NFL Draft Countdown
2023 NFL Draft Grades

AFC North 2023 NFL Draft Recap

AFC North

The 2023 NFL Draft is behind us and now we head into the review process. Our team at Draft Countdown will break down each team’s draft hauls, division-by-division. You can always check out the NFL odds as well. Today, I look at the four teams in the AFC North! 

How did the Ravens, Steelers, Bengals, and Browns make out? Let’s take a look.

AFC North 2023 NFL Draft Recap

Baltimore Ravens

1 22 WR Zay Flowers Boston College
3 23 LB Trenton Simpson Clemson
4 22 EDGE Tavius Robinson Mississippi
5 22 CB Kyu Blu Kelly Stanford
6 22 OT Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu Oregon
7 12 G Andrew Vorhees USC

I have no issue with any of the moves this team made, now that we know who their quarterback is going to be. Baltimore needed to upgrade their slot option, as what this team has been using has either struggled with injuries or ineffectiveness. Flowers is an immediate upgrade and should be a day-one starter. They have multiple wideouts now that are crisp route runners and that will help Lamar big-time in 2023! 

With only one day-two choice, they added some depth at linebacker, as some projected Simpson to be an early day-two player, I’d say Baltimore got great value in the late 3rd with this pick. Day 3 brought more solid depth with potential starting upside in time. Their last two offensive line choices were perfect fits for this team that prides itself on road-grading powerhouses along the line. And Vorhees was projected to be an early day-two, the potentially late day-one choice before his injury earlier in the draft process.

As with my last article, I don’t like grades, so I don’t do them but will say you did alright Baltimore!

Best Pick: Andrew Vorhees, G, USC (potentially long term)

Biggest Reach: Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College (probably 10-15 pick reach maybe, shows how well they did with value throughout the draft)

Day 3 Pick to Watch: Andrew Vorhees, G, USC

PFA Name to Know: Keaton Mitchell, RB, East Carolina

Pittsburgh Steelers

1 14 OT Broderick Jones Georgia
2 1 CB Joey Porter Jr. Penn State
2 18 DT Keeanu Benton Wisconsin
3 30 TE Darnell Washington Georgia
4 30 LB Nick Herbig Wisconsin
7 24 CB Cory Trice Jr Purdue
7 34 G Spencer Anderson Maryland

Another strong class for the Steelers, they added immediate impact players on the first two days of the NFL Draft. Jones steps in as their starting left tackle, and that should be huge for Najee Harris and that Pittsburgh run game. Both Porter Jr and Benton will be day-one starters on defense and this defense could quickly push for top-15 production.

From the third round on, they added quality depth with a couple of players in Herbig and Trice Jr that I could see in the starting lineup within a year or two. With Pat Freiermuth leading the tight end room, Darnell Washington probably factors more as an extremely athletic 6th offensive lineman that can be used as a weapon in the passing game occasionally. 

Great work Pittsburgh, not sure it makes you playoff-bound but moving in the right direction!

Best Pick: Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia 

Biggest Reach: Keeanu Benton, DT, Wisconsin (shows how well they drafted, he wasn’t much of a reach)

Day 3 Pick to Watch: Cory Trice Jr., CB, Purdue

PFA Name to Know: Monte Pottebaum, FB, Iowa (for a team that utilizes FB, he’s probably their starter)

Cincinnati Bengals

1 28 EDGE Myles Murphy Clemson
2 29 CB DJ Turner II Michigan
3 32 SAF Jordan Battle Alabama
4 29 WR Charlie Jones Purdue
5 28 RB Chase Brown Illinois
6 29 WR Andrei Iosivas Princeton
6 40 P Brad Robbins Michigan
7 29 DB DJ Ivey Miami

For a team that’s been in consideration for the Championship the last two years, this class is mainly depth and guys that could develop into starters in the future. I don’t believe they have a day-one starter in the class (other than Robbins at punter) unless they trade Joe Mixon and Chase Brown starts for them.

All of their day-one and two picks are going to be starters for them sooner rather than later. Myles Murphy gets to learn behind some strong veterans in Sam Hubbard and Trey Hendrickson, rotating in probably regularly during the season. I really have no bad things to say about this class, solid potential all around!

Best Pick: Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson

Biggest Reach: Charlie Jones, WR, Purdue (would’ve loved some more offensive lineman)

Day 3 Pick to Watch: Chase Brown, RB, Illinois

PFA Name to Know: Jaxson Kirkland, OG, Washington

Cleveland Browns

3 11 WR Cedric Tillman Tennessee
3 35 DT Siaki Ika Baylor
4 9 OT Dawand Jones Ohio State
4 24 DE Isaiah McGuire Missouri
5 5 QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson UCLA
5 7 CB Cameron Mitchell Northwestern
6 13 C Luke Wypler Ohio State

I think the Browns made some wise choices, and some head scratches throughout a class where they had no top 50 draft choices going in. After trading for Elijah Moore, and Drafting David Bell and Anthony Schwartz in the last few years, wide receiver seemed like an odd selection when you think they could use some better value at other positions. That being said, Tillman was a solid value as a starter down the road, along with Ika, and I could see Jones moving to the right side when Jack Conklin is gone.

Their Day-three choices were strong to start and finish but the 5th round choices were meh at best IMO. Wypler could wind up being their starter of the future, with time a development. He’s a good athlete with the ability to pull and make some things happen as a blocker at the 2nd level, that could turn into a starter within 2-3 years I’d think.

Best Pick: Dawand Jones, OT, Ohio State

Biggest Reach: Cedric Tillman, WR, Tennessee

Day 3 Pick to Watch: Luke Wypler, C, Ohio State

PFA Name to Know: Mohamoud Diabate, EDGE, Utah (Loved him in the pre-draft scouting process)

As always if you want to talk all things football, hit me up on Twitter or over on the Draft Countdown Discord! And check out the rest of my work here.

2023 NFL DRAFT REVIEWS

NFC EAST

AFC EAST

AFC SOUTH

NFC SOUTH

AFC WEST

NFC WEST

AFC NORTH

NFC NORTH

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