Thursday, April 4, 2013
Kiper Jr.'s mock draft 4.0: AFC North
By Jamison Hensley
ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. put together his Mock 4.0 which looks a lot like his previous version in terms of the AFC North. The only change in the first-round picks is with the Baltimore Ravens, and Kiper still has them taking a safety. As always, you'll need an Insider subscription to see the entire post. But I can give you some of Kiper's predictions on the AFC North teams:
6. Cleveland Browns
Kiper's first-round pick: Dion Jordan, OLB, Oregon
Kiper's second-round pick: No pick.
Hensley's comment: This remains a trendy pick even though the Browns signed Paul Kruger in free agency and plan to convert Jabaal Sheard to outside linebacker. Jordan would be the best player available at this spot. He has the makings of being a great 3-4 outside linebacker. Jordan is an explosive pass-rusher who has the athleticism to cover in space.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers
Kiper's first-round pick: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
Kiper's second-round pick: Cornelius Washington, OLB, Georgia
Hensley's comment: Kiper feels that this would be a good fit for the Steelers. Pittsburgh does need a backup plan for Heath Miller because his status for the early part 2013 is uncertain after tearing his ACL in the second-to-last game of the regular season. Miller's salary jumps to $6 million in 2014, the final year of his contract. It's debatable whether taking a tight end at this point is too high.
21. Cincinnati Bengals
Kiper's first-round pick: Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia
Kiper's second-round pick (from Oakland): Shamarko Thomas, S, Syracuse
Kiper's second-round pick: Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
Hensley's comment: This pick only makes sense if the Bengals are taking the best player available. The Bengals already have a decision at middle linebacker with Vontaze Burfict and Rey Maualuga. So, I can't see the Bengals targeting another inside linebacker. Ogletree is going to be an impact player, but the Bengals have bigger needs to address like safety, outside linebacker and right tackle.
32. Baltimore Ravens
Kiper's first-round pick: John Cyprien, S, Florida International
Kiper's second-round pick: Terron Armstead, OT, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
Hensley's comment: Kiper still has the Ravens taking a safety, but he had them selecting Florida's Matt Elam in his previous mock draft. Cyprien already has the look of an NFL safety and is an aggressive tackler. He'll play like a strong safety but he is effective in playing Cover 2. As I've said before, teams often find great value at this position late in the first round.