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AFC North Draft Roundup


Unfortunately, the Ravens weren't the only AFC North team that had a good draft.

The Steelers, Bengals and Browns all received high marks and made impact picks.

The division shaded towards defense, at least early on, which shouldn't come as a surprise in the black and blue AFC North. Each of the four teams took a defensive player with their top overall selection.

Here's a round-up of the AFC North's 2014 draft:

Baltimore Ravens

1st Round: ILB C.J. Mosley, Alabama
2nd Round: DT Timmy Jernigan, Florida State
3rd Round: S Terrence Brooks, Florida State
3rd Round: TE Crockett Gillmore, Colorado State
4th Round: DE Brent Urban, Virginia
4th Round: RB Lorenzo Taliaferro, Coastal Carolina
5th Round: C/G John Urschel, Penn State
6th Round: QB Keith Wenning, Ball State
7th Round: WR Michael Campanaro, Wake Forest

The Ravens got great value throughout their draft, particularly with their first three picks. Mosley was seen by many as a top-10 talent and is a complete linebacker. Jernigan slid because of a diluted drug sample. They got possible immediate starters in the first three rounds, bolstering their defense. Baltimore didn't address two areas of need at offensive tackle and cornerback.

Pittsburgh Steelers

1st Round: OLB Ryan Shazier, Ohio State
2nd Round: DE Stephon Tuitt, Notre Dame
3rd Round: RB Dri Archer, Kent State
4th Round: WR Martavis Bryant, Clemson
5th Round: CB Shaquille Richardson, Arizona
5th Round: OT Wesley Johnson, Vanderbilt
6th Round: ILB Jordan Zumwalt, UCLA
6th Round: DT Daniel McCullers, Tennessee
7th Round: TE Rob Blanchflower, Massachusetts

The Steelers hit every need they had, but not early. Cornerback, wide receiver and offensive line were seen as the big three. They waited until the mid-to-late rounds for each. Pittsburgh is still trying to retool an aging defense and will do so with one of the fastest linebackers in Shazier and a hulking defensive end in Tuitt, who can be impactful if healthy. The Steelers got the draft's fastest player in Archer, who ran a 4.26-second 40-yard dash. They got perhaps the biggest in McCullers, who stands in at 6-foot-7, 352 pounds. Bryant has the size-speed tools, but just one year of college production.

Cincinnati Bengals

1st Round: CB Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State
2nd Round: RB Jeremy Hill, LSU
3rd Round: DE Will Clark, West Virginia
4th Round: C Russell Bodine, North Carolina
5th Round: QB A.J. McCarron, Alabama
6th Round: OLB Marquis Flowers, Arizona
7th Round: WR James Wright, LSU
7th Round: CB Lavelle Westbrooks, Georgia Southern

There was debate about who the top cornerback in this year's draft was and some pundits had Dennard, who ended up being the third off the board at No. 24. Dennard doesn't have the ideal size, but he's a competitor and great when pressing. Hill can flash, and gives the Bengals a good combo with second-year player Giovanni Bernard. McCarron is an interesting pick, suggesting that Cincinnati may not be sold on Andy Dalton* *as the long-term answer at quarterback.

Cleveland Browns

1st Round: CB Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State
1st Round: QB Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
2nd Round: OT Joel Bitonio, Nevada
3rd Round: OLB Christian Kirksey, Iowa
3rd Round: RB Terrance West, Towson
4th Round: CB Pierre Desir, Lindenwood

The Manziel pick is the headliner. He'll certainly bring a lot of excitement back to the Browns. Cleveland moved back in the first round and still got a potential shutdown cornerback in Gilbert, who has the prototypical size and speed. Bitonio is a throwback scrappy blocker and West is a big Baltimore product with excellent feet. The huge void in the Browns' draft is at wide receiver after news came out of a looming suspension for Josh Gordon and a broken arm suffered by Nate Burleson.

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