A quick move by the Arizona Cardinals may have prevented an overhaul of the AFC East on Thursday night.
The Dolphins had the No. 11 overall pick and appeared in position to select quarterback Josh Rosen of UCLA, which would have meant all three of New England’s divisional rivals invested high draft picks in quarterbacks.
But the Cardinals traded with the Oakland Raiders to nab the No. 10 pick, which they used on Rosen. That left Miami to take Alabama safety Minkah Fitzpatrick.
Here’s how Miami’s AFC East rivals shaped up after Thursday night:
New York Jets
Selection: QB Sam Darnold, USC (third overall)
The days of Dolphins fans getting a laugh over bumbling Jets quarterbacks may be over.
Josh McCown, who had good success against Miami last year, is the incumbent, but he’ll be 39 this season. New York now has plenty of talent ready to take his place.
After obtaining Teddy Bridgewater, the Jets spent the No. 3 overall pick on Sam Darnold. If that has a familiar ring to it, the last quarterback the Jets took in the first round was another USC passer, Mark Sanchez.
New Yorkers don’t want to be reminded how that turned out.
If nothing else, Darnold isn’t stepping into the Big Apple fishbowl lacking confidence. Asked by NFL Network ace inquisitor Deion Sanders what the Jets can expect, Darnold shot back, “A lot of wins.”
Darnold is 6-3 1/2 and 221, so pass rushers will have to work to bring him down, although he has had issues securing the ball in the pocket.
“They gave up a lot, as we know, to move up into that No. 3 position,” analyst Troy Aikman said. “It could easily turned out they got the third-best quarterback” if they had not traded with the Colts to the No. 3 slot. The deal included New York giving up three second-round picks.
Aikman pointed out that some of Darnold’s best throws came when he was on the move. Extending plays is among his strengths.
Darnold said he’s comfortable in whatever role the coaches want, whether that’s starting as a rookie or learning behind McNown.
Picks: QB Josh Allen, Wyoming (7th overall) and ILB Tremaine Edmunds (16th overall)
The Bills made a couple of deals to jump ahead of the Dolphins into the No. 7 overall slot and take Wyoming QB Josh Allen to cap what had been a rocky draft day for Allen.
Earlier in the day, offensive tweets he’d sent out years ago surfaced. That conjured memories of two years ago, when Laremy Tunsil’s stock was sabotaged when someone posted video of him with a bong on social media as the draft was about to start.
“I just want to say thank you to the Bills’ organization for making the leap and putting their faith in me,” Allen said.
The Bills went into the draft with six picks in the top 100, so they had plenty of capital to work with.
They no longer have Tyrod Taylor, having traded him to Cleveland. That’s a break for the Dolphins, who rarely seemed to have an answer for Taylor.
The Bills already added free agent AJ McCarron, meaning they don’t have a grizzled veteran to help groom Allen, meaning he may be forced to learn under fire.
The Bills weren’t done dealing. They traded with Baltimore to move up to No. 16 and land Virginia Tech inside linebacker Tremaine Edmunds.
Edmunds is the son of Ferrell Edmunds, a former Pro Bowl tight end with the Dolphins. Tremaine made second-team All-ACC in 2016 and made the first team last season after leading the Hokies with 109 tackles, including 14 for loss. He also had 5.5 sacks and forced three fumbles.
Tremaine’s brother, Terrell, was taken 28th overall, by Pittsburgh.
New England Patriots
Picks: T Isaiah Wynn, Georgia (23rd overall) and RB Sony Michel, Georgia (31st overall)
Although many draft lists had Wynn pegged as a guard, the Patriots are listing him at tackle.
The Giants had something to say about this pick, nabbing longtime Patriots left tackle Nate Solder in free agency with a $34.8 million in guaranteed money.
So Tom Brady’s newest best buddy is a 6-foot-3, 313-pounder who made All-SEC in 2017.
Wynn was a highly recruited prospect out of Lakewood High in St. Petersburg. He began his sophomore season as a starting left guard before sliding over to left tackle. Showing versatility, he was back at guard in 2016 but started 15 games at left tackle last season.
Wynn is needed. Brady was sacked 35 times last season. Only eight QBs hit the deck more.
Late in the first round, the Patriots also landed running back Sony Michel of Georgia.
Michel rushed for 3,613 yards and 33 TDs in four seasons with the Bulldogs, averaging 6.1 yards per carry. He also made 64 receptions for 621 yards and six touchdowns.