If you’re a fan of gritty, physical, and rivalry-ridden football, then the AFC North Mock Draft is definitely your division to keep an eye on. With all four teams in the division continuously looking to be one of the AFC’s top squads, the race for divisional dominance each season starts as early as the draft.
For the Ravens, Bengals, Browns, and Steelers, finding ways to strengthen their rosters via the NFL draft is of the utmost importance. In a division where every move holds significance, dropping the ball is not an option for any of the teams. So what should these four squads be focusing on come the 2023 NFL draft?
Baltimore Needs A QB Decision, The Bengals Need Help on “D”
Starting with Baltimore, one of the league’s most interesting and intriguing points of conversation this offseason has revolved and will continue to revolve around whatever decision the team makes regarding their QB issues. Should they shell out the big bucks for Lamar Jackson, or is it time for Baltimore and its’ starting QB to part ways?
Continuing to Cincinnati, with Joe Burrow and company looking set to once again make a run for a shot at headlining the Super Bowl, it’s the team’s defense and secondary that will be headlining their top draft needs.
The Bengals have shown over and over again that they can score points like it’s second nature, but with a defense that continues to struggle to keep up to the level of the offense, finding new weapons to buff up their defensive line and secondary will be the top priority.
What’s Up With You Browns and Steelers?
For the Browns and Steelers lastly, addressing needs in their defensive line and offensive line will take center stage. With both teams set on offensive weapons to pan out the season with, finding ways to reinforce their other lines and fill in gaps that the free agency market might not help with could end up being a pivotal key to success.
As we continue our road to the 2023 NFL draft, which prospects should all AFC North teams be keeping an eye on? Check out our info and stay up to date!
Baltimore Ravens Mock Draft
Man, being the Baltimore Ravens this offseason must be quite a struggle. Pending on whatever decision the team and star QB Lamar Jackson come to agreeance when it comes to a multi-year and multi-million-dollar extension, a lot of what the Ravens want to accomplish this offseason in the draft and free agency market depends on it.
As we start getting ready for this season’s NFL draft, it’s a given that Baltimore will be putting its offense at the forefront of their draft strategy. Be that Jackson returns to the team or not, loading the team up with new and explosive weapons on offense will be essential.
Finding new wide receivers, as well as sprucing up the offensive line will surely be high on Baltimore’s wish list come draft day. On defense, the Ravens will be looking to add more depth to an already strong and dominant unit.
Cincinnati Bengals Mock Draft
The Cincinnati Bengals are a couple of pieces away from cementing their status as one of the best teams in all of the AFC. With Joe Burrow at the helm, Cincinnati has made it a point to put everyone on notice that they are not the perennial losing team they once were, now becoming one of the most exciting teams to watch in the league.
With all this said, for the Bengals, who have a total of seven picks in the upcoming NFL draft, sprucing up their defense will be the name of the game. While Cincinnati could hit the free agency market to try and snag up a couple of top defensive talents up front, it will be its secondary which could benefit the most from a strong draft strategy.
Targeting cornerbacks and safeties, all while keeping a close eye on finding a strong option at tight end to give Burrow more passing options will take center stage in Cincinnati’s draft plans. But who will they end up picking? Keep up with their moves here and don’t miss a beat!
Cleveland Browns Mock Draft
Entering the draft in the 2nd round with the 42nd pick, the Cleveland Browns will be joining the NFL draft party late, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t be looking to cause a splash. Three main needs stand out for a team looking to make the most out of the first full season they’ll have with DeShaun Watson as starting QB.
To help Watson out, finding at least one or two strong options at wide receivers will be essential for Cleveland. While their running back core and tight end department can clearly hold their own, bringing in a couple of young route-runners for Watson to work with could help this team’s passing game catch a new wind.
Over on the defense, the Browns would love nothing more than to address their needs at defensive tackle, and defensive end. While counting on Myles Garrett to carry all of the team’s heaviest loads on defense, it’s understood that deepening their roster options on defense is a definite must for the team.
With a slew of defensive players ready to make their mark in the league, as well as receivers, who will the Browns be targeting come the 2023 NFL draft?
Pittsburgh Steelers Mock Draft
The Pittsburgh Steelers want nothing more than to once again be the AFC North’s top squad. To do so, strengthening various parts of their roster will be essential, which is why addressing their pending needs both on offense and defense in this year’s NFL draft is key.
While the Steelers will be targeting wide receivers, cornerbacks, and defensive line players, the line which stands out the most for the team, and where Pittsburgh could take the most advantage out of in the draft will certainly be their offensive line.
Kenny Pickett showed some positive signs of not shying away from being Pittsburgh’s new franchise QB for the foreseeable future. So where does that leave the team? Of course, in finding strong offensive linemen to offer Pickett the protection he needs to get the ball out to his preferred weapons on offense.
By focusing their draft strategy on targeting the best offensive linemen available, the Steelers could be looking at the key to once again gaining relevance not only in their division but in the AFC as well.