The 2023 NFL Draft has been completed, and each team made plenty of picks over the course of the three days. Some of those picks, the players they drafted, were steals where they got them and are going to be major impact players for the team. This series will go over each team’s steal of the draft, with today being the AFC East!
Buffalo Bills: O’Cyrus Torrence, Offensive Guard, Florida
A player who could’ve gone in the first round, the Bills passed over and were still able to get in the second. Buffalo needed more stability on the interior of the offensive line, and they will end up getting that from Torrence who will be competing for a starting job. At Florida, Torrence played with a great anchor to not get overpowered and match the strength of edge rushers. This led to Torrence allowing only eight hurries and no sacks in 2022. He also is extremely mobile and uses his power to create running lanes with ease. With having a dual-threat quarterback like Josh Allen, drafting someone like Torrence in the second round to protect him on the interior was their steal of the draft.
New York Jets: Jarrick Bernard-Converse, Defensive Back, LSU
An underrated pick, and maybe overlooked, but Bernard-Converse has the potential to add to this secondary over his career. With Bernard-Converse, he is a chess piece player that the Jets can line up anywhere as he has experience playing safety, outside corner, and slot corner. The Jets mainly needed more depth at safety, so he will most likely be taking a majority of his snaps there, but having that flexibility for a player taken in the sixth round provides great value. Bernard-Converse has the skills to back it up as well, he has great tracking ability downfield, is fluid out of his transitions, excellent ball skills, and is an extremely aggressive tackler. Over his five-year career, he allowed only 158 receptions over 280 targets for 2,080 yards while creating 25 pass breakups and also had 80 run stops. While Bernard-Converse will most likely start on special teams, don’t be surprised if he doesn’t work his way into a larger role over time.
New England Patriots: Kayshon Boutte, Wide Receiver, LSU
Other than Christian Gonzalez, you could argue that Boutte was the second-best pick for the Patriots, and he came in the sixth round. Once regarded as a first round talent, Boutte falling to the Patriots here with their need at wide receiver gave them what could be one of the biggest steals of the draft. Boutte will provide New England with a big-play threat that wins with his speed and route running. When he has the ball in his hands, he is at his best, as Boutte has the balance and burst to get past defenders with ease, and he uses his size to effectively secure contested catches and create after the catch. Boutte finished college with 1,776 yards and 16 touchdowns, with 831 yards coming after the catch. His ability to play out wide or in the slot will provide Bill O’Brien with someone he can open up the offense more with.
Miami Dolphins: Devon Achane, Running Back, Texas A&M
The Dolphins didn’t have much to work with, but they were able to add more speed to their offense in the third round. That comes in the form of an addition to their backfield in Devon Achane who is coming off a 2022 season in which he rushed for 1,100 yards and eight touchdowns over 196 attempts. With his shiftiness, he was able to force 53 missed tackles and create 705 yards after contact. As a former track player, he has the speed to go the distance and provide a spark on offense. When you already had Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle as receivers, and now add a dynamic player like Achane in the backfield, this offense has turned the quickness up to another level.
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2023 NFL Draft Steals: NFC East Division