Steelers

AFC North Draft Grades

Posted on

Pittsburgh Steelers 
The Steelers went about their business this draft as usual, but with more holes than we are used to seeing. They lose Mike Wallace, Jamie Harrison, and they have been lacking a quality running back. They added toughness and playmaking at Harrison’s spot, by drafting Georgia Bulldog standout Jarvis Jones. Many were pushed away after his pro day, but he was coming off an injury but he is a guy that fits the Steelers tough, hard-nosed culture. Markus Wheaton form Oregon St., will provide a possible slot threat and a guy who can take a five yard under route, for a big gain. I really like the pick up of  Le’Veon Bell because he has never been seriously injured in college, which has plagued the Steelers recently, and he is a workhorse. He is a big guy, again like Jones, and very tough and  a hard nosed runner. Shamarko Thomas is an enforcer at safety but lacks ideal height for a defensive back (5’9″). However, kid has a tremendous grit after losing both parents in college and now has his six siblings to look after, he will  definitely be someone to root for. Landry Jones could be the possible predecessor of Big Ben but he maybe counted on early due to Roethelisberger  consistently being injured throughout the season. Hawthorne adds value for them as a corner and look for them through rookie free agency to help out the aging secondary.
Overall Grade: B

Matt Elam

Baltimore Ravens
Many were left confused when the Super Bowl champion Ravens decided to let the perceived successor of Ray Lewis’ spot in the middle, Dan Ellerbe and playoff standout, Paul Kruger leave for other teams during free agency. Bernard Pollard was also released in the off-season. To make matters worst, they traded Anquan Boldin to the 49ers and lost future Hall of Famer Ed Reed to the Texans. They did however, resign quarterback Joe Flacco to what was the top contract for any quarterback in the league, until Aaron Rogers contract extension this weekend ($40 million /year). To fill the void of Reed, they drafted Matt Elam, an undersized but heavy hitter at safety who displayed play making abilities that they will miss without Reed. They followed that pick with a great choice in grabbing Arthur Brown from K-State. A sideline to sideline guy, who can make plays in the backfield and in the passing game. They add nose tackle Brandon Williams and fullback Kyle Juszczyk who will likely replace Vonta Leach. They do pick up a Boldin type of player in FCS WR Aaron Mallette. A big bodied wide out with great quickness and strong hands, but he will not beat most NFL corners deep.
Overall Grade: B+

Cleveland Browns
The Browns were without many choices this draft, as they only had 5 picks in this year draft. They did pick up Barkevious Mingo from LSU who has the potential to be a premier pass rusher. However, former head coach Les Miles listed him, and numerous other LSU players, as troublesome and reluctant to work hard everyday. He will have to be consistent to be productive in the NFL. They pick up a cornerback in Leon McFadden who will start outside, but is better suited as the nickel. Fighting Irish safety Jamoris Slaughter, provides depth depth, and value as a sixth round pick. He is more comfortable playing in the box, then covering bigger TE’s and quicker receivers.
Overall Grade: B-

Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers went about their business this draft as usual, but with more holes than we are used to seeing. They lose Mike Wallace, Jamie Harrison, and they have been lacking a quality running back. They added toughness and playmaking at Harrison’s spot, by drafting Georgia Bulldog standout Jarvis Jones. Many were pushed away after his pro day, but he was coming off an injury but he is a guy that fits the Steelers tough, hard-nosed culture. Markus Wheaton form Oregon St., will provide a possible slot threat and a guy who can take a five yard under route, for a big gain. I really like the pick up of  Le’Veon Bell because he has never been seriously injured in college, which has plagued the Steelers recently, and he is a workhorse. He is a big guy, again like Jones, and very tough and  a hard nosed runner. Shamarko Thomas is an enforcer at safety but lacks ideal height for a defensive back (5’9″). However, kid has a tremendous grit after losing both parents in college and now has his six siblings to look after, he will  definitely be someone to root for. Landry Jones could be the possible predecessor of Big Ben but he maybe counted on early due to Roethelisberger  consistently being injured throughout the season. Hawthorne adds value for them as a corner and look for them through rookie free agency to help out the aging secondary.
Overall Grade: B

Advertisements

AFC North Expectations

Posted on Updated on

Expectations for the AFC North

Pittsburgh Steelers –  The Steelers will have high expectations this year because they should to go to the playoffs be a Super Bowl contender.  The Steelers recently hired Todd Haley, former Chief head coach, as the offensive coordinator.  Haley should have great success with the young wide receiving core and should have more success running the ball this year.  The only concern I have with the Steelers is the age of the defense, which is the oldest defense in the NFL. While the defense is dominant when healthy, injury was a problem last year.

Prediction 12-4 

 Cleveland Browns –  As usual, the expectations for the Browns will be very low this season.  If the Browns can get to 7 wins they should be extremely happy with their progress.  The Browns will most likely  start Brandon Weeden at quarterback who will be a 28 year old rookie.  My concern for Weeden is, who will he throw the ball to.  The Browns have a promising rookie wide receiver in Greg Little, but he shows inconsistency when catching the ball.  Trent Richardson, their rookie running back should help take the load off Brandon Weeden.  The Browns have a promising young nucleus of players, but their youth will show this year and prohibit them from being a great NFL team.

Prediction 5-11

Baltimore Ravens –  The Ravens will be the best tem in the AFC North this year and will be a Super Bowl contender.  The Ravens have both an explosive offense and a stout defense.  The only concern I have with the Ravens this year is how they replace Terrell Suggs. Suggs was lost for the season with a torn achilles. If Courtney Upshaw, the rookie OLB can replace Terrell Suggs, the Ravens could be the best team in the NFL.

Prediction 13-3 

Cinncinatti Bengals – The Bengals have a great young nucleus of players that are ready to compete now.  They have a great young quarterback in Andy Dalton and a go to wide receiver in A.J. Green.  The Bengals also have a great young defense that ranked 7th in the NFL in total yards given up.  However, the Bengals are going to have a tough time competing in this division.  The Bengals still will make the playoffs this year, but their Super Bowl window is just starting to open and they should be a dominant NFL team for the next decade.

Prediction 10-6

Connor Willsey