Tuesday, August 20, 2013
#NFLRank: Five AFC North players in 81-90
By Jamison Hensley
ESPN.com is continuing to reveal its list of the top 100 NFL players on offense and defense. Here are the players from the division that landed in spots 81-90:
84. Trent Richardson, Cleveland Browns running back: He gained 950 yards and ran for 11 touchdowns despite playing a majority of the season with broken ribs. If healthy, he should rank among the top five running backs by the end of the season. Here's my column on why I believe Richardson will make the biggest jump of any player in next year's rankings.
90. Andrew Whitworth, Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle: Whitworth often goes overshadowed because he plays in the same division as Joe Thomas. But he didn't have his best season last year even though he reached his first Pro Bowl.
83. Ike Taylor, Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback: The streakiest defender in the division last season who goes through stretches where he lacks confidence. He's still a high-end cover man, although he rarely comes up with interceptions because of bad hands. Football Outsiders picked Taylor as the most underrated player among those ranked 81-90.
84. Leon Hall, Bengals cornerback: I would've had Hall as the most underrated player in this group. He came on strong last season, showing he has fully recovered from an Achilles injury. It still amazes me that he has never made a Pro Bowl.
89. Carlos Dunlap, Bengals defensive end: I was surprised he made the list because injuries have limited his impact. Dunlap was the Bengals' most efficient edge rusher last season, recording six sacks, 13 quarterback hits and 32 hurries. If he could get through a full season healthy, he would be in the top half of the rankings for defensive players.