Wake-up: Weeden feels Browns like him

April, 23, 2012
4/23/12
7:45
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Every morning, grab a cup of coffee and get your AFC North wake-up call here:

Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden believes the Cleveland Browns are interested in drafting him.

"You never how it's going to go, but I feel really good about how everything's gone with the Browns throughout this whole process," Weeden told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "It would be exciting if I ended up there."

The Browns have been linked to Weeden in the second round, and some have speculated that Cleveland could use its second first-round pick on the 28-year-old quarterback. Weeden sees himself as an immediate starter, which could lead to a competition with Colt McCoy.

"I know Colt had a good year last year, and he's a good football player," Weeden said. "But I'm a competitor, and I want to play as soon as possible. I'd be excited about the opportunity to come in and compete with him and see how things pan out."

Hensley's slant: The Browns have a big decision when it comes to their second and third picks in the draft. They will have the opportunity to either add another offensive weapon for McCoy or bring in someone who will compete for McCoy's job. The Browns have not hid the fact that they're looking to upgrade the quarterback position.

BENGALS: Cincinnati could use its second first-round pick on a wide receiver. Cris Collinsworth, a former Bengals wide receiver and current NFL analyst, suggests Georgia Tech's Stephen Hill. "What he doesn’t do well, you can fix," Collinsworth told the team's official website. "You put him opposite A.J. [Green], what are you going to do? You're going to have to play seven against the run. You're not playing one of those guys without safety help. I wouldn't." Hensley's slant: The Bengals can go a lot of different ways with that 21st overall pick and wide receiver is definitely an option. I think Baylor's Kendall Wright could be a better complement to Green. Wright is smaller than Hill, but he has great speed and can make more difficult catches.

RAVENS: General manager Ozzie Newsome thinks it would be difficult to pass on an Alabama player in the first round. “I don’t want to tip my hand, but they are good players,” Newsome, a former Alabama player himself, told the team's official website. “I’ve had the opportunity to watch them for three or four years. If one’s there, it could make our decision tough.” The Alabama players who are considered first-round prospects are: running back Trent Richardson, safety Mark Barron, defensive end-outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw, inside linebacker Dont’a Hightower and cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick. Hensley's slant: The three players presumably on the Ravens' radar are Upshaw, Hightower and Barron. Upshaw would take the starting spot left by Jarret Johnson, Hightower would be the heir to Ray Lewis and Barron would eventually take Ed Reed's leadership role in the secondary.

STEELERS: In case you missed it over the weekend, Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace is mulling a holdout. After Friday's deadline came and went without Wallace getting an offer sheet from another team, the restricted free agent told some within the Steelers organization that he does not plan to sign his first-round tender "until he has to," a source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. This means that Wallace could wind up holding out for some or all of training camp. Hensley's slant: Wallace would only be hurting himself by dragging this out beyond June 15 (when the Steelers can cut the tender to $577,500 if he doesn't sign). If his protest goes beyond that, it still doesn't hurt his chances of staying with the Steelers long term.

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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