Friday, April 27, 2012

AFC North First Round Evaluation

Cleveland Browns RB Trent Richardson
(Photo from rolltide.com)
As the Steelers sat around at 24 and made one of the biggest steals in the first round drafting David DeCastro, the rest of the AFC North was busy early and often.

3. Cleveland Browns - Trent Richardson 


Shortly before the draft, the Cleveland Browns showed how aggressive they would be in pursuing Alabama running back Trent Richardson when they moved up one spot and gave Minnesota three extra picks.

Richardson is the best running back prospect since Adrian Peterson and the first back taken in the top three since Reggie Bush. The Browns are getting a great player in Richardson.

Unfortunately, Richardson has been drafted into one of the toughest defensive conferences in the league. Having to face the Steelers and Ravens twice each in  weather-problematic regions mean the Browns will find out quickly whether Richardson is up for the challenge.

Welcome to Cleveland, Trent. Here's all you need to know!



17. Cincinnati Bengals - Dre Kirkpatrick


Cincinnati continues to be a team that is drafting to get better. They used their Carson Palmer trade pick to bring in a big, athletic corner in Alabama's Dre Kirkpatrick who they hope can develop into a shutdown defender for them.

In order to slow down quarterbacks like Ben Roethlisberger and Joe Flacco, Kirkpatrick was brought in to make an impact in the passing game. He'll be teamed up with Leon Hall and newly acquired Terence Newman to immediately improve the Bengals secondary.

22. Cleveland Browns - Brandon Weeden


The Browns were looking to make a move to bring in a playmaking receiver, but when their guy Kendall Wright went to the Titans at 20, they pulled a trigger on a surprise pick bringing in Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden.

At 28 years old (29 in October,) the Browns have taken a big risk and in the process have possibly put Colt McCoy on the trade wire.

Brandon, if you didn't get enough info on your new home, here ya go!



27. Cincinnati Bengals - Kevin Zeitler


The Bengals had a nice haul in the first round drafting
Zeitler and Kirkpatrick.
(Photo from facebook.com/Bengals)
The Bengals moved back from 21 when New England came calling and continued to make improvements when they drafted Wisconsin guard Kevin Zeitler.

Zeitler jumped up the board as the class' second best true guard. The Bengals probably would have loved for DeCastro to keep falling, but that just wasn't going to happen.

Baltimore Ravens


Too bad for the Ravens, huh? Would have loved Dont'a Hightower; New England moves up and gets him. Zeitler could have been a nice addition on the line. Cincinnati beat them to him.

Baltimore backed out of their first round pick and in return got an extra pick from the Vikings. The Ravens are on the clock early in the second round at 35 overall.

Look for the Ravens to find a some youth for their defense or look to upgrade their offensive line to keep Joe Flacco, the best quarterback in the NFL, out of harm's way.



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