I liked what all 4 teams in the AFC North did on draft day. Let’s take a look at how it will help out the fantasy world. (Grades based on total draft, not just fantasy)
Baltimore Ravens – B+
The Ravens traded out of the first round. In the second. They grabbed pass rusher Courtney Upshaw from Alabama. A pick that turned out to be a great one. Terrell Suggs went down with an akilies injury last week and could miss 2012. In round 2 the Ravens upgraded the offensive line by selecting Kelechi Osemele from Iowa State. Baltimore took receiver LaQuan Williams. He has average size and wont make much of an impact this season. We all know Ray Rice is the main man for the Ravens. Running back Bernard Pierce is an interesting player to watch. He most likely wont do enough to warrant a selection for your team. But if Rice goes down, I think Bernard Pierce could be a very good back next season. Just a name to familiarize yourself with, just in case.
Cincinnati Bengals – A-
This is the ultimate boom or bust draft. Cincy had two first round picks. They went defense with Dre Kirkpatrick. I’m not sure how great he will be for the Bengals. A switch to safety could be in order. But they got a position of need if he does work out. Kevin Zietler will start at guard next year and helps the line. Round two they drafted Devon Still out of Penn St. Another boom or bust guy to help out the line. four of the next five picks were offense. Mohamed Sanu is a good sized wide out. He is slow and i wouldn’t touch him in a fantasy draft. Orson Charles is a tight end who will line up off the line of scrimmage. I’m not sure how great he’ll be this season. But it gives Andy Dalton another big target to throw to. In round five the Bengals Struck gold. The selected receiver Marvin Jones from Cal. Jones has serious sleeper potential. I think he comes in this year and will be worth a late round pick. in three years we are mentioning Jone’s name and not Sanu’s. Dan Herron was taken in the sixth round. His value is low and i wouldn’t draft him. But in a league that has a ton of injuries, keep his name in mind.
Cleveland Browns – A
The Browns didn’t get a ton of players. What they got were a couple of guys who should make this team a playoff contender soon. Trent Richardson was taken third overall. Richardson will make a big impact next year. i expect number one back type number in 2012. He can catch also, making him a great PPR league back. Look for number like Peyton Hillis put up two years ago. He is worth a high second round pick. Brandon Weeden was the Browns second pick in round one. He is an older player with a good arm. He should be the starter over Colt McCoy. With the depth at QB in the league and lack of talented pass catchers on the Browns, I would only take Weeden in deep multiple QB leagues. Mitchell Schwartz went in the second round and should step in as the starting right tackle. Another interesting fantasy impact5 could be Travis Benjamin. The Fourth round pick is a small but very fast receiver. He could have some big plays and will help out returning kicks if your league counts return points. Someone not to draft but put on your watch list.
Pittsburgh Steelers – A-
The Steelers upgraded the offensive line with the first two picks. Round one we saw David DeCastro come off the boards. A guard prospect who will start next season. He has all-pro potential. Tackle Mike Adams comes with off-field issues. The Steelers felt comfortable enough to take him in the second. He should start this season also. The fourth round pick was defensive tackle Alameda Ta’amu. He will help out the run defense this season. Ta’amu is also the heir to Casey Hampton. A great depth pick for the future. Chris Rainey went in the fifth. He is a small speedy runningback. He should be the primary kick returner and change of pace back. He could factor in more this year with Rashard Mendenhall’s health a factor for the upcoming season. Rainey could be a good late round steal, especially if you get kick return points in your league. Toney Clemons is a name to keep in mind for future years. He will have little impact this year. But if Mike Wallace departs in the future, Clemons could have value down the road if he makes the team.
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