Keeping Up With The Ever-Changing AFC North Post-Draft

RADIO.COM SPORTS insider Jason La Canfora breaks down Steelers' division

The Fan Morning Show
May 02, 2019 - 11:28 am
Marquise Brown drafted by Ravens

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan)- Another big step in formulating and finalizing what next year's NFL rosters are going to feature took place a week ago Thursday in the NFL Draft. 

With that, we take a look at how the Steelers' division, the AFC North, is shaping up and what we can expect heading into next season with RADIO.COM SPORTS insider Jason La Canfora on The Fan Morning Show

Let's start with the Baltimore Ravens, being as Jason is a Baltimore guy. He believes Lamar Jackson can be a winning quarterback for the Ravens and it says Baltimore has taken significant steps to build a more explosive offense around him.

"The composition of their skill positions going into last year's draft, they obviously forced tight end last year. They took two of them in the first three rounds, that's how poorly they felt about their tight end room. Wide receivers, I mean [Michael] Crabtree, John Brown, Willie Snead, Chris Moore, that was their top four last year. Wasn't very good and I don't know if anybody expected it was going to be very good for Flacco or for Lamar if he had to play." 

"Running backs at this time last year, Alex Collins was their number one. I think you compare where they were rookie mini-camp last year to this year, it's a big difference. We'll see if Hayden Hurst steps up in year two, the tight end they took even before Lamar Jackson last year but Mark Andrews, the third round pick can play some ball," said La Canfora. "The wide receiver room has been completely transformed. It's no longer a bunch of older, plodding guys or dudes with injury history in the case of John Brown who you hope might put it back together. It's very young, it's very twitchy, it's super fast."

Related: Dunlap: Make Devin Bush The Big Dog

"Running backs, you're talking about this kid Justice Hill (Ravens 4th round choice from Oklahoma State) and Mark Ingram, that's a big difference from Ty Montgomery and Alex Collins or Gus Edwards and Ty Montgomery and some of the various variations they had back there. Last year, even despite what they had on paper, once Lamar came in the final seven weeks of the regular season, nobody was close to running the football like them." 

What about the Cleveland Browns...are they going to win with all their new talent or are they a drama cylce waiting to happen? 

"They have a lot of talent there. They have not been in that situation for a long time. They have a lot of mouths to feed and they've certainly got some unusual circumstances with Kareem Hunt suspended the first half of the year," said La Canfora. "If it's Duke Johnson (there are reports he wants out and they may trade him) they're worried about, they're alright. When the problem has Baker Mayfield or Odell Beckham or Jarvis Landry's name next to it, then I think it has more of a chance to have a ripple effect or start to maybe derail what other people are doing. If Duke Johnson is their biggest grumbler, they're going to be alright."

La Canfora detailed how the Arizona Cardinals destroyed their leverage with trading Josh Rosen and said the Bengals are the ones that really missed out in the whole situation.

"If Rosen's even a half decent quarterback, and you're the Cincinnati Bengals and you took a developmental tight end in the second round? Why not ship that pick for Josh Rosen? You're clearly not married to Andy Dalton anymore. Rosen's a better fit in the scheme that Zac Taylor is bringing from the Rams. We all know (Bengals owner) Mike Brown counts pennies, with the signing bonus already paid to Rosen and the first year salary, he's cheaper than the second round pick." 

You can listen to the entire interview with RADIO.COM SPORTS insider Jason La Canfora, including his thoughts on the Steelers roster compilation and draft results, on The Fan Morning Show below.                  

___
Follow 93.7 The Fan: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Listen to 93.7 The Fan on the RADIO.COM App - Download Now

​ ​