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. 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
|1||22||WR||Zay Flowers||Boston College|
|5||22||CB||Kyu Blu Kelly||Stanford|
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
|2||1||CB||Joey Porter Jr.||Penn State|
|7||24||CB||Cory Trice Jr||Purdue|
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)
|2||29||CB||DJ Turner II||Michigan|
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
|4||9||OT||Dawand Jones||Ohio State|
|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