AFC North Notes: Browns, Ravens, Bengals

The Browns have again landed the No. 1 pick, and after years of stalling, the franchise is expected to try its hand at a first-round quarterback again. But a third name might be creeping into the race alongside Josh Rosen and Sam Darnold. ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. projects (Insider link) Josh Allen to be the name called to go to Cleveland at No. 1, and a “high-level personnel executive” concurs. The NFL exec told Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com he expects John Dorsey to take Allen at No. 1 overall, and this anonymous decision-maker likens the Wyoming product to a young Ben Roethlisberger. Although, Rosen and Darnold — prior to the workout season — are viewed as readier prospects to run an NFL offense. Cabot notes the same exec told her two years ago the Browns would be set up for 15 years if they were to take Carson Wentz. A three-quarterback pursuit for said No. 1 pick, coupled with the anticipated plethora of available passers on the free agency and trade markets, would make this one of the more interesting offseasons in modern NFL history.

Here’s the latest out of the AFC North:

  • Ben McAdoo remains in the running for the Browns’ OC position, Cabot reports. Texans quarterbacks coach Sean Ryan also interviewed for the post, but Cabot reports Ryan wants to call plays. She adds the Browns might not give him that opportunity due to a lack of experience doing so but notes McAdoo may get that chance since he’s done so previously. Mike Mularkey remains on the radar for this job as well, but Cabot notes he has yet to interview. ESPN’s Josina Anderson reported McAdoo is taking his time in making a decision about where he lands.
  • The Browns finishing the process of hiring an OC without meeting with ex-Steelers play-caller Todd Haley would make for a big surprise, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports tweets. Haley’s also been connected to the Jets’ OC job.
  • Ravens officials believe the team has the makings of forming a “special” offensive line in the near future, and Jeff Zreibec of the Baltimore Sun expects the team to target a right tackle in the draft to round out the group. Zreibec writes a Round 1 choice on a tackle to complement 2016 first-rounder Ronnie Stanley shouldn’t be dismissed. The Ravens lost Marshal Yanda, Nico Siragusa and Alex Lewis to season-ending injuries, but Austin Howard graded out well at right tackle. Howard is under contract for the 2018 season, what would be his age-31 campaign, and it would cost the Ravens $2MM in dead money to jettison him.
  • The Ravens are no stranger to accumulating compensatory picks, and Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap expects the team to receive a third-rounder for Ricky Wagner‘s departure. The Bengals are also expected to collect a third-round pick after Kevin Zeitler‘s trip across Ohio. Interestingly, the Broncos‘ one-year rental of Russell Okung stands to earn them a third-round choice in Fitzgerald’s view.
  • Speculation swirled about a Hines Ward hire to run the Steelers‘ wide receivers group, Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette notes. But the Steelers instead hired Darryl Drake, a 14-season NFL coaching veteran who coached Ward at Georgia. Ward worked with the Steelers as a coaching intern last summer.
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4 comments on “AFC North Notes: Browns, Ravens, Bengals

  1. sufferfortribe

    I’ve been hoping for a couple years now that the Browns would end up with the opportunity to draft Allen. Please, Dorsey……make it happen!

  2. madmanTX

    I wonder if the Browns would give up their number one to the Steelers for one of Ben’s back-ups? Good deal.

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