When it comes to highlighting top NFL talent, league-wide evaluations are the norm -- meaning some of the better players in each division are often overlooked. With his divisional all-star series, Dave Dameshek will be taking a deeper dive into the NFL's elite, putting together the best squad possible from each division -- continuing with the All-AFC East Team below.
For additional analysis on this topic -- and a whole lot more -- listen to The Dave Dameshek Football Program.
Kidding, of course. But it should be sad and worrisome to Jets and Bills fans that, when you take the man ahead of Garoppolo on the Pats' depth chart out of the equation, only Ryan Tannehill keeps this from being true. (By the way, I think it's a mistake to close the book on EJ Manuel in Buffalo. And the by the way-way, Gregg Rosenthal and others weren't wrong last year about Tannehill becoming a really good QB. They just jumped the gun by a season.)
Attention, NFL broadcasters: You can't continue to refer to him as underrated when he's referred to as underrated on every single broadcast.
Among non-quarterbacks, Gronk is the most valuable Jenga piece -- as in, if you remove him from the game, the whole team collapses -- in football.
After four years of banging heads with NFC West defenders, the former first-rounder out of 'Bama moves from Seattle to New Jersey to face the AFC East's own nasty collection of D-linemen.
While almost everything else at Jets HQ has been in flux over the last few years, Mangold has served as one of the very few items the team wisely bolted to the floor.
A collective lack of good guard options forces us to slide the versatile Pouncey -- who will move back to center after spending time last season at right guard -- over to this spot.
The 6-foot-8, 320-pound specimen from Germany has emerged as a dependable member of the gang assigned one of pro football's most important responsibilities: keeping Tom Brady clean.
He's averaged almost 12 sacks per season since 2010. And, like the 3.2 million other dime-store analysts who've already said it, I have to point out that Wake will now have more room to operate with Suh eating up blockers. Also, it'd be great if there were actually still dime stores. Ten cents is so cheap!
2015's literal and figurative biggest free-agent score obviously will make an impact, but can he and his new teammates kick the Pats out of first place? (Yes, they can -- and will.)
This large person might not be as good as Suh -- he might be better. But is he as good as teammate Kyle Williams?
Forget what I just said -- this former Defensive Rookie of the Year is the best of the bunch. Wait; I forgot to mention Jerry Hughes in Buffalo. And Muhammad Wilkerson in New York. And Chandler Jones in New England. And how 'bout can't-miss Jets rookie Leonard Williams? Yikes. This is a scary division in which to be a QB.
We had to find room for Williams, who has been better than ever since moving to Buffalo three years ago; luckily for us, it seems he'll likelyserve as an outside linebacker under new coach Rex Ryan after functioning as a 4-3 defensive end for the Bills last season. (Almost a decade after he went ahead of Reggie Bush and Vince Young in the 2006 NFL Draft, Williams is the clear-cut best of that trio.)
Some big-name guys have moved out of Foxborough, but the team's best defender (this side of the recently departed Revis Island, at least) remains. The rangy Collins consistently stands out when you watch the Pats.
The former Shippensburg Red Raider is one of the best corners of the decade -- and I'm not just saying that because I fear his loved ones tweeting bad words about me.
Given the state of New England's decimated secondary, it's not hyperbole to say McCourty's play this season will go a long way toward determining whether the team can stave off its division rivals for another year.
He led all NFL safeties in snaps in 2013. That alone doesn't make him good, of course -- but as it happens, he is.
He's so underrated.
Stephen Gostkowski made a league-leading 35 field goals for the Pats last year. Carpenter made just 34 ... but he hit a remarkable 6 of 8 from 50-plus yards out.