NFL Rumors: Bengals, Browns, Ravens, Steelers

     

Bengals

  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer says that for whatever it’s worth, the people at LSU are confident that the Bengals are taking LSU WR Ja’Marr Chase at No. 5. 
  • ESPN’s Todd McShay says, however, his read is that the Bengals are leaning toward Oregon LT Penei Sewell.

Browns

Browns GM Andrew Berry said that even though the team is ready to win right away, the team will still look to take a long-term approach during the draft.

“In general, how I view the draft is we really go into the mindset of really trying to maximize the long-term impact on our roster,” Berry said, via Pro Football Talk. “It is less about filling a need or some level of instant gratification on the roster and more about a longer-term focus on the team. That all being said, I like where we are picking, and not just at 26, but at 59, 89, 91, 110 and so forth. There are plenty of opportunities where we can add young players who can grow with us over the next several years. To your question about moving off of the pick, I think the positioning in this draft allows us to be very flexible, whether that is moving up, down or sitting and picking. Largely, that will be dictated by how the board falls ahead of us. I think we have a lot of flexibility going into Thursday night.”

Berry also mentioned that he is comfortable in any scenario during the first round.

“I am going to guess a quiet Thursday night would not be popular amongst this audience,” Berry said with a laugh. “I will tell you that I am comfortable if we pick, I am comfortable if we move out, and I am comfortable if we move up. Largely, it depends on circumstance, but I am not married to really any particular decision certainly six days from us knowing what the first pick of the draft is going to be.”

  • Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot wouldn’t be surprised to see the Browns trade up for a wide receiver if someone they really like falls in striking distance. She adds she would put the chances of a WR being their first-round pick at 6/10 in terms of being likely to happen. 
  • Cabot doesn’t think Browns CB Denzel Ward‘s injury history will prevent the team from locking him up on a long-term deal worth a ton of money in the relatively near future. 
  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer says a developmental pass rusher like Penn State DE Jayson Oweh or another cornerback like Northwestern’s Greg Newsome feel like strong candidates for the Browns in the first round, as their roster is good enough they can afford to look ahead at future needs. 

Ravens

  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer lists Miami DE Gregory Rousseau, Oklahoma State OT Teven Jenkins, Florida WR Kadarius Toney and TCU S Trevon Moehrig as some players to keep an eye on for the Ravens with two first-round picks (No. 27 and No. 31).
  • Breer writes the Ravens likely would have had to let OT Orlando Brown Jr. go after he finished his rookie contract in 2021, as he would have been expensive and they’ve already invested major money in LT Ronnie Stanley.
  • So from their point of view, the trade made sense to get more than the third-round compensatory pick they would have received even if it meant giving up a year of Brown at right tackle. 
  • NBC Sports’ Peter King thinks the Ravens would be interested in Falcons WR Julio Jones if Atlanta truly is willing to trade him. 
  • ESPN’s Todd McShay says he’s been told the Ravens are definitely targeting a receiver with one of their first-round picks. 

Steelers

  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer has heard Alabama RB Najee Harris and Kentucky LB Jamin Davis connected to the Steelers as options for them in the first round at No. 24. 
  • Breer thinks Harris is the likelier pick given Pittsburgh has some decent players already at inside linebacker. 
  • Steelers GM Kevin Colbert said it is unlikely the team trades up in the draft: “We value our 8 picks.” (Mark Kaboly)
  • Colbert mentioned that this is a uniquely deep center class. (Ray Fittipaldo)
  • Colbert said the team is open to drafting any position, but specifically mentioned offensive line, running back, wide receiver and linebacker as deep positions this year. (Fittipaldo)
  • Tomlin said that fixing the running game goes beyond adding players to the team: “The improvements in the running game go beyond the acquisition of players.” (Aditi Kinkhabwala)
  • Colbert added that even though they have four veteran running backs, they could still add to the room: “Could we add someone? Sure.” (Kinkhabwala)
  • If there is a running back worth taking in the first round, Colbert said the team won’t shy away: “If you have a dynamic player at any position, that player could make a difference — and RB is no different.” (Gerry Dulac)
  • If the team doesn’t like any players on the board at No. 24, Colbert said the team will look to move back. (Fittipaldo)
  • On players who opted out last season, Colbert said the Steelers prefer players who played even though they won’t rule out players who sat out. (Fittipaldo
  • Colbert said he likes the cornerback depth in this draft, but also noted the upward trajectory of CB Justin Layne and CB James Pierre. (Fittipaldo)
  • Tomlin said the team wants LB Vince Williams to finish his career with the Steelers: Vince Williams is a Pittsburgh Steeler. Vince Williams bleeds black and gold.” (Kinkhabwala)
  • On the quarterback position, Colbert said the team will “always be open” to adding to the room even if there isn’t a glaring need: “It would’ve been a huge mistake not to take Ben.” (Kinkhabwala)
  • However, Tomlin said the team likes QB Dwayne Haskins potential. (Kinkhabwala)
  • Tomlin said right now OT Chukwuma Okorafor is the starting left tackle, and CB Cam Sutton is a starting cornerback, but that doesn’t mean it will remain that way: “It means absolutely nothing. And quote me on that.” (Dulac)

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