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Thursday, February 16, 2012
AFC North version: Kiper's mock draft 2.0

By Jamison Hensley



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.