AFC Notes: Bengals, Browns, Ravens, Steelers

     

Bengals

Bengals director of college scouting Mike Potts said the team plans on using second-round OL Jackson Carman as a guard.

“He’s an AFC North physical, powerful offensive lineman who is very athletic,” Potts said via Bengals.com. “The way this division is set up, this is a physical line of scrimmage division. He’s got a lot of things going for him. He’s a tackle with guard flexibility. He’s extremely intelligent. People say, ‘You’ve never seen him play guard.’ But with all the research we did on him, we know he’s smart enough to do it.”

Potts said that the team was comfortable trading back in the second round because it could still get a player like Carman.

“In that range we thought there was depth at a number of positions,” Potts said. “We wanted to get big guys, but you can’t go into a draft saying we’re going to draft just linemen. You have to let the board play out. If you don’t talk about a cornerback or whatever that you’ve got rated a round ahead, that’s negligence. It worked out that the two guys we got later in the fourth fit our needs and grades and were guys maybe we would have taken a round or more before.”

The team was also impressed with Carman’s determination to play last season despite having an injury.
 
“It was very easy for kids to opt out this year,” Potts said. “There were a lot of legit reasons for it, but it would have been a lot easier for Jackson to shut it down. The last five games or so, he really fought through his back injury (herniated disk). That showed something about his toughness, his drive and his love of the game. That gave me a strong comfort level about that. I think he’s even better and more talented than what he put on tape at certain times in the back end of the year.”

Browns

  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer writes that Browns LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah slipped to Cleveland in the second round because the overhang role he played at Notre Dame doesn’t have a great analog to defenses in the NFL yet. However, it does translate to some of what the Browns ask of their linebackers. 

Ravens

  • Per ESPN’s Jamison Hensley, Ravens GM Eric DeCosta said HC John Harbaugh had been lobbying hard for third-round G Ben Cleveland the past couple of months: “This is John’s pick.”
  • Hensley adds the pick of Cleveland could pave the way for Ravens G Bradley Bozeman to shift to center now. 
  • Ravens third-round DB Brandon Stephens moved from running back to cornerback at SMU and DeCosta said they plan to move him to safety: “He really fits the profile of a free safety-type player.”
  • Ravens’ DC Don “Wink” Martindale said of first-round EDGE Odafe Oweh: “This guy is special. I can’t wait for this city to see how special this guy can be. This guy brings me so much more to the table than (sacks) and I know the sacks will come and they’ll come in bunches.” (Jeff Zrebiec)
  • New Ravens’ WR Rashod Bateman on playing with QB Lamar Jackson: “I’m excited by what this offense can do. I’m just happy to be a part of this offense.” (Zrebiec)
  • Ravens’ OC Greg Roman said the additions of Bateman and WR Sammy Watkins bring a lot to the table: “(They) expand our profile. The field is about 53 yards wide, and I think people are going to have to defend all 53 yards of it,”(Hensley)
  • Roman: “There are definitely some things that we’re doing to evolve. Schematically-wise, we’re always going to change a little bit, and I’d probably say more so this year than we did last year.” (Hensley)
  • Jamison Hensley takes a look at the Ravens-Chiefs trade that involved T Orlando Brown and how it turned out following the draft. The Chiefs wound up with Brown, LB Nick Bolton, and a 2022 sixth-round pick. The Ravens ended up with Oweh, Cleveland, CB Shaun Wade, and a 2022 fifth-round pick.

Steelers

Steelers DC Keith Butler believes Alabama RB Najee Harris could be the key to getting back to the Super Bowl.

“I’ve been here a long time,” Butler said, via Joe Rutter. “I’ve been fortunate enough to coach in three Super Bowls, and I think in all three of those Super Bowls, we had a good running game. So I’m not going to gripe and complain about us picking Najee in the first round and staying on offense the first day or two.”

“That doesn’t bother me because the best defense to me is always sitting on the sideline watching your offense run the football.”

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