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2020 NFL Draft Grades: AFC North

The AFC North has been a muddy slugfest over the last few years, culminating in a literal slugfest this past year. Who won the fight in the draft?

Bengals Steelers by Jack Kurzenknabe is in the Public Domain

2020 NFL Draft Grades: AFC North


Estimated Reading Time: 5 Minutes

We’re still buzzing after NFL Draft and this is the week where every sports site and news paper asks the same question:

How would you grade your team’s draft class?

In some ways it is a pointless effort as it is so subjective that you can’t really take it seriously. (But its fun!) We should be able to enjoy and sit back knowing in 2-3 years this same class will be judged differently.

Every team has high hopes right now (aside from the Texans). So, let’s get into our grades for the NFC East! For a full list of every team’s draft grades, check them out here!


AFC NORTH


BALTIMORE RAVENS

SELECTION: (28). Patrick Queen, LB, LSU/ (55). J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ohio State/ (71). Justin Madubuike, DT, Texas A&M/ (92). Devin Duvernay, WR, Texas/ (98). Malik Harrison, LB, Ohio State/ (106). Tyre Phillips, G, Mississippi State/ (143). Ben Bredeson, G, Michigan/ (170). Broderick Washington Jr., DT, Texas Tech/ (201). James Proche, WR, Southern Methodist/ (219). Geno Stone, S, Iowa

Best pick: The Baltimore Ravens are just a better organization than most. so I’m going to rave about their entire draft. They brought in possibly the best middle linebacker at 28, the top RB at 55, a starting defensive tackle at 71, a home run hitter at 92 and a possible starting linebacker at 98.

Worst pick: Devin Duvernay, WR, Texas- I love the Duvernay pick but I don’t necessarily love it at 92. I would have liked a more physical receiver #1 receiver like Mims at 55.

Sleeper Pick: Geno Stone, S, Iowa. Stone was projected to go between the 4th to 6th rounds but fell. The Ravens already have Earl Thomas and Chuck Clark but Stone will have time and be able to learn from the best.

GRADE: A+


PITTSBURGH STEELERS

SELECTION: (49). Chase Claypool, WR, Notre Dame/ (102). Alex Highsmith, LB, Charlotte/ (124). Anthony McFarland Jr., RB, Maryland/ (135). Kevin Dotson, G, Louisiana/ (198). Antoine Brooks Jr., S, Maryland/ (232). Carlos Davis, DT, Nebraska

Best pick: Pro Bowl Safety Mihkah Fitzpatrick stolen for only pick #18.

Worst pick: Carlos Davis, DT, Nebraska The Steelers didn’t draft a defensive tackle (Their biggest need) until the 7th round…

Sleeper Pick:  Chase Claypool, WR, Notre Dame. The Steelers needed WR #2 badly to take some pressure off of Juju Smith-Schuster. Enter Claypool, who is built like a tight end but has 4.42 speed. He will make an instant impact.

GRADE: B+


CLEVELAND BROWNS

SELECTIONS: (10). Jedrick Wills Jr., T, Alabama/ (44). Grant Delpit, S, LSU/ (88). Jordan Elliott, DT, Missouri/ (97). Jacob Phillips, LB, LSU/ (115). Harrison Bryant, TE, Florida Atlantic/ (160). Nick Harris, C, Washington/ (187). Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR, Michigan

Best pick: Jedrick Willis Jr., T , Alabama: the consensus top tackle in the draft was available at #10! Wills is able to play both right and left tackle and only allowed “a (insane) pressure rate of 4.0% or less for the second straight year in pass protection”.

Worst pick: None- The Browns got the best tackle in the draft, a top 2 safety, a top 4 defensive tackle, a solid linebacker, a tight end compared to George Kittle, a good Center and a wide receiver predicted to go much higher.

Sleeper Pick: I have two- Harrison Bryant, TE, Florida Atlantic. Bryant was the recipient of the John Mackey award for the nation’s top tight end and an unanimous All-American selection. I also loved Donovan Peoples-Jones who reminds me of Alshon Jeffery. He was under-utilized in the Michigan system but he seemed to always be wide open.

GRADE: A+


CINCINNATI BENGALS

SELECTIONS: (1). Joe Burrow, QB, LSU/ (33). Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson/ (65). Logan Wilson, LB, Wyoming/ (107). Akeem Davis-Gaither, LB, Appalachian State/ (147). Khalid Kareem, DE, Notre Dame/ (180). Hakeem Adeniji, G, Kansas/ (215). Markus Bailey, LB, Purdue

Best pick: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU: The consensus top pick. Burrow has the chance to go home to Ohio and resurrect the lowly Bengals into some form of glory.

Worst pick: Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson. This isn’t a knock on Higgins, it’s just that I would rather have seen a speedster to compliment AJ Green. I see Higgins as a more AJ Green type (which of course,you can’t get enough of). The Bengals had a great draft so I am being nit-picky.

Sleeper pick(s): Logan Wilson, Akeem Davis-Gaither and Markus Bailey- with these three the Bengals picked up a trio of productive linebackers. Wilson was seen by some as the best linebacker while Davis-Gaither and Bailey were highly effective in college. These three may be a great tandem for years to come.

GRADE: A-


Thank you so much for reading this! Leave a comment below if you agree or have a better grade for your team!

Tim is a grateful believer, husband to Kristin, Father to Isabelle living in Los Angeles as both an actor and Auto Claim representative He was born and grew up eight blocks from Wrigley Field and is a die hard Chicago fan (Especially Bears). He is incredibly grateful to The Turf for giving him a chance to pursue a passion of his.

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