- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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ESPN.com has completed its annual blogger mock draft, and the picks for the AFC North were made in part by our community.
We put together a draft board last week, and like a good general manager, I stayed true to our board with every pick. Here were the results for the AFC North:
Cincinnati Bengals (No. 4 overall)
Pick: LSU CB Patrick Peterson
PetersonAnalysis: The Bengals can be unpredictable with personnel decisions, and I have my doubts they will follow our draft strategy. But "Bengaldom" agreed that Peterson is the safest pick and perhaps the best player in this draft, and Cincinnati cannot afford to take any huge risks at No. 4. Peterson was the highest-rated player on our board. Thanks to the early run on quarterbacks -- Cam Newton went No. 1 to Carolina and Blaine Gabbert No. 3 to Buffalo -- Peterson was there for the taking. The Bengals should have a feel by now if No. 1 corner Johnathan Joseph can be re-signed in free agency. An educated guess is several teams will be ready to offer Joseph more money on the open market. So Peterson could step right in and make an immediate impact on defense and special teams.
Cleveland Browns (No. 6)
Pick: Georgia WR A.J. Green
GreenAnalysis: This was the pick that made me cringe. I think Green is a tremendous talent, but I'm against taking receivers in the top 10. Yet Browns scouts in our community voted Green as their top choice, moving the receiver to No. 2 overall on our draft board. Alabama defensive lineman Marcell Dareus went No. 2 to Denver. So I saw this coming as the draft was unfolding. I would have gone defense here, either with North Carolina defensive end Robert Quinn or Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley, but majority ruled. As GM, I have to answer to the media if this pick doesn't pan out. So Green better be a star in Cleveland, Browns scouts, or I'm handing out pink slips.
Baltimore Ravens (No. 26)
Pick: Ohio State DE Cameron Heyward
HeywardAnalysis: Players were flying off the board for Baltimore more than any team in the division. Is this a preview of what's going to take place on Thursday? Out of our top-five choices, three were gone by the time the Ravens were up with the No. 26 pick. Heyward was our fourth choice, but it's still a solid selection. He adds youth to the defensive line and also has the ability to get to the quarterback. Florida center Mike Pouncey (No. 15 to Miami), Colorado corner Jimmy Smith (No. 23 Philadelphia) and Purdue defensive end Ryan Kerrigan (No. 16 to Jacksonville) were all taken several picks earlier.
Pittsburgh Steelers (No. 31)
Pick: Texas CB Aaron Williams
WilliamsAnalysis: The Steelers were probably the most fortunate AFC North team in this blogger mock draft. Four of their top-five players were still available at No. 31, which was unexpected. That included their two cornerbacks in Williams and Miami's Brandon Harris. Both corners can help Pittsburgh immediately. But Williams' versatility and physicality gave him an edge. If this scenario played out later this week, Pittsburgh would be more than happy to have to choose between these two corners.
Do you agree or disagree with this year's blogger mock draft picks? Voice your opinion in the comment section below.
2dEric D. Williams
2dEric D. Williams