2012 NFL Draft: Most Glaring Weaknesses for Every AFC North Team

Andrea HangstFeatured Columnist IVMarch 22, 2012

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Every team—even the best of them—has a weakness, one that is so obvious and is in need of fixing. Considering it's only March, it's a great time for each AFC North squad to really examine its biggest area of need and try to meet it, whether in free agency or in the NFL draft.

The draft is the only place the Pittsburgh Steelers are going to turn around their weakest area—the offensive line.

The issue isn't only talent—it's health. The Steelers need to find not just highly skilled, reliable O-linemen in April; they'll need to find durable players, too.

In Baltimore, it's the receiving corps.

Last year's lockout didn't do the Ravens' young receivers any favors, and their unwillingness (and a level of inability) to make a move for any of the higher-profile free agents this year means the draft is where they'll have to look yet again.

Luckily for Baltimore, this year's group of receiving prospects is deep. The Ravens will need to find someone who is almost immediately up for the challenge the transition to the NFL poses.

In Cincinnati, it's defense they're most concerned about, especially the pass-rush. Defensive ends Frostee Rucker and Jonathan Fanene moved on in free agency. Cincy has a good deal of cap space and could find replacements in free agency in the coming days, but the talent pool is dwindling.

Luckily, the Bengals have two first-round draft picks and can use one on a top-tier pass-rushing defensive end if they wanted.

The Cleveland Browns probably have the largest and most difficult-to-fix weakness in all of the AFC North.

It wasn't just just one area of their offense that struggled in 2011—it was the entire unit. Quarterback Colt McCoy has taken his fair share of the blame, but he could be far more successful with a better offensive line protecting him, more reliable receivers to throw to and a talented running back taking the pressure off.

That's a lot to ask for,—hopefully the receiving issue can be worked out with more preparation time, at least—but the Browns have the draft picks to at least turn some positions around.

Be sure to sound off and let us know what you think in the comments below.


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