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The AFC Draft Grades: The Bengals Continue To Add Dimensions To Their Offense

by Photo of Quentin Haynes

Draft Grades For The Bengals, Steelers, Browns, and Ravens

The AFC Draft Grades: The Bengals Continue To Add Dimensions To Their Offense

The AFC North, home of the Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens, came into the draft with some needs. Cleveland, changing to a 3-4 defense, needed some more talent to help solidify the front seven, Cincinnati needed a linebacker who can start, Pittsburgh lost a couple players over the past two to three seasons, and the Ravens lost numerous starters off their championship team. Overall, I think each team found some impact starters right away for their team, but the usual teams (aka: Cincinnati, Baltimore, and Pittsburgh) seem to found even more talent in the later rounds. Let's look at the drafts and where each team hit.

Cleveland Browns- Grade: C

 

1. Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU

3. Leon McFadden, CB, San Diego St.

6. Jamoris Slaughter, SS, Notre Dame

7. Armonty Bryant, DE, East Central (OK)

7.Garrett Gilkey, OT, Chadron St.

I’ll make this short and sweet: The Browns did little to nothing that make me excited, and after a strong free agent period, I’m alright with it. Barkevious Mingo could be a good outside linebacker, but when I first saw him, I thought he was a shooting guard. Feels like he could’ve been a better 4-3 defensive end, but the Browns will rotate him in and out at outside linebacker. The secondary wasn’t great last season, and adding Leon McFadden and Jamoris Slaughter has done nothing to make me believe it will be any better. With no second round pick and moving their fourth-round pick to Miami for Davone Bess, the Browns will rely on Mingo to tout this draft class.

Pittsburgh Steelers- Grade: B

 

1.17 Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia

2.16 Le'Veon Bell, RB, Michigan St.

3.17 Markus Wheaton, WR, Oregon St.

4.14 Shamarko Thomas, SS, Syracuse

4.18 Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma

5.17 Terry Hawthorne, CB, Illinois

6.18 Justin Brown, WR, Oklahoma

6.38 Vince Williams, LB, Florida St.

7.17 Nick Williams, DT, Samford

It just made sense that Jarvis Jones fell to Pittsburgh. He’ll replace Harrison, get about 10 sacks, and make everyone say, “Why did Jones fall to 17?” by the end of the season. The next three picks were also great. Le’Veon Bell will get a ton of touches for Pittsburgh’s offense as a runner and a pass catcher out of the backfield. The duo of Markus Wheaton and Justin Brown could replace Wallace this year, and possibly Sanders next season with his hands and size. Shamarko Thomas could be a strong reserve at the safety position in the next two or three years. Sounds lazy, but I felt like the Steelers could’ve used another offensive lineman, but a strong draft nonetheless.

Cincinnati Bengals- Grade: A

 

1. Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame

2. Giovani Bernard, RB, North Carolina

2. Margus Hunt, DE, Southern Methodist

3. Shawn Williams, SS, Georgia

4. Sean Porter, OLB, Texas A&M

5. Tanner Hawkinson, OT, Kansas

6. Rex Burkhead, RB, Nebraska

6. Cobi Hamilton, WR, Arkansas

7. Reid Fragel, OT, Ohio St.

7. T.J. Johnson, C, South Carolina

I originally had this class as a B+, but I bumped it to an A. The Bengals hit on everything. Eifert gives them a potentially dangerous two tight end set, and the Bernard pick gives BJE a solid backup who can catch out of the backfield. Margus Hunt is a risk, but in round two? I’m fine with it. You can throw him at defensive end or defensive tackle. Shawn Williams adds more competition in the secondary, and Porter could very well start for the Bengals week one. Two offensive lineman picks, another running back/full back in Burkhead, and a speedy kick returner in Hamilton gives the Bengals one of the better drafts this year.

Baltimore Ravens- Grade: A

1. Matt Elam, SS, Florida

2. Arthur Brown, ILB, Kansas St.

3. Brandon Williams, DT, Missouri Southern St.

4. John Simon, DE, Ohio St.

4. Kyle Juszczyk, FB, Harvard

5. Rick Wagner, OT, Wisconsin

6. Kapron Lewis-Moore, DE, Notre Dame

6. Ryan Jensen, OT, Colorado St.-Pueblo

7. Aaron Mellette, WR, Elon

7. Marc Anthony, CB, California

Sometimes, you have to sit back and truly enjoy how a team dominates a draft. I think the Baltimore Ravens aced this draft. After an offseason of losing player after player, the Ravens, arguably, replaced each player with a talent who could replicate their production in the next two or three seasons. Matt Elam should be the safety that could make plays in the box and when the ball is in the air. Arthur Brown could be the best linebacker since Ray Lewis. Brandon Williams is an athlete who gives Cody and Ngata some backup, and John Simon is a joker defensive player. Rick Wagner has right tackle upside, Kapron Lewis-Moore will redshirt, and Marc Anthony in round seven could be a replacement for Cary Williams. Even Aaron Mellette could be in rotation to replace Anquan Boldin next season.

Let CHARGED.fm get you tickets to see your favorite teams this season.


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