Monday, June 20, 2011
Wake only AFC East pass-rusher on list
One of the AFC East's weakest areas is pass rush.
Aside from Miami Dolphins outside linebacker Cameron Wake, there's simply not much there. The New England Patriots and New York Jets went into the offseason needing pass-rush help. Only three teams recorded fewer sacks than the Buffalo Bills last year.
Then it's no surprise to see a grand total of one AFC East player on NFL.com senior analyst Pat Kirwan's breakdown of the game's 25 best pass-rushers.
Wake landed in Kirwan's "D" grouping, or somewhere between 16th and 20th.
Wake was a revelation in his second NFL season. The undrafted, former CFL phenom compiled 14 sacks to finish third in the league.
But seeing Kirwan's list reminds me how passionately some Dolfans argued Wake deserved consideration for NFL Defensive Player of the Year back in February.
Wake, at this stage of his career, has developed one elite trait. When a former NFL executive such as Kirwan pegs Wake the 20th-best at the skill Wake does best, it becomes easier to keep matters in perspective.
No, Bills fans. You won't find Kyle Williams on the list. Williams recorded 5.5 sacks as a defensive tackle, but only one tackle appears on Kirwan's chart: Ndamukong Suh, also in the "D" group.