AFC North Top 25: Fourth-ranked player

The AFC North blog is continuing its series on the top 25 players in the division with No. 4:


Ravens running back

Why Rice is ranked 4th: You can certainly make a strong argument for Rice being at the top of this list. He's been the NFL's most consistent all-around running back over the past three seasons. Rice has produced at least 1,700 total yards since 2009 despite going against tough defenses in the division twice a year. There's no doubt that he deserved his five-year, $40 million deal.

So, why is Rice ranked fourth and not higher? There are three Hall of Fame-caliber players who are entering the prime of their careers in the division. I wouldn't necessarily put Rice in that class just yet. If he puts together another top-notch season, there's a chance he could crack the top three in 2013.