2020 Preseason All-AFC East Defense: Bills and Patriots lead the way
By Daniel Bruce
Starter: Tre’Davious White, Buffalo Bills
Tre’Davious White had an outstanding season in 2019, making the Pro Bowl and receiving All-Pro first team honors.
Compiling 6 interceptions and had 17 passes deflected, which stood tied for first and tied fourth respectively in the NFL. Being targeted 84 times and only allowing 47 receptions it was tough to gain yards on White. Finally getting the national media attention he deserved, where he was renowned as one of the best at his position in the league.
White finished in a tie for fifth in the league in approximate value with 18. The Bills cornerback is among the best players in the NFL and had a very similar season to Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore. White has exceptional ball skills and makes a great read on Odell Beckham below:
Backup: Xavien Howard, Miami Dolphins
Appearing in just five games for the Dolphins last season Xavien Howard struggled immensely like the whole team did early in 2019, then Howard bowed out with a knee injury for the season.
Howard had 1 interception and 4 pass breakups in a shortened season, but Howard should return to his form with an up and coming Dolphins squad in 2020.
Starter: Stephon Gilmore, New England Patriots
The reigning Defensive Player of the Year, Gilmore is no surprise as the starter here, with him and White being the best two cornerbacks in the NFL, not just the division.
Gilmore finished with a league leading 6 interceptions and 20 pass breakups, he was dominant the whole season and was well deserving of the accolades he received. Targeted the seventh most in the league, Gilmore only allowed 47 receptions on 96 targets. Gilmore also finished in second place in approximate value with 21. Leading the leagues best defense as their best player was something that Gilmore looks to take into next year.
Backup: Byron Jones, Miami Dolphins
Jones, who has been regarded as one of the league’s best cornerbacks in past years took a small step back this past season but was still an elite player.
Jones was rarely targeted with the Cowboys last season, only being targeted 53 times, and allowing only 30 receptions on those targets. The lack of targets made it harder for Jones to produce, he had no interceptions 6 passes defended and an approximate value of 5. These seem low but Jones has great lockdown ability to take away his side of the field.