Draft Grades AFC North
Baltimore Ravens: A-
The Baltimore Ravens drafted all solid players. CJ Mosley was a top 10 talent available at 17. For anyone who says it does not fill a need, may I ask you why he will start day 1? Terrance Brooks was a steal in the third round and he will start as well at free safety. The Ravens 2nd round prospect is a defensive lineman the Ravens seem to be in love with, Florida State’s Timmy Jernigan. You can criticize the Ravens for passing on more pressing needs; a Morgan Moses (OT from Virginia) would have made more sense. But Jernigan is a good player and a good value. The Ravens have been heavily criticized for drafting tight end Crockett Gilmore. This is silly because he is a great player and is a pick geared to the future. The moral of the story is that Baltimore drafted 9 good football players. Can you knock them for that?
Cleveland Browns: C+
The Cleveland Browns got their franchise quarterback in Johnny Manziel, but this does not excuse a bevy of questionable decisions. Their star receiver, Josh Gordon, is facing a possible season long suspension. The Browns needed receiver help before this news broke. The Browns traded away the fourth overall selection to the Bills for a good haul. The Browns however would have been better off taking the superstar receiver the Bills took (Sammy Watkins , Clemson). The Browns moved to the 9th selection but traded 1 spot up to select Justin Gilbert. To trade up for Gilbert at all is an egregious error to me. I had 3 cornerbacks ranked above him; Gilbert has many technical problems despite be a combine/proday hero. Cleveland would have been suited taking Eric Ebron (who Detroit took with the next pick) or Odell Beckham Jr. (Who the Giants took with the 12th selection). The Browns do get credit for a crafty trade up in front of Baltimore to select Towson running back Terrance West. Peirre Desir in the fourth was a high value, but it was surprising they would take another cornerback. The Joel Bitinio pick was a reach. Cleveland took Christian Kirksey, when a better OLB Scott Crichton got drafted immediately after. 3 reaches does not make for a great draft, despite the importance of landing Manziel.
Cincinnati Bengals: B
The Bengals got my highest ranked cornerback in Darqueeze Dennard. Dennard was a phenomenal draft pick and the most technically and fundamentally sound defensive back in this draft class. I did not like the Jeremy Hill pick. There were better backs there, it was a bit of a reach and it did not fit a need. The Bengals did a good job, drafting good players. With one reach I think a B is fair.
Pittsburgh Steelers: C-
In my opinion Ryan Shazier was a reach at 14; its a risk as he is a boom or bust player. The Dri Archer pick was unforgivable they essentially drafted a kick returner with the 97th pick. They did get a great value in Clemson receiver Martaviaus Bryant, and Stephen Tuitt. Jordan Zumwalt was not the best interior linebacker available. Too many reaches, really drive down the Steelers grade. They got a few good players but did not really improve their roster.