Which player picked in Rounds 4-7 will have the biggest impact in the AFC North?
Jeremy Fowler, Pittsburgh Steelers reporter: Cincinnati Bengals’ fourth-round linebacker Carl Lawson has injury questions that held him back at Auburn, but as a raw pass-rusher, he had the ability to be drafted in the top two rounds. If healthy, he can provide an immediate spark to the Bengals as a rotational linebacker or rusher. Guard Nico Siragusa, picked by the Ravens in the fourth round, has the athleticism to push for playing time, and the Steelers’ fifth-round corner, Brian Allen, is intriguing at 6-foot-3 with 34-inch arms, but he needs some time. But Lawson should be ready to contribute right away, which gives him the edge here. The Bengals plan to work Lawson at linebacker and defensive end in camp.
Jamison Hensley, Baltimore Ravens reporter: Bengals outside linebacker Carl Lawson. This is perhaps the biggest steal in the AFC North. Lawson surprisingly fell to the fourth round because of injuries and his inconsistent play against the run. But his pass-rush ability will make an immediate impact in this division. Lawson averaged a sack, hit or hurry once every 5.4 pass-rushing attempts in 2016, according to Pro Football Focus. He had just one game in 2016 where he failed to register at least three total pressures. That should get the attention of Ben Roethlisberger and Joe Flacco.
Pat McManamon, Cleveland Browns reporter: It has become the most trite thing to say that a player is a "late-round steal," or was "great value" for his spot. And it's downright insulting to say it when a player has legal issues clouding his future. But in the case of Florida defensive tackle Caleb Brantley, the Browns' sixth-round pick, it may apply -- if (and this is a big if) he is cleared from a complaint filed against him in Gainesville, Florida, by a woman. The state's attorney is reviewing the complaint to determine if misdemeanor assault charges will be filed. If none are filed and Brantley stays with the Browns, the team would have gotten a player predicted to go in the second round in the sixth, and added depth to a position where new coordinator Gregg Williams likes aggressive and attacking players. The charge is troubling. How it's resolved will determine Brantley's future in Cleveland.
Katherine Terrell, Cincinnati Bengals reporter: The Bengals may have gotten the steal of the draft in the fourth round. After finishing the 2016 season with a struggling pass rush, the Bengals made a point to upgrade that area by selecting Auburn defensive end Carl Lawson. Lawson had nine sacks last year and he said pass-rushing is his specialty. However, he fell to Day 3 of the draft due to injury concerns, including an ACL tear. If Lawson stays healthy he could be an immediate addition to the rotation in Cincinnati, either at linebacker or defensive end.