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NFL Draft grades 2013, AFC North: Ravens, Bengals receive high praise

Aside from the Cleveland Browns, most NFL analysts were impressed with the work the AFC North did in the 2013 NFL Draft.


The AFC North had a productive run of picks at the 2013 NFL Draft, adding notable players like Jarvis Jones, Tyler Eifert and Arthur Brown. Overall, the division emerged from the weekend with one of the best draft classes in the league.

NFL experts all agree the Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers were successful with their selections in New York. Of course, the Cleveland Browns appear to be the odd ones out. What's new?

It's time to examine the approval ratings. Let's look at the grades given to these four teams from a few national analysts.

Baltimore Ravens

Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN: A-

Dane Brugler, CBS: A

Chris Burke, Sports Illustrated: A-

It's easy to like what the Ravens did in this year's draft. They immediately addressed safety by drafting Matt Elam in Round 1, and then picked up arguably the steal of the weekend by selecting linebacker Arthur Brown at the end of Round 2. Brugler spotlights the addition of Brandon Williams, as he will help bolster the defensive line with Haloti Ngata. Baltimore brought in several players with the potential to start immediately. Are fans still questioning the offseason plan for the reigning champs?

Cleveland Browns

Kiper: C+

Brugler: C

Burke: D+

While Burke was the most critical of the Browns, all three agreed this was a poor effort. Brugler questions the mentality of drafting Barkevious Mingo after signing Paul Kruger at the beginning of free agency. Cleveland only had five picks to work with, and cornerback Leon McFadden might be the important piece with the lack of depth in the secondary. Adding two picks for 2014 did help. The Browns sit toward the bottom of most rankings.

Cincinnati Bengals

Kiper: A-

Brugler: A

Burke: B+

Kiper sees the Bengals getting a steal with Tyler Eifert at pick No. 21. Brugler likes the addition and believes Andy Dalton's new weapon will be a nice compliment to A.J. Green, instantly improving the short passing game. Margus Hunt has all the upside in the world, and Reid Fragel looks like be a steal in Round 7, providing insurance for the recently re-signed Andre Smith. Cincinnati added a lot of talent with 10 picks.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Kiper: B

Brugler: B+

Burke: B+

Both Kiper and Brugler "love" the addition of Jarvis Jones to the outside edge in Pittsburgh. He immediately fills the void left by James Harrison's departure. Burke also likes Landry Jones' value in the Steelers offense, as Ben Roethlisberger is no stranger to injuries. Le'Veon Bell could be starting in the backfield in his rookie season. Rashard Mendenhall is gone, and Jonathan Dwyer didn't exactly lock down the No. 1 role when presented with the opportunity in 2012.

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