Monday, January 28, 2013
Walker's Fab 40: Nos. 33-36
By James Walker
The AFC East blog continues its second annual "Walker’s Fab 40," where we rank the top players in the division.
Here are Nos. 33-36:
No. 36: Shonn Greene, RB, New York Jets
2012 stats: 1,063 yards, eight touchdowns
Analysis: Longtime readers of the AFC East blog know I don't like playing Greene as a featured tailback. He doesn't make enough big plays and averaged just 3.9 yards per carry this past season, which is a formula for a lot of three-and-outs. However, Greene deserves credit for notching his second consecutive 1,000-yard season. Greene had 276 carries thanks to the Jets' ground-and-pound philosophy. Greene is entering free agency and wants to be paid like a featured back. The Jets, who are over the cap, most likely will not overpay to bring Greene back to New York.
No. 35: Brian Hartline, WR, Miami Dolphins
2012 stats: 74 receptions, 1,083 yards, one TD
Analysis: Hartline had a career year in 2012, and it came at the perfect time. Hartline will be an unrestricted free agent and should be able to cash in. Hartline is not a true No. 1 receiver, but he was in Miami. When rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill needed a big play, he looked to Hartline to deliver. But teams were able to shut down Hartline when he was the focus of the defense. He had nine games this year of four catches or fewer. Hartline will be a quality No. 2 option for a team that already has a legit No. 1 receiver. Perhaps Miami could pay to keep Hartline and pair him with a bigger free-agent receiver like Greg Jennings, Dwayne Bowe or Mike Wallace.
No. 34: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Dolphins
2012 stats: 3,294 yards, 12 TDs, 13 INTs
Analysis: Tannehill exceeded everyone's expectations as a rookie. He was projected to hold a clipboard for the entire season but impressed Miami’s coaches right away to earn the starting job in the preseason. Tannehill showed toughness, poise and potential to win seven games in his first season. Because of Tannehill's rapid development, the Dolphins were in wild-card contention in the final month of the season. Tannehill showed a lot of physical tools. He can make all of the throws and has good mobility to run for first downs. Tannehill’s touchdown-to-interception ratio wasn't great, but that will improve when he gets a better supporting cast.
No. 33: Santonio Holmes, WR, Jets
2012 stats: 20 receptions, 272 yards, one TD
Analysis: Holmes fell off the map after a season-ending foot injury in the fourth game. But the former Super Bowl MVP is still a good receiver. Holmes got open consistently in 2011 but was rarely on the same page with struggling quarterback Mark Sanchez -- who is not in Walker’s Fab 40. Holmes has to prove he can come back from a broken bone in his foot. But we feel comfortable still placing Holmes among the top 40 players in the division.