AFC East's best: No. 4 Vince Wilfork

July, 19, 2011
7/19/11
8:13
AM ET
The countdown of my top 25 AFC East players continues, one weekday at a time ...

Wilfork
Wilfork
About 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.

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