Friday, April 29, 2011
Poll Friday: Best first-round pick?
By James Walker
After months of hype, Day 1 of the NFL draft is finally in the books. We now have four new players in the division who are expected to make an immediate impact with their respective teams.
But which AFC North club had the best first-round pick Thursday night? That is this week's "Poll Friday" question in conjunction with ESPN's SportsNation.
Was it the Cincinnati Bengals? They turned down a significant trade offer from the Atlanta Falcons to keep the No. 4 overall pick and selected Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green. He is expected to replace Chad Ochocinco as the No. 1 target in Cincinnati.
What about the Cleveland Browns? They accepted Atlanta's generous trade package, which included five draft picks over the next two years and eventually selected Baylor defensive tackle Phil Taylor to anchor the middle of their 4-3 defense. Did the Browns have the best first day?
The Baltimore Ravens missed a spot after a trade went awry with the Chicago Bears but they eventually took Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith at No. 27. Smith is talented but comes with character concerns. But is he the best pick in the division?
Or did the reigning AFC champion Pittsburgh Steelers get the most for their value at No. 31 by selecting Ohio State defensive end Cameron Heyward? The Steelers are good at capitalizing on prospects other teams miss at the end of rounds. Is Heyward Pittsburgh's next gem?
Cast your vote on which AFC North team had the best first round Thursday night and share your thoughts in the comment section below. We'd love to hear everyone's honest, homer-free assessment of the first round.