NFL all-decade: Best player on each AFC North team, every position

Which AFC North team will have the most success this decade? (3:06)

Brooke Pryor, Jake Trotter, Ben Baby and Jamison Hensley predict which AFC North teams will have the most success in the 2020s. (3:06)

The start of a new decade is upon us with the 2020 NFL season. But before we get rolling with the '20s, ESPN is taking a look back at the best -- and worst -- of the 2010s and naming the top players of the decade for all 32 teams.

From the top players to the best free-agent signing to the worst call by a referee, ESPN's NFL team remembers the people and moments of impact -- good and bad -- from the past 10 years. And NFL Nation reporters select the two best players of the decade from their teams, the top coach and assemble all-division teams of the 2010s.

It all kicked off Monday with the best and worst of the NFL from the past decade.

Division all-decade player, teams
Tuesday: AFC East and NFC East
Wednesday: AFC North and NFC North
Thursday: AFC West and NFC West
Friday: AFC South and NFC South

AFC North players of the decade

Baltimore Ravens

Marshal Yanda, G

Years with team: 2007-19

He isn't just the best Ravens player of the decade. Yanda is among the most accomplished offensive players in the NFL over that span. Since 2011, Yanda's eight Pro Bowl selections tied Tom Brady and Drew Brees for the most by an offensive player. He protected Joe Flacco during his unbelievable Super Bowl run in 2012 (11 touchdown passes, no interceptions in the playoffs); anchored the offensive line in front of last season's NFL MVP, Lamar Jackson; and opened holes for an offense in 2019 that set the league record for most rushing yards in a season. Yanda retired this offseason as one of three guards in NFL history to earn eight Pro Bowl selections and win a Super Bowl, joining Larry Allen and Alan Faneca.

Honorable mention: Justin Tucker, K, 2012-present. He has gone from being undrafted in 2012 to becoming the most accurate kicker in NFL history. Tucker's 90.8% success rate (265-of-292) is tops among all kickers with at least 100 field goal attempts. He also ranks as the NFL's most prolific kicker, becoming the first to produce six seasons with 30-plus field goals made -- all which occurred in the 2010s. -- Jamison Hensley

Cincinnati Bengals

A.J. Green, WR

Years with team: 2011-present

The fourth overall pick in the 2011 draft turned into one of the most productive wide receivers of the previous decade. Green ranks fourth in receiving yards during that span, trailing Julio Jones, Antonio Brown and Demaryius Thomas. And that's despite the fact that Green didn't play a single snap in 2019 after suffering an ankle injury in the preseason. In eight seasons, he has 8,907 receiving yards and 63 touchdowns. Green, who will be 32 at the start of the 2020 season, believes he can still be that dominant. Whenever he leaves Cincinnati, he'll have a strong case for the Hall of Fame.

Honorable mention: Geno Atkins, DT, 2010-present. Atkins has been an imposing force in the middle of the Bengals' defensive line since he was drafted in 2010. He's second in franchise history with 75.5 sacks, trailing only current teammate Carlos Dunlap (81.5). Atkins has been considered one of the best defensive tackles in the game and was named to the NFL's All-Decade team of the 2010s. -- Ben Baby

Cleveland Browns

Joe Thomas, OT

Years with team: 2007-17

The Browns didn't have much success last decade, but that's not because of Thomas, who will go down as one of the league's greatest left tackles. Thomas was a unanimous selection for the NFL's All-Decade team for the 2010s. The only offensive lineman to be voted to straight 10 Pro Bowls to begin a career, Thomas also was named first-team All-Pro seven times. Beginning as a rookie in 2007, Thomas started 167 straight games and played in an NFL-record 10,363 consecutive plays before a triceps injury in 2017. He was enshrined in the Browns' ring of honor the following year.

Honorable mention: Alex Mack, C, 2009-16. Like Thomas, Mack made the NFL's All-Decade team. He was a Pro Bowler with the Browns in 2010, 2013 and, after recovering from a broken fibula, in 2015, before making three more Pro Bowls with the Falcons. Mack also was a second-team All-Pro selection in 2013. -- Jake Trotter

Pittsburgh Steelers

Antonio Brown, WR

Years with team: 2010-18

Despite how his tenure in Pittsburgh ended and what his current status is with the NFL, it's undeniable that Brown was the best player in the division during his nine seasons with the Steelers. He had stretches as not only the AFC North's most dominant player and best wide receiver, but also as the best of the best in the entire league. Drafted in 2010, Brown was quiet his rookie year before exploding in his second season with 1,108 yards. And that was just the beginning. From 2014 to 2017, Brown earned All-Pro and Pro Bowl nods as he put up eye-popping numbers, including a league-leading 1,698 receiving yards on 129 receptions in 2014. He had 1,834 yards and 135 receptions a year later. He compiled 11,207 yards and 74 touchdowns during his career in Pittsburgh.

Honorable mention: Ben Roethlisberger, QB, 2004-present. In most other divisions, Roethlisberger would be a shoo-in for the player of the decade. The Steelers' quarterback for the entire decade, Roethlisberger missed only a handful of games and led the league in passing yards twice. He didn't add to his Super Bowl total in the past 10 years, but in 2018, Roethlisberger had one of his most prolific seasons, leading the NFL with 452 completions, 675 attempts, 5,129 passing yards and 320.6 yards per game. -- Brooke Pryor

AFC North coach of the decade

John Harbaugh, Ravens

Years with team: 2008-present

Harbaugh is the only coach in the AFC North to win a Super Bowl during the 2010s. He's also the only coach in this division to earn a No. 1 seed during that span. What keyed Baltimore's success is Harbaugh's willingness to change and take risks. In 2012, Harbaugh made the unconventional move of switching offensive coordinators in Week 15, which sparked the championship run with Joe Flacco. Last season, Harbaugh embraced a self-described "revolutionary" offense with quarterback Lamar Jackson that led Baltimore to a franchise-record 14 victories. Harbaugh capped the decade by winning NFL Coach of the Year, becoming the first AFC North coach to receive this honor since Marvin Lewis in 2009. -- Jamison Hensley

Honorable mention: Mike Tomlin, Steelers, 2007-present. In 13 years as an NFL head coach, Tomlin has never had a losing season. He spent each of those years at the helm of the Steelers, compiling a 102-57-1 regular-season record last decade. The Steelers missed the playoffs four times in the past 10 years and went 5-6 when they reached the postseason -- including a 2010 AFC championship. The Steelers haven't had as much playoff success under Tomlin recently, last winning a playoff game in 2016. But Tomlin turned in admirable coaching jobs even in subpar seasons -- at least by Steelers standards -- steering the team through the drama of 2018 and playing without Roethlisberger for most of 2019. -- Brooke Pryor

ESPN's AFC North All-Decade Team

Voted on by ESPN's AFC North reporters.


QB: Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers, 2004-present
RB: Le'Veon Bell, Steelers, 2013-18
RB: Ray Rice, Ravens, 2008-13
WR: Antonio Brown, Steelers, 2010-18
WR: A.J. Green, Bengals, 2011-present
OT: Joe Thomas, Browns, 2007-17
OT: Andrew Whitworth, Bengals, 2006-16
G: Marshal Yanda, Ravens, 2007-19
G: David DeCastro, Steelers, 2012-present
C: Maurkice Pouncey, Steelers, 2010-present
TE: Heath Miller, Steelers, 2005-15


DE: Carlos Dunlap, Bengals, 2010-present
DT: Geno Atkins, Bengals, 2010-present
DE: Cameron Heyward, Steelers, 2011-present
OLB: Terrell Suggs, Ravens, 2003-18
ILB: C.J. Mosley, Ravens, 2014-18
ILB: Lawrence Timmons, Steelers, 2007-16
OLB: James Harrison, Steelers, 2002-12, 2014-17; Bengals, 2013
CB: Joe Haden, Browns, 2010-16; Steelers, 2017-present
CB: Adam Jones, Bengals, 2010-17
S: Ed Reed, Ravens, 2002-12
S: Troy Polamalu, Steelers, 2003-14


PR-KR: Antonio Brown, Steelers, 2010-18
K: Justin Tucker, Ravens, 2012-present
P: Sam Koch, Ravens, 2006-present