2015 NFL Draft: How the AFC North Graded Out

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Sep 20, 2014; Pullman, WA, USA; Washington State Cougars defensive lineman Xavier Cooper (96) interacts with the crowd going during a game against the Oregon Ducks during the first half at Martin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Browns: B-

Taken on their own, there are some strong choices in Cleveland’s draft class. How does it all fit together, though? DT Danny Shelton was a no-brainer for a team that was embarrassed against the run last season. At least he would have been had the Browns not passed on WR DeVante Parker to take him. Vince Mayle (No. 123) is a long way from Parker’s skill set, and he was a reach in Round 4 as it was.

If Shelton can help keep teams from steamrolling this defense, OLB Nate Orchard can seal the deal on passing downs. The picks of Cam Erving (No. 19) and Duke Johnson (No. 77) are interesting. Erving had emerged as a virtual lock for Round 1, but where are the Browns planning to play him? Johnson also will have to battle for playing time, with Isaiah Crowell and Terrance West on the depth chart. The obvious sleeper is seventh-rounder Ifo Ekpre-Olomu. His pre-Rose Bowl knee injury caused a devastating draft slide. He was en route to Round 1 before that setback, so look out if he ever reclaims his old form.— Chris Burke

Baltimore Ravens: B+

It was a classic Ozzie Newsome draft, in that the meat of it may come from the mid-round selections. Defensive tackle Carl Davis (No. 90) played like a first-rounder at the Senior Bowl and could be a fixture up front for years if the Ravens can get him to be more consistent. One round after nabbing Davis, Newsome found a powerful edge presence in Kentucky’s Za’Darius Smith, and Buck Allen, a running back who looks like a terrific fit for Marc Trestman’s offense. Don’t sleep on sixth-round receiver Darren Waller either. He was stuck in Georgia Tech’s option attack, but at 6’6″ he could be dangerous in the red zone.

Of course, Baltimore also drafted a pair of high-upside pass-catchers early: receiver Breshad Perriman in round 1 and tight end Maxx Williams in round 2. Both were expected to go before the Ravens’ picks came up at No. 26 and No. 55. Together, Perriman and Williams add a dangerous downfield element to Baltimore’s offense. How rapidly they develop from the talented but unpolished products they are now will determine this group’s success.— Chris Burke

“Together, Breshad Perriman and Maxx Williams add a dangerous downfield element to Baltimore’s offense.” – Chris Burke

Cincinnati Bengals: B+

While opening with back-to-back offensive tackles (Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher) was a tad unexpected, it’s no secret that the Bengals like to stay in house to replace departing players when they can. Both LT Andrew Whitworth and RT Andre Smith’s contracts are up after 2015. Fisher’s ready to play now on the right side, if the Bengals want him to; Ogbuehi can take advantage of the tackle depth and ease his way back from a season-ending knee injury. Not sure they needed both guys, no matter how talented they are.

Cincinnati addressed a handful of needs from there, starting with TE Tyler Kroft in Round 3. He and fifth-rounder C.J. Uzomah could see tons of snaps if Tyler Eifert is not 100%. LB Paul Dawson, DT Marcus Hardison and S Derron Smith were all relative values where they were selected—Dawson (No. 99) once had Round 1 buzz; Smith (No. 197) was our second-ranked safety. CB/S Josh Shaw might pay off as a value selection, too.— Chris Burke

Pittsburgh Steelers: B+

Of the Steelers’ eight draft selections, seven came pretty close to hitting the mark, on paper. The eighth was the third-round choice of WR Sammie Coates, who looks to be almost an exact replica of 2014 fourth-rounder Martavis Bryant. Coates, a raw receiver prospect, is now where Bryant was ahead of last season. Pittsburgh has done well in the past taking WRs around this spot, so perhaps the Coates selection deserves some benefit of the doubt.

Beyond that, GM Kevin Colbert had to upgrade his pass-rush and restock his secondary. Check and check. OLB Bud Dupree goes down as a slight steal at No. 22. CBs Senquez Golson and Doran Grant could earn starting nods. Golson’s a ballhawk, Grant a physical presence. TE Jesse James gives the Steelers someone to replace Heath Miller down the road, too.— Chris Burke

Next up is Bucky Brooks from NFL.com.

Next: NFL.com Draft Grades