Pittsburgh Steelers: Offensive Line Or Running Back?
Pittsburgh's offensive line is in flux, leaving an obvious draft need. Longtime center Maurkice Pouncey retired, offensive tackle Matt Feiler signed with the Los Angeles Chargers, and free agent offensive tackle Alejandro Villaneuva has reportedly met with the Ravens.
That leaves the Steelers potentially hunting for an offensive lineman with the 23rd pick.Versatile offensive lineman Teven Jenkins of Oklahoma State, who has also been linked to the Ravens, is someone Pittsburgh could have on its radar.
The Steelers could also be one of the first teams to draft a running back after they ranked last in the NFL in rushing yards per game last season (84.4) and James Conner went to the Arizona Cardinals in free agency. That could be Alabama's Najee Harris or Clemson's Travis Etienne, and it's clear who Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster is rooting for.
"Najee Harris, man, one of the best running backs out there that would fit for our team," Smith-Schuster said on “The Michael Irvin” podcast. "If we had him, it would be cool."
However, some analysts such as Damien Woody of ESPN believe the offensive line is Pittsburgh’s top priority.
Cincinnati Bengals: Penei Sewell Is Obvious Choice at No. 5, But a Playmaker Could Be Tempting
Debate continues about what the Bengals should do with their enviable draft position at No. 5.
They are expected to take one of three premier prospects – Oregon tackle Penei Sewell, LSU wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase or Florida tight end Kyle Pitts.
Some scouts believe Sewell has Hall of Fame potential as a left tackle. Chase had 20 touchdown catches and 1,780 receiving yards in his last year of college football, and Pitts is being called the best tight end prospect since future Hall of Famer Rob Gronkowski.
There's no question the Bengals need to improve protection for franchise quarterback Joe Burrow, who was sacked 44 times in just 10 games last season before suffering a season-ending knee injury. However, in his latest mock draft, Peter King of NBC Sports sees the Bengals passing on Sewell to take Pitts, a former college teammate of Burrow's. Cincinnati signed veteran left tackle Riley Reiff this offseason.
"This exercise is trying to project what they will do, not should do," King wrote. "They're fine at wideout with Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins. But the Bengals have always prioritized receivers and this is still Mike Brown's team."
Some pundits believe the Bengals would be foolish not to take Sewell if he's available, and the debate figures to continue until the Bengals are on the clock.
"If the Cincinnati Bengals don't draft an offensive tackle, they should be disbanded and revoked from the NFL," ESPN draft analyst Mike Tannenbaum said via SI.com. "They cannot go out on the field this year unless they draft offensive tackle Penei Sewell with the fifth pick."
Cleveland Browns: A Defensive Line Addition Would Fill a Need
After releasing veteran defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson last week, the Browns figure to search for defensive line help. However, NFL Network draft expert Daniel Jeremiah says this year's defensive tackle class is one of the thinnest in years. In his most recent mock draft, Jeremiah has the Browns taking Kentucky linebacker Jamin Davis.
Cleveland has already signed veteran edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney, and adding another linebacker to join Myles Garrett and Clowney might be the Browns' choice. A lineman that Jeremiah believes the Browns will consider is defensive end Joe Tryon of Washington.
"His effort is exceptional," Jeremiah said via clevelandbrowns.com. "He can make an impact on all three downs and should get on the field right away for the team that drafts him."
The Browns have plenty of ammunition in this year's draft with nine picks overall, including a first (No. 26), second (No. 59) and two thirds (No. 89 and 91).