We graded the first day of the 2011 NFL Draft for the teams in the AFC North and have already given the Baltimore Ravens an "A" for their second day draft picks, obviously on the strength of selecting University of Maryland WR Torrey Smith. Now let's take a look around our division to grade how our rivals did in rounds two and three yesterday.
The Cincinnati Bengals took QB Andy Dalton (TCU) in the second round and LB Dontay Moch (Nevada in the third. Dalton jumped up draft boards lately and with the combination of the run on QBs in the draft as well as the status of disgruntled starter Carson Palmer in limbo, the Bengals needed to make the pick. However, it might be a bit of a reach as there is no way that Dalton can come right in and start against defenses like the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers a combined four times a season and expect to be successful, much less stay healthy. Moch was a solid pass rusher as a defensive lineman at Nevada, but will have to be taught to stand up and play linebacker, so his skills may end up more one-dimensional than a third round pick should be used for. The Bengals get a "C" for the second day based on these assumptions.
(Click on the 'Jump' to see the grades for the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers)
The Cleveland Browns scored an extra pick in the second round by virtue of their great trade in the first round. With their two second round picks (they didn't have a third round pick), they selected DE Jabaal Sheard (Pittsburgh) and WR Greg Little (UNC). Sheard will be paired with first round pick, DT Phil Taylor in their revamped defensive line and will be a very solid pass rusher with great speed for a big guy. Little was high on a lot of Ravens fans wish list before we took Torrey Smith but should contribute as good possession receiver in Cleveland's offense. I've got to give Cleveland an "A" for these two picks, as both guys should start and do well right away in 2011.
With their two second day picks, the Pittsburgh Steelers got a much needed offensive lineman in Marcus Gilbert (Florida) and a cornerback in Curtis Brown (Texas). Gilbert was also mentioned as a possible addition to the Ravens here on Baltimore Beatdown and the Steelers certainly need the help, although he was probably not the specific Florida offensive lineman that current Steeler center Maurkice Pouncey wanted. Brown will add depth in Pittsburgh's secondary as a nickel or dime back, and perhaps evolve into a starter in the future. Based on the corner not starting as a rookie, I give the Steelers a "B" for their second day draft picks.