AFC East Notes: Watkins, Jets, Easley

Sammy Watkins is considered by some the best prospect in the draft, drawing grades comparable to elite receiver prospects Julio Jones and A.J. Green. Just as the Falcons did to acquire Jones, the Bills paid a significant price to jump up and snag Watkins. Mike Rodak at compared the two trades: “Essentially, the Falcons moved up 16 more spots in the first round than the Bills did, with the difference in the trades being Atlanta’s current-year second- and fourth-round selections included in the deal.”

There’s never a shortage of news of notes coming from the AFC East. Here’s some more:

  • Rich Cimini of wonders if Calvin Pryor‘s hard-hitting style will fly in today’s NFL. The Jets‘ first round pick has said that approaches his game like NFL safeties Kam Chancellor and Dashon Goldson, two big hitters that have a tendency to pick up flags and fines.
  • Jets General Manager John Idzik refused to say whether quarterback Johnny Manziel was in the cards, writes Cimini. Idzik acknowledged that they “fielded plenty of calls” from teams picking below them, presumably teams interested in trading up for Manziel. One of them may have been the Browns (26th), who wound up trading places with the Eagles (22nd) to take the former Texas A&M star. “We won’t get into who was in consideration,” Idzik said. “Suffice it to say, we stuck to our philosophy and we stuck to our board.”
  • The Dolphins reached for first-round pick Ja’Wuan James at No. 19, tweets Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald, but only after trying to trade down. They didn’t find a partner willing to meet their asking price. Dave Hyde of the Sun-Sentinel elaborated on the topic, saying the Dolphins could have traded down and had their pick of right tackle prospects, but “They were that much in love with James.”
  • Assuming Patriots first-rounder Dominique Easley is healthy after recovering from his second ACL tear, he brings explosiveness and versatility to the defensive line, in the opinion of ESPNBoston’s Field Yates, who compares Easley to Lamarr Houston.
  • Ben Volin of the Boston Globe added some insight into the Easley selection as well as his personality. Among the tidbits: Bill Belichick valued Easley’s performance against good competition… and he’d rather watch SpongeBob than football.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

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