Tapping the NFL Draft: AFC/NFC North Team Needs

See who the North division teams will be targeting on draft day.

Josh Helmuthby Josh Helmuth

Listed below is each team with their roster needs, a breakdown of possible picks and how many picks each team has per round.
*Multiple picks in one round noted by number in parenthesis

AFC North
Baltimore Ravens G, OLB, LT, DE, S
The Ravens only fell one step short of the super bowl last year, but lost some key pieces via free-agency.  One of their biggest losses was guard Ben Grubbs, who went to New Orleans.  To replace Grubbs I have Baltimore selecting Wisconsin C Peter Konz. Konz can play guard in place of Grubbs and learn from current center Matt Birk.  Once Birk retires in the next year or two, Konz can slide into that position.  Baltimore could also target Notre Dame safety Harrison smith with the #29 pick.  They need to add some talent and depth to the linebacking corps in the second or third round.  This is one of the few teams that Arizona State ILB Vontaze Burfict could thrive with, learning from Ray Lewis.
Rounds selecting: 1, 2, 3, 4, (2)5, 6, 7

Cincinnati Bengals WR, G, CB, RB, S, DE, OLB
Cincinnati had a great draft last year taking A.J. Green and Andy Dalton, they may not get two players in the first round that make as big of an impact as those two, but Cincinnati has the chance to get a few longtime starters.  The Bengals pick #17 and #21 in the 1st round, the perfect scenario would be if South Carolina CB Stephon Gilmore and Stanford G David DeCastro were still available at #17.  They could take their pick and hope the other is still there at #21, but if not, the Bengals should use the 21st pick on a WR, CB, G, or on DL depth. Best case scenario at 21 if neither Gilmore nor DeCastro is available, would be Baylor WR Kendall Wright, or to trade down unless somebody falls that is a top 10 talent.  Some Bengals fans are hoping Alabama RB Trent Richardson is available at #17, I don't see it, but if he is the Bengals need to run to the podium with that pick.
Rounds selecting: (2)1, 2, 3, 4, (3)5, 6

Cleveland Browns RB, WR, QB, RT, OLB, DL
The Browns have a ton of picks and they need all of them.  There have been rumors about them taking Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannehill at #4 overall.  I hate that pick for them because Tannehill needs a year or two to develop, and in Cleveland he may be forced into a starting spot too early.  No matter what, the Browns need someone to take pressure off the quarterback and RB Trent Richardson is that guy, with the #22 pick I'd like to see them take WR Kendall Wright to give their offense another much needed weapon.  There is a possibility that the Browns use their second pick on a QB, if they don't think Oklahoma State QB Brandon Weeden will be available for their second round pick, taking Weeden at 22 isn't a terrible move.
Rounds selecting: (2)1, 2, 3, (2)4, (2)5, (2)6, (2)7

Pittsburgh Steelers OT, G, CB, 3NT, S, RB, QB
The Steelers roster has been torn apart this off-season leaving lots of holes to be filled by the draft.  The Steelers still need to rebuild a brittle and thin offensive line, if Georgia G/T Cordy Glenn falls to their pick at #24, he would be the perfect player for them.  I don't see that happening, so I have Pittsburgh taking Alabama ILB Dont'a Hightower to play alongside Lawrence Timmons.  If for some reason Hightower is gone, I would want to see the Steelers trade back or select Georgia Tech WR Steven Hill in the event that they let Mike Wallace walk in the next year or two.  Second round I would love to see the Steelers take either Iowa State T Kelechi Osemele, Midwestern State G Amini Silatolu, or Washington DT Alameda Ta'amu.  3rd and 4th rounders should be focused on either O-line or the secondary.
Rounds selecting: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, (4)7

NFC North
Chicago Bears LT, CB, DE, LB, WR
The Bears need to keep Jay Cutler standing up straight if they expect to be a force in the NFC.  I used to have them taking Ohio State T Mike Adams, but recent substance abuse issues have dropped him to a second round grade.  CB Stephon Gilmore could be available for them at #19, so could WR Kendall Wright or Syracuse DE Chandler Jones.  Second and third round picks should be used on an offensive linemen or cornerback.  Wide receiver and linebacker depth should be addressed at some point as well.
Rounds selecting: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Detroit Lions CB, LT, LG, LB, DE
If any of the top three CB's should fall to Detroit at #23, that should be their pick.  My last mock draft had the Lions taking DE Chandler Jones, with DE depth possibly becoming thin in the next year or two.  WR Stephen Hill would be a luxury pick possibility to add WR depth.  Guard or Tackle should be addressed in the 2nd or 3rd round along with CB if they do not take one in the first round.
Rounds selecting: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, (2)7

Green Bay Packers OLB, S, CB, RB, DE
The Packers defense was absolutely horrid last year and that needs to be addressed in the draft.  With the #28 pick overall, the Packers could go with Clemson DE Andre Branch or USC DE Nick Perry and move them to OLB, or they can take S Harrison Smith.  There are lots of worthy options at safety and cornerback in the second round, or they could look at a running back like Washington's Chris Polk or Virginia Tech's David Wilson.  With three 4th round picks, the Packers should look at shoring up the secondary and linebacking corps.
Rounds selecting: 1, 2, 3, (3)4, 5, 6, (3)7

Minnesota Vikings OT, WR, S, CB, LB, DL
The Vikings need help almost everywhere on the field.  There has recently been speculation about them trading the #3 overall pick or using it on LSU CB Morris Claiborne, I like Claiborne, but the best pick for the Vikings is USC T Matt Kalil.  Kalil should be able to protect QB Christian Ponder's blind side for years.  The Vikings should take a WR or CB with their second and third rounders and use their three 4th rounders to solidify the secondary and offensive line.  Luckily for the Vikings, their positions of need are incredibly deep in this draft.
Rounds selecting: 1, 2, 3, (3)4, 5, 6, (2)7

Keep logging on to CraveOnline.com for pick by pick projections and analysis leading up to the NFL draft on April 26th-28th.

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J. Lance Moose is a contributor and lead football writer for CraveOnline Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JLanceMoose, and subscribe on Facebook facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports.