NFL Draft Grades: AFC North
With the 2021 NFL Draft officially complete, theScore's NFL editors hand out their initial grades for how teams fared.
The Ravens did exactly what they needed to do while securing solid receivers for Lamar Jackson in Bateman and Wallace, and also taking a stout pass-rusher in Oweh. Baltimore continued finding great value late, grabbing a perfect fit for its offensive line in Cleveland, and adding Wade - who could be an intriguing project - to the secondary. The team's 2021 draft class could remind us again that Baltimore's Eric DeCosta-led front office is one of the NFL's best.
The Bengals banked on a top-tier offensive lineman being available on Day 2 when they took Chase early, and Cincinnati cashed in while selecting Carman. The Clemson product might never be a franchise left tackle, but he could stick on the right side or shift to guard. Landing Ossai, whose ceiling is high as a pass-rusher, is also a huge move for a team looking to replace Carl Lawson. While Chase is the crown jewel of their haul, the Bengals impressively managed to find a few more diamonds in the rough to develop.
It's hard to poke holes in the Browns' 2021 draft class, as the team continued its ascension into the upper echelon of the AFC. Newsome gives Cleveland an immediate quality partner to pair with cornerback Denzel Ward, while Owusu-Koramoah may go down as the best steal of the draft. The Notre Dame talent was widely regarded as a first-round caliber player, but he fell into Cleveland's lap in the second round. After closing out the week with some solid Day 3 picks, the Browns could come away from this draft with multiple starters and contributors.
The Steelers went against the current trend of avoiding a running back in the first round, but Harris brings authority to a backfield that lacked star power last year. However, he might quickly discover his new offensive line is nothing like the one Harris ran behind at Alabama. Pittsburgh surprisingly chose to ignore that unit until the third round, even though it's been a major area of concern. Although selecting a tight end in the second round may give Ben Roethlisberger another weapon, that might be irrelevant due to the poor protection in front of him. While the Steelers added a few quality players, they may have been better off beefing up their offensive line first.
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