AFC North draft report card: Fans vs. Kiper

May, 11, 2012
5/11/12
12:00
PM ET
The AFC North blog wanted to know what the fans thought about the drafts for each of the division teams. Now, let's compare your grades against the ones given by ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr.:

CINCINNATI BENGALS

The picks: CB Dre Kirkpatrick (first round), G Kevin Zeitler (first round), DT Devon Still (second round), WR Mohamed Sanu (third round), DT Brandon Thompson (third round), TE Orson Charles (fourth round), CB Shaun Prater (fifth round), WR Marvin Jones (fifth round), S George Iloka (fifth round), RB Dan "Boom" Herron (sixth round).

Kiper's grade: A-minus

Fans' grade: A (42 percent in the SportsNation poll)

Fans' comments:

Adam from Dayton: Bengals Draft Grade: A -- I thought that the Bengals did an excellent job in adding depth. The one "head scratcher" that seemed to come about this year was trading their second first round pick when they could have got David DeCastro, the highest-rated guard. Granted they received an extra pick and still grabbed a very big and strong guard a few picks later in Kevin Zeitler with that trade, I think it really boiled down to the fact they could have got the best guard, instead all of Bengal Nation saw him go to the Steelers. All-in-all, everyone knows the AFC North is an old-school run -first division, so beefing up the D-Line with a couple of huge, strong, and athletic linemen was a sound way to go and I for one am happy to see the new blood that the team has. These Bengals have tapped into the fountain of youth rather quickly, yet they are getting better and being built for the future.

Andheez: I went for an A. Kirkpatrick is solid. Zeitler is a beast. Some publications had Still as the top DT pre-combine. Not sold on Sanu, but I think the Charles pick was fantastic. I am not one to ostracize someone for a DUI. Prater, Iloka and Herron probably won't stick, but sounds like Jones was a nice find.

mann_usmc: I give the Bengals a C. Here we go drafting a CB in the first round again. Keep Johnathan Joseph and you can fill other spots (safety). The next four picks draw a big question mark. If you're going to draft an OG, then why not take the best prospect in a decade in DeCastro? You pass on him and allow the Steelers to draft him and all you gain is a third-round pick. That is a big miss in my opinion. Secondly, you draft two DTs when you already have Domata Peko and Geno Atkins. Sure these guys provide depth, but I would think that with my second-round and third-round picks to be a contributor. I wouldn't use draft picks that high for backups.


CLEVELAND BROWNS

The picks: RB Trent Richardson (first round), QB Brandon Weeden (first round), OT Mitchell Schwartz (second round), NT John Hughes (third round), WR Travis Benjamin (fourth round), LB James-Michael Johnson (fourth round), G Ryan Miller (fifth round), LB Emmanuel Acho (sixth round), DL Billy Winn (sixth round), CB Trevin Wade (seventh round), TE-FB Brad Smelley (seventh round).

Kiper's grade: B-minus

Fans' grade: B (38 percent)

Fans' comments:

Kovacs from Dallas: This draft is an A if Weeden works out but probably a low B or high C if he doesn't. Worst case the draft added two starters at key positions, RB and RT, and much-needed depth at areas where it was badly needed, DT and LB. If that's the worst case it's still a nice-looking haul.

Kyle from Columbus, Ohio: The Browns did a pretty good job of filling some holes and adding some depth. I really like the T. Richardson pick, but I think they reached a little for B. Weeden. My only complaint is that if you decide to take a first-round QB, you have to give him some weapons. T. Benjamin looks like a special-team guy, who may help out in the slot.

JBT1MIAMI: Simple D-minus. I'm still waiting for any fan to address why it's not an issue that Trent Richardson didn't compete at the combine because he had his knee scoped. How is he any better injury-wise than [Montario] Hardesty, knowing he's also had both ankles reconstructed. Why no issue with this? Why not just trade for [Rashard] Mendenhall if it's no issue. He's proven on the pro level. Think Steelers believe this kind of thing is an issue with running backs? I guess it's like training a dog, people have to separate emotional attachment of drafting a hyped running back, and learn about calm reasoning. Emotions just gave the Browns a 3-13 record.


BALTIMORE RAVENS

The picks: OLB Courtney Upshaw (second round), OT-G Kelechi Osemele (second round), RB Bernard Pierce (third round), C-G Gino Gradkowski (fourth round), S Christian Thompson (fourth round), CB Asa Jackson (fifth round), WR Tommy Streeter (sixth round), DT DeAngelo Tyson (seventh round).

Kiper's grade: B

Fans' grade: B (40 percent)

Fans' comments:

Shadowwolf1001: It's really toss-up. There are some strong picks here that would warrant an A, but there are also some picks I'm not too sure about which probably warrant a B. I'd have to vote B-plus with the potential of an A grade later on.

jdille123: C-plus. Ozzie [Newsome] must have taken this one off. Still got some good talent, but he usually does better.

youmadbromad: I gave them a D because they did not draft a new FG kicker.

Dave from Mansfield, Ohio: I'm giving the Raven a 'B.' They came into the draft with holes at LB, OT, OG and filled all of these needs. However while Upshaw should help feel the void left by Terrell Suggs, Kelechi Osemele should step in and start at guard and hopefully Gino Gradkowski develops as the replacement for Matt Birk. Plus Tommy Streeter has the potential to be a huge steal if his football skills catch up to his physical stature and speed.


PITTSBURGH STEELERS

The picks: G David DeCastro (first round), OT Mike Adams (second round), ILB Sean Spence (third round), NT Alameda Ta'amu (fourth round), RB Chris Rainey (fifth round), WR Toney Clemons (seventh round), TE David Paulson (seventh round), CB Terrence Frederick (seventh round), G Kelvin Beachum (seventh round).

Kiper's grade: B

Fans' grade: A (61 percent)

Fans' comments:

WhoDeyAJGreen: As a Bengal fan (obviously) and an OSU football fan, I graded them as a A-minus. Great value picks while also filling needs. The player that will make the difference between an A-minus and A-plus is Mike Adams. If he can get his [act] together, then they had one heck of a draft from top to bottom.
nyontopin2003: This draft looks like the 2002 draft from a potential standpoint and one can only hope it is that good. Interesting to see if the Steelers are going the four year route on players rounds 2 through 7 due to the Wallace situation, small cap issues expected in 2013-2015, or because they see those players being that good through the depth of this entire Steelers draft class. Only time will tell.

Tyrion_Scannister: Putting aside the fact that grading a draft right away is the dumbest thing ever, I gave it an "A". On paper, DeCastro looks like he was a steal, and Ta'amu will fit perfectly in that defense after some grooming. If those two pan out, and Mike Adams develops into a legitimate starting LT, this could be one of the best drafts for any team in a number of years.

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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