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Friendly reminder about DraftTracker

The best way to follow the draft is to check the AFC North blog (needless to say) as well as ESPN's DraftTracker. Bookmark it, love it and thank me later.

If my endorsement means nothing to you, here's a sampling of what you missed with the first-round picks Thursday night:

3. Cleveland Browns

Pick: RB Trent Richardson, Alabama

DraftTracker: This was a major need for the Browns. And what separates Richardson from a lot of backs is that he's a three-down player. This offense had no explosiveness or big plays from the running game a year ago. They were at the bottom of the league in yards and yards after contact were an afterthought. That all changes with Richardson. Not only will he be effective between the tackles, but he is also an excellent receiver out of the backfield and he is a good pass-blocker and very effective in blitz pickup. With new offensive coordinator Brad Childress, it will be a West Coast-style offense. They will emphasize the run game to keep pressure off their quarterback position and, as mentioned, Richardson doesn't need to come off the field.

17. Cincinnati Bengals

Pick: CB Dre Kirkpatrick, Alabama

DraftTracker: The Bengals have tried this whole offseason to upgrade their secondary that was pretty good a year ago, but there are a lot of questions with age and durability. Their depth is suspect and they just don't match up well in man-to-man coverage. Defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer likes to gamble a lot and bring a variety of blitzes, and he is not afraid to put his corners on an island in man-to-man coverage. Kirkpatrick will probably contribute immediately in their subpackages as a third corner, eventually moving into a starting spot to replace Leon Hall and Nate Clements.

22. Cleveland Browns

Pick: QB Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State

DraftTracker: He certainly looks like the QB of the future and that future needs to be now for a 28-year-old. He can make every throw necessary to eventually fit in this West Coast offense and he can make all the required reads. He's coming from a college system in which he ran a lot of spread formations with quick passes and easy reads. And in this West Coast look, his passes will have to become more disciplined and his reads more focused. His ability to handle the blitz must improve dramatically, but having Trent Richardson in the fold could make his job easier. As fast as you want him to get into the lineup, it is likely he will learn in the first half of the season to improve that decision-making behind Colt McCoy. If he makes the right progress, he could be their starter in the last two months of the season.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers

Pick: G David DeCastro, Steelers

DraftTracker: Offensive line was the biggest need for this team and DeCastro plays like he was born to be a Pittsburgh Steeler. He can line up next to their only stable lineman, Maurkice Pouncey, and that should really improve their interior run game and also pass protect for Big Ben inside. There's still work to be done on the edge of this offensive line, but this is a major upgrade.

27. Cincinnati Bengals

Pick: G Kevin Zeitler, Wisconsin

DraftTracker: The Bengals lost both starting offensive guards from a year ago in free agency, Nate Livings and Mike McGlynn, and veteran Bobbie Williams is not likely back. That leaves UFA signee Travelle Wharton, Clint Boling and Jacob Bell as their candidates. But in this West Coast offense, they want to be very physical in their inside run game, and Zeitler gives them flexibility and depth inside.