Stock Up, Stock Down at Training Camp for Each AFC North Team

Stock Up, Stock Down at Training Camp for Each AFC North Team

Willie Lutz
2 years ago
5 min read
Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd catches a pass as Browns cornerback Greedy Williams defends

With all 32 teams finally in pads to prepare for their preseason games later in the week, there’s finally enough of a sample size to evaluate some key names in training camp. Sure, it’s still early and many components of teams are still being installed.

However, given the reps we’ve seen and the narratives being shared by coaches across the league, it’s time to start talking about the football stories surrounding some key players. Given the AFC North’s clearly competitive outlook in 2022, let’s take a look at some of the players who are shining in training camp, plus some who need to start trending in the right direction: 

Baltimore Ravens

Stock Up: Isaiah Likely, TE

The rich keep getting richer, as the Baltimore Ravens are seeing another swing at a tight end pay off in their favor. A rookie out of Coastal Carolina, Isaiah Likely continues to make highlight reel catches and carve out a role in this Ravens offense. Obviously, the team’s reliance on superstar tight end Mark Andrews as their primary pass catcher limits the opportunities for the 22-year-old Likely to get on the field. However, Likely shows tremendous ability as a red zone threat and can certainly command snaps in that role. Regardless of his 2022 snap count, the Ravens seem to have a gem in their pipeline with Isaiah Likely on the rise.

Stock Down: Ben Cleveland, G

Entering camp with a lot to prove in his second season, Ben Cleveland got off to a rough start by failing the team’s conditioning test, holding him out for the first week. While he’s been back on the field since, he’s already lost key snaps to other interior line contenders and faces an uphill battle to even be the team’s next-man-up. Now, with rookie Tyler Linderbaum set to miss a week or two with a lower-body injury, Cleveland has a chance to prove himself and his worth. However, his reps haven’t looked all that great and his 54.8 PFF pass-blocking grade across 367 snaps last season certainly needed improvement. Though his size is great and ceiling is still high, Ben Cleveland needs to start stringing together some quality practices. 

Cincinnati Bengals

Stock Up: Zach Carter, DT

After losing Larry Ogunjobi to free agency this offseason, the Bengals looked to the draft to fill a need in the interior pass rush department. In the third round, they traveled off the beaten path to snag Zach Carter, a 23-year-old pass rusher from Florida. At the time, it raised eyebrows for the wrong reasons. In training camp, Zach Carter has those eyebrows raised for all the right reasons. In both 1-on-1 and 11-on-11 drills, Carter continues to flash as an answer in the pass rush department. Throughout camp, Carter has gotten consistent push against the team's starting linemen, plus has thrashed their backup pieces. For now, it looks like the Bengals have nailed another mid-round defensive line selection. 

Stock Down: Hakeem Adeniji, G


While he draws rave reviews inside the building, Hakeem Adeniji’s stock continues to tumble since his meager postseason and Super Bowl performances. Without a doubt, the Bengals need depth help on their offensive line, even after their significant upgrades. However, it seems like it’s been quite easy to find clips of Bengals defensive linemen making easy work out of the fourth-year offensive linemen. In the past, it might’ve been easier to overlook. Now, those plays are stacking up against Adeniji and he may find himself on the wrong side of the roster bubble. 

Cleveland Browns

Stock Up: A.J. Green, CB

Since going undrafted in 2020, Browns corner A.J. Green continues to prove he can run with the big dogs. While the Browns already have a terrific combo of starting corners, Green appears to be in line for the next-man-up gig should one need some time away from the field. The camp performance, however, might be less surprising when looking at his 2021 campaign. Despite the great competition, Green led all Browns cornerbacks with an 86.2 PFF defensive grade and 90.3 PFF coverage grade. Already shining in camp, a couple nice outings in the preseason could have Browns fans dreaming of their own A.J. Green covering the Bengals’ A.J. Green back in the early 2010s. 

Stock Down: Greedy Williams, CB

With Green thriving in a bigger role in camp, Denzel Ward on a pricy extension, and Greg Newsome II blossoming as CB2 in Cleveland, opportunities are running thin for the oft-injured Greedy Williams. Entering his fourth year in Cleveland, its clear that other young talents have pushed him out of the mix. Still, Williams isn’t a threat to miss the roster. However, carving out snaps will be a harder concept for him as his teammates continue to outperform him in training camp. 

Pittsburgh Steelers

Stock Up: George Pickens, WR

Well, it looks like the Steelers have found another steal of a pass-catching talent, this time with 2022 second-round pick George Pickens. According to sources around the team, each practice brings another head-turning grab from the 21-year-old rookie out of Georgia. Whether it's a display of extraordinary body control, good hands, or saving Kenny Pickett from another duck of a throw (more on that later), Pickens has emerged as the offensive star of camp in Pittsburgh. Certainly, this is good news for a team that’s cycled through a few high-end talents in recent years. As of now, Pickens looks plenty good enough to crack the Steelers' starting lineup come opening Week One in Cincinnati. 

Stock Down: Kenny Pickett, QB

While it’s been nothing but positivity for the Steelers’ second-round pick, their first-round pick is floundering in camp and bottoming out on the depth chart. At this point, it seems impossible that Pickett will start in Week One. Further, it seems increasingly unlikely that Pickett will see any meaningful action during the 2022 season. Day after day, there’s a pile of stories about bad incompletions, ugly interceptions, and lack of poise in the pocket from the 20th-overall pick and 24-year-old quarterback. Obviously, there’s still time for Pickett to turn the corner. However, given the fact that he’s already crashing towards his mid-20s, the lights need to come on quickly for the highly-anticipated rookie quarterback in Pittsburgh.

🏈The Baltimore Ravens are +160 betting favorites to win the AFC North. Can an Ohio team pull the upset? Keep up with our odds on betJACK now! 🏈

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