Wake-up: Why Steelers passed on top back

April, 29, 2013
4/29/13
8:00
AM ET
To help with your post-draft hangover, the AFC North blog will review each team's draft from last week. The first one should be posted later this morning. In case you missed it, here are the links for Mel Kiper Jr.'s grades on the AFC North teams and my analysis of the draft for the division. Now, it's time to move forward with your wake-up call ...

RAVENS: A decision on whether to keep or get rid of linebacker Rolando McClain, who was arrested recently, could happen soon. The Ravens used a second-round pick on inside linebacker Arthur Brown, which doesn't help McClain's chances to stay. “Right now, we've got 90 football players and he's one of the 90, and we're going to make determinations starting tomorrow who we think is going to be in our top 53,” general manager Ozzie Newsome said, via The Baltimore Sun. “We'll start making decisions and there are going to be some tough decisions, but right now, Rolando's still a part of our football team.” Also, wide receiver Torrey Smith cut off his dreadlocks.

BENGALS: The Cincinnati Enquirer's Paul Daugherty thinks this draft shows how much the Bengals have improved as an organization by basing picks on talent instead of reaching for need. "Lately, their drafts have been better than good. It’s too early to put this draft in that category," Daugherty wrote. "It’s not too early to look at the drafting philosophy and be encouraged. The Bengals have moved from the depths of the NFL and into its purposely bloated middle class. Lately, they’ve actually been taking some tiny, Bengal steps toward being better than that. Not to say the Bengals are Super Bowl contenders. But they are in that extended-family photo. When was the last time we could say that?"

STEELERS: The Steelers raised some eyebrows with their choice of running back in the second round, taking Michigan State's Le'Veon Bell over Alabama's Eddie Lacy, who was considered the top back in the draft. A team source told The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the Steelers weren't going to draft Lacy because his big toe had been fused, which has never been reported. There had been reports that teams were concerned about Lacy's hamstring and turf toe. The Steelers weren't the only team to pass on Lacy. He lasted until the bottom of the second round, when the Green Bay Packers made him the fourth running back drafted.

BROWNS: After getting through a month of free agency and seven rounds of the draft, Brandon Weeden remains atop the quarterback depth chart. In making the two trades on Day 3, the Browns passed on a number of quarterbacks, including Oklahoma's Landry Jones and Arkansas' Tyler Wilson. According to The Plain Dealer, chief executive officer Joe Banner declined to address the NFL Network report that the Browns have interest in trading for Arizona Cardinals backup quarterback Brian Hoyer. "Quarterback’s an important position," Banner said. "We're always gonna be open to looking at the position, we’re always gonna be evaluating everybody and every option there is to get stronger there, just as a matter of organizational philosophy."

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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