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Around the AFC North: Draft Recap; Mel Kiper Gives B Grade to Every Rival

Left: Browns CB Martin Emerson; Center: Steelers QB Kenny Pickett; Right: Bengals S Daxton Hill

The Ravens had the best draft in the AFC North according to Mel Kiper. Baltimore was the only team in the division to receive an A from ESPN's draft guru, while Kiper gave a B to everyone else.

Here's a full recap of each AFC North foe's draft, including pundits' grades:

Pittsburgh Steelers

Round 1 (20) – QB Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh

Round 2 (52) – WR George Pickens, Georgia

Round 3 (84) – DE DeMarvin Leal, Texas A&M

Round 4 (138) – WR Calvin Austin II, Memphis

Round 6 (208) – FB Connor Heyward, Michigan State

Round 7 (225) – ILB Mark Robinson, Mississippi

Round 7 (241) – QB Chris Oladokun, South Dakota State

"I liked Malik Willis a little bit more than Kenny Pickett, but I can't fault the Steelers for going with the local quarterback. My comp for Pickett? Some Derek Carr, some Andy Dalton. Teams can win with that. The important part is that the front office didn't have to move up to get him, so this is solid value in a strange draft when Pickett was the only signal-caller selected in the first two rounds. Wide receivers George Pickens and Calvin Austin III are nice replacements for JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Washington. Pickens is more of the Washington role -- he'll catch some fades down the sideline -- while the diminutive dynamo Austin will line up mostly out of the slot and rack up yards after the catch. Defensive lineman DeMarvin Leal looked like a future first-rounder at times in 2020, but he struggled for consistency last season. He has some versatility along the Pittsburgh front. Conner Heyward is my top-ranked fullback in the class, and he'll join his brother, Cam, in the yellow and black."

"Austin's a nice complement to Pickens in the early fourth round, and I projected Pittsburgh selecting Pro Bowler Cam Heyward's brother, Connor, in the sixth round ofmy seven-round mock draft as a fullback/H-back. Oladokun has the mobility and arm to work his way into a roster spot this year or next, if he ends up on the practice squad for 2022. The team needed depth on defense, as well, but since no selections were made on that side of the ball, you can bet they will try to land some undrafted rookie free agents."

"Loved the two receiver picks for Pittsburgh, the prospects themselves and when they were selected. Kenny Pickett ahead of Malik Willis was questionable. DeMarvin Leal is a classic Steelers defensive lineman who can learn from Cam Heyward and Stephon Tuitt. The later rounds didn't feature any steals."

Pro Football Focus: B+

"Landing a quarterback without having to trade up is a big win for Pittsburgh, but taking Kenny Pickett is not. There's some serious concern with how his game translates to the NFL. George Pickens carries some risk given his medical history and unknowns off the field, but there's no denying he possesses true "X" receiver potential. He's physical with a massive catch radius, elite ball skills and good acceleration. Before his final season, DeMarvin Leal was seen as a high first-round prospect. Calvin Austin's size is going to be a limiting factor in the NFL — there's no way around that. Nonetheless, this still looks like good value for a dynamic playmaker like Austin."

Cincinnati Bengals

Round 1 (31) – S Daxton Hill, Michigan

Round 2 (60) – CB Cam Taylor-Britt, Nebraska

Round 3 (95) – DT Zachary Carter, Florida

Round 4 (136) – OT Cordell Volson, North Dakota State

Round 5 (166) – S Tycen Anderson, Toledo

Round 7 (252) – DE Jeffrey Gunter, Coastal Carolina

Kiper: B

"The Super Bowl runners-up didn't have many picks, but they made their first two count. board. Daxton Hill has excellent upside as a defensive back who can play as a slot corner and a deep safety and can even get some snaps outside. I thought he'd go about 10 picks higher than he did, so I love this one. If there's a minor quibble with the early picks, it's with defensive tackle Zachary Carter. Yes, he fills a need with Larry Ogunjo unsigned, but I didn't see an NFL starter when I watched his tape. That was a reach. And you could make the case the Bengals should have taken Travis Jones over Taylor-Britt at No. 60 and found a better immediate defensive tackle replacement there." A-

"Cincinnati reacted to the team's disappointing pass defense in the Super Bowl loss by selecting two versatile athletes in Hill and Taylor-Britt to bolster the secondary. Carter has potential as an inside playmaker, but time will tell if he was the best option at that position of need. Volson is a tough player who shifted between guard and tackle for the Bison. Anderson's speed/tenacious nature and Gunter's power on the edge made them very good Day 3 selections."

CBS Sports: B-

"I like the prospects the Bengals picked, especially Cam Taylor-Britt in Round 2. I didn't feel the secondary was such an overt need though. Jeffrey Gunter can outplay his draft position, but will be a bit buried on the edge-rusher depth chart and Zachary Carter felt early in Round 3."

Pro Football Focus: B+

"Hill produced a top-10 coverage slot coverage grade among Power Five defensive backs from 2020 to 2021. Cam Taylor-Britt has improved his PFF grade every year of his collegiate career and allowed a reception on just 53% of his targets in 2021. He's got great closing speed and physicality with the versatility to play any position in the Bengals' secondary. Florida's Zachary Carter didn't even crack PFF's top-200 on the final draft board. He earned 80.0-plus PFF grades in only two games in his Florida career and finished the 2021 season with just a 78.1 PFF grade. He also didn't grade particularly well at the 2022 Reese's Senior Bowl. Volson is an older prospect who has some physicality concerns."

Cleveland Browns

Round 3 (68) – CB Martin Emerson, Mississippi State

Round 3 (78) – DE Alex Wright, Alabama-Birmingham

Round 3 (99) – WR David Bell, Purdue

Round 4 (108) – DT Perrion Winfrey, Oklahoma

Round 4 (124) – K Cade York, LSU

Round 5 (156) – RB Jerome Ford, Cincinnati

Round 6 (202) – WR Michael Woods II, Oklahoma

Round 7 (223) – DE Isaiah Thomas, Oklahoma

Round 7 (246) – C Dawson Deaton, Texas Tech

Kiper: B

"Most of Cleveland's early draft capital (now and for the next couple of years) is tied up in th Deshaun Watson trade.  Even with the addition of Amari Cooper, I thought the Browns would attempt to add a wideout with one of those picks, and that's exactly where they went. David Bell dropped because of his speed -- he ran a 4.65-second 40 at the combine -- but he put up huge numbers at Purdue. He could be a nice target on curls and crossers because of his sure hands. Perrion Winfrey is a nice value pick; I thought he could go 50 picks earlier. As a 3-technique tackle, he can wreak havoc against centers and guards. I bet his Oklahoma teammate Isaiah Thomas will make the team as a rotational edge rusher too. It's tough to get starters without picks until Round 3, but I thought Cleveland did a good job with what it had." B

"Emerson, Wright and Bell all met needs and provided good value at premium positions. Getting the aggressive, quick Winfrey at the three-technique spot in the fourth round was a steal, as was selecting his teammate, Thomas, as a power end in the seventh round. Ford, an Alabama transfer, is vastly underrated."

CBS Sports: A-

"Hats off to the Browns for crushing the draft despite not having a first- or second-round pick. They traded back into Round 3 then starting heating up. Martin Emerson is a long, well-rounded corner. Alex Wright has massive upside. David Bell is slow but a darn-good wideout. Perrion Winfrey is precisely the type at defensive tackle Cleveland needed. The two seventh-round picks -- Isaiah Thomas and Dawson Deaton -- were two of my favorite sleepers I felt should've been picked much earlier."

Pro Football Focus: B

"Martin Emerson may prove to be a better player in the NFL than in college, where he was miscast in a system that didn't quite play to his strengths. Alex Wright was one of the best-graded edge rushers in the nation in 2021, earning a 90.4 PFF grade at UAB after two solid years and a consistently improving pass-rushing grade. Bell is slow and fell down boards as a result, but he still was a super productive wideout."

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