Dave Dameshek of NFL.com put together divisional All-Pro teams, ranking each division in the NFL based on the talent of each All Star squad. The New York Jets were able to place five players on the AFC East team: Nick Mangold, D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Santonio Holmes, David Harris and Antonio Cromartie. The AFC East team was actually ranked as the worst out of all eight teams created. While the Jets edged out the Miami Dolphins by placing five players on the team compared to Miami's four, the decision to structure the defense as a base 4-3 hurt their chances of earning a few more selections and led to at least one obvious snub, defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson.
Building an All-AFC East team is a fun exercise in the lead up to training camp, and also a way to examine where the strength of each team lies relative to other teams in their own division. What's interesting about the All-AFC East team built by Dave Dameshek is that the Jets only placed one player in the defensive front seven, which is where the majority of the team's young talent lies. The Jets finished second to the New England Patriots in offensive players selected, despite the constant railing on the lack of talent on their offensive unit.
Five Jets players were selected to the team assembled by NFL.com: Nick Mangold, D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Santonio Holmes, David Harris and Antonio Cromartie. While it's no surprise to see the two cornerstones of the offensive line – Nick Mangold and D'Brickashaw Ferguson – as well as the brightest star on the defenses – Antonio Cromartie – make the team, the other two selections are interesting. Dave Dameshek clearly still respects the ability of Santonio Holmes despite the possible concerns about his injury rehab. David Harris has come under fire for slipping production in recent seasons.
Based on the overall talent of the AFC East defenses, the overall defense was based on a 4-3 look. That hurt the Jets, who didn't place a single player on the defensive line. Being that the defensive line is possibly the deepest position group on the team, it's a snub of an entire group of players, let alone the individual snub of Muhammad Wilkerson. The one player placed in the front seven, David Harris, is slotted in as an outside linebacker. Harris plays inside as part of Rex Ryan's base 3-4 defense.
In the end, it's just a fun way to create some conversation before training camp kicks off in a few weeks. Still, the AFC East All-Pro team shows off the overall talent of the division. Placing second in the AFC East could put the Jets in the mix for a Wild Card spot and looking at the names on that list, that might not be so hard to do.
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