Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 4/27/13
So how did the AFC North do in the 2013 NFL Draft? Well, I don’t believe in doing draft grades right when the draft is over- talk to me in a few years, then we’ll see how these picks panned out. You can’t grade them right away; watch ‘em play actual NFL football first! I pay as much attention to NFL Draft immediate grades as I do to live blogging or live game discussion threads. Because Twitter is better than live blogging and discussion threads combined. Period. That’s said, let’s review what the AFC North did in rounds 1-3. Pittsburgh Steelers There was a lot of noise about Pittsburgh grabbing a quarterback in this draft; and it turned out to be only just that- noise. A useless smokescreen? At NFL Draft time? SHOCKING! Jarvis Jones was one of the three picks I actually got right.  With Jarvis Jones you’ve got potential medical issues, and a very uninspiring 4.9n 40 yard dash. However, you also have a guy with franchise player potential and one of the more accomplished players in the SEC. From an SEC loaded with NFL talent. Sure Jarvis Jones took a huge dive, but he was considered a top 2 talent once upon a time. Jones is a LaMarr Woodley or James Harrison type who fits the system. And given that Pittsburgh is one of the marquee franchises in the NFL that’s quite a compliment. It seems like the Steelers are always drafting LBs and RBs. So this draft was predictable, yet solid for the AFC North traditional power. Le’Veon Bell from Michigan State falls them to round two. He’s a big bruiser who pretty much was the Spartans offense in 2012. As well he should have been, did you watch Andrew Maxwell play quarterback in East Lansing? #Trainwreck If we didn’t know it before, we know it now- Rashard Mendenhall will shown the door. And as a former Illini and native Chicago suburbanite myself, I know a lot about Mendenhall, and I’ve known a lot about him for a very long time. I agree Pittsburgh needs to move in another direction. Mendenhall is far from the answer. Now a new Big Ten tailback steps in. Wheaton, Markus WR 5’11″ 189 Oregon St came off the board later. Never heard of him. Next! Baltimore Ravens Matt Elam, FS Florida 5’10″ A lot of people mocked this pick correctly, so I wish I could say the same. As the Ed Reed era ends, a replacement is groomed. Elam has everything going for him except his height, and there’s nothing that can be coached there. He’s not short in real life; just undersized for the NFL. And short for a safety. But he did everything you could ask while with the Gators. As defending Super Bowl champs, the Ravens needs weren’t that many, but kudos to them for being assertive and going straight after plugging up the holes. Brown, Arthur ILB 6’0″ 241 Kansas St With Ray Lewis now an ESPN analyst, again the AFC North power went needs based in round two. Brown is an interesting pick. In a very volatile draft, he was a wild card. He was a first round prospect who slipped. How much this pick pans out depends on his ability to be versatile and fit the scheme. Brown is good in pass coverage and can play inside or outside. 20 years in a row a KSU player has been picked in the NFL Draft. Williams, Brandon DT 6’1″ 335 Missouri Southern St Interesting mid major pick. . Cincinnati Bengals Tyler Eifert  TE 6’6″ 251 Notre Dame Stood out as the best tight end of the class by far. He has the size, speed, pass-catching and blocking ability you want. Great value pick, never thought he’d fall this far. Bernard, Giovani RB 5’8″ 202 North Carolina Very low center of gravity, squat back. Surprised he was the first tailback taken; not Eddie Lacy of Alabama or Montee Ball from Wisconsin. It’s a brave new world. The days of Trent Richardson and Cedric Benson going top 5 in draft are long over. You’ll often see the first RB go in round two or three now. Moving forward, the top of the draft will be dominated by passers, pass-rushers and pass protectors. Rushers? Sorry, you’re lower priority now. Hunt, Margus DE 6’8″ 277 SMU A combine measurables monster, and a project pick. The poor man’s Ziggy Ansah of this draft. Pass rushing is far from the Bengals primary need, so this a “flyer” to say the least. Williams, Shawn SS 6’0″ 213 Georgia Bulldogs UGA really represented well on days one and two of the draft. Prototypical size for a safety; a safe solid pick. The AFC North team most notorious for off the field issues avoided the Alec Ogletrees and Tyrann Mathieus of this draft. Cleveland Browns Mingo, Barkevious DE 6’4″ 241 LSU Lots of people were high on Kiki, who came out of nowhere to shoot up this high. This surprised me; I thought they would go for a corner to put opposite Joe Haden first. Obviously, they addressed that later. First they got a highly sought after edge rusher to fit their 3-4. McFadden, Leon CB 5’10″ 193 San Diego St gets taken by the Brownies, right before Mathieu, Tyrann CB 5’9″ 186 LSU So this pick was intriguing most because of what happened right afterward. Arizona goes to baggage claim and picks up the Honey Badger while Cleveland goes more conservative. McFadden is quick and should have an immediate impact on special teams. If you can get that in round two or three, it’s win-win. Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net, an author and regular contributor to MSN, Fox Sports , Chicago Now, and Walter Football. Banks has appeared on Comcast SportsNet and the History Channel, as well as Clear Channel, ESPN and CBS radio all over the world. President Barack Obama follows him on Twitter (@PaulMBanks) The post AFC North NFL Draft: sizing it up appeared first on The Sports Bank.Net.
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