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Patriots’ AFC East Rivals Go All-Defense In First Round Of NFL Draft

BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots are absolutely loaded on offense heading into the 2017 season, even more so than usual. So naturally, their AFC East rivals decided to shore up their defenses in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft.

The New York Jets may be the furthest behind the Patriots in the division right now, but they appear to be one of the first round’s big winners after they selected LSU safety Jamal Adams sixth overall. The MMQB’s Albert Breer told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich that the Jets believed Adams was the best player in the draft, so they had to have been thrilled that the safety fell to them.

Adams was the No. 3-ranked prospect in the draft, according to CBS Sports’ prospect rankings. He is drawing legitimate comparisons to the likes of Ed Reed, Earl Thomas, and Eric Berry as a future defensive centerpiece at the safety position. SI gave the Jets an A grade for the pick.

[graphiq id=”9ZPRpgC1jIp” title=”Live 2017 NFL Draft Board” width=”600″ height=”300″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/9ZPRpgC1jIp” ]

The Miami Dolphins, meanwhile, selected Missouri defensive end Charles Harris with the 22nd overall pick. The Dolphins needed to add edge rushing help beyond Cameron Wake if they had any hope of pressuring Tom Brady when the Dolphins and Patriots meet next season. Harris was considered a flawed but high-upside pick at the defensive end position heading into the draft, so it’s unclear how much of an impact he will make as a rookie.

As for the Buffalo Bills, they needed to add a cornerback after the Patriots signed Stephon Gilmore away from them as a free agent. They had their pick of literally any corner in the draft at pick No 10, but opted to trade the pick to the Kansas City Chiefs for the 27th and 91st picks this year, plus the Chiefs’ first-round pick next year.

With pick No. 27, the Bills selected LSU cornerback Tre’Davious White. He was ranked seventh out of all cornerbacks by CBS Sports, who gave the Bills a B+ grade for the pick SI, meanwhile, gave the Bills an A, for the trade as much as the pick.

There’s little chance that these draft picks, even Adams, will make a huge impact on the Patriots’ chances of winning the AFC East in 2017. But for three teams in desperate need of help to try to slow Brady and the Patriots offense down, Thrusday night was certainly a good start.

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