1 (17) C.J. Mosley - MLB Alabama
-This is perfect timing for a wonderful middle linebacker to come into the ranks of the NFL; the Ravens would surely enjoy a rock-solid presence in the middle of their defense. Many experts had C.J. Mosley ranked high, but draft towards the bottom of the first-round, so this is certainly a steal. Mosley is a top-ten talent, and now will start next to Daryl Smith, who can help tutor him. One of my favorite players coming out of college, the Ravens have a gem in their hands.
2 (16) Timmy Jernigan - DT Florida St.
-An undersized but effective defensive lineman, this is a steal for the Ravens, and a perfect fit. With Ngata still on the team, Jernigan can learn from him, and eventually replace him. He should be a great defensive lineman for years. Jernigan has a lot of ability, and the Ravens were lucky to have him fall right into their lap.
3 (15) Terrence Brooks - FS Florida St.
-With the lack of safety depth in Baltimore, Brooks might start week one beside Matt Elam. Brooks can develop into a solid, zone coverage free safety. Under 200 pounds, though, he'll have to bulk up, and that will allow him to do better in run support.
3 (35) Crockett Gillmore - TE Colorado St.
-He can catch, he can block; what he lacks: speed. Gillmore won't start as the Ravens have Pitta and Daniels slotted up top, but that gives him time to develop. As a versatile tight end, possible the best two-way tight end in the draft, the Ravens will definitely keep him around, hoping he turns out to be big.
4 (34) Brent Urban - DT Virginia
-In a crowded group of promising linemen, Urban will probably play as a defensive end in the 3-4 scheme. The amount of playtime he will get is questionable because the Ravens have a good group right now, but with Chris Canty above 30 years of age, Urban looks to eventually replace him.
4 (38) Lorenzo Taliaferro - RB Coastal Carolina
-Ray Rice, who is 27 years old, ran into off-the-field issues last year, and he really didn't play too well either, so the Ravens are looking for someone to spell him is such issues reoccur, or if he goes down with an injury, though, he has been extremely durable. Baltimore's 23 year old back, Bernard Pierce, had a promising rookie year in 2012, but went through a sophmore slump. Taliaferro looks to fight for playing time, as he is a strong, well-sized running back who is definitely capable of backing up Ray Rice.
5 (35) John Urschel - OG Penn St.
-With Osemele and Yanda being efficient guards, Urschel will have to play center for the Ravens, as that is a need for them. He likely won't be able to learn outside, and with him being only 6-foot-3, he has limitations. Urschel is a very smart player, making up for his small size, but that will only get him so far. In the fifth-round, you don't need a star, but Urschel has a limited ceiling in the NFL.
6 (18) Keith Wenning - QB Ball St.
-Like many college quarterbacks, Wenning didn't play under center, but unlike most, he isn't very mobile or athletic. Wenning is a pure pocket passer, who has proven to be consistent and smart. A backup at best, he'll have to adjust to NFL speed, and learn from a strong-arm QB like Flacco, that of which Wenning is not.
7 (3) Mike Campanaro - WR Wake Forest
-Campanaro is a quicker-than-fast guy, and a pure slot receiver. At 5-foot-9, and with limited speed, he'll have to perfect his route running to contribute to Baltimore. All he's know for is adjusting to the ball, and with all of his limitations, he probably won't go far. But if Camanaro is committed, he'll do whatever he can to start at slot for the Ravens, even if it take a few years if he gets there.
-The Ravens did a wonderful job fortifying a weakened defense, getting C.J. Mosley at linebacker and Terrence Brooks at free safety. They also added depth both sides of the trenches, along with getting a few developmental players. I don't have a big problem with any of their picks, as they don't need too many immediate-impact players. The Ravens already have a good roster, and this draft made it better. The only little knock you can give them is probably Gillmore in the third-round, I personally would've picked up an offensive linemen, but they feel that Gillmore can be great in the future.
1 (24) Darqueze Dennard - CB Michigan St.
-Often the second corner off the board in mock drafts, Dennard was a steal for the Bengals. He is a physical, press corner that has a lot of potential. With all the depth at their cornerback position, they don't have to shove him in early. The Bengals have veterans, like Hall and Newman, that can teach Dennard and help him adjust to the speed of the NFL. This is the perfect position for Dennard to be in.
2 (23) Jeremy Hill - RB LSU
-Jeremy Hill has had character issues, but he's been a solid football player. At 6-foot-1 and 230 pounds, he's a big guy. Likely a compliment to Bernard, he'll need to play to his size. The Bengals weren't scared by the red flags, but he'll have to show that he's past all that.
3 (24) Will Clarke - DE West Virginia
-With Robert Geathers being a backup, and Margus Hunt still not grasping the intangibles of the game, Will Clarke looks to take the starting spot left open by Michael Johnson. Clarke wasn't a great pass rusher in college, but he has shown that he has the athletic ability, and that he has the size.
4 (11) Russell Bodine - C North Carolina
-He is short at 6-foot-3, but he put up 42 reps at the combine. Extremely strong and capable of working both run and pass blocking, Bodine has the potential to start. The thing about Bodine, though, is he is not agile at all, leaving him only capable of playing the interior positions. With no capable centers in Cincinnati, Bodine will fight to start, and will win it if he plays smart.
5 (24) AJ McCarron - QB Alabama
-This is a pick I don't get; I understand that they don't want to give Dalton a lot of money because he doesn't win games, and he hasn't been good in the playoffs, but they drafted McCarron, the game-manager of college football. McCarron is smart football player, with the intangibles to pass in the NFL, but only as a backup or a low tier starter.
6 (36) Marquis Flowers - OLB Arizona
-With James Harrison out of town, the outside linebacker spot opposite of Vontaze Burfict is open for competition. Cincinnati has a truckload of players fighting for that spot, including last year's fourth-rounder Sean Porter, who sat on the IR last season. Like Porter, Flowers is athletic and a little small. Both players are completely different from Burfict, a beast-of-a-linebacker. Flowers will probably sit this year, but he has the potential to be a quality starter in the NFL.
7 (24) James Wright - WR LSU
-Largely used as a special team gunner, Wright probably won't play receiver too much. At 6-foot-1 and running a 4.46 40, he may eventually get a shot, but for now, and for a while, he will be a special teams performer, where he excelled in college.
7 (32) Lavelle Westbrooks - CB Georgia Southern
-Strong for a cornerback, Westbrooks was good in run support, but as he lacks quickness and speed, his ability in coverage is limited. Westbrooks will have to get faster to play cornerback in the NFL, and he'll require a lot of patience.
-The Bengals did a decent job getting quality depth, and a few potential starters, Dennard, Clarke, and Bodine. Hill may replace Bernard as the lead back, as he's better fit for that role, and Flowers will fight for the OLB spot. Cincinnati has their hands full with good players, and look to make another run for the playoffs. The drafting of McCarron in the fifth-round is questionable, but other than that, this is a solid draft by the Bengals.
1 (8) Justin Gilbert - CB Oklahoma St.
-Running a 4.37 40, and standing at 6-foot, Gilbert has the physical traits to be a great NFL corner. Putting him opposite of Joe Haden will give the Browns a lot of breathing room and options with blitz packages and coverages. Not only will Gilbert only have to cover each team's second best receiver, he will have Haden tutoring him, potentially giving the Browns two shutdown corners. People dreamed of Watkins lining up alongside Gordan on offense, but instead it's a stout corner tandem. This is a great pick, and I don't know how much I can emphasize that.
1 (22) Johnny Manziel - QB Texas A&M
-This has been third time they get a quarterback with the twenty second pick overall in the past decade (Weeden in '12, Quinn in '07). But Manziel shouldn't bust like the other two. Obviously, Manziel has potential, but like every other player, he'll have to work there. All Cleveland fans love this pick, but I don't like Manziel because he doesn't seem to have an NFL style, both on and off the field. Either people love this, or they don't like him at all. Only time will tell where this guy takes the Browns...
2 (3) Joel Bitonio - OT Nevada
-With Thomas and Schwartz outside, Bitonio may have to move instead. But his quickness, Schwartz might actually move inside, as Bitonio might also eventually replace Thomas, who is around 30 years old. Bitonio handled every edge rusher in college well, including Anthony Barr, and that's a good sign as Thomas' successor.
3 (7) Christian Kirksey - OLB Iowa
-A little skinny, 6-foot-2 and just 230 pounds, Kirksey is an athletic linebacker capable of playing anywhere. With Mingo and Sheard set to start outside, Kirksey will likely go inside. Though, with just 16 reps of 225 pounds, he'll have to bulk up to hold his own, and ever become a pass rushing option. He'll likely be used as a coverage exclusive 'backer, and possible just in nickel packages, as he is quick enough to hover over the slot.
3 (30) Terrance West - RB Towson
-As Ben Tate is likely slotted as the starting back, Terrance West will have to fight hard to get extensive playing time. West is definitely in Cleveland's long term plans, but how soon is the question. Lacking top-end speed, he is definitely a power back, and it's questionable whether he can carry the load in the NFL.
4 (27) Pierre Desir - CB Lindenwood
-With Haden and Gilbert as the starters, he'll have to battle the up-and-coming Buster Skrine for playing time. A fourth-round pick, he will be allowed time to develop. Desir is 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds, perfect size for a corner; the only problem is that he isn’t too fast, but he has adequate speed. As it’s not an immediate need (with Gilbert now on the team), Desir is definitely a great pick, who should become valuable in the future.
-The Browns, already having plenty of talent on their team, added six quality players that can contribute plenty. They picked two corners who can play at number two and three right away, along with a first-round quarterback, an excellent lineman, and two rotational players that may start in the near future. Not only did Cleveland land some great players in this draft, but they're set up to have another great one next year, acquiring an extra first rounder from Buffalo.
1 (15) Ryan Shazier - OLB Ohio St.
-Shazier is a fast, explosive football player that looks to fight for whatever place they decide to put him in (he can work both outside and middle). Widely seen as the third best outside linebacker, the 4th overall (linebacker), this was a good value pick. This is the second year in a row that the Steelers selected a linebacker in the first-round, so it looks like they're continuing to rebuild their defense.
2 (14) Stephon Tuitt - DE Notre Dame
-Tuitt is another first-round talent who fell due to injuries. At 6-foot-5, 304 pounds, he's not a quick-twitch guy that can rush off of the edge, but he has the strength, 31 reps at the combine, to play inside. Considering the Steelers run a 3-4, Tuitt looks to start opposite of Heyward, as the Steelers replace their aging defense.
3 (33) Dri Archer - HB Kent St.
-With Le'veon Bell, who can do everything, to start at running back, and having Blount for short-yardage situations, it doesn't look like Archer will get many touches in the backfield. What he may be used as is a slot receiver, as the Steelers have Brown and Wheaten, who can stretch the field outside, allowing Archer to get free. They can also use him on screen plays, where his speed can be displayed in open space. The Steelers have a weapon in their hands, and it's up to them on how productive he will be.
4 (18) Martavis Bryant - WR Clemson
-Martavis Bryant is another receiver who has great size (6-foot-4) and speed (4.42 40), but can't catch very well. With immaturity issues also in play, this screams boom-or-bust. If Bryant stays focused, he can learn to catch and run routes in the NFL, but he doesn't, he'll be another big fast guy without a team.
5 (17) Shaquille Richardson - CB Arizona
-Richardson is a player that the Steelers hope to refine by the time Ike Taylor, who is 34 years old, leaves. With Cortez Allen turning into a fine corner, Pittsburgh will need a corner to start opposite of him come two years or so. Richardson has the size and speed, making him the perfect fit opposite of Allen, but he's had character and legal issues. This is another boom-or-bust pick for them, as he must have to focus to learn to cover in the NFL.
5 (33) Wesley Johnson - OT Vanderbilt
-With them running low on depth at the tackle position, it was smart of them to get a quick, intelligent, natural lineman. Johnson isn't quite strong, but he has the technique and athleticism to hold his own in the NFL. Most definitely, though, he'll have to bulk up, as he'll have to be able to handle top tier pass rushers if he wishes to start.
6 (16) Jordan Zumwalt - MLB UCLA
-6-foot-4 and athletic, Zumwalt has the potential to start next to Timmons come two years or so. He's a competitive player, who puts all of his weight into his hits. The thing is, though, that his strength is very average, as he struggles to do anything once engaged in a block. Working one of the strongest in the NFL, he should do just fine. And like I said before, he has the potential to start.
6 (39) Daniel McCullers - DT Tennessee
-At 6-foot-7 and 350 pounds, McCullers has rare size, and has amazing potential. His weight has fluctuated, but if he keeps that under control, it won't be too bad. He can overpower lineman with sheer power, and can fill up gaps, so he can fit in as a 3-4 nose tackle. McCullers is durable too, so he can stay on the field for quite long.
7 (15) Rob Blanchflower - TE Massachusetts
-Blanchflower projects as an extra blocker on the field, being 6-foot-4 and 256 pounds. He isn't athletic, but he can still run short routes and get a few yards. Blanchflower has had injury issues, dropping him in the draft, but he can prove worthy, especially for a seventh-round pick.
-Pittsburgh continues to rebuild their defense, as they got plenty of talent there in this draft. The Steelers picked up two sure-fire starters, along with a weapon and two potential stars. They didn't bring in a big (and reliable) target for Big Ben as I would've hoped for, but they still got him someone to throw the ball to. The Steelers, should have a really strong defense this year, and if they use their offensive firepower right, they can produce there as well. Picking up lots of speed, the Steelers just got a whole lot faster and younger.