AFC Rumors: Bengals, Browns, Ravens, Steelers

     

Bengals

Bengals’ QB Joe Burrow says he is “ahead of schedule” following reconstructive knee surgery and is hoping to be ready for the 2021 season opener.

“I’m expecting to be there on the first snap of 2021,” Burrow said, via Ben Baby of ESPN.com. “I’m very optimistic about where I’m at and also where the team’s at. Rehab is going very, very well. Lifting is going very, very well. I’m in great shape. Legs feel good. Knee feels good.”

Burrow also said that setbacks on his injury are not out of the question, but as of now, things are looking good for the Bengals’ franchise quarterback.

“It’s about a nine-month recovery process,” Burrow said. “So there’s still a long way to go. There are still opportunities for setbacks. But the way I’m feeling right now, I’m very optimistic that I’ll be ready for Game 1.”

Browns

Browns’ QB Baker Mayfield mentioned that they were able to make changes following their 2020 bye week and move forward from the injury to WR Odell Beckham.

“I told you guys during the season when we had that bye week, we were able to truly sit down and kind of see what we were doing well, what we weren’t. And we were able to grow from there,” Mayfield said, via Pro Football Talk. “So timing-wise, it was unfortunate when the injury happened. But that’s why you see the growth from the first half to the second half of the year.”

As for Beckham’s recovery from injury, Mayfield says he has spoken with the receiver, who is feeling positive about his rehab.

“I’ve talked to Odell, he’s very happy with where he’s at in the rehab process. I’m happy for him. He looks good, he feels good, and looking forward to starting where we should.”

Ravens

  • ESPN’s Dan Graziano and Jeremy Fowler say the Ravens are expected to aggressively pursue offensive line help, as not only did they trade away OT Orlando Brown Jr., but LT Ronnie Stanley likely will have to start training camp on the PUP list. 
  • The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec says the best-case scenario for the Ravens is a few players slipping down the board unexpectedly and Baltimore coming out of the first round with a promising tackle and edge rusher. 
  • Zrebiec thinks the most likely outcome is the Ravens address one of those positions with one of their first-round picks and trades down with the other to have a second-round pick plus add another third. 
  • While neither player would address a need, Zrebiec notes not to rule out either TCU S Trevon Moehrig or Alabama DT Christian Barmore as BPA-type picks. The Ravens want more of a ballhawk in the secondary and they have some aging players on the defensive line. 
  • If the Ravens can get back into the second round, Zrebiec believes they would love Houston DE Payton Turner.
  • At wide receiver, Zrebiec writes that LSU WR Terrace Marshall and Minnesota WR Rashod Bateman would bring skillsets that the Ravens don’t already have in their receiving corps. But Marshall has some injury flags that could give Baltimore pause. 

Steelers

Steelers HC Mike Tomlin said that the owner Art Rooney II plays a huge role on draft day.

“Mr. Rooney’s the boss,” Tomlin said, via Pro Football Talk. “Kevin and I have worked so well and so long together that we can kind of communicate nonverbally in those moments. But at the end of the day, Art Rooney is the boss.”

Steelers GM Kevin Colbert agreed with Tomlin, but still said he and Tomlin still lead the way.
 
“Of course Art will be involved because he is the owner and he knows every step of the process. He sits in on meetings when he can, he gives us input when he can and when he wants to, and of course we’re going to follow those leads, but I think he trusts us.”

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