2022 Offseason Questions: Who Is The Best Player In The AFC North?

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2021 season is over, already eliminated from the postseason after suffering a 42-21 loss at the hands of Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. They just barely made the postseason with a 9-7-1 record and a little help from their friends.

This is an offseason of major change, with the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger, the possible retirement of general manager Kevin Colbert, and the decisions about the futures of many important players to be made, such as Joe Haden, Stephon Tuitt, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and others—some already decided, some not.

Aside from exploring their options at the quarterback position, the top global priority, once again, figures to be addressing the offensive line, which they did not do quite adequately enough a year ago. Dan Moore Jr. looks like he may have a future as a full-time starter, but Kendrick Green was clearly not ready. Chukwuma Okorafor was re-signed, but Trai Turner was not. James Daniels and Mason Cole were added in free agency.

These are the sorts of topics among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked. There is rarely a concrete answer, but this is your venue for exploring the topics we present through all their uncertainty.

Question: Who is the best player in the AFC North?

The AFC North has sent at least two teams to the postseason in consecutive years, including three in 2020. Multiple times won postseason games that year, and last season, they represented the AFC in the Super Bowl, coming just shy of claiming the title, which would have marked the third team in the division to do so in the past 15 years. No team finished more than a game under .500 last year.

In other words, the AFC North is a pretty good division, with lots of talent in all three phases, including special teams, with multiple Pro Bowl kickers alone. They have the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, and the youngest league MVP, as well. Plus the reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year.

So who is the best player in the division? I’m not asking for the most valuable player. We’re actually going to be discussing that tomorrow. I want to know who is the single most talented, best football player playing on an AFC North team right now.

Is it a quarterback, like Lamar Jackson or Joe Burrow? Is it a pass rusher like T.J. Watt or Myles Garrett? What about a skill position player like Mark Andrews, Najee Harris, or Ja’Marr Chase? Or is it Cameron Heyward? Assuming health, Ronnie Stanley is perhaps the best offensive lineman in the division, though others like Joel Bitonio could push back on that claim.

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