HT's Analysis: AFC North Draft Gradeshtoutlaws2012 In this semi series, I look at the draft how that team did based on that annual event, to then a preview of what that team could potentially be set up to be on off season preparations. I'm going in a weird order, but with the 1st division I chose the AFC North, why? The Browns might as well feel special right?
(Key: Team in Bold, Grade in Bold)
Cleveland Browns: After last years failed capitalization of utilizing in a ton of picks. The Browns did a whole lot better based on the choices when they were most needed. Will that make this team much better not really, but hopefully not anywhere near 1-15 territory otherwise your head coach needs to be for sure outta there. Myles Garrett hopefully makes an immediately impact for a defense that was really bad in every way. There next pick I have a big problem with, What position is Jabrill Peppers suppose to play? Other than his likely a punt returner what more can you do with him. I like the guy, but is he NFL caliber? Njoku reminds me a lot of Eric Ebron, his the type of tight end to me might not be a great blocker, but can at times catch the ball which is concerning considering this was the class with a ton of Tight Ends. Yet what am I saying if they got Jake Butt at 29 super reach right. The DeShone Kizer pick was a matter of hope for the Browns. Praying nobody else would pick him. They got there wish, and Jim Brown comes out to say the pick might say something. I must say I do like the day 3 picks Cleveland snagged up. Not all could stick around, but I see the potential all there if done right. The defensive line might look better, but yet they also failed to address a crucial line backer need that could eat them up with a Tight End going down the middle. Yes you got Jamie Collins from New England, but give him better support around him. C+
Cincinnati Bengals: After suffering a very disappointing season in which some expected one way or another. Marvin Lewis has been around so long it amazes me his still there. not the best coach, but his been there for that long even when they were very bad when he started. This team was decimated by injuries literally. Dalton had a lot of his weapons around him missing making him feel more taking a major step down from the year he was playing extremely well. Not only that, but use loses major pieces on offense, and defense. The trenches might haunt them next season especially at offensive line. Sure they picked up a tackle, but they should treated that with a lot more adjusting then to just have one in that position. Sure you got a helping hand in John Ross, next to A,J Green, but was it the biggest need? Same with running back is really that big of a need, if you had 2 guys who can run the ball. Yet you pull a Dallas Cowboys, and take the most controversial player of the draft Joe Mixon. Again where's the bigger needs at? Here we go at least they upgraded heavily on the defensive line at least, yet might not be good enough to come any where close to the playoffs. Then add depth at Line backer, and Cornerback. Sometimes going based on best available may not be the case, which is what I see with the Bengals. C
Baltimore Ravens: For the second straight year Baltimore had come up short of making the playoffs, not a totally awful team, there just a below average football team that could use some more players to help out. They clearly got the coach for awhile, its just the players that need to come into play. Ravens style of draft I liked in this case, because sure the offense was not great to begin with, but that defense to me was not what it once was when they won the super bowl years ago. This team can get behind a mediocre offense in the past, remember the 2000 ravens? All of these look like very solid choices, even I approve them. My only problem although its not that badly panned for me is no address to Wide Receiver. Steve Smith Gone, Kamar Aiken gone. Bershad Perriman enters in a critical must do well otherwise he will be a labeled a bust pretty soon. Terrance West, can he be consistent the next few years? if so that's fine. A Tight End would help for Flacco to go somewhere with. B+
Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers had a very interesting start to there draft by picking perhaps a great replacement for James Harrison in that being T.J Watt. To me he was the top linebacker on my board, and falls all the way at 30. Pittsburgh then goes ahead to give big Ben more weapons with Juju Smith fine I guess. Getting another corner why not, what is it with the Steelers and there love 5' height corners. Do you not realize a 6'5 Wide Receiver can easily out beat in every way possible. Not sure why they took a running back honestly, sure DeAngelo Williams is ancient history at this point, but this team had LeVeon Bell as the feature back, that's all you need really. I like that they decided to take a chance at a backup QB. Landry Jones to me is a 3rd string QB for preseason, and he gets cut kind of player, but to me bringing in someone new makes it better and unpredictable unlike having Orlosky for the Lions everyone knows when his in the game is over. Hey there we go Pittsburgh, drafting a corner that's 6'3 more like it indeed, Could be a potential starter. Long Snappers are usually waste of picks, so that was what it was. Finally add in more defensive end depth. With that the Steelers draft was not bad, it was actually good in a sense where they might get some good out of this. B-
Up next: The NFC North...