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Bills Today | NFL analyst assesses Buffalo's chances of winning the AFC East in 2021

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1. senior analyst assesses Buffalo's chances winning the AFC East in 2021

The AFC East has become a more competitive division with the acquisitions made by all four teams in free agency and the draft. Even with all the moves made, senior analyst Gil Brandt still thinks that Buffalo is one of the least vulnerable division champs ahead of the upcoming season. Brandt ranked the division champs by most vulnerable to least vulnerable and had the Bills ranked sixth ahead of the Packers and the Chiefs. 

#6 Buffalo Bills

AFC East · 2020 record: 13-3

Top contenders: Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots

With all their key players returning and Josh Allen rising to top-tier status at quarterback, the Bills are primed to reach the Super Bowl for the first time since the 1993 season. But the Dolphins and Patriots won't make the journey easy. The roster retooling that Miami began in 2019 is ready to really bear fruit, although I do still have questions about Tua Tagovailoa after a shaky rookie year, especially after watching Justin Herbert -- whom the Dolphins passed on in favor of Tagovailoa at fifth overall -- win Offensive Rookie of the Year with the Chargers. QB issues also dog New England, with the selection of Mac Jones in the first round of this year's draft accelerating the clock on the Cam Newton era, though the offense should rebound following much-needed upgrades across the depth chart. (If the Patriots pull off a trade for Julio Jones, that will increase the degree of difficulty for the Bills, but it wouldn't necessarily move Buffalo up this list.)

2. Bleacher Report has Stefon Diggs as one of the top-five home run threats in the league

Stefon Diggs had a career year during his first season in Buffalo. He became the first Bills wide receiver to lead the NFL in receptions and receiving yards in franchise history. Bleacher Report believes he is one top-10 home run threats in the league. B/R NFL writer Kristopher Knox ranked the top NFL home run threats and he had Diggs ranked fourth behind wide receivers DK Metcalf, Tyreek Hill and running back Derrick Henry. 

#4. Stefon Diggs, WR, Buffalo Bills

Stefon Diggs was one of the NFL's best big-play receivers before being traded to the Buffalo Bills. He topped the 1,000-yard mark in both 2018 and 2019 with Minnesota while catching passes of 66 and 75 yards—and, of course, he was the receiving end of the Minneapolis Miracle in the 2017-18 playoffs.

However, pairing Diggs with strong-armed quarterback Josh Allen appears to have unlocked Diggs' complete home-run potential. Diggs caught a 73-yarder this past season while tying for second with five receptions of at least 40 yards.

Diggs also led the NFL in both receptions and receiving yards in 2020, catching 127 passes for 1,535 yards, eight touchdowns and 20 catches of at least 20 yards.

3. This Bills defender made the CBS Sports list of top 25 players under 25

Tremaine Edmunds is entering his fourth season in the NFL and just turned 23 earlier this month. The young linebacker was asked on Tuesday why he thinks his best football is ahead of him and he noted that he always thinks there's room to grow in every aspect of life. 

"I'm a guy that I always want to get better, Edmunds said. "So, I'm never going to think that I'm in my full potential. There's always some room to grow. And I take that approach in everything that I do, so whatever I do my mindset is to get better."

CBS Sports NFL writer Cody Benjamin released his top 25 players under the age of 25 he had Edmunds ranked 23rd on his list. 

#23. Bills MLB Tremaine Edmunds (23 y/o)

Some would argue he's yet to consistently live up to his ceiling as a young, imposingly built talent, but he's still an impressive guy to have roaming the middle. His three-year production (355 tackles, 14 QB hits, 5.5 sacks) earned him more time in Buffalo.

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