Monday - Jun 17, 2019

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NFL DRAFT TEAM PREVIEW: AFC North

Every team has needs, a draft board, and a plan of attack when it comes to the NFL Draft. As we get closer to the draft, I will take a look at each team needs and who they could be targeting. Up next, the AFC North.

Baltimore Ravens

Key Additions: RB Mark Ingram, CB Justin Bethel, S Earl Thomas

Key Subtractions: QB Joe Flacco, WR John Brown, WR Michael Crabtree, OLB Terrell Suggs, OLB Za’Darius Smith, ILB CJ Mosley, S Eric Weddle

Remaining Team Needs: WR, OLB, ILB

Needs for Depth: WR, DL, ILB, CB, S

Potential Draft Haul:

  • Round 1, Pick 22: N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona St.- Bigger wide receiver who has solid catch radius and good Yards after Catch ability for Lamar Jackson.
  • Round 3, Pick 85: Maxx Crosby, EDGE, Eastern Michigan- Super athletic pass rusher to help fill voids left by Suggs and Smith.
  • Round 3, Pick 102: Bobby Okereke, LB, Stanford- Athletic and versatile linebacker that can play inside or outside in Ravens’ defense.
  • Round 4, Pick 113: Devin Singletary, RB, FAU- Perfect complement to Mark Ingram who adds some juice and quickness to the running back corps.
  • Round 4, Pick 123: Terry Godwin, WR, Georgia- Speedy slot receiver who can fill same role of the departed John Brown.
  • Round 5, Pick 160: Mike Edwards, S, Kentucky- Versatile, Man Coverage safety who will be good rotational and Special Teams player.
  • Round 6, Pick 191: Cameron Smith, LB, USC- Another versatile and athletic linebacker who can line up inside or outside.
  • Round 6, Pick 193: Demarcus Christmas, DT, Florida St- Solid backup and rotational player for all three spots along Defensive Line.

Summary: Legendary General Manager Ozzie Newsome has retired and in steps long time assistant Eric DeCosta. I don’t expect much change in philosophy with this change. Defense and the run the game will still be priority. Especially with electric runner Lamar Jackson at quarterback. In the draft, the Ravens will look to overhaul and upgrade a depleted and largely ineffective wide receiver corps. They may also look for a complementary running back and some depth along the offensive line. This will likely be a defense heavy draft for Baltimore after all the big losses they suffered on that side of the ball. The linebacker corps especially needs talent added to it. Depth along the front and in the secondary will be a focus as well.

Cincinnati Bengals

Key Additions: OG John Miller, DT Kerry Wynn

Key Subtractions: TE Tyler Kroft, LB Vontaze Burfict

Remaining Team Needs: QB, TE, RT, DE, LB

Needs for Depth: OT, DT, LB, CB, FS

Potential Draft Haul:

  • Round 1, Pick 11: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio St.- Find Quarterback of the future, especially if Haskins is here at this pick.
  • Round 2, Pick 42: Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama- Active linebacker who will add much needed speed and athleticism to the position group.
  • Round 3, Pick 72: David Edwards, OT, Wisconsin- Prototypical right tackle with power to fill a big need along offensive line.
  • Round 4, Pick 110: Connor McGovern, Interior OL, Penn St.- Versatile offensive lineman who can start or backup at either guard or center.
  • Round 5, Pick 149: Kaden Smith, TE, Stanford- Athletic receiving tight end to fill the void of Tyler Kroft and give insurance for oft-injured Tyler Eifert.
  • Round 6, Pick 183: Anthony Johnson, WR, Buffalo- Solid all-around wide receiver who can provide solid depth.
  • Round 6, Pick 198: Marvell Tell, S, USC- Physical box safety who can provide depth and help on Special Teams.
  • Round 6, Pick 210: Saivion Smith, CB, Alabama- Long, raw cornerback who can provide depth while helping on Special Teams initially.
  • Round 6, Pick 211: Carl Granderson, EDGE, Wyoming- Versatile hands rusher who can provide depth and situational pass rush.
  • Round 6, Pick 213: Derwin Gray, OT, Maryland- Big, powerful offensive lineman who can provide depth at either the guard or tackle position.
  • Round 7, Pick 223: Deshaun Davis, LB, Auburn- Tackling machine that will at least provide depth, leadership, and help on Special Teams.

Summary: The Bengals have a new coach for the first time since 2003. Zac Taylor will be a new philosophy and refreshed style to the offense. While they won’t force it with Andy Dalton still on the roster, if the opportunity arises they will not pass up the chance to find a new franchise quarterback who is a better fit for the offense. Finding another solid tight end and upgrading the right side of the O-Line will also be priorities on offense. Defensively, Cincinnati will look to get faster and younger at EDGE rusher and linebacker. After that, they will likely look to add much needed depth to pretty much every position on defense.

About Nicholas Perlich

Nick is our NFL Draft Specialist and breathes all things draft.