-Man Rosters by Draft Picks

All four starting quarterbacks in the AFC East were drafted by their current teams, but none at a better value than New England Patriots signal-caller Tom Brady. (Photo: Greg M. Cooper — USA Today Sports)

BBD Staff Writer: Ryan Talbot

Confession: I’m obsessed with numbers.

Perhaps it’s the Math teacher in me, but numbers intrigue me. Whenever there’s an opportunity to look at things using numbers, count me in.

A few months back here at Buffalo Bills Draft, I examined the draft success of each AFC East team between 2008-2012. Now three weeks into the season, I wanted to evaluate each roster’s 53-man rosters. How many players were actually drafted by their teams or signed by them out of college as undrafted free agents? What’s the breakdown of players by draft round? Which players have provided the most value to their teams?

Let’s take a look at each AFC East team and how their current 53-man roster was built.

Buffalo Bills

Players Drafted or Originally Signed by the Bills: 31/53

Breakdown by Round: 1st Round (9), 2nd Round (6), 3rd Round (3), 4th Round (7), 5th Round (6), 6th Round (3), 7th Round (4), UDFA (15)

Best Value Pick: Stevie Johnson

The Bills’ best drafting round has arguably been Round 2. Aaron Williams is the weakest of their second-round picks, but he has shown some promise this season as a strong safety. Cordy Glenn, a 2012 second-round pick, is in the midst of his second season. Thus far, he’s been a solid left tackle for the Bills. Robert Woods and Kiko Alonso, both 2013 second-round picks, have shown plenty of promise three weeks into their respective rookie seasons. Lastly, Jairus Byrd, a second-round pick in the 2009 NFL draft, is one of Buffalo’s premier defensive players. Byrd is currently out with a plantar fasciitis, but his track record in the league (according to a second-team All-Pro selection last year) speaks for itself.

Looking at every team’s 53-man roster, the Bills probably have the best list of late round additions. Buffalo was able to draft Kyle Williams, one of their top defensive players, in the fifth round and Stevie Johnson, who has three straight seasons of 1,000 yards receiving or more, in the seventh round. Johnson. When it comes to undrafted free agents, the Bills also struck gold in finding running back Fred Jackson.

Overall, Johnson is the most valuable Bills draft pick still on their roster, as 1,000-yard receivers in the last round of the draft are rare.

Miami Dolphins

Players Drafted or Originally Signed by the Dolphins: 34/53

Breakdown by Round: 1st Round (5), 2nd Round (5), 3rd Round (9), 4th Round (5), 5th Round (6), 6th Round (2), 7th Round (6), UDFA (15)

Best Value Pick: Reshad Jones

The Dolphins have the fewest number of first-round picks (5) on their roster among the four AFC East teams. Four of the five first round picks were selected by the Dolphins, and one, Ryan Tannehill, looks like he is going to be a franchise quarterback.

With 15, the Dolphins are tied with the Bills for the second-most undrafted free agents on their team among AFC East teams. The best undrafted free agent pickup by the Dolphins was Cameron Wake, who has 45.5 sacks since the team signed him in 2009. However, the Giants were the first team to ever sign Wake following his dominant CFL career.

The Dolphins’ best value pick is safety Reshad Jones. Jones, a 2010 fifth-round pick, was graded by Pro Football Focus as the NFL’s third-best safety. The Dolphins rewarded Jones for his stellar play in August with a four-year extension worth $29.285 million.

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Tags: 53 Man Roster, AFC East, Buffalo Bills, Draft Studies, Jeremy Kerley, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Jets, NFL Draft, Reshad Jones, Rosters, Stevie Johnson, Tom Brady

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