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2010 NFL Draft - AFC North Team Needs
John Tuvey
March 30, 2010
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NFC North  |  NFC South  |  NFC East  |  NFC West  |  AFC North  |  AFC South  |  AFC East  |  AFC West

Cleveland Browns (7th pick)

Nine picks: 1.7; 2.6; 3.7, 3.28 (f/NYJ); 5.3 (f/TB), 5/15 (f/DEN), 5/29 (f/NYJ); 6.8, 6.17 (f/CAR)

Playmakers, playmakers, playmakers; even if you’re sold on Jerome Harrison’s strong finish last year, the Browns roster is woefully devoid of playmakers. Mike Holmgren has a bevy of picks—including five of the first 106—to add some talented skill position players to the roster, but unless a quarterback falls into his lap at No. 7 the Browns are likely to start the draft addressing their secondary.

Possible options: QB Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame; CB Joe Haden, Florida; WR Mardy Gilyard, Cincinnati; WR Jacoby Ford, Clemson; S Nate Allen, South Florida; S Major Wright, Florida

Pittsburgh Steelers (18th pick)

Seven picks plus three compensatory picks: 1.18; 2.20; 3.18; 4.18; 5.20; 5.33 (comp), 5.35 (comp); 6.19; 7.18, 7.35 (comp)

The Steelers appear set at the skill positions, but they could use an upgrade to the guys who block for them. Pittsburgh also has some issues defensively—not necessarily gaping holes to fill, but rather depth and players to groom for when veterans like NT Casey Hampton step to the side. Offseason free agency activity focused on special teams players, and with so many middle- and late-round selections it wouldn’t be surprised to see the Steelers target athletic defenders who can be developed down the road—but contribute right away in special teams.

Possible options: OG Mike Iupati, Idaho; OC Maurkice Pouncey, Florida; CB Kareem Jackson, Alabama; DT Cam Thomas, North Carolina; S Morgan Burnett, Georgia Tech; CB Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, Indiana (PA)

Cincinnati Bengals (21st pick)

Seven picks plus two compensatory picks: 1.21; 2.22; 3.20, 3.33 (comp); 4.22, 4.33 (comp); 5.21; 6.22; 7.21

For a change, Cincy’s greatest needs aren’t on the defensive side of the ball—though they’ll certainly spend picks there, maybe even an early one. But the Bengals are expected to target a pass-catcher who can spread the field for their newfound ground game and make life easier for Carson Palmer. A tight end is certainly on the shopping list, as is a speedy wideout. Defensively, Cincinnati was solid last season but wouldn’t mind an end who could pressure the passer or yet another young stud linebacker.

Possible options: WR Golden Tate, Notre Dame; TE Jermaine Gresham, Oklahoma; DE Corey Wootton, Northwestern; LB Daryl Washington, TCU; WR Taylor Price, Ohio

Baltimore Ravens (25th pick)

Six picks: 1.25; 2.25; 5.25, 5.26 (f/ARI), 6.25; 7.25

The Ravens appeared to address their most glaring need—wide receiver—with the trade for Anquan Boldin, though that doesn’t cross the position entirely off their list. A pass-catching tight end to complement and eventually replace Todd Heap is also a priority, as well as some reinforcements for an aging secondary. The wild card in the equation is at offensive tackle, where Jared Gaither is an RFA and reportedly available for a high second-round pick; should he depart, a replacement—or at least depth behind Michael Oher and Oneil Cousins—becomes a significant need.

Possible options: CB Patrick Robinson, Florida State; CB Dominique Franks, Oklahoma; TE Rob Gronkowski, Arizona; TE Aaron Hernandez, Florida; WR Eric Decker, Minnesota; S Chad Jones, LSU

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