Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Walker's Fab 40: Nos. 25-28
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. 25-28:
No. 28: Reggie Bush, RB, Miami Dolphins
2012 stats: 968 yards, six touchdowns
Analysis: Bush proved in Miami that he can be an every-down back. He rushed for more than 2,000 yards the past two seasons. Now, Miami has to decide whether to bring Bush back. At times, he was the Dolphins' only consistent playmaker on offense. Bush still tends to run east and west too often, which Miami's coaching staff doesn't like. But Bush also is capable of reeling off big plays. Bush had two runs of 40 yards or more and six runs of 20 yards or more. He's also dangerous in the passing game, although Miami didn't use Bush enough in that area.
No. 27: Stevan Ridley, RB, New England Patriots
2012 stats: 1,263 yards, 12 touchdowns
Analysis: Ridley had a breakout season for the Patriots in 2012. He set new career highs in his second season with 1,263 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. Defenses focused heavily on quarterback Tom Brady and the passing game, and Ridley took advantage. Opponents could not put eight in the box against Ridley, and he showed explosiveness to consistently get to the second level. Ridley averaged 4.4 yards per attempt in his first full year as a starter. He still has a penchant for untimely fumbles. But overall Ridley has been a very good find for New England as a 2011 third-round pick.
No. 26: Nate Solder, LT, Patriots
2012 stats: 16 starts
Analysis: Solder stepped in for the retired Matt Light and performed well. The former 2011 first-round pick appears to be a long-term starter at left tackle for the Patriots. Solder has good feet and mobility. He had the huge assignment of protecting Brady’s blindside and stepped up to the challenge. Perhaps the best thing about Solder is he's only entering his third season has yet to reach his ceiling.
No. 25: D'Brickashaw Ferguson, OT, New York Jets
2012 stats: 16 starts
Analysis: Ferguson did not have a great season, but the same can be said for New York’s entire offensive line. Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez struggled mightily, in part, because he didn’t have good pass protection. Sanchez was sacked 34 times in 15 starts. Ferguson, 29, is not an elite left tackle. But he’s still good enough. The Jets have two pieces in place with Ferguson and center Nick Mangold. But the other three spots on the offensive line need an upgrade.