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mesaSteeler
03-27-2009, 11:41 AM
Updated AFC North mock draft
http://myespn.go.com/blogs/afcnorth
March 27, 2009 11:00 AM

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

The draft board has been altered since we last looked at prospects before last month's NFL combine.

So with a month left before the NFL draft, let's check in once again with ESPN draft experts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay to get their latest picks for AFC North teams.

Cleveland Browns

Pick: No. 5

Mel Kiper Jr.: B.J. Raji, DT, Boston College

Todd McShay: Brian Orakpo, DE/OLB, Texas

Analysis: Both of these picks would bring toughness and a mean streak to the Browns. But in a 3-4 defense, the versatile Orakpo may be the more valuable of the two players. New Cleveland coach Eric Mangini likes defenders who can rush the passer from both the outside linebacker spot and in a three-point stance at defensive end. It doesn't mean Orakpo will be the better pro, but he gives the coaching staff more options, which could be the deciding factor if choosing between these two players.

Cincinnati Bengals

Pick: No. 6

Kiper: Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech

McShay: Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia

Analysis: The Bengals would be elated if Monroe fell into their lap at No. 6. Cincinnati needs protection for quarterback Carson Palmer from the tackle position and Monroe looks NFL ready. The Crabtree pick by Kiper is surprising considering the signing of receiver Laveranues Coles to replace T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Perhaps the Bengals will look to trade No. 1 receiver Chad Ocho Cinco in the next month, which Kiper may be anticipating with this pick.

Baltimore Ravens

Pick: No. 26

Kiper: Rey Maualuga, ILB, USC

McShay: Vontae Davis, CB, Illinois

Analysis: Kiper presents an interesting pick with Maualuga. If the USC linebacker falls to the end of the first round, he could be the best player on Baltimore's board, while also having the potential to fill a void left by linebacker Bart Scott's departure to the New York Jets in free agency. With the signings of Domonique Foxworth and Chris Carr, cornerbacks such as Davis are no longer a pressing need. A big-play receiver could be a better option.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Pick: No. 32

Kiper: Darius Butler, CB, Connecticut

McShay: Alphonso Smith, CB, Wake Forest

Analysis: Both experts agree that cornerback is the way to go for Pittsburgh. Kiper likes the small-school prospect in Butler, while McShay feels Smith from Wake Forest and the ACC is the better pick. I tend to like Cal center Alex Mack in this spot. He could play guard or center for the Steelers and may project to be a leader of the team's weakest unit for years to come. But cornerback insurance wouldn't be a bad option either, considering the departure of starter Bryant McFadden to the Arizona Cardinals.

(Given how pass happy the NFL is going to be with the new rules I could understand taking a CB. It also fits in with our defense first, super bowl winning philosophy. - mesa)

MDSteel15
03-27-2009, 11:50 AM
I hope they are both wrong with our pick!!! :banging:

revefsreleets
03-27-2009, 11:52 AM
I'm still trying to figure exactly WHO these guys all think Cleveland is going to throw the ball to next year. Kick returner Josh Cribbs? Prisoner # 347555 Donte Stallworth? Braylon "Scissorhands" Edwards? David "AARP" Patten?

If Crabtree is there at 5, they take him.

As for the Steelers, I'm getting the feeling they will go OL early. There will be value corners available mid-round, and I think they are taking a serious look at Donald Washington.

SunshineMan21
03-27-2009, 03:19 PM
It's possible we take a corner early . . . I'm not sure how much sense it makes--none of the corners are slam-dunks and there will be quality linemen available--but it's certainly possible.

I also agree with them on the Browns pick . . . never spend that high a pick on a receiver . . .

St33lersguy
03-27-2009, 05:05 PM
Barring a steal being available at a position of need if Mack is available he is the way to go

The Definiti0n
03-27-2009, 06:33 PM
I would love to have Butler or Smith

Galax Steeler
03-28-2009, 07:01 AM
I will just trust Colbert and company to make the right decision.

revefsreleets
03-28-2009, 08:53 AM
It's possible we take a corner early . . . I'm not sure how much sense it makes--none of the corners are slam-dunks and there will be quality linemen available--but it's certainly possible.

I also agree with them on the Browns pick . . . never spend that high a pick on a receiver . . .

A) Crabtree was the best player in college football last year. Period.
B) He's polished and NFL ready
C) They are woefully short of receivers.

SunshineMan21
03-29-2009, 02:56 AM
Doesn't matter. And no, he wasn't necessarily the best player in college football last year--I think he has as good a claim as anyone, but Sam Bradford, Jason Smith, Tim Tebow, and Aaron Curry would all beg to differ.

As far as positional value goes, WR is way, way, down on the list of priorities for a rebuilding team--especially if one of the stud OTs (Smith or Monroe) falls to them. In any case, if I'm Cleveland I take Orakpo over Crabtree. It's a debatable pick, but the track record of drafting "can't miss" WRs high in the first round is really, really awful.

Steely McSmash
03-29-2009, 08:57 AM
I think the browns would be foolish to pass Raji for Orakpo.

Orakpo won't be the complete package at OLB for a year or two. Sure he can rush the passer.

A quick check of team stats shows that the brownies give up a lot of rush yards per game while being mid pack for pass defense. BJ Raji would fix this up nicely. They could perhaps dangle the underperforming Rodgers as trade bait to one of the newer 3-4 teams such as GB. Maybe even toss him to the bungles for a 2nd or 3rd round pick.

lilyoder6
03-29-2009, 09:04 AM
i can see y he has the ravens selecting a lb to replace scott..

but i could also see them selecting a wr with that pick... there best wr is mason and he is 35.. and then they have no one else 4 flacco to throw to, or to stretch the field

revefsreleets
03-30-2009, 08:44 AM
Orakpo was largely shut down by Boone in the Fiesta Bowl. He had some help from a TE some of the time, but he really didn't have any impact on the game until the very end.

I think he's very one dimensional, a pure pass rusher, and they've gotten smoked drafting pure pass rushers and trying to make them complete players before (Wimbley is starting to look like a bust).

I HOPE they take Orakpo, because I don't think he's anywhere gonna fill their biggest needs, but I think Crabtree is just too potentially impactful, and fills too large a hole to pass up.

El-Gonzo Jackson
03-30-2009, 09:04 AM
I watched the Fiesta bowl matchup between Orakpo and Boone very closely. Orakpo was too fast for Boone the entire game. The Buckeyes used TE and RB's to help Boone quite a bit.

Boone showed very good technique and use of his long arms when 1 on 1 with Orakpo, making him take a long run to get around to the pocket, but he was a force and it was clearly a mismatch for Boone.

It made me a bigger fan of Boone to be a RT and somebody I think is worthy of our 3rd round pick or later. I think Orakpo reminds me of Derrick Thomas a lot.

lilyoder6
03-30-2009, 10:42 AM
well u know u will get a hard worker if u draft orakpo.. the man is a work out machince..

but i also heard that the browns could be shopping edwards since he is in the final yr of his contract.. so the crabtree selection would look good as well...

b/c other than edwards they have cribbs

revefsreleets
03-30-2009, 11:32 AM
Wait a second, you're telling me that Boone had help THE ENTIRE GAME? Every snap?And that's the reason Orakpo had a whopping 2 tackles?

I must've watched a different Fiesta Bowl then...because that's not what I saw. I did see occasional TE help, and they left a RB in for protection on a few pass plays, but not anything even approaching every snap.

I've actually seen a few projections stating that Orakpo's stock dropped after that performance, that either he's vastly overrated or Boone is vastly underrated.

(Edit) I actually looked this up to see what other people had to say about the matchup, and there was definitely some chatter about how Boone dominated Orakpo in the running game, which supports my notion that he's one-dimensional.

Either way, the Browns can do as they please...We already have a pass rushing specialist in Davis, and we don't need another, so he's not coming to our team...

El-Gonzo Jackson
03-30-2009, 02:57 PM
Wait a second, you're telling me that Boone had help THE ENTIRE GAME? Every snap?And that's the reason Orakpo had a whopping 2 tackles?

I must've watched a different Fiesta Bowl then...because that's not what I saw. I did see occasional TE help, and they left a RB in for protection on a few pass plays, but not anything even approaching every snap.

I've actually seen a few projections stating that Orakpo's stock dropped after that performance, that either he's vastly overrated or Boone is vastly underrated.

(Edit) I actually looked this up to see what other people had to say about the matchup, and there was definitely some chatter about how Boone dominated Orakpo in the running game, which supports my notion that he's one-dimensional.
...

I never said that "Boone had help the entire game" ..........there you go again, trying to put words in my mouth to make a point. :rulez:

I watched the game, broke down play by play, as I was interested in seeing Boone vs. Orakpo and I can tell you that Orakpo's speed was a problem all day. Here are some comments from scout.com

-Alex Boone has to grab Orakpo for a holding call. This is going to be a long, lonnnnng night for No. 75

-Ohio State had better figure something else out against Orakpo in a big, BIG hurry. He blew past Alex Boone before he could get up out of his stance. That sound you hear is a cash register.

- “And with the 214th pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars select, Alex Boone, offensive tackle, Ohio State.”

- I’ll admit it. I have a non-sexual man-crush on Orakpo. There’s the first play that Boone got the upper hand.

-Orakpo was breathing down Pryor’s neck, he threw a scary-looking floater of a pass to Beanie, and it went for 20 yards.

-Orakpo ends all of that. For all the good things that Boeckman did in this game, he shows why he was benched by taking a sack when he could do anything but take the sack.
http://cfn.scout.com/2/827610.html

If you actually watched the game objectively, you would have been impressed by Orakpo's quickness off the ball, his non stop motor at chasing the play and ability to get to the corner with speed and a dip and rip move. You would also be impressed by how well a lead footed Alex Boone used the assets he has(long arms, height, efficient kick slide and balance) to handle the nations premier pass rusher.

But, if you just watched (and cried) the game thru scarlet and grey colored glasses.......you read the stat sheet and say Orakpo is a bust. :doh:

ShutDown24
03-30-2009, 05:39 PM
I would rather have Darius Butler than Alphonso Smith on any occasion. I would be happy with the pick of Darius Butler, although I don't think it will come to that.

El-Gonzo Jackson
03-30-2009, 06:19 PM
I would rather have Darius Butler than Alphonso Smith on any occasion. I would be happy with the pick of Darius Butler, although I don't think it will come to that.

I too like Butler better. I hope it doesnt come to that either..........I think Keenan Lewis is gonna be a steal for somebody in the 3rd round, but Mike Mickens sounds like a Steeler corner. Good sized CB that likes run support and can cover.

revefsreleets
03-31-2009, 12:16 PM
I never said that "Boone had help the entire game" ..........there you go again, trying to put words in my mouth to make a point. :rulez:

I watched the game, broke down play by play, as I was interested in seeing Boone vs. Orakpo and I can tell you that Orakpo's speed was a problem all day. Here are some comments from scout.com

-Alex Boone has to grab Orakpo for a holding call. This is going to be a long, lonnnnng night for No. 75

-Ohio State had better figure something else out against Orakpo in a big, BIG hurry. He blew past Alex Boone before he could get up out of his stance. That sound you hear is a cash register.

- “And with the 214th pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars select, Alex Boone, offensive tackle, Ohio State.”

- I’ll admit it. I have a non-sexual man-crush on Orakpo. There’s the first play that Boone got the upper hand.

-Orakpo was breathing down Pryor’s neck, he threw a scary-looking floater of a pass to Beanie, and it went for 20 yards.

-Orakpo ends all of that. For all the good things that Boeckman did in this game, he shows why he was benched by taking a sack when he could do anything but take the sack.
http://cfn.scout.com/2/827610.html

If you actually watched the game objectively, you would have been impressed by Orakpo's quickness off the ball, his non stop motor at chasing the play and ability to get to the corner with speed and a dip and rip move. You would also be impressed by how well a lead footed Alex Boone used the assets he has(long arms, height, efficient kick slide and balance) to handle the nations premier pass rusher.

But, if you just watched (and cried) the game thru scarlet and grey colored glasses.......you read the stat sheet and say Orakpo is a bust. :doh:

(Ignoring all the insults and usual garbage from you)
:coffee:. I came nowhere near calling him a bust, but compared him to a Browns LB who was highly touted, shares the same skillset, and IS becoming a bust. Is the kid fast? Sure. Can he rush the QB? Never said he couldn't. Will that make him a great 3-4 LB on Sundays? Hardly.

I saw nothing from him that showed me he could:

-Play the run at the next level
-Drop into coverage at the next level

So, again, the Browns are more than welcome to draft a one-dimensional pass rusher with their 5th pick who may or may not learn how to play standing up in a 3-4 in a year or two. It's definitely no bread off my table.

El-Gonzo Jackson
03-31-2009, 01:29 PM
Here is the scouting report from NFL.com on Orakpo. Hardly one-dimensional, but durability questions may hurt his draft status.

An effective all-around defender capable of making plays against the run -- not to mention his most recognized skill, chasing quarterbacks -- he was even better than his impressive statistics (42 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks, four forced fumbles) would indicate, despite the fact that he missed time due to a knee injury. Orakpo also missed time with a knee injury in 2007, his only other season as a full-time starter.

Easily gets off blocks of offensive tackles to make a play in the hole. ... Can also hold his ground well against larger tackles. ... Has good backfield awareness, watching for misdirection, cutbacks and bootlegs. ... Closes on the quarterback well and secures the tackle. ... Shows adequate fluidity dropping on zone blitzes to handle short-area zone coverage as a 3-4 rush linebacker.

http://www.nfl.com/combine/profiles/brian-orakpo?id=71423#player-profile-tab-set-1:player-profile-tab-analysis

I honestly hope he is not in the AFC North to compete against twice a year.

revefsreleets
03-31-2009, 03:33 PM
Kamerion Wimbley II? Maybe Alonzo Jackson? The scouts said some nice things about him as well...

BIO: Two-year starter and second team All-Conference selection as a senior after posting 42 tackles and leading the team with 18 1/2 tackles for loss and 13 sacks. Also intercepted 1 pass and broke up three more. All ACC Honorable Mention as a junior after 33-8-5.

POSITIVES: Athletic, fluid defender who may be best standing up over tackle. Breaks down well, plays with leverage and rarely off his feet. Rushes the edge with speed, displays good body lean and keeps his feet driving up the field. Smooth changing direction, slides off blocks laterally and displays a good inside move.

I think he lives in a van down by the river today.