AFC East's best: No. 7 Jerod Mayo

The countdown of my top 25 AFC East players continues, one weekday at a time ...

Mayo Mayo About the choice: The New England Patriots' inside linebacker was voted All-Pro and went to his first Pro Bowl. In just his third season, Jerod Mayo was a defensive captain for the second time. Mayo led the team with an astronomical 193 tackles (according to the Patriots' coaching staff's review of game film), ranking third in franchise history. He notched two 19-tackle games. He also had two sacks, a forced fumble and three recoveries (most in the AFC).

Key fact: A Football Outsiders review of last season found Mayo led the NFL with 72 tackles on pass plays and was one of only two non-cornerbacks in the top dozen.

Hint about No. 6: His college head coach once was an assistant to the player's current head coach.

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