The AFC East blog continues its rankings of the top 40 players in the division.
Here are Nos. 21-24:
No. 24: Antonio Cromartie, CB
Team: New York Jets
Stats: 45 tackles, four interceptions
Analysis: Cromartie isn't the same player he was a few years ago. But he's still a solid No. 2 option for the Jets. Cromartie gets a lot of balls thrown his way playing opposite Pro Bowl corner Darrelle Revis. This year it seemed Cromartie was beat in coverage more than in past years. But Cromartie did provide several big interception returns and a boost returning kicks. He is a gifted athlete who can still have a big game at any time.
No. 23: Andy Levitre, OL
Team: Buffalo Bills
Stats: 16 starts
Analysis: Levitre was one of the most impressive offensive linemen I watched all season in the AFC East. He was the only player in the division to start at three positions -- tackle, guard and center -- in 2011. Center was the only position Levitre had problems with, but he is a very good guard and tackle. Versatility is his biggest strength. Levitre also is 25 and will only get better.
No. 22: Paul Soliai, NT
Team: Miami Dolphins
Stats: 27 tackles
Analysis: As with most nose tackles in a 3-4 defense, the stats don't tell the full story for Soliai. He is a stud in the middle and he's about to cash in as an unrestricted free agent. Soliai played with the one-year franchise tag in 2011 and was key to Miami's tough run defense. He only recorded 27 tackles but took up many double-teams to allow other Dolphin defenders to make plays. The Dolphins are not expected to franchise Soliai a second straight year, and the team has been unable to work out a contract extension. Look for another team with a 3-4 defense to swoop in.
No. 21: Brian Waters, G
Team: New England Patriots
Stats: 16 starts
Analysis: Lost in the hype of the Chad Ochocinco and Albert Haynesworth additions was the Patriots' free-agent signing of Waters. The guard quietly came in and put up another Pro Bowl season in his first year with New England. Waters quickly picked up the system and was a steady force on a Patriots' offensive line that suffered multiple injuries. Waters, 34, played most of his career in Kansas City. He earned his first playoff win this season and nearly got his first Super Bowl ring.