AFC North Notes: Browns, Ravens, Steelers

The Browns have long committed to deploying trade acquisition Tyrod Taylor as their starting quarterback in 2018, but head coach Hue Jackson didn’t exactly dismiss the idea that No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield could usurp Taylor under center, as Mary Kay Cabot of writes.

“I respect (the speculation),” Jackson said. “Anytime you draft a quarterback at No. 1 overall, everyone wants to see him play, but I’ve made a true commitment to our football team. Tyrod Taylor’s going to be the starter. Baker’s going to compete and however that unfolds it unfolds, but right now Tyrod is the starter.

“If Baker can understand the National Football League and all the rigors and the grinding that you have to go through, I’m not going to ever stop a player from being the best he can be. But we have a plan and I want to work that plan as much as we can,” he said. “Now, can a player supersede that? You never know. I haven’t had that happen, but right now this team is going to be led by Tyrod Taylor.”

Here’s more from the AFC North, where every team selected a quarterback during the weekend’s draft:

  • Although the Ravens ultimately selected Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson with the final pick of the first round, there was a “movement” within the club’s draft room to take Jackson with their original No. 16 selection, reports Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Instead, Baltimore ended up trading back twice — once to No. 22, and again to No. 25 — before drafting South Carolina tight end Hayden Hurst. To move back up, the Ravens sacrificed two second-round picks (one in 2019), but getting back into the first round will give the team a fifth-year option on Jackson. Baltimore has a plan as to how it will develop and utilize Jackson behind starter Joe Flacco, per Jim Trotter of
  • The Steelers moved up from pick No. 79 to No. 76 in order to draft quarterback Mason Rudolph, and Pittsburgh actually had a first-round grade on the ex-Oklahoma State signal-caller, general manager Kevin Colbert told reporters, including Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Twitter link). Rudolph could conceivably serve as Ben Roethlisberger‘s backup during the former’s rookie campaign, and his presence on the Steelers’ roster will force the club to make a decision on its depth chart. Pittsburgh only figures to keep three quarterbacks on its squad, meaning one of Landry Jones or 2017 third-rounder Josh Dobbs will almost certainly be cut.
  • The Bengals may have had their eye on Rudolph, as head coach Marvin Lewis said Cincinnati was considering selecting a quarterback in Round 3 before the Steelers jumped ahead of them, according to Paul Dehner of the Cincinnati Enquirer (all Twitter links). Additionally, the Bengals thought about packaging their three late seventh-round picks to move up in the round for Toledo quarterback Logan Woodside, but he ended up slipping to Cincinnati at No. 249.
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10 comments on “AFC North Notes: Browns, Ravens, Steelers

  1. forwhomjoshbelltolls

    The Steelers very clearly thought the Bengals would take Rudolph as Cincy was the only team picking between the PGH and SEA spots.

  2. crosseyedlemon

    Hue Jackson is asking how a player can supersede a plan that produces zero wins?

    • sufferfortribe

      Jackson was talking about the plan with Taylor. But keep bashing the Browns if it makes you feel better.

      • tsolid

        People can say what they want about Taylor, but from the naked eye, he doesn’t turn the ball over much. Also, he doesn’t throw the ball down field that often. If the Browns can play solid defense, they will win some games.

        • baltbirds7

          The browns had one of the best rushing defenses last year. They have decent pass rush. A decent running game with Crowell and Duke Johnson. They now have Jarvis Landry. I think they might make a little noise this year

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