AFC North: Ultimate Roster

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:

Offense

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

 Defense

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.

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