The 2014 All-NFC North Team

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Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Marvin Jones (82) catches the ball and is tackled by Minnesota Vikings free safety Harrison Smith (22). Trevor Ruszkowksi-USA TODAY Sports


Starters: SS – Morgan Burnett, GB; FS – Harrison Smith, MN

Minnesota’s Smith might be the only standout safety in the division. He’s solid, consistent, and a natural leader on the field. His 2013 numbers didn’t quite live up to his rookie performance in 2012, but Smith is still one of the better young safeties in the league.

Burnett gets the start here by default because there really aren’t any other strong safeties in the division that jump out. Despite a forgettable 2013 season, Burnett can still be solid starter in this league. He’s a willing defender against the run and should have a bounce-back year in 2014.

Reserves: (SS) Charles Tillman, CHI; (FS) Micah Hyde, GB

Both Tillman and Hyde can play safety or cornerback.

Tillman’s career is winding down, but the veteran defensive back has made plenty of plays over his 11 years in the NFL, including 36 interceptions, 42 forced fumbles, and 118 passes defensed. Tillman still has some playmaking ability left in the tank.

Like Tillman, Hyde is a versatile and tough defensive back, and the future of the former Iowa product seems bright.