AFC North draft recap

The Super bowl champs try to rebuild and the rest of a tough division will try to lessen the gap.


Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens have lost a lot from the Super Bowl roster.  They Started replacing the defensive backfield in the end of round one with safety Matt Elam from Florida.  He will start from day one.

Round two was more plugging defensive holes.  Kansas State’s Arthur Brown is a versatile linebacker who should start from the jump of the season.  Brown had consecutive one hundred tackle seasons.

The end of round three, Missouri Southern State Brandon Williams came off the board and should add depth to the defensive line.  He’s a big strong body who will help in stopping the run.

In round four the Ravens had two picks.  John Simon from Ohio State will try to help the pass rush from the outside linebacker position.  The very next pick Baltimore drafted Kyle Juszczyk from Harvard.  Juszczyk will be an H-back who can line up in the backfield to block, on the line and in the slot to catch passes.  I think he will have a little fantasy value.  As the years go on that may get higher and higher.  It wouldn’t shock me if he was a usable fantasy option in deeper leagues in a few seasons.

Round five and six were spent on the offensive and defensive line.  Rick Wagner could see some playing time at right tackle this year.  Kapron Lewis-Moore from Notre Dame is a project on the defensive line who has had knee issues the last two years.  Ryan Jensen out of Colorado State will add depth to the offensive line and push to play in later seasons.

In round seven the Ravens took a chance on small school project Arron Mallette who was featured here along with new teammate Kyle Juszczyk.  They rounded out the draft by getting cornerback Marc Anthony from Cal.  He may end up as good depth at the safety position down the road.

Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals were in a good position in round one because they were able to take best player over need.  Tyler Eifert from Notre Dame was drafted to give them another big target tight end.  Eifert is a good run blocker and can line up in-line or in the slot.  He can be moved all over and is a must own this season in fantasy football.  have a back up plan, rookies don’t always hit their stride in year one.  I have a feeling Eifert will be fine.

With two picks in round two the Bengals took change of pace runner Giovanni Bernard from North Carolina.  Someone to look out for late in drafts.  especially in PPR leagues.  They also selected Margus Hunt who will help in a rotational role at defensive end.

Cincy went defense in the third and fourth by taking Shawn Williams, a safety from Georgia who will push for playing time.  Sean Porter was also drafted from Texas A&M.  Porter could develop into a starter down the road.  Proved to be very durable over his Career at A&M.

In round five Tanner Hawkinson came off the boards.  He is a tackle prospect who will most likely need time to fit a right tackle.

Round six could prove to be very productive for Cincy.  Runningback Rex Burkhead is a tough runner who has solid hands.  Somebody to keep on your watch list if BenJarvus Green-Ellis gets injured.  Another score for the Bengals was Cobi Hamilton.  He has good size and good game speed.  He is very good on slant routes and will give Andy Dalton another quality receiver to throw to.

The seventh round saw two offensive lineman drafted.  Reid Fragel is a big right tackle who played one year there after playing tight end in previous seasons.  He has potential to start down the road.  T.J. Johnson out of South Carolina rounds out this draft.  He is a center who will fight for a depth spot.

Cleveland Browns

In 2012 the Browns were able to strengthen the offense.  This year it was all defense.

The Browns made Barkevious Mingo the sixth overall pick.  He will be used as a speed rusher.

In round three Leon McFadden, a cornerback from San Diego State was taken.  McFadden looks like he could be a solid nickel back.

Cleveland didn’t have another pick until round six.  Jamoris Slaughter from Notre Dame.  He will add depth and will help out in a lot on multiple coverages.  A big hitter who could find himself starting in the future.

In the final round Cleveland took a shot on tow small school players in Armonty Edwards from East Central Oklahoma a defensive end and Garrett Gilkey a Defensive lineman from Chadron State.  Both will fight for jobs.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Multiple Players from the Steelers have gone elsewhere.  The have some rebuilding to do and addressed many needs through the draft.

At pick 17 in round one the Steelers selected Jarvis Jones from Georgia.  A do it all type outside linebacker who fell after injury and poor workouts hurt his stock.

In round two, Le’Veon Bell from Michigan State was drafted to compete for snaps at runningback.  Draft Bell in mid to late rounds, there isn’t a certain starter yet and Bell will challenge for the top spot.  Keep an eye out during training camps and preseason games.

After Mike Wallace left for Miami, The Steelers grabbed Markus Wheaton from Oregon State in round three.  Wheaton should be drafted late.  He could end up as the number two targeted player at times.  Especially early with Heath Miller’s health in question at the start of the season.  Another guy to make sure you keep tabs on during the preseason.

Shamarko Thomas from Syracuse was a steal in round four.  He’s a big hitter who is built well and has great speed.  His height is his biggest issue, in the end Thomas will take over for Troy Polamalu when he eventually can’t play anymore.

Rounds five, six and seven were spent on defense.  Except for Justin Brown, a Wide Receiver from Oklahoma in the sixth.  He’s a tall possession receiver who will challenge for a roster spot.  He most likely will have no fantasy value.

Overall I thought the division did well.  Cleveland was unspectacular.  But if Mingo works out that would be big for a defense that played teams very tough at times last season.  Baltimore added much-needed pieces to the defense.  Juszczyk will be a guy who does a lot of things that fly under the radar.  The Bengals had one of the better drafts in the league.  Eifert will make an impact this year.  Bernard should too.  Hamilton and Burkhead are guys to watch.  The Steelers filled a bunch of holes and will stay competitive and be there to challenge for the division in the end.

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