NFL Draft Expert Puts AFC East Linebackers On Notice After Bills’ Pick

Buffalo took running back James Cook in the second round

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The New York Jets may have been the talk of the AFC East during the first three rounds of the 2022 NFL Draft, but it was the Buffalo Bills who made one of the biggest additions to the division Friday in the second round.

Buffalo selected Georgia running back James Cook, the younger brother of Dalvin Cook, with the No. 63 overall pick in the second round. Cook now will join a Josh Allen-led offense that was third in the league in scoring despite not having a consistent threat in the backfield.

Well, Buffalo now has a dynamic playmaker at running back and NFL Media’s Daniel Jeremiah said that’s bad news for opposing defenses around the division.

“I think every linebacker in the AFC East has been put on notice. Good luck, guys,” Jeremiah said during the NFL Network broadcast Friday night. “I’ve seen everybody at the collegiate level try and cover him out of the backfield, not just running routes from the backfield, actually split out at wide receiver, as you saw against Michigan. He is a nightmare in the passing game. He’s got home run ability, obviously the brother of Dalvin Cook, you see a lot of similarities in their run style.”

Cook, standing at 5-foot-11 and 199 pounds, ran a 4.42 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine.

“He can make you miss in tight quarters, that stop-start quickness, that’s going to look familiar. Very balanced and loose,” Jeremiah said. “Talk about his ability to be able to change direction to stay on balance, pull through tackles, not the biggest guy in the world, but he plays stronger than that with his lower body strength.”

The New England Patriots, specifically, did not force the Bills to punt in their season-ending playoff loss in Buffalo last season. And with the departure of J.C. Jackson and a linebacking corps that presents some questions, it may prove a poor matchup again for the Patriots. The Bills now have won back-to-back division titles and look to be on track for another given Allen’s playmaking ability along with No. 1 wide Stefon Diggs.

“This is going to be a fun division, and Josh Allen got a big-time weapon,” Jeremiah said.

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