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AFC North 2018 NFL Draft Grades: Ravens & Browns Fail Miserably

2018 NFL Draft
The 2018 NFL Draft was filled with giant mistakes by the AFC North. Lamar Jackson is one of them. (Tim Heitman/USA TODAY Sports)

The 2018 NFL Draft is over and now it’s time to grade the picks. When it comes to the AFC North, you’re looking at one of the worst divisions in all of football. You could really just say that about the entire AFC if we’re being honest. However, the entire AFC North doesn’t look much improved following the draft. The Ravens, Bengals, Browns, and Steelers really don’t scare anyone, do they? How did the teams in the division fare following the 2018 NFL Draft?

Baltimore Ravens: Draft Grade F

  • Round 1, Pick 25 (No. 25 overall) [via Tennessee]: Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina
  • Round 1, Pick 32 (No. 32 overall) [via Philadelphia]: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
  • Round 3, Pick 19 (No. 83 overall): Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma
  • Round 3, Pick 22 (No. 86 overall) [Via Kansas City]: Mark Andrews, TE, Oklahoma
  • Round 4, Pick 18 (No. 118 overall): Anthony Averett, CB, Alabama
  • Round 4, Pick 22 (No. 122 overall): Kenny Young, LB, UCLA
  • Round 4, Pick 32 (No. 132 overall) [via Philadelphia]: Jaleel Scott, WR, New Mexico State
  • Round 5, Pick 25 (No. 162 overall): Jordan Lasley, WR, UCLA
  • Round 6, Pick 16 (No. 190 overall): DeShon Elliott, S, Texas
  • Round 6, Pick 38 (No. 212 overall): Greg Senat, T, Wagner
  • Round 6, Pick 41 (No. 215 overall): Bradley Bozeman, C, Alabama
  • Round 7, Pick 20 (No. 238 overall): Zach Sieler, DL, Ferris State

Could the Ravens franchise get any more embarrassing after this horrific draft class? How do you wind up with Hayden Hurst after holding the 16th pick in the draft? Baltimore traded down and essentially got nothing back. Then decided a 25-year-old tight end that doesn’t come with elite tools is really the guy they wanted? Hurst spent time in minor league baseball and was far away from being an elite tight end to begin with. Sad would be the word to describe this pick considering they have wasted valuable picks on Maxx Williams, Crockett Gilmore, and Nick Boyle who all stink.

Let’s get to their next pick, Lamar Jackson. The NFL has told us for years that running quarterbacks are not sustainable in this league. RG3, Tyrod Taylor, Colin Kaepernick, or whoever you want to talk about has been nothing more than a flame out. If you can’t become an elite pocket passer, you are worthless. Lamar Jackson couldn’t complete 60 percent in college in any of his three years as a starting quarterback at Louisville. This is a disaster waiting to happen. We get it, Joe Flacco stinks, but wow this was bad. Especially when you factor in that the 2019 second round pick was used to move up to acquire him.

Let’s break down the rest of their draft quickly. They took Orlando Brown (Who I like) but can’t move. That’s a coin flip pick at best. Then they doubled down on a tight end who has diabetes. OUT! Kenny Young? Two wide receivers? One who stinks, another who is constantly in trouble. You could make the argument that Anthony Averett and Bradley Bozeman from Alabama could save their draft. Yikes.

Cincinnati Bengals: Draft Grade B

  • Round 1, Pick 21 (No. 21 overall): Billy Price, C, Ohio State
  • Round 2, Pick 22 (No. 54 overall): Jessie Bates III, S, Wake Forest
  • Round 3, Pick 13 (No. 77 overall): Sam Hubbard, DE, Ohio State
  • Round 3, Pick 14 (No. 78 overall) [Via Kansas City]: Malik Jefferson, OLB, Texas
  • Round 4, Pick 12 (No. 112 overall): Mark Walton, RB, Miami (Florida)
  • Round 5, Pick 14 (No. 151 overall): Devontae Harris, CB, Illinois State
  • Round 5, Pick 21 (No. 158 overall): Andrew Brown, DE, Virginia
  • Round 5, Pick 33 (No. 170 overall) * compensatory selection: Darius Phillips, CB, Western Michigan
  • Round 7, Pick 31 (No. 249 overall): Logan Woodside, QB, Toledo
  • Round 7, Pick 34 (No. 252 overall) * compensatory selection: Rod Taylor, OL, Mississippi
  • Round 7, Pick 35 (No. 253 overall) * compensatory selection: Auden Tate, WR, Florida State

Do I love the Bengals first two picks? No, but they should be solid players at the very least. Centers aren’t sexy picks but Price should be a starter. Bates should start as a safety but has tackling issues. Covers well but can’t tackle. What I really love about this draft is that the later round picks.

Sam Hubbard is a lunch pale guy who will bring it all day. Hubbard is a relentless pass rusher and has great athleticism as a converted safety. That’s a starter right there. Then they pick up another starter with Malik Jefferson. The Texas linebacker is one of my favorite players in the draft. The former five-star recruit hasn’t lived up to that kind of hype but the potential is undeniable. Jefferson also has some natural edge rush to him and could wind up being a steal in the third round. What about Mark Walton? He might be the best back on the roster day one. Andrew Brown in round 5! Darius Phillips, the turnover machine in the flesh! Logan Woodside the only sleeper quarterback I like! Wow across the board. The Bengals had a really nice day.

2018 NFL Draft
The Browns failed the 2018 NFL Draft. I guess I could have written this before the Browns ever made a pick (Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports)

Cleveland Browns: Draft Grade F

  • Round 1, Pick 1 (No. 1 overall): Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
  • Round 1, Pick 4 (No. 4 overall): Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
  • Round 2, Pick 1 (No. 33 overall): Austin Corbett, T, Nevada
  • Round 2, Pick 3 (No. 35 overall): Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia
  • Round 3, Pick 3 (No. 67 overall) [Via Indianapolis]: Chad Thomas, DE, Miami
  • Round 4, Pick 5 (No. 105 overall) [Via New England]: Antonio Callaway, WR, Florida 
  • Round 5, Pick 13 (No. 150 overall): Genard Avery, LB, Memphis
  • Round 6, Pick 1 (No. 175 overall): Damion Ratley, WR, Texas A&M
  • Round 6, Pick 14 (No. 188 overall): Simeon Thomas, CB, Louisiana

I could have given the Browns an F before I ever knew who they drafted because they fail at life anyway. However, after seeing the actual picks, Cleveland could not have messed this draft up any worse. That’s a fact, not an opinion. I want you to watch this video below and not laugh. It’s flat-out impossible.


Could you imagine being so dumb and that “he he” was somehow factored into drafting Baker Mayfield? This is the most embarrassing organization in any sport. This is an organization that decided that Carson Wentz wasn’t good enough so they traded out of that pick. This is an organization that decided that Deshaun Watson also wasn’t good enough so they traded out of that pick. After years of trying to find a quarterback, Baker Mayfield is really the guy the Browns wanted! Congrats on drafting a less athletic version of Johnny Manziel. Let’s be honest, how can I not compare the two at this point… Okay, I’ll be nice and say he can be Case Keenum. The Browns drafted the oldest quarterback in the draft and the most immature quarterback in the draft. Because that should work out well for the dysfunctional Browns! JOKE!

The Browns hilarious drafted didn’t just stop there. They had the opportunity to land Bradley Chubb or Roquan Smith with the fourth pick. They decided to go with neither because of course, they did. You could have paired Myles Garrett with Bradley Chubb for the next ten years. You could have picked the best middle linebacker in the draft. Instead, they picked an undersized corner who may or may not make it. Classic Browns! I can’t waste another word on this disaster.

The funniest move of all may have been to pair Antonio Callaway with Josh Gordon. Those two should find a way to get each other suspended by week one.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Draft Grade C-

  • Round 1, Pick 28 (No. 28 overall): Terrell Edmunds, S, Virginia Tech
  • Round 2, Pick 28 (No. 60 overall): James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State
  • Round 3, Pick 12 (No. 76 overall) [via Seattle]: Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State
  • Round 3, Pick 28 (No. 92 overall): Chuks Okorafor, OT, Western Michigan
  • Round 5, Pick 11 (No. 148 overall): Marcus Allen, S, Penn State
  • Round 5, Pick 28 (No. 165 overall): Jaylen Samuels, RB, North Carolina State
  • Round 7, Pick 28 (No. 246 overall): Joshua Frazier, DL, Alabama

A C- might even be generous. Normally I love the drafts that the Steelers put together but this one was puzzling. Let’s get to the ones I like first. Chuks Okorafor might wind up being the best tackle in the draft. He’s a raw prospect but if he puts it together he can be an elite tackle. Marcus Allen could be a fine in the box safety but the Steelers defense is so predictable that it really doesn’t matter. Jaylen Samuels could be a sneaky good value pick and can play 800 different positions.

2018 NFL Scouting Combine: Offensive Line Notes

Now for the bad. Do I like Terrell Edmunds? Yes, but it was a reach. His tape doesn’t scream first round talent but maybe he can play like one because he is very athletic. The Oklahoma State picks now were just beyond bad. James Washington is not good. I don’t know how many times I have to say this. He can’t run routes. He isn’t that fast. He doesn’t even look like a wide receiver and more so resembles a running back! Watch him in the Senior Bowl… There’s a reason he didn’t catch a pass and it’s because he’s clueless. To trade Martavis Bryant for a third-round pick was fine and I understand it. The problem is when you turn an asset into nothing then I have an issue. Mason Rudolph is worthless. Mason Rudolph will never be the long-term answer to Big Ben. What a waste! I’m not convinced he is even better than Josh Dobbs who was also a wasted pick.


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