Skip to main content

AFC East projected starters for 2024 NFL season: Bills still division's best? Jets back on track

With the 2024 NFL Draft and most of free agency in the rearview, Gregg Rosenthal will project starting lineups for all 32 teams, because that's his idea of fun.

Check out the AFC East breakdowns below.

Table inside Article
QB Josh Allen Edge Greg Rousseau
RB James Cook DT Ed Oliver
WR Keon Coleman DT DaQuan Jones
WR Khalil Shakir Edge A.J. Epenesa
WR Curtis Samuel OLB Matt Milano
TE Dalton Kincaid MLB Terrel Bernard
LT Dion Dawkins CB Christian Benford
LG David Edwards CB Rasul Douglas
C Connor McGovern CB Taron Johnson
RG O'Cyrus Torrence S Mike Edwards
RT Spencer Brown S Cole Bishop
  • Josh Allen called this offensive line the best of his time in Buffalo, and the entire starting group is back. General manager Brandon Beane drafted some late-round depth, but the Bills are counting on this group to be a major asset. The line is why I'm not sweating this offense's ability to produce. Allen makes up for the playmakers' lack of star power, and this group has in depth what it lacks in proven difference-makers.
  • Dalton Kincaid and Dawson Knox will play in two-tight end sets often, giving the team optionality. Kincaid quietly had the 10th-most receiving yards (673) for a rookie tight end in NFL history, and fifth-most since 2000.
  • The Bills view Keon Coleman as an outside "X" receiver. Many draft analysts saw him as a big option in the slot. Can he get open enough against outside cornerbacks? One confusing aspect of the offense is that most of Buffalo's pass catchers (Khalil Shakir, Curtis Samuel, Kincaid) do their best work on the inside.
  • Samuel somehow only turns 28 years old in August and does a lot of things well. He's missed one game or less in four of the last five seasons and profiles as an excellent role player.
  • Post-draft signee Marquez Valdes-Scantling profiles as a reserve option based on his salary and skill set, but he does give Josh Allen a speed merchant on the outside.
  • The Bills hope for Von Miller to be a starter again, but even quality snaps as a sub-package player would be a bonus. Despite his guaranteed money ($8.5 million in 2024, per Over The Cap), he's not a lock to make the team if he doesn't show progress in training camp. Miller's presence is part of a defensive line that is not as deep as it once was, although the Bills added third- and fifth-round picks (DT DeWayne Carter and DE Javon Solomon) to the mix.
  • Despite the veteran exodus this offseason, this is a strong starting 22. The exception could be at safety, where the team is still waiting to see if Micah Hyde will retire. If so, rookie Cole Bishop has a chance to start from the jump. Taylor Rapp is another option.
  • No team with Josh Allen and this much continuity is rebuilding. It's still the best roster in the division and one of the best in the NFL.
Table inside Article
QB Tua Tagovailoa Edge Jaelan Phillips
RB Raheem Mostert DE Zach Sieler
WR Tyreek Hill DT Teair Tart
WR Jaylen Waddle Edge Shaquil Barrett
WR Odell Beckham Jr. LB David Long Jr.
TE Jonnu Smith LB Jordyn Brooks
LT Terron Armstead CB Jalen Ramsey
LG Isaiah Wynn CB Kendall Fuller
C Aaron Brewer CB Kader Kohou
RG Liam Eichenberg S Jordan Poyer
RT Austin Jackson S Jevon Holland
  • I was surprised the Dolphins didn't draft a wide receiver earlier or a guard at all, but their post-draft signing of Odell Beckham Jr. made sense. He fits as a role player to share snaps with Braxton Berrios, depending on the formation.
  • Jonnu Smith could also play a third receiving option kind of role at tight end in a timeshare with blocking TE Durham Smythe.
  • The Dolphins' staff has done a nice job coaching up an injury-plagued group on the offensive line, but it is counting on the scheme for a lot! Isaiah Wynn hasn't been reliable or healthy in a few years, so both guard spots could still be up for grabs.
  • Fourth-round pick Jaylen Wright adds to the excellent 4x100 backfield. The path to snaps just isn't smooth behind Raheem Mostert and De'Von Achane.
  • The Dolphins will miss DT Christian Wilkins, spreading his heavy workload among a rotation including Teair Tart.
  • These projections are for snaps over the course of the season. Both Bradley Chubb and Jaelan Phillips may not be ready for Week 1 coming off serious injuries, which is partly why the signing of Shaq Barrett and the selection of first-rounder Chop Robinson were crucial.
  • The free-agent signings in the back seven (Kendall Fuller, Jordan Poyer and Jordyn Brooks) make sense. The secondary remains a little top-heavy and could use more veteran signings. In general, I like what the Dolphins did in free agency without breaking the bank.
  • This is both an underrated, explosive roster overall and one that still could use some tinkering. It's never a great thing, however, when line play ranks so high on the list of concerns.
Table inside Article
QB Drake Maye Edge Matthew Judon
RB Rhamondre Stevenson DT Christian Barmore
WR Kendrick Bourne DT Davon Godchaux
WR Ja'Lynn Polk Edge Keion White
WR K.J. Osborn LB Ja'Whaun Bentley
TE Hunter Henry LB Jahlani Tavai
LT Chukwuma Okorafor CB Christian Gonzalez
LG Cole Strange CB Jonathan Jones
C David Andrews CB Marcus Jones
RG Sidy Sow S Kyle Dugger
RT Mike Onwenu S Jabrill Peppers
  • This is an offense in Year 1 of an overhaul, now only partially constructed. Personnel chief Eliot Wolf has added a ton of new players to the mix, with quarterback, wide receiver and left tackle remaining wide-open competitions.
  • Jacoby Brissett is probably the slight favorite to start Week 1. Drake Maye is the heavy favorite to play the most snaps at quarterback over the course of the regular season because of his overwhelming talent. He showed more pro-ready skills at UNC in setting protections and going through reads than he was given credit for in the pre-draft process.
  • The Patriots re-signed Mike Onwenu with the intention of sticking him at right tackle for good, finally. That leaves the left tackle spot for third-round pick Caedan Wallace and free-agent pickup Chukwuma Okorafor, with the concerning caveat that neither player has consistently played on the blind side.
  • Wide receiver is even more confusing, albeit competitive. JuJu Smith-Schuster is guaranteed $7 million this season, yet I'm not convinced he is on this roster in Week 1 after the team signed K.J. Osborn in free agency and then added Ja’Lynn Polk and fourth-round speedster Javon Baker in the draft. DeMario “Pop” Douglas was an intriguing slot player as a rookie. Tyquan Thornton, a 2022 second-rounder, could be a camp cut. Polk profiles as a future No. 2. Then the Patriots have 4-5 guys who profile as No. 3s. It's a lot.
  • The defense is far more settled and talented overall. The entire starting unit and most key backups (Deatrich Wise Jr., Anfernee Jennings, Josh Uche) have been in this system. Most of them have been in Foxborough for years. It really hasn't changed that much.
  • The return of Christian Gonzalez should give the Patriots a blue-chip talent at cornerback, but the secondary lacks overall depth beyond the starters. New England could use a veteran signing or two after largely ignoring the back end in the draft.
  • This could be a top-10 defense, but it's hard to see this offensive staff making up for the lack of talent with scheme. Unless Maye is that special.
Table inside Article
QB Aaron Rodgers DE Haason Reddick
RB Breece Hall DT Quinnen Williams
WR Garrett Wilson DT Javon Kinlaw
WR Mike Williams DE Jermaine Johnson
WR Allen Lazard OLB Quincy Williams
TE Tyler Conklin MLB C.J. Mosley
LT Tyron Smith CB Sauce Gardner
LG John Simpson CB D.J. Reed
C Joe Tippmann CB Michael Carter II
RG Alijah Vera-Tucker S Chuck Clark
RT Morgan Moses S Tony Adams
  • Don't underestimate the upgrade at backup quarterback to Tyrod Taylor, who played well for the Giants when he got on the field last season.
  • No. 11 overall pick Olu Fashanu is an overqualified swing tackle who will inevitably wind up playing snaps behind two veterans on one-year deals in Tyron Smith and Morgan Moses.
  • The offensive line acquisitions made sense, but it's still concerning that only one starter was actually healthy and on the Jets last year: second-year center Joe Tippmann.
  • Allen Lazard gets the edge as WR3 here over third-round pick Malachi Corley because of Lazard's experience and familiarity with Aaron Rodgers. But the Jets will find a way to get Corley involved in opportunities to run after the catch.
  • Perhaps the only position where the Jets look diminished is on the defensive line -- the trade of John Franklin-Myers exposes the team's depth. It's not a unit that could survive injuries well.
  • That said, the top-shelf defensive talent and continuity is awesome. Over the past two seasons, New York has finished sixth and third in defensive DVOA under Robert Saleh.
  • The Jets' offseason made sense. While they are thinner than ideal on the defensive line, general manager Joe Douglas addressed the biggest needs for the ultimate all-in season. It's up to the coaches and Rodgers to make this work.

Related Content