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Around the AFC North (2/18): Heirs to Ray Lewis in this Year's Draft


In today's edition of Around the AFC North, we take a look at potential heirs to linebacker Ray Lewis for the Ravens, a breakdown of salaries for the Bengals, and another Steelers free agent on the offensive line.

Baltimore Ravens: Replacements for Ray Lewis

The Baltimore Sun asks the question of who in this year's draft class could be an heir to Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis? As much as I hate the guy, he has been a leader on that defense for a long time and I don't think they will be the same when he decides to hang it up.

While the article discusses "candidates" to replace Lewis, there is no such thing. If the Ravens ended up finding a player instantly who could fill his shoes, I would be kicking myself in frustration because it has been so difficult for Cleveland to find All-Pro linebackers still after all of these years.

Cincinnati Bengals: Position-by-Position Breakdown of Salary

I thought this was an interesting post done by Cincy Jungle in which they took a look at how much money the team had invested per position as opposed to by player. If I can retrieve the data, this is definitely something I'd like to do with the Browns soon. Cincinnati's biggest investment is currently on their defensive line, but QB Carson Palmer has the highest individual salary on the team.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Free Agent Doug Legursky

After stepping up to play in the Super Bowl, teams will have to decide if Doug Legursky is worth a roster spot on their team. Pittsburgh could also try to retain him; here is what Michael Bean of BTSC thinks, which includes an interesting shift on the Steelers line to strengthen the team at the guard position too:

I've seen this idea thrown around, but would it make sense to maybe use Legursky at center and Pouncey at right guard? That would give the Steelers a pretty solid interior to their offensive line in '11. Even if the Steelers do draft a guard early on in this year's draft, it's not a slam dunk that he'd be ready and able to play at a high level as a rookie. Maybe, maybe not. We know though that Legursky can hold his own, and I doubt Pouncey would struggle too much making the transition to guard. Perhaps in '11 you move Pouncey back to center and roll with your second-year guard then?