Updating AFC North draft needs

April, 29, 2011
4/29/11
3:00
PM ET
The NFL draft will continue at 6 p.m. ET Friday with the second and third rounds, which will give each AFC North team another opportunity to add talent to its roster.

Here is a preview of what to look for in the division:

Cincinnati Bengals

Picks: No. 35 and No. 66

Updated needs: As we mentioned today, it's no secret the Bengals are desperate for a quarterback. ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported Cincinnati was even willing to trade up to the final pick of the first round with the Green Bay Packers, presumably to draft TCU quarterback Andy Dalton. Now the Bengals have to see what happens tonight with two teams ahead of them in the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills. Via draft or trade, both could be major players in the quarterback sweepstakes, and the Bengals cannot afford to leave this weekend without someone to throw rookie receiver A.J. Green the football. Dalton and Arkansas' Ryan Mallett are the two most NFL-ready quarterbacks remaining. Cincinnati also has various needs on defense, which haven't been addressed. Look for the Bengals to add help on that side of the ball Friday in addition to trying to solve this quarterback quandary.

Cleveland Browns

Picks: No. 37 and No. 59

Updated needs: The Browns have a lot of needs, which is why Cleveland pulled off a shrewd trade with the Atlanta Falcons in exchange for five draft picks over the next two years. The deal gives the Browns two quality picks to use in the second round today. Despite medical issues, Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers might be a good value at No. 37. He was a projected top-10 pick until knee questions dropped him out of the first round. The Browns would first have to determine how comfortable they are with Bowers' health before selecting him. Cleveland also is switching to a West Coast offense and wide receiver remains a big concern. There are several top names still on the board at receiver, including Maryland's Torrey Smith, Boise State's Titus Young and Kentucky's Randall Cobb.

Baltimore Ravens

Picks: No. 58 and No. 90

Updated needs: The Ravens took a major character risk in the first round with Jimmy Smith at cornerback. But some gaping holes remain at offensive tackle and outside linebacker. The Ravens passed on good prospects at both positions Thursday. Five offensive tackles were taken in the first round, which could make it tough to find good value later in the draft. Villanova's Benjamin Ijalana and Florida's Marcus Gilbert are among the top-rated tackles left on the board. But after that it gets very thin. In terms of pass-rushers, the Ravens still have several quality targets available in Arizona's Brooks Reed, UCLA's Akeem Ayers and Georgia's Justin Houston. Any of the three could provide good value in the second and third rounds and help Pro Bowl defensive end/linebacker Terrell Suggs get to the quarterback this upcoming season.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Picks: No. 63 and No. 95

Updated needs: I would be shocked if the Steelers do not draft a cornerback by the end of today. Pittsburgh felt former Ohio State defensive end Cameron Heyward was too good to pass up at No. 31. But now the team still has to address its biggest need later in the draft. Fortunately for the Steelers, solid prospects remain at cornerback. Secondary players such as Texas' Aaron Williams, Miami's Brandon Harris and Virginia's Ras-I Dowling are all available. Whether any of these players make it to the bottom of the second round remains to be seen. Pittsburgh might have to trade up to land one of the corners. The Steelers also could use depth at offensive tackles. But as we mentioned with Baltimore, Thursday's run at that position leaves the market pretty thin in the second and third rounds.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?

Insider

NFL SCOREBOARD

Sunday, 2/2
WEEKLY LEADERS