Saturday, April 28, 2012
AFC North: Second and third rounds
By Jamison Hensley
The best way to follow the draft is ESPN's DraftTracker. Here's a sampling of that in an AFC North roundup of the second and third rounds:
Second round: 53. DT Devon Still, Penn State. DraftTracker: The Bengals like to use a deep DL rotation and they prefer to attack the QB without a lot of blitzes, although they will as necessary. The thing that makes Still unique is the fact that he has some good inside penetrating skills that can disrupt a quarterback.
Third round: 83. WR Mohamed Sanu, Rutgers. DraftTracker: Their need is for a No. 2 guy outside. They have some decent slot candidates for their No. 3 receiver, but that's where Sanu may actually fit. He can also help them on third down and in the red zone.
Third round: 93. DT Brandon Thompson, Clemson. DraftTracker: The Bengals continue to build the inside of this defense with two defensive tackles and they already have decent starters. They now have the luxury of having an excellent inside rotation with Thompson as a strong inside penetrator.
Second round: 37. OT Mitchell Schwartz, California. DraftTracker: Schwartz is a big, physical guy who will likely step in immediately as a starter at right tackle to pair with Joe Thomas. He will be a better run blocker than pass protector.
Third round: 87. DT John Hughes, Cincinnati. DraftTracker: This was a bad run defense a year ago and they were not physical enough inside in their 4-3 scheme. Hughes is a power-type guy who should be able to clog the middle and give them a little better inside rotation than most people realize.
Second round: 35. OLB Courtney Upshaw, Alabama. DraftTracker: He is the perfect fit for Baltimore's aggressive 3-4 aggressive defense. He should be excellent off the edge as a pass-rusher and run defender.
Second round: 60. OT Kelechi Osemele, Iowa State. DraftTracker: This offensive line is in a little bit of a transition phase at LOG, where the Ravens lost a good player in Ben Grubbs in free agency. They thought about moving one of their OTs inside to fill the hole, but Osemele takes away that need. He will be expected to step right in at LOG and become an immediate starter.
Third round: 84. RB Bernard Pierce, Temple. DraftTracker: His main role appears to be to give Ray Rice some carries off and not make Rice carry the entire load. Pierce has good size and should be a nice complementary two-down back but don't expect much out of him in the passing game.
Second round: 56. OT Mike Adams, Ohio State. DraftTracker: He is a big, gifted athlete. You would think they could move Gilbert back to ROT and insert Adams at LOT.
Third round: 86. OLB Sean Spence, Miami. DraftTracker: With James Farrior gone, they really need to develop the depth inside. Their young guys right now are mostly on special teams. With Lawrence Timmons able to play inside or outside, Spence is an inside guy that might be able to play all three downs and contribute in pass situations.