The FanSided Network is putting together an all-star roster for each division and the braintrust has put me in charge of the AFC North. (Apparently, they are that desperate).
I tried my best to put my homerism aside and compile the division’s best roster. On offense, I went with three wideouts and only one running back. On defense, I went with a 3-4 since the Bengals are the only 4-3 team (it also squeezed out some Bengals players). I also wrote a few comments when I felt like it. Here’s the list:
LT: Joe Thomas, Cleveland – You could argue Andrew Whitworth, but Thomas carries a little more clout.
LG: Eric Steinbach, Cleveland – Yes, Cleveland, your team might be pretty bad, but the left side of the line is good.
C: Matt Birk, Baltimore
RG: Bobbie Williams, Cincinnati
RT: Michael Oher, Baltimore
WR: Chad Ochocinco, Cincinnati
WR: Anquan Boldin, Baltimore
Slot: Hines Ward, Pittsburgh – He’s not all that fast, but Ward has excellent hands and is a ferocious blocker.
TE: Heath Miller, Pittsburgh
QB: Carson Palmer, Cincinnati – Yes, Roethlisberger has more playoff wins and is a two-time Super Bowl champion, but his supporting cast has been significantly better. Plus, playing quarterback requires good sense off the field. And Big Ben doesn’t have any of that. At all.
RB: Ray Rice, Baltimore – Cedric Benson is probably better between the tackles, but Rice excels as a receiver as well
DE: Aaron Smith, Pittsburgh
NT: Shaun Rogers, Cleveland – His effort is questionable at times, but he’s a monster when motivated
DE: Haloti Ngata, Baltimore
LB: James Harrison, Pittsburgh
LB: Ray Lewis, Baltimore
LB: Rey Maualuga, Cincinnati
LB: Lamar Woodley, Pittsburgh
CB: Leon Hall, Cincinnati
CB: Jonathan Joseph, Cincinnati
FS: Ed Reed, Baltimore
SS: Troy Polamalu, Pittsburgh – Not a true strong safety, but he’s too talented (when healthy) to leave off the list
KR: Josh Cribbs, Cleveland – Easily the best player on Cleveland’s entire team
PR: Josh Cribbs, Cleveland
K: Shayne Graham, Baltimore – Great at unimportant field goals. Pretty awful in the clutch.
P: Kevin Huber, Cincinnati – Impressive average of 49 yards per punt last year.
So there it is. Let me know what you think. Unless, of course, you’re a Steelers fan. In that case, I don’t care.