McShay's best, worst picks for AFC North

ESPN's Todd McShay evaluates the NFL draft for each AFC North team, giving his take on the best and most questionable picks. It's an Insider article, so you'll need a subscription to view the entire post. But here are McShay's picks and my take on them:


Best pick: Safety Matt Elam, first round.

Questionable pick: Offensive lineman Ricky Wagner, fifth round.

My comments: I think everyone can agree that the Ravens' first two picks, Elam and inside linebacker Arthur Brown, will be impact rookies. As far as questionable picks, it's tough to criticize any of Baltimore's selections based on value. Wagner was considered a second-round pick last year but he fell after not having a stellar 2012 season.


Best pick: Tight end Tyler Eifert, first round.

Questionable pick: Safety Shawn Williams, third round.

My comments: Eifert should be the best player drafted in the last dozen picks of the first round. The Bengals took the best player available rather than addressing a bigger need. As McShay points out, there are differing opinions on Williams, the eighth safety drafted. If he isn't starting by next season, the pick looks even more questionable.


Best pick: Outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo, first round.

Questionable pick: Trading out of the fourth and fifth rounds.

My comments: McShay compares Mingo's explosive first step to Dwight Freeney, which is quite a compliment. Mingo is still developing as a pass-rusher, but his high ceiling makes him a legitimate top-10 pick. And while the Browns got good value in trading this year's picks for next year, McShay is right that the Browns passed on safeties and guards who could have helped a last-place team this season.


Best pick: Quarterback Landry Jones, fourth round.

Questionable pick: Outside linebacker Jarvis Jones, first round.

My comments: I feel that Jarvis Jones was the best, and not most questionable, pick. McShay believes Jones can be a star but he wonders whether he'll last beyond three or four years. Given Jones' talent and the Steelers' need for a pass-rusher, it was a move that the Steelers had to make. Yes, there's a risk. But there's also a big reward if he plays like he did on tape. I didn't expect Landry Jones to be the choice here for best pick. His inability to handle pressure in the pocket will be a problem at this level. McShay thinks Jones could become the surprise quarterback of this class.