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AFC North Team Needs Heading into the 2024 NFL Draft
Photo: AFC North Team Needs

AFC North Team Needs Heading into the 2024 NFL Draft

The AFC North has had a franchise in the AFC championship game for the last three years. Last year the Browns, Ravens, and the Steelers all made it to the postseason, with the Bengals missing out with a nine-win season that saw Joe Burrow miss seven games with injury. This is a stacked division with all four teams just a couple of pieces away from a run at a Superbowl.


CB - With one of the weakest units against the pass in the league last year, the Bengals have to come away from the draft with some reinforcements at cornerback. Last year Cincinnati finished last in yards allowed per pass with 8.1 and they were bottom five in total passing yards allowed.

Draft fit: Quinyon Mitchel, CB, Toledo, 1st round
He could be long gone by the time the Bengals are on the clock at pick 18. He could even be worth a trade up the board for the chance to grab an elite athlete with his ceiling as an outside cover corner.

DT - To continue the effort to slow down the opposing pass attack the Bengals could benefit from drafting a DT capable of pushing the pocket and causing some disruption to help Trey Henderson and BJ Hill.

Draft Fit, Johnny Newton, Illinois, DT, 1st round.
Newton would fit the bill as an interior pass rusher with play-wrecking talent if they decide not to with a corner in the first round.

TE - Moving the focus away from defense, the Bengals could target tight end in the draft to give Joe Burrow a new weapon to target in the short and intermediate areas. This could help to replace Tyler Boyd who leaves as a free agent.

Draft fit: Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia, 1st round.
If we see Brock Bowers slide on draft day this feels like the absolute floor for his draft range. Landing Bowers would give Joe Burrow a complete TE who can excel in making plays after the catch.


WR - Odell Beckham Jr is gone and Rashaad Bateman is still yet to break out in the NFL. The Ravens could add another pass catcher early in the draft this year to take coverage alignment away from Mark Andrews and Zay Flowers.

Draft fit: Xavier Worthy, WR, Texas, 1st round.
Worthy would give Baltimore a home run threat with the speed to keep safeties on their heels. Worthy would give Lamar a similar player to Marquise Brown coming out of college.

O Line - The Ravens have the talented lineman to build the unit around in Ronnie Stanley and Tyler Linderbaum but they could use a guard or even a right tackle to really bring the line together.

Draft fit: Christian Mahogany, G, Boston College, round 3.
Mahogany has two solid years of play as a right guard at Boston College, though he did miss the 2022 season with an ACL tear. Mahogany is a powerful run blocker that would fit with the Baltimore style of offense.

Edge - Odafe Oweh is showing promise off the edge and Kyle Van Noy is a nice free-agent pickup, but the Ravens are still without a dominant edge on the roster. They also lost Jadeveon Clowney in the offseason.

Draft fit: Chris Braswell, Edge, Alabama, 2nd round.
Baltimore loves to draft SEC defenders and they could target Braswell coming out of Alabama on day two of the draft. He won’t be drafted as highly as his teammate Dallas Turner. But Barswell was able to consistently win on the edge as a pass rusher with speed and power.


WR - The receiver depth in Pittsburgh is paper thin after moving Diontae Johnson in a trade to the Panthers. The Steelers have a long history of drafting wide receivers that go on to become productive players and they will need to continue that trend this year.

Draft fit: Ricky Pearsall, WR, Florida, 2nd round.
Pittsburgh loves to fill out the wide receiver room in the second and third rounds historically. Pearsall’s route running and hands would be a nice compliment to George Pickins.

OT - The Steelers added Broderick Jones in the draft last year at 14th overall. Jones started at right tackle as a rookie and had a decent first season. Adding another tackle could solidify the line and give Pittsburgh two young starting tackles.

Draft fit: Amarius Mims, T, Georgia, 1st round
Mims is a massive tackle that has incredible movement at this size. He has a small sample of starts in college, but the tape he has shows some impressive reps against some of the very best competition in college football. The Steelers could post Mims up a right tackle and slide, Broderick Jones, back to the left tackle spot he played in college.

CB - Joey Porter Jr made a promising start last season. But the Steelers are still a little thin at the cornerback position.

Draft fit: DJ James, CB, Auburn, 3rd round.
James is undersized in terms of weight, but he is a bursty athlete. He can play with a sudden change of direction that should allow him to get on the field as a nickel in sub packages.


DT - The Cleveland Browns have one of the most stacked rosters in the NFL on paper. The team really does not have many obvious positions to fill in the draft, which is fortunate because the Browns only have five picks and they don't pick at all in the first round. One area they could target is the defensive interior.

Draft fit: Braden Fiske, DT, Florida State, 2nd round.
Fiske is a long and explosive player coming out of Florida State. He has lined up mostly in the B gap and had some experience on the edge. Friske plays with a high motor and does a nice job of hurrying the quarterback.

LB - The Browns could also be in the market for an off-the-ball linebacker, with Hicks over 30 years old. Another backer that can partner with Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah as an every-down player who can win in coverage would give Cleveland some added flexibility on defense.

Draft fit: Payton Wilson, LB, NC State, 2nd round.
Wilson is a sideline-to-sideline player with a long frame. He is comfortable in coverage on tight ends/running backs and has the awareness and timing to make tackles in the run game. If not for a long list of injuries on his record Payton Wilson could have been in the first-round conversation.

WR - This isn’t an obvious need for Cleveland, especially after adding Jerry Jeudy from Denver. However, the team doesn’t have a true speedster that can take the top of the defense and Elijah Moore will be going into the final year of his deal.

Draft fit: Jermain Burton, WR, Alabama, 3rd round.
Burton's college tape shows a vertical threat that would bring a skill set that the Browns don’t currently have on the team.