Older AFCE

The AFC North Offseason Buzz, Post Draft

The AFC North Offseason Buzz, Post Draft
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Changing the face of the Browns?

 

 

Now that the draft is behind us, lets focus on the important part: How the writers will trade in that failed dog grooming van (their predicted mock draft order) for an awesome scooter (their draft grades) and completely redeem themselves. The results are listed below.
 
Only the top two predictors were accompanied by their quotes for the following reasons: PFF is the most analytic of the bunch, and Mel Kiper is historically the most accurate. Keep in mind that the quotes were condensed. For the full analysis please visit their respective websites.
 
Baltimore Ravens draft picks:
 
1 (6) Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
2 (42) (from Miami) Kamalei Correa, OLB, Boise State
3 (70) Bronson Kaufusi, DE, BYU
4 (104) Tavon Young, CB, Temple
4 (107) (from Miami) Chris Moore, WR, Cincinnati
4 (130) (from Denver) Alex Lewis, OT, Nebraska
4 (132) Willie Henry, DT, Michigan
4 (134) Kenneth Dixon, RB, Louisiana Tech
5 (146) (from Jacksonville) Matt Judon, DE, Grand Valley State
6 (182) Keenan Reynolds, WR, Navy
6 (209) Maurice Canady, CB, Virginia
 
Pro Football Focus: B+
“The Laremy Tunsil controversy might have pushed the Ravens to take Stanley, but they still got one of the draft’s best pass-protecting offensive tackles. … Kaufusi is one of the most productive players in the draft, and he brings his 29.3 pass rush grade (fifth-best among interior defensive linemen in the draft) and strong run-defending ability to the 3-4 defensive end position in Baltimore. … Lewis is a favorite of offensive line coaches around the league, and he’s better in pass protection at this point. Dixon was a steal in the fourth round after notching the top receiving grade among running backs in the class. Young’s 0.71 yards per cover snap ranked 10th in the class and he brings a nice option as a slot corner. Reynolds is an intriguing option as a QB-conversion after an outstanding career at Navy.”
 
Mel Kiper: A
“In a typical draft for Ozzie Newsome and Eric DeCosta, the Ravens hit a big need early and then found a way to move down the board and add picks, where they got a ton of value. … It’s not as if Stanley was a reach. He went No. 6 overall and finished No. 6 on my Big Board.”
 
Sporting News: A
Bleacher Report: A
Rotoworld: A
NFL: A-minus
Sports Illustrated: B-plus
USA Today: B-plus (ranked 4th)
CBS Sports: B-plus
SB Nation: B-plus
 
My Take: B+. While the Ravens didn’t make headlines (like they would have if they grabbed Tunsil and Jack with their fist two picks for a multitude of reasons), they filled needs early and took some chances late. The Ravens local media grades were much lower than they were nationally, which may speak to the emotion of their first two picks being safe than high risk/reward (or low risk/high reward according to the local low-graders). It was a solid draft full of athletes who can play multiple positions, while solidifying the offensive tackle position and improving their pass rush.
 
Cincinnati Bengals Draft Picks:
 
1 (24) William Jackson III, CB, Houston
2 (55) Tyler Boyd, WR, Pittsburgh
3 (87) Nick Vigil, ILB, Utah State
4 (122) Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor
5 (161) Christian Westerman, G, Arizona State
6 (199) Cody Core, WR, Ole Miss
7 (245) Clayton Fejedelem, S, Illinois
 
Pro Football Focus: A-
“Our No. 2-ranked cornerback, Jackson is a steal for the Bengals. Boyd ranked No. 10 in the class with a +20.2 receiving grade, although he’ll disappear at times before breaking out some nifty-looking routes. Vigil was productive at Utah State, finishing with 136 run stops the last two years, but he struggles to defeat blocks. Billings is an early-round talent that fell through the cracks, but he has great potential after two strong years of grading. Westerman is one of the best pass-protecting guards in the class, and he adds great depth along the offensive line. Core was overlooked at Ole Miss, but his size and speed make him intriguing.”
 
Mel Kiper: A
“I don’t know how long it has been since I’ve had a low grade on a Cincy class. They have a plan and they consistently get excellent value. The addition of William Jackson III — a player with exceptional ball skills — not only made sense, it deprived the rival Steelers from the chance to take him one slot later. Cincy needed a wide receiver or two, and got a pair of guys who can win down the field with ball skills and size in Tyler Boyd and Cody Core.”
 
Sporting News: A- (ranked 8th)
Bleacher Report: B+
Rotoworld: B
NFL: B-
Sports Illustrated: A+ (Tied for 1st)
USA Today: A- (ranked 3rd)
CBS Sports: B+
SB Nation: B
 
My Take: A-. Its tough to get an “A” when drafting 24th with just seven picks but the Bengals ended up with value throughout the draft and were given an “A” mark with half of the 10 chosen media outlets above. They filled their WR needs, drafted a solid ILB which they most certainly will need this season, and offset any potential cornerback issue next season if they lose Dre Kirpatrick to free agency.
 
Cleveland Browns Draft Picks:
 
1 (15) (from Los Angeles via Tennessee) Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor
2 (32) Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma State
3 (65) Carl Nassib, DE, Penn State
3 (76) (from Los Angeles via Tennessee) Shon Coleman, OT, Auburn
3 (93) Cody Kessler, QB, USC
4 (99) Joe Schobert, OLB, Wisconsin
4 (114) Ricardo Louis, WR, Auburn
4 (129) (from Carolina) Derrick Kindred, S, TCU
4 (138) Seth Devalve, WR/TE, Princeton
5 (154) (from Oakland) Jordan Payton, WR, UCLA
5 (168) (from Carolina) Spencer Drango, OT, Baylor
5 (172) Rashard Higgins, WR, Colorado State
5 (173) Trey Caldwell, CB, Louisiana-Monroe
7 (250) Scooby Wright III, ILB, Arizona
 
Pro Football Focus: A (tied for first with Jags)
“Coleman… the top receiver on our draft board all leading to a best-in-class 4.88 yards per route last season (pre QB injury). Ogbah… is the No. 3 pass-rush grade in the class, Nassib… the No. 2 pass-rush productivity in the class at 18.3. Coleman is a good developmental tackle after grading well in a friendly Auburn system (+27.5, sixth in the class). Kessler is as accurate as any quarterback in this draft (accuracy percentage of 78.2 percent, third in class), but he doesn’t have a great arm and he can be slow to process in the pocket at times. Schobert … lead the class with a 22.7 pass rush productivity. Payton was the No. 7 receiving grade in the class at +22.2. Drango projects as a guard, but his +29.7 run block grade ranked second among the nation’s offensive tackles. Higgins… had the No. 3 receiving grade in the nation in 2014. Wright was excellent against the run with +34.5 grade that ranked second in the nation.”
 
Kiper: C (tied for last with 3 other teams) “I think the Browns did the right thing when they traded down from No. 2 to pile up picks. This was not a bonanza, but it should’ve been. I think they should have gotten safety Justin Simmons at the end of Round 3 instead of reaching on Cody Kessler, a player who lacks starter upside. Safety Derrick Kindred helps after free agency further weakened the secondary. all the WR picks seem to go beyond simply how the board lined up, and felt a little excessive at the cost of other needs.”
 
Sporting News: C+
Bleacher Report: B+
Rotoworld: B
NFL: B+
Sports Illustrated: C+
USA Today: B
CBS Sports: C-
SB Nation C+
 
My Take 1: A-. This is the most interesting draft and analysis in the AFC North, maybe in the NFL. On the metrics side of the equation, they had one of the best drafts in the league, tied with Jacksonville according to PFF. They also gave themselves a shot at solid drafts for the next two years by trading their #2 overall pick. On the flip side, they didn’t make any big splashes, and are still searching for that franchise quarterback, placing them at the bottom of several draft rankings. I tend to agree more with the positive metrics and the long term outlook, but its tough to overlook the fact that five of their first 12 picks were of the WR variety. They did have 14 picks… FOURTEEN… and this can only help quickly change the dynamic and culture of this team. Combine that with multiple early draft picks in 2017 and 2018, and I ended up giving them a higher grade due to the big picture outlook rather than just the 2016 draft class.
 

 
Pittsburgh Steelers Draft Picks
 
1 (25) Artie Burns, CB, Miami
2 (58) Sean Davis, S, Maryland
3 (89) Javon Hargrave, DT, South Carolina State
4 (123) Jerald Hawkins, OT, LSU
6 (220) Travis Feeney, OLB, Washington
7 (229) (from New York Giants) Demarcus Ayers, WR, Houston
7 (246) Tyler Matakevich, ILB, Temple
 
Pro Football Focus: C-
Burns is a curious fit for the Steelers, as he’s more of a press-man corner and the Steelers played more zone coverage than any team in the league last year. His +2.8 coverage grade that ranked No. 42 among this year’s CBs and just No. 144 on our draft board. Davis…good athlete with a great size-speed combo played both safety and cornerback. -3.6 overall grade ranked No. 96 among safeties in the draft class. Hargrave brings a different body type to Pittsburgh’s defensive line and he can win with a good first step. He graded well at both the East-West Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl.
Hawkins surrendered 13 pressures on only 224 attempts in 2015, but he shows potential in the run game. Feeney’s good burst and quick hands allowed him to finish with a 14.3 pass rush productivity, good for ninth in the draft class. Ayers is a sure-handed option in the slot with running back skills and only two dropped passes last season.
 
Kiper: B
The value wasn’t amazing, but they sure hit needs and got better, at least on paper. I think the secondary is the biggest need area for the Steelers (and) Artie Burns fills an obvious need at cornerback. I really like Sean Davis and he can be plugged in at safety, though I would have taken Justin Simmons at that spot. Defensive line help was a need, and Javon Hargrave has a chance to be really good. They added useful depth at offensive tackle and a potential future starter in Jerald Hawkins, and Tyler Matakevich is a good player
 
Sporting News: B (Ranked 18th)
Bleacher Report: A- (Ranked 2nd with 6 others)
Rotoworld: C-
NFL: A-
Sports Illustrated: B
USA Today: B (ranked 14th)
CBS Sports: B
SB Nation: B-
 
My Take: C+. This is another interesting and polarizing draft class. The Steelers received a lukewarm reception by many in the media, with a flat out dud from PFF and Rotoworld. On the otherhand, Bleacher Report anointed them as the 2nd best in the NFL. The Steelers filled many needs, but again, did they fill them with the right players? On the metrics side, they easily performed the worst in the AFC North. With only one pick in each of the first four rounds, they will have to nail this draft to reap the long-term benefits, but the first step is to see how their #1 and #2 picks perform this season.

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