Baltimore Ravens: B+
The Ravens went all in on giving Lamar Jackson everything they possibly could. Willie Snead IV was the only halfway decent receiver on the roster before the additions of first round pick Marquise Brown and third round pick Myles Boykin. They even drafted Oklahoma G Ben Powers in the 4th round to help bolster a good-but-not-great offensive line and the fastest running back in the draft in Justice Hill to round out their young quarterback’s supporting cast.
On defense, Baltimore replaced Terrell Suggs with third round pick “Sack Daddy” Jaylen Ferguson of Louisiana Tech and added depth at DT and CB. However, the loss of star linebacker C.J. Mosley to the Jets would have been hard enough to fix in the first place, but the Ravens didn’t even attempt to do so. Leaving a glaring hole at such a critical position is a tough pill to swallow.
Cincinnati Bengals: B
Drafting Bama offensive tackle Jonah Williams with the #11 overall pick was the highlight of their draft and one of the better picks of the first round. On day 2, things took a bit of a hit. Using a second round pick on a tight end, especially after Irv Smith Jr. was off the board, doesn’t make much sense with Tyler Eifert and C.J. Uzomah already in the roster.
The Bengals finally got around to patching their biggest need at linebacker in the third round with OLB Germaine Pratt out of NC State and then Auburn LB Deshaun Davis in the 6th, as well as finding a possible partner for Geno Atkins at DT in 4th round pick Renell Wren. Add to that a possible successor to Andy Dalton in NC State’s Ryan Finley in the fourth round led to a solid day 3. Still, positions of need were skipped over on day 2, which may come back to hurt them.
Cleveland Browns: A
If you weren’t hyped for the Browns before this draft, you definitely should be now. Cleveland didn’t bow to temptation and held steady without a first round pick (who the fans consider to be Odell Beckham Jr.), then went all in on day 2. CB Greedy Williams (who boldly declared a super bowl run in 2019) was arguably the best corner in the draft, and will be the AJ Bouye to Denzel Ward’s Jalen Ramsey. Third Round LB Sione Takitaki will help anchor a linebacker corps that struggled to finish tackles in 2018. Day 3 bolstered depth at safety and brought in another steal in Alabama LB Mack Wilson in the 5th round, as well as a possible kicker of the future in Austin Siebert. The agressive drafting signals a shift in Cleveland’s priorities. The Browns are back and ready to win again.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Incomplete
The Steelers went all in to fill their biggest hole on the defense with LB Devin Bush out of Michigan. This could either be their front seven’s return to prominence after the tragic injury to Ryan Shazier, but it could also blow up in their face. Pittsburgh traded this year’s 2nd round pick (in a year where most agreed that the real value was in the second and third rounds) and next year’s 3rd round pick to move up 10 spots. Until we get an answer on if Devin Bush is legit, the Steelers get a grade of “incomplete,” with a grade of B for their later round selections.
Cover Photo: Draft Diamonds
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