AFC North Mock Draft
The AFC North should be one of the most competitive divisions in the NFL this season. With the Ravens winning the division last year behind the strong play of Lamar Jackson, they should be the favorites again this year. Ben Roethlisberger will return from injury for the Steelers, so they will be back in the playoff hunt. After a disappointing 2019 season, look for a rebound season for the Cleveland Browns, as they have made improvements via free agency.
AFC North Mock Draft
Let’s take a look at how the AFC North teams will handle the 2020 NFL Draft.
The Ravens had a great 2019 season, and are looking to make a run at the Super Bowl this season. The Ravens have four main needs going into this year’s draft: offensive line help, an edge rusher, upgrades at the wide receiver position, and linebacking help. Picking 28th in this year’s draft the Ravens could draft for need, or they could do what they have done in the past, and draft the best available player regardless of need.
With this being a deep draft class for offensive linemen and receivers, we look for the Ravens to go with the best available edge rusher. The Ravens will take Penn State’s Yatur Gross-Matos. With 15 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks last season, he’s the kind of edge rusher that the Ravens lack.
The Browns were predicted to make the playoffs in 2019, but things just didn’t work out, and they had a very disappointing season. The Browns are looking to rebound in 2020, and feel that they are a legitimate playoff contender.
The Browns have one huge draft need, and that is offensive line help. Baker Mayfield was running for his life last season, and a left tackle would be a great addition to help solidify the Browns offensive line.
Drafting 10th, the Browns will be looking at tackles Trisain Wirfs from Iowa, Andrew Thomas from Georgia, Mekhi Becton of Louisville, or Jedrick Wills Jr. from Alabama. One or two of those options are likely to be gone by the Browns pick. We think the Browns will take Mekhi Becton. The 360 pounder can move, and will be a good fit in the Browns offense.
After a dismal 2019, the Bengals earned themselves the first pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Barring a trade offer that knocks their socks off, the Bengals will keep the pick, and will take Joe Burrow from LSU to be their franchise quarterback. Burrow is being said to be the best quarterback prospect to enter the draft since Andrew Luck. He could be the next Luck, or he could be more comparable to former Bengal Carson Palmer. Time will tell, but this pick is a no-brainer for the Bengals.
The Steelers will not be picking in the first round this year. The Dolphins obtained the Steelers first round pick in exchange for Minkah Fitzpatrick last season. That leaves the Steelers making their first pick at #49 in the second round. We look for the Steelers to draft a running back or quarterback with this pick. If Jonathan Taylor from Wisconsin or J.K. Dobbins are available to add running back depth, the Steelers will go with one of them. We don’t see either of them still being available, so we’re going with the quarterback. The Steelers like to have versatility in their quarterbacks. With that being said, the Steelers will draft Jalen Hurts from Oklahoma to be the heir apparent to Ben Roethlisberger.