2023 NFL Draft: AFC North Breakdown

With the NFL Draft around the corner, let’s take a look at each NFL team’s biggest needs heading into the Draft so they can guarantee success next season.

Today, I’m analyzing the AFC North with a lot of questions surrounding a few quarterbacks, specifically Lamar Jackson’s future.

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers have quietly had a great season, preparing as much as possible to take on what they only need for the Draft. After finishing 9-8 last season, the Steelers could really put themselves in a good position to vie for a playoff spot next season in an already pretty tough division.

Overall Draft Picks: 17, 32, 49, 80, 120, 234, 241

Key Needs: ILB, OT, DT, CB, WR

Potential First-Round Pick: EDGE Luke van Ness from Iowa

van Ness possesses rare explosiveness for someone of his size and stature. I think he would be a huge asset for the Steelers as he is versatile and still very young.

Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals are inching their way back to the Super Bowl, and could be closer to it than we think. After a 12-4 record this season, the Bengals have a plethora of draft picks to attain some younger talent to build around Burrow and also the defense – including keeping Tee Higgins around and signing TE Irv Smith Jr.

Overall Draft Picks: 28, 60, 92, 131, 163, 206, 246

Key Needs: TE, OT, CB, S, IOL

Potential First-Round Pick: TE Dalton Kincaid from Utah

I see Kincaid being a popular pick as many teams need a tight end. Will he go first overall? Maybe later in the draft between all the teams vying for an improved offense. Kincaid has excellent, consistent technique in addition to incredible arm length and strength.

Baltimore Ravens

The inarguably biggest headline on the Ravens right now is the future of Lamar Jackson. We don’t know what could happen, except that he might not be in Baltimore next season. If that’s the case, who do the Ravens turn to as an option? Do they look to the draft? The Ravens finished with a 10-7 record in the 2022 season.

Overall Draft Picks: 22, 86, 124, 157, 199

Key Needs: WR, OG, OT, CB, DT

Potential First-Round Pick: CB Cam Smith from South Carolina

Should Marcus Peters’ depart from the team, Cam Smith could be the replacement the team needs. Smith has incredible recovery speed and is a versatile player. He has great technique, patience, and knows how to control leverage. He could develop really nicely in the Ravens defense.

Cleveland Browns

The Deshaun Watson Experiment didn’t get off to the best start this year, but there’s always a possibility for a turnaround next season. Considering the Browns need an offensive reboot, they could look to the Draft to build a good offense for Watson to succeed.

Overall Draft Picks: 42, 98, 111, 126, 140, 142, 190, 229

Key Needs: WR, OG, TE, LT, DT

Potential First-Round Pick: None

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