It’s time for the first part of the AFC North NFL Draft Review. Round One of the 2019 NFL Draft is in the books. The Ninety-Nine Yards Round One Review is here. Which players will make an impact from day one?
Steelers Add Impact
The Steelers have been missing a middle linebacker since the horrific injury to Ryan Shazier. On Thursday, the Steelers made a move to get an impact player and day one starter. That player was Devin Bush, Michigan’s star linebacker. In order to acquire the tenth overall pick used to take Bush the Steelers gave up relatively little. The team traded away their first round pick (the 20th overall), their second-round pick (the 52nd overall) and also their third round pick in 2020.
On the surface, the pieces fit like those of a jigsaw. Bush, like Shazier before him, is an exceptional leader who figures to embrace that role in Pittsburgh. Watching the tape of Bush it’s clear that he’s got great speed, which helps both in coverage and when blitzing. Perhaps more importantly he reads and diagnoses plays well and is a solid tackler.
Although the trade means that they have no second round pick, the team have an extra third round pick, acquired from the Raiders in the Antonio Brown trade. I loved the decisive move for a player that will roam the middle for the Steelers for the next decade. He could have a similar impact to Roquan Smith’s impact in Chicago last season.
The Cincinnati Bengals picked up a protection policy for their quarterback, Andy Dalton with their first round pick, the 11th overall. Jonah Williams, an Alabama product, is viewed by many as the best offensive tackle in the draft and gives the Bengals a plug and play starter.
Protection for Andy Dalton.
Bengals select Jonah Williams No. 11 overall pic.twitter.com/ehahDyEIhp
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) April 26, 2019
Williams will allow Zac Taylor to focus on making the most of Andy Dalton. It’s hard to quantify the performance of offensive linemen but in 2018 he played 466 pass block snaps. Of those snaps he did not allow a single sack. He’s also got the nasty streak I like to see in an offensive lineman. Williams recently commented, “I like to make people want to quit, make them ask out or move to the other side of the line”.
Ravens Drop, Still Get Their Man
The Baltimore Ravens were slated to pick 22nd overall. Seeing an opportunity to add more picks, the Ravens traded away the pick to Philadelphia. In return they received the 25th pick in the first round, a fourth round pick (127th overall) and a sixth round pick (197th overall). Given the number of losses the trade makes sense.
With the pick the Ravens grabbed Oklahoma speedster, Marquise ‘Hollywood’ Brown. I love this pick. The wide receiver caught 75 passes for 1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns in only 12 games last season. Often compared to Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson, Brown will take the top off of defences and possesses run after catch skills that make him a threat to score every time he touches the ball. The Ravens haven’t had a great track record at the wide receiver position, but have no fear. This guy was the best player available and a great fit. Has “wow” speed and his yards after the catch are amazing.
All three of these picks instantly upgrade a position of need for their teams. If the teams of AFC North continue this way in Day Two, the division will be extremely competitive in 2019. In case you missed our draft previews you can catch them here:
Image Credits: Alex Chinery