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Day Three Grades For the AFC North (2019 Draft)

After an exciting day 2 that saw a ton of talent falling to surprise teams, day 3 held some of the same spectacle.  As always I will be grading these picks on the quality of the pick, need filled, and potential for year one.  Buckle up, we’ve got a lot of picks to review here.

 

Round 4 Pick 104: Cincinnati Bengals – QB – Ryan Finley: NC State

Needs: LBOTTE, QB, IOL, CB

The Bengals brought in one quarterback for a visit, and it was Ryan Finley.  I’ve been rough on a lot of the Bengals picks here, but I do like this one.  Finley will be a solid backup, with potential to press Andy Dalton, and bring the best out of him.  Finley excels with accuracy, and putting the ball on point, and moving around the pocket.  What is alarming is his arm strength, but barring an injury to Dalton, he should have some time to work on it.  One thing that could be a problem is his age, coming in at 24 years old already.  Could be a starter in the future but needs some development

Grade: B-

 

Round 4 Pick 119: Cleveland Browns – S – Sheldrick Redwine: Miami

Needs: CB, S, IDL, LB, OT, IOL

The Browns needed a safety and they got themselves a pretty good one here in the 4th round.  Redwine, a cornerback convert, has found his groove at safety.  Excels in man coverage, can play down in the box to cover a tight end or runningback, but also is an excellent tackler.  Zone coverage he can be a liability, where he needs to work on his processing and zone awareness.  Can start year one as a rotational safety in the box and in Dime formations.

Grade: B+

 

Round 4 Pick 122: Pittsburgh Steelers – RB – Benny Snell: Kentucky

Needs: WRLB, CB, EDGE, S, TE

Well the Steelers were in the market for a running back, but never signed a free agent.  They certainly got themselves one here in the 4th.  Your typical Steelers runningback. Downhill bruising runningback, Snell excels in zone runs and short yardage situations. At 5″10 223 lbs, Snell runs like a bowling ball.  His vision is elite and is an above average pass blocker.  Will not wow anyone with his speed, but should find some time rotating in the young Steelers backfield.

Grade: B

 

Round 4 Pick 123: Baltimore Ravens – G – Ben Powers: Oklahoma

Needs: WR, LB, IOL, EDGE, S

The Ravens go back to Oklahoma with this pick, Ben Powers.  Powers was a solid starter for Oklahoma, but showed some struggles against superior competition.  His hands and competitive drive are absolutely his strengths, but lacks in technical ability and can get beaten by more complex rush moves.  Expect to see Powers as depth for a while, with potential to develop into a starter, but it will be a long road.

Grade: C+

 

Round 4 Pick 125: Cincinnati Bengals – DT – Renell Wren: Arizona State

Needs: LBOTTE, QB, IOL, CB

Renell Wren is absolutely a development prospect here. He didn’t show too much flash at ASU, but in terms of athleticism, length, and power, he has it all.  Reminiscent of Chris Jones, just less developed.  If Wren can develop rush technique and better hand usage, Wren could turn out to be a stud pickup here in the 4th round for the Bengals.

Grade: C+

 

Round 4 Pick 127: Baltimore Ravens – CB – Iman Marshall: USC

Needs: WR, LB, IOL, EDGE, S

Iman Marshall started his career hot at USC.  He slowed down a little bit, but his senior year turned it around, ending his career with 36 pass deflections.  Excels in man coverage but can be beat in zone coverage.  Another physical corner drafted into the AFC North.

Grade: B

Round 5 Pick 136: Cincinnati Bengals – C -Michael Jordan – Ohio State

Needs: LBOTTE, QB, IOL, CB

Well the Bengals need some help in the center of their line, and they got themselves some big help, literally.  Coming in a 6’6″ 310 lbs, Jordan is a big man to protect Andy Dalton.  A freshman starter at Ohio State, Jordan showed versatility along the line, and became one of the best lineman in the Big Ten.  Despite his height he could afford to add some size.  He has a good lateral reach and stays square on his blocks.  One thing he struggles with is downfield blocking, and meeting the rusher.  Could become a mauling lineman with his size.  Bengals continue to add pieces to their offensive line.

Grade: B+

 

Round 5 Pick 141: Pittsburgh Steelers – TE – Zach Gentry Michigan

Needs: WRLB, CB, EDGE, S, TE

One of the tightends I mocked to the Steelers, Zach Gentry is a massive bodied tight end, as the Steelers go back to Michigan yet again.  Standing tall at 6’7″ Gentry uses his size and speed to dominate the middle of the field, and torment linebackers and safeties.  His functional strength isn’t where you would want it to be for a guy his size, so he should be limited to playing over the center of the field.  Should be a great piece for 2 tight end sets, and adds some much needed depth at a position the Steelers were lacking in.

Grade: B+

 

Round 5 Pick 155: Cleveland Browns – ILB – Mack Wilson: Alabama

Needs: CB, S, IDL, LB, OT, IOL

Mack Wilson was a guy who had a ton of hype leading into his junior year, but never really lived up to, which is why he fell to the 5th round.  Wilson excels in coverage and lateral ability, but tends to shy away from playing below the tackles, and getting into the grittier action.  If he can work on that and become a more complete linebacker, Mack Wilson could be a player that Browns fans talk about for some time to come.  As of right now, rotational guy at best, special team player year one.

Grade: C+

 

Round 5 Pick 160: Baltimore Ravens – DT – Daylon Mack – Texas A&M

Needs: WR, LB, IOL, EDGE, S

The Browns continue to draft defense. A former 5 star recruit, Mack never lived up to the 5 star hype, but choosing to stay for his senior year may have been his best career decision.  Mack thrives on disrupting run plays.  A massive body who can shift the line of scrimmage and close gaps, Mack will almost always demand two blockers. Aside from a bull rush, he doesnt offer much to the pass rush, and doesn’t have much length, but you have to think the Ravens drafted him for what he does best, stopping the run, something the Ravens pride themselves in.  I hate to say it, but I really like this pick.

Grade: A-

 

Round 5 Pick 170: Cleveland Browns – K – Austin Seibert: Oklahoma

Needs: CB, S, IDL, LB, OT, IOL

Well its a simple pick for the Browns, but a good one. Seibert is the the best kicker in the draft, and the Browns nab him here in the 5th.  The Browns played Zane Gonzalez and Greg Joseph at kicker in 2018, for a combine 81% on field goals and 92% on extra points.  It was a position they wanted to get better at, and they do that with this pick.  Nothing flashy but a great pick.

Grade: A

 

Round 6 Pick 175: Pittsburgh Steelers – EDGE Sutton Smith: Northern Illinois

Needs: WRLB, CB, EDGE, S, TE

Sutton Smith as an edge rusher will almost certainly convert to an outside linebacker in the Steelers scheme, where his size and speed fit more naturally at the pro level.  Hes more suited in space where he can drop back or stunt rush.  Does not thrive in the trenches and can get lost in blocks.  Expect a special teams impact from Smith year one.

Grade: C+

 

Round 6 Pick 182: Cincinnati Bengals – RB – Trayveon Williams: Texas A&M

Needs: LBOTTE, QB, IOL, CB

Another smaller bodied runningback, which seems to fit the profile for Cincinnati.  After Mark Walton got in trouble yet again, the writing was on the wall for the Bengals to look for another runningback in this draft.  Williams brings a lot of speed to his game, and is very proficient as a receiving back, another thing the Bengals look for in their runningbacks.  Despite his speed he really struggles in space and doesn’t generate anything after contact.  Williams is definitely a role backer, but could see some rotation in and out of some pass formations.

Grade: C

 

Round 6 Pick 189: Cleveland Browns – T Drew Forbes: Southeast Missouri State

Needs: CB, S, IDL, LB, OT, IOL

The Browns had Forbes in for a visit, a player who saw his draft stock rising in the past few weeks.  Forbes is a big mauler tackle, from a small school in Missouri.  A combine snub, Forbes put up impressive numbers at his pro day.  A 6th round steal here for the Browns, Forbes could find himself starting year one, but absolutely will be depth for year one, and could see some play time with rotation and injury.

Grade: B+

 

Round 6 Pick 192: Pittsburgh Steelers – DE – Isaiah Buggs: Alabama

Needs: WRLB, CB, EDGE, S, TE

Isaiah Buggs is a bruising defensive end/defensive tackle out of Alabama.  The Steelers do not often draft players from Alabama and this is a nice change of pace.  Buggs is a power pass rusher (Cam Heyward anyone?) who uses his hands to shove aside offensive lineman.  Buggs can disappear from the field at times, and needs to bring that drive on every play to see himself start somewhere down the road.  Nice depth pick here for the Steelers, who could blossom into a starter in the future.

Grade: B-

 

Round 6 Pick 197: Baltimore Ravens – QB – Trace McSorley: Penn State

Needs: WR, LB, IOL, EDGE, S

Well, this is an interesting pick.  Trace McSorley is yet another versatile quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens.  I’m interested to see if they put McSorely and Jackson on the field at the same time.  McSorely’s passing skills are sorely under-developed, thriving around having elite skill around him, and struggling to fit in tight passes.  With two mobile quarterbacks the Ravens are now free to swap them in and out if they so choose.  Lamar Jackson is more of a refine passer and should see majority of snaps though.

Grade: C

 

Round 6 Pick 207: Pittsburgh Steelers – LB – Uylsees Gilbert III: Akron

Needs: WRLB, CB, EDGE, S, TE

A nice developmental prospect pick here for the Steelers, Gilbert will have to pave his trail through special teams play, much line one Vince Williams has done for himself.  Another fast, athletic middle linebacker pick, Gilbert thrives in man coverage and lateral ability, and uses his quickness to shoot gaps on run plays.  His zone coverage confidence could use some work, but his athletic ability shows he should be able to improve.  Won’t see a starting impact for a few years.

Grade: C+

 

Round 6 Pick 210: Cincinnati Bengals – LB – Deshaun Davis: Auburn

Needs: LBOTTE, QB, IOL, CB

Bengals go for another linebacker here in the 6th round.  Davis plays with a high football IQ which allows him to make big splash plays, despite his lack of athleticism.  Thrives in zone coverage and disrupting plays near the line of scrimmage.  His small stature and higher weight make him a liability in man coverage, and can be exploited by bigger tight ends in zone coverage. Look for a special team impact in year one.

Grade: C+

 

Round 6 Pick 211: Cincinnati Bengals – RB – Rodney Anderson: Oklahoma

Needs: LBOTTE, QB, IOL, CB

Well I get the value pick here. Rodney Anderson’s meteoric fall ends with the Bengals, just 19 picks after taking Trayveon Williams.  Adding more pieces to a now crowded backfield, Anderson plays with an effective balance of speed, power, and agility.  Defensive backs and smaller linebackers will struggle to bring Anderson down, but he doesn’t exceed in pass blocking, and more than likely will be used in short yardage and goal line situations. Injuries are a concern but when healthy, he is dangerous.  If it wasn’t for the Traveon Williams pick, I would love this selection.

Grade: A-

 

Round 7 Pick 219: Pittsburgh Steelers – T – Derwin Gray: Maryland

Needs: WRLB, CB, EDGE, S, TE

The Steelers sure do love their versatile lineman don’t they?  Derwin Gray played tackle for Maryland, but has the ability to swing inside and play guard.  Gray thrives in pass blocking, but his lack of flexibility can make him a liability in run blocking.  The Steelers have been able to develop lineman very well, but it will be interesting to see if that continues with the departure of Mike Munchak.  Safe depth pick here, nothing flashy.

Grade: B-

 

Round 7 Pick 221: Cleveland Browns – CB – Donnie Lewis: Tulane

Needs: CB, S, IDL, LB, OT, IOL

Cleveland got themselves a versatile member of their secondary in Lewis here, who played both corner and safety for Tulane.  His senior year alone he recorded 17 pass breakups and 3 interceptions, one he took to the house.  He did get injured in the East-West Shrine game which could be why we see him here in the 7th round.  His size could prove to be a limitation for Lewis, but we have seen plenty of smaller size corners thrive in the NFL, and Lewis comes in at an even 6’0″.  Expect some special team play, and could rotate in on some dime and nickel formations.

Grade: B-

 

Round 7 Pick 223: Cincinnati Bengals – CB – Jordan Brown: South Dakota State

Needs: LBOTTE, QB, IOL, CB

The Bengals end the AFC North’s 2019 draft with wide receiver convert Jordan Brown out of South Dakota State.  Brown has all the physical traits to be an NFL corner, and the catch-up speed to make plays, but positional IQ and overall confidence are lacking, which go hand-in-hand.  Brown was one of the top corners from smaller schools, and drew a lot of interest, but was still available here in the 7th round.  The Bengals need for corner could see him getting some starting reps in year one, but I expect more of a practice squad or special teams impact in year one.

Grade: B-

 

Consensus:

Well it was certainly a busy day three for the AFC North with 22 combined picks.  A lot of raw prospects were found, and almost all the teams in the AFC North fit a lot of needs.  There were a few questionable picks like Trace McSorely and Traveon Williams, but we have yet to see any of these players on an NFL field.  For me the Day 3 winner has to go to the Cleveland Browns.  Even though they didn’t have the quantity of picks that other teams had, the quality of the picks were there.  Sheldrick Redwine and Mack Wilson are two big gets for the defensive side of the ball, and Austin Seibert will fill a hole at kicker, a position they struggled with last year.  I cant wait for preseason football, and to get a chance to see all these rookies on the field for the first time.

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