AFC North News Watch: Day 35


By now, the 2015 NFL Draft is only a little more than two weeks away, which means that we will be hearing more and more about teams lining up pre-draft visits as we get closer and closer to the end of the month. Each team is allotted 30 visits with potential draftees from outside of the local population of college players, and any team that doesn’t use all 30 slots is simply foolish.

The majority of teams tend to draft disproportionately from the population of players that they have brought in for pre-draft visits, although not every pre-draft visit is necessarily a simple determination of whether or not the team wants to draft that player. Within the AFC North, the Pittsburgh Steelers in particular have been known to draft from among the players that they have met with.

And of course yesterday brought news of the next crop of scheduled pre-draft visits who will be visiting the South Side. The Steelers had three players in Pittsburgh yesterday, in fact, those being tight end Cameron Clear, guard Quinton Span, and wide receiver Sammie Coates.

Another tight end, Jesse James, has also been reported to have a pre-draft visit scheduled.

But the Steelers are not the only team that appears to be interested in him, because the Baltimore Ravens are among the other teams that have reportedly scheduled to have him in for a visit prior to the draft. In fact, every team in the division could be said to have an interest in tight ends this year, even with the Cleveland Browns recently signing Rob Housler.

Meanwhile, the Cincinnati Bengals are among the teams picking later in the first round that have shown interest in offensive tackle Jake Fisher, who could perhaps serve as depth as a swing player until Andrew Whitworth retires or simply until he is ready to play, which would slide Whitworth inside to guard.

Interestingly, the Bengals have also worked out quarterback Brett Hundley as they appear to continue their search for a backup at the position. They drafted A.J. McCarron last year, and recently signed Josh Johnson as well.

Another player that the Bengals have recently shown interest in is defensive end Marcus Rush, who has arguably one of the better surnames for the position. Rush is a former teammate of Darqueze Dennard, the Bengals’ first-round draft pick from a year ago. In fact, the team has brought in a few former Spartans since then.

Rush is a bit undersized to play defensive end at this level, despite having decent production in college, but Cincinnati may be interested in converting him to linebacker, as they sent their linebackers coach to Michigan State’s Pro Day.

The Browns are apparently going to reveal their new uniforms tonight, and people are evidently supposed to care about this, as though varying your shades or orange and brown is exciting. There are going to be nine different uniform combinations shown off by nine different Browns players, and for them I have the same sympathy that I had for Isaac Redman when he first showed off the 1934 throwbacks.

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