Steel City Underground contributor Chase Hammes and assistant editor Christina Rivers joined forces to discuss the AFC North and create a three-round mock draft for the teams that the Pittsburgh Steelers see twice each regular season: the Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, and Cincinnati Bengals.
|Chase Hammes||Christina Rivers|
|No. 16 - Calvin Ridley, WR (Alabama)||No. 16 - Mike McGlinchey, OT (Notre Dame)|
|No. 52 -Tyrell Crosby, OT (Oregon)||No. 52 - D.J. Moore, WR (Maryland)|
|No. 83 - Kyle Lauletta, QB (Richmond)||No. 83 - Kyle Lauletta, QB (Richmond)|
Hammes: The Ravens desperately need help at wide receiver and Ridley is one of the best in the class. Ozzie Newsome loves his Alabama guys and Ridley is a perfect fit. The Ravens also need help at offensive tackle and Crosby is super underrated and was always consistent during his collegiate career. Joe Flacco isn’t cutting it at quarterback, and Lauletta is an Alex Smith-like player who can develop to be a starter.
Rivers: Baltimore saw Joe Flacco flounder as a signal caller behind a weak offensive line, and although I considered receiver for their first pick, I think they address the line sooner rather than later in this year's draft. With Marshall Yanda entering the final productive NFL years, Nico Siragusa and Alex Lewis coming off of injury, McGlinchey would be perfect next to Ronnie Stanley on the Ravens' offensive line. Austin Howard just isn't enough to keep the wolves at bay, and whether it's Joe Flacco at quarterback or RGIII (or even a rookie), Baltimore can't afford to pass up on an opportunity to have a strong offensive front even if McGlinchey isn't the flashy playmaker Ravens fans want. He's a day-one starter that is a major upgrade from James Hurst. Moore has connections to the Ravens and Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz said of him, "D.J. is a productive player; he’s a good player. We had the opportunity to see him play a lot down here, being close by. It’s an impressive year this year knowing he’s played with three different quarterbacks. That’s a difficult thing to adjust to and he was productive throughout the season and was consistent and was helping those guys out." As a three-year starter at Richmond, Lauletta passed for over ten thousand yards and 73 touchdowns. He also put up these numbers while completing over 60 percent of his passes. In the 2018 Shrine Bowl, Lauletta threw for 198 yards and three touchdowns and was named MVP, but his stock is perfectly suited for a third-round grab.
|Chase Hammes||Christina Rivers|
|No. 21 - Isaiah Wynn, OL (Georgia)||No. 21 - Rashaan Evans, LB (Alabama)|
|No. 46 - Fred Warner, LB (BYU)||No. 46 - James Daniels, C (Iowa)|
|No. 77 - Jessie Bates, S (Wake Forest)||No. 77 - Jessie Bates, S (Wake Forest)|
|No. 100 - Holton Hill, CB (Texas)||No. 100 - Jalyn Holmes, DL (Ohio State)|
Hammes: Wynn is one of the best players in the class and would fix the Bengals' offensive line issues. Warner is an athletic linebacker who would replace Vincent Rey. Bates is a very talented safety who could make the Bengals secondary even more dangerous. Hill is an upside player who is a first-round talent with off the field issues.
Rivers: After the Bengals showed up at Alabama's Pro Day, I think they take Rashaan Evans with their first pick in 2018. Leighton Vander Esch has been hyped so much that teams picking ahead of the Bengals are likely to grab him. Evans has the speed to move sideline to sideline and despite limited time on the field behind Rueben Foster, Evans is ideal in a blitzing defense or as a WILL linebacker that has high-end potential. The Bengals enter the 2018 NFL draft still needing to address the offensive line despite the addition of Cordy Glenn. Wynn is versatile along the offensive line and played tackle and guard for the Georgia Bulldogs, and with Billy Price having torn a pectoral muscle, Marvin Harris may be moving James Daniels up his big board. Price has great initial quickness off the snap and showed an ability to win the position at both the first and second levels collegiately. As a pass protector and run blocker, many analysts feel he could earn a Pro Bowl in his first season. Bates is versatile at the safety position and can handle both man and zone coverage. More than willing to make the tackle, Bates has an aggressiveness the Bengals could use in their secondary and on special teams. Holmes would give the Bengals a mid-round interior pass rusher to pair with Geno Atkins that also has the ability to play the edge in rushing downs.
|Chase Hammes||Christina Rivers|
|No. 1 - Sam Darnold, QB (USC)||No.1 - Josh Allen, QB (Wyoming)|
|No. 4 - Saquon Barkley, RB (Penn State)||No. 4 - Saquon Barkley, RB (Penn State)|
|No. 33 - Kolton Miller, OT (UCLA)||No. 33 - Maurice Hurst, DT (Michigan)|
|No. 35 - Mike Hughes, CB (UCF)||No. 35 - Tyrell Crosby, OT (Oregon)|
|No. 64 - Kyzir White, SS (West Virginia)||No. 64 - Darius Phillips, CB/WR/KR (Western Michigan)|
Hammes: The Browns have Tyrod Taylor currently, but he's getting older and Cleveland is building for the future. Darnold is a beast and would fit great in Cleveland. Barkley is my top player in the 2018 Draft Class and would change the Browns offense, and culture. He will have a Ladanian Tomlinson-like impact in the league. Miller is a super athletic left tackle who needs development and coaching but he would be a steal; given time, he could be Cleveland's replacement for Joe Thomas. Hughes is a great corner who is a first round player with character issues; nothing the Browns would avoid. White is very underrated and could be a steal if used correctly.
Rivers: I agree that the Browns go quarterback with the number one overall pick yet again this year. Hue Jackson just can't help himself. I think Allen fits Jackson's vertical offense and although he only had a completion percentage of 56.2 during his collegiate career, they are similar to those of Matthew Stafford (57.1) and Matt Ryan (59.9) during their college days as well. Jackon loves project quarterbacks and Allen is just that. There is nearly a complete consensus that, unless the Browns make a trade for draft position, Barkley will be in Cleveland in 2018. The Browns made an improvement by adding defensive ends Carl Nassib and Emmanuel Ogbah, then put Myles Garrett at defensive end. Due to questions about an irregular heart test, Maurice Hurst's stock fell a bit even though he is arguably at the top of the defensive tackle crop in the 2018 draft class. He has been consistently dominant and would add a nice punch to the Browns' defense. Listing Crosby at offensive tackle is a pre-draft deal that may be remedied by Cleveland moving him inside to the guard position. He has great size and length with a bulldozer mentality, especially in run blocking. Phillips is an athletic ballhawk who handles slot and zone coverage well. Although his size may be exploitable, his toughness is what the Browns will prioritize, and the fact that he can play receiver and handle kick return duties makes him a great choice at number 64.