AFC Notes: Bengals, Ravens, Steelers


  • The Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr. notes there’s a high chance the Bengals select a running back in the draft, as veteran RB Joe Mixon is expected to be asked to take a pay cut or potentially released. After him, the depth chart is fairly open. 
  • Dehner doubts the Bengals would use a first-round pick on a running back but adding someone with a well-rounded game who can fit the team’s power run game and do damage on checkdown passes is a priority. 
  • Some potential fits that Dehner lists from PFF’s leaders in elusive rating include UCLA RB Zach Charbonnet, Texas RB Roschon Johnson, and TCU RB Kendre Miller. Others on the list either don’t have a lot of receiving experience or are too small, per Dehner. 
  • Alabama RB Jahmyr Gibbs would be a perfect fit for what the Bengals are looking for but Dehner doubts he’s a serious consideration for Cincinnati in the first round and he’s unlikely to be available when they pick in the second. 
  • If the Bengals wait until Day 3, Dehner mentions Oklahoma RB Eric Gray, Georgia RB Kenny McIntosh, Illinois RB Chase Brown, and Pittsburgh RB Israel Abanikanda as possible fits. The Bengals would likely need to keep Mixon or add another veteran in that situation, however. 
  • Dehner says Chargers RB Austin Ekeler would be a terrific schematic fit but his desire for a new contract likely means he’s not an option. Chiefs RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire seems to be falling out of favor in Kansas City and if he shakes loose, Dehner believes reuniting him with college teammate Joe Burrow would make a lot of sense. 
  • Per Justin Melo, Cincinnati LB Ivan Pace Jr. has met with the Bengals in person and has also met virtually with the Eagles and Titans.


Even if the situation with Ravens QB Lamar Jackson wasn’t what it was, the team likely would still be investigating the quarterbacks in this class to try and upgrade at backup quarterback from Tyler Huntley, who was given the lowest restricted free agent tender. Jackson’s situation puts more of a spotlight on the team’s views on this class. Ravens GM Eric DeCosta didn’t rule out using a first-round pick on a quarterback but his comments suggested it was more likely the team drafted a passer in the later rounds. 

“There’s probably more than four guys that can be significant quarterbacks in this league in this draft class,” DeCosta said via The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec. “Seven, eight, whatever it is. But the fact is that we think that you can get a quarterback in the first round or the third round or the fourth round who have a chance to develop. … You saw what the Niners did last year with Brock Purdy. It’s quite possible to get a good quarterback at any point in the draft.”

  • Clemson DE Myles Murphy and Penn State S J’Ayir Brown were among a group of prospects to take a top 30 visit with the Ravens on April 6. (Billy Marshall)
  • The others were Mississippi State CB Emmanuel Forbes and Penn State CB Joey Porter Jr.
  • According to Ryan Fowler, Florida LB Ventrell Miller has met with the Buccaneers, Chargers, and Seahawks. He has also had virtual meetings with the Giants and Ravens, as well as a scheduled visit with the Jaguars.
  • Ryan Fowler reports the Ravens met with Appalachian State CB Steven Jones Jr. at his pro day. 


  • Steelers DT Armon Watts signed a one-year veteran salary benefit deal with a $152,500 signing bonus and $1.08 million base salary. (Over The Cap

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