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Thread: ESPN critiques AFC North WRs

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    ESPN critiques AFC North WRs

    1. Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers don't have as strong as a wide receiver group as last year now that Mike Wallace is in Miami. That being said, Pittsburgh still has the best receiver combination in the division. Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders are one of the quickest tandems in the league and fit Todd Haley's short passing attack. Brown should have a career season and Sanders will establish himself as a solid No. 2 receiver. There's a reason New England signed him to an offer sheet. At the No. 3 spot, the Steelers can go with experience (Jerricho Cotchery and Plaxico Burress) or youth (rookie third-round pick Markus Wheaton).

    2. Cincinnati Bengals: A.J. Green is clearly the best wide receiver in the AFC North. There's no one in his class. He has a shot at catching more than 100 passes for 1,500 yards and double-digit touchdowns. There's less of a concern about the No. 2 wide receiver this year, but the Bengals don't have a proven option either. Mohamed Sanu, a third-round pick from a year ago, caught four touchdowns in three games before getting injured. Still, he had 16 total catches. Cincinnati has potentially better depth than Pittsburgh with Andrew Hawkins and Marvin Jones, who could be the biggest surprise in the Bengals' passing game this year.

    3. Baltimore Ravens: As I've written repeatedly, the Ravens are going to regret trading Anquan Boldin. He never had a 1,000-yard season for Baltimore, but he led the team in receiving yards and clutch catches for three seasons. Torrey Smith, who is the second-best receiver in the division, is primed to take over Boldin's No. 1 spot. The question is who steps up at No. 2? Jacoby Jones, who had 51 catches for Houston in 2010 and made big plays in the postseason, can handle that role but it will take him away from being a full-time returner, which is his bigger strength. Unproven draft picks like Tandon Doss and David Reed will also have a shot at making an impact.

    4. Cleveland Browns: The Browns feel more comfortable with their receivers after watching what Josh Gordon and Greg Little did last season. But you don't know if Cleveland's top two receivers are going to reach their potential this season because they have a combined three seasons of NFL experience. Gordon flashed big-play ability and Little showed signs of developing into a complementary No. 2 target. The Browns have more established depth than the Ravens after trading for Davone Bess and signing David Nelson. Bess will prove valuable on third down. Travis Benjamin provides speed on the outside. This group will be even better next season.

  2. #2
    Legend
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    Why no one gets that Plax is the best WR in the AFCN is beyond me

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    Legend RuthlessBurgher's Avatar
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    Cincinnati has potentially better depth than Pittsburgh
    Better depth? That's crap. Certainly Cincy has the best wideout in the division by a wide margin in A.J. Green, but I'm not impressed with their WR depth at all. While we may not have that elite-level guy like they do, we have much better overall WR depth than they do. Beyond our starters, we have a reliable veteran possession receiver in Cotchery, a big target in the red zone in Burress, and another younger with quickness and route-running ability similar to our starters in Wheaton. Each offers something different, but all should contribute in one way or another...on 3rd downs between the 20's, put in Jerricho to make tough catches over the middle...in the red zone, put in Plax to run fade routes for Ben...if Brown or Sanders get hurt and we need someone with a similar skill set to replace him, put in Markus.

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    Hall of Famer ikestops85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RuthlessBurgher View Post
    Better depth? That's crap. Certainly Cincy has the best wideout in the division by a wide margin in A.J. Green, but I'm not impressed with their WR depth at all. While we may not have that elite-level guy like they do, we have much better overall WR depth than they do. Beyond our starters, we have a reliable veteran possession receiver in Cotchery, a big target in the red zone in Burress, and another younger with quickness and route-running ability similar to our starters in Wheaton. Each offers something different, but all should contribute in one way or another...on 3rd downs between the 20's, put in Jerricho to make tough catches over the middle...in the red zone, put in Plax to run fade routes for Ben...if Brown or Sanders get hurt and we need someone with a similar skill set to replace him, put in Markus.
    Cincy has Eifert ... nough said!
    <a href=http://seahawknationblog.com/files/2011/02/roger-goodell.jpg target=_blank>http://seahawknationblog.com/files/2...er-goodell.jpg</a>

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    Legend hawaiiansteel's Avatar
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    AFC North position rank: Tight ends

    May, 9, 2013
    By Jamison Hensley | ESPN.com

    The AFC North blog is continuing its rankings of each position for the next week. This is a projection on how the group will fare this season. It's not an evaluation based on last year. For Thursday, let's look at the tight ends.

    1. Baltimore Ravens: The loss of wide receiver Anquan Boldin will lead to a monster year for tight end Dennis Pitta. He is expected to lead the Ravens in receptions and possibly touchdown catches as well. In the final year of his contract, Pitta knows his value increases with a big year. Ed Dickson, who was drafted a round before Pitta in 2010, had a disappointing regular season last year before playing his best ball during the playoffs. He is only a season removed from catching 51 passes and five touchdowns.

    2. Cincinnati Bengals: The Bengals potentially have the best tight end tandem in the division. They certainly have invested in the position, selecting a tight end in the first round in two of the past four drafts. Jermaine Gresham has admittedly not lived up to expectations, even though his catches and receiving yards have increased every year. The problem with Gresham is his lack of explosiveness and increased drops, especially in the playoff loss at Houston. It was a wise move for the Bengals to draft Tyler Eifert in the first round. He can stretch the field and make an impact in the red zone.

    3. Pittsburgh Steelers: Heath Miller was the best tight end in the division last season. The switch to Todd Haley's offense led to a resurgence for Miller, who caught 71 passes and eight touchdowns. The reason you can't put the Steelers higher on the rankings is because you don't know Miller's health status. He tore knee ligaments late in the season and had surgery Jan. 2. It's uncertain when Miller will play this year, although many speculate he won't miss much time after the Steelers didn't draft a tight end. There is questionable depth at the position with Matt Spaeth and David Paulson.

    4. Cleveland Browns: The breakthrough player at this position is going to be Jordan Cameron, who gets the starting job after the Browns didn't replace Ben Watson. Cameron is the type of athletic target who often flourishes in Norv Turner offenses. For that reason, it was tempting to put the Browns at No. 3, given the uncertainty with Miller. The Browns added some depth in free agency by signing Kellen Davis and Gary Barnidge. Davis was a two-year starter with the Bears who is considered an underachiever. Barnidge is a blocking tight end who is familiar with Rob Chudzinski's system from their days together in Carolina.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth/pos...ank-tight-ends

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