Steelers have 8 players make The Athletic’s All-AFC North team

The Athletic recently pulled their writers together to come up with an All-AFC North team. Here are the Steelers that made the cut.

We have spent much of the offsesaon talking about how the Steelers fare against other teams in the AFC North. The Athletic sheds a little more light on the subject.

Writers from the athletic recently took to voting to figure out which AFC North players belong on the Preseason All-AFC North team. After votes were tallied they had eight Pittsburgh Steelers make the list.

Here is a look at each of the eight Steelers who were voted to the All-AFC North Team:

Ben Roethlisberger

Quarterback

Ben Roethlisberger was voted in as the starting quarterback for the All-AFC North team, but his win wasn’t by much. Big Ben earned 14 votes to Baker Mayfield’s 11.

It’s only a matter of time before Mayfield becomes the best quarterback in the AFC North, so we will chalk this up as a win while we can. Andy Dalton received 4 votes, and Lamar Jackson earned just 1.

Vance McDonald

Tight end

Despite playing just over 50 percent of offensive snaps for the Steelers last season, Vance McDonald is the lone tight end to make The Athletic’s All-AFC North team. The voting at tight end, however, couldn’t be closer.

Vance pulled in 11 votes to Njoku’s 10. Mark Andrews earned 6 votes of his own, while a pair of Bengals tight ends in Tyler Eifert and C.J. Uzomah rounded out the votes with 2 and 1, respectively.

Alejandro Villanueva

Left tackle

There are a lot of good offensive lineman in the AFC North, but it’s good to see Villanueva make the list. Big Al has been to two consecutive Pro Bowls, and has been a staple to Pittsburgh’s offensive line.

He bested Ronny Stanley’s 11 votes with 14 of his own. There was no close third party in this two-man race.

Maurkice Pouncey

Center

It’s not surprising to see the 7-time Pro Bowl and 2-time All-Pro center make the All-AFC North team. Pouncey has been a solid piece of one of the best offensive lines in football for years.

His main competition was Browns center, J.C. Tretter. However, Pouncey won out with 14 votes to Tretter’s 10.

James Conner

Offensive flex

Joe Mixon won the voting handily as the All-AFC  North Running back (15 votes to Conner’s 7). However, James Conner found his way on the team by way of an offensive flex player.

There was just one flex spot on The Athletic’s designated roster, and Conner was the highest voted skills player who didn’t make the cut – ousting teammate JuJu Smith-Schuster by just one vote.

Cameron Heyward

Defensive tackle

Heyward and Geno Atkins were voted in as the two defensive tackles – winning by a landslide. The next highest voted DT was Stephon Tuitt with just 3 votes.

Cam Heyward is still a force on the inside, and is coming off his 2nd Pro Bowl appearance in the past two years.

T.J. Watt

Edge

Myles Garrett received all five first place votes from the panel, but T.J. Watt made the All-AFC North team as the second edge player.

Watt earned 9 total votes to Garrett’s 15. Olivier Vernon was a distant third with 4 votes.

Devin Bush

Linebacker

Despite not yet playing as much as a preseason snap, Devin Bush made the All-AFC team and was the only rookie to do so. The 10th overall pick has a promising future, and with C.J. Mosley gone, there is a lack of great talent at linebacker in the Steelers division.

Bush came in second to Joe Schobert in linebacker voting with 7 votes to Schobert’s 12. Seven different linebackers received votes for the All-AFC North team, including Vince Williams (2).

Next: What Diontae Johnson’s injury means for the Steelers

Even without players like JuJu Smith-Schuster and David DeCastro making the squad, the Steelers still occupied 8 of the 25 spots on the All-AFC North roster. Let’s hope even more Pittsburgh players are eligible for this list after 2019.

 

 

 

 

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