This past week, NFL.com came up with "all-division teams" for each division in the league. Three members of the Cleveland Browns were represented on the All-AFC North Team: LT Joe Thomas, CB Joe Haden, and SS Donte Whitner.
Regarding Thomas, the article says, "A few in-the-know types have told me they consider Thomas more steady than spectacular, but the five-time first-team All-Pro is undoubtedly the best of the bunch in the AFC North."
When speaking about Haden, the article gives props to the team's overall cornerback group, saying that it could be the best in the NFL: "Haden taking his rightful place among the NFL's best corners is old news. With former Packer Tramon Williams and the highly pedigreed Justin Gilbert also in the mix, the Browns might have the league's best group at the position."
Whitner seemed to get the nod over FS Tashaun Gipson because he's been in the league longer, playing consistent football wherever he has gone: "He gets attention because of his mouth and vicious hits, but he's also been a consistent playmaker at all three of his NFL stops. Whitner made 106 tackles for Mike Pettine's bunch last year."
I'd say there are four Browns who were close to deserving spots: C Alex Mack, LG Joel Bitonio, ILB Karlos Dansby, and Gipson. I can understand Bitonio and Dansby being excluded, as there is some tough competition there. Gipson's spot was basically taken away by his own teammate. In the argument for Mack vs. Pouncey at center, I think Browns fans and Steelers fans will always be divided on this, but the national perspective always skews heavily toward Pouncey.