Grading the Bengals' rivals performance in the 2023 NFL Draft
Now that the 2023 NFL Draft is in the books, we can stop solely focusing on the Cincinnati Bengals' draft haul and look at what the rest of the AFC North did with their draft picks. I have to be honest here -- The rest of the division put together impressive drafts.
It's not a surprise to see the Baltimore Ravens put together a solid draft considering they're always good at drafting but the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers impressed with their picks as well. The Steelers had arguably the best draft out of all 32 teams and they definitely needed a good draft to be able to compete with the stripes in the division.
At the end of the day, we don't know how good anyone's draft truly will be until two or three years from now. Right now, it's all speculation. That feels important to say as we dive into the draft grades for each of the Bengals' division rivals.
What grade do the Ravens deserve?
- R1: P22 - Zay Flowers, WR (Boston College)
- R3: P86 - Trenton Simpson, LB (Clemson)
- R4: P124 - Tavius Robinson, EDGE (Ole Miss)
- R5: P157 - Kyu Blu Kelly, CB (Stanford)
- R6: P199 - Sala Aumavae-Laula, OG (Oregon)
- R7: P229 - Andrew Vorhees, OG (USC)
As much as Bengals fans hate to admit it, the Baltimore Ravens are a well-run franchise and almost always put together solid drafts. That being said, this year wasn't one of their strongest efforts but it was still a pretty good draft for the Ravens.
The move that truly put this draft into 'solid' territory for me was moving into the seventh round and taking a late-round flyer on Andrew Vorhees. The USC guard tore his ACL at the NFL Combine but before that, he was considered to be a Day 1 or 2 selection.
Vorhees won't play at all as a rookie but the Ravens could have very well found their starting left guard of the future in the final round of the draft.
As for the rest of the draft, the Ravens needed a wide receiver to pair with Odell Beckham Jr. and Rashod Bateman and Flowers can provide that. Lamar Jackson wanted weapons and now he has them. There are no more excuses for Ravens fans.
The Simpson pick seemed like a bit of an out there pick for Baltimore but otherwise, they put together what appears to be another decent draft haul.