Thursday, February 16, 2012
Walker's Fab 40: Nos. 13-16
By James Walker
We are getting down to the very best players in the AFC East.
Here are "Walker’s Fab 40" Nos. 13-16:
No. 16: Mike Pouncey, C
Team: Miami Dolphins
Stats: 16 starts
Analysis: It's difficult to make a big impact at center. But Pouncey left an impression in Miami during his rookie year. Miami's 2011 first-round pick paved the way for Dolphins tailback Reggie Bush to have his first 1,000-yard season. Pouncey has a rare combination of size, speed and athleticism. His footwork is something you just don't see from most centers. Pouncey isn't as good as his twin brother Maurkice, but he's close. Both will be anchors for their respective teams for many years.
No. 15: Santonio Holmes, WR
Team: New York Jets
Stats: 51 receptions, 654 yards, eight touchdowns
Analysis: Do not be fooled. Despite a down year and chemistry issues, Holmes is still one of the top 15-20 receivers in the NFL. That was good enough to land Holmes at No. 15 in the division for "Walker's Fab 40." Holmes didn't get many opportunities to make big plays, but from my view he got open a lot. Oftentimes New York's protection didn't hold up or quarterback Mark Sanchez failed to make the throw. The combination wore on Holmes to the point that he imploded at the end of the season. But the issue was never talent -- Holmes is a former Super Bowl MVP. The issue is harmony and being on the same page with the offense and quarterback.
No. 14: David Harris, LB
Stats: 86 tackles, five sacks, four interceptions
Analysis: Harris is another one of my favorites to watch in the division. He's one of the few quiet players on New York's defense, but Harris’ play speaks volumes. Despite not having the big name, Harris was New York's best linebacker last season. Harris was probably the most consistent player on the Jets' defense, outside of Pro Bowl corner Darrelle Revis. Harris stays around the ball and has a knack for making big plays. He is one of the most underrated players in the NFL. But this week Harris gets the respect he deserves in "Walker's Fab 40."
No. 13: D'Brickashaw Ferguson, LT
Stats: 16 starts
Analysis: Ferguson had arguably his most up-and-down season, but he still made the Pro Bowl in 2011. Good left tackles are hard to come by. The Jets have many issues, but at least this isn't one of them. New York has a solid trio of offensive linemen in Ferguson, guard Brandon Moore (No. 37) and Pro Bowl center Nick Mangold (ranking TBD). The Jets need to do a much better job of coaching this group up and getting the best out of them.