2013 NFL Draft grades, AFC North: Defense and ground game dominate

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The AFC North stuck to their roots, showing a hard-nosed adherence to defense and running the ball.

The second and third rounds of the draft typified what the AFC North is all about: defense and running the ball. Only the Steelers' selection of wide receiver Markus Wheaton went against type.

After being linked to Manti Te'o in the first round, the Baltimore Ravens went about the near-impossible task of replacing Ray Lewis. The perfect player landed in their lap in the second round, just as it seems to happen every year. Some believed Arthur Brown was the best middle linebacker in the draft, and rivaled the level of talent displayed by recent first-round pick Luke Kuechly.

Dan Kadar re-graded the entire draft for each team, while Pete Prisco evaluated each pick as it happened.

Baltimore Ravens

No. 56 Arthur Brown
No. 94 Brandon Williams

Getting Brown could have been the steal of the second round. He'll be able to come in and help immediately at inside linebacker, and he has excellent tackling ability. Brown displayed enough speed to play as a 4-3 outside linebacker, but will be at home in a 3-4 also. Now the biggest question is if he can show a sliver of the influence Ray Lewis did.

Despite coming from a small school, Brandon Williams is a big man. One of the largest defensive tackles in the draft (335 pounds) he'll need to improve his conditioning to be an every-down player. If the Ravens can work on his stamina and motivate him more, he could be a gem in the third round.

Kadar: B+

Prisco: A-/ B-

Cincinnati Bengals

No. 37 Giovani Bernard
No. 53 Margus Hunt
No. 84 Shawn Williams

Continuing to amass picks, the Bengals are quietly putting together one of the league's most dangerous teams. Bernard is an all-purpose running back similar to Darren Sproles. He'll work excellently in space, and give Andy Dalton an outlet in the backfield.

Whittling down their needs, the Bengals are gambling on upside with Margus Hunt. He doesn't have an extensive football background, but the raw potential and athleticism gives Cincinnati the option to move him around the defensive line as needed.

Fellow Bulldog Baccari Rambo might have more accolades, but Shawn Williams is a powerful strong safety who will punish players in the box. He'll need to work on wrapping up and becoming more reliable, but he has great upside.

Kadar: B

Prisco: A-/ B-/ B+

Cleveland Browns

No. 68 Leon McFadden

A slightly puzzling pick, the Browns elect to take the smaller McFadden over bigger and more polished cornerbacks. He plays well in man coverage, but at only 5'10 there's a risk he'll get overwhelmed by larger receivers. His speed is a factor, and McFadden can make an impact on special teams.

Kadar: B

Prisco: B-

Pittsburgh Steelers

No. 48 Le'Veon Bell
No. 79 Markus Wheaton

The selection of Le'Veon Bell was one of the most puzzling moves of the second round. His build represents the ideal of Steelers' power football, but his lack of speed makes it questionable whether he can make an impact in situations other than short yardage.

Markus Wheaton is a fascinating prospect, and not unlike Mike Wallace who they lost in free agency. He is a deep threat with burning speed and a track background. Paired with Ben Roethlisberger's big arm, he should be able to make an early impact on deep routes.

Kadar: A+

Prisco: D/ B

More from SB Nation:

Geno Smith going to Jets, predicts playoffs

Manti Te'o fills need for Chargers

The Honey Badger heads to Arizona

NFL draft results: 1st round | 2nd round

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NFL draft grades: Reviewing the first round

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