AFC North mock drafts

April, 7, 2011
4/07/11
2:00
PM ET
ESPN draft analysts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay both provided their latest NFL mock drafts this week.

Here is how they view things playing out in the AFC North:

Cincinnati Bengals (No. 4)

Kiper: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia

McShay: Green

Analysis: Cincinnati is the only AFC North team Kiper and McShay share the same thinking. Both believe the Bengals will take Green, the top-rated receiver in the draft. I like Green a lot, but I don't think he's the best pick for Cincinnati. It's unknown who will throw the ball to Green with franchise quarterback Carson Palmer threatening to retire. The Bengals also have plenty of young receivers, and for now Chad Ochocinco remains under contract. The Bengals would be better off addressing their front seven on defense for next season.

Cleveland Browns (No. 6)

Kiper: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama

McShay: Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina

Analysis: I like the Quinn pick, but both of these selections come with questions. Quinn and Jones would address Cleveland's two biggest needs, which are defensive line and receiver. But Quinn missed all of 2010 with a suspension and would have to overcome rust next season. Jones is a dynamic talent but a bit of a reach unless Cleveland trades down. In both cases, the Browns may choose to go safer with the No. 6 overall pick.

Baltimore Ravens (No. 26)

Kiper: Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado

McShay: Brandon Harris, CB, Miami

Analysis: Smith and Harris are talented prospects. But I'm not convinced Baltimore is going cornerback in the first round. The Ravens have starter Domonique Foxworth returning from knee surgery. Josh Wilson was solid last year and will be pursued by Baltimore in free agency. The team also likes young corner Lardarius Webb. Cornerback is a possibility if the Ravens stick to the best player available. But in terms of need, a right tackle and pass-rusher would be more important.

Pittsburgh Steelers (No. 31)

Kiper: Aaron Williams, CB, Texas

McShay: Danny Watkins, G, Baylor

Analysis: Both players would fill needs for Pittsburgh in the secondary and offensive line. But with No. 1 corner Ike Taylor not under contract, Williams may be the better pick. The Steelers are very thin at corner and were exposed in that area at times last season. If Pittsburgh cannot re-sign Taylor, which is not a guarantee, it's a must that the team adds depth early in the draft. Williams is physical and his solid tackling would fit well with defensive coordinator's Dick LeBeau's aggressive style. I also like Harris in this spot if he makes it to No. 31.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?

Insider