Jamison Hensley, who is ESPN's AFC North blogger, has been releasing a series of "top-five" positional lists for the division. First, Hensley placed the Bengals' A.J. Green atop his divisional wide receiver list. Then, in his tight end positional rankings, Jermaine Gresham also came in at No.1.
Yesterday, he continued his list by reviewing the offensive linemen in the division. He didn't discriminate by position, as he lumped guards, centers and tackles all together on the list. A Bengals player once again made this list, showing that they indeed have a solid group of players.
The Bengals' best offensive lineman, tackle Andrew Whitworth, made the list at No.3. Of him, Hensley writes:
Playing in the same division with (Joe) Thomas often overshadows Whitworth's effectiveness. He's become just as important for the Bengals off the field as a team leader.
Coming in ahead of Whitworth was Cleveland's All-Pro tackle Joe Thomas and Raves Pro Bowl guard, Marshall Yanda. While the "homers" in all Bengals fans might contest that Whitworth should be higher, it seems like a relatively fair spot when looking at the list objectively.
Rounding out were two Pittsburgh linemen in Markice Pouncey and David DeCastro. DeCastro may be a bit of a surprise to make the list since he hasn't played a down of professional football yet, but he comes out of Stanford University highly-decorated. In what was once their Achilles heel as a team, the Steelers made an effort to revamp their offensive line this offseason with DeCastro and tackle Mike Adams.