AFC North 2012 NFL Draft Assessment per Team

AFC North Division Draft Round Up:

Last season the AFC North sent three teams to the NFL playoffs.  That is a heck of a run considering there are only six spots per conference.  This was pretty impressive.  While only one of the teams (Baltimore) made it past the wild card round, having three teams in the NFL playoffs does not happen very often.

Cincinnati Bengals:

2012 NFL Draft – Best Pick: Round 2 Pick 53, Devon Still, DT, Penn St:  On Day 1 of the 2012 NFL Draft, Still was on a downward slide.  Many projected Still would go to Denver at pick 25, that is until Denver traded out of that pick.  At the end of Round 1, Still’s future remained unknown.  Lucky for him, his wait was over in Round 2 with Cincinnati’s second round pick.  This pick was easy for them since they had Still staring them right in the face.  The Bengals will start Still at the nose tackle position, while Geno Atkins will be the entrenched three technique tackle.  Still was a great value pick for the Bengals, and will shore up a defense that is already stout.  Playing twice a year against the Steelers, Ravens, and now the Browns, this pick should transpire as one of the great steals of the 2012 NFL draft for the Bengals.

2012 NFL Draft – Worst Pick:  Surprisingly enough, I can’t seem to define any bad picks that the Bengals made this year.  They had one of the best drafts I have seen from ANY team, let alone the Bengals, in a long time.  The pick-up of Brandon Thompson in the third round, and Orson Charles in the fourth round were great picks.  The rest of the Bengals’ draft was solid as well, with picks addressing many of their needs.  I applaud the Bengals for a great 2012 NFL draft this year.

 Cleveland Browns:

2012 NFL Draft – Best Pick: Round 1 Pick 3, Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama: This is a no-brainer.  Richardson is a beast among men.  He brings a new toughness to the Browns that they had when Peyton Hillis had a career-year two years ago.  Richardson is going to take the NFL by storm this year.  He’s a carbon copy of Maurice Jones-Drew (MJD) and might even surpass MJD as an impactful runner this year.  Richardson possesses elite size, strength, burst, and catching ability out of the backfield that makes him by far the best running back to come out of college since Adrian Peterson.  Richardson just made the Browns a legit team again.

2012 NFL Draft – Worst Pick: Round 1 Pick 22, Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State:  I was (and still am) a big fan of Brandon Weeden’s ability in the pocket.  He has a strong arm, and reminds me a lot of Tom Brady from a stature stand point.  The reason I am classifying him as the Browns’ worst pick is because they could have picked him up in the second round.  Instead, it seems as though they went with their knee-jerk reaction and picked him up way too soon.  With guys like David DeCastro, Stephen Hill, or Peter Konz still on the board, they would have been better suited to hold off on the Weeden experiment.  The fact that Weeden will be 29 at season start is nothing to be shy about either.

As always, please feel free to comment on your thoughts and opinions.  Thank you for reading.

Follow me on Twitter @randyschwimmer7.

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