Yesterday we shared with you the results for the offensive side of the ball by the Editors of the AFC North Fansided blogs. You can see those here. We will be moving on to the defensive side of the ball soon and DPD is giving you the votes. I will provide you with two options for every position, not always including a Cleveland Brown, and will tabulate who you choose and that will become our vote for the AFC North. Any strong arguments for a player not given as a selection, a write in vote if you will, will also be considered. Make your vote count. We will be using a 3-4 system with 2 corners, a strong and a free safety as well.
Geno Atkins – Atkins is a 4-3 DT in the Bengals defense but could slide outside to the end spot in the odd front. Atkins is a disruptive force who could cause tons of problems for tackles and guards while occupying blockers to free up outside linebackers.
Cameron Heyward – The Ohio State product has developed slowly for the Steelers but has taken on a bigger role every season. As a starter this year he will be expected to impact the game much more then in years past. In the Steelers defense he won’t often get big numbers but still can have a huge impact.
Haloti Ngata – Ngata is a staple of the AFC North. The Ravens drafted him after moving down one spot with the Browns so they could move up and take Kameron Wimbley, one of a number of bad moves in the past 15 years. Ngata is aging but still can be dominate when healthy.
Phil Taylor – Taylor is still somewhat overlooked but has shown flashes of dominance. He is coming into a contract year and could be in for a huge year as Mike Pettine looks to use him wisely. An argument can be made for having both Ngata and Taylor on the line with Atkins or another player.
Carlos Dunlap – Dunlap is just coming into his own, especially now with Charles Johnson down in Tampa. A big, 6’6″ end with speed and power, he is more suited for the 4-3 but can learn to excel in the 3-4. Last year he had 7.5 sacks and can help occupy blockers by being disruptive more then holding the point of attack.
Desmond Bryant – Bryant was a revelation for the first few games of last season. A heart issue caused significant concerns last year and limited him to 12 games. When healthy he is long and active which helps hold off blockers from getting to the second level. His stats won’t blow you away but that is not as important in the 3-4