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Saturday, October 20, 2012
Rookie snaps in the AFC North

By Jamison Hensley

When it comes to getting production from rookies this season, it's a case of one team getting a lot of immediate help and another getting essentially nothing from its draft class.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Browns rank first in number of snaps from rookies this season. Cleveland is averaging 294 snaps per game (not including special teams) from its draft class. The next-closest team is the Vikings, who average 193 snaps from first-year players.

While the Browns rank at the top, the Steelers are close to the bottom in this category. Pittsburgh's rookies are averaging 43 snaps per game. This should be expected since it's basically a redshirt season for this draft class. The Steelers' first-round pick (guard David DeCastro) and their third-rounder (linebacker Sean Spence) both suffered serious knee injuries in the preseason. Their fourth-rounder (nose tackle Alameda Ta'amu) has been inactive for the first five games and has been suspended for two games after his DUI altercation.

The Ravens (average 131 snaps per game) and Bengals (119) both are in the middle of the NFL.

Cleveland's first-round picks, running back Trent Richardson and quarterback Brandon Weeden, have totaled 665 snaps. That is topped by Baltimore's second-round duo, linebacker Courtney Upshaw and offensive tackle Kelechi Osemele, who have combined for 727 snaps -- which is more than 16 teams in the NFL.

One Cincinnati first-round pick, guard Kevin Zeitler, has logged 412 snaps, while the other first-rounder, cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, has yet to suit up for a game this season. Pittsburgh's second-rounder, offensive tackle Mike Adams, has 109 snaps.