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Thread: Tom Marino grades the AFC North draft

          
   
   
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  1. #1
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    Tom Marino grades the AFC North draft

    Marino's Report Card: AFC North
    Scout.com
    Posted May 8, 2007

    Former pro scout Tom Marino continues his evaluation of the NFL Draft with his grades for the AFC North. Check it out...

    Baltimore Ravens A-

    Rnd Overall Name Pos School
    1 29 Ben Grubbs OG Auburn
    3 74 Yamon Figurs WR Kansas St.
    3 86 Marshal Yanda OT Iowa
    4 134 Antwan Barnes OB Florida International
    4 137 Le'Ron McClain FB Alabama
    5 174 Troy Smith QB Ohio State
    6 207 Prescott Burgess OB Michigan

    I really like many of the things the Ravens both attempted and accomplished in this year's draft. At the 29th spot of the first round, they were still able to draft a player who most scouts believed to be the number one rated offensive guard prospect in the country in Ben Grubbs.

    Without a second pick, the Ravens used their two third-round selections to draft Kansas State's explosive returner and undersized wideout Yamon Figurs and tough Iowa offensive tackle Marshall Yanda.

    With double picks in round four, the Ravens again made two excellent choices in Antwan Barnes and Le'Ron McClain. Barnes is very talented, and if this undersized outside pass rusher can hold up physically, I believe he could pay quick dividends and lessen the loss of Adalius Thomas to the Patriots through free agency. McClain, is just a flat-out football player with game toughness and tenacity. He doesn't have a lot of speed, but he's going to show up and play his butt off on every down.

    Troy Smith, the 2006 Heisman Trophy winner, has a very strong arm and accomplished many things over his star-studded career for the Buckeyes, but disappointed many of the scouts in both the national championship game and the subsequent Senior Bowl game and practice week.

    Burgess simply has been a steady contributor in a major program for the past two seasons.

    Ravens national scout Lionel Vital was an outstanding college running back, is a very adept talent evaluator, but most importantly a great person and family man.


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    Cleveland Browns B

    Rnd Overall Name Pos School
    1 3 Joe Thomas OT Wisconsin
    1 22 Brady Quinn QB Notre Dame
    2 53 Eric Wright CB UNLV
    5 140 Brandon McDonald CB Memphis
    6 200 Melila Purcell DE Hawaii
    7 213 Chase Pittman DE LSU
    7 234 Syndric Steptoe WR Arizona


    Joe Thomas (AP Photo)
    In the triangle for success in the National Football League, the quarterback position is paramount and is obviously at the top of the triangle. The second row of positions includes left offensive tackle, cornerback and the right defensive end position. During this year's draft the Browns did their very best to satisfy needs at all of these critical positions.

    Joe Thomas, the Browns' first-round selection--if all goes according to Hoyle--should be the Brown's left tackle for the next decade and beyond.

    Later in the round the Browns gave up their number one choice in the 2008 draft to move up to the 22 spot and selected Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn. Is he the answer to the Brown's recent woes? Only time will tell.

    In round two, Cleveland selected UNLV's Eric Wright, a talented player with a very suspect off-the-field background.

    On the second day, I didn't see anyone that got me too excited, but I'm sure the Browns took people that they hope will step up quickly and who will add support to this ailing franchise.


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    Cincinnati Bengals B

    Rnd Overall Name Pos School
    1 18 Leon Hall CB Michigan
    2 49 Kenny Irons RB Auburn
    4 114 Marvin White DS TCU
    4 151 Jeff Rowe QB Nevada (Reno)
    6 187 Matt Toeaina DT Oregon
    7 230 Dan Santucci OG Notre Dame
    7 253 Nedu Ndukwe DS Notre Dame


    Leon Hall (Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
    Few teams in the National Football League have made better personnel decisions based on pure athletic talent than the Cincinnati Bengals! Their staff is led by director of player personnel Pete Brown, the son of Paul Brown--the greatest visionary in professional football history--and is supported in part by veteran scout Bill Tobin and son, Duke.

    I believe the Bengals' first two selections in this year's draft, Leon Hall and Kenny Irons should provide immediate help to both the offense and defense respectively.

    I liked fourth-round selection Marvin White's size and his willingness to fill the alley inside, but it remains to be seen if he can be effective defending the pass.

    Jeff Rowe put up some incredible numbers at Nevada (Reno) over the past two seasons, but in spite of his size and stats I felt he was slow-footed and lacked a quick arm.

    Notre Dame's Santucci and Ndukwe along with Oregon's Mataifale Toeaina will all be counted upon to lend a hand in a supporting role.


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    Pittsburgh Steelers C

    Rnd Overall Name Pos School
    1 15 Lawrence Timmons OB Florida St.
    2 46 LaMarr Woodley DE Michigan
    3 77 Matt Spaeth TE Minnesota
    4 112 Daniel Sepulveda PT Baylor
    4 132 Ryan McBean DT Oklahoma St.
    5 156 Cameron Stephenson OG Rutgers
    5 170 William Gay CB Louisville
    7 227 Dallas Baker WR Florida


    LaMarr Woodley (AP Photo/Tony Ding)
    The Steelers attempted to retool their aging defense with the selection of Lawrence Timmons of Florida State and Michigan's LaMarr Woodley in the first and second round respectively. I very much like Timmons' athletic potential and believe he should become a solid performer and a suitable replacement for the departed Joey Porter, but was somewhat disappointed in Woodley's play during the '06 season (is that all there is?).

    Matt Spaeth should quickly factor in the role of a second tight end and short-yardage specialist.

    Daniel Sepulveda is a strong-legged left-footed punter of renown and has a real chance to take over the punting duties for the Steelers in '07.

    Ryan McBean was impressive at times over the past two years and will need to keep that motor running on high to be successful pro player.

    Fifth-round selection, Cameron Stevenson, is a California JUCO transfer who showed great promise during his first year on offense and could well develop into a very pleasant late-round surprise.

    Seventh round selection Dallas Baker is a big, athletic, fast-improving receiver prospect who I see factoring as both an inside and red zone receiver.
    Marino obviously doesn't think we improved as much as the OTHER AFC North teams did. We'll have to see how the loss of Adalius Thomas affects that Raven D. No doubt the AFC North picked up a lot of talent across the board. Still feel that the Ratbirds will be the team to beat this year and with the way they dominated us last year it remains to be seen whether that gap was closed up a bit or widened. Jury is still out. Those thinking that we coast to a division title are not being honest with themselves. it's easy to get tunnel vision and forget that we weren't the only team addressing our weaknesses. The only team that is still a soft one on the schedule is Cleveland and that may change in the next couple of years although it won't change fast enough for Romeo to keep his job. Even though I know that this season will be a fight to the end, I am pumped about watching the black & gold battling it out on the gridiron!

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    Most other places I've seen us get around a B. A C is cool so would an F, **** it, all that matters is we addressed most of our pressing needs. The North will be tough this year, as usual. If the Browns can figure out their QB situation and their secondary, then they will play a lot of teams tougher then last year. The Bungholes will have their spurts just like last year, I don't think they had that good of a draft except on paper. Baltimore got a lot of speed for their ST's in Ginn and Figurs and they picked up Grubbs. Its going to be an interesting year, I just hope we are a helluva lot more consistent in every part of the game, that right there will be the key to a few more victories then last season.


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    2nd String steelcurtaingal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIESELMAN View Post
    Most other places I've seen us get around a B. A C is cool so would an F, **** it, all that matters is we addressed most of our pressing needs. The North will be tough this year, as usual. If the Browns can figure out their QB situation and their secondary, then they will play a lot of teams tougher then last year. The Bungholes will have their spurts just like last year, I don't think they had that good of a draft except on paper. Baltimore got a lot of speed for their ST's in Ginn and Figurs and they picked up Grubbs. Its going to be an interesting year, I just hope we are a helluva lot more consistent in every part of the game, that right there will be the key to a few more victories then last season.
    truth be told, i dont think its the Browns lack of a qb that is the browns issue, their o-line has more holes then swiss cheese! The bengals can be a pretty tough team, or they can just talk trash, and do absolutely nothing. The ravens are a tought team, they we last year and will be this year. I think if we can eliminate turnovers, we should be okay.
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    Grades don't matter until the season starts.....then I'll care about grades, or win/loss records.

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    The media has a hard on for the bengals imo

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    BIG FAT ARKIESTEEL
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    I dont know why they want so bad for the Ratbirds to be winners....I realy look for them to nose dive this year

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    IMO it's real simple,,,,,

    Eliminate the turnovers and we win

    On Defense get a pass rush & secondary will improve and we win

  8. #8
    OLD SCHOOL FOOTBALL
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    A true draft grade can only be givin years after the actual draft, when the players show their production (or lack of..) on the playing field. I don't look to much into what the writers grade or how much the player did in the NCAA. (Example, Parkers lack of play in college then becomes a star. And then there is Huey Richardson, 1st round bust, who was the original freak with the Gators and then became a wasted freakin pick.)

    I doubt after the '74 draft, the Steelers were graded an A++++ and look at all the HOFamers and allpros that came from that class.

    I stay away from draft grades and offseason predictions.

  9. #9
    Draft Pick manofsteel's Avatar
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    Dude everyone is talking Bengals Bengals Bengals there in all the commercials end all over Football Network. I guess everyone just feels bad for them because of all the bad publicity. Well see how much airtime they get when they stink again

  10. #10
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    lol at this guy....

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