Today we’re going to rank the AFC North top five players in order, regardless of position or team. The AFC North has been one of the most consistent and competitive divisions since its realignment in 2002. In that time span, three of the four teams have won multiple division titles while the division as a whole has earned a total of three super bowl berths and two super bowl titles. This is largely in part due to the incredible talent showcased in the division on a yearly basis. Going into the 2020 NFL season (Coronavirus pending) the AFC North has an argument to be the most talented division in football.
AFC North Top Five Players Heading Into the 2020 Season
5.) Nick Chubb – Running back, Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns roster is one of the most talented rosters in the entire NFL. Nick Chubb might not have the biggest name but he very well might be the best of the bunch. Chubb ran for 996 yards as a rookie with only nine games started. As a sophomore, he finished second in the NFL with nearly 1,500 yards rushing in an otherwise inefficient offense. Chubb has averaged 5.1 yards per carry over two seasons while rushing for almost 2,500 yards. Going into his third season surrounded with arguably his best offensive line yet, Chubb is in line for a very solid season.
4.) Minkah Fitzpatrick – Safety, Pittsburgh Steelers
The early season trade for Minkah Fitzpatrick could not have worked out better for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He turned an above-average defensive unit into arguably the leagues best. In his 14 games in Pittsburgh, Fitzpatrick turned in five interceptions (one of which was returned for a 96-yard touchdown), stellar defense and coverage skills, and some defensive player of the year chatter. Heading into his third season, he is a defensive nightmare for AFC North offensive coordinators.
3.) Ronnie Stanley – Tackle, Baltimore Ravens
The former sixth overall pick has been a solid player through three seasons with the Baltimore Ravens. However, in his fourth season, he really elevated his game to the next level. He was voted to his first pro bowl and received first team all-pro honors on his way to becoming the class of the left tackle position. This time next year, Stanley may be the highest-paid offensive tackle in league history and he will deserve every penny of it.
2.) T.J. Watt – Outside Linebacker, Pittsburgh Steelers
T.J. Watt can no longer be referred to just as J.J. Watt‘s brother. Heading into his fourth professional season, he is coming off a year where he finished fourth in the NFL in sacks, led the league in forced fumbles with eight, received first team all-pro honors, and finished third DPOY voting. His resume speaks for itself. The Steelers’ defense centered around fourth-year player T.J Watt and third-year player Minkah Fitzpatrick will be a scary sight for offenses around the league moving forward.
AFC North Top Players: Honorable Mentions
Cameron Heyward – EDGE, Pittsburgh Steelers.
Marlon Humphrey – Cornerback, Baltimore Ravens.
Calais Campbell – EDGE, Baltimore Ravens.
Joel Bitonio – Guard, Cleveland Browns.
Myles Garrett – EDGE, Cleveland Browns.
1.) Lamar Jackson – QB, Baltimore Ravens
Now finally, the number one player in the AFC North. This is an easy one. The reigning NFL MVP and second unanimous MVP of all-time Lamar Jackson is as good as it gets. He set an NFL record with 1,206 yards rushing and was the first quarterback to ever rush for over 1,000 yards and pass for 3,000 yards in the same season. This is an easy choice as the top player in the division heading into the 2020 season.
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