NFL: Introducing the Next Generation of Studs in the AFC East

Amy Streifer@AmyStreiferCorrespondent IAugust 9, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 29:  Stephen Hill #5 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets against the Clemson Tigers at Bobby Dodd Stadium on October 29, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The AFC East will be jam-packed with new talent and explosive players at the start of the 2012-2013 NFL season.

Here are three players to look out for next season.


Stephen Hill, Wide Receiver, New York Jets

With Plaxico Burress' exit, the Jets are looking for new wide receivers to make big plays for good yardage. The Jets still have Santonio Holmes, but they must use Stephen Hill as efficiently as possible in order to remain competitive in the AFC East.

Hill, a 21-year-old from Georgia Tech, has size and speed. He's 6'4" and 215 pounds, and he could make a huge impact on the Jets' roster. In Hill's three-year career at Georgia Tech, he finished with 49 catches and 1,248 yards, which is the 16th-best in the school's history. 

Hill has great reach, powerful hands and quick feet. He may find himself being an impact player on the Jets' roster this upcoming season.


Chandler Jones, Defensive End, New England Patriots

The New England Patriots are in desperate need of a better defensive line. They have an incredible offensive core with Tom Brady behind it, but their defense could use some work.

Jones is 6'5" and 265 pounds. He has the size and speed that is crucial for a powerful defensive end. Jones had a great career at Syracuse, and he will no doubt be beneficial to the Patriots.

At such a young age, the 22-year-old Jones could bring a spark to the Patriots' roster that they've been needing in the defensive end position for quite some time.


Stephon Gilmore, Cornerback, Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Bills need to improve their game for next season, but the cornerback position may have just been filled with the addition of Stephon Gilmore. The 6'0", 190-pound Texas native will be playing for the Bills next season. 

Gilmore may turn out to be one of the better cornerbacks in the league. He was picked 10th overall in the 2012 NFL draft, and in May of 2012 he signed a four-year contract worth $12 million. 

Some freshman don't play during their first year at college, but Gilmore was extremely successful during his rookie year. In all 12 games with the South Carolina Gamecocks, Gilmore had 52 tackles, five tackles for loss, two sacks and nine passes defended. This success earned him the honor of becoming the 2009 Freshman All-American.

It will be interesting to see how Gilmore pans out on the Bills, and it's clear that their cornerback position is in good shape for success.