Posted: Tuesday April 19, 2005 4:23PM; Updated: Tuesday April 19, 2005 4:30PM
AFC North Draft Needs
Receiver, offensive tackle, cornerback
The free-agent acquistion of Derrick Mason gives the Ravens a true No. 1 receiver. But with only Clarence Moore and Devard Darling next on the depth chart, a first-day addition to the receiving corps is a must. Baltimore doesn't often take offensive linemen in the top three rounds, but with right tackle Orlando Brown in his mid-30s, there is good reason to find his eventual replacement this year. The starting cornerback situation is set with Chris McAlister and Samari Rolle, but with nickelback Deion Sanders so iffy, another body in the backfield wouldn't hurt.
Defensive tackle, defensive end, safety
The Bengals' No. 26-ranked run defense makes their intentions fairly easy to discern. They need a run-stuffing tackle to play alongside John Thornton, and Florida State's Travis Johnson would be the ideal if he's still available at No. 17. But Cincinnati also could use more help in its pass rush, and a quality defensive end on the right side would allow the Bengals to shift former No. 1 Justin Smith to left end, away from all those quality left tackles. Lastly, Cincinnati would love to find a big, run-conscious safety in the mold of Georgia's Thomas Davis.
Outside linebacker, defensive line, quarterback
The Browns are switching to a 3-4 defense under new head coach Romeo Crennel and need to find both an outside linebacker/pass-rusher and a defensive lineman who can hold the point in a two-gap scheme. They need depth at both linebacker and on the defensive line, but might find it impossible to pass on receiver Braylon Edwards in the first round, the top-rated prospect in this year's lottery. A quarterback is also on the checklist, although probably not higher than the second round. And an offensive tackle somewhere in the middle rounds is mandatory.
Offensive line, tight end, receiver
The Steelers need to come out of the draft with a replacement for departed right offensive tackle Oliver Ross, and at least one additional receiving threat to help offset the loss of Plaxico Burress. If Virginia tight end Heath Miller tumbles to 30th due to his recent hernia surgery, Pittsburgh would gladly snap him up and fill a need for a play-maker in that increasingly popular position. Even though the team feels it can get by at cornerback with Willie Williams, Deshea Townsend and Ricardo Colclough, look for a late-round addition to that group.