As the NFL 2016 Draft approaches, we began thinking about team needs and the potential they have to fill those needs. Looking at the AFC North we start with the Baltimore Ravens, who have 9 total picks this draft. After undergoing a 5-11 season last year the Ravens are in dyer need of smart draft picks. Joe Flacco did not have much help protection wise when it came to the offensive side of the ball, especially after losing a tackle such as Michael Oher in 2014, Flacco has been flushed out of the pocket and sacked a number of times in the last two seasons. With the shuffles that have taken place in draft trades already, the ravens with the number 6 pick are in a great position to take offensive tackle, Larmey Tunsil, if the Jaguars don’t take him first. Most importantly, the Ravens need secondary, they need a cornerback that will level with Jimmy Smith and Florida’s cornerback, Vernon Hargreaves could be a solid top ten pick for that, but there are still great options for round two such as, Miami’s Artie Burns, and Baylor’s Xavien Howard. Lastly, the Ravens need pass rushers. Some mock drafts have them taking Ohio State’s Joey Bosa in the first round, but I feel they would look at taking Clemson’s Shaq Lawson and or Kevin Dodd.
Moving on to the Cincinnati Bengals, who had a pretty solid 2015 season going 12-4 have a total of 7 picks this draft the Bengals are looking to give Andy Dalton more spread, especially after losing two top receivers to free agency. So with their first pick a good snatch would be Baylor’s Corey Coleman or TCU’s Josh Doctson. Next the Bengal’s defensive line needs some assistance. The second round will still carry huge defensive assets at tackle such as, Baylor’s Andrew Billings and Mississippi’s Robert Nkemdiche. Lastly, linebackers, LSU’s Deion Jones would be a great fit for Cincinnati.
The controversial Cleveland Browns… with 12 total picks, the world is hoping that they can finally make beneficial picks. It’s been circulating that the Browns are looking at the taking a quarterback with their first pick; I think they need to hold off and build the rest of their offensive. They need receivers and a stronger line first and foremost. After picking up Robert Griffin III and having him compete against Josh McCown, the Browns need have two completely different styled quarterbacks that they need to situate before bringing more quarterback confusion into the mix. Cleveland could use, Ohio State’s Michael Thomas. On the offensive line, if Tunsil doesn’t get picked up before their pick they could definitely use him or Texas A&M’s Germain Ifedi.
The Steel Curtain, looking to reclaim their reputation with their 7 total picks. After a 10-6 record and a surprising season the Steelers are looking to rebuild their secondary needing cornerbacks and safeties. Top of the list would be Ohio State’s Eli Apple, due to great ball handling skills. If he’s still in the running Miami’s Artie Burns would be a great fit as well, but I don’t see him hanging around long in the draft. Alabama’s Cyrus Jones could be a solid round two pick up as well. Next for the Steeler’s safety selections, Ohio State’s Vonn Bell, or Maryland’s Sean Davis. Lastly, offensive line, Arkansas’s Sebastian Tretola could be beneficial to the Steelers.
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