Apr 30, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Cameron Erving (Florida State) poses for a photo with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected as the number 19th overall pick to the Cleveland Browns in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
The NFL Draft is always a must-see event and this year is no different. There were definitely a few surprises from Day 1, ultimately affecting the way the teams in the AFC North made their selections. Here is a breakdown of the AFC North draft grades from Round 1 of the 2015 NFL Draft.
Pick No. 26: WR Breshad Perriman, Central Florida
Throughout the course of the night, players whom the Ravens most likely had their sights on (Shane Ray, Marcus Peters) were getting snatched up by other teams. As a result, Ozzie Newsome selected a player who he felt would fill one of their major needs. Perriman appears to be the replacement for Torrey Smith, who is now in San Francisco. His ability to stretch the field with his speed will make him a very dangerous weapon in the Ravens offense. The reason this pick is not higher is because of the concerns regarding Perriman’s hands. He had a problem with catching the football consistently while at UCF, so he’ll need to work on that if he wants to reach his full potential.
Pick No. 21: OL Cedric Ogbuehi, Texas A&M
Had it not been for his ACL injury, Ogbuehi could probably be widely regarded as the best offensive tackle in this year’s draft class. The Bengals can afford to wait on Ogbuehi because they already have two very capable tackles in the fold in Andrew Whitworth and Andre Smith. However, both are in the final year of their contracts, so they could use a guy who has the potential to be their tackle of the future. He is a versatile offensive lineman who possesses exceptional footwork. Scheme-wise, Ogbuehi should be a solid fit for the Bengals.
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The Browns were the only team in the division with two first round picks and they decided to address both sides of the ball. They started off on defense, selecting Shelton at No. 12. Shelton should be a great fit in Cleveland. The Browns finished dead-last in stopping the run last season and Shelton should be able to put a stop to that. He moves well for a guy his size and should be able to control the gaps in a division that loves to run the football.
As for Cleveland’s second pick, it did not make as much sense. Picking Erving at No. 19 was a little bit of a reach. His natural position is center, but the Browns already have their center in Alex Mack. You don’t draft an insurance policy in the first round, so maybe they have plans to use Erving at one of the guard positions.
Pick No. 22: OLB/DE Bud Dupree, Kentucky
This was easily the best pick of the night for the AFC North. Bud Dupree just seems to be made for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers are known for having athletes in their linebacking corps and Dupree definitely fits that bill. Dupree had been discussed as one of the premier talents in the draft, so at 22nd overall, this was a nice grab for Pittsburgh. With his freakish athleticism, he should be making big game-changing plays for years to come in the Steel City. There have also been some character issues with some of the edge-rushers in the class, but they will not have to worry about that with Dupree.