AFC Pre-Draft Insider Version 1.0

Joe Flacco

We're breaking down the possible draft selections of seven AFC teams in this update. We'll take a look at the remaining nine teams on Friday as well as update the previous seven teams.

Baltimore Ravens - Baltimore is one of various teams (Atlanta Falcons and Green Bay Packers to name a few) who have been doing extra research on QB Joe Flacco (Delaware) this week. Should Matt Ryan be off the board when they select at No. 8 in the first round, Baltimore could either trade down to select the strong-armed signal caller or they could decide to trade up from their second-round pick (No. 38 overall).

It's believed the team is also looking at CB Leodis McKelvin and LT Ryan Clady (Boise St.) with their first-round selection.

McKelvin is seen as more ready to play than highly rated CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie plus he has excellent special teams return ability. It's believed Clady is the second highest rated offensive tackle on Baltimore's draft board.

A league source notes the team also has Sedrick Ellis (USC) ranked high on their draft board but defensive tackle isn't as much of a need as cornerback and left tackle. Should they wind up selecting Ellis, he'll be expected to push veteran DT Kelly Gregg for playing time right away and Ellis would be his eventual replacement.

Cincinnati Bengals - As Scout.com noted several weeks ago, the Washington Redskins were still trying to figure out a way to pry WR Chad Johnson from the Bengals. Despite being rebuffed the first time, a league source notes that Washington tried harder the second time around. A team source notes that the only way they would consider trading the disgruntled receiver is if they received a first-round pick inside the top-10 selections. And Cincinnati would also want additional compensation according to source which could include an impact defensive player.

Cincinnati simply doesn't want to make their team worse by trading away one of their best players in Johnson and they don't have anyone who could remotely replace him.

As for their own first-rounder, the team source notes they'll look to either select LB Keith Rivers (USC) who would replace WLB Landon Johnson who signed with the Carolina Panthers or they'll go with the best defensive tackle that's left on the board. Of course Glenn Dorsey is projected to go in the top-five and Sedrick Ellis may not make it that far to No. 9 where the Bengals are set to select.

Cleveland Browns - The Browns are the only team that doesn't have a pick in the first three rounds so they'll have a long wait until they draft on Sunday if they don't wind up trading up.

Because they are picking so late, a league source believes Cleveland has a large group of players they're looking at with their first pick (No. 23 round four/122 overall).

Some of the players thought to be under consideration are LB Beau Bell (UNLV),  CB Zack Bowman (Nebraska), CB Charles Godfrey (Iowa), CB Orlando Scandrick (Boise St.), and LB Stanford Keglar (Purdue). These five players have either third or fourth round grades from most teams and those players would fill Cleveland's most glaring positional needs. Those players listed also would be ones to trade up for should they make it close to where Cleveland picks in the fourth round.

Keglar is the most intriguing out of the group because a league personnel evaluator believes he's the one player out of group that could challenge for a staring job right away. Keglar played WLB at around 240 pounds last season but could probably make the transition to the inside in Cleveland's 4-3 scheme.

We'll take a broader look at Cleveland's possible selections in rounds 4-5 and who they might be looking at in the 6-7 area in Friday's update including some outside pass rushers that are considered very under the radar.

Denver Broncos - Interestingly, a league source notes that Denver actually has RB Darren McFadden (Arkansas) as the highest rated player on their draft board but because their needs are so vast, they won't trade up to select him. Denver is expected to look at selecting the best offensive lineman that's left on the board when they select at No. 12.

Jacksonville Jaguars - Although most mock drafts have the team selecting a defensive end which is arguably their biggest positional need, a team source notes the front office won't reach for one that doesn't have a first round grade. With that being the case, they could turn their attention to a defensive tackle or left tackle because starter Khalif Barnes is set to become a free agent after this coming season.

New England Patriots - While many league insiders believe the team will wind up trading out of this selection, a player thought to be under consideration if they keep the pick is Branden Albert (Virginia). RG Stephen Neal has missed 11 games over the past two seasons and turns 32 this October. Right tackle has been almost a turnstile the past two seasons but the team and Albert is capable of playing both positions.

Tennessee Titans - A team source continues to insist the coaching staff wants to select a running back early despite selecting Chris Henry in the second round in last year's draft. The knock on Henry is that he's not a patient runner and he doesn't set up his blocks well. The team is looking for a true change of pace back with the ability to get to the edge. Chris Johnson (East Carolina) is believed to be high on their draft board and he's the only back that had a pre-draft visit with Tennessee.

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