Thursday, April 5, 2012
Wake-up call: USC's Kalil to visit Browns
By Jamison Hensley
Every morning, grab a cup of coffee and get your AFC North wake-up call here:
USC offensive tackle Matt Kalil is scheduled to make a pre-draft visit to Cleveland, according to the Plain Dealer.
Kalil is expected to be taken No. 3 overall by the Minnesota Vikings. But the Cleveland Browns, who select fourth, aren't taking anything for granted.
"We really don't know what Minnesota's going to do," Browns general manager Tom Heckert said at the NFL owners meetings last week. "If Kalil is there, we'll have to think about him."
With a Pro Bowl left tackle in Joe Thomas, the Browns would go with Kalil on the right side.
Hensley's slant: The best shot at Kalil falling to the Browns is if a team trades up to the Vikings' spot to get Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Under that scenario, the Browns would face some interesting decisions: take Kalil, trade back (teams needing a left tackle will be calling) or select Alabama running back Trent Richardson.
BENGALS: The Bengals are rescheduling a visit with Bears free-agent defensive tackle Amobi Okoye because the coaching staff was at Notre Dame's pro day Tuesday, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. A new meeting has not been finalized. Hensley's slant: I still feel that the Bengals remain interested in Okoye, the 10th overall pick by the Texans in the 2007 draft who turns 25 in June. Cincinnati needs to find an interior pass-rusher to replace Jonathan Fanene.
RAVENS: Eric DeCosta, the team's director of player personnel, said his theme for this draft is "deep depth" because the Ravens need to add players -- not necessarily starters -- to almost every area of the team. Besides the need to add a starting left guard, the Ravens have yet to fully address depth at wide receiver, offensive tackle, pass rush, safety and kick returner. "My philosophy with the draft is we want as many picks as we can get," DeCosta said, via the Baltimore Sun. "You guys will say we're going to trade back. That doesn't mean that, but we want as many picks as we can get because I think the draft is all about luck. The more picks you have, the better chance you have to get lucky." Hensley's slant: Unless a highly regarded offensive line prospect falls down to them, my guess is the Ravens will be looking to trade back from the No. 29 spot. Baltimore has a history of trading in the first round, but the only time the Ravens traded out of the first round completely was 2010.
STEELERS: Offensive tackle Demetress Bell, the only free agent to visit the Steelers this offseason, agreed to a five-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles. This comes at a time when the Steelers have had pre-draft visits with two offensive tackles: Ohio State's Mike Adams and Mississippi's Bobby Massie. In other news, free-agent punter Daniel Sepulveda told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the Steelers don't want him back for the 2012 season. Jeremy Kapinos, who replaced Sepulveda after his injuries in each of the past two seasons, remains the only punter on the roster. Hensley's slant: These pre-draft visits are a clear indication that the Steelers aren't completely sold on their offensive tackle situation. Adams is considered a fringe first-round prospect, and Massie should go somewhere in the second or third round. I think Pittsburgh is fine with moving Marcus Gilbert to the left side, but there has to be concerns whether Willie Colon can last a full season at right tackle.