Day 2 of the NFL draft was not short on excitement. For our four AFC North teams, it brought a total of eight selections — two for each squad — and a handful of trades by the Bengals and Browns. The Ravens and Steelers stood pat in their respective slots.
Let’s dish out some grades for each of the picks. As always, chime in with your own thoughts in the comments below!
No. 46 (via trade) — Jackson Carman, OT, Clemson
The Bengals were scheduled to pick at No. 38 but traded down with the Patriots in exchange for three selections: No. 46, No. 122, and No. 139. They used the 46th pick to draft OT Jackson Carman out of Clemson.
After drafting Ja’Marr Chase in Round 1, the Bengals needed to take an offensive lineman early on Day 2. They might have better served staying put and taking Teven Jenkins or Liam Eichenberg at No. 38, who are viewed as a tier above Carman.
Carman started 27 games at Trevor Lawrence’s blindside protector at Clemson. He needs some development and refinement but should compete for starter reps this season. He could best suited for a transition from tackle to guard.
No. 69 — Joseph Ossai, EDGE, Texas
With their second pick of the night, the Bengals took their first defensive player of the draft in Joseph Ossai. Ossai was once viewed as a potential first-round pick but his stock began to slide in recent weeks. Evidently, it slid enough to push him into the Bengals’ lap in the third round.
Ossai lacks the refinement and polish of other edge rushers that went before him, but there’s no denying his upside. He’s a physical specimen with impressive length and explosiveness. Ossai’s motor might be better than anyone in this draft.
Far from a flawless player, obviously — there’s a reason he was still available at No. 69 — but this is a strong value selection for Cincinnati. He can provide some juice up front.
No. 55 — Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn St.
The Steelers double-downed on offensive skill players in Round 2, selecting TE Pat Freiermuth with the 55th overall pick. Freiermuth was generally the consensus second-best tight end prospect in the draft after Kyle Pitts.
Dubbed the nickname “Baby Gronk”, Freiermuth has some impressive athletic traits and receiving skills. The Steelers’ lost Vance Macdonald in the offseason, so Freiermuth should compete for playing time early with Eric Ebron and Zach Gentry.
Freiermuth has a ways to go as a blocker, though, and it’s fair to question if this was the best pick for the Steelers. Similar to when they picked Najee Harris on Thursday night, they had more pressing needs on the offensive line and at cornerback. There were plenty of talented prospects at these positions available. Hard to question the player but easy to question the decision.
No. 87 — Kendrick Green, IOL, Illinois
The Steelers took an offensive lineman at long last in the third round, nabbing Kendrick Green out of Illinois at No. 87 overall. Green is profiled as an aggressive, physical player while also possessing some quickness and agility.
He has experience playing both center and left guard in college, which gives the Steelers some options in where they slot him. Green tested well and could potentially see playing time as early as this season. The Steelers need some reinforcement up front.
No. 52 (via trade) — Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
The Browns traded up from No. 59 to No. 52. They swapped picks with the Panthers and received pick No. 113 in exchange for No. 89. With the 52nd pick, they nabbed the top remaining linebacker prospect in Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah out of Notre Dame.
Few expected Owusu-Koramoah to be available late into the second round. In fact, many mock drafts projected him as a first-round pick as high as the late-teens and early 20s. It was a decisive move for the Browns to trade up and snag him before he could slide any further.
Owusu-Koramoah is a linebacker in name but is a bit undersized. Some have labeled him as more of a defensive back. Either way, he’s a fluid athlete with impressive agility and coverage skills. He could develop into a key defensive piece for the Browns.
No. 91 — Anthony Schwartz, WR, Auburn
The Browns took their first offensive player of the draft with the 91st overall pick, nabbing WR Anthony Schwartz out of Auburn. Schwartz is one of the fastest players in the draft and is a pure athlete at the wide receiver position.
He can beat defenses over the top and separate from cornerbacks with ease. The question will be whether or not he winds up being a one-trick pony of sorts in the NFL. The Browns won’t need him to play right away, though, so he could be a nice luxury to have in their back pocket on offense.
No. 94 — Ben Cleveland, IOL, Georgia
The Ravens waited until the latter half of the third round to make their first selection on Day 2. With it, they drafted Ben Cleveland out of Georgia. Cleveland is a natural offensive guard with impressive athleticism for someone his size. He tested extremely well during pre-draft workouts and fits the mold of a typical Ravens’ interior offensive lineman.
He’s a mauler in the run game and extremely physical at the point of attack. The Ravens could have taken an offensive tackle here, but instead land a potential plug-and-play starter at guard. Cleveland will compete for starting reps right away.
No. 101 — Brandon Stephens, CB, SMU
With their second of two third-round picks, the Ravens made a surprising selection in Brandon Stephens out of SMU. Stephens wasn’t rated as highly by most as where the Ravens took him, so this can be labeled as a bit of a reach.
Stephens played running back for two years at UCLA before transferring to SMU and transitioning to the defensive side of the ball. He’s listed as a cornerback but could potentially play safety, too. He has upside given his size and length but at this juncture, is more of a developmental player than a surefire contributor right away.