Older AFCE

The AFC North Draft: 1st Round Grades

The AFC North Draft: 1st Round Grades
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A few players were taken too early in the 2015 draft, but not with the 22nd pick

After months of scouting every draft-eligible player around the globe, lets take a look at how the highly compensated general managers of the AFC North and their team of scouts performed at perhaps the most important aspect of their job: The first round pick.

12. Cleveland Browns – Danny Shelton, DT, Washington

The Browns brought some much needed jiggly back to the AFC North, especially after the Ravens released Terrence Cody earlier this year. Unlike Cody, Shelton is an absolute beast, and will either command double-teams, or he will eat up the run. He is also quick enough to pressure the quarterback up the middle. The Browns instantly got tougher on defense. Shelton also gave Roger Goodell a much needed hug after Roger was booed all night. Great AFC North pick.

Grade: A

19. Cleveland Browns – Cameron Erving, OT, Florida State

This was a shocker. Erving is an extremely versatile and talented lineman who can play tackle, guard, and center. He does not fill an immediate need, but perhaps the Browns are looking at line depth, something that has hurt them recently. That said, they could have traded down and still landed him. The Browns have other major needs that could have been addressed in the first round.

Grade: C-

21. Cincinnati Bengals – Cedric Ogbuehi, OT, Texas A&M

Ogbuehi would have graded higher had he not torn an ACL in the last game he played, and if he was going to make an impact this season. He still may help the team depending on injuries, and could play guard because he is a much better run blocker than pass protector. Similar to the Browns 19th pick, he does not fill a team need this year, but he will give the Bengals flexibility with Andre Smith and Andrew Witworth, who’s contracts are both up at the end of the year. There were plenty of impact players available, like Bud Dupree, who could have filled current holes. The Bengals were last in the league with just 20 sacks in 2014.

Grade: C-

22. Pittsburgh Steelers – Bud Dupree, OLB, Kentucky

The Steelers got themselves a steal in this year’s draft as they landed Bud Dupree, who’s stock had been rising with his freakish athletic ability. He will also help fill a major hole as the Steelers have struggled pressuring the quarterback. The only negative for Steelers fans is that he doesn’t play corner, but Pittsburgh only had one first round pick, and landed the best available defender.

Grade: A

26. Baltimore Ravens – Breshad Perriman, WR, Central Florida

Perriman was surprisingly available at #26, so they Ravens did get a value pick from that respect. According to the team, they would have traded down if he was gone. The Ravens helped fill a major hole on the team after the departure of Torrey Smith. Perriman can stretch the field with similar speed, and is much longer than Smith. The one negative is his concentration lapses resulting in drops, lowering his grade.

Grade: B

Overall, the AFC North went three for five in the first round at first glance. But then again, this evaluation is without inside information. Perhaps there is more to the lower graded picks than meets the eye. The biggest negative of the draft has to be the fact that no AFC North team picked Malcom Brown, DT TX, who fell into the Patriot’s lap, giving them the steal of the draft in my opinion.

Random notes: The running back position might not be dead after all, with the top 2 going 10th and 15th (the first RB went 57th in 2014, and 37th in 2013). Lets give a shout-out to the Denver Broncos. They once again Tebow’d a draft pick and traded up to get… Shane Gray? I didn’t know the Titans’ #2 pick was from OraGone, or that his last name was MaryOto. Thanks for clearing that up, Roger. It would have been embarrassing if we continued to use the wrong pronunciation.

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