Day 2 of the NFL Draft is often where teams make or break their plan, grabbing some high-caliber players that present great value after the first round.
On Friday night, that was the case for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the rest of the AFC North, as the Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals made a combined five picks on Day 2.
With the draft in Cleveland, things seem to be coming up all Browns as of late. After selecting Northwestern cornerback Greg Newsome II in the first round, the Browns took advantage of a big slide by one of the most talented players in the draft, trading up to No. 52 overall in the second round to snag Notre Dame star linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah.
JOK can line up all over the field, but his lack of size probably scared some teams off, as did his unknown role in the NFL. He’ll have a tough time living in the box as a traditional linebacker in the NFL, so the Browns better have a plan.
There’s no denying the talent, though.
Following the selection of JOK, the Browns came back in the third round and grabbed speedy wide receiver Anthony Schwartz at 91 overall, giving Baker Mayfield a guy that can legitimately take the top off of defenses with his 4.29 speed.
Schwartz is an extremely raw receiver overall, but the speed is tantalizing.
In Cincinnati, the Bengals had one of the better Day 2s across the league, trading down in the second round and still landing one of the top linemen on the board in Clemson’s Jackson Carman. They said he will kick inside and play left guard next to Jonah Williams, providing serious protection for Joe Burrow.
Carman comes into the league with a ton of high-level experience at Clemson the last three years, and is a bully in the run game. His pass protection skills translate much better inside.
After grabbing Carman, the Bengals went defense in the third round. Cincinnati added Texas EDGE Joseph Ossai in hopes of replacing former star Carl Lawson, who left in free agency.
Ossai is one of those tweener EDGEs. Landing in Cincinnati where he can play in a 4-3 will boost his play significantly. He’ll get the chance to come along slowly behind guys like Trey Hendrickson, Sam Hubbard and Khalid Kareem.
Wrapping things up in the AFC North, the Baltimore Ravens were the quietest group of the bunch, making just one Day 2 selection. After grabbing Rashod Bateman and Odafe Oweh in the first round, the Ravens waited around until No. 104 overall, selecting Southern Methodist cornerback Brandon Stephens with a compensation pick, adding depth, length and ball skills to the secondary.
He’s a developmental project, but the Ravens have done a great job in recent years developing corners. He fits the new-age style.