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2011 NFL Draft - AFC North Team Needs
John Tuvey
April 21, 2011
 

NFC North  |  NFC South  |  NFC East  |  NFC West  |  AFC North  |  AFC South  |  AFC East  |  AFC West

CINCINNATI BENGALS (4th PICK)

Seven picks plus one compensatory pick: 1.4; 2.3; 3.2; 4.4; 5.3; 6.2; 7.4, 7.45 (comp)

The first question Mike Brown and Marvin Lewis will have to answer is this: is Carson Palmer bluffing? If he’s not, then the fourth overall pick will likely be directed at a quarterback--or the Bengals may even trade up to ensure they get their man. Otherwise, Palmer will likely be wooed back with a new weapon to replace the departed (or soon-to-be departed) Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco. The Bengals will also be in the market for upgrades to their defensive line, and don’t be surprised if they go after an outside/pass-catching threat at running back to complement (and quite possibly eventually replace) Cedric Benson.

Possible options: QB Blaine Gabbert, Missouri; WR A.J. Green, Georgia; DE Robert Quinn, North Carolina; QB Christian Ponder, Florida State; RB Kendall Hunter, Oklahoma State 

CLEVELAND BROWNS (6th PICK)

Seven picks plus one compensatory pick: 1.6; 2.5; 3.6; 4.5; 5.6; 6.3 (f/DEN), 6.5; 7.47 (comp)

Which promise does Mike Holmgren honor first? He’s been talking about bringing some desperately needed firepower to the Cleveland offense since he took the job as team president, and a wide receiver seems the likely target for their sixth overall selection. But Holmgren also apparently wooed Dick Jauron to the defensive coordinator position with a promise to add defensive talent early in the draft. Most likely the pass rush upgrade will have to wait, but only until the second day of the draft. Look for the Browns to add offensive line depth as well, with another corner and a complementary back to bruiser Peyton Hillis also on the wish list.

Possible options: WR A.J. Green, Georgia; WR Julio Jones, Alabama; DE Da’Quan Bowers, Clemson; DE Adrian Clayborn, Iowa; DE Jabaal Sheard, Pittsburgh

BALTIMORE RAVENS (26th PICK)

Seven picks plus two compensatory picks: 1..26; 2.26; 3.26; 4.26; 5.33 (comp), 5.34 (comp); 6.15 (f/STL), 6.26; 7.23 (f/PHI)

Baltimore’s defense is aging, but don’t expect Ozzie Smith to look for younger talent on that side of the ball until the team’s most glaring need--a speedy wide receiver who can stretch the field--is addressed. The Ravens also have some issues with their offensive line, especially if Jared Gaither isn’t in their future plans. Of course Smith won’t ignore the defense, with a particular focus on getting younger in the secondary and at defensive end.

Possible options: WR Torrey Smith, Maryland; WR Randall Cobb, Kentucky; WR Jerrel Jernigan, Troy; DE Muhammad Wilkerson, Temple; DE Cameron Heyward, Ohio State; CB Aaron Williams, Texas

PITTSBURGH STEELERS (31st PICK)

Seven picks: 1.31; 2.31; 3.31; 4.31; 5.31; 6.31; 7.31

The defending AFC champions have two glaring needs to address on Draft Day, either of which could be addressed with their first-round pick. The offensive line is still a work in progress, and while the top tier of talent might be gone there should still be a lineman or two on the board that can help the Steelers. The alternative would be a cornerback, a need Aaron Rodgers exposed on the Super Bowl stage; again, the elite players may be gone but there will still be help available. Pittsburgh still needs to get younger on the defensive line, and even if they use an early selection on an offensive lineman don’t be surprised if they spend a later pick at the position as well.

Possible options: OG Mike Pouncey, Florida; CB Jimmy Smith, Colorado; OT Orlando Franklin, Miami; CB Aaron Williams, Texas; OT/OG Ben Ijalana, Villanova

NFC North  |  NFC South  |  NFC East  |  NFC West  |  AFC North  |  AFC South  |  AFC East  |  AFC West


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