Around the AFC North: Steelers Trade Up For Bush; Browns get Greedy; Did Bengals Draft Dalton's Successor?

042919_AroundAFCN

Steelers: Add Devin Bush's name to Ravens-Steelers rivalry

The Steelers lost a couple of big names this offseason, trading wide receiver Antonio Brown to the Oakland Raiders and watching running back Le'Veon Bell sign with the New York Jets. But after trading up to draft inside linebacker Devin Bush with the 10th pick overall, the Steelers believe they have landed a future star on defense.

"We thought that highly of him," Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert said about trading up to get Bush. "I don't want to say it was an easy trade to make, but it was easy in our minds to pick him with the 10th pick. So we did what we had to do."

Bush was one of the premier players in college football at Michigan, and it was not surprising to see him drafted in the top 10. Most scouts rated Bush and Devin White of LSU, who went No. 5 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as the top two inside linebackers by a wide margin.

The Steelers announced Monday that they had put linebacker Ryan Shazier on the PUP list for the second straight season. But Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin hopes he has another game-changing linebacker in Bush.

"I mean what I said, and I said he's an exciting, all-situations linebacker," Tomlin said. "To have that type of athleticism in the second level of a defense I think is critical in today's NFL."

Browns: Greedy Williams says Browns will back up high expectations

Even without a first-round pick, the Browns continued to make offseason noise by trading up in the second round to draft LSU cornerback Greedy Williams at No. 46. Some scouts rated Williams as the best corner in the draft, although he may have fallen to the second round due to concern about his tackling ability.

Browns General Manager John Dorsey doesn't share those concerns.

"I have no problem with his tackling," Dorsey said. "He will get you down. Corners are paid to cover. The tackling aspect, just get the guy down."

The Browns haven't made the playoffs since 2002, but some view them as the team to beat in the AFC North, especially after trading for star wide receiver Odell Beckham. Williams hasn't played a down for the Browns yet, but he's adding to the hype.

"I know one thing – the Browns are going to the Super Bowl this year," said Williams on a conference call with Browns media. "That's a fact."

The Browns already have one cornerback, Denzel Ward, who made the Pro Bowl last season as a rookie. Williams says he's capable of doing the same thing.

"Me and Denzel, we are going to tear up the league," Williams said. "You can go man on the outside all day, and we will lock down those receivers. Possibly we can be the two Pro Bowl corners in the league playing for the same team."

Bengals trade up to draft QB, but their head coach backs Dalton as starter

Cincinnati traded up in the fourth round to take quarterback Ryan Finley of North Carolina State. That led to immediate speculation about the long-term status of Bengals starting quarterback Andy Dalton, who is signed through 2020.

Zac Taylor, Cincinnati's first-year head coach, reemphasized that Dalton remains the starter.

"I know that the questions come any time you draft a quarterback in those top couple rounds," Taylor said at his post-draft press conference. "Andy is our starting quarterback and we're very encouraged by Andy after two days working with him on the field. He's the type of quarterback that I think will play really well in the system."

However, coming off a 6-10 season, the Bengals are starting fresh and every player on the roster will be evaluated by the new coaching staff. How Dalton plays this season, and how quickly Finley develops, will have a bearing on what the Bengals do at quarterback moving forward. 

Asked if he talked to Dalton before the Bengals drafted Finley, Taylor said, "It's not a requirement. I would say I'm in constant communication with Andy almost every day, about football and everything else. We talk just about every day. When you take a quarterback, it comes up. But I was planning on talking to Andy whether we took one or not."

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