AFC North: Manti Te'o

ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr.Insider and our friends at Scouts Inc.Insider projected a second-round mock after the surprising turn of events Thursday night. They're Insider posts, which means you'll need a subscription to view the entire piece. But I can provide you the picks as well as my insights.

Sorry, Cleveland Browns, no pick for you. That was used last year in the supplemental draft for wide receiver Josh Gordon. Looking at the prospects in this round, it makes the Browns' decision look even better.

Cincinnati Bengals

Kiper's picks: Manti Te'o, LB, Notre Dame (from Oakland in Carson Palmer trade), and Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin

Scouts Inc.: Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama, and Tyrann Mathieu, DB, LSU

Hensley's comment: The theme here is taking a controversial player, whether it's Te'o or Mathieu. Te'o wouldn't add the speed that the Bengals need at linebacker but he has great instincts. Mathieu, aka "the Honey Badger," is a boom-or-bust prospect who has experience playing corner and safety. Not sure I would put him in the same locker room as Pacman Jones. As far as running backs, I think Ball fits what the Bengals want more than Lacy.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Kiper's picks: D.J. Swearinger, S, South Carolina

Scouts Inc.: D.J. Swearinger, S, South Carolina

Hensley's comment: I get the feeling that draft experts believe the Steelers will go safety in the second round. I wouldn't rule out running back, defensive line or inside linebacker here. Swearinger fits the mold of an AFC North thumper. He can be an intimidating presence. The concern is he lacks ideal speed, which can put him a step behind receivers.

Baltimore Ravens

Kiper's picks: Terron Armstead, OT, Arkansas Pine-Bluff

Scouts Inc.: Quinton Patton, WR, Louisiana Tech

Hensley's comment: Taking Armstead here makes more sense than Patton. Armstead isn't an NFL-ready lineman yet, but he could develop into a left tackle. He has the tools that you want: athletic, hard worker and highly intelligent. It will just take time because he needs to get into the weight room. With Patton, he projects to be a No. 3 receiver than a starter.
Last year's first round of the NFL draft ended up being a disappointing one for the AFC North. Injuries lessened the impact of Cleveland Browns running back Trent Richardson, Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick and Pittsburgh Steelers guard David DeCastro. Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden played like a rookie quarterback, and the Baltimore Ravens didn't have a first-round pick after trading back. The best first-round pick for the division turned out to be Bengals guard Kevin Zeitler, who looks like a future Pro Bowl player.

This year has the makings of a bounce-back year for the AFC North's first-round picks. On Thursday night, each team in the division came away with an impact player. In terms of value, the Bengals and the Steelers were the big winners.

The Browns drafted their targeted player at No. 6 (LSU outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo). The Steelers found the heir apparent to James Harrison (Georgia outside linebacker Jarvis Jones). The Bengals landed what may be the steal of the draft (Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert). And the Ravens addressed a pressing need in the secondary (Florida safety Matt Elam).

Here's how I graded the newest additions to the division:


Grade: A-minus.

Hensley's comment: The Browns made the smart choice here at No. 6. It was too early to reach for a playmaker like wide receiver Tavon Austin, and it didn't make sense to take cornerback Dee Milliner at this spot because he hasn't proven to be an elite playmaker. The Browns went with a potential game-changer in Mingo. The one drawback is you would like to have a more polished prospect when taking in the top 10, but Mingo has a high ceiling. The Browns also wouldn't have gotten Mingo if they had traded out of the top 10. My guess is the New York Jets would've taken Mingo at No. 9.

What the Browns are saying ... Head coach Rob Chudzinski: "His athleticism speaks for itself. He’s an extremely gifted athlete, explosive, great speed off the edge and a developing player. Obviously, he’s been battle tested in the SEC. He has played a lot. He still has plenty of room for growth. But, we really see him as an outstanding pass-rusher and somebody that is going to be able to bring that to our team.”


Grade: A.

Hensley's comment: The Steelers were extremely lucky to get Jones, a top-five talent when you watch film. The only reason he fell was because of a disappointing pro day (ask Terrell Suggs how that affected him) and medical concerns. Jones is exactly the type of player that the Steelers need to add some punch back into their defense. Pittsburgh has been great at limiting yards, but the defense has been underwhelming when it comes to generating sacks and turnovers. I believe the Steelers would've taken Jones if they had a top-10 pick. Instead, thanks to the New Orleans Saints going with Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro, the Steelers got Jones at No. 17.

What the Steelers are saying ... General manager Kevin Colbert: "He definitely is one of the guys I talked about the other day as being a special player in this draft. He's a solid kid, a great player. He was dominant at a major college. He plays the run, chases the ball and, most important, he gets after the passer."


Grade: A-plus.

Hensley's comment: The Bengals didn't need a tight end. But teams that draft based on need usually end up picking in the top 10 every year. The Bengals went with the best athlete on the board in Eifert, an excellent red-zone target who is a match-up nightmare for defenses. Eifert was rated the 12th-best player in the draft (one spot behind Austin) by Todd McShay and the 13th-best prospect by Mel Kiper Jr. And the Bengals landed him at No. 21. If the Bengals were going for need, they would've picked a safety like Elam or Florida International's John Cyprien. But Cincinnati can pick up a safety with one of its two picks in the second round. A top-rated tight end like Eifert wasn't going to be there.

What the Bengals are saying ... Offensive coordinator Jay Gruden: "I’m sure (quarterback) Andy Dalton is happy right now. We try to make Andy happy, and the more weapons you have, obviously, the better. We need to take pressure off (wide receiver) A.J. Green, and this is one step in doing that.”


Grade: B.

Hensley's comment: Elam fits the Ravens' defensive profile: He's aggressive, intense, tough and finds a way to make plays. While some will say Elam is a replacement for Ed Reed, he is also an upgrade from Bernard Pollard, who was cut by Baltimore. Elam can make the violent hits like Pollard but he has more ball-hawking skills. The drawback is his lack of size (5 feet 10) and length, which could become a problem in defending tight ends like Eifert. In the end, the Ravens chose Elam over Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o. Both Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay had Te'o rated higher than Elam, and Te'o would've also filled a need for the Ravens.

What the Ravens are saying ... General manager Ozzie Newsome: "Even though it was a position of need, whether you all believe it or not, he was the highest-rated player on our board. Matt Elam is our guy. I think if you would have asked any of the four of us (Newsome, head coach John Harbaugh, assistant GM Eric DeCosta and director of college scouting Joe Hortiz) what one player we would have liked to have had today, I think each one of us if we would’ve wrote a name down on a sheet of paper, we would’ve said Matt Elam.”

The Baltimore Ravens had a tough decision to make with the final pick of the first round: Florida safety Matt Elam or Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o. The Ravens went with the playmaking defensive back as the Super Bowl champions completed revamping their safety position.

Gone are Ed Reed and Bernard Pollard. When the Ravens line up against the Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning in Week 1, it's expected that Baltimore will put Elam and Michael Huff in the back of the defense.

Why I think the Ravens went with Elam is his knack for making big plays at crucial moments, which is a trait that has always ranked high with the franchise. With two safeties off the board (Kenny Vaccaro to New Orleans and Eric Reid to San Francisco), Baltimore selected Elam, who is the first safety taken by the Ravens in the first round since Reed in 2002.

After selecting Elam, Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome told reporters that Elam was the one player all four decision-makers (Newsome, coach John Harbaugh, assistant general manager Eric DeCosta and director of college scouting Joe Hortiz) wanted.

Newsome said the Ravens didn't receive any calls to trade out of the first round.

Scouts Inc. pros: Very good ball skills. Consistently high points the ball and shows ability to elevate and make difficult catch over his head. Very good body control. Natural playmaking instincts. Knows when to attack the ball and when to attack the body. Has a tremendous feel for the game. Prepares hard, and tape work translates to the field.

Scouts Inc. cons: Does not have good length, and struggles to get hand on ball if not in good position. Lacks ideal height/bulk to match up versus some TEs. Will struggle to shadow NFL WRs with good-to-elite quickness and/or vertical speed. Can hold up in deep-half coverage but lacks range to handle deep-third responsibility.
The AFC North blog continues to look at the different positions and rank each team in terms of draft need. For Tuesday, the blog is addressing inside linebackers. Mel Kiper Jr.'s top five inside linebackers are: Notre Dame's Manti Te'o, Georgia's Alec Ogletree, LSU's Kevin Minter, Florida's Jonathan Bostic and Rutgers' Steve Beauharnais.

Here are the rankings (the greater the need, the higher the ranking):

1. Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens thought they had at least a stopgap solution in Rolando McClain. But this latest arrest puts his future with the Ravens in jeopardy. Plus, even if the Ravens decide to keep him, they don't know if he'll be available for the entire season. His repeated off-the-field issues could result in a multi-game suspension by the NFL. Also, Baltimore is hopeful Jameel McClain can return from last year's spinal cord contusion but there is no guarantee. The Ravens have been linked to Te'o and Minter at the bottom of the first round.

2. Cleveland Browns: The Browns are banking on D'Qwell Jackson being able to go back to play inside linebacker in a 3-4 defense. The other starting job is expected to come down to a battle between Craig Robertson and James Michael-Johnson, two players brought in by the former regime. It's possible that the Browns will take an inside linebacker in the middle rounds.

3. Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers did a good job in keeping Larry Foote in free agency. There would have been a big void otherwise. But he's 32 and he may not finish out his new three-year deal. The future is supposed to be Sean Spence, a third-round pick from a year ago. His status is uncertain after suffering a catastrophic knee injury last year. Even though they have Lawrence Timmons, the Steelers may have to consider a developmental prospect later in the draft to groom next to him.

4. Cincinnati Bengals: The biggest question here is who's going to be the middle linebacker for the Bengals? It could be Rey Maualuga or Vontaze Burfict. If one gets hurt, the other would replace him in the middle. The Bengals' depth at this position did take a hit when Dan Skuta signed with the San Francisco 49ers. If the Bengals take an inside linebacker in the draft, it would be more for special teams than an immediate impact on defense.
If the #bloggermock is anything like Thursday's first round, the Baltimore Ravens will be fielding calls for teams trying to jump back into the first round to get West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith.

In the #bloggermock, I had trade offers from the Philadelphia Eagles and Buffalo Bills. The Eagles were offering their picks in the second (35th overall) and fifth rounds (136th), and the Bills were willing to give picks in their second (41st) and fourth rounds (105th). Neither one added up to make it worthwhile in the draft value chart, so I passed.

In retrospect, I could've traded with the Eagles and moved back three spots to get Notre Dame inside linebacker Manti Te'o and an additional fifth-rounder. But the Ravens, who have 12 picks, don't need to add more picks. And, considering the latest arrest for Rolando McClain, I stayed pat and went with one of the top-rated inside linebackers of the draft.

Yes, it will be a controversial one because Te'o was involved in a well-publicized hoax in which he had a fake online relationship. And, yes, Ravens coach John Harbaugh didn't look thrilled when cameras showed him watching Te'o's slow 40-yard dash at the NFL scouting combine.

Te'o, though, has first-round talent and I'd be surprised if he was there at No. 32 (my guess is Vikings take him). This is a situation where need fit best player available.

Other options for the Ravens at this spot were: Clemson wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and Florida safety Matt Elam.

If you missed how the other AFC North teams fared in the #bloggermock, the Browns selected Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner at No. 6, the Steelers took Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert at No. 17 and the Bengals grabbed Florida International safety Johnathan Cyprien at No. 21.
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- If Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o is available at the last pick in the first round, it sounds like the Baltimore Ravens have no hesitation in taking one of the most talked-about players in the draft.

Te'o's draft stock has fallen after poor performances in the national championship game and NFL scouting combine. There's also the issue of being involved in the well-publicized hoax, which has drawn national attention for months. Te'o says he was duped into a fake online relationship.

Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome was asked whether the issues surrounding Te'o are character issues or pure football questions.

"We asked that question in our first meeting. What is the issue?," Newsome said.

The reporter brought up the issue with the fictitious girlfriend. "Is that beating a woman?," Newsome asked. "Is that using drugs? Is that DUI? How do you clarify that? I couldn't."

Ravens coach John Harbaugh said he trusts Te'o as a leader.

"We're comfortable with him," Harbaugh said at the Ravens' pre-draft luncheon Tuesday. "We had a great interview. We've looked at his body of work, what he's accomplished, who he is as a person, where he comes from. We feel good about Manti."

Perhaps the bigger question is whether Te'o has a chance to last to the bottom of the first round. The Minnesota Vikings have expressed interest in Te'o, and many expect the Vikings to take him with one of their two first-round picks (Nos. 23 and 25). In Todd McShay's latest mock draft , he has the Ravens taking Te'o.

Inside linebacker is the second-biggest need on the Ravens' defense behind safety. The Ravens added a potential stopgap when they signed Rolando McClain to a one-year contract. Baltimore hopes that Jameel McClain is the other starting inside linebacker, but he is returning from a season-ending spinal cord contusion.

"He's in training mode," Harbaugh said of Jameel McClain. "It's just a healing process. There is a certain type of a bruise that happens that caused his issue. But it's going away. He's on schedule. We don't know for sure, but I'm approaching it as Jameel is going to be out there for us and it looks like he has a really good chance of doing that."
I know I'm a few days late on this, but ESPN NFL draft analyst Todd McShay put together a Mock 5.0 Insider. This post is part of Insider, so you'll need a subscription to view the entire mock draft. Lucky for you, I can show you how the AFC North teams fared:

6. Cleveland Browns

McShay's pick: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia

Hensley's comment: This is a pick that will certainly generate buzz, but I don't think it's going to happen. Even though it's known that new Browns general manager Mike Lombardi isn't a fan of Brandon Weeden, the Browns would be taking a gamble by going with Smith this high. This would be repeating the mistake of reaching for Weeden a year ago.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers

McShay's pick: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia

Hensley's comment: Taking Jones may turn out to be a boom-or-bust scenario. He is an athletically gifted player who can put some pop into the Steelers' pass rush. Or he may struggle with the speed of the game if his disappointing performance during his pro day is any indication. There are also medical concerns with Jones. But a talent like Jones doesn't fall to the Steelers at this point in the first round if he was a safe pick.

21. Cincinnati Bengals

McShay's pick: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
Hensley's comment: I would still be surprised by this pick. The Bengals need a right tackle, outside linebacker, safety and running back more than cornerback. If Trufant represents the best value at this spot, the Bengals should trade down. My guess is the Bengals are hoping right tackle D.J. Fluker or safety Kenny Vaccaro falls to them here.

32. Baltimore Ravens

McShay's pick: Manti Te'o, ILB, Notre Dame

Hensley's comment: If Te'o is available here, the Ravens would strongly look at taking him even though they signed Rolando McClain last week. Despite coach John Harbaugh's reaction to Te'o at the NFL combine, Baltimore has interest in Te'o, who could become the long-term replacement for Ray Lewis. Many don't believe Te'o will fall this far in the first round, so the Ravens may not have a chance at him. Other viable options for the Ravens are wide receiver and safety.
I'm heading back to AFC North headquarters this morning after a productive day-long NFL summit at ESPN on Wednesday. From the discussions and feedback, I came away encouraged about the continuing evolution of the blogs. We'll talk more about that as we get closer to the season. For now, it's time for your wake-up call ...

RAVENS: Early last month, ESPN's Todd McShay had Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o falling to the Ravens at the bottom of the first round. ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. doesn't see that happening. In a conference call, Kiper said there's "no way" Te'o will last until the last pick of the first round. Kiper doesn't see Te'o getting past the Giants, Bears or Vikings. He thinks LSU linebacker Kevin Minter would be a "nice pick" for the Ravens.

BENGALS: Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro and North Carolina running back back Giovani Bernard have pre-draft visits with the Bengals this week, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer. Both players have been linked to the Bengals, who have three picks in the first two rounds of the draft. Cincinnati is looking for a starting strong safety and a speedy change-of-pace running back. Bernard reportedly drew the attention of head coach Marvin Lewis at his pro day and had dinner with team officials in Cincinnati on Wednesday night.

STEELERS: Running back-returner LaRod Stephens-Howling was among three unrestricted free agents to visit the cap-strapped Steelers on Wednesday, according to The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Before the start of free agency, I linked Stephens-Howling to the Steelers because he can fill the role of Chris Rainey. A free agent out of Arizona, Stephens-Howling is an elusive back who can provide a big-play spark, whether it's as a runner or receiver out of the backfield. Two backups, 49ers linebacker Tavares Gooden and Texans center-guard Antoine Caldwell, also met with the Steelers.

BROWNS: Brigham Young defensive end-linebacker Ezekiel "Ziggy" Ansah, who has been linked to the Browns with the No. 6 pick, is scheduled to go to Cleveland for a pre-draft visit. He is also visiting the Eagles and Cardinals. Ansah is a raw pass-rushing prospect who played football for only three years. Last season, he had 62 tackles, including 13 for loss and 4.5 sacks. “Ziggy Ansah is going to be a top-five guy,” Kiper said, via The Akron Beacon Journal. “At the worst, top-10.”
ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay put together his Mock 3.0 Insider. 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

McShay's pick: Dion Jordan, OLB, Oregon

Hensley's comment: Jordan is a good fit for the Browns' 3-4 defense and is the best outside linebacker prospect based on versatility. He is athletic enough to rush the passer and cover tight ends. Jordan's also a high-puruit run defender with a relentless motor. There is a medical concern with Jordan, who could be out for another couple of months after having shoulder surgery.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers

McShay's pick: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia

Hensley's comment: Jones would be a top-five pick if not for his medical condition (a narrowing of the spinal column). If he did drop, it would be hard for the Steelers to pass on him. Jones has the makings of being the heir apparent to James Harrison.

21. Cincinnati Bengals

McShay's pick: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama

Hensley's comment: This would be fitting for the Bengals, who would replace one Alabama tackle (Andre Smith) with another. He's even drawn comparisons to Smith, who didn't receive the franchise tag from the Bengals. Fluker is a powerful run blocker who has had trouble with speed rushers in pass protection.

32. Baltimore Ravens

McShay's pick: Manti Te'o, ILB, Notre Dame

Hensley's comment: Based on coach John Harbaugh's reaction to Te'o's disappointing 40-yard dash, I'm not sure if he would be happy with this choice. Inside linebacker, however, is a big need for the Ravens. Baltimore also has a history of putting more weight on what a player does on game tape over results at the combine. This pick would generate a lot of buzz for the reigning Super Bowl champions.
If Manti Te'o is on the board at the bottom of the first round, I wonder if Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh will remember the Notre Dame linebacker's far-from-explosive 40-yard dash.

With a camera on Harbaugh while he was watching Te'o run, he shook his head in disappointment as Te'o was officially clocked at 4.82 seconds at the NFL scouting combine Monday. You can click here to see the unhappy reaction from Harbaugh on the NFL Network. As ESPN's Ed Werder pointed out, at least nine defensive linemen ran faster times than Te'o. Many were expecting Te'o to run in the 4.75 range. He also declined to do the bench press because of a shoulder injury.

Te'o has faced tremendous scrutiny since an embarrassing girlfriend hoax was made public to go along with his struggles in the national championship game. ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay described Te'o's combine test results as "disappointing," which could lower his draft stock.

So there is a chance that Te'o could fall down to the bottom of the first round to a Ravens team that needs inside linebackers. But, based on Harbaugh's look on the 40-yard dash, I'm not sure if the Super Bowl-winning coach would be happy about that.
I watched the Oscars to see how first-time host Seth MacFarlane would fair (for the record, I thought he got better as the night went on). I didn't expect an NFL-related announcement to come during the show. During one commercial break, ABC revealed Ravens wide receiver-returner Jacoby Jones will be on ABC's "Dancing With The Stars," beginning next month. I will put up a post on this a little later. For the issues not involving the ramba, here's your wake-up call ...

RAVENS: 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh indicated that the Super Bowl loss to the Ravens won't affect his relationship with his older brother, Ravens coach John Harbaugh. Jim said at the NFL combine that he called John a few days after the Ravens defeated the 49ers, 34-31, in New Orleans. "We just got a strong relationship, and it just always seems to get stronger," Jim Harbaugh said, via The Baltimore Sun. "Very close. We talked a little bit about the game, and some other things. We discussed some facets of the game, and some other football talk.”

BENGALS: The Bengals were one of the 20 teams who talked to Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o at the NFL combine. Te'o has been the most talked-about prospect in this draft because of a bizarre hoax involving an Internet-created girlfriend. Defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer told The Cincinnati Enquirer that the 15-minute chat focused mostly on football but everything was covered. “Some guys you can tell when they get excited talking about certain things and if they don’t," Zimmer said. "When you go back and start watching the tape I will have known a little bit about his background, watched a little more tape. He can tell you about some of the games he played good and bad in. You can talk to them a little bit about what happened on this play, what you are thinking.”

STEELERS: It may not be an issue with the Steelers that some draft prospects, like California wide receiver Keenan Allen, don't work out at the combine. As Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette points out, the Steelers drafted tight end Heath Miller first round eight years ago without seeing him workout because of injury. "Heath never worked out," general manager Kevin Colbert said. "He had a sports-hernia surgery and, to this day, I couldn't tell you what Heath Miller ran in the 40. And, quite honestly, it doesn't matter."

BROWNS: The Browns might regret not having a second-round pick to use on Florida State quarterback EJ Manuel, according to the Akron Beacon Journal's Marla Ridenour. "When he stepped to the podium, EJ Manuel of Florida State commanded it," Ridenour wrote. "At 6-foot-4 and 235 pounds, he’s an impressive physical specimen with the body of a tight end. But it was more than that. Manuel had the confidence, the presence, the aura of a star." The Browns don't have a second-round pick because they used it on wide receiver Josh Gordon in last year's supplemental draft.

Wrapping up Day 3 at the NFL combine, bloggers Paul Kuharsky, Kevin Seifert and Bill Williamson talk about Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o and Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones, two prospects who could end up in the AFC North this year.
NFC combine preview: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

NFL Nation previews the 2013 scouting combine by identifying the most important thing for each team to learn about its greatest area of need.

Baltimore Ravens: Days after the Ravens won the Super Bowl, general manager Ozzie Newsome pointed to the middle of the defense as the team's biggest need. Inside linebacker is the popular choice as the Ravens' biggest void, considering the retirement of Ray Lewis and the uncertainty with Jameel McClain (spinal cord contusion). That's why LSU's Kevin Minter has been linked to Baltimore. But Newsome was also talking about defensive tackle and safety. Nose tackle Ma'ake Kemoeatu was average at best, and backup Terrence Cody has been a disappointment. Safety could end up being the Ravens' biggest need if they are unable to re-sign Ed Reed. There always seems to be good value at that position at the bottom of the first round.

Cincinnati Bengals: Strong safety is the biggest area of concern for the Bengals. Actually, it's been a need for the past two years, but the Bengals essentially ignored it last offseason. The hope was for Taylor Mays to take over that spot. When that didn't work out, Cincinnati tried to convert cornerback Nate Clements to safety. When that didn't work out, the Bengals brought back Chris Crocker, who is merely a stopgap player. Texas' Kenny Vaccaro makes a lot of sense for the Bengals at the No. 21 pick. Florida's Matt Elam is another highly-rated prospect at safety who could start immediately. The Bengals also need to add more youth at linebacker and speed at running back.

Cleveland Browns: The hope is for the Browns to address one of their top needs -- outside linebacker and cornerback -- with the No. 6 overall pick. That means keeping their fingers crossed that either Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones or Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner will fall out of the top five. Jones and Milliner are the top prospects at their positions. The Browns are transitioning to a 3-4 defense under new coordinator Ray Horton and need to find versatile outside linebackers. Cleveland won't find a better one than Jones, who is an elite playmaker off the edge. Under Horton, the Browns are expected to blitz more, which puts more pressure on the cornerbacks. The Browns could play that style if they pair Milliner with Joe Haden.

Pittsburgh Steelers: As I addressed at length Tuesday, the Steelers need to find a way to come away with a feature running back in this draft. The biggest need on defense is at linebacker. There's a chance the Steelers could return all four starters from last season: LaMarr Woodley and James Harrison on the outside and Lawrence Timmons and Larry Foote on the inside. If Pittsburgh is able to do this, and it could take a pay cut from Harrison, no one expects this to be the starting group in 2014. Foote would be 34 by the start of 2014, and Harrison would be nearing Ray Lewis territory at 36. It would be solid forward thinking to take a linebacker with the No. 17 overall pick. Could the Steelers be the team to take Notre Dame's Manti Te'o? His showing the combine (on the field and in interviews) could determine whether or not he slips out of the top half of the first round.