Rookie Players to Watch: AFC East
The NFL Draft was almost a month ago and now OTA’s are one week down around the league. Each team has a bunch of rookie players on its roster and they are looking to make an impact in their first year in the league. The Miami Dolphins ended 6-10 last year, and are looking to improve on the defensive line after losing Olivier Vernon with the signings of Cameron Wake, Mario Williams and Jason Jones. The Buffalo Bills seem to have somewhat of a balanced offense, but their defense is something that needed improvement for 2016. The New York Jets are having issues with the future of the quarterback position, and it could spell trouble for the upcoming season. The New England Patriots are without Brady for four games this year, but look to be in contention for the Superbowl once again. Let’s see which rookie on each team you need to watch out for in the upcoming season.
Miami Dolphins rookie to watch: Larmey Tunsil – OT
The biggest talk about the draft this year was around Larmey Tunsil. The man was a top 3 pick, but after a video leaked on Twitter of him smoking out of a bong with a gas mask on, his stock fell. Luckily for him, a team was willing to take on the risks in the first round and it was the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins needed help on the offensive line, and they possibly got the best tackle in the draft for a steal. With all of the allegations coming out with him at Ole Miss, he is somebody to watch out for and we will see if all of this attention and pressure will get to him and affect his play.
Buffalo Bills rookie to watch: Cardale Jones – QB
Tyrod Taylor seemed to be the answer that the Bills were looking for at quarterback, but at times he didn’t seem to be the one as well. Cardale Jones could give him some competition in the future and maybe have Buffalo rethink of who their quarterback should be. Jones didn’t come on the scene until his sophomore year when he lead the Buckeyes to the first every college football championship. Jones came back his junior year and he diminished, going from a first round pick to a fourth round pick. He ended with 2,322 yards for 15 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He also had 153 carries for 617 yards and four touchdowns. Jones won’t start in 2016, but if he can do well in preseason and during practices, he could improve and compete for the starting job in 2017. If Jones can’t impress this year, he will be a backup or third stringer.
New York Jets rookie to watch: Christian Hackenberg – QB
The New York Jets have some questions at quarterback. Ryan Fitzpatrick wants to come back, but not for a cheap price and the Jets aren’t willing to spend that much on him. Geno Smith isn’t the answer either after his few years trying to be the one. Bryce Petty hasn’t had a chance to be the guy, but Christian Hackenberg could knock him out of contention and if Fitzpatrick doesn’t come back, Hackenberg has a chance to start over Smith. He threw for 8,457 yards, 48 touchdowns, and 31 interceptions while at Penn State. Hackenberg struggled with a weak offensive line at Penn State, so if the Jets can block well and give time for Hackenberg, he can certainly be a starter.
New England Patriots rookie to watch: Cyrus Jones – CB
The Patriots biggest weakness last season was in the secondary, after losing Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner in 2014. Malcolm Butler went from the Superbowl hero, to the starting cornerback. Cyrus Jones will be fighting for the number two spot and he could compete to be the number one corner on the team. Not only can Jones be a starting corner, he can also return punts. He had 54 returns for 673 yards and four touchdowns. As a cornerback though, Jones had 106 tackles, seven and a half for loss, two fumble recoveries, four forced fumbles, seven interceptions and 25 pass deflections. Jones is only 5’10” so his height will be a factor, but Jones should be able to compete and step up in the NFL.
| Brandon Knapp covers the NFL for MyFantasySportsTalk.com |https://www.myfantasysportstalk.com/rookie-players-to-watch-afc-east/https://i1.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/AFC-East-Salute-1000x600-1.jpg?fit=1000%2C600&ssl=1https://i1.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/AFC-East-Salute-1000x600-1.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1AFC EastBuffalo BillsFootballMiami DolphinsNew England PatriotsNew York JetsNFLRecent PostsBuffalo Bills,Miami Dolphins,New England Patriots,New York Jets,NFL,NFL Draft,NFL Rookies,rookieThe NFL Draft was almost a month ago and now OTA’s are one week down around the league. Each team has a bunch of rookie players on its roster and they are looking to make an impact in their first year in the league. The Miami Dolphins ended 6-10...Brandon KnappBrandon KnappKnappmb@outlook.comEditorBrandon is a senior at Central Michigan University majoring in Journalism and minoring in Sports Management. He loves the Michigan Wolverines, Detroit Red Wings, Lions, Tigers and Pistons, UFC, WWE and Video Games. Follow him at @BKnappBlogs on Twitter.MyFantasySportsTalk