AFC East Mock Draft: Two Teams Trade Down, All Four Load Up

With Aaron Rodgers healthy, the 2024 AFC East should be highly competitive. With the Patriots rebuilding, they will get their QB of the future, while the other three teams continue the arms race to top the AFC East this season.

Florida State v Florida
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Round 2 - Patriots select Michael Penix Jr.

If New England were smart, they would try to trade for 32 to get the 5th-year option on a new QB, but I wasn't trading up in this mock, so they stick and pick their QB of the future. Penix has all of the talent in the world. He also has all of the injury concerns in the world. He consistently fell to season-ending injuries in college until last season when he pulled it all together and led his team to the National Championship game against Michigan. He has an electric arm and good mobility inside the pocket. Questions about his injury history will continue, but I like Penix as a fit for the Pats. He's an older rookie at 24, but at QB that doesn't bother me much. This could be Bo Nix here, depending on personal preference.

Round 2 - Miami selects Ja'Tavion Sanders and Ruke Orhorhoro

With the ammo from trading back, Miami hits two positions of need in round 2. Ja'Tavion Sanders is a smooth, large, in-line TE with great hands. He had zero drops in 2023 on nearly 70 targets and produced well with nearly 700 yards. He is great after the catch and is adept at finding the soft spot in zone coverages, similar to Travis Kelce in that regard. He had a disappointing combine, but while I was scouting Xavier Worthy, this is the guy that caught my eye for Miami. He will be a top 10 TE in this league.

With the pick the Dolphins acquired from trading back, they selected Ruke Orhorhoro. Now I'll be honest, the games I've watched of his, and I'm still working through his film, I was not super impressed. He is explosive but lacks any type of finesse in his game. He plays with speed and power, and that is about it. However, he has only been playing football since his Jr. year of high school. Now I'm intrigued. He has positional versatility and athleticism to play in a 3 tech or a big end. He needs some work and needs to develop, but the Dolphins have a hole at DT, and Orhorhoro is great against the run with a potential pass-rush upside. In round 2, if the Dolphins were able to acquire another pick, I'd be happy with him.

Round 2 - Bills select Braden Fiske

Fiske is a strange prospect. He is tall, but not very long. He is explosive, but that's because he lacks mass. He plays a 3 tech but is probably better suited for outside work. The issue is that he is not quick enough to be a true edge. Fiske is a lot like a taller version of Ed Oliver, so pairing the two together may not work, but he is the best player available across the defensive front. He is quick and fast, making him a handful for offensive linemen. However, his shorter arms hinder his ability when engaged with a blocker. I think he would excel in Buffalo learning from Ed Oliver.

Next: Round 3