The first round has officially come to a close, and what a first round it was. The Cleveland Browns were part of one of the biggest draft day trades in the history of the NFL, the Ravens made headlines in their own way and the Bengals have officially begun their post-Ochocinco era.
In case you missed it, here is a run down of what occurred for you AFC North teams last night:
Cincinnati Bengals: As expected the Bengals went with their top guy in A.J. Green. There were rumblings that the Bengals could trade this pick, but instead Cleveland made a trade with WR hungry Atlanta. That should prove that Green was always the Bengals' top choice because Green could easily be a Falcon if the Bengals bit on the trade offer.
Cleveland Browns: The Browns traded the 6th overall selection in return for five Atlanta Falcons Draft Picks: in 2010 the 27th, 59th and 124 picks, in 2011 the Falcons' first and fourth round picks.
The Browns set themselves up nicely and moved down the draft. They then made a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs to move up to the 21st overall pick. In order to do that the Browns had to agree to swap first round picks, while also sending Kansas City their third round selection.
That 21st overall pick was used to select Phil Taylor a defensive tackle from Baylor. Taylor is a big man best used to stop the run. Taylor should prove to be a force on the line, if he can stay healthy.
Baltimore Ravens: In one of the most confusing moments in NFL Draft History, the Ravens waited too long to make their pick at number 26, and were passed by the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs chose Jonathan Baldwin with their pick, and the Ravens subsequently chose Jimmy Smith, a CB from Colorado.
The Ravens apparently were in talks to make a trade with the Bears, but Chicago never reported the trade to the NFL and thus led to the forfeiture of the Baltimore pick. The Ravens and Bears, allegedly, were swapping picks so that the Bears were guaranteed to draft Gabe Carimi and the Ravens could pick up a fourth round pick while still drafting Jimmy Smith.
It seems to have worked out alright for all parties involved, but the Ravens are appealing for the Bears fourth round pick. An appeal they are likely to lose.
Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers were one of the few teams not to make a flashy move in the first round this year. Despite entertaining offers to both trade up and trade down, the Steelers instead decided to be patient and wait their turn. When the time came to make their selection, the Steelers were pleasantly surprised to see Cameron Heyward still available.
Heyward is a 3-4 defensive end from Ohio St. with strong family ties to the Steel City. Heyward likely will go the route of fellow first round pick Ziggy Hood and not have an immediate impact. Instead, Heyward likely will learn the system in his first year before being called on to be a regular contributor.
What to look for in Round 2:
- Will the Bengals look for their future starting quarterback? Likely second round quarterbacks remaining include Andy Dalton, Ryan Mallet and Colin Kaepernick.
- How will the Browns use their excess picks? Will they look to fill holes or elect to go with the best player available and hope for a stud?
- The Ravens have addressed their need for a cornerback, leaving offensive tackle and defensive end as their major needs. The Ravens could instead look to add a skill position in the second round and select a speedy wide receiver to stretch the field. What position will it be? Some possibly WRs include: Greg Little, Randall Cobb and Tandon Doss.
- The Steelers are still hurting at the cornerback position, and every round that goes by without a cornerback drafted gives Ike Taylor more leverage in contract negotiations. Will the Steelers be able to find a viable corner in the end of the round? Will they have to trade up? Or will the team instead focus on the offensive line?
The second round is set to start at 6 pm EST. Grab a beverage, turn down the lights and lets get ready for some football...