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AFC East's best: No. 4 Nick Mangold

By Tim Graham

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

The choice

New York Jets center Nick Mangold was bothered by a high ankle sprain last season, but he remains an elite offensive lineman. He's sublime when he's healthy, earning four straight Pro Bowl bids. He was chosen first-team All-Pro in 2009 and 2010, but was second-team last year behind Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey. graded Mangold as its second-best center last season behind Chris Myers of the Houston Texans. PFF tagged Mangold for three sacks allowed and only one additional quarterback hit.

STATS Inc. has Mangold down for 16 penalties and 11 sacks over his six NFL seasons, all as a starter. That's a phenomenally reliable 2.7 penalties and 1.8 sacks per season. In seven postseason games, he has not given up a sack or drawn a flag.

Fast fact

His sister, Holley Mangold, is on the USA weightlifting team that will compete in the Olympics.

How acquired

Selected in the first round (29th overall) of the 2006 draft.

Hint about No. 3

Many thought it was a reach for him to be selected where he was in the 2010 draft.

Picks to date

4. Nick Mangold, Jets center
5. Wes Welker, Patriots receiver
6. Mario Williams, Bills defensive end
7. Vince Wilfork, Patriots nose tackle
8. Jake Long, Dolphins left tackle
9. Logan Mankins, Patriots left guard
10. Cameron Wake, Dolphins outside linebacker
11. Fred Jackson, Bills running back
12. D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Jets left tackle
13. Kyle Williams, Bills defensive tackle
14. Sione Pouha, Jets defensive tackle
15. Jairus Byrd, Bills safety
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 |