AFC North OTA update.
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The OTA Report is a new series breaking down some of the key battles, performances and injuries that have occurred during organised team activities.
Other OTA reports: NFC East
, NFC West
First up, we have the AFC North, arguably one of the most competitive divisions in the NFL.
Little progress has been made towards deciding the number two or three receiver slots for the world champions after the departure of Anquan Boldin. That said, Jacoby Jones figures to lock one of these spots up after his playoff heroics last season.
Other receivers on the roster include Tandon Doss, Tommy Streeter, LaQuan Williams, David Reed, Deonte Thompson and rookie Aaron Mellette. Reports from the Ravens camp indicate that third year receiver Tandon Doss is getting the biggest opportunity to nab a top three depth-chart spot.
A dark horse I'd like to see getting more snaps is Tommy Streeter. The second year receiver stands at 6-foot-5 and ran a 40 yard dash time of 4.37 seconds, comparable to Calvin Johnson jr, who ran just .02 of a second faster and stands the same height. Of course, Streeter doesn't have the hands of Johnson, but he should continue to develop and become a reliable target.
The Bengals drafted tight end Tyler Eifert out of Notre Dame in the first round to compliment two-time Pro Bowler Jermaine Gresham. Gresham is a pass catcher with good potential, but has underachieved in his three NFL seasons and also hasn't always been healthy.
Eifert was brought in to add another element to the potent Bengals offence, and to follow in the footsteps of the New England Patriots two-tight end system, hoping to repeat the success the Pat's enjoy with Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski.
The 24-year-old vet should get the nod over the rookie here, but expect Eifert to be targeted plenty.
The Steelers used a second round selection in the 2013 draft to grab Le'Veon Bell out of Michigan State. He is 6-foot-1 and 230 pounds (104kg), a rock solid unit. He utilises a power running style and has dynamite in his legs. The Steelers brought him into a backfield that ranked 26th in the league in rushing yards last season.
Last season Rashard Mendenhall unproductively bounced in and out of the line-up and is now in Arizona.
Jonathan Dwyer, Isaac Redman and rookie Le'Veon Bell will compete for the starting job. Both Redman and Dwyer showed promise in their roles last season, however failed to prove their value as starters. Bell should come out of camp as the preseason starter, but the job is definitely still up in the air.
In the first round of the 2012 NFL draft, the Cleveland Browns selected quarterback Brandon Weeden. And yet, he is in grave danger of losing his starting job to the nomadic Jason Campbell.
Weeden did show promise last season, but didn't have the sufficient weapons to succeed. The 29-year-old Weeden was drafted by a completely different coaching staff, front office and ownership than what is now employed, making his job even less safe. Campbell is reportedly getting a legitimate shot at the starting job.
Weeden should win the job back after a rookie season where he threw 3,385 yards, 14 touchdowns, 17 interceptions and completed just 57.4% of his passes, but if significant improvement isn't shown this will likely be is last as the starting quarterback of the Browns.
Team news & injuries
The world champions are going about their OTA's quietly. QB Joe Flacco is bulking up and strengthening his right arm. DE Elvis Dumervil appears to be fitting in well.
Second round pick LB Arthur Brown underwent a surgery for sports hernia after the rookie mini-camp, he should be out 4-6 weeks and be back just in time for training camp in late July.
CB Lardarius Webb is now healthy again after his second ACL tear in his four NFL seasons, he is expected to take a leadership role on the defense and emerge as a top cornerback this season.
The Bengals rookies are reported to be making good progress with the playbook, and gelling well with the veterans during OTA workouts. A big exception may be OT Andre Smith, who is still absent from OTAs for reportedly personal reasons.
CB Adam Jones suffered a calf strain and while CB Leon Hall has a torn ligament in his thumb he should be set to return next week.
James Harrison seems like a dream fit in the Bengals scheme. Rookie Cobi Hamilton is also drawing some praise from the Bengals organisation. Finally QB Andy Dalton has been reportedly working on his deep pass.
OT Mike Adams -- who has been working at right tackle -- was recently stabbed when three men attempted to steal his truck. He is recovering in hospital and it is expected to take 6-8 weeks to fully heal. Reports are that he should be ready to go for training camp.
The Steelers appear to be reasonably healthy and all is quiet from Steelers camp. TE Heath Miller looks good, rookie LB Jarvis Jones' hamstring doesn't appear to be bothering him but rookie CB Terry Hawthorne won't be able to return till training camp.
New addition RB LaRod Stephens-Howling is showing ability as a versatile offensive weapon, at running back or catching the ball. He's also a quality kick returner. LaRod should see snaps during the season, watch out for his big-play ability.
The Browns seem to be quietly making improvements all round. The new coaching staff in head coach Rob Chudzinski and offensive coordinator Norv Turner appear to be making an impact on the young roster.
Newly added free agent LB Paul Kruger missed some time with a family obligation, giving rookie Barkevious Mingo some first-team snaps.
The new ownership welcomed legendary running back Jim Brown back into the Browns family as a supervisor. There aren't any major injury concerns known to the public out of Cleveland.
That's a wrap from the OTAs in the AFC North!
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