The first round of the NFL draft tends to make all the headlines, but it’s rounds two and three where teams really make their mark and fill multiple roster needs. This was the case for the Ravens, Steelers, Browns, and Bengals, all of which were extremely active on Friday night.
There was a total of six picks within the AFC North in the second and third rounds, with each of the four teams making two selections. Cleveland finally got in the action after not having a first-round pick, while Baltimore, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh continued to add talent.
How did each team fare with their selections? Check out some grades below and be sure to share your thoughts. Also, stay tuned for more grades to come tomorrow!
Pick #46, Round 2: Greedy Williams, CB (LSU)
Power moves only. After seeing the Ravens select Marquise Brown in the first round, the Browns traded up three spots to select Greedy Williams, who, in my estimation, is the best overall corner in this draft. Williams isn’t a very good tackler but in terms of covering opposing receivers, he has all the tools to be successful. Williams is 6’2”, ran a 4.38 40-yard dash at the combine and has great length. John Dorsey got incredible value here.
Pick #80, Round 3: Sione Takitaki, LB (BYU)
This might be a bit of a reach, as Sione Takitaki was projected by many to go somewhere between rounds 4-6. Much like his name, Takitaki’s effort level is above-average and he possesses good size for the position (6’1”, 238 IBS). His spotty coverage/tackling ability and lack of elite athleticism makes him hard to project at the next level, however. He’s also run-ins with issues off the field despite being a team captain at BYU. At the very least, Takitaki plays extremely hard and will carve out a role on special teams.
Pick #85, Round 3: Jaylon Ferguson, EDGE (Louisiana Tech)
Many wanted the Ravens to trade into the second round or acquire an early third-round pick to address one of their biggest needs: pass-rusher. Instead, they stood pat and landed a prospect many thought would be off the board in the second round, Jaylon Ferguson. The NCCA’s all-time leader in sacks, Ferguson wreaked havoc at Louisiana Tech and as we’ve seen in the past, the Ravens love pass-rushers who were productive in college. Ferguson is a solid athlete with good technique. Getting him here is great value and fills a huge position of need.
Pick #93, Round 3: Miles Boykin, WR (Notre Dame)
As many expected, the Ravens double dipped at the wide receiver position by trading up for Miles Boykin in the second-half of the third round. In doing so, they swapped picks with the Minnesota Vikings (No. 103 for No. 93) and attached two additional late-round selections (No. 191 & No. 193). It’s hard to knock them for this move. Boykin is 6’4” and ran a 4.42 40-yard dash time at the combine. He’s a well-rounded receiver with above-average blocking ability, and his ability to make contested catches is an ideal complement to Marquise Brown.
Pick #52, Round 2: Drew Sample, TE (Washington)
This one is a bit of a head-scratcher. The Bengals just re-signed Tyler Eifert to a one-year deal and also have C.J. Uzomah on the roster. Eifert is coming off a gruesome leg injury and can’t seem to ever stay healthy, though, and Uzomah isn’t exactly the most ideal option. Drafting a tight end is a need for Cincinnati, but selecting Drew Sample here isn’t very good value. Sample is more of a blocking tight end than a pass-catcher and while the Bengals need a good blocker at the position in Zac Taylor’s scheme, but they didn’t need to exhaust the 52nd pick on one.
Pick #72, Round 3: Germaine Pratt, LB (N.C. State)
The Bengals have needed some help in the second level of their defense for quite some time, especially after their D was historically bad in 2018-19. Landing Germaine Pratt here in the third round is a great step in the right direction. Pratt is rangy and possesses legitimate sideline-to-sideline speed. He has experience playing safety, too, which is always a plus. Cincinnati gets good value here while addressing a roster need.
Pick #66, Round 3: Diontae Johnson, WR (Toledo)
The Steelers needed to find another wide receiver with Antonio Brown no longer in the picture, and they grabbed a very Brown-esque player here early in the third round. Like Brown, Diontae Johnson is an agile and shifty receiver with great hands. He’s not the fastest player at the position but compensates with superb route-running ability. Pittsburgh seems to be capable of turning any wideout into a productive player and Johnson figures to be yet another solid playmaker for them.
Pick #83, Round 3: Justin Layne, CB (Michigan St.)
Like Greedy Williams, Justin Layne is a cornerback prospect who shouldn’t have slid as far as did. The Steelers need secondary help and Layne will provide it, both by making an impact in the short-term and serving as Joe Haden’s replacement. Layne is fundamentally sound and has good ball skills. Great pick here in the middle of the third round for Pittsburgh.