Connect with us


Ell’s NFL Draft Grades 2023: AFC North

Ravens: B+

WR Zay Flowers, Boston College, 1st Round, ILB Trenton Simpson, Clemson, 3rd Round, LB Tavius Robinson, Ole Miss, 4th round, CB Kyu Blu Kelly, Stanford, 5th Round, T Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu, Oregon, 6th Round, G Andrew Vorhees, USC, 7th Round

The Ravens selected Flowers in the 1st Round giving them a playmaking WR with good speed and route-running ability who can do more than just stretch the field making plays in space, however he is undersized even after adding to his frame and he will need to continue to do so; he will make his way onto the field immediately. Simpson is a fast, athletic LB who can play both inside and outside while dropping back in coverage or rushing the passer. He needs to continue to add weight/strength while improving his run defense, pass rushing, and tackling technique, but he was good value as a projected late 1st to early 2nd round pick. Robinson is a pass rusher with good size, athleticism, and the strength to knock the ball out while rushing off the edge or standing, but he is stiff which may lead to him projecting as a DE where he would need to add weight; he does have potential as a pass rush specialist. Kelly is a physical, athletic CB with good size who plays with good technique and a high IQ being the son of former NFL CB Brian Kelly. However, Kelly needs to continue to add strength and continue to get better as he doesn’t have great length or speed, but he has potential. Aumavae-Laulu is a physical lineman with good size who plays with a nasty demeanor in the run game, but he needs to improve his footwork and pass blocking; he projects as a long-term Guard, but could provide depth inside and outside. Vorhees is a versatile lineman who played multiple positions in college with good pass blocking skills, but he lacks length and tore his ACL at the combine to go along with other injury concerns.

Bengals: B+

DE Myles Murphy, Clemson, 1st Round, CB D.J. Turner, Michigan, 2nd Round, S Jordan Battle, Alabama, 3rd Round, WR Charlie Jones, Purdue, 4th Round, RB Chase Brown, Illinois, 5th Round, WR Andrei Iosivas, Princeton, P Brad Robbins, Michigan, 6th Round, CB D.J. Ivey, Miami, 7th Round

The Bengals shocked me going with a prototypical 4-3 DE in Murphy who has good size, athleticism, run stopping skills and improving pass rush skills with good bend and quickness around the edge or standing; I had him higher on my board. He will need to continue to improve his pass rushing technique and polish his overall game, he will have a chance to sit behind Hendrickson and Hubbard, but he could see time on the field with both. Turner is a fast, athletic CB who ran the fastest 40yrd dash at the combine using his speed to cover the fastest players in man to man coverage, but he lacks length, needs to get stronger, and work on his tackling; he projects as a nickel CB who may be able to play outside. Battle is considered as one of the best Safeties in a weak Safety draft, he has solid pass coverage skills, leadership, awareness, and he’s physical in the run game. However, Battle lacks top speed and athleticism, so he projects more as a SS, but he has the versatility to play either side and will compete for a starting spot. Jones is a tough WR with good speed and hands as a deep field threat who finds a way to bring in catches in traffic and a playmaker in space even in the return game. He needs to polish his route running and lacks good size and length; he should help as a returner and provide depth. Brown is a productive dual threat RB with good speed, athleticism, and vision who can be tough to take down in space, but he needs to improve his blocking and add strength; he has starter potential and should see carries early. Iosivas is a tall WR with great size and speed, but overall a raw prospect who may help as a returner. Robbins is known as more of an accurate punter, than a power one but he will compete for the job. Ivey is a physical CB with good size and speed, but he needs to improve technique and awareness.

Browns: B-

WR Cedric Tillman, Tennessee, DT Siaki Ika, Oregon, 3rd Round, T Dawand Jones, Ohio State, DE Isaiah McGuire, Missouri, 4th Round, QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA, CB Cameron Mitchell, Northwestern, 5th Round, C Luke Wypler, Ohio State, 6th Round

The Browns started the draft in the 3rd Round due to the Deshaun Watson trade, but got him a new weapon in Tillman who is a physical possession WR with good size who can stretch the field and he is a willing blocker. Tillman needs to improve his route running and show more consistency, but he will see time on the field and has starting potential. Ika is a huge NT who specializes in stopping the run and taking up space with some pass rush potential, but he needs to work on his conditioning and polish his game; he should see time in run stopping situations early with starter potential. Jones is an O-lineman with rare size and length at the position making him a solid run blocker and improving pass blocker, but he needs to work on his footwork and technique; he will provide depth at both Tackle spots. McGuire is a physical pass rusher with a NFL ready body, a high motor, and good strength to stop the run, but he’s not very fast and needs to work on his technique; he should see time in the rotation and play Special Teams. Thompson-Robinson is an athletic QB with good mobility to move the chains, but he needs to be a lot more accurate and add some weight to his frame; he will compete for a backup role. Mitchell is a fast CB with good coverage skills and a willing tackler, but he needs to work on his footwork and technique; he will provide depth. Wypler is a physical run blocking lineman who plays with good technique, but he lacks ideal length and needs to add more weight to his frame, he will need to earn a spot.

Steelers: A

T Broderick Jones, Georgia, 1st Round, CB Joey Porter Jr., Penn State, DT Keeanu Benton, Wisconsin, 2nd Round, TE Darnell Washington, Georgia, 3rd Round, LB Nick Herbig, Wisconsin, 4th Round, CB Cory Trice, Purdue, G Spencer Anderson, Maryland, 7th Round

The Steelers moved up to select Jones with the run on Tackles in the draft to help improve their O-line as he was considered the 2nd best LT in the draft. Jones is physical with good size, strength, athleticism, and quickness to hold his own on the edge, but he needs to clean up his footwork and continue to improve in pass protection; he is a Day 1 starter on the O-line, preferably LT. Porter was great value in the 2nd round as many had a mid 1st round grade on him, he is a physical CB with good size, athleticism, technique and football IQ as the son of former Steelers LB Joey Porter, so of course he is a willing tackler in the run game. Porter needs to continue to polish his game and force more turnovers, but he will matchup well against big WRs and will compete for a starting job. Benton is a strong, physical NT who can hold his own in the run game and has shown improving pass rush skills that he put on display at the Senior Bowl; he will compete for the starting job. Washington is a huge, physical TE who plays with good speed, strength, and athleticism while mostly being used as an extra blocker, but he has shown potential as a pass catcher. He is still raw at the position and needs to improve his route running and catching and traffic, but he has starter potential and could see time as a blocker with his rare size. Herbig is a productive pass rusher who plays with good athleticism, instincts, and quickness, but he lacks ideal length for a rusher, doesn’t have coverage experience and needs to add more to his frame even after adding weight at the combine. He will provide depth and play on Special Teams as a he develops and could be used as a situational rusher. Trice is a big DB who transitioned to CB with potential as a press CB, but he needs to improve his tackling and technique; he will have to earn a spot. Anderson is a versatile lineman with experience everywhere, but LT; he projects as a Center.

More in football