Marino's Report Card: AFC East

In the AFC East, one team got a top grade and another one flunked according to former pro scout Tom Marino. Take a look at how he scored the drafts of the Bills, Dolphins, Jets and Patriots inside...

Buffalo Bills                                        A

Rnd Overall Name Pos School
1 12 Marshawn Lynch RB California
2 34 Paul Posluszny OB Penn State
3 92 Trent Edwards QB Stanford
4 111 Dwayne Wright RB Fresno State
6 184 John Wendling DS Wyoming
7 222 Derek Schouman TE Boise State
7 239 C.J. Ah You DE Oklahoma

I can honestly say that I loved every one of the choices made by the Buffalo Bills in 2007! Veteran scout Tom Modrak and his fine staff did a great job of both satisfying many of this small market club's pressing personnel needs while at the same time getting excellent value in every round. I would like to have seen the Bills at some stage draft a defensive corner, but when the bullets start flying on draft day things don't always end up the way you originally planned. 

In Marshawn Lynch the Bills filled a very critical need due to the departure of Willis McGahee. He's a back who was arguably the top draft-eligible running back in the country. 

Penn State outside backer Paul Posluszny is plain and simple a football player who again fills a critical need on a defense riddled by the departure of London Fletcher and Takeo Spikes. 

Most of you know my feelings regarding third-round selection quarterback Trent Edwards from Stanford. His overall playing demeanor, his understanding of the game and his tenacity are just a few of the factors that makes him my favorite quarterback in this draft.  And all I can say today is just wait and see. Keep my e-mail address handy and over the next two years you can drop me a line and tell me how smart I am.

 If Dwayne Wright from Fresno State can stay healthy, I believe the Bills will have found an excellent backup and red zone runner. 

Wendling, Schouman and Ah You are all good football players and should quickly assimilate into the Bills system. 

Keep your eye on former NFL star Terry Wooden, a future star in the personnel field. Last, but certainly not least, special recognition to Joe Haering a great scout and even better person.


Miami Dolphins                                  C+

Rnd Overall Name Pos School
1 9 Ted Ginn, Jr. WR Ohio State
2 40 John Beck QB Brigham Young
2 60 Samson Satele OC Hawaii
3 71 Lorenzo Booker RB Florida State
4 108 Paul Soliai DT Utah
6 181 Reagan Mauia FB Hawaii
6 199 Drew Mormino OC Central Michigan
7 219 Kelvin Smith MB Syracuse
7 225 Brandon Fields PT Michigan State
7 238 Abraham Wright OB Colorado

People have castigated the Dolphins for their selection of Ted Ginn with their first pick. And although I also disagree with the choice of an undersized, oft-injured, player at the ninth pick in the first round, I felt they followed that pick with four very strong choices. 

Lorenzo Booker (Doug Benc/Getty Images)
I truly like the selection of BYU QB John Beck with the first of their second-round picks. And I believe that the versatile Samson Satele from the University of Hawaii was also a very solid choice. 

In Florida State's Lorenzo Booker the Dolphins get a very explosive change-of-pace back with outstanding receiving skills. An interesting fact that I'm sure did not go unnoticed in the Dolphins draft room was the fact that this little big man has never missed time due to injury over his four-year playing career!!! 

Paul Soliai gives the Dolphins something that every professional club searches for in every draft: an inside run-stopper. 

I would have liked to have seen the Dolphins select a corner at some stage in the draft, but as the Rolling Stones once said, "You can't always get what you want, you get what you need."


New York Jets                                        C-

Rnd Overall Name Pos School
1 14 Darrelle Revis CB Pittsburgh
2 47 David Harris MB Michigan
6 177 Jacob Bender OT Nicholls State
7 235 Chansi Stuckey WR Clemson

With only four selections, the Jets were unable to address all of the team needs on both sides of the football, but I liked the choice of Pittsburgh corner Darrelle Revis in round one and also their selection of inside backer David Harris in round two. 

Sixth-rounder Jacob Bender is a developmental prospect while seventh-round pick Chansi Stuckey from Clemson is a developing receiver with limited speed.


New England Patriots                            F

Rnd Overall Name Pos School
1 24 Brandon Meriweather DS Miami
4 127 Kareem Brown DT Miami
5 171 Clint Oldenburg OT Colorado St.
6 180 Justin Rogers DE SMU
6 202 Mike Richardson CB Notre Dame
6 208 Justise Hairston RB Central Connecticut St.
6 209 Corey Hilliard OT Oklahoma St.
7 211 Oscar Lua MB USC
7 247 Mike Elgin OG Iowa

I think I almost fell out of my seat when I heard the self-proclaimed draft experts (if you don't believe it, just ask them) try and justify the Patriots' first-round selection of Brandon Meriweather by saying things such as, "Yes, he was involved in a shootout last summer when he came to the aid of his roommate, but the gun was legally registered" That profound utterance was quickly followed by another next brilliant statement. "But if anyone can handle him it's Bill Belichick!"

Brandon Meriweather (Doug Benc/Getty Images)
Didn't those same talking heads make relatively the same statement back in 1996 when the Rams drafted RB Lawrence Phillips out of the University of Nebraska? If anyone can handle him, it's Dick Vermeil!!!

Listen, I've known Bill Belichick since 1979 when we worked together with the Giants. And I respect him a great deal both as a person (his dad Steve was about as good as it got) and as a football coach.  And maybe I missed it, but just when did Bill become a clinical psychologist? It's sad, but as a society in 2007 we routinely justify the bad behavior of these thugs by simply "lowering the bar!" 

Fourth-round selection Kareem Brown was another underachieving athlete from the University of Miami who had little in the way of production over the past two seasons.

Justise Hairston, one of four sixth-round selections for New England, had a very productive senior year at Central Connecticut State after transferring from Rutgers. He showed good run toughness, vision, and playing instincts, but lacks the type of speed you look for at the position.

The Patriots took a seventh-round flyer on USC middle backer Oscar Lua.  And although I like the choice, I feel strongly that his long list of injuries will severely limit his chances of having a long professional career.


Tom Marino is a veteran of 35 years in the player personnel field, most recently with the St. Louis Rams. He has worked in three professional leagues (NFL, USFL, and WFL), and among his many accomplishments, is credited with the discovery of Eric Swann, the first non-collegiate player since 1946 to be selected in the 1st round of the NFL college draft.


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