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ESPN's Organizational ranking based on 25-and-under talent: AFCN

We fared well. Here are the blurbs on the division.  Clearly ESPN agrees with us that we have alot more young talent than the Steelers.

19. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers do a better job of developing their young talent than most any team in the game, but there's just not a lot here to work with right now. Their 2008 draft was a huge disappointment by anyone's standards, yielding only Rashard Mendenhall and Dennis Dixon. Wide receiver Mike Wallace is number one on our Top 25 Prospects list, but the team will need to also get a contribution out of the two guys they chose before Wallace during the 2009 draft: defensive end Ziggy Hood and tackle Kraig Urbik. Hood may need to take over for Aaron Smith if the veteran end suffers another injury this year and, while Urbik could be in line to start at guard, there's a possibility he'd start in the stead of injured tackle Willie Colon, but it seems more likely he'd switch over on the line.

8. Cleveland Browns
How could the Browns -- a league laughingstock -- be so high? For one, they have football's best offensive lineman in 25-year-old left tackle Joe Thomas. Center Alex Mack is also promising. They may very well start two second-year wideouts in Mohamed Massaquoi and Brian Robiskie, who should complement each other well. Second-round pick Montario Hardestyshould contribute a fair amount to the ground attack. They also have a young cornerback tandem that could rank as one of the league's best as early as 2011: Eric Wright and rookieJoe Haden, with Sheldon Brown tutoring Haden this year. The one thing the defense lacks is a young pass-rusher, a role the organization hopes barely ineligible linebacker Chris Gocong, 26, can fill after moving over from Philadelphia in the Brown trade.

6. Cincinnati Bengals
Although the Texans have the league's best crop of impact defensive talent, the Bengals sure come close. They have a big three of 25-and-under talent in middle linebacker Rey Maualuga, weakside linebacker Keith Rivers and cornerback Leon Hall -- who was jobbed on a Pro Bowl spot last year. The problem is that there's not much young talent on the offensive side of the ball; 2009 first-rounder Andre Smith will move into a starting role this year, but he'll take a job away from the only other 25-and-under guy who could start,Anthony Collins. The only other young player expected to play any sort of role on the offense is rookie tight end Jermaine Gresham, and rookie tight ends are usually an invisible species. The Bengals will need to address the offensive side of the ball with a multitude of picks in the 2011 draft.

4. Baltimore Ravens
Ozzie Newsome is the best general manager in football, and year after year, his drafts deliver promising new players to an organization that seems to have more talent than opportunities. Although the Ravens are known for their defense, it's the offense that has most of the team's young talent these days. Joe Flacco and Ray Rice get the headlines at quarterback and running back, respectively, but no team has a pair of young tackles that match up with Michael Oher and Jared Gaither, both 24. The problem with the defensive talent might just be getting on the field; the Ravens spent their two second-rounders this year on front seven talent, linebacker Sergio Kindle and massive nose tackle Terrence Cody, but those guys will need to serve their apprenticeships before seeing serious snap totals. One player who might break through this season is corner Lardarius Webb, who is coming off of a torn ACL but should be starting by the end of the season.

 

And they didn't even include Ellerbe, McClain Nakamura, Zbikowski, Yanda, Kruger, and the rookie TE's. Plus Ngata, Foxworth, Grubbs who are all newly 26 years old.  Plus, we are the highest ranked of any playoffs teams, with the only other playoff team in the top 10 being Cincinnati.

 

http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/insider/news/story?page=FootballOutsiders2010OrganizationalRankings

The opinions posted here are those of the administrator of this blog and his loyal readers. They are in no way official comments from the team, and should not be misconstued as such, even though he thinks he could do just as well or even a better job!

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