The NFL Draft has come and gone. No more mock drafts, no more profiles, and no more hearsay and speculation. Naturally, that means it’s time to milk the draft until training camp, because the next three months of the offseason make us feel scared and cold. This week we’ll be going through the divisions and taking a look at how each team did after the first round. Up first, the AFC North.
2 – Courtney Upshaw, DE, Alabama
2 – Kelechi Osemele, OG, Iowa State
3 – Bernard Pierce, RB, Temple
4 – Gino Gradkowski, C, Delaware
4 – Christian Thompson, S, South Carolina State
5 – Asa Jackson, CB, Cal Poly
6 – Tommy Streeter, WR, Miami-Florida
7 – DeAngelo Tyson, DT, Georgia
Favorite Pick(s): Seeing Nick Saban console Courtney Upshaw on Thursday night was tough to watch. The Alabama linebacker saw teammates Mark Barron, Dre Kirkpatrick, Dont’a Hightower, and Trent Richardson leave the green room with huge smiles on their faces. *Awful cliche alert* Well good things come to those who wait. Upshaw will be mentored by two great (and insane) linebackers in Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs. The league will pay for making this guy mad.
Miami WR Tommy Streeter is another name to remember. Streeter was projected as a first-round pick if he had stayed at The ‘U’ for his senior season. Like most of Miami’s underclassmen, Streeter came out too early, but the talent is there.
2 – Devon Still, DT, Penn State
3 – Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers
3- Brandon Thompson, DT, Clemson
4 – Orson Charles, TE, Georgia
5 – Shaun Prater, CB, Iowa
5 – Marvin Jones, WR, California
5 – George Iloka, S, Boise State
6 – Dan Herron, RB, Ohio State
Favourite Pick(s): What a great draft by a team known for making terrible decisions come spring time. Devon Still was a top-20 talent that slid to the Bengals in round two. Mohamed Sanu and Brandon Thompson in the third round was also good value. Another name to watch out for: George Iloka. The Boise State safety is an excellent in the box tackler who can be serviceable if not above average when he’s not asked to do too much in coverage. Well done Mike Brown, well done. (The Mayans have to be right.)
2 – Mitchell Schwartz OT, California
3 – John Hughes DT, Cincinnati
4 – Travis Benjamin WR, Miami
4 – James-Michael Johnson ILB, Nevada
5 – Ryan Miller OG, Colorado
6 – Emmanuel Acho ILB, Texas
6 – Billy Winn DT, Boise State
7 – Trevin Wade CB, Arizona
7 – Brad Smelley TE, Alabama
Favorite Pick(s): It seems like I’m the only one who liked what the Browns did in the first round. Unfortunately I wasn’t a fan of the rest of the Browns’ picks on Days two and three. The most intriguing name is fourth round pick Travis Benjamin. He ran a ridiculous 4.36 40 at the NFL combine, the second fastest measured this year. He’ll compete with Jordan Norwood for time in the slot. Boise State’s Billy Winn was good value in the sixth round, and Brad Smelley gets reunited with Trent Richardson.
Those Smelley jersey sales will become another stain on Cleveland’s dark history.
2 – Mike Adams OT, Ohio State
3 – Sean Spence ILB, Miami
4 – Alameda Ta’amu NT, Washington
5 – Chris Rainey RB, Florida
7 – Toney Clemons WR, Colorado
7 (comp) – David Paulson TE, Oregon
7 (comp) – Terrence Frederick CB, Texas A&M
7 (comp) – Kelvin Beachum OT, SMU
Favorite Pick(s): A close second to Cincinnati for best draft in the division. Alameda Ta’amu was a steal in the fourth round. Sean Spence adds some desperately needed sideline-to-sideline speed for a linebacking corps that needed an infusion of youth, and Steelers made a worthwhile gamble on Florida Gator Chris Rainey. The guy is the definition of a burner, and has excellent hands to match. After serving as Percy Harvin’s replacement in Gainesville, expect Rainey to be a jack of all trades for Mike Tomlin and company.
Up Next: The NFC North