Some pretty interesting developments are popping up around the AFC North.
Who are the Ravens looking to draft in the first round? And Ryan Shazier will take all of 2018 to recover from his spinal injury.
The Browns now have a few more options at quarterback in free agency
The Vikings seem to be looking to enter the Kirk Cousins sweepstakes as they won’t tag Keenum and they don’t plan on bringing Bridgewater back either. These add a few more names to the class that already included AJ McCarron.
Bridgewater was of course a prized quarterback of the 2014 draft. He suffered a terrible injury before the 2016 season that led the Vikings to trade for Sam Bradford. Then in 2017 when Bradford went down Keenum came in and had a terrific season throwing over 22 touchdowns and only seven interceptions.
Many assumed the Vikings would at least keep one of these quarterbacks considering they have had some success with them, but it seems they are going for the all or nothing approach by going for Cousins.
Could the Browns pull a mulligan and sign Bridgewater after the team passed on him in favor of Johnny Manziel in 2014?
Or, could they bring in a one-year wonder in Keenum hoping he could replicate that success?
At the very least, this hurts McCarron’s value as the market is getting deeper and deeper as far as quarterbacks are concerned. He will probably still end as a starter somewhere, but it will be hard for teams to choose McCarron over a Keenum or Bridgewater.
If they Browns add any of these players you still shouldn’t rule them out on drafting a quarterback in the top five of the upcoming draft.
What could the Ravens do in the first round?
The Ravens are in a weird spot of the first round. They have a huge need at receiver after the passing offense was clearly lacking last season. However, there probably won’t be a game breaking receiver sitting for them at 16. This leads to the question of what will they do?
Odds are if they really like Calvin Ridley, the receiver from Alabama, then they will trade up to make sure they get him. The Ravens haven’t really been shy about being aggressive about acquiring players that they think can come in and help them. They do it every offseason, and they usually aren’t afraid to move up during the draft either.
The alternative could be them adding an offensive linemen. Probably at the tackle position. They likely won’t have their pick of the top three tackles in Orlando Brown, Mike McGlinchey and Connor Williams. However, unless a crazy unexpected run happens at that position at least one of those guys will be available at 16.
Realistically though, unless the Ravens sign a premiere receiver in free agency, they have to move up and get Ridley to try and salvage this struggling offense in Baltimore.
Ryan Shazier will miss the 2018 season
The Steelers General Manager told the press at the Scouting Combine that Shazier will miss the 2018 season. This is obviously a huge blow for the Steelers organization and especially their defense, which fell apart without their leader in the middle. Still, this injury goes beyond football.
At some point, you just have to hope that he will regain the strength to be able to walk on his own again, and be able to enjoy his life. That is the bigger concern over whether he ever puts on a jersey again.
Shazier suffered his injury making a tackle during the last game between the Steelers and Bengals. He was carted off the field and sent to the hospital. He recently has gained enough feeling in his legs to be able to stand, but he still isn’t walking without assistance. Rivalry aside, person-to-person, here is hoping Shazier has a speedy recovery.