AFC North Notes: Bengals, Browns, Steelers

     

Bengals

While by most accounts the Bengals seem ready to invest the No. 1 overall pick in LSU QB Joe Burrow, rumors have started flying that Burrow would rather be picked by someone else. Former Rams GM Billy Devaney says it’s reminiscent of what he heard before he took QB Sam Bradford No. 1 overall in 2010. 

“Sounds like the same stuff. Ever year there are shenanigans that go on,” Devaney said via Geoff Hobson of the Bengals team website.“We kind of set our sights early on Bradford. There was stuff that started to come out that Bradford didn’t want to play in St. Louis. There were teams behind that really wanted Bradford. They were putting stuff out and don’t discount agents, also. They try to inject themselves in the process and kind of think they probably have more juice and more power to try and orchestrate something and they don’t. Between the agents and the teams behind Cincinnati, this probably isn’t the end of it. This will go on right up until draft time.”

  • The Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr. writes that for the Bengals to consider pulling the trigger on a trade, they’d have to get probably 1,500-2,000 points ahead on the standard NFL trade value chart to pull the trigger on a deal. 
  • For reference, that would look like the Dolphins sending their three first-round picks this year, plus a first-round pick in 2021, their second and third-round picks this year and a third-round pick in 2021. 

Browns

New Browns OC Alex Van Pelt cited QB Baker Mayfield as a big draw for him. Van Pelt has seen Mayfield up close as a QB coach for the division-rival Bengals and is excited to get closer.

“Playing against him for the last two years, you see the type of competitor he is,’’ Van Pelt said via Pro Football Talk. “The type of player he is on the field, loves the game, plays it with passion, those are all the things you’re looking for in a great player.’’

Van Pelt is also eager to work with the Browns’ running back tandem of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, along with WRs Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry. It’s not a shabby amount of firepower to play with as an offensive coordinator. 

“It all starts with the run game and the play-action off it and the keepers that come off from the action,” Van Pelt said. “Obviously, having Nick is huge and Kareem, those two are two of the best in the league. The outside receivers are tremendous players. To be able to come in and put an offense together with two 1,000-yard receivers and a 1,400-yard rusher is pretty exciting as a coach.”

Steelers

  • The Athletic’s Ed Bouchette also expects the Steelers to cut veteran G Ramon Foster and LB Anthony Chickillo to clear salary for LB Bud Dupree. Foster and Chickillo have been popular cap casualty candidates among Steelers reporters. 
  • While the Steelers may allow DT Javon Hargrave to depart in free agency, Bouchette believes Pittsburgh is comfortable with letting DT Daniel McCullers step into a bigger role and addressing the defensive line with a late-round pick. 
  • Bouchette would be stunned if the Steelers traded a late-round pick to the Jets to reacquire RB Le’Veon Bell.
  • The Steelers and WR Eli Rogers have basically gone their separate ways, per Bob Labriola of the team website. 
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