Updated: Jun 16
The Best AFC East Draft Picks
Written by: Rich Mendoza
Just days away until the 2022 NFL Draft, the draft is scheduled to be held in Las Vegas, Nevada, from April 28–30, 2022.
With this in mind, I am going to bring those who have been the best AFC East Draft picks.
1. QB Dan “ The Man” Marino (1983 NFL Draft, Round 1, No. 27 overall).
The lowdown: Five quarterbacks were selected before Marino came off the board with the second-to-last pick in the first round. Like two of the quarterbacks picked before him (John Elway and Jim Kelly), Marino would one day wind up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. At the time of his retirement, Marino held the most significant career passing records. He was also a nine-time Pro Bowl selection and the NFL MVP in 1984, which also happened to be Marino's only (and the Dolphins' last) Super Bowl appearance.
2. RB Larry Csonka: In 1968, the Miami Dolphins selected Syracuse running back Larry Csonka with the eighth overall pick. Csonka bulled his way into the Pro Football Hall of Fame by rushing for 8081 yards and 68 touchdowns. The Ohio native was a five-time Pro-Bowler (1970-74), three-time All-Pro (1971-73), two-time Super Bowl champion (VII, VIII), and the Super Bowl VIII Most Valuable Player.
3. QB Bob Griese: With the fourth overall pick in 1967, the Dolphins selected Purdue quarterback Bob Griese. The Boilermaker standout was a two-time AFL All-Star (1967-68), six-time Pro-Bowler (1970-71, 1973-74, 1977-78), two-time NFL MVP (1971, 1978), and two-time Super Bowl champion (VII, VIII). Griese and Earl Morrall led the 1972-73 Miami Dolphins to the NFL's only undefeated season.
1. QB Jim Kelly: Drafted with the 14th overall pick of the 1983 NFL Draft, Kelly opted to play in the USFL for the Houston Gamblers, where he posted gaudy stats of 9,842 passing yards and 83 touchdowns in two seasons, before finally joining the Bills. is quite simply the most important player in franchise history, not to mention the most beloved. He holds almost every meaningful Bills career passing record, and in his post-football life has become the patron saint of Buffalo sports.
2. DE Bruce Smith: Drafted with the first overall pick of the 1985 NFL Draft out of Virginia Tech, Bruce wreaked havoc on every offensive lineman that dared to the lineup in front of him, is the all-time NFL sack leader with 200, including 171 with Buffalo, a team mark that will likely never be broken. There were times when he was at his healthy best when he was arguably the best defensive player in the NFL.
3. RB O.J. Simpson’s: Orenthal James Simpson was selected by the Buffalo Bills with the first overall pick in the 1969 NFL Draft out of Southern California, What makes his stats even more impressive is the fact that the Bills had no passing attack at the time, and Simpson was still unstoppable, life unraveled after football, to be sure, but he was a transcendent player in the NFL and when he retired after 1978, he was the league’s second all-time leading rusher behind only Jim Brown.
1. QB Tom Brady: Former Michigan Wolverines round 6, 2000 NFL Draft (Pick No. 199), Considered to be the best NFL Draft steal of all time, future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady spent two decades as a member of the New England Patriots after originally breaking into the league as a sixth-round pick out of Michigan, the longtime New England signal-caller promptly led the team to six titles and nine Super Bowl appearances.
2. CB Devin McCourty: Drafted 2010, 27th overall61 games started, one of three NFL players (Ronnie Lott, Rod Woodson) in history to be named All-Pro at safety and cornerback. When the Pats took Devin McCourty in the first round of 2010, fans and pundits alike bemoaned that he wasn't an elite cornerback, that he was destined to only play special teams and would not be the answer to the Patriots' lack of talent at cornerback.
3. Logan Mankins: Drafted 2005, 32nd overall, Praised as one of the toughest players in the game, Mankins played most of 2011 and through the Super Bowl on a torn ACL. Mankins signed a six-year, $51 million contract extension that runs through 2016 after a somewhat contentious negotiation.
1. QB Joe Namath: Jets drafted him No. 1 overall in the 1965 AFL Draft, Namath helped deliver the Jets’ first and only Super Bowl, so the Hall of Famer has to be at the top of the list. He was also the 1965 Rookie of the Year, a three-time Pro Bowler, and an All-Pro in 1968. Namath’s 12-year Jets career included a 50.2 competition percentage, 27,057 passing yards, 170 touchdowns, and 215 interceptions.
2. CB Darrelle Revis: Selected in the 2007 NFL Draft with the 14th overall pick, Revis made seven Pro Bowls and four All-Pro teams and finished second in Defensive Player of the Year voting after his legendary 2009 season. With the Jets, Revis tallied 25 interceptions, three defensive touchdowns, 112 defended passes, and 388 combined tackles.
3. C Nick Mangold: Selected in the 2006 NFL Draft with the 29th overall pick, Mangold was one of the best centers in the NFL during his 11 years with the Jets. He made seven Pro Bowls and two All-Pro teams after New York took him 26th overall in 2010. Mangold will always be remembered as a true workhorse and a genuinely nice guy off the field.
Which are your own top 3.