Tag Archives: Ozzie Newsome


Here’s my team-by-team grade and breakdown of the picks made by all the AFC North GM’s.

AFC North Helmets Photo



AFC North Helmets Photo


CLEVELAND BROWNS   –   GM – Ray Farmer   –   Overall Grade   ( B-)

Manziel & Gilbert Questions Photo 2

1st – 8th –  Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State

1st – 22nd – Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

2nd – 35th –  Joel Bitonio, OG, Nevada

3rd – 71st –  Christian Kirksey, OLB, Iowa

3rd – 94th – Terrance West, RB, Towson

4th – 127th – Pierre Desir, CB, Lindenwood

*(Picked up Buffalo’s 1st Round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft)


PITTSBURGH STEELERS   –   GM  –  Kevin Colbert   –   Overall Grade   (B+)

Ryan Shazier OSU Photo

1st – 15th –  Ryan Shazier, OLB, Ohio State

2nd – 46th –  Stephon Tuitt, DT, Notre Dame

3rd – 97th –  Dri Archer, WR, Kent State

4th – 118th – Martavis Bryant, WR, Clemson

5th – 157th –  Shaquille Richardson, CB, Arizona

5th – 173rd –  Wesley Johnson, C, Vanderbilt

6th – 192nd – Jordan Zumwalt, OLB, UCLA

6th – 215th – Daniel McCullers, DT, Tennessee

7th – 230th –  Rob Blanchflower, TE, Massachusetts


BALTIMORE RAVENS   –   GM  –  Ozzie Newsome   –   Overall Grade   (B+)

1ST – 17TH – C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama

2nd – 48th –  Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State

3rd – 79th – Terrence Brooks, FS, Florida State

3rd – 99th –  Crockett Gillmore, TE, Colorado State

4th – 134th –  Brent Urban, DE, Virginia

4th – 138th –  Lorenzo Taliaferro, RB, Coastal Carolina

5th – 175th –  John Urschel, OG, Penn State

6th – 194th – Keith Wenning, QB, Ball State

7th – 218th –  Michael Campanaro, WR, Wake Forest


CINCINNATI BENGALS   –   GM   –   Mike Brown   –   Overall Grade   (B)

1st – 24th – Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State

2nd – 55th –  Jeremy Hill, RB, LSU

3rd – 88th –  Will Clarke, DE, West Virginia

4th – 111th –  Russell Bodine, C, North Carolina

5th – 164th – AJ McCarron, QB, Alabama

6th – 212th –  Marquis Flowers, OLB, Arizona

7th – 239th –  James Wright, WR, LSU

7th – 252nd –  Lavelle Westbrooks, CB, Georgia Southern




First Round

Pick #8     –   Browns   –          Justin Gilbert                –       Cornerback   –      Oklahoma St.

Pick #15  –    Steelers  –          Ryan Shazier                 –       Linebacker    –      Ohio St.

Pick #17  –    Ravens    –          C.J. Mosley                   –         Linebacker     –     Alabama

Pick #22  –    Browns    –         Johnny Manziel           –       Quarterback  –      Texas A&M

Pick #24  –    Bengals   –         Darqueze Dennard      –       Cornerback    –     Michigan St.


Browns (A)

First year General Manager Ray Farmer was wheeling and dealing his way through the first round and filled two huge needs for this year’s team at cornerback and quarterback, while also picking up a first round pick and a fourth round pick from the Bills in 2015. Gilbert was the best cornerback in this draft, while Manziel may not be the best QB in this draft, but he’s one of the best, and is by far the most polarizing figure in the entire draft. Owner Jimmy Haslam knows “Johnny Cleveland” will sell tickets and merchandise even if he sits the entire year and will bring young fans back to the Browns, which is extremely important to a franchise that was losing some of its fan base. Can he play and can his body withstand the punishment it will take at the NFL level? Only time will tell. But for a night, and on paper, the moves and picks the Browns made look very good.

Johnny Manziel Money Sign On Stage at NFL Draft

Steelers (B)

Kevin Colbert needed help at cornerback and wide receiver and instead went for a linebacker in the first round for the second year in a row (Jarvis Jones last year).  Shazier racked up a lot of tackles at Ohio State, but did so for a below average defense in a weak conference. Cornerbacks Darqueze Dennard and Jason Varrett were staring the Steelers in the face and Colbert passed on both for the 4th best linebacker in the draft. Shazier does fit the mold of linebackers who can get after the quarterback in the Burgh, but needs work against the run. Pittsburgh fans better hope Shazier impacts the team more than previously drafted Buckeyes Cameron Heyward and Mike Adams.

Ravens (B+)

It’s tough to question the birds G.M. Ozzie Newsome, so I’m not going to. The Ravens get a solid linebacker against the run, who plays from sideline to sideline and did so in the toughest conference in America, the SEC. Mosley is not a get after the quarterback linebacker like Shazier in Pittsburgh, but he’s a more complete, fundamentally sound linebacker who can quarterback the defense.

Bengals (A-)

Talk about a solid player falling into your lap, that’s exactly what happened to the Bengals with Dennard. Cincy was looking for help for their aging secondary and they got it with a tough, physical defensive back from Michigan St. At pick 24 it really couldn’t have worked out any better for Cincinnati, as they got in most people’s eyes, the second best cornerback in the draft late in the first round.

So overall the AFC North did very well in day one of the NFL Draft. Now it’s back to work for all of the G.M.’s to try and continue their roll in the 2nd round. The Browns will be up first with the 3rd pick in the second round and look for Cleveland to target a wide receiver and an offensive lineman. WR’s Marquise Lee and Allen Robinson are there as well as a pair of OL guys in Xavier Su’aFilo and Cyrus Kouandjio. They could also look at Ohio State running back Carlos Hyde. So plenty of options to pick from and impact the team even more. It must be fun to be Ray Farmer right now!



Best Move – Free agent signing of running back Ben Tate. At the price G.M. Ray Farmer signed him for (2 years – $7 million), if he can stay healthy, he is a feature back who fills an enormous hole on offense for the Browns.

Worst Move – Giving 5’7 wide receiver Andrew Hawkins a 4 year $12.2 million dollar contract with over $5 million guaranteed. In 35 NFL games he has only 86 catches and just 4 touchdowns.  They over paid for an under productive talent in my opinion.

Draft Need – Quarterback – Whether it’s with the 4th, 26th or 35th pick they need to draft a young QB for the future, preferably a franchise quarterback. They could have their choice of Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater and Derek Carr at #4. I’ll be shocked if one of those four is not a Cleveland Brown after the draft. Also I’ve been saying it for weeks, I expect the Browns to sign Rex Grossman as a veteran back-up to help teach Kyle Shanahan’s offense to whoever they draft. It also wouldn’t shock me if the Browns, with 10 picks this year, drafted another QB in the later rounds.



Best Move – Replacing aging safety Ryan Clark with the younger ball hawking safety in Mike Mitchell in free agency. A little pricey for him, but it was a major need for the Steelers in talent and to get younger on defense.

Worst Move – Losing wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders in free agency to Denver. He was starting to come into his own as the #2 receiver in the Steelers offense. Big Ben can’t be happy that in the last 3 years he’s lost Hines Ward, Mike Wallace and now Sanders.

Draft Need – Cornerback or Wide Receiver – Depending on who’s still available at pick #15 for Pittsburgh they need to get an impact player at one of those two positions. Guys they could be picking from include corners Justin Gilbert or Darqueze Dennard or wide outs Mike Evans, Marquise Lee or Kelvin Benjamin.



Best Move – It’s tough to pick just one because once again Ozzie Newsome had a very good off season by keeping Daryl Smith at LB and Jacoby Jones as a dual threat WR/KR and adding wide out Steve Smith to the offense. However resigning tight end Dennis Pitta stands out to me. He is Joe Flacco’s favorite target and everyone saw how the offense suffered when he was hurt last season. With Pitta back healthy and under contract look for he and Flacco to have a big year.

Worst Move –    Losing safety James Ihedigbo to the Lions in free agency. Losing Ed Reed last season and now Ihedigbo this season, the Ravens need some serious help deep in the secondary for second year safety Matt Elam.

Draft Need – Safety – The Ravens are picking 17th and Ozzie has to be hoping that he’ll get to pick from free safeties Ha Ha Clinton Dix or Calvin Pryor to help fill that need at the back end of their secondary.



Best Move – I really don’t see a move that really stands out in a positive way that will have a major impact for the Bengals. Keeping some of their own guys like Michael Johnson and  Mike Pollack are decent moves, but nothing to get real excited about.

Worst Move – Bringing in Jason Campbell as Andy Dalton’s back-up. While Dalton has stayed healthy in his three years in the league and has made the playoffs each year, there are still questions about whether he is the guy to lead this football team and if he’s not, you’re going to turn to Jason Campbell?

Draft Need –  Cornerback – Cincy is in desperate need of help in the secondary at the corner position. They’re praying that on May 8th when it’s their turn to pick at #24 corners Kyle Fuller or Jasson Verrett are there to choose from.