AFC Notes: Draft, Kelce, Jets, Patriots

The Browns and Titans have done an admirable job of setting themselves up well for the upcoming draft, writes ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert. Cleveland acquired three extra draft picks this season, and they’re guaranteed to have at least two picks in each of the first four rounds. Despite the fact that the 2017 draft is expected to feature weak quarterback offerings, Seifert believes the Browns could still select a signal-caller with one of their many picks.

Meanwhile, the Titans have the Rams’ first-round and third-round picks in this year’s draft, and the presence of Marcus Mariota means they won’t have to reach for a quarterback. In total, the team will have eight picks, including five in the first three rounds.

Let’s check out some other notes from the AFC…

  • Travis Kelce is having a career season, but the Chiefs‘ tight end can’t help but wonder whether he’d be a bigger star in a larger market. “I talk to my manager about that a lot and it is what it is,” Kelce said on PFT Live (via ProFootballTalk.com’s Mike Florio). “I mean it kind of played a part in terms of branching out into the TV world for me. It’s one of those things where you just kind of, you come out of the draft, you just want to be as marketable as possible I think. That’s one of the things about the NFL is that you have small-market teams, big-market teams. I feel like the bigger market teams do kind of have an advantage in terms of off-the-field money. I think when you have big-time businesses around that want to be part of the sports community and the athletic community it’s a huge advantage in the bigger markets. So without a doubt.”
  • The drafting of another quarterback would just confirm that the Jets are “clueless,” writes ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini. By selecting a quarterback, general manager Mike Maccagnan would be acknowledging that he blew the Christian Hackenberg pick, and Cimini adds that it’s way too early to give up on the rookie. The writer does note that the Panthers followed a similar path in 2011, when they bailed on former second-rounder Jimmy Clausen in favor of rookie Cam Newton. Of course, as Cimini points out, there’s no Cam Newton-type talent in this year’s draft.
  • Patriots practice squad linebacker Trevor Bates saw his salary increased to $18K a week, reports ESPN’s Mike Reiss (via Twitter). For reference, minimum salary for practice squad players is $6.9K a week. The University of Maine product was a seventh-round pick in this past year’s draft, but he was cut by the Colts in mid-October.
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