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May 3rd, 2017

AFC North 2017 NFL Draft Grades: Ravens & Browns Win

Trey Daubert @treydaubert
2017 NFL Draft

The Cleveland Browns made Myles Garrett the number one overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft (Brandon Wade/The Associated Press)

The NFL Draft is the staple for building a winner in the NFL. While the process isn’t an exact science, the draft is the most important part of the offseason. Flushing your system with young talent can go a long way into defining a winning culture. Missing in the draft often times costs people their jobs. Now that the 2017 NFL Draft is in the books we can look at who did well. We start with the AFC North that is compiled of the Browns, Bengals, Steelers, and Ravens. Of those four teams, it’s time to look at the winners and losers. Who won the 2017 NFL Draft in the AFC North?

Baltimore Ravens: Draft Grade B+

  • Round 1, Pick 16 (No. 16 overall) Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
  • Round 2, Pick 15 (No. 47) Tyus Bowser, OLB, Houston
  • Round 3, Pick 10 (No. 74) Chris Wormley, DE, Michigan
  • Round 3, Pick 14 (No. 78) Tim Williams, OLB, Alabama
  • Round 4, Pick 15 (No. 122) Nico Siragusa, G, San Diego State
  • Round 5, Pick 15 (No. 159) Jermaine Eluemunor, OT, Texas A&M
  • Round 6, Pick 2 (No. 186) Chuck Clark, DB, Virginia Tech

Sure maybe Marlon Humphrey went too early but the Ravens nailed this draft. Humphrey is going to be a really good player and is eerily similar to Jimmy Smith. I also love the Tyus Bowser pick. The Houston edge rusher is a very versatile linebacker that moves really well in space. He also has really natural pass rush ability. Picking Chris Wormley in the 3rd round is also a nice value pick that fills a big void from the egregious Timmy Jernigan trade. They also took a flier on Tim Williams who does one thing really well, rush the passer. The moves admit that Ozzie Newsome whiffed on the edge rushers he took a year ago but the Bowser/Williams duo has a ton of promise. The Ravens also took a pair of developmental offensive lineman that could pay dividends down the road. The only pick I didn’t like was Chuck Clark but they must have a special teams role in mind for him.

Cincinnati Bengals: Draft Grade D

  • Round 1, Pick 9 (No. 9 overall) John Ross, WR, Washington
  • Round 2, Pick 16  (No. 48, from the Vikings) Joe Mixon, RB, Oklahoma
  • Round 3, Pick 9 (No. 73) Jordan Willis, LB, Kansas State
  • Round 4, Pick 9 (No. 116) Carl Lawson, OLB, Auburn
  • Round 4, Pick 22 (No. 128) Josh Malone, WR, Tennessee
  • Round 4, Pick 33 (No. 138) Ryan Glasgow, DT, Michigan
  • Round 5, Pick 9 (No. 153) Jake Elliott, K, Memphis
  • Round 5, Pick 33 (No. 176) J.J. Dielman, C, Utah
  • Round 6, Pick 9 (No. 193) Jordan Evans, LB, Oklahoma
  • Round 6, Pick 23 (No. 207) Brandon Wilson, RB, Houston
  • Round 7, Pick 33 (No. 251) Mason Schreck, TE, Buffalo

Cincy came out of this draft with a large volume of picks. However, I didn’t like the way they used those picks. John Ross is a nice player but 9th overall is way too high. For a player that translates into DeSean Jackson with a checkered injury history, there isn’t a GM in the world that should make that pick. The pick that bothered me the most was Joe Mixon. We know about Mixon’s domestic violence incident that would have taken him off of my draft board. Of all places why in the world would dysfunctional Cincinnati draft him? It’s almost like they embrace their criminal reputation around the league because frankly, they didn’t even need a running back. Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard are accomplished runners but of course, the Bengals needed to draft another thug. The only picks that save this from being an F are Jordan Willis and Carl Lawson. Both players are solid edge rushers that will create pressure on quarterbacks. Hey who knows, maybe Jake Elliot turns out to be an adequate kicker.

Cleveland Browns: Draft Grade B+

  • Round 1, Pick 1 (No. 1 overall) Myles Garrett, Edge, Texas A&M:
  • Round 1, Pick 25 (No. 25)  Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan:
  • Round 1, Pick 29 (No. 29) David Njoku, TE, Miami:
  • Round 2, Pick 20 (No. 52) DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame:
  • Round 3, Pick 1 (No. 65) Larry Ogunjobi, DT, North Carolina Charlotte
  • Round 4, Pick 20 (No. 126) Howard Wilson, CB, Houston
  • Round 5, Pick 16 (No. 160) Roderick Johnson, OT, Florida State
  • Round 6, Pick 1 (No. 185) Caleb Brantley, DT, Florida
  • Round 7, Pick 6 (No. 224) Zane Gonzalez, K, Arizona State
  • Round 7, Pick 34 (No. 252) Matt Dayes, RB, N.C. State

I absolutely love the Browns draft. The only thing keeping this from an A is knowing that they passed on Carson Wenz, a franchise quarterback a year ago. In fact, the only pick the Browns whiffed on was DeShone Kizer who doesn’t have a chance to make it throwing for under 60 percent in college. You knew things were going to go well for Cleveland when Chicago gave the Browns a blessing in disguise by saving them from the disaster that is Mitchell Trubisky. To come away with the best player in the draft (Myles Garrett), a pure playmaker Jabrill Peppers who will play offense and defense, and David Njoku all in the first round is a win. Don’t overlook those late round picks either. Larry Ogunjobi is a baller who rocked the Senior Bowl and will create a difference on the defensive line. Howard Wilson also has the potential to become a stud at corner. Roderick Johnson is likely a plug and play starter at right tackle despite being super raw. Even Caleb Brantley is worth the flier in the 6th round who is probably a 2nd round talent. Matt Dayes also really shined at the senior bowl and gives the Browns a big time receiving type back. Oh did I mention they also got the NCAA leader in field goals made? The Cleveland Browns rocked this draft and I can’t believe I just wrote this.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Draft Grade C+

  • Round 1, Pick 30 (No. 30 overall) T.J. Watt, LB, Wisconsin:
  • Round 2, Pick 30 (No. 62) JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, USC:
  • Round 3, Pick 30 (No. 94) Cameron Sutton, CB, Tennessee:
  • Round 3, Pick 41 (No. 105) James Connor, RB, Pittsburgh:
  • Round 4, Pick 29 (No. 135) Joshua Dobbs, QB, Tennessee
  • Round 5, Pick 30 (No. 173) Brian Allen, DB, Utah
  • Round 6, Pick 30 (No. 213) Colin Holba, LS, Louisville
  • Round 7, Pick 30 (No. 248) Keion Adams, DE, Western Michigan

Normally I love Pittsburgh’s drafts but this one is a bit of a head scratcher. Outside of the T.J. Watt pick, (who has big time upside) there isn’t a lot to like here. JuJu Smith-Schuster has bust potential written all over him especially considering the recent failures of USC wide receivers. A slow wide out that doesn’t run crisp routes isn’t a good combo. Cam Sutton is a decent player but he has a ton of injury question marks that concern me. The James Connor pick has some upside to it. I love his rugged running style that could become a nice backup to Le’Veon Bell. The same can be said for Joshua Dobbs who could be an alright backup in the league. For the first time in awhile, I wasn’t a fan of the late round flier picks for the Steelers either.

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