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AFC East's best: No. 16 Brandon Lloyd

By Tim Graham

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

The choice

New England Patriots receiver Brandon Lloyd has been a vagabond. He's already on his sixth NFL team. But play-caller Josh McDaniels helped him blossom two seasons ago in Denver, lobbied to acquire him last year in St. Louis and now is New England's offensive coordinator.

In 25 games with McDaniels calling plays, Lloyd rolled up 119 catches for 1,953 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Two seasons ago, Lloyd led the NFL with 1,448 yards and averaged 18.8 yards per catch, the third-highest number since the 1970 merger. His 11 touchdowns tied for fourth in the NFL. An amazing 72 of his 77 receptions (93.5 percent) were first downs. All that happened with Kyle Orton and a rookie Tim Tebow throwing to him.

Lloyd's per-game numbers minus McDaniels are vastly different. With him, Lloyd has averaged 4.8 catches (2.2 without), 78.1 yards (32.6 without) and 0.6 touchdowns (0.2 without) per game.

Worth noting: The starting quarterbacks in Lloyd's first five seasons were Jeff Garcia, Tim Rattay, Ken Dorsey, rookie Alex Smith, Cody Pickett, a 36-year-old Mark Brunell, Jason Campbell and Todd Collins.

Fast fact

Over the past two seasons, Lloyd tied for second in the NFL with 13 road receptions of 25 yards or longer.

How acquired

Signed as a free agent from the St. Louis Rams in 2012.

Hint about No. 15

He's one of only three defensive backs on the list.

Picks to date

16. Brandon Lloyd, Patriots receiver
17. Stevie Johnson, Bills receiver
18. Reggie Bush, Dolphins running back
19. Jerod Mayo, Patriots inside linebacker
20. Randy Starks, Dolphins defensive lineman
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 |