2011 NFL Draft Grades: Grading the Pittsburgh Steelers and the AFC North
2011 NFL Draft Results For The Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, and Cincinnati Bengals
The AFC North is one of the divisions that has had a tremendous draft to this point as a whole. Each team has done things differently, but all of them have done a solid job addressing their needs.
Here are draft grades for the AFC North:
Baltimore Ravens: B
The Baltimore Ravens addressed two of their biggest needs in the first two rounds of the draft. They selected CB Jimmy Smith, a top ten talent with character concerns, and explosive WR Torrey Smith.
Smith should step in and add a deep threat from the slot position, a role they expected Donte Stallworth to fill last season, and Jimmy Smith should immediately improve a struggling secondary.
Baltimore also added WR Tandon Doss from Indiana who should also help to jolt the Ravens passing game.
Cincinnati Bengals: B+
The Bengals got their man in both the first round and the second round of the draft. It was no secret that they wanted A.J. Green as an eventual replacement WR for Chad Ochocinco. Green is a tremendous talent, who will quickly become Andy Dalton's favorite target.
The Bengals continued their draft by addressing their needs in the trenches with DL Dontay Mach and OG Clint Boling. Both players could come in and be contributors early in their careers.
Cleveland Browns: A-
The Browns traded down early in the draft with the Atlanta Falcons to pick up additional picks and have done a great job with those additional picks. Phil Taylor and Jabaal Sheard should immediately improve the Browns defensive line. Taylor is an excellent run stopper and Sheard does a tremendous job of getting to the QB.
Following that the Browns provided some receiving targets for Colt McCoy, adding red-zone threat WR Greg Little, and project TE Jordan Cameron.
The Browns also picked up an additional first round pick for next year that should help him to continue developing and adding young talent.
Pittsburgh Steelers: C+
The Pittsburgh Steelers have had the worst draft of any team in the AFC North. They selected Cameron Heyward with their first round pick, who is an exceptional talent but appeared to take a lot of plays off at Ohio State.
In the second round they selected OT Marcus Gilbert, who is a big of a project and may not be ready to step in to Flozell Adams' role just yet.
The Steelers finally addressed their needs in the secondary with CB Curtis Brown, who is another player that doesn't appear to be an instant contributor. He could find a role with the team in dime situations, but the Steelers failed to land many players that will contribute early in their career.
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