Jan 11, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) throws a pass while being hit by New England Patriots outside linebacker Jamie Collins (91) during the third quarter of the 2013 AFC divisional playoff football game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Breakout Candidates By Division: AFC East

The AFC East is becoming more competitive by the day and so is the list of potential NFL breakout players.

New England Patriots:  Jamie Collins

The thing about the New England Patriots is they don’t operate by standard NFL time.  They operate by their time.  No player will see the field until the team feels he’s ready, and not before.  That was the case for linebacker Jamie Collins who didn’t enter the starting lineup until the second half of last season, where he instantly began to show his value as a tackler and as a pass defender.  He’s earned his spurs and should be ready for his first full year on top.

New York Jets:  Dee Milliner

For most of the 2013 season cornerback Dee Milliner was viewed as a disappointment for the New York Jets.  He struggled in coverage, didn’t always tackle well and continue to suffer through injury problems.  Then by the end of the year the light went on as he intercept three passes in the final two games.  If he’s healthy, the Jets may get what they expected out of him yet.

Buffalo Bills:  E.J. Manuel

He’s the one player every Buffalo Bills fan needs to have a breakout year and it seems E.J. Manuel is poised to do just that.  The second-year quarterback is healthy and finds his arsenal considerably more stocked thanks to the additions if Sammy Watkins and Mike Williams.  His offensive line also got a boost at both guard and tackle.  All things consider Manuel should be able to build on the promise he showed last season.

Miami Dolphins:  Jamar Taylor

It’s easy to forget about a player when he hardly plays during an NFL season.  That is why nobody really recalls the name Jamar Taylor aside from Miami Dolphins enthusiasts.  The former 2nd round pick really is an afterthought after only playing three games in 2013.  Yet facts are facts.  He is healthy and by all accounts still the fast, athletic kid he was a year ago.  With only the aging Corteland Finnegan in front of him, don’t be surprised if Taylor cracks the starting lineup.

Tags: Buffalo Bills Miami Dolphins New England Patriots New York Jets NFL

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