Thursday, January 17, 2013
Kiper's mock draft 1.0: AFC North
By Jamison Hensley
ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay offered his first mock of the draft season last month, and Mel Kiper followed this week with his Mock 1.0 . As always, you'll need an Insider subscription to see the entire post. But I have received permission to share with you some details about the teams in the division:
6. Cleveland Browns
Kiper's pick: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
Hensley's comment: Werner, who had 13 sacks last season, would fill a big need as a pass-rusher. But Kiper said Werner is a 4-3 end and wouldn't fit if the Browns switched to a 3-4. Werner has drawn comparisons to the Rams' Chris Long in terms of motor.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers
Kiper's pick: Ezekiel Ansah, LB, BYU
Hensley's comment: Ansah is a massive athlete who is being compared to Jason Pierre-Paul. He could become a top-10 pick if he tests well over the coming months. But, with Ansah being 270-plus pounds, he seems more suited to be a 4-3 defensive end than a 3-4 outside linebacker.
21. Cincinnati Bengals
Kiper's pick: Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin
Hensley's comment: If the Bengals are going to use a first-round pick on a running back, he's going to be a home-run threat. Ball looks too much like the back that the Bengals already have in BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Cincinnati needs to add speed to the backfield.
29. Baltimore Ravens
Kiper's pick: Kevin Minter, LB, LSU
Hensley's comment: Inside linebacker wouldn't be as big of a need if the Ravens can re-sign Dannell Ellerbe, who replaced Ray Lewis when he was injured during the season. Minter is a tackling machine who is a dominant force against the run. He's also an extremely safe pick with no off-the-field trouble.
Just for fun, here's what Kiper had for the first picks for each AFC North team in his first mock draft last year:
Browns: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
Bengals: Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska
Steelers: Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis
Ravens: Vontaze Burfict, LB, Arizona State