New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
- Andre Cisco (Queens)
Cisco had a solid rookie year on a miserable Jacksonville Jaguars team that once again finished with the NFL's worst record. The No. 65 selection of the 2021 Draft only played 22 percent of the team's defensive snaps, but he garnered a decent Pro Football Focus grade of 67.9.
Cisco should be even better with an increased role in 2022.
- Curtis Samuel (Brooklyn)
Samue was limited to five games in his first season with Washington. But when healthy, the Brooklyn native can take over a game with his world-class speed and athleticism.
Samuel broke out in his final season with the Carolina Panthers in 2020, recording 1,051 total yards of offense and five touchdowns.
- Saquon Barkley (Bronx)
Injuries have unfortunately limited the New York Giants star to just 28 total games over the last three seasons.
But when healthy and on top of his game, the former Penn State star is one of the game's most explosive offensive weapons. In his rookie year, Barkley finished with 2,028 yards from scrimmage and 15 total touchdowns. Despite missing three games in 2019, Barkley finished with 1,003 rushing yards and six rushing TDS.
The Giants are coming off a miserable 4-13 season, and only five teams currently have lower odds of winning next year's Super Bowl than New York (+6500). Giants fans who want to bet on their team next year can use BetMGM New York, which launched last month.
If the Giants can improve their offensive line in 2022, and if Barkley can stay healthy, he should easily regain his All-Pro form.
- Devin McCourty (Nyack)
The New England Patriots' standout safety isn't a Pro Bowl-level player anymore, but few veterans can match his leadership skills and tremendous football IQ.
McCourty remains a superb ball-hawker and serves as a valuable mentor to the young Patriots defense. He's got at least a couple of productive years left.
- Donovan Smith (Hempstead)
Smith has been overlooked on a star-studded Tampa Bay Buccaneers' offense. But make no mistake: This man was absolutely pivotal to the Bucs' Super Bowl 2020 championship season.
The veteran offensive tackle is coming off perhaps the best season of his career, allowing just one sack while garnering an 83.3 grade from Pro Football Focus.
- J.C. Tretter (Batavia)
Tretter is the anchor of the Cleveland Browns' star-studded offensive line, which was arguably the NFL's best in 2020.
Tretter has been with the Browns since 2017. And like a fine wine, he seems to only get better with age. He's only allowed two sacks since 2020, according to Pro Football Focus.
- Ali Marpet (Hastings-on-Hudson)
Donovan Smith isn't the only New York-born stalwart on the Bucs' offensive line.
Veteran guard Ali Marpet has been a mainstay on Tampa's o-line since his 2015 rookie season. He earned a long overdue and first career Pro Bowl nod in 2021, helping the Bucs to their first NFC South division title in 14 years.
- Rob Gronkowski (Amherst)
"Gronk" is widely regarded as the best tight end of all-time, and for good reason.
A four-time Super Bowl winner, Gronkowski was a central part of the New England Patriots' 2014, 2016 and 2018 championship teams. He ended a one-year retirement and returned to football in 2020, reuniting with Tom Brady in Tampa Bay.
Though Gronk didn't have a great season statistically, he turned it on in the playoffs and caught two touchdown passes in the Bucs' 31-9 Super Bowl win over the Kansas City Chiefs.
Gronk is unquestionably a lock for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
- Chandler Jones (Rochester)
A key cog in the Patriots' 2014 Super Bowl championship season, Jones has grown into one of the NFL's top sack specialists since joining the Arizona Cardinals via trade in 2016.
Among active players, only Von Miller has more sacks (115.5) than Jones (107.5). The latter posted 10.5 in his 2021 contract year, so he should have no problem scoring another huge contract this offseason.
- A.J. Terrell (Rochester)
The Clemson product had an incredible sophomore season for the Atlanta Falcons, having emerged as one of the game's elite shutdown corners.
Not only was Terrell magnificent in coverage, but he flourished as a ball-hawker with three interceptions and 16 pass defenses.