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2 NY Jets stars are among AFC East’s most overrated players

Josh Allen, NY Jets, AFC East, Overrated
Josh Allen, New York Jets, Getty Images

The AFC East has its share of overrated players — yes, even the New York Jets

After going through the most underrated players in the AFC East, we need to hit the most overrated players next. New York Jets fans aren’t going to like the players I’ve chosen on the team, but in the interest of fairness, I need to call ’em like I see ’em rather than like Jets Twitter would have you believe.

QB Josh Allen, Bills

Do I dare put one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL on this list? The reason I include Josh Allen is simply because he was often viewed as in the same tier with Patrick Mahomes when he’s not. I don’t even think he’s in Joe Burrow’s league, but a tier below. As elite as Josh Allen is — as many touchdowns as he throws and runs for, as difficult as he is to stop — the turnover bug caps his ceiling nearly every season. His 18 interceptions were the second-most in the NFL in 2023, and he added seven fumbles to go along with it.

His interceptions in Week 1 against the Jets perfectly encapsulated his career: there was no reason to chuck the ball up instead of running for the first down, but he just couldn’t help the hero ball. Allen doesn’t always do this, but he had just three games all season in which he threw no interceptions.

Allen’s ascension as a quarterback came when Stefon Diggs joined the Bills. Without a true WR1, there’s a chance that his turnover-proneness could turn ugly.

I’m not denying the talent. I’m not denying that he’s a top-five passer in the NFL. But is he top-two? No.

LT Dion Dawkins, Bills

Dion Dawkins lands on this list for one reason: he’s a good player whose salary is that of a great one. Dawkins $20 million-per-year average salary per year is the fifth-highest among left tackles and tied for the sixth-highest among all tackles. His 4.9% pressure rate was tied for 17th out of 73 qualified tackles, but his 8.5% true pass set pressure rate ranked 29th. His 66.3 Pro Football Focus run-blocking grade ranked 32nd out of 70 qualifiers (min. 200 run-blocking snaps). He was also called for nine penalties, tied for the 11th-most among tackles. Overall, he’s a somewhat above-average pass-blocker and an average run-blocker. His trash-talking about the Jets this offseason is hardly commensurate with his level of play.

QB Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins

Perhaps Tua Tagovailoa isn’t really overrated because no one believes he’s that good. Still, he’s reportedly asking for more than $50 million per year, and has there ever been a team to let a quarterback with his statistics walk?

However, here are Tua’s statistics against playoff teams compared to non-playoff teams in 2023.

  • 7 games vs. playoff teams (6 regular season + wild card round): 153-for-243 (63.0%), 1,748 yards, 7.2 yards per attempt, 9 TD, 7 INT
  • 11 games vs. non-playoff teams: 256-for-357 (71.8%), 3,130 yards, 8.8 yards per attempt, 21 TD, 7 INT

In the cushy confines of the wide-open Miami offense with the speed of Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, Raheem Mostert, and De’Von Achane, Tagovailoa has faltered in the most important moments. Therefore, despite his impressive statistics over the past two seasons, he’s not close to the top tier of NFL quarterbacks.

RG Alijah Vera-Tucker, Jets

This is tough because Alijah Vera-Tucker is a good player, and I don’t think the league overrated him. However, at least by the numbers, he still has work to do as a pass-blocker. From 2022-23, here are his pass-blocking numbers.

  • Tackle: 7 games, 204 pass-blocking snaps, 11 pressures, 1 sack, 1 hit, 5.4% pressure rate (League average for tackles: 6.2%)
  • Guard: 5 games, 236 pass-blocking snaps, 19 pressures, 2 sacks, 3 hits, 8.1% pressure rate (League average for guards: 5.2%)

Vera-Tucker’s pass-blocking numbers at guard are ugly. He needs to take a massive step forward in that area to live up to the All-Pro potential that Jets fans consistently tout. His run-blocking has consistently improved (72.5 to 76.5 to 82.7 Pro Football Focus grades from 2021-23), but his pass-blocking has yet to follow.

EDGE Haason Reddick, Jets and EDGE Bradley Chubb, Dolphins

I was uncertain whether to include Haason Reddick on this list because he’s a good player who’s worth his contract. However, most people think of his fourth-place finish in the Defensive Player of the Year voting in 2022 and his four consecutive seasons of 11+ sacks when they think of him. He’s a finisher, but he doesn’t generate pressure at an elite level most of the time. Outside of his 15.2% pressure rate in 2022, he posted rates of 13.6%, 10.0%, and 12.0% in his other three seasons with at least 400 pass rush snaps — not far off from the 11.7% position average.

For a player who’s an average run defender (64.0 PFF run defense grade in 2023, 59.9 in 2022, 70.4 in 2021), posting average pressure rates brings him down a notch from the league’s top edge rushers. That’s not to say Reddick is a bad player, but he’s maybe a tad overrated compared to the expectations when you hear his name.

Chubb falls into the same category. He was having the season of his life in 2023 prior to tearing his ACL, posting a 14.7% pressure rate. However, he had never exceeded 13.5% in a season before and had just an 11.4% rate in 2022. Chubb’s $22 million average annual value ranks 10th among edge rushers, but his production is closer to Reddick’s $15 million per year value. He’s a finisher like Reddick, posting 38.5 sacks over four healthy seasons, but he’s not usually consistent in bringing pressure.

S Kyle Dugger, Patriots

New England committed to Kyle Dugger to the tune of $14.5 million per year, the sixth-highest safety contract in the NFL. He ranked 11th among safeties with a 79.6 PFF run defense grade, but his 0.722 yards per cover snap allowed ranked 57th out of 70 qualified safeties (min. 325 cover snaps). His 445 yards allowed in coverage were the ninth-most among safeties. His 50% coverage success rate tied for 34th out of 65 qualified safeties, per NFL Next Gen Stats. Dugger is by far at his best in the box, but those kinds of safety contracts often don’t age well (see: Adams, Jamal.)

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