NFL Any Era: AFC South candidates

January, 27, 2012
1/27/12
3:33
PM ET
Ray Lewis finished atop ESPN.com’s NFL Any Era poll, and he’s certainly a guy whose game would have worked in any point in time of professional football.

The AFC South finished with just two players in the list of 20, with Colts quarterback Peyton Manning at No. 20 and Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney at No. 18.

I have no major beef with the exclusion of anyone else.

But if we wanted to pick three more guys and present a top five of NFL Any Era players from the AFC South, who would they be?

Here are my candidates, one from each of the other three teams. I welcome your input in the comments section.

Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew -- A very powerful runner who can find space between the tackles and willing to take on contact. He runs effectively against stacked boxes in the modern day, he’d have been able to do the same in more rough and tumble times.

Texans linebacker Brian Cushing -- Sure, it’s not smart that he gashed the bridge of his nose head-butting someone with his helmet off. But the picture from this season with blood streaming down his face is the sort you’d see in black and white from back in the day.

Titans right tackle David Stewart -- He’s not concerned with any of the trappings of modern professional football outside of blocking the guys coming at him and providing a mean streak. He doesn’t need fluffy towels.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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