2022 preseason All-AFC East Workforce: Josh Allen leads 13 representatives from loaded Payments roster

August 23, 2022

Over the following two weeks, we are going to unveil our preseason All-Division groups, as is our annual custom round this time of yr. As all the time, the rosters have been compiled largely by a panel of 1, although there was important enter from the writing and editorial workers at CBSSports.com after I took an preliminary run on the rosters by myself. 

We’ll start right this moment with the AFC East, then transfer by means of the remainder of the convention this week. Subsequent week, it is on to the NFC. With out additional ado …

Offensive ability positions

QB: Josh Allen (BUF)

RB: Rhamondre Stevenson (NE)

WR: Stefon Diggs (BUF), Tyreek Hill (MIA), Gabriel Davis (BUF)

TE: Dawson Knox (BUF)

FLEX: Elijah Moore (NYJ)

The quarterback choice for this division was extraordinarily straightforward. During the last two seasons, Allen has totaled 8,951 passing yards, 73 passing touchdowns towards 25 interceptions, in addition to an extra 1,184 dashing yards and 14 scores on the bottom. He is without doubt one of the small handful of finest signal-callers within the NFL, and essentially the most impactful participant within the AFC East on both aspect of the ball. 

The working again choose was fairly a bit harder. Every of the division’s 4 groups is predicted to separate snaps between at the very least two backs, with every of Stevenson, Damien Harris, Devin Singletary, Breece Corridor and Chase Edmonds having cheap arguments to come back out on prime. Finally, what Stevenson confirmed final yr, plus his anticipated emergence because the Patriots’ passing-down again, led us to choose him. 

Diggs stays Allen’s clear-cut No. 1 goal, and even in a “down” season a yr in the past he totaled 103 catches for 1,225 yards and 10 touchdowns. Higher luck connecting on deep passes will result in a good higher season in 2022. Even after leaving Patrick Mahomes, Hill ought to nonetheless be probably the most explosive playmakers within the NFL, and Tua Tagovailoa’s accuracy ought to play up as he makes an attempt to get Hill the ball in open house. Davis is a well-liked breakout participant choose, and with good cause. The final time we noticed him on the sphere, he put collectively arguably the best playoff recreation in NFL historical past, catching eight passes for 201 yards and 4 scores in Buffalo’s AFC divisional spherical loss to the Chiefs. 

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At tight finish, there are a number of worthy candidates. Mike Gesicki is predicted to be extra of a blocker in Miami than he has been previously, given the change to Mike McDaniel’s Shanahan-style offense. Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith, and Tyler Conklin and C.J. Uzomah are anticipated to separate snaps in some type or one other. That leaves Knox, who emerged as one in all Allen’s most dependable red-zone targets final season and confirmed the power to stretch the sphere as effectively. 

Moore was placing collectively the most effective stretch of his rookie marketing campaign when he suffered a season-ending harm final yr, totaling 34 receptions for 459 yards and 5 touchdowns in his ultimate six video games. He must be Zach Wilson’s prime goal in 12 months 2, and his versatility to line up inside, outdoors, and even within the backfield makes him a harmful all-field weapon.

Offensive line

OT: Terron Armstead (MIA), Dion Dawkins (BUF)

G: Alijah Vera-Tucker (NYJ), Laken Tomlinson (NYJ)

C: David Andrews (NE)

The priority with Armstead stays accidents. When wholesome, he’s among the many finest left tackles within the NFL. Amongst 88 tackles who performed at the very least 250 snaps final season, he earned the fifth-highest pass-blocking grade from Professional Soccer Focus. Dawkins was not far behind him, checking in thirteenth. Trent Brown might have been one other choose at sort out, however swinging over to the left aspect of the road opens some questions on whether or not he shall be fairly as efficient as in years previous. 

Tomlinson deservedly acquired a giant payday this offseason and may group with Vera-Tucker to type one of many league’s higher guard duos. In Mike LaFleur’s offense, the inside offensive line is sort of essential, and the Jets appear to have these two spots settled. Andrews is coming off a bounce-back season wherein he regarded to have regained his prior type. He was probably the most efficient pass-blocking facilities within the NFL final yr. 

Defensive entrance

EDGE: Von Miller (BUF), Matt Judon (NE)

IDL: Quinnen Williams (NYJ), Ed Oliver (BUF)

LB: Matt Milano (BUF), Tremaine Edmunds (BUF)

Miller’s stretch run with the Rams final season re-solidified his standing as one of many NFL’s premier edge rushers. He collected 5 sacks, eight quarterback hits and 12 tackles for loss in eight regular-season video games, then added 4 extra sacks, six extra hits and 6 extra tackles for loss throughout LA’s run to the Tremendous Bowl title. In Sean McDermott’s protection, he ought to shine. Judon matched a profession excessive by enjoying 81% of New England’s defensive snaps final season, and Invoice Belichick confirmed his typical capacity to place Judon in place to succeed. There isn’t any cause to anticipate a drop-off from one of many league’s most constant rushmen.

Williams is an rising participant on the inside of Robert Saleh’s protection, and his capacity to hurry the passer from the within places him in uncommon firm. He is collected 13 sacks over the previous two seasons together with 26 quarterback hits. Oliver is seemingly on the verge of his personal breakout, and with the Payments having added much more expertise up entrance to play alongside him, that breakout could occur this yr. (The great critiques of his efficiency from Buffalo’s coaching camp are encouraging on that entrance.)

The linebacker group on this division is missing in high-end expertise. New England has seen its depth raided by different groups over the previous a number of seasons, and not one of the gamers the Dolphins have taken from the Pats have remained fairly as efficient in Miami. Subsequently, we’ll go together with Buffalo’s pair of athletic defenders who make their bones in go protection, quite than betting on New York’s C.J. Mosley turning again the clock to 2018.

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Defensive backfield

CB: Xavien Howard (MIA), Tre’Davious White (BUF), Byron Jones (MIA)

SAF: Jevon Holland (MIA), Micah Hyde (BUF)

FLEX: Jordan Poyer (BUF)

Howard acquired his new contract and delivered one other Professional Bowl season with one other bunch of takeaways. He stays an elite possession-changer on protection and must be the muse of Miami’s protection together with Jones. When that duo is within the lineup, this can be very troublesome to go the ball towards the Dolphins. With J.C. Jackson departing New England for Los Angeles, we’ll be on Tre White making a profitable return from ACL surgical procedure, quite than assuming one of many Patriots’ remaining corners or New York’s hodgepodge of choices on the place can outplay him. 

Holland was a breakout star as a rookie, enjoying the identical kind of versatile function on the again finish of the protection that Dallas’ Micah Parsons did up entrance. He can line up nearly anyplace and play nearly any function on any given play, and that’s extremely priceless. Hyde and Poyer are each nonetheless wildly underrated, even after Poyer lastly landed an All-Professional nod final yr. They could be the most effective security tandem within the NFL. 

Specialists

Ok: Tyler Bass (BUF)

P: Jake Bailey (NE)

RET: Braxton Berrios (NYJ)

I will not lie. … I requested our resident kicking skilled (John Breech) who he thinks are the most effective kickers and punters in every division, and replica/pasted these names onto every All-Division group. In the meantime, Berrios was final season’s first-team All-Professional return man, and he has been a harmful playmaker with the ball in his palms since his days on the College of Miami.