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AFC East's best: No. 21 Sebastian Vollmer

By Tim Graham

VollmerMugA countdown of my top 25 AFC East players continues, one weekday at a time ...

The choice

New England Patriots right tackle Sebastian Vollmer earned second-team All-Pro honors in 2010, his second season in the NFL but his first as a full-time starter. He allowed only one sack for a 6-yard loss, according to STATS Inc.

Vollmer's followup season was ravaged by back and ankle injuries that limited him to only six regular-season games. But his importance to the Patriots was underscored by coach Bill Belichick's decision to insert him into the starting lineup for the Super Bowl after missing all of December and January. still rated Vollmer the NFL's seventh-best right tackle last season.

Fast fact

Vollmer is a native German who didn't start playing football until he was 14, didn't start playing tackle full-time until his junior year of college and wasn't invited to the NFL combine.

How acquired

Selected in the second round (58th overall) of the 2009 draft.

Hint about No. 20

It'll either be the first Miami Dolphin to appear on the list or Tim Tebow.

Picks to date

21. Sebastian Vollmer, Patriots right tackle
22. Aaron Hernandez, Patriots tight end
23. Marcell Dareus, Bills defensive tackle
24. Antonio Cromartie, Jets cornerback
25. Eric Wood, Bills center

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |