2015 NFL Draft: How the AFC North Graded Out

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Apr 30, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Bud Dupree (Kentucky) poses for a photo with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected as the number 22nd overall pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Pro Football Focus did not hand out overall team grades, but rather individual grades for each player selected through the first three rounds of the draft. The site then added comments for each player drafted after the third round.

Cleveland Browns:

Danny Shelton, the first of the team’s two first-round selections, earned an A because he is “a disruptive force and more mobile than you might expect at his size, Shelton was an easy choice for the Browns to improve their defensive line in both facets. Only one player at the position had more than Shelton’s 50 defensive stops (and that player went Top 10), while he finished with the sixth-highest overall grade.” Fellow first-round pick Cameron Erving earned a B- as he “spent time at both tackle and center last season, so it’s probably reasonable to assume he also fits at guard. Ervin is a fluid athlete with great hand use, consistently getting the first punch on defensive lineman. Really stood out in run blocking with an exceptional finish to the season against Georgia Tech and in the playoffs versus Oregon.”

“Danny Shelton is a disruptive force and more mobile than you might expect at his size, Shelton was an easy choice for the Browns to improve their defensive line in both facets.”

Second-round pick Nate Orchard earned a B for being “extremely productive in run defense with 52 stops, a figure that led all edge defenders in this class. Also good as a pass rusher where he gave Andrus Peat particular trouble against Stanford and few players matched his 55 combined pressures (60 including the Senior Bowl). But he didn’t grade as well as the pressure count might indicate with many coming either unblocked or cleanup.”

The Browns had two picks again in the third round, with Duke Johnson earning a B as “Cleveland bolstered its backfield with this pick, taking a player who finished with the third-highest grade at the position. Johnson has home run ability if he makes it to the second level, which was evident by his fifth-ranked 50.3% Breakaway Percentage, leading to 826 of his 1,641 rushing yards. Should also contribute as a receiver; he forced more missed tackles in the passing game (15) than any other back in this class.” Fellow third-round Xavier Cooper also earned a B even though “more than 50 defensive interior players finished with a better overall grade, but Cooper displayed a very quick first step to beat blockers, though he had trouble finishing at times and lacked the hands to effectively counter. Still managed the fourth-best Pass Rushing Productivity rating against Power 5 opponents at 9.0.” – Pro Football Focus

Baltimore Ravens:

First-round selection Breshad Perriman received a B as “the Ravens came into this draft looking for a deep threat at wide receiver and it took them just a few hours to find one. The concern with Perriman is that he had questionable hands in college, with eight drops from 58 catchable passes, but this was about the right spot for him. The deep threat they were looking for, he registered 525 yards and five touchdowns on passes traveling 20 or more yards in the air.” Maxx Williams, selected in the second round, earned an A-  as “the consensus number one tight end in the draft, and a borderline first round draft pick in our eyes, Williams selection raises questions about the future of Dennis Pitta in Baltimore. A standout receiver at Minnesota, Williams averaged 2.71 Yards Per Route against Power 5 Opponents, the second highest mark in this class.”

Finally, third-round selection Carl Davis was handed an A as “arguably the best pick made by Ozzie Newsome & Co. over the weekend, Davis is a player who many felt was worthy of a first-round draft pick. Davis didn’t always live up to his potential at Iowa, but when he was good, he was very good. A productive pass rusher, he finished the year with a Pass Rushing Productivity Rating of 9.4 against Power 5 Opponents, tied for second in the class.” – Pro Football Focus

Cincinnati Bengals:

First-round selection Cedric Ogbuehi earned a B as “sometimes it’s better to draft the best player available than to draft for need. The Bengals won’t need him to start in 2015 barring injury, allowing Ogbuehi, who graded positively both as a pass blocker and as a run blocker, to prepare for 2016.” Second-round pick Jake Fisher was given a B- because he “didn’t dominate like you’d like him to have in 2014, but like Ogbuehi, he graded positively both in pass protection and as a run blocker. Finishing the year the 21st highest Pass Blocking Efficiency at 97.4, Fisher could also be a fit at guard, with his versatility likely an asset going forward for the Bengals.”

Finally, the Bengals selected two players in the third round, with Tyler Kroft earning a C because it while it was “a little early to be drafting a tight end who is mainly a blocker, there’s no denying he is good at what he does. Our third-highest graded run blocker at the position, he fits with what the Bengals used Jermaine Gresham for in the past. Still, with just 269 yards as a receiver in 2014, he’s a bit one-dimensional for this spot in the draft.” Paul Dawson picked up an A+, however, as he was “one of the steals of the draft, Dawson had the production on the field to warrant going a full two hours earlier than this. His Run Stop Percentage mark of 23.2% was far ahead of any other linebacker in the country, with Michigan’s Jake Ryan the nearest draft eligible linebacker at 14.5%. His 74 tackles resulting in a defensive stop were also a full 16 more than Zach Vigil in second place.” – Pro Football Focus

“Bud Dupree has the measurables of a star but the tape of a guy who should have been nowhere near Round 1.”

Pittsburgh Steelers:

Not a fan of Bud Dupree (D-), as the site wrote that “someone was going to draft Dupree high and it just had to be the Steelers. Dupree has the measurables of a star but the tape of a guy who should have been nowhere near Round 1. He didn’t generate much pressure and what he did came against guys who won’t end up anywhere near the NFL. Joey Porter has his work cut out to turn him into the next great Steelers linebacker. Thirty-three edge defenders had more quarterback disruptions than him last year. Second-round selection Senquez Golson earned a B as he “made a name for himself with his playmaking ways this year and showed as a game competitor. A little lightweight against the run and isn’t your press corner type guy, but is very quick with excellent change of direction ability and a knack for making things happen with the ball around him. Ratio of 10 picks to three pass breakups show how dangerous it is throwing around him.”

Samme Coates, the team’s third-round selection earned a B+ as he “looks the part. Is big, strong and extremely fast which shows up with how he handles being pressed at the line. Brings some power after the catch but needs to do better job locating and tracking the ball. Really disappointing return catching just 45.9% of balls thrown his way. Should be a more productive player than he is.” – Pro Football Focus

What do you think of the draft grades? How would you grade the picks?

Next: NFL.com ranks the Cleveland Browns Low