AFC North got a whole lot tougher for Browns after NFL Draft

2023 NFL Draft - Portraits
2023 NFL Draft - Portraits / Todd Rosenberg/GettyImages
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Cincinnati Bengals

The reigning and defending AFC North champion Cincinnati Bengals added a trio of players who could either be Day 1 starters or at least in the rotation. All three of those players are on the defensive side of the ball and were the first three picks for Cincy.

While winning the division is vital, especially with how the AFC looks as a whole, the Bengals loaded up on defensive talent to not only win the division but to beat Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs in January.

Since they lost to the Chiefs in the AFC Championship game, they had a later pick in round one and used the 28th pick to draft EDGE rusher Myles Murphy out of Clemson. He likely won't start out of the gates, as Trey Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard are there, but he will factor into the rotation and even be on the field on third-down packages.

Having guys to rush the quarterback is paramount in the division and the conference, so this pick made a ton of sense, especially from the point of Murphy panning out, he will be with the team for at least five years.

In round two, the Bengals took speedy cornerback DJ Turner out of Michigan. This young man will factor into the lineup quickly as he ran a 4.26 40-yard dash. That speed will likely have him on the field early and often.

Safety Jordan Battle out of Alabama (Round 3, pick 95) is another player who could either start or be a key part of the secondary. This is a guy I had my eyes on and hoped that the Browns would draft, but alas, he got drafted inside the division.

Cincy drafted wide receiver Charlie Jones (Round 4, pick 131) out of Purdue and running back Chase Brown (Round 5, pick 163) out of Illinois and these two could replace Tyler Boyd - who is in the last year of his contract - and Joe Mixon - who has pending legal issues off the field.

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The Bengals will be in contention for the AFC North and the Super Bowl, especially with the talent they added via the NFL Draft.