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AFC East Roundup: Training camp standouts

Who’s turning heads at camp so far?

NFL: Buffalo Bills Training Camp Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

We’re fast approaching Week 1 of the NFL preseason for all teams except for the Cleveland Browns and New York Jets, having played in the Hall of Fame game last Thursday. With teams having multiple training camp practices under their belt, we’re starting to see which players could be in line for a huge season. Obviously players like Josh Allen and Tyreek Hill are set to have big years, but let’s look at some of the lesser-known players in the AFC East who’ve been turning heads.

For the Buffalo Bills, it’s very well understood that rookie tight end Dalton Kincaid has turned heads every practice during camp. This year’s first-round pick has shown crisp route running and sure hands that could perhaps give Buffalo their own version of Travis Kelce in the passing attack. Everyone had been talking about how Kincaid was yet to drop a pass but then, sure enough, in the Blue and Red scrimmage he dropped an open target. Kincaid is the type of player who can be a matchup nightmare if he’s matched up against a linebacker. With Dawson Knox and Kincaid on the field at the same time, the Bills could present teams with some dangerous matchup decisions.

Speaking of first-round picks, the New England Patriots have their own impressive rookie in cornerback Christian Gonzalez. Gonzalez was expected to go much higher than 17th overall, but the Patriots certainly aren’t complaining. Gonzales has been dominant in practice against the receivers but has also shown the willingness to come up and make a tackle going against the run. Some folks have even been saying that he could be this year’s version of Sauce Gardner when Gardner took the league by storm last year. Gonzalez has been running with the starters every day since training camp started and has more than stepped up to the task day in and day out.

With all the attention going to stars on the New York Jets such as Aaron Rodgers and Garrett Wilson, it’s easy to forget that the Jets have talent up and down the entire roster. That brings us to defensive end Jermaine Johnson. The team selected Johnson in the first round of the 2002 draft, but Wilson had a relatively quiet rookie season. Heading into his sophomore campaign, it seems Johnson is ready to make some noise. He has been labeled one of the early standouts of camp by the media and has primarily worked with the first-team defense over veteran Carl Lawson. Wilson has been all over the field during practice and had a potential sack on Rodgers last week if it was real game action. The Jets would love for Johnson to show that improvement in Week 1 when the team hosts the Bills.

An under-the-radar standout player in training camp for the Miami Dolphins has been wide receiver Chosen Anderson. For those unfamiliar with Chosen, he was known as Robbie Anderson before undergoing a name change. The 30-year-old receiver was an afterthought coming into camp after a couple of disappointing seasons, but so far the veteran has been productive. Chosen has been effective in the intermediate passing game as well as down the field with impressive speed. A lot of the attention from opposing defenses this season will go to Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle so there will be plenty of chances for Chosen to show what he’s got. If early practices are any indication, the Dolphins appear to have a three headed monster in the passing game.