AFC North version: Kiper's mock draft 2.0
February, 16, 2012
By Jamison Hensley | ESPN.com
ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. offered his second 2012 mock draft Wednesday. You'll need an Insider subscription to view the entire draft, but here's a look at the AFC North part of it:
4. Cleveland Browns
Kiper's first mock draft: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
Current mock: Robert Griffin III
Hensley's comment: Kiper is sticking with Griffin for the Browns. I just don't see Griffin being around at No. 4. Not saying the Browns will trade up to get him. But, if they want Griffin to be the franchise quarterback, Cleveland will have to make a move to get to No. 2 (St. Louis Rams) or No. 3 (Minnesota Vikings).
17. Cincinnati Bengals
Kiper's first mock draft: Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska
Current mock: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
Hensley's comment: The Bengals would love to see Alabama running back Trent Richardson fall, but Kiper still doesn't have him making it out of the top 5. Getting Kirkpatrick here would be impressive. He's the second best corner in the draft and can be groomed to eventually replace veteran Nate Clements.
21. Cincinnati Bengals
Kiper's first mock draft: Lamar Miller, RB, Miami (Fla.)
Current mock: David DeCastro, G, Stanford
Hensley's comment: Getting DeCastro here over Miller would be an improvement for the Bengals. DeCastro is one of the best guards in the draft and one of the safest picks. He would be an immediate starter at Cincinnati's weakest position last season.
22. Cleveland Browns
Kiper's first mock draft: Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
Current mock: Kendall Wright
Hensley's comment: Kiper is liking the Baylor Browns concept. Wright won't go in the top half of the first round because he lacks height (5 feet 10). But the Browns need someone to get behind defenses like Mike Wallace and Torrey Smith. Wright has the speed to do that.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers
Kiper's first mock draft: Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis
Current mock: Dontari Poe
Hensley's comment: Poe makes a lot of sense for the Steelers because I'm not sold on Ziggy Hood replacing Casey Hampton at nose tackle. Pittsburgh has put a premium on defensive linemen, taking Hood and Cameron Heyward in the first round over the past three years. If a quarterback is hanging around this spot, the Steelers could consider trading back, acquiring more picks and still getting Poe.
29. Baltimore Ravens
Kiper's first mock draft: Vontaze Burfict, LB, Arizona St.
Current mock: Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin
Hensley's comment: I still prefer Burfict at this spot because the Ravens need to find the heir apparent to Ray Lewis while he is still playing. Konz would fill a need and he's the best center in the draft. But the Ravens have drafted only one interior offensive lineman in the first round in their history (guard Ben Grubbs in 2007). So, this pick would be outside the Ravens' box.