FanPost

Obligatory early analysis of first three rounds for the AFC North


Like many of you, I wasn't happy about letting DeCastro go. Especially to the Steelers. That said, at this ridiculously early stage it looks like a phenomenal draft for AFC North teams. Lets look at each teams' picks:

Bengals:

CB Dre Kirkpatrick

OG Kevin Zeitler

DT Devon Still

WR Mohamed Sanu

DT Brandon Thompson

Best case scenario, the Bengals have brought in a day 1 starter at CB, RG, and WR2. With Still and Thompson, we've got a phenomenal pair of run-stuffers and Still is no slouch at getting into the pocket. Less happy results can be imagined, but this is what we're hoping for.

Browns:

RB Trent Richardson

QB Brandon Weeden

OT Mitchell Schwartz

DT John Hughes

I'm scratching my head at the John Hughes pick, but otherwise this looks like three starters. The left side of the Browns line is fantastic, but the right side is cardboard. Schwartz should be a good run blocking RT right out of the gate. We all love TR, and no one can deny how good and how brilliantly accurate Weeden was at Oklahoma St last year. I'm very skeptical of Hughes. At best he's a monster NT that occupies a couple o-linemen, and that's all. I can't imagine him bringing anything else to the table. That said, a big NT like that is a good thing to have. I just think there were far better prospects than Hughes, who would have to pack on some pounds to take on that role. Alameda Ta'amu, for example, is 40lbs heavier and far stronger. the CBSSports.com draft prospect rankings had Ta'amu as the #10 DT, #88 overall. Hughes as the #38 DT, #534 overall. Obviously I'm not the only one scratching my head here.

Ravens:

OLB Courtney Upshaw

OT Kelechi Osemele

RB Bernard Pierce

Osemele looks to be the replacement for Grubbs at OG, but he does need some refinement of his game. I think Upshaw could be the next Terrell Suggs, i.e. the guy that consistently gets into the pocket. Lots of us on here liked Bernard Pierce, but I think we were all looking at the 4th round when talking about him. The Ravens will be picking early in the 4th, and there's still a lot of talent on the board, but they've done well so far.

Steelers:

OG David DeCastro

OT Mike Adams

OLB Sean Spence

Everyone knows the O-line was the weakness of the Steelers last year. In DeCastro they have the closest thing in the draft to an absolute lock 10-year pro bowler. Adams was an LT in college, but to me he looks like the kind of nasty RT that can take two defenders out of the run play. That is, if he can make the right decisions and stay out of trouble. Sean Spence has a fantastic work ethic, speed, and intelligence, but is undersized. Then again, he's practically a mirror image of Zach Thomas physically. I love the way he reads plays and gets into position, and I really think he's going to be a good NFL LB.

All in all, I think it was a fantastic couple days for the AFC North. As long as the Bengals are drafting smart, I want the rest of the division to draft smart too. We have to beat the best to be the best, and it's looking like 2012 will be another year where the AFC North is the class of the NFL.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Cincy Jungle's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Cincy Jungle's writers or editors.

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