T.J. Ward (2nd round) has started since the season began. All the young safety from Oregon has done is lead the team in tackles with 75. First round pick Joe Haden could see his first start this week, depending on the health of Sheldon Brown, and the status of Eric Wright. Haden has seen plenty of action, recording 34 tackles of his own while defending seven passes and intercepting another two. Rookie corners tend to struggle. Haden is playing his way onto the field more and more.
On offense Colt McCoy (3rd round) should be the starter again this week. Not that Mangini has named him the starter, but seriously- this can’t be a discussion right? Right Eric? McCoy has started four games, and is 2-2 in those contests. He has a 60% completion percentage, 734 yards passing, two TD throws and another rushing.
Guard Shawn Lauvao (3rd round) should get his first start filling in for the injured Billy Yates. Lauvao was fighting for a starting job in training camp before an injury forced him to miss several weeks. He has played in parts of three games so far, and played a significant portion of last week’s game against the Jets.
So far, all of these picks look like good bets to become regular starters on this team next season. You hate to put lofty expectations on young players, but it is safe to say that Ward, Haden and McCoy have shown the potential to be impact players at their positions for years to come.
Even if the Browns never see legitimate production from 2nd round pick Monterio Hardesty, wouldn’t you have to say (at least early on) this draft has been a pretty big success? When was the last time the Browns had 4 solid starters from the same draft class?
I’d listen to arguments for the ’06 class that included Kam Wimbley, D’Qwell Jackson, Jerome Harrison and Lawrence Vickers. Outside of that group, you really have to go back quite a ways to find 4 four solid starters from one class.
Now, if the Browns could put together another draft like that one?