The AFC east went through a lot of changes this past off season. Rex Ryan moved from the Jets to the Bills, players moving around within the division such as Revis from the Patriots to the Jets and elite players coming in like Lesean McCoy and Brandon Marshall. Here’s a breakdown prediction by team for breakout players in the AFC east.
New England Patriots- CB Malcolm Butler
The Patriots secondary will have a new look for this upcoming season. Brandon Browner, Darrelle Revis, Alonzo Dennard, and Kyle Arrington are no longer with the team which leaves a huge void to be filled in the secondary. I expect Malcolm Butler, the hero of Superbowl 49, to step up to the task. Bill Belicheck will have his team ready to play no matter who is on the roster, and with Butler’s new found confidence, he could be primed for a breakout season.
New York Jets- S Calvin Pryor
Pryor’s rookie season wasn’t one to remember. He often looked lost and confused while in coverage situations. He’s a great tackler in the box, but at times wasn’t always in the right position to make a play. A lot of that struggle for Pryor comes from being in a weak Jets Secondary that had him playing out of position. Now with the Jets having possibly the best cornerback tandem in the league, Pryor will be moving back to strong safety so you can expect more production from the second year player.
Miami Dolphins- WR Kenny Stills
Out is Mike Wallace, and in is Kenny Stills. Stills, who’s 23, is expected to see more targets with the Dolphins. Last year he grabbed 63 rec, 931 yds with 3 TD’s. Expect an increase with his numbers now that he will be more of a focal point in the Miami offense. Stills is primed and ready to breakout with his new team in a new conference.
Buffalo Bills- CB Stephon Gilmore
Rex Ryan loves his Cornerbacks, and the former 2012 first round pick could have the biggest breakout season of all the players mentioned. Last year didn’t start well for Gilmore, but he turned it on in the second half of the season. Gilmore is a physical guy and is going to cause a lot problems, especially at the line of scrimmage. Ryan’s defensive style of play is very aggressive, and Gilmore fits the mold of a Rex Ryan type of player. Going against Harvin and Watkins in practice is just goin to help further him along. He could be one of the best all around played on the team when the season is all set and done.