Mack's injury could help AFC North suitors

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

Although it may be to different degrees, California center Alex Mack is on the radar of at least three AFC North teams.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals certainly have an immediate need for Mack, while the Cleveland Browns could consider a center/interior lineman after the first round.

But no NFL team will get an extended look at Mack in Indianapolis this week after he suffered an ankle injury during a recent personal workout. It's expected to keep Mack out of most events at the combine.

"[The ankle] turned funny," Mack said in Indianapolis. "It'll be all right, and I'll see what I can do Saturday. But no one is more disappointed about it than I was."

How does this help the AFC North?

Mack, who is the best prospect at center, was considered a late first or early second round prospect. Not performing at the combine could be a blessing in disguise because the incomplete grade in Indy cannot raise his stock, leaving Mack in the running for Pittsburgh at No. 32 at the end of the first round or the Bengals and Browns with their early second round picks.