The countdown of my top 25 AFC East players continues, one weekday at a time ...
WilforkAbout the choice: Wilfork is the centerpiece of the New England Patriots' 3-4 defense. He's one of the NFL's elite nose tackles, but is versatile enough to move along the defensive line and give opponents fits, particularly in the run game. Wilfork has been chosen for three Pro Bowls over the past four seasons. Critics who like to rely on stats more than football sense have insisted on the AFC East blog that Wilfork is overrated because he doesn't accumulate many tackles (87 last season) or sacks (two). He'd have more, but he does his job so supremely well, he's almost always fighting off two or three blockers.
Key fact: Wilfork's teammates voted him a defensive captain each of the past three years.
Hint about No. 3: He broke his high school basketball team's record for shooting percentage in a season.
5. Nick Mangold, Jets center
6. Logan Mankins, Patriots left guard
7. Jerod Mayo, Patriots inside linebacker
8. Cameron Wake, Dolphins outside linebacker
9. D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Jets left tackle
10. Santonio Holmes, Jets receiver
11. Kyle Williams, Bills defensive tackle
12. Brandon Marshall, Dolphins receiver
13. David Harris, Jets inside linebacker
14. Devin McCourty, Patriots cornerback
15. Wes Welker, Patriots receiver
16. Karlos Dansby, Dolphins linebacker
17. Fred Jackson, Bills running back
18. Sebastian Vollmer, Patriots right tackle
19. Steve Johnson, Bills receiver
20. Vontae Davis, Dolphins cornerback
21. Bart Scott, Jets inside linebacker
22. Randy Starks, Dolphins defensive lineman
23. Dustin Keller, Jets tight end
24. Kendall Langford, Dolphins defensive end
25. Rob Gronkowski, Patriots tight end