Most Intriguing Players in the AFC East for 2019
By Julie Voigt and Russell S. Baxter (VIBE)
Special to Pro Football Guru
Welcome to the latest series by the team of "Voigt Julie" and "Yours Truly." With the 2019 NFL regular season roughly two and half months away, it’s a division-by-division look at each club’s most intriguing player. It starts with the AFC East, where the reigning Super Bowl champion New England Patriots have won a league-record straight division titles.
So here’s Part 1 of what we hope is a quick and entertaining read for all NFL fans chomping at the bit to see their favorite club play (teams are in order of 2018 finish):
New England Patriots
TE Matt LaCosse
VI: There’s no doubt when you think of the Patriots that six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady pops immediately into your mind. But when you think of the loss this offseason at the tight end position via the retirement of tight end Rob Gronkowski, the question is who fill that void? Of course, no one can ever take the place of “Gronk,” but what about the starting job? With that said, all eyes will be on former Denver Broncos’ performer Matt LaCosse. While the team did sign veteran Benjamin Watson this offseason, he’ll miss the first four games of 2019 due to suspension. Regardless, could LaCosse wind up being “the guy” all season long?
DT Christian Wilkins
BE: He’s one of three former University of Clemson defensive linemen drafted in the first round in April. And there’s little doubt that the Dolphins, losers of their nine of their final 13 games this past season after a 3-0 start, have a lot of issues to fix on this side of the ball. New head coach Brian Flores’ specialty is defense and Wilkins hopes to be a big factor for a club that allowed the second-most rushing yards in the league in 2018.
QB Josh Allen
VI: Sean McDermott’s team has certainly made a name for themselves this offseason. So it’s little surprised that the most intriguing player to watch will be none other than the strong-armed Allen. Entering year two of his career, knowing the process and working with new center Mitch Morse – late of the Kansas City Chiefs – we might actually see the overall talent the young performer possesses.
New York Jets
WR Jamison Crowder
BE: The former Washington Redskins’ performer is a very solid player when healthy. But this past season, he missed seven contests and was limited to 29 contests for 388 yards and two scores. In his first three years in D.C., the former Duke University hauled in 59, 67 and 66 passes, respectively. Crowder will team with Robby Anderson and Quincy Enunwa to give quarterback Sam Darnold quite the trio of targets.
Julie Voigt (JulieNoted_PFG) and Russell S. Baxter (@BaxFootballGuru) are the co-founders of @pfgVIBE. Julie is also the Colts’ reporter for OurTurf Football while Russell writes for FanSided and NFL Spin Zone.