Draft Grades  

 

AFC North: Ravens find mid-round value; Bengals boost firepower


NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks is handing out grades for each team following the 2010 NFL Draft. Check back daily as he breaks down each team, division by division.

Ravens' draft picks
Rd
Sel. #
Player
Pos.
School
2
43
DE
Texas
2
57
DT
Alabama
3
70
TE
Oregon
4
114
TE
BYU
5
156
WR
Utah
5
157
DT
Syracuse
6
194
OT
Morehouse
» Ravens' pick-by-pick analysis

Baltimore Ravens: B+

The Ravens did a terrific job of grabbing highly rated players throughout the draft. Sergio Kindle and Terrence Cody carried first-round grades on several boards, but the Ravens were able to land both of them in the second round. Baltimore also picked up a pair of athletic tight ends -- Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta -- with outstanding potential. Both were viewed as top-50 talents, but unexpected free falls led to their availability in the third and fourth round, respectively. Throw in the addition of Anquan Boldin for a second-round pick and the Ravens significantly upgraded the talent on their roster by cleverly managing their draft picks.

Key picks:

Round 2 (43rd overall): Sergio Kindle, DE, Texas
Kindle was expected to come off the board early in the first round, but questions about his injury history resulted in a dramatic slide down the board. If Kindle plays to his talent, the Ravens have landed another elite player at a value pick.

» Video: Kindle's combine workout | Meet Kindle

Round 2 (57th overall): Terrence Cody, DT, Alabama
Cody was regarded as one of the top defensive tackles in the draft, but questions about his weight and work ethic scared some teams off. However, his game tape suggests that he is an outstanding player. Cody gives the Ravens a dominant nose tackle to place alongside Haloti Ngata.

» Video: Ravens select Cody | Meet Cody

Round 4 (114th overall): Dennis Pitta, TE, BYU
Pitta gives Baltimore a dynamic weapon to feature as a possible H-Back. With the Ravens continuing to add pieces to their aerial attack, Joe Flacco is poised to make another significant leap in his development in 2010.

» Video: Draft Gems: Dennis Pitta

Bengals' draft picks
Rd
Sel. #
Player
Pos.
School
1
21
TE
Oklahoma
2
54
DE
Florida
3
84
WR
Texas
3
96
CB
Wake Forest
4
120
DT
Georgia
4
131
LB
Texas
5
152
G
Eastern Illinois
6
191
WR
Kansas
7
228
OL
Iowa State
» Bengals' pick-by-pick analysis

Cincinnati Bengals: B

Marvin Lewis has molded the Bengals into a division champion by successfully gambling on talented players with various issues. In looking at their most recent draft haul, the Bengals are continuing to hope that the reward outweighs the risks associated with taking various prospects. Jermaine Gresham and Carlos Dunlap were regarded as sure-fire first-round prospects based on their exceptional talent, but injuries (Gresham) and background issues (Dunlap) prevented teams from pulling the trigger earlier in the draft. If they perform to their potential, they could be difference-makers for the Bengals. Jordan Shipley and Brandon Ghee are good value picks with outstanding potential.

Key picks:

Round 1 (21st overall): Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma
Gresham gives the Bengals a legitimate threat in the middle of the field. His exceptional receiving skills should be a nice complement to Chad Ochocinco and Antonio Bryant. The Bengals' revamped aerial attack should help Carson Palmer regain his Pro Bowl form.

» Video: Bengals select Gresham | Gresham's combine workout | Meet Gresham

Round 2 (54th overall): Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida
As a freakish athlete with exceptional initial quickness, Dunlap has the ability to wreak havoc off the edge. Although his motor doesn't rev high consistently, Dunlap's flashes of talent make him worthy of the risk as a second-round pick.

» Video: Dunlap's combine workout | Meet Dunlap

Round 3 (84th overall): Jordan Shipley, WR, Texas
As a multi-faceted playmaker with exceptional hands and running skills, Shipley is an ideal slot receiver candidate. Additionally, he brings dynamic return skills to the mix and could develop into a Wes Welker-like playmaker in the Bengals' offense.

» Video: Shipley's combine workout | Meet Shipley

Browns' draft picks
Rd
Sel. #
Player
Pos.
School
1
7
CB
Florida
2
38
FS
Oregon
2
59
RB
Tennessee
3
85
QB
Texas
3
92
OT
Arizona State
5
160
SS
Nebraska
6
177
WR
South Florida
6
186
DE
South Carolina
» Browns' pick-by-pick analysis

Cleveland Browns: B-

The first draft of the Mike Holmgren era reflects his preference for substance over sizzle. The Browns diligently addressed concerns in their secondary by selecting Joe Haden and T.J. Ward with their early picks, and added Larry Asante as a value pick in the fifth round. With the weakest part of their roster solidified, the Browns were still able to land their quarterback of the future, Colt McCoy, in the third round. The team further bolstered their anemic offense with the selections of Montario Hardesty and Carlton Mitchell. The Browns’ haul might be short on star power, but features a blue-collar bunch that upgrades the talent on the roster.

Key picks:

Round 1 (7th overall): Joe Haden, CB, Florida
Haden's an instinctive playmaker with exceptional cover skills. Though he didn't blaze a sizzling 40-time at the NFL Scouting Combine, he has enough speed and quickness to stay with receivers on the edge. He also has a knack for making plays on the ball down the field. With the Browns' secondary in desperate need of a talent infusion, selecting Haden was the right call.

» Video: Browns select Haden | Haden's combine workout | Meet Haden

Round 2 (38th overall): Montario Hardesty, RB, Tennessee
Hardesty has outstanding speed, and his underrated cutback skills make him a solid fit in the Browns' scheme. With Jerome Harrison lacking the size to be the lone back, Hardesty should receive a high volume of carries as a key reserve.

» Video: Draft Vignettes: Montario Hardesty

Round 3 (85th overall): Colt McCoy, QB, Texas
Though most expected the Browns to grab McCoy in the second round, they successfully gambled that he would fall through the cracks and picked him up with the 85th pick. As an athletic thrower with good accuracy, McCoy is a good fit in the Browns' west-coast offense and could develop into a solid starter in time.

» Video: Browns select McCoy | Did Browns get lucky? | Meet McCoy

Steelers' draft picks
Rd
Sel. #
Player
Pos.
School
1
18
C
Florida
2
52
DE
Virginia Tech
3
82
WR
SMU
4
116
DE
Ohio State
5
151
OT
Tennessee
5
164
CB
Clemson
5
166
LB
Utah
6
188
RB
Georgia Tech
6
195
WR
Central Michigan
7
242
DT
Ohio State
» Steelers' pick-by-pick analysis

Pittsburgh Steelers: C+

The Steelers’ draft will not win any beauty contests on the surface, but they consistently plucked players who eventually emerge as difference-makers. Maurkice Pouncey gives them a versatile interior blocker with the skills to start immediately at guard or center. In grabbing Jason Worilds and Thaddeus Gibson, the Steelers continue their tradition of converting undersized college defensive ends into hybrid pass rushers. Emmanuel Sanders adds explosiveness to their receiving corps with his exceptional speed. The Steelers are one of the best teams in the league at developing their talent, so this year’s draft will likely rate higher when the reviews come back in three years.

Key picks:

Round 1 (18th overall): Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida
Pouncey gives the Steelers a versatile interior blocker adept at playing the physical style the team prefers. With his ability to play center or guard, Pouncey should immediately contribute as a rookie starter.

» Video: Steelers select Pouncey | Pouncey's combine workout | Meet Pouncey

Round 2 (52nd overall): Jason Worilds, DE, Virginia Tech
Worilds has exceptional speed and quickness, and his relentless motor leads to disruptive plays. Given the Steelers' reputation for developing young rushers, Worilds could blossom into a star in the Steel City in a few years.

» Video: Worilds' combine workout

Round 3 (82nd overall): Emmanuel Sanders, WR, SMU
As an explosive receiver with big-play ability, Sanders gives the Steelers a dynamic weapon in the passing game. Though his slender frame is cause for concern, his outstanding speed and quickness make him a dangerous playmaker in the team's wide-open offense.

» Video: Sanders' combine workout


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