AFC Notes: Art Rooney II, Devontez Walker, Bengals, Ravens, Steelers


  • When taking a look at the Bengals following the 2024 NFL Draft, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN writes Cincinnati expects second-round DT Kris Jenkins and third-round DT McKinnley Jackson to contribute immediately.
  • Fowler writes the Bengals see similar traits of veteran DT B.J. Hill in Jenkins, but “with more upside.”
  • As for Jackson, Fowler points out Cincinnati views him as a “true run-stopper.
  • Geoff Hobson of the team’s website stated the Bengals had interest in seventh-round OL Matt Lee two rounds earlier: “So with their last pick of the day at No. 237 in the seventh round, they grabbed Miami center Matt Lee, a player they would have taken in the fifth. If Lee had been gone, maybe a punter would have been the call because reports have them signing one in free agency.”


Baltimore continues to add receiving talent in the draft after taking fourth-round WR Devontez Walker in 2024. Ravens HC John Harbaugh and director of college scouting David Blackburn had great things to say about Walker after early impressions at minicamp.

“He just has vertical explosiveness [and] the ability to get behind coverage, take the top off the defense,” Blackburn said, via ESPN’s Jamison Hensley. “He can put pressure on the defense, and he’s able to make some contested catches downfield. I think that bodes well for our offense and our quarterback.”

“I was impressed with how well he moved changing direction,” Harbaugh added. “[He] caught the ball really well. He’s off to a great start.”

  • The Athletic’s Ben Standig reports the Commanders are targeting Blackburn for a role in their personnel department. Standig notes Washington recently moved on from senior director of player personnel Eric Stokes.


Due to the strength of the AFC North, the Steelers have one of the hardest schedules in 2024 on paper. Pittsburgh president Art Rooney II is excited about some key matchups despite the rigorous layout.

“It’s probably not exactly how I would have drawn it up, but we’ve got to do the best we can,” Rooney said, via Dale Lolley of the team’s official website. “On the positive side, we’ve got some high-profile, marquee games with the Cowboys and the Chiefs on Christmas Day, a couple of other prime-time games. We’ll be playing in front of a big audience most of the time, which is a good thing. A lot of the division games are at the end of the schedule, so it will be an interesting stretch there toward the end.”

“You never take anything for granted. The teams in our division are all tough. Some people would say we have the toughest division in football, and I probably would agree with that. They’ll all be tough games. It will be a challenge.”

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