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NFL Scouts Talk Anonymously About AFC East Teams

Start 'em, Sit 'em Week 12: Josh Allen

What do rival scouts think of the Bills, Dolphins, Patriots, and Jets?

The AFC East has rarely been up for grabs the past two decades. For years it was Tom Brady's Patriots, and now Josh Allen's Bills are the heavy favorites. But despite the lack of drama surrounding who might win the division, there's plenty of intrigue in the four teams. All four believe they have a franchise quarterback — or at least are giving them every chance to prove it. And with no lack of off-the-field drama as well, there's plenty rival coaches had to say about the other teams.

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In order to get an accurate assessment of the AFC East heading into 2022, Athlon asked NFL scouts to talk anonymously about the Bills, Dolphins, Patriots, and Jets.

Note: These scouting reports come directly from NFL scouts and do not necessarily reflect the views of Athlon's editorial staff.

Buffalo Bills

“GM Brandon Beane isn’t called Big Baller Beane for nothing. He’s earned the nickname. This guy is sharp and he’s bold and aggressive. Adding Von Miller says it all right there. You never know what’s going to happen with injuries, but I could see them getting to the Super Bowl and winning it all."

"Josh Allen is, all at once, a modern quarterback with the dual-threat stuff and a throwback because he’s the biggest and toughest quarterback in the league. He’s worth every penny."

"Stefon Diggs is really tough to cover. Love his game."

"Gabriel Davis is not a secret anymore."

"Matching the Ryan Bates offer was smart."

"Dion Dawkins isn’t flashy, but he gets the job done."

"Two words for Dawson Knox: clutch and underrated."

"They’re doing the right thing with Devin Singletary and not overusing him. I think James Cook should contribute right away."

"I like the upside of Greg Rousseau and Ed Oliver. I really feel like their best football is ahead of them."

Related: Buffalo Bills Depth Chart

"Name a better safety tandem than Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde."

"Kaiir Elam is going to make an immediate impact. That kid is talented, and he cares a ton about preparing the right way."

"Really well-coached defense. Their passing game coordinator/DBs coach John Butler would be a good defensive coordinator."

"Tremaine Edmunds and Matt Milano are very stout.”

Miami Dolphins

“Mike McDaniel has a totally different vibe than Brian Flores. Different personality altogether seems a lot more collaborative. If he can get the best out of Tua Tagovailoa, then he’s as smart as they say he is."

"They’ve got some real weapons. Tyreek Hill is a game-changer. Nobody is as explosive as he is."

"Jaylen Waddle can do more after the catch than he’s shown so far, I believe."

"Cedrick Wilson Jr. was a nice under-the-radar signing."

"The most important addition, to me, was signing Terron Armstead. I know he’s had a lot of injuries, but he is a true tough guy. The rest of the offensive line needs to get on his level."

"Mike Gesicki is a really big target. It’s hard for Tua to miss him, right?"

"Chase Edmonds and Raheem Mostert give McDaniel the kind of backs he needs to install the 49ers’ offense."

"Xavien Howard earned that payday. He’s worth making that kind of commitment."

Related: Miami Dolphins Depth Chart

"Jerome Baker, Christian Wilkins and Jaelan Phillips are special players."

"Andrew Van Ginkel would be a bigger name on a lot of defenses."

"Brandon Jones and Jevon Holland are a great safety tandem. They’re going to play in this league for a long time."

"Byron Jones hasn’t changed. Does a lot of things really well, plays very solid, just doesn’t make a ton of big plays.”

New England Patriots

“Really liked everything about Mac Jones’ rookie season. Super poised and accurate. The big question about that kid is, what’s his ceiling? What I don’t doubt at all is he’s going to get the most out of every ounce of ability he has."

"Trading for DeVante Parker should help Mac because he’s so big, he’s basically always open."

"I don’t second-guess what Kendrick Bourne and Jakobi Meyers give them at receiver. It’s very solid."

"The rookie from Baylor, Tyquan Thornton, is track fast and football fast."

"I don’t have a problem with them reaching a bit for Cole Strange. If that’s who you like, go get him and don’t take a chance on missing out on the guy you want."

"Trent Brown has got to watch his weight and eat right."

"Hunter Henry lived up to expectations. Jonnu Smith didn’t."

"Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson are a really good 1-2 punch."

Related: New England Patriots Depth Chart

"Matthew Judon is a bad-ass, a game-wrecker."

"Ja’Whaun Bentley is tough." 

"Malcolm Butler feels like a band-aid. They haven’t done enough to replace J.C. Jackson, not even close."

"Marcus Jones is gonna be special as a return guy when his shoulders are fully healthy."

Christian Barmore is hard to budge inside."

"Adrian Phillips doesn’t really get his due, but he can flat-out play.”

New York Jets

“Zach Wilson definitely has talent, but he’s still pretty raw and he’s small. I’m just not sure if the light is about to click on or not."

"I liked the Breece Hall draft pick a lot. He should be able to be their main running back right away. He’s got wiggle, good hands and is durable."

"What would really help this is for Mekhi Becton to get his knee right, get in great shape and be able to put it all together. He’s got everything it takes to be great."

[Editor's note: The Jets announced on Aug. 9 that Becton is expected to miss the season because of a chip fracture in his right kneecap suffered during training camp.]

"I’m excited about Alijah Vera-Tucker’s upside."

"This receiver group is solid, but there’s no game-breaker."

"Having a shutdown corner with Sauce Gardner pushes this defense into a really competitive unit. He’s elite in press coverage."

"C.J. Mosley is fully back. He came back last year like he was determined to prove something. I was very impressed."

Related: New York Jets Depth Chart

"Quinnen Williams is a special player."

"I think Jermaine Johnson II and Jacob Martin will give them some real juice off the edge."

"Nobody has a motor like John Franklin-Myers."

"I’m not totally sold on their safeties. It feels like they haven’t really replaced Marcus Maye."

"Quincy Williams, yep, he’s in the underrated category. He gets to the football fast and is really instinctive."