Michael Lombardi of NFL.com recently composed a unique look at every NFL roster with a system ESPN.com columnist Bill Simmons convinced him to adopt.
Lombardi, a former NFL personnel executive who now provides analysis for the NFL Network and National Football Post, appraised each team by the number of blue-chip and red-chip players they have.
Blue-chip players are among the top 10 at their position: "He is good enough to create mismatches versus most opponents. He must also be one of the team's featured players and have a direct impact on the outcome of the game."
Red-chippers are among the top 15 at their position: He "plays the game with no real weaknesses, is a solid starter, and will be able to capitalize on certain opponents, but is never consistently dominant. He might not play as well against the league's very best, but shows up each week and has a high degree of competitiveness."
I'll summarize each AFC East team, with the players listed in the order Lombardi mentioned them. Click on the link above to read Lombardi's explanations.
Five blue-chip players: left tackle Jake Long, running back Ricky Williams, receiver Brandon Marshall, inside linebacker Karlos Dansby and fullback Lousaka Polite. Five red-chip players: running back Ronnie Brown, right tackle Vernon Carey, defensive end Kendall Langford, defensive tackle Randy Starks.
Four blue-chip players: nose tackle Vince Wilfork, receiver Wes Welker, quarterback Tom Brady, guard Logan Mankins. Lombardi also named Bill Belichick a blue-chip coach (top six). Six red-chip players: receiver Randy Moss, tackle Sebastian Vollmer, tackle Matt Light, defensive end Ty Warren, safety Brandon Meriweather, outside linebacker Tully Banta-Cain.
Seven blue-chip players: cornerback Darrelle Revis, tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson, center Nick Mangold, outside linebacker Calvin Pace, inside linebacker David Harris, receiver Santonio Holmes. Three red-chip players: guard Brandon Moore, inside linebacker Bart Scott and tight end Dustin Keller.