Draft
Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI

2021 Day One Draft Grades: AFC North

How did your favourite AFC North team do on day one of the draft?

Cincinatti Bengals: B

Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU: Look, Chase is a stud. He’s gonna be a really good NFL receiver and the Bengals now have plenty of weapons for Joe Burrow. I just think that if my star QB got sacked 32 times in 10 games and ended his season on a torn ACL, I would take that as a pretty good indication that I needed to address the offensive line.

Pittsburgh Steelers: A

Najee Harris, RB, Alabama: I called this pick in my mock and I think it made the most sense for the Steelers. They wanted their next Le’Veon Bell and they got him. Harris’ game will fit in quite nicely with the Steelers’ offence. The only reason that this isn’t an A+ is because despite the fact that I thought he would get drafted around here, it was a bit of a reach in terms of the players available. In a vacuum, I always saw Harris as a second-round guy, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad pick. They had a need and they filled it.

Baltimore Ravens: A+

Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota: In my mock draft I had them taking Terrence Marshall Jr. because I thought they could have used a sort of “in-between” type guy the compliment Marc Andrews and Hollywood Brown. Bateman is that guy and I would have picked him over Marshall Jr. as well (Bateman was gone at that point in my mock). Solid pick.

Jayson Oweh, DE, Penn State: I’ve said that I think Oweh is the second-best DE in this class for a while. Getting him at 31 was a huge value pick in my books. The Ravens needed to find a way in the draft to replace Matthew Judon and I feel like they did that here.

Cleveland Browns: A+

Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern: You can never have too many corners in the AFC. Newsome’s athleticism and size make him a great pick here. The Browns have one of the best young rosters in the league and I think Newsome is a solid pick for a secondary that is still trying to find their identity to some extent.