Well, it’s that amazing time again! Time for the NFL Draft to come in and completely make all of our mock drafts and analysis’ looked absolutely ridiculous. We can play the guessing game on multiple levels. No one knows who the first pick will be and no one knows who the last pick will be. We can only guess, have dreams, and hope that the future players our NFL teams choose, will pan out and help us reach the goal of becoming World Champions. For my first ever mock draft, I focused specifically on my home division of the AFC North. The Steelers, Ravens, Bengals, and Browns are all unique in their own way. I describe the Steelers and Ravens as the big brothers of always knock down the little brothers in the Bengals and Browns. Occasionally, the little brothers get a good punch or two in. But let’s be honest. When was the last time the Bengals and Browns were relevant? As an all-around NFL fan, I’d love to see new blood attempt to take the title of AFC North Champion. Hopefully, in this mock draft, I will show where each team can improve. I will be doing the first round and I will include both an offensive player and defensive player for each pick. I will give a legitimate reason for each pick. I hope you guys enjoy! So here we Go!
Round 1 Offensive Picks:
Browns – 1st Overall Pick Mitchell Trubisky QB, North Carolina: Obvious need. Who is the Quarterback for the Browns? Cody Kessler? Time for some new blood and someone who they can hopefully, finally, build the offense around.
12th Overall Pick OJ Howard TE, Alabama: A quarterback’s safety net is the Tight End. A new quarterback would love an extremely athletic target with great hands and the ability to block. Gary Barnridge is a good TE as well. Look at the New England Patriots. You can never have enough Tight Ends.
Bengals – 9th Overall Pick Dalvin Cook RB Florida State: Gio Bernard cannot hold a full work load. Jeremy Hill has been a disappointment for the past couple of years and is a free agent next year. They also lost Rex Burkhead to the Patriots. Dalvin Cook can take some carries early and assume a fulltime roll in 2018.
Ravens – 16th Overall Pick Cam Robinson OT, Alabama: This isn’t the “WOW” pick that the Ravens fans were hoping for. However, I slotted a OL here for 2 reasons. They lost Ricky Wagner in free agency. However, it is not a huge loss, it still leaves a hole on the right side of the line. The second reason is Joe Flacco hasn’t have good protection in years. If he can stay upright, maybe he will turn back into the gunslinger he once was.
Steelers 30th Overall Pick Deshaun Watson QB Clemson: Okay…. As a Steelers fan, this hurts me on multiple levels to even slot a QB in this position. Our future Hall of Fame Quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, was talking about retirement after the loss to the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game. Ben is 36 years old. It wouldn’t hurt to consider this a value pick as Watson will not be a day one started. Give him 2 years to learn the playbook and once Big Ben says farewell, we will see if he pans out with the Steelers by 2019 to 2020. Remember the Favre/Rodgers plan… That worked out good.
Round 1 Defensive Picks:
Browns 1st Overall Pick Myles Garrett DE Texas A&M: The best player in this year’s draft. I really don’t need to put any notes here. To win games, you must rush the Quarterback. This kid can do that without any question. The pick would be in before the clock ever starts running at the draft.
12th Overall Pick Marlon Humphrey CB Alabama: Outside of Joe Haden (who is aging), they Browns have no other Corners on the team that can cover the receivers in the AFC North. Joe Haden needs a running mate and he finally gets his guy.
Bengals 9th Overall Pick Derek Barnett DE Tennessee: Pass rush, pass rush, pass rush. I cannot say that enough. The Bengals have an aging defensive line. This can be an immediate impact player or a wait and see type of pick. If he pans out, he can give the defensive line some life for the next decade.
Ravens 16th Overall Pick Haason Reddick LB Temple: This kid blew up the combine. He can pass rush, cover, set the edge. He is my favorite linebacker coming out this year. Elvis has left the building and Suggs is about 2 steps behind him. He can be groomed as a pass rusher. Can you imagine a OLB/DE tandem of Correa and Reddick in about 2 years? They can hurt many feelings in the years to come.
Steelers 30th Overall Pick TJ Watt OLB Wisconsin: Well well well… another LB pick for the Steelers. Are you even surprised? Bud Dupree has finally come into his own. I’m excited to see what he is going to bring with a full season under his belt. The last 6 weeks of the season were amazing! James Harrison is a freak. Who knows when he will stop? He may never stop. But Tj Watt is a good insurance policy for the team who may develop into a future starter. Plus, his brother JJ isn’t too bad down in Houston.
Guys, there you have it. My first AFC North Draft. I hope you guys enjoyed. Thanks for reading! I look forward to submitting more things to Littube and Max Literature Group in the future~