Senior NFL Columnist

AFC North

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The good divisions make it tough when picking an all-division team.

With three good teams in the Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC North, it means a lot of good players, which means tough pickings on the All-AFC North team.

The receivers were tough choices, but I went with Cincinnati's A.J. Green and Pittsburgh's Mike Wallace. But I love Baltimore's Torrey Smith and Antonio Brown of the Steelers.

As for the defense, I went with a 3-4 front because the Ravens and Steelers use that style and they have been the class of the division.

That left off some good players at end, including Carlos Dunlap of the Bengals, and forced a solid 3-4 end onto the team in Ziggy Hood.

Offense

TE LT LG C RG RT
J. Gresham J. Thomas W. Colon A. Mack M. Yanda A. Smith
WR QB WR
A. Green B. Roethlisberger M. Wallace
RB FB
R. Rice V. Leach

QB -- Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers: He remains one of the top quarterbacks in the league and has a firm grip on this spot.
RB -- Ray Rice, Ravens: He is the class runner of this division, a do-it-all back who is just now entering his prime.
FB -- Vonta Leach, Ravens: Watch him sledgehammer linebackers and you will know why he's on this team.
WR -- A.J. Green, Bengals: He was special as a rookie and barely had time to understand the offense. Watch out in 2012.
WR -- Mike Wallace, Steelers: I picked him over teammate Antonio Brown and Baltimore's Torrey Smith, but it was close.
TE -- Jermaine Gresham, Bengals: It's time the Bengals used him more like the receiving tight end he can be.
LT -- Joe Thomas, Browns: He was an easy pick here and remains one of the league's better tackles.
LG -- Willie Colon, Steelers: He moves inside to guard from tackle and is having a heck of a summer doing so.
C -- Alex Mack, Browns: This was a tough pick, but I took Mack over Pittsburgh's Maurkice Pouncey.
RG -- Marshall Yanda, Ravens: He is a tough, physical guard who is finally getting the due he deserves.
RT -- Andre Smith, Bengals: He has slimmed down and played well in 2011. This could be his breakout season.

Defense (3-4 front)

LE DT RE
Z. Hood G. Atkins H. Ngata
OLB ILB/MLB ILB/MLB OLB
L. Woodley R. Lewis D. Jackson J. Harrison
CB FS SS CB
L. Webb E. Reed T. Polamalu J. Haden

LE -- Ziggy Hood, Steelers: This former first-round pick is ready for big things in the Steelers' 3-4 defense.
RE -- Haloti Ngata, Ravens: He was bothered by a leg issue and didn't play as well in 2011, but he should be back to his brutish ways.
DT -- Geno Atkins, Bengals: He was the class of the division playing inside in the Bengals' 4-3 system. He dominated Yanda in a game last season.
OLB -- LaMarr Woodley, Steelers: He is a force coming off the edge, but he's also good at playing the run.
ILB/MLB -- Ray Lewis, Ravens: He isn't the player he once was, but he's still worthy of this spot. He dropped some weight to help improve his pass coverage, which he needed.
ILB/MLB -- D'Qwell Jackson, Browns: Outside of Cleveland, most don't know this name. But he is real thumper.
OLB -- James Harrison, Steelers: His skills have diminished some, but he's still the guy for this spot with Terrell Suggs down.
CB -- Lardarius Webb, Ravens: He didn't give up a touchdown pass last season, earning this spot.
CB -- Joe Haden, Browns: He's on the verge of being an elite cover player. It's too bad he's suspended early.
Nickel -- Jimmy Smith, Ravens: He might start, but if he doesn't he's the division's best nickel corner.
SS -- Troy Polamalu, Steelers: Is he as good as many think he is? No. But he's still damn good.
FS -- Ed Reed, Ravens: The aging version of Ed Reed isn't what he once was, but he's still smart and can make it rough for opposing quarterbacks.

Special Teams

KR K P
J. Cribbs M. Nugent S. Koch

K -- Mike Nugent, Bengals: He was third in the conference in scoring and made 33 of his 38 field goals.
P -- Sam Koch, Ravens: He averaged 46.5 per punt last season.
KR -- Josh Cribbs, Browns: I gave him a slight edge over Antonio Brown.

Honorable mention: Bengals DE Carlos Dunlap; Steelers WR Antonio Brown; Ravens WR Torrey Smith; Steelers C Maurkice Pouncey; Browns DT Ahtyba Rubin; Ravens QB Joe Flacco.


Pete Prisco has covered the NFL for three decades, including working as a beat reporter in Jacksonville for the Jaguars. He hosted his own radio show for seven years, and is the self-anointed star of CBS Sports' show, Eye on Football. When he's not watching game tape, you can find Pete on Twitter or dreaming of an Arizona State national title in football.
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