The NFL draft is the lifeblood of all NFL teams. While every once and while a team like the Los Angeles Rams can disregard draft picks for immediate results, the variability of the NFL rarely leads to that outcome if a team goes in that direction.
Teams in the AFC North have been especially draft oriented. It is rare to see the Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals or Pittsburgh Steelers make big splashes in free agency. Instead, those three teams tend to develop players while making one or two moves of significance in free agency.
The Cleveland Browns, at least since The Return, have been the outlier in the division with a lot of splashy moves in the offseason, that mostly haven’t paid off, and mostly losing records.
This year’s draft is a little different in the division. The Ravens traded away their second-round pick and, for the first time in a while, did not receive a compensatory selection. The Browns have the most draft picks but their first selection isn’t scheduled to happen until the third round.
The Steelers have the first selection in the division and have three picks within the first 49 selections of this year’s NFL draft. Pittsburgh will make three selections before anyone else in the division has made more than one. The Steelers fourth pick is slated just six spots behind Cleveland’s first selection.
This chart gives a nice visual of the differences among the AFC North rivals:
What stands out to you, besides the Browns picking 74th, when you look at this chart? Jump down to the comment section and let us know