We covered the NFC yesterday, but what will teams in the AFC be looking for in the off season?
Baltimore Ravens – Pick #32
The Super Bowl Champs are yet to feel the full repercussions of Joe Flacco’s new deal, but the economic fallout is bound to shape how their picks are used. Personally, I don’t see a stand out, need position player who will be available in this spot for the Ravens and think that they should look for a team willing to trade up and stockpile another second round pick.
If the Ravens were to keep hold of this pick then I think they look at either a corner or safety due to the likely departure of Cary Williams and quite possibly Ed Reed. Another position to watch for when the Ravens are on the clock is the inside linebacker spot with Hall of Famer Ray Lewis hanging up the cleats post Super Bowl.
Team Needs: WR, CB, S, ILB
Cincinnati Bengals – Pick #21
The Cincinnati Bengals in recent years have had varied success within the division but with two years of successful playoff appearances they now seem to have a solid, dependable core of players.
Putting the extra pieces into place is what is going to take this team to the next level, and that means getting help in both the safety spot as well as at running back. Chris Crocker is now an unrestricted free agent but is nothing special and the rest of the secondary is a similar story.
Upgrading the running back spot is vital as the Andy Dalton – A.J. Green connection is now overplayed and ‘The Law Firm’ isn’t exactly a game changer.
Team Needs - LB, S, RB
Cleveland Browns – Pick #6
I can tell you what the Browns don’t need, and that’s a running back! The pickup of Trent Richardson looks a surefire hit for years to come in Cleveland, now they just have to follow that up with another impact player.
Defensive end is the clear need in Cleveland who haven’t had a consistent pass rush in quite some time. Finding a edge rusher is tough in the AFC North as whoever it is needs to be very stout against the run as well as obviously getting to the QB.
The other big need that the Browns could be looking to address is finding an offensive lineman who is going to clear the way for Richardson and with the number 6 pick they’re in a perfect spot to have a star at either one of those positions.
Team Needs: TE, DE, OL
Pittsburgh Steelers – Pick #17
As with the two teams listed above, the Steelers need help at safety with both Polamalu and Clark on their way out of the building soon and a lack of top tier talent waiting in the wings. Age is a real concern all across the board in Pittsburgh who have very good players at almost every spot on the field but need a lot of young blood to develop if they are to rise to the top again.
Wide receiver is looking like an area of need with the possibility of Mike Wallace hitting free agency, so they'll need a new deep threat for Ben Roethlisberger to sling the rock to.
Team Needs: ILB, NT, WR