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Bengals have 7th-best roster in NFL; Gil Brandt picks Steelers to win AFC North

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

By now, everyone who watches a good amount of football knows the Bengals have one of the more talented rosters in the NFL. Not only that, but they have arguably the greatest amount of young talent. A.J. Green, Vontaze Burfict, Geno Atkins, Andy Dalton, Carlos Dunlap, Tyler Eifert, Marvin Jones and Giovani Bernard all have four or fewer less seasons in the NFL.

Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus ranks the Bengals roster a the seventh best in the NFL:

The receiving corps is strong and deep with the emergence of Marvin Jones. Meanwhile, the O-line is strong and the defense is in good order despite a couple of holes, most notably at nose tackle where Domata Peko hasn't earned a positive season grade from us overall since 2007.

Cincinnati has five players across both sides of the ball (20.8 percent) that grade out as below-average or worse, and could stand to be replaced. BenJarvus Green-Ellis is one of those players, and will likely be starter in name only even if he manages to hold off Giovani Bernard on paper (in other words, don't read too much into those HB1 and HB2 designations).

Andrew Whitworth teams with Geno Atkins to give the team one blue-chipper on either side of the ball.

Though there are some holes, this roster is so talented that there's no reason to doubt the Bengals are capable of making it to the playoffs for the fourth year in a row and the fifth time in six years.

As for the rest of the AFC North, the Baltimore Ravens (16th), Cleveland Browns (24th) and Pittsburgh Steelers (27th) rank significantly lower than Cincinnati.

Don't tell former NFL executive Gil Brandt that: