AFC North: Kiper regrades 2011 draft

January, 12, 2012
1/12/12
1:30
PM ET
A look at how ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. regraded the 2011 draft for the AFC North teams:

CINCINNATI BENGALS

Kiper's original grade: A-minus

Kiper's new grade: A-plus

Picks: A.J. Green, WR, first round; Andy Dalton, QB, second round; Dontay Moch, LB, third round; Clint Boling, G, fourth round; Robert Sands, DB, fifth round; Ryan Whalen, WR, sixth round; Korey Lindsey, DB, seventh round; Jay Finley, RB, seventh round.

Hensley's comment: The Bengals got the best wide receiver in the draft in the first round and got the second-best quarterback in the second round (which was more impressive after watching Tennessee, Jacksonville and Minnesota jump to take a quarterback in the first round). Green and Dalton have been the most impressive rookies in the division this season. Cincinnati didn't get much out of the rest of its draft outside a few starts by Boling and a few catches by Whalen.

CLEVELAND BROWNS

Kiper's original grade: B-plus

Kiper's new grade: A-minus

Picks: Phil Taylor, DT, first round; Jabaal Sheard, DE, second round; Greg Little, WR, second round; Jordan Cameron, TE, fourth round; Owen Marecic, RB, fourth round; Buster Skrine, DB, fifth round; Jason Pinkston, OL, fifth round; Eric Hagg, DB, seventh round.

Hensley's comment: The Browns' draft had more of an impact from top to bottom than any other AFC North team. But, unlike the rest of the division (the other three teams went to the playoffs), Cleveland had little choice to play many of its rookies right away. It looks like the Browns have the start of a foundation on defense (Taylor and Sheard) and a No. 2 receiver in Little.

BALTIMORE RAVENS

Kiper's original grade: B-plus

Kiper's new grade: A-minus

Picks: Jimmy Smith, CB, first round; Torrey Smith, WR, second round; Jah Reid, OT, third round; Tandon Doss, WR, fourth round; Chykie Brown, CB, fifth round; Pernell McPhee, DE, fifth round; Tyrod Taylor, QB, sixth round; Anthony Allen, RB, seventh round.

Hensley's comment: The Ravens got great value out of Jimmy Smith (who could have gone in the top half of the first round) and Torrey Smith (who has played like a first-rounder as a rookie). The biggest steal in the AFC North was McPhee, who finished second on the team with six sacks. Baltimore seems comfortable with Taylor as the primary backup to Joe Flacco.

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

Kiper's original grade: B-plus

Kiper's new grade: B-minus

Picks: Cameron Heyward, DE, first round; Marcus Gilbert, OT, second round; Curtis Brown, CB, third round; Cortez Allen, CB, fourth round; Chris Carter, LB, fifth round; Keith Williams, G, sixth round; Baron Batch, RB, seventh round.

Hensley's comment: Gilbert was the only immediate impact player out of this draft. Heyward looks like he'll be a quality starter in this league, but it's hard to make that determination on his number of snaps as a rookie. Brown and Allen also received some playing time as role players this year. It might be fairer to judge this draft at this time next year.

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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