2023 NFL Draft: AFC North Draft Targets


AFC North Draft Targets


AFC North Draft Targets Overview

While other scouting sites are focused on players that NFL teams should target in the first two rounds, over here at DraftDive, we like to find gems in the draft. Therefore, we have mid-late round draft picks who each AFC North team should target in the 2023 NFL Draft. So, let’s get started by talking about the potential future of the AFC North.


Baltimore Ravens


Deonte Banks – Maryland Cornerback

Banks is one of the most physical corners in the 2023 NFL Draft. He stands at 6’2″ and weighs 205 lbs., therefore he is well above the average size of a corner in the NFL. On the outside, he can effortlessly win matchups by jamming the receiver off the line. As a result, this will knock them off balance and take them out of the play. If the receiver does escape the jam, Banks does a good job of forcing them to the sideline. This takes away the amount of room the receiver has to make a play. He would be a good fit for the Ravens because he would be able to immediately step in and use his physicality to help their secondary. Although many people have Banks graded as a first-rounder, I value him much lower than that.


Xavier Hutchinson – Iowa State Wide Receiver

Here is another valuable prospect to grab in the middle rounds. Xavier Hutchinson is a very gifted wide receiver prospect. He has a quick release off the line which allows him to quickly stem his route. At the top of his route, he can change directions on a dime, often leaving corners in the dust. Regardless of who the Ravens QB will be next season, it doesn’t matter because Hutchinson can make any QB look good. He has amazing body control, therefore he is able to make catches outside of his frame. In my report on him, I mentioned that he was a 3rd rounder. After reviewing his film and his performance at the Senior Bowl, however, I think he will likely go in the 4th round.


Lonnie Phelps – Kansas EDGE Rusher

Lonnie Phelps is going to be a valuable pick on the third day of the draft. Prior to the snap, he can diagnose the offense and communicate with his teammates. On passing plays, he does a good job of keeping his eye on the QB throughout his rush. During his rush, he can quickly run the arc and force the QB up in the pocket. You will also rarely see Phelps give up on a play because he has such a high motor. He would fit well for the Ravens because they have an amazing history of developing EDGE rushers with a high motor.


Cincinnati Bengals


Ivan Pace Jr. – Cincinnati Linebacker

This pick is just written in the stars for the Bengals. Not only is Pace a homegrown project from Colerain High School, but he would also add a lot to that defense. Pace is an amazing athlete who, additionally, is an effective pass rusher. His smaller size allows him to slip through blocks in the middle of the line. Don’t let his small frame fool you, because Pace packs a punch. Go watch the Senior Bowl game if you don’t believe me, because Pace led the game in total tackles.


Blake Freeland – BYU Offensive Tackle

One of the biggest concerns the Bengals have had over the past few years is keeping Burrow healthy. To fix this problem, why not draft one of the best pass blockers in the nation? In 1,418 college snaps, Freeland has only allowed 2 sacks, so he’s one of the best. Freeland has a tremendous frame which allows him to eat up rushes and neutralize defenders. He also has good hand placement which allows him to control defenders on pass and run plays. Shockingly, the Bengals could get him in the 3rd or 4th round. If you ask me, I think that is definitely the pick to make.


Rejzohn Wright – Oregon State Cornerback

The Cincinnati Bengals would get one of the most valuable picks in the draft here. Fellow DraftDive Analyst Ken is very high on Wright. In his article on Wright, he said, “Wright plays man coverage well. He stays in the receivers hip pocket and doesn’t allow any serious separation. In zone coverage he is quick to make decisions and they are the right ones“. If you go and watch his film, you will see that he can disrupt passes in press coverage, zone coverage, and soft coverage. He even shut down former Biletnikoff award winner Jordan Addison in his game against USC. After seeing what he offers, it is shocking to say he is a day-three pick.

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