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2012 YDKF Mock Draft – AFC North

Our GMs for the AFC North teams share the reasons behind their picks. Have a dispute? Take it up in the comments or join us in the YDKF Forums.

BALTIMORE RAVENS

Rd 1 – (29) – Janoris Jenkins- CB - North Alabama In this pass happy league, you cannot have enough quality defensive backs. Jenkins is a top tier corner with immense talent. Although he has a history of troubling personal issues, the Ravens locker room is just the right place to teach this kid a “better way” where he minimizes his off-field issues and maximizes his on-field abilities.

Rd 2 – (60) – David Wilson – RB – Virginia Tech The Ravens have one of the best running backs in the league in Ray Rice, but they have lost Ricky Williams. Not a problem. David Wilson provides tremendous value here as a change of pace back.

Rd 3 – (91) – Senio Kelemete- OG/OT- Washington The Ravens need a capable offensive guard to replace Ben Grubbs. Kelemete is an incredibly versatile player, having played DT, OG and LT in college. His size and skill should translate well at the next level at LG, and he can conceivably chip in at center as well.

Rd 4 – (130) – Trent Robinson – S – Michigan State In a weak safety class, Robinson’s work ethic and coachability make him an ideal understudy for Ed Reed. Great speed should help him patrol the backfield.

Rd 5 – (164) – Dale Moss – WR – South Dakota The Ravens wide receiving corps gets an infusion of much needed talent. Moss is an incredible mix of size and speed and a dynamic pass catcher who wowed scouts during his pro day. Moss gives Flacco an incredible #2 target.

Rd 5 – (169) – Joe Looney – OG – Wake Forest The Ravens obtain depth at guard with the powerful punch of Joe Looney. Although there are concerns about his narrow base, his upper body strength and history at guard should make him a quality reserve guard.

Rd 6 – (198) – Junior Hemingway – WR – Michigan An heir apparent to Anquan Boldin, Hemmingway provides great value at this position and depth at WR. Long arms and great hands and size mke Hemmingway an ideal possession receiver who can be a force inside.

Rd 7 – (236) – DaJohn Harris – DL – USC A mountain of a man with quick feet who can play DE or NT for the Ravens. This defense can maximize Harris’s potential. At worst, he can provide value and depth as a rotational player in the Ravens front 3.

CINCINNATI BENGALS

Rd 1 – (17) – Michael Floyd – WR – Notre Dame I was pleasantly surprised Floyd fell the the Bengals. Giving Andy Dalton an other weapon to go with AJ is very important. I love Floyd’s physical game, he’s a total playmaker and one of the best blocking WRs in college football.

Rd 1 – (21) – Dre Kirkpatrick – CB – Alabama Replacing Joseph was very difficult. Hall has shown he can’t stay healthy and Newman is a stop gap.

Rd 2 – (53) – Amini Silatolu – G/OT – Midwestern State A small school player that has shown to play with a mean streak. He can play RT , but will probably settle in at guard. Depth on the O-line is critical, especially the interior.

Rd 3 – (83) – Bernard Pierce – RB – Temple An all-round back that can complement “The Law Firm.” Just another weapon to put with Dalton. Pierce is underrated and will surprise.

Rd 4 – (116) – Tank Carder – ILB/OLB – TCU A solid linebacker that can play inside or out. Reads and reacts very well. Rey Rey’s future could be cloudy, he needs to stay healthy and make the next step or it could be his last year as a Bengal.

Rd 5 – (157) – TY Hilton – WR/KR – Florida International I love Hilton’s special team play and he was a good value pick in round 5. One of the most exciting players in this draft.

Rd 5 – (165) – Aaron Henry – S – Wisconsin Nice Big Ten player that should be a solid backup and teams player. Smart football player. Former CB, who has solid coverage skills.

Rd 5 – (166) – Joe Long – OT – Wayne State Jake’s little brother. I really like Joe’s upside, he’s a tough kid that works very hard.

Rd 6 – (191) – Jacquies Smith – DE – Missouri A late round pass rusher that has a good motor.

CLEVELAND BROWNS

Rd 1 – (4) – Ryan Tannehill – Quarterback – Texas A&M University  Quarterback is the most important position in football, so when you have a chance to land a potential franchise signal caller, you take him. Ryan Tannehill has the tools to develop into a very good NFL quarterback. Colt McCoy is not going to get the Cleveland Browns out of the hole, but he can hold the fort until Tannehill is ready to step in. Passing Trent Richardson and Morris Claiborne was tough, but without a legitimate quarterback, Cleveland will remain an inconsistent franchise.

Rd 1 – (22) – Stephen Hill – Wide Receiver – Georgia Institute of Technology  Cleveland is a team that will not be very competitive in 2012, so I decided to target high potential and upside early and often. Standing tall at 6’4 with the addition of 4.3 speed, Hill has a ridiculous combination of size and speed. Tannehill is very mobile, and he has the ability to keep plays alive with his legs – Hill’s ability to take the top off of a defense will be a huge advantage for Tannehill when plays break down.

Rd 2 – (37) – Bobbie Massie – Offensive Tackle – University of Mississippi  Upgrading the right tackle position was very high on my list of things to do for Cleveland in this mock. Massie has outstanding size and upside for the position – his ability to play both tackle spots is also a plus, though left tackle is locked down by one of the best in the game (Joe Thomas).

Rd 3 – (67) – Cam Johnson – Defensive End – University of Virginia  Getting a potentially consistent pass rusher to play opposite Jabaal Sheard in the third round was huge. Johnson has experience as a 4-3 end and a 3-4 outside linebacker. He’s a high motor bookend with deceptive athleticism that can be very productive early on.

Rd 4 – (100) – Sean Spence – Linebacker – University of Miami  Spence is one of those players that just plays bigger than he is. Cleveland needed an outside linebacker, and Spence has the ability to be a very good one at the next level. One of the better, if the not the best, cover backers in the entire draft class – nice fit in the Browns’ version of the 4-3 defense.

Rd 4 – (118) – Ron Brooks – Cornerback – Louisiana State University  Brooks is just an incredibly versatile defensive back that I couldn’t pass on. He can contribute immediately as a inside-the-numbers corner (nickel and dime), plus he can cover kicks/punts and blitz effectively. Very overshadowed at LSU playing behind a lot of elite college defensive backs. Could be a better pro than college player.

Rd 5 – (139) – Micah Pellerin – Cornerback – Hampton University  Pellerin is arguably the best small school corner, definitely the most athletic of the bunch. He has the ability to play both corner and safety, but I like him more as a corner because he’s not a strong run defender. Long, rangy defender with solid recovery speed. Unlike Brooks, Pellerin might not be ready to play on defense right away, but he can make an impact covering kicks/punts.

Rd 5 – (160) – Vick Ballard – Running Back – Mississippi State University  In one of the most physical divisions in the NFL, the Browns need to hit back. They let Hillis go after a down year, so a power back to complement Hardesty is needed. Ballard put up big numbers in the SEC, which is the best conference in all of college football. Ballard is the type of runner that can consistently run between the tackles and wear down a defense. Nice back for a team taking the committee approach.

Rd 6 – (204) – Najee Goode – Linebacker – West Virginia University  Scheme versatile thumper at the position. Goode excels at shedding blocks and defending the run. He’s a liability in coverage – your traditional two down backer that can make an impact in short yardage situations and on special teams early on in his career.

Rd 6 – (205) – Jeff Fuller – Wide Receiver – Texas A&M University  First round pick Ryan Tannehill’s college teammate. Fuller has ideal size for a move-the-chains, possession type of receiver. He’s struggled with concentration drops throughout his career. Also, for a guy his size, he doesn’t play as physically as you’d think. This late in the draft though, the developmental upside is worth it…and again, getting Tannehill a familiar receiver is nice too.

Rd 7 – (211) – Brandon Lindsey – Defensive End – University of Pittsburgh  Another pass rusher that was solid value this late. Like Cam Johnson, Lindsey has experience at both linebacker and defensive end. He’ll join his former college teammate, Jabaal Sheard, on the defensive line.

Rd 7 – (245) – Josh Oglesby – Offensive Tackle – University of Wisconsin-Madison  Wisconsin should be called OL U. Oglesby is clearly the lowest rated Badger OL prospect in this draft class, but he can play. He has elite size and he’s very competitive. Solid backup that could develop into an eventual starter down the road.

Rd 7 – (247) – Davin Meggett – Running Back – University of Maryland  Davin is the son of former NYG, NE, and NYJ RB Dave Meggett. Short, but compact runner with a knack for making big plays. He needs to become better in the passing game – blocking and receiving. If he can stick in the NFL, he has the ability to develop into a nice change of pace back in a committee system.

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

Rd 1 – (24) – Dont’a Hightower – ILB – Alabama The Steelers have several pressing needs, and I had a chance to address several of them. Dontari Poe, Mike Adams, and Janoris Jenkins all could have filled holes, but Hightower was the obvious choice. He can rotate immediately with Lawrence Timmons and Larry Foote, should be able to take the starting job from Foote after a season, and is the top player at a position with a large drop off in talent. Further, the Steelers will value his versatility in Dick Lebeau’s scheme as he’ll line up in multiple positions in a diverse role.

Rd 2 – (56) – Jeff Allen – OT/OG – Illinois Allen is an interesting prospect, giving versatility to a line that’s been plagued by injury and inconsistency. A college tackle, but his body type and style seem better fit for the guard position in the NFL. He can sub in all along the line, and Sean Kugler can either convert him fully to guard for the future or work on his body to get his athleticism in line with the tackle position in the NFL. Either way, he provides an excellent run blocking prospect for the new offense under Todd Haley.

Rd 3 – (86) – Josh Chapman – NT – Alabama  Chapman could be an absolute steal for Pittsburgh. 3-4 nose tackles aren’t easy to find, and he has experience at the collegiate level in a 3-4 defense. Were it not for injuries, he’d likely be drafted much higher, but there are questions as to whether he’ll be able to heal in time for camp. Chapman will learn behind Casey Hampton; the Steelers will expect him to take over next season. It’s a desperate spot. Steve McLendon is the primary backup, and he’s no true nose.

Rd 4 – (119) – Isaiah Pead – RB – Cincinnati With Rashard Mendenhall out for the season, Pead has a chance to contribute heavily. I’m not convinced that Redman and Dwyer can handle the load in a Bruce Arians offense, let alone one run by Todd Haley. With Haley in as the OC, the run game will dominate. Pead adds a dimension the Steelers lack as a solid pass catching back and a home run threat. He’ll step in as a change of pace back, but his well rounded game could see him leading the running back committee by midseason.

Rd 5 – (159) – Ronald Leary – OG – Memphis Leary is another tackle who should convert to guard. Unlike Allen, he has no upside at the tackle position. However, he’s a high motor player and a solid run blocker, again quite helpful with the hiring of Todd Haley. He’ll more than likely be a career backup, but one who will step in during spot duty and give solid effort.

Rd 6 – (193) – Eric Page – WR – Toledo Perhaps my favorite pick of the Steelers draft, Page is an underrated slot receiver who should contribute right away over the disappointing Emmanuel Sanders. With Antonio Brown’s emergence leading to a step outside, the future at the slot is free. Page is game fast, an excellent route runner, and incredibly quick in his cuts. This all adds up to success in the underneath passing game.

Rd 7 – (231) – Keith Tandy – CB – West Virginia Ideally, I would have liked to grab a corner earlier in the draft. However, the talent never matched up with the pick as players were taken spots ahead of the Steelers. Tandy’s upside is limited, but he has a chance to develop into a decent nickel corner, which is all one can expect from a 7th rounder. He’ll have a tough time playing man on an outside receiver, but he’s physical enough to think that he might be able to find success inside.

Rd 7 – (240) – Kourtnei Brown – DE/OLB – Clemson Brown will be converted to OLB and could develop into a situational pass rusher. He’s big and fast but not strong enough at this point. He’s also had some injury issues. He’s a project, but he’s physically gifted.

Rd 7 – (246) – Johnson Bademosi – FS – Stanford Bademosi could contribute on special teams, and his coverage skills could enable him to contribute at corner as well. He’s a heady player, but his upside is limited.

Rd 7 – (248) – Steven Baker – OT – East Carolina Baker is an absolute project. He’s fairly new to the game, but he’s quite athletic for his size – 6’8” 310 lbs. He could just as easily be out of the league in the blink of an eye as develop into a decent tackle, but the base is there.

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