Wake-up call: First-round reactions

April, 26, 2013
4/26/13
7:30
AM ET
BEREA, Ohio -- If you missed any of the first-round action from Thursday night, check the blog for my instant reaction on all the newest members of the division: Browns outside linebacker Barvekious Mingo, Steelers outside linebacker Jarvis Jones, Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert and Ravens safety Matt Elam. I also had a column on what the addition of Mingo means for the Browns.

It was a late night, but I will return shortly to post more thoughts on the first-round picks and a look ahead to Day 2 (second and third rounds are Friday night).

Here's what the local columnists are saying about the first round:

BROWNS: The Plain Dealer's Bud Shaw feels the Browns gave themselves a chance to land a game-changer in Mingo. "Balloons, not jaws, should drop when picks are made at the very top of the NFL draft," Shaw wrote. "The choice of Barkevious Mingo with the sixth pick falls somewhere in between. But say this: the Browns wanted a dynamic pass-rusher. And they at least got a fast, athletic one even if he takes some time to develop."

STEELERS: The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Dejan Kovacevic believes the Steelers are looking to reclaim their edge by taking Jones in the first round. "Jones is, for lack of a better Mel Kiper-ism to describe him, a QB-busting, ballhawk of a beast," Kovacevic wrote. "He's 6-foot-2, 245 pounds, and his style is all seek-and-destroy. Opponents marked the menacing figure wearing No. 29 and draped in those Bob Marley braids. They schemed for him. Avoided him. Feared him. Remember what that used to look like?"

BENGALS: The Cincinnati Enquirer's Paul Daugherty says drafting Eifert gives quarterback Andy Dalton what he needs -- another big target. "It’s a good pick," Daugherty wrote. "The 2013 Bengals will rise or fall depending on how much better Dalton becomes, not on their deficiency at safety. Anything to help Dalton is more valuable in Round 1 than a safety. Besides, a team built to win now needs its top pick simply to fit in and not be disastrous."

RAVENS: The Baltimore Sun's Mike Preston sees Elam being a good fit for the Ravens defense for his temperament as much as his play. "In the past, the Ravens haven't drafted a defensive player in the first round who didn't have a great passion for the game," Preston wrote. "When you listen to Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome and assistant GM Eric DeCosta talk about Elam, they have a genuine excitement about the guy. It's not the manufactured hype that you sometimes get with picks taken late in the first round, but a legitimate belief that they were fortunate to have gotten such an outstanding player so late."

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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