Monday, February 13, 2012
Walker's Fab 40: Nos. 37-40
By James Walker
We mentioned Sunday that we are ranking the top-40 players in the AFC East. Let's begin "Walker's Fab 40" with Nos. 37-40.
No. 40: Kyle Arrington, CB
Team: New England Patriots
2011 stats: 88 tackles, seven interceptions
Analysis: Our Fab 40 in the AFC East begins with the NFL interception leader. Arrington made strides this past season by creating much-needed turnovers for the Patriots' defense. But too often Arrington and New England gave up chunks of passing yards. The Patriots were 31st in total defense and 31st in pass defense. Despite his stats, Arrington was not a shutdown corner. But his playmaking ability and good hands were enough to come in a No. 40.
No. 39: Kevin Burnett, LB
Team: Miami Dolphins
2011 stats: 105 tackles, 2.5 sacks, one interception
Analysis: Burnett’s 2011 season followed the same path as Miami's. Like the Dolphins, Burnett started slow. He was one of the team's big free-agent additions and had trouble finding his role as Miami started 0-7. But Burnett started to show around midseason why the Dolphins acquired him. He was one of the team's biggest impact players on defense and finished with 105 tackles. Miami also went 6-3 down the stretch. There is a lot to like about Miami's defense entering next season and Burnett is one of the reasons.
No. 38: Brian Moorman, P
Team: Buffalo Bills
2011 stats: 48.2 yards per punt, 20 inside 20
Analysis: There were a couple of seasons recently when a strong case could be made that Moorman was the best player on Buffalo's roster. That is no longer the case. But Moorman remains one of the top punters in the AFC. He averaged 48.2 yards per punt and had another consistent season. Moorman and a healthy place kicker Rian Lindell provides a solid pair for Buffalo's special teams.
No. 37: Brandon Moore, G
Team: New York Jets
2011 Stats: 16 starts
Analysis: The Jets surprisingly had three offensive linemen make the Pro Bowl this year. I didn't think New York's performance in the trenches earned that, but Moore was one of those three players to get the call to Hawaii. Moore and center Nick Mangold are two of New York's best run blockers. But Moore needs to be more consistent overall and especially in pass protection.