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AFC North 2019 NFL Draft Grades: Steelers Win, Ravens Fail

2019 NFL Draft

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

2019 NFL Draft
The 2019 NFL Draft is over and it’s time to hand out grades in the AFC North. The Ravens have turned into a total joke while the Steelers may have saved their season (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The 2019 NFL Draft is over so it’s time to hand out grades. We continue the series with the AFC North. At first glance, this division is going to be a two horse race between the Browns and Steelers. The reigning champion, Baltimore Ravens, continues a horrendous offseason. The Bengals? Yeah, still irrelevant. Well, let’s dive into it. How did each team in the AFC North perform during the 2019 NFL Draft?

Baltimore Ravens: Grade F

  • Round 1, pick 25 (No. 25 overall): Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma
  • Round 3, pick 21 (No. 85 overall): Jaylon Ferguson, DE, Louisiana Tech
  • Round 3, pick 29 (No. 93 overall): Miles Boykin, WR, Notre Dame
  • Round 4, pick 11 (No. 113 overall): Justice Hill, RB, Oklahoma St.
  • Round 4, pick 21 (No. 123 overall): Ben Powers, G, Oklahoma
  • Round 4, pick 25 (No. 127 overall): Iman Marshall, QB, USC
  • Round 5, pick 22 (No. 160 overall): Daylon Mack, DT, Texas A&M
  • Round 6, pick 24 (No. 197 overall): Trace McSorley, QB, Penn St.

I was told that Eric DeCosta was this hot shot gm who was really smart. This is the same man that was groomed for years behind draft “guru” Ozzie Newsome. It turns out all of those things were false. Instead, it’s pretty obvious that Eric DeCosta is a total buffoon.

Last year, the Ravens got their quarterback. A move DeCosta had to sign off on. The Ravens love quarterbacks who can’t throw the ball. Let’s see how that works out for them. Now the Ravens doubled down. They drafted another quarterback, Trace McSorley, who can’t throw the ball. No person with a brain could logically explain what the Ravens are doing at the quarterback position. This team is a total joke.

The Lamar Jackson trade up left Baltimore without a 2nd round pick. If that wasn’t awful enough, the Ravens then broke one of my draft rules. Never draft a wide receiver in the first round (unless it’s someone like Julio Jones, AJ Green, etc). The Ravens invested a first round pick in a wide receiver who weighs 120 pounds soaking wet and has durability issues. That can’t be your first round pick.

I actually like Marquise Brown. The DeSean Jackson comps are absolutely fair. Again, who’s throwing him the ball? Lamar Jackson couldn’t get the ball to John Brown last year who is a hell of a receiver. They let him walk. Baltimore could have just re-signed him and actually targeted the defense. A defense that was decimated in free agency. I was also told that the Ravens want receivers who can block because of the run-heavy offense. Another total lie.

The Ravens go pass rusher in round 3. Jaylon Ferguson is now a starter. Yikes. Ferguson had a terrible Senior Bowl with one bull rush move that was stifled from day one of practice. Ferguson and Tim Williams are the starting pass rushers right now. Good luck with that.

Again, wasting picks on running backs and wide receivers. Total joke. This team never learns. Justice Hill? Didn’t they just pay Mark Ingram a bunch of money? What about Gus Edwards? Does he not matter now? Pick made no sense as they continue to ignore the defense. Miles Boykin? Yeah, I’m sure he will contribute. Total mess.

I do like the Ben Powers, Daylon Mack, and Iman Marshall picks. Late round guys who will make an impact. Outside of that, total failure.

Cincinnati Bengals: Grade C-

  • Round 1, Pick 11 (No. 11 overall): Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama
  • Round 2, Pick 20 (No. 52 overall): Drew Sample, TE, Washington
  • Round 3, Pick 8 (No. 72 overall): Germaine Pratt, LB, NC State
  • Round 4, Pick 2 (No. 104 overall): Ryan Finley, QB, NC State
  • Round 4, Pick 23  (No. 125 overall): Renell Wren, DT, Arizona State
  • Round 4, Pick 34 (No. 136 overall): Michael Jordan, OG, Ohio State
  • Round 6, Pick 9 (No. 182 overall): Trayveon Williams, RB, Texas A&M
  • Round 6, Pick 37 (No. 210 overall): Deshaun Davis, LB, Auburn
  • Round 6, Pick 38 (No. 211 overall): Rodney Anderson, RB, Oklahoma
  • Round 7, Pick 9 (No. 223 overall): Jordan Brown, CB, South Dakota State

The Bengals are irrelevant and so was their draft. I liked Jonah Williams a lot at Alabama. I liked him a lot less after his below average combine. Either way, the Bengals needed a left tackle. Williams should fill that hole. If they try to turn him into a guard, then you have a Connor Williams type of waste of time. Let’s continue.

Drew Sample was a humongous reach. 2nd round for a blocking tight end? Totally insane. Sample could easily flame out of the league in 3 years. Sample and Sweeney were identical at the Senior Bowl as block first tight ends. Sweeney went in round 7. How about Ryan Finley? I couldn’t stop laughing. Pair him with Andy Dalton…. Great! Two quarterbacks with water pistol arms. The only difference is Finley’s arm is somehow a lot worse.

Cincy did some things that were okay to save the grade. Germaine Pratt should make a difference as a rangy linebacker and converted safety. Deshaun Davis in round 6 was a steal. He was a good player at Auburn. A nasty one too. Renell Wren had a nice Senior Bowl. I like him too. Rodney Anderson could be a steal if healthy.

Cleveland Browns: Grade A-

  • Round 2, Pick 14 (No. 46 overall): Greedy Williams, LSU, CB
  • Round 3, Pick 16 (No. 80 overall): Sione Takitaki, LB, BYU 
  • Round 4, Pick 17 (No. 119 overall): Sheldrick Redwine, S, Miami
  • Round 5, Pick 17 (No. 155 overall): Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama
  • Round 5, Pick 32 (No. 170 overall): Austin Seibert, K, Oklahoma
  • Round 6, Pick 16 (No. 189 overall): Drew Forbes, G, Southeast Missouri St.
  • Round 7, Pick 7 (No. 221 overall): Donnie Lewis Jr., CB, Tulane

The Browns didn’t have a first round pick because of the Odell Beckham trade. It’s hard to critique that trade at all from a Browns perspective after the draft. It would have been one thing to give up a first for Odell Beckham. That would sting. It stings a hell of a lot less after picking up Greedy Williams in round 2. That turns this draft into an A. Williams has top 10 potential. He’s the best pure press corner in the draft. He’s not perfect. I saw him get torched against Alabama. He’s also a bad tackler. However, to pick up a talent like this who has 7 career interceptions the past 2 years is a great value pick.

The Rest of the draft was decent. The BYU linebacker is a typical knucklehead that John Dorsey likes. I really like Mack Wilson. He is a really good player. Not sure how he lasted in round 5. Austin Seibert is a good kicker. Sheldrick Redwine has something to him. Just a really good draft and… it also technically includes Odell Beckham.

2019 NFL Draft
Devin Bush will save the Steelers season. (Mark Humphrey/AP)

Pittsburgh Steelers: Grade A-

  • Round 1, pick 10 (No. 10 overall): Devin Bush, LB, Michigan
  • Round 3, pick 2 (No. 66 overall): Diontae Johnson, WR, Toledo
  • Round 3, pick 19 (No. 83 overall): Justin Layne, CB, Michigan State
  • Round 4, pick 20 (No. 122 overall): Benny Snell Jr., RB, Kentucky
  • Round 5, pick 3 (No. 141 overall): Zach Gentry, TE, Michigan
  • Round 6, pick 2 (No. 175 overall): Sutton Smith, DE, Northern Illinois
  • Round 6, pick 19 (No. 192 overall): Isaiah Buggs, DE, Alabama
  • Round 6, pick 34 (No. 207 overall): Ulysees Gilbert III, LB, Akron
  • Round 7, pick 5 (No. 219 overall): Derwin Gray, T, Maryland

The Steelers entered the 2019 NFL Draft screwed. They lost Antonio Brown (not that it was a bad thing) and the defense was becoming a real mess. Since Ryan Shazier went down, Pittsburgh’s defense went down the toilet. I give Pittsburgh a lot of props. They went out and filled the biggest need they had. The Steelers traded up for Devin Bush which might go down as the move that saved the Steelers season. Bush fits everything Pittsburgh does and needs. That move alone gives them the A.

The rest of the draft was hit and miss. Don’t sit here and tell me the Steelers really took Diontae Johnson as the Antonio Brown pick. That can’t be true. Yikes. The Michigan State corner? Really? Justin Layne sucks so he will fit right into their bad defensive back room. Don’t even try to ask what Zach Gentry can do for them. Not a clue. Worthless pick. Same goes for Sutton Smith. Talk about getting rag-dolled at the Senior Bowl.

The hits include Benny Snell, Isaiah Buggs, and Derwin Gray. As a James Conner fantasy owner, I’m not happy that Benny Snell is a Steeler. He fits exactly what they do. Big, power back that will lose 20 pounds and become electric. Isaiah Buggs led Alabama in sacks. He’s a very good player. To pick Buggs up in round 6 is a steal. Derwin Gray is a massive human that provides offensive line depth.

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