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AFC North 2018 NFL Draft Grades

2018 NFL Draft Results

Baltimore Ravens

Draft Picks: Hayden Hurst TE South Carolina Gamecocks (25th overall), Lamar Jackson QB Louisville Cardinals (32nd overall), Orlando Brown OT Oklahoma Sooners (83rd overall), Mark Andrews TE Oklahoma Sooners (86th overall), Anthony Averett CB Alabama Crimson Tide (118th overall), Kenny Young LB UCLA Bruins (122nd overall), Jaleel Scott WR New Mexico State Lobos (132nd overall), Jordan Lasley WR UCLA Bruins (162nd overall), DeShon Elliott S Texas Longhorns (190th overall), Greg Senat OT Wagner Seahawks (212th overall), Bradley Bozeman C Alabama Crimson Tide (215th overall), Zach Sieler DE Ferris State Bulldogs (238th overall)

Draft Grade: A

Lowdown: Baltimore addressed a big team news taking Hurst in the first round. Although, I liked Dallas Goedert as the top tight end. Picking up Andrews on the second day helps. The Ravens then traded back into the first round to take the most electric offensive player in the draft in Jackson. Bozeman and Brown have the potential to start on the offensive line this season.

Verdict: Baltimore managed this draft very well. They made trades to set up other picks and came out with a steady crop of prospects. The offense will have to change for Jackson, but the Ravens have hinted that they’re heading in a new direction this offseason.

Cincinnati Bengals

Draft Picks:

Billy Price C Ohio State Buckeyes (21st overall), Jessie Bates S Wake Forest Demon Deacons (54th overall), Sam Hubbard DE Ohio State Buckeyes (77th overall), Malik Jefferson LB Texas Longhorns (78th overall(, Mark Walton RB Miami Hurricanes (112th overall), Devontae Harris DB Illinois State Redbirds (151st overall), Andrew Brown DT Virginia Cavaliers (158th overall), Darius Phillips CB Western Michigan Broncos (170th overall), Logan Woodside QB Toledo Rockets (249th overall), Rod Taylor OG Ole Miss Rebels (252nd overall), Auden Tate WR Florida State Seminoles (253rd overall)

Draft Grade: A-

Lowdown: The Bengals took Price in the first round as they were in desperate need of a center. Not the best first round pick, but it was still a solid addition. The mid rounds are where Cincinnati thrived. Hubbard and Jefferson will bring better production to the linebacker unit. Bates, Harris, and Phillips are solid additions to the secondary. Picking up Woodside late could be a steal. He has the tools to possibly be the starting quarterback in Cincy one day.

Verdict: The Bengals stayed on course by filling their roster with team needs. The Steelers nabbed Rudolph (after trading up) ahead of them. I like that Cincy remained patient and let Woodside fall to them. They had a game plan and stuck to it. Not going for overall best available and going for best available for their team needs will help them in the long run.

Cleveland Browns

Draft Picks: Baker Mayfield QB Oklahoma Sooners (1st overall), Denzel Ward CB Ohio State Buckeyes (4th overall), Austin Corbett OG Nevada Wolfpack (33rd overall), Nick Chubb RB Georgia Bulldogs (35th overall), Chad Thomas DE Miami Hurricanes (67th overall), Antonio Callaway WR Florida Gators (105th overall), Genard Avery LB Memphis Tigers (150th overall), Damion Ratley WR Texas A&M Aggies (175th overall), Simeon Thomas CB Louisiana-Lafayette Rajin’ Cajuns (188th overall)

Draft Grade C+

Lowdown: The Browns shocked the world with both first round picks. Mayfield is an accurate passer but may have trouble depending on if the Browns change the offense for Taylor. Ward was the best cornerback in the draft and will help big time in the secondary. Cleveland’s best part of the draft was in the second round when they drafted Corbett and Chubb. I like the Avery pick up as well.

Verdict: Cleveland could have traded down and still picked up Ward. Taking Mayfield first overall may be a disaster for the Browns. He’s good, but won’t fit their offense if it’s tweaked for Tyrod Taylor. Lamar Jackson would have been a better fit. Cleveland did pick up a few key guys that can help them as soon as this coming season. Still, the Browns mismanaged their NFL draft and should have come away with a lot more for a team in their position.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Draft Picks: Terrell Edmunds S Virginia Tech Hokies (28th overall), James Washington WR Oklahoma State Cowboys (60th overall), Mason Rudolph QB Oklahoma State Cowboys (76th overall), Chukwuma Okorafor OT Western Michigan Broncos (92nd overall), Marcus Allen S Penn State Nittany Lions (148th overall), Jaylen Samuels RB N.C. State Wolfpack (165 overall), Joshua Frazier DT Alabama Crimson Tide (246th overall)

Draft Grade: B+

Lowdown: The Steelers were drafting for their future and did a pretty good job of it. Trading Martavis Bryant for a third-round pick gave the Steelers an opportunity to snatch some skill position players. Washington should replace Bryant with ease if given some time. Pittsburgh traded up to take Rudolph in the third round. He’s the likely successor for Ben Roethlisberger whenever he decides to call it quits. Samuels is another skill player with good upside.

Verdict: Pittsburgh took three potential NFL stars with their first three picks. Trading Bryant was bold, but it did help them get Rudolph. The Steelers didn’t do anything fancy. They just had a clean, solid draft.