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Around the AFC North: Draft Preview for Ravens' Division Rivals


Cincinnati Bengals: Improving Run Defense Will Be a Focus

2024 Draft Picks: 10

Round 1, 18th overall

Round 2, 49

Round 3, 80 & 97

Round 4, 115

Round 5, 149

Round 6, 194, 214

Round 7, 224, 237

Biggest Needs

Defensive tackle – Longtime starting nose tackle D.J. Reader signed with the Lions during free agency, and the Bengals want to strengthen a defense that ranked 26th against the run.

Wide receiver – Tyler Boyd remains a free agent as of Monday, and Tee Higgins may only stay for one more season after being designated for the franchise tag.

Offensive line – Even after signing right tackle Trent Brown in free agency, the Bengals want more offensive line depth and protecting quarterback Joe Burrow is always a huge priority.

Possible First Round Targets

OT J.C. Latham, Alabama – "Addressing offensive tackle is a must for the Bengals, even with Trent Brown signing a one-year deal with the team. In a draft that is stacked at the position, they should be able to stay patient and have a talented player fall to them." – Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Network

OT Taliese Fuaga, Oregon State – "This feels like a dream scenario for Cincinnati, which can continue to invest along the offensive line even after inking Trent Brown to a one-year deal. Fuaga epitomizes toughness on the field but also has nifty feet and agility to hold up as a pass-protector against speedy edge rushers." – Field Yates, ESPN

DT Byron Murphy II, Penn State – "Losing DJ Reader hurts the middle of the Bengals' defense, but Murphy is an explosive wrecking ball on the interior. He's a stout and high-effort run defender, and he's actually even more disruptive as a pass-rusher, where his sudden movements help him quickly beat blockers. Murphy is an easy selection at this spot after the Bengals allowed a league-high 6 yards per play last season." – Jordan Reid,

Pittsburgh Steelers: Offensive Line Protection for Russell Wilson Could Be Arriving

2024 Draft Picks: 7

Round 1: 20

Round 2: 51

Round 3: 84, 98

Round 4: 119

Round 6: 178, 195

Biggest Needs

Offensive line – The Steelers need to replace Mason Cole, who was cut after starting every game at center in 2022 and 2023. Broderick Jones started right tackle last season, but Pittsburgh believes his future could be at left tackle. This draft is deep at the offensive tackle position and the Steelers could address that position on Day 1 or 2.

Wide receiver – After trading Dionte Johnson to Carolina, the Steelers are looking for more playmakers to take pressure off George Pickens. New quarterback Russell Wilson loves to throw deep, and this draft is loaded with receivers who could become a new weapon in Pittsburgh's offense.

Defensive tackle – Cam Heyward is 34 years old and coming off an injury-plagued season. The Steelers could use some fresh legs in their defensive line rotation to help All-Pro edge rusher T.J. Watt.

Possible First Round Targets

OT Tyler Guyton, Oklahoma – "The Steelers have undergone a complete makeover at quarterback, but they still need an upgrade at tackle to play opposite last year's first-round pick, Broderick Jones." – Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Network

G Jackson Powers-Johnson, Oregon – "The Steelers should be looking to upgrade either center or right guard right along with offensive tackle, and JPJ's presence would be a much welcome boost to their overall blocking to help 2023 free-agent addition Issac Seumalo." – Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News

C/G Graham Barton, Duke – "Cornerback, wide receiver, center -- I wouldn't be surprised with any of these positions for Pittsburgh, which has made a few intriguing additions this offseason. The Steelers parted ways with starting pivot Mason Cole in February, and taking Barton, my top-ranked center, might even be an upgrade. Barton played center as a freshman but spent the past three seasons at left tackle for the Blue Devils, and I see his pro future along the interior. He allowed just three sacks over the past two seasons." – Mel Kiper, ESPN

Cleveland Browns: Without a Day 1 Pick, Hitting on Days 2 & 3 Will Be Key

2024 Draft Picks: 6

Round 2: 54

Round 3: 85

Round 5: 156

Round 6: 206

Round 7: 227, 243

Biggest Needs

Defensive line: The Browns are looking for pass rushers and defensive linemen to take advantage of the double teams drawn by Defensive Player of the Year Myles Garrett.

Running back: The timetable for Nick Chubb's return is uncertain after his major knee injury last season, and Cleveland could look for a Day 2 or 3 running back to add juice to their ground game.

Tight end: Starter David Njoku had his best season last year (81 catches, 882 yards, 6 touchdowns), but the Browns could look for a quality backup who's also a strong blocker.

Possible Second Round Targets

DT Braden Fiske, Florida State – "Cleveland, without a first-round pick as a result of the Deshaun Watson trade from March 2022, could look for a wide receiver or offensive lineman in Round 2, but I see depth along the D-line as a more pressing hole. Fiske, my second-ranked defensive tackle, had a stellar combine workout, showing top-level physical traits. He had six sacks last season at FSU and had 13.5 in his career at Western Michigan before that." – Mel Kiper, ESPN

WR Troy Franklin, Oregon – "The Browns traded for Jerry Jeudy this offseason, but they still feel one wide receiver short on offense, especially since Amari Cooper is entering the final year of his deal. Franklin is a speedy big play waiting to happen." - Field Yates, ESPN

DT Kris Jenkins, Michigan – "The Browns should be intrigued by this strong inside pass rusher who also can hold up well enough for them against the run." – Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News

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