April 24, 2014

WFNY weighs in on the Cleveland Browns’ 2013 draft

2013Browns

Another NFL Draft in the books. With our aversion to “grades” well documented, we will address 10 key points with regard to the 2013 edition, specific to the Cleveland Browns. Our individual takes can be found after the jump. We invite you to participate, just as many of you did one year ago. Let’s get into it…

1. Just like last year, we’ll start it off here: On a scale of 1-to-10, what is your perception of the Browns’ 2013 draft?

Scott: I get that this is a tough draft to get excited about as a fan given the waiting game that is involved. That said, I feel that the team added some impact players at positions of need while layering in some upside if any of the late-round players pan out. Since I love the Mingo pick, I’ll give it a 7 with the option to amend next year when we see what they did with the acquired picks.

Andrew: If 10-9 is an A, 8-7 is a B, 6-5 is a C, etc, then I think a 5 is about right. I like the players they got with their 1st and 3rd round picks, but this team had a lot more needs than this, and they just didn’t have enough picks to really make a huge impact. Using the draft swap to acquire Bess was a nice move, though. If we can count Josh Gordon in this draft as the 2nd round pick, I’d give it a 7, but that’s not how this works. Overall, this was just a very uninteresting draft by the Browns. I can’t call it great, but I don’t dislike what they’re doing either.

Craig: Right now, I’ll give it a 7 as well. I like the Mingo pick, I don’t mind the trades and I think there were some measured gambles late, which is perfectly acceptable late in the draft.

Ryan: I’ll likely be the low man with a 4. The Browns made great value moves with the trades for Bess and draft picks next year, but my fear is they failed to grab any players who will make an immediate significant impact. Mingo has great upside, but I don’t think he’ll be an every down player for some time.

TD: 5 – I cant really get to upset with either of the first two selections. I also cant get to excited with the entire draft as a whole. I still think they mad a mistake passing on Dee Milliner, but they love KeKe Mingo and he fills as need as well.

Rick: After Friday I would have said the Browns were on pace for an 8. After Saturday? I will give them a 6 at best.

Jacob: Let’s go with a 6. While I was unfairly pessimistic it seems last year, there’s still again reason for pessimism this year. Barkevious Mingo is a situational pass-rusher as a rookie. Leon McFadden was the only other player picked in the first four rounds. This draft lacked impact in the short-run but hopefully those trades help in the big picture.

Kirk: 7. I liked the Mingo pick. They added two impact receivers (and yes, you need to count Gordon). They stacked themselves for next year’s draft. It doesn’t give instant gratification, but I think it was a solid one.

2. On a scale of 1-to-10, how well do you think the Browns did in addressing their needs?

Scott: I’ll give them a 5 here. There was no way that all of the needs could have been addressed with this draft, but more of them could have been. I left surprised that the team did not add a tight end or free safety, but I am also operating under the impression that the team is far from done in terms of adding players via free agency.

Andrew: I’d say maybe a 3. Of course, that all depends on whether Jamoris Slaughter can play. If Slaughter plays and makes an impact, this draft looks a lot better from a need-filling standpoint. But in general, when you only make 2 picks in the first 3 rounds and one of those picks is a luxury need (pass rushing) more than an actual dire need, it’s tough to say they really did a great job addressing some glaring holes in the roster. No TE, no S until Round 6, no OL until Round 7. It’s clear the front office’s agenda was not to fill roster holes this year, but instead to acquire picks to try to address everything next year.

Craig: Only a 5 from a standpoint of addressing needs. If they hadn’t drafted Leon McFadden, this particular category might have been a 1 or 0.

Ryan: 3. Leaving the draft there are still huge question marks at safety, corner, tight end, and guard. Although three of these positions were addressed in the draft it doesn’t mean they’re any better off than they were before.

TD: 6 – It all comes down to how good Leon McFadden can be at CB. They neglected the sfatey spot far too long and when they took one, its a guy coming off of an achilles tear.

Rick: I give them a 4. Tight End is still an unsettled mess. They did not address the safety position until the sixth round and even then the player chosen is trying to come back from an Achilles’s tear. Armonty Bryant in the 7th seems like a wasted pick as well. D-line depth is the strength of the team, plus he’s a character risk.

Jacob: How could one give them better than a 4? In terms of short-term needs, the Browns whiffed. Another pass rusher, cornerback, safety, offensive guard and tight end were chief among the offseason needs. While many of the resources have gone into the front seven, the defensive backfield is still suspect and no big names have joined the offensive corps besides Davone Bess.

Kirk: 7. McFadden may start opposite Haden this year. He may not. Slaughter has injury concerns and may not be an ideal free safety. This team still probably needs another tight end, corner, and safety (not to mention quarterback), but they did add a pass rusher or two, receivers, and some offensive line depth.

3. On a scale of 1-to-10, how would you say the new triumvirate of Joe Banner, Mike Lombardi and Rob Chudzinski did from a strategy standpoint?

Scott: Strategically, they’re at a 7 or 8. Anytime you can trade a pick for a pick of better value, you have to at least consider it. As boring as this weekend may have been, next year at this time, we will all be discussing what the Browns did with their nine selections. It will all depend on where these picks fall. Plus, the Bess trade gives the team a player who can catch 50-60 balls for the price of a fourth-round pick. Any other fourth-rounders going to step in and immediately make an impact?

Andrew: I’ll give them a 7. Like Scott, I like the Bess trade an awful lot, and if their strategy really is to kick the can down the road to next year, they did a nice job acquiring some extra picks and taking a luxury pass rusher who they really like. You can disagree with the strategy all you like, but if this is the plan, they executed it pretty well.

Craig: I also say an 8 from a strategy standpoint. I love the upgraded picks for next season. They have to draft good players there next year, but I can totally get on board with the philosophy. From the standpoint of opportunities left on the table, I still would have liked to see a slight trade down in this particular draft. I like Mingo alright, but this draft didn’t have star power. If there were opportunities to trade down without a star QB or even a star WR like Julio Jones on the board, the Browns should have figured it out and done it.

Ryan: 7. Banner knew it was unrealistic to fill all the team’s holes in one draft so instead throwing band aids over the holes and calling them fixed, he began collecting assets. History shows that the players the Browns would have drafted in 4th and 5th rounds most likely wouldn’t have made big contributions this year, so why not flip those picks for ones of better value?

TD: 8 – they clearly had a plan and executed it. Trading a mid round pick for Devone Bess was a big win. I also loved picking up 3rd and 4th round picks for next year at a great value as well.

Jacob: Strategically, I get it. The focus is on the long-term. Kudos to Joe Banner for going out and saying that explicitly about the difference between drafting Mingo and drafting Dee Milliner. So for fulfilling their strategy, I give them a 7 so far. We’ll see if the players selected truly are the best use of the team’s sparse picks.

Kirk: With the increased focus on free agency and acquiring impact guys now, I’ll give them another 7.

4. Fact or Fiction: When assessing this draft, Josh Gordon and Davone Bess must be considered.

Scott: Fact. The front office cannot take credit for adding Gordon, but he has to be considered when assessing the entire draft.

Andrew: Bess, yes. Gordon, no.

Craig: Fact. Josh Gordon is in hand and meant the Browns had to sit idle during the second round this year. Bess’ acquisition is also inextricable from the 2013 NFL draft for me because player acquisition is player acquisition. Everything impacts everything.

Ryan: Fiction. Banner and Lombardi had nothing to do with the Gordon selection last summer, but the Bess acquisition must be taken into account for this year’s draft.

TD: Fact – They cannot be discounted. Getting Gordon as a second round pick with a year of development under his belt is huge. If they didn’t have him, they’d be looking for a WR in that round 2 spot anyways.

Rick: It is a fact, but not exactly the way I’ve been reading it the past two days. Banner couldn’t do any more to distance himself from the Gordon pick. But when talking about the lack of impact players selected, they should get a pass for the second round. Plugging Bess in as the Browns’ fourth round selection is ridiculous. He is a veteran. I liked that trade, but don’t include him as a draft pick. When discussing the weekend he should be included however in what the Browns did.

Jacob: Fact. It has to be the case. When including Josh Gordon, the Browns 2013 draft will look pretty decent historically. He would have certainly been a first-rounder — possibly top 10 — this year, knowing everything we do now. Bess is an effective slot receiver; as I mentioned previously, he’s one of only 10 NFL players to catch 50+ balls in each of the last five seasons. It was a mimimal risk from the Browns’ perspective.

Kirk: Absolute and undeniable FACT.

5. Honestly, how do you feel about trading with the Pittsburgh Steelers?

Scott: I couldn’t care less that it was the Steelers on the other end of the deal. Yes, they have been the better team; yes, their track record for drafting has been better than the Browns. You know who the Steelers traded up for in the fourth round last season? Alameda Ta’amu. He’s also the same player the Steelers waved this past November after being involved his second DUI arrest. He was later re-signed, but will be lucky to make the team this year. Enough with this whole ‘the past is indicative of the future’ nonsense.

Andrew: I too have no problem with it whatsoever. Do what’s best for you, don’t worry about anybody else.

Craig: I love getting a third round pick for a fourth round pick, but I do wish they’d been able to accomplish it with another team. My Pittsburgh paranoia is that the Steelers will be too good for that third round pick to be truly great. But that might just be the paranoia talking.

Ryan: Paranoid. Do they know something we don’t? Why would they give us their 3rd rounder next year for a 4th this year? Is the NFL thinking of not holding a draft next year? Will Shamarko Thomas haunt us for the next 10 years? Something seems fishy!

TD: Much ado about nothing. Its a mid-round pick! This wasn’t Phil Savage letting the Ravens jump ahead of him in the first round. Totally different situation

Rick: To be clear, I didn’t care for the trading out of both the 4th and 5th round picks. No matter who they traded with. It would have been easier to stomach had they just traded one. Even if it was to the Steelers. I don’t know that I agree with Banner that we should prefer to trade in-division. That doesn’t seem like a great idea.

Jacob: I honestly don’t care one bit. Make the best trade with whoever.

Kirk: Other than a little dirty for the Browns having made contact with the Stillers, I’m fine with it for a 4th rounder. If the Browns don’t make the trade, someone else would have.

6. Who was your favorite selection of the players not named “Barkevious”?

Scott: Lee McFadden. I want to say Jamoris Slaughter, but he appears to be panning out as more of a strong safety than a free safety, regardless of if he’s red-shirted or not. McFadden will have the starting cornerback job to lose. He’s used to playing on that side of the field, and has a track record for solid  man coverage. He may lose out on a few jump balls to taller receivers, but these should be few and far between.

Andrew: Hard not to say McFadden here. I know there are some doubts about his size, but he sure looks like someone who has strong technique and really knows how to cover wide receviers. I really hope he can be the other starting outside CB opposite Joe Haden.

Craig: Jamoris Slaughter in the sixth round. I was talking to a friend of mine last night and he put it together perfectly, so I’m just going to steal it. How can the same media worship the 49ers using a 4th round pick on injured running back Marcus Lattimore and kill the Browns for using a 6th rounder on Jamoris Slaughter? Both are “value” picks that will earn their keep if they’re healthier tomorrow than they appear to be today.

Ryan: None of the above. It’s hard for me to get excited about a corner from San Diego State, a safety with an Achilles injury, or D2 prospects.

TD: Has to be McFadden. I like reading how he played a ton of one-on-one, zero safety help at San Diego State.

Rick: I will say McFadden, because he has the best chance to make an impact this year.

Jacob: Oy. I guess McFadden? All indications are that he’s an instinctive, smart corner who played exclusively on the side last year. He should at least compete with Buster Skrine for that starting position. Do I love him? Not really. But he should be solid.

Kirk: Yeah, probably McFadden.

7. Who was your least-favorite selection?

Scott: I really do not have one. I think the last three players are low-risk, high-reward if they pan out. Bryant seems like an extremely athletic end who just has to get his head on straight. Gilkey has a bit of a mean streak and wants to prove that he was severely underrated due to a litany of reasons. Slaughter can pan out to be a solid contributor, but has to stay healthy. Can’t knock the gambles, especially if the scouts felt that the upside was worth allocating resources to players who have lower ceilings.

Andrew: I don’t have a least favorite. I know absolutely nothing about Armonty Bryant or Garrett Gilkey, so to proclaim one of them my least favorite would be intellectually dishonest.

Craig: This is a tough one this season. I guess even though I don’t hate the pick I’ll have to say Mingo. I could have made the case for a few other players or trades in this position. I could have gone with Chance Warmack or Dee Milliner or traded the pick for example. I think I would have been more excited initially over any one of those moves. Again, I don’t hate the Mingo pick at all though.

Ryan: Leon McFadden. Not necessarily because I don’t think he’ll work out, I was just hoping for someone more exciting from the Browns’ second selection of the draft.

TD: Not fair to say. I know nothing about any of these guys in the late rounds.

Rick: Amonty Bryant.

Jacob: Jamoris Slaughter, just in terms of short-term need at safety. The Browns were not good in the safety department. While, yes, I understand Banner’s plea for patience, it seemed the Browns needed more help for 2013 at this spot.

Kirk: Bryant, though he’s probably worth the risk there.

8. Between Jamoris Slaughter, Amonty Bryant and Garrett Gilkey, who has the biggest chance of contributing this season? And long term?

Scott: This season? I’ll say Gilkey as he fills an immediate need. Long term? Hopefully Slaughter given where he was picked coupled with is measurables and on- and off-field  intellegence.

Andrew: I’ll say Slaughter here, but again, it’s because I know absolutely nothing about the other two.

Craig: I’ll also say Garrett Gilkey has the best chance initially but long-term as well. I like that pick in the seventh round as much as you can like a seventh-round pick. I also think that if he plays guard he’ll potentially have a chance to compete for a job. It’s a long road to the starter’s spot, of course, but out of the three, I’ll go with Gilkey.

Ryan: Assuming Slaughter is healthy he’ll have the biggest opportunity to contribute this season. With the lack of depth the Browns have a safety Slaughter will have a chance to start and at the least play on special teams.

TD: If healthy, it has to be Slaughter. The Safety position for the Browns is about as deep as a zero entry kiddie pool.

Rick: Easily Slaughter, if he can come back healthy and ready to play. That is a big if though.

Jacob: This season, Gilkey, by default and based on who he is competing against. Long-term, Slaughter, assuming he can return to full health, as again, there’s not much future competition there.

Kirk: This year, I agree with those who said it’s Gilkey, who will try to push Lauvao, Greco, and Pinkston. Long term, though, probably Slaughter.

9. Of the players currently on the Browns roster, who will be impacted the most (positively or negatively)?

Scott: Brandon Weeden. He’s officially on a one-year audition, but has been given a third-down outlet in Davone Bess. Ideally, Bess fits the Joe Jurevicius role that Rob Chudzinski utilized when he was here in 2007. This is an entirely different team if it can convert on more third-down plays.

Andrew: I agree with Brandon Weeden. By the Browns not drafting a quarterback, that pretty much seals the deal for Weeden in granting him another year to prove he can do this job. So it’s hard not to say this draft was a big plus for Weeden.

Craig: I think you have to say Jabaal Sheard. Whether he’s impacted positively or negatively is up to him, but he now has a lot of people on the roster pushing and challenging him to be on the field.

Ryan: Brandon Weeden. When the Browns opted not to draft a quarterback early or even at all in this year’s draft Brandon Weeden became QB1 for one more year. Either he performs or watches as the Browns go all in for a QB next year.

TD: Positively is Joe Haden. He has received help on the other side in the form of McFadden. Negatively, Jordan Norwood and Josh Cooper should start looking for other work with Bess now in the fold.

Rick: I guess the answer should be Jabaal Sheard. Mingo’s playing time is going to come from somewhere. Sheard has some serious competition now.

Jacob: Positively, I’m going with Paul Kruger. He’s never been “The Man” in terms of a defensive pass rush. He was best as a situational force in Baltimore. Combined now with Barkevious Mingo as a 1-2 situational punch, he’s going to be much more effective.

Kirk: It has to be Josh Cooper and Jordan Norwood, no? With Gordon, Bess, Little, Nelson, and Benjamin, there’s only so many spots. Jabaal Sheard honorable mention.

10. If you would have preferred the Browns done one thing differently, what would it be?

Scott: If anything, it would have been to use the fifth-round pick instead of trading it to Indianapolis. Josh Evans or Nick Casa would have been nice there. That said, a fifth-round pick will not make or break this team as presently constructed.

Andrew: This is a tough question. I personally would have preferred they pick Milliner over Mingo. I just think cornerback was a much greater need. But if the Browns just didn’t think Milliner was projected to be a long-term starting CB, then I can’t fault them for going in another direction.

Craig: Traded down in the first round for additional compensation. If they’d done that and garnered a second or third rounder, they wouldn’t be getting this amount of blow back for trading picks for future picks.

Ryan: Honey Badger, Honey Badger, Honey Badger. We needed a corner, we selected a corner, but we took the All-Mountain West guy instead of the former Heisman finalist. Nothing was a bigger buzz kill on this draft than passing on Mathieu.

TD: Like Andrew, I would have taken Milliner instead of Mingo. Mingo is a boom or bust guy and the Browns loaded up on pass rushers during free agency.

Rick: Use the 4th and 5th round picks on players that could positively affect 2013. I can’t buy that there weren’t players out there that could have made an impact on this team this year.

Jacob: Address the need at tight end. I’m still not comfortable with Jordan Cameron and Kellen Davis being the two best tight ends on an NFL team. Even if was a late-round pick, this should have been addressed.

Kirk: I would have drafted a tight end or another corner.

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If you would like to weigh in, copy, paste and comment!

1. Just like last year, we’ll start it off here: On a scale of 1-to-10, what is your perception of the Browns’ 2013 draft?

2. On a scale of 1-to-10, how well do you think the Browns did in addressing their needs?

3. On a scale of 1-to-10, how would you say the new triumvirate of Joe Banner, Mike Lombardi and Rob Chudzinski did from a strategy standpoint?

4. Fact or Fiction: When assessing this draft, Josh Gordon and Davone Bess must be considered.

5. Honestly, how do you feel about trading with the Pittsburgh Steelers?

6. Who was your favorite selection of the players not named “Barkevious”?

7. Who was your least-favorite selection?

8. Between Jamoris Slaughter, Amonty Bryant and Garrett Gilkey, who has the biggest chance of contributing this season? And long term?

9. Of the players currently on the Browns roster, who will be impacted the most (positively or negatively)?

10. If you would have preferred the Browns done one thing differently, what would it be?

  • RGB

    What are the chances Armonty tries to sell Gordon some weed?

  • Harv 21

    2. Obviously, they’re trying to build a second area of strength, to go with the O-line. I’m fine with the corner they took, because the can’t-miss corners are long gone by the third round and if the flaw McFadden has is height, that’s the prob with most of the corners taken there. Cincy receivers will eat us up until fear of the rush really starts unnerving Dalton.

    But I don’t like the Slaughter pick. If he fully recovers, he sounds like a Ward clone – hard-hitter, can provide run support, can blitz. What we need now to complement the unnerved QB is a free safety ball hawk, who has a sense of what the QB will do, is always around that ball and has decent hands. Slaughter sounds like a potential replacement for Ward during his annual injury but not the missing dimension that turns floated or rushed passes into INTs. That’s the type of safety I would have been looking for. I give them a 4.

    3. Now that post-draft kool-aid has left my system, I no longer understand the clear win in a cost benefit analysis of turning a 5th into next round’s 4th (given the similar quality of players available by then), or our 4th into the Steeler’s next year’s 3rd (given how few selections will separate their likely low third round position from where we would have picked this year). The economics-heavy side of Banner seems to be applying a value formula that provides relatively little talent benefit. A flyer on a talented but flawed guy left in the fourth round is not a bad thing to do with so many holes, and what they’ll do next year anyway. Unless Banner’s strategy is to accumulate chips to leapfrog in the draft next year. I give them a 5, for trading without obvious benefit.

  • Ezzie Goldish

    1. Just like last year, we’ll start it off here: On a scale of 1-to-10, what is your perception of the Browns’ 2013 draft?

    7 – I wanted Milliner, but clearly they had a plan and stuck to it with some strategic moves. I also include Bess in this.

    2. On a scale of 1-to-10, how well do you think the Browns did in addressing their needs?

    5 – they couldn’t fill everything in one year, and they didn’t.

    3. On a scale of 1-to-10, how would you say the new triumvirate of Joe Banner, Mike Lombardi and Rob Chudzinski did from a strategy standpoint?

    8 – can’t take away from the strategic aspect, except perhaps trading down to take Warmack or Milliner instead of Mingo.

    4. Fact or Fiction: When assessing this draft, Josh Gordon and Davone Bess must be considered.

    Bess yes, Gordon only if you’re talking about total value.

    5. Honestly, how do you feel about trading with the Pittsburgh Steelers?

    I liked Banner’s answer to this. We’re wary because our front offices get fleeced all the time, but if we aren’t going to, why not?

    6. Who was your favorite selection of the players not named “Barkevious”?

    No real favorite.

    7. Who was your least-favorite selection?

    Mingo, only because I wanted Milliner, but I don’t dislike.

    8. Between Jamoris Slaughter, Amonty Bryant and Garrett Gilkey, who has the biggest chance of contributing this season? And long term?

    This season Bryant. Long-term Slaughter.

    9. Of the players currently on the Browns roster, who will be impacted the most (positively or negatively)?

    Sheard and Norwood/Cooper (likely Cooper) and Skrine. Sheard will have to turn into what Kruger was in Baltimore. Skrine will have a great year in the slot, I predict.

    10. If you would have preferred the Browns done one thing differently, what would it be?

    Milliner over Mingo at the time, though if McFadden turns out well I’ll be really thrilled.

  • JHop

    Based on all the 2014 picks the Browns accumulated this year, it definitely seems like they’re prepping for a ‘go big or go home’ draft next year. With 5+ first round caliber QBs lining up for next year’s draft, I bet this front office wants to make sure it has the draft pick arsenal to trade up and grab any guy they want (be it Tajh Boyd, Terry Bridgewater, etc.).

  • JHop

    Browns will use those 2014 3rd and 4th rounders to trade up next year if need be. With so many stellar (and by stellar I mean better than Weeden, which is a pretty low basement if you ask me) QBs lining up for the 2014 draft, this front office wants to make sure it can get its guy if Weeden fails.

    Basically, they’re hedging their bets on Weeden and creating a fallback in case recedes skill-wise this season.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    This draft gets a huge I for incomplete because I believe like alot of others that it’s impact won’t be shown until a year from now in the 2014 draft. In the meantime we’ll see what Mingo does and whether McFadden has any kind of future or if he’s another Buster Skrine. Ideally the team will make strides show overall improvement and be ascending for next year.

  • BenRM

    It’s like I’m a WFNY writer, too! Dreams do come true!

    1. My heart tells me 3, my head tells me closer to 7. 1 pick in 167 players hurts and is super boring, but I understand the moves and don’t necessarily disagree.

    2. 5. Despite what many think, I believe Mingo was necessary. You need a complimentary edge rusher for Kruger. There are just too many needs for a single draft to address.

    3. Incomplete. It hinges on what those traded picks turn into.

    4. Fact. Even if Gordon wasn’t drafted by this front office, he is a part of the draft. It’s like college players who enroll early.

    5. Whatever. It’s the most overblown item of the Browns draft. I do like the player the Steelers selected, though. That part bothers me.

    6. Slaughter. I’m an ND honk. And while he’s probably more of a SS, when is the last time Ward played a complete season? Ever?

    7. Probably Mingo? Only because I preferred other players though, not because he’s bad.

    8. Gilkey will probably log significant time because I have no faith in Lauvao or Pinkston

    9. Kruger. Positively. There were questions about whether or not he could produce outside of the Ravens’ system. Those questions are probably irrelevant now.

    10. Not trade those picks. It made for a very boring draft.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    1. On a scale of 1-to-10, what is your perception of the Browns’ 2013 draft?

    - 8 – I’m including both Gordon and Bess… I’m a grown-ass man and I do what I want. I like Mingo a lot… think he has more ability than just a pure pass-rusher, but he has that too. McFadden seems like he could shore up CB#2. I really like the swing for the fences mentality with late round and UDFA pick-ups. Regardless of what was done with the 4th and 5th round picks, I’m of the opinion that it was unlikely that the Browns would not have found a solid starter with either pick, so I like value that Banner got in what is looking to be a better draft next year.

    2. On a scale of 1-to-10, how well do you think the Browns did in addressing their needs?

    - 7 – Could the Browns have found a starter with those 4th and 5th round picks? Possibly. I’m just not betting on it. They needed to address CB and OLB the most and they did that. Safety is a concern still and I hope it’s addressed in free agency. I’d hate to see the Browns go into the season with Lauvao as a starting guard, but if that’s the worst of it, it’s not so bad. I don’t think TE was as big of a need as others… having a stud pass-catching TE is a luxury, not a requirement for a good team.

    3. On a scale of 1-to-10, how would you say the new triumvirate of Joe Banner, Mike Lombardi and Rob Chudzinski did from a strategy standpoint?

    - 9 – Without caring enough to go into it further, I think their strategy is evident and that they accomplished their strategy.

    4. Fact or Fiction: When assessing this draft, Josh Gordon and Davone Bess must be considered.

    - Fact – not sure how you can have draft picks that are clearly missing due to both players without including them as a part of this draft.

    5. Honestly, how do you feel about trading with the Pittsburgh Steelers?

    - Don’t Care – Trade with whoever you want, just make sure you win the trade.

    6. Who was your favorite selection of the players not named “Barkevious”?
    - McFadden – I think he’s a guy who fits perfectly as a CB#2. Of the film I watched on YouTube, he can get beat with double moves, but he really is exceptional at reading the QB and breaking on the ball, especially out of a zone which is coverage I think our CB#2 could be in quite often.

    7. Who was your least-favorite selection?

    - A. Bryant – Doesn’t say much because he’s only a 7th round pick, but I don’t like the character issues he could possibly bring along, and if he’s a DE instead of OLB, then I’m not sure if he even has a chance to make the team.

    8. Between Jamoris Slaughter, Amonty Bryant and Garrett Gilkey, who has the biggest chance of contributing this season? And long term? I think it’s Slaughter. He could be getting healthy and coming up to speed just as TJ Ward goes down with his annual injury (pessimistic Browns fan’d).

    9. Of the players currently on the Browns roster, who will be impacted the most (positively or negatively)?

    - Sheard – his snaps will have to drop so that Mingo can get playing time.

    10. If you would have preferred the Browns done one thing differently, what would it be?

    - Rephrase from Banner – I got really ticked off when Banner made it sound like the team was totally fine with going into the season with holes in the roster. There’s plenty of cap space and suitable players to fill the holes in free agency with 1-2 year stop-gap solutions who are seemingly better than players currently on the roster. I am hoping Banner just phrased poorly and was talking purely about the draft.

  • Harv 21

    A bottom-of-the-round third rounder in a draft day trade does not let you move up very far at all, certainly not in the first round. It will let you move some in the second round, but now you’re not talking about a clear stud QB. So again, my question is: was it worth sampling no players in this year’s 4th and fifth rounds just to maneuver a little next year to make sure you get a preferred second or third rounder next year? The benefit is just not that clear to me.

  • humboldt

    Agreed. This type of move strikes me as people around a boardroom table feeling themselves a little bit too clever.

    Clearly the premise that there were no players in the 4th or 5th round worth taking is flawed, as there will invariably be starters/pro-bowlers drafted in those rounds of this year’s draft. I can’t help but find this move to be bizarre and a bit hubristic.

  • The_Matt_Of_Akron

    How do you pronounce KeKe? Is it Kee-Kee, Kay-Kay, or Keh-Keh?

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I think it’s pronounced “Saaaaaaaaaaaack”… or at least I hope it is anyway.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I don’t really see it with the 2014 QBs honestly. Sure Bridgewater could end up being the next Luck/RG3, but personally I think his ceiling is lower than that (and if he has a disappointing year he can always go back for his senior season). I’m not a big Tajh Boyd fan, Mettenberger was really inconsistent last year, and Murray is undersized as a pocket QB. Logan Thomas has the size and athleticism, but probably not the accuracy you want. I’m just trying to say it is nowhere near a sure thing that there will be a stud QB or two to choose from in the 2014 draft.

  • BenRM

    I liked Tajh Boyd a lot last year. We’ll see what happens this year.

    I’m always skeptical of Louisville players (and WVU but that’s another conversation).

  • AMC

    Like “key key”

  • LaundroMat

    “With our aversion to “grades” well documented, we will address 10 key
    points with regard to the 2013 edition, specific to the Cleveland
    Browns.”

    It’s hard to see how 1-10 scales are any different than grades.

    But anyway, I’d side with those who appreciate what happened this year as preparatory for next year — while solidifying us this year. It is possible that Weeden matures, the new coaching is effective, it all comes together and we sniff the playoffs or actually make it in…but in the event that none of this happens (or actually, in any event) we will know more clearly where our most pressing needs are for making the big push for contention.

  • mgbode

    1. Just like last year, we’ll start it off here: On a scale of 1-to-10, what is your perception of the Browns’ 2013 draft?
    “6” – While I like Mingo, McFadden, and even
    Chris Faulk (OL, LSU), to be considered an much improved team we really needed a talent infusion and we added 2 starters in the draft after adding 2 starters in FA. Although Bess, while not a starter, was another area of need (improving on Norwood/Cooper).

    2. On a scale of 1-to-10, how well do you think the Browns did in addressing their needs?
    “4” – I understand why they took the premium
    spots, but McFadden is on the fringe of startable territory in a draft and that
    means only one area of urgent need was addressed in the draft.

    3. On a scale of 1-to-10, how would you say the new triumvirate of Joe
    Banner, Mike Lombardi and Rob Chudzinski did from a strategy standpoint?
    “7” – getting a pass rusher, getting the 5th best CB in the 3rd round (IMO), banking higher picks in a better draft. All solid strategy even if we dn’t
    see it on the field just yet.

    4. Fact or Fiction: When assessing this draft, Josh Gordon and Davone Bess must be considered.
    Fact. We used draft assets to obtain those players.

    5. Honestly, how do you feel about trading with the Pittsburgh Steelers?
    Who cares. (as long as we win the trade J )

    6. Who was your favorite selection of the players not named “Barkevious”?
    McFadden is the obvious answer, so I’ll go with the UDFA signee Chris Faulk. I had him tabbed as a 4th/5th round guy because he’s so strong and agile. He’s not ideal for OT in the NFL, so he has an adjustment to OG coming. But,
    he played well for LSU at LT, he has everything you need in an OG and that is
    the easier transition. Good draft signing.

    7. Who was your least-favorite selection?
    Slaughter, I guess. I liked Mingo/McFadden, the rest are fliers.
    But, Slaughter went off the board with other high-potential S on the board and
    the Achilles injury scares me (and he never had great success in college before
    it).

    8. Between Jamoris Slaughter, Amonty Bryant and Garrett Gilkey, who has the
    biggest chance of contributing this season? And long term?
    We are all guessing here as they all have major, major ?, but I’ll go Bryant(both). If his head is on straight (uh oh), then he has the talent from everything that I have read.

    9. Of the players currently on the Browns roster, who will be impacted the most (positively or negatively)?
    Positively impacted is Kruger, Sheard, Groves and whoever else gets to lineup on the other OLB when Mingo is on the field. We signed Kruger’s brother in UDFA, so I’ll say him the most.

    10. If you would have preferred the Browns done one thing differently, what would it be?
    I would have taken the flier with Mathieu at FS over McFadden (as much as I like him). Impact players are always a premium. Of course, we would have then had to use the 5th/4th rounders to trade up for one of the other CBs (or re-signed Sheldon Brown or
    someone similar?).

  • mgbode

    Baltimore, Pitt, and Cinci all look to have had another solid draft. I hate that as well.

  • mgbode

    I thought it was “Foooorrrrrrrrrrrrrccccceeeeedddddddddd Fuuuuuummmmmmmmmmbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbllllllllllleeeeeee”

  • mgbode

    you didn’t even mention Johnny Football or AJ McCarron?

    (I like Bridgewater and Boyd above him though and think it is a crime that the future ACC rivals didn’t force a game against each other this year)

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    So what your saying is last place again right?

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Interesting, as an ACC guy, I always feel that way about Clemson players. I’ve seen a ton of Tajh Boyd and for whatever reason his awesome stats don’t translate to what I see when I watch him. I am probably too biased to form a real opinion though.

    I think what I might be is that I really think more of the guys who are making the plays. Watson, Hopkins, and Ellington were/are all such electric players. They were taking screen passes & slants and breaking them for huge gains and making plays on long passes that were up for grabs… that kind of stuff. It’s probably naive of me to not give Boyd a ton of credit too though.

  • paulbip

    Bryant was drafted to play a new position for the Browns, PUSHER.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Ooh, I like that one too.

  • mgbode

    you never know, but we’ll be slotted there in every prediction (and rightfully so).

  • The Ghost Of Álvaro Espinoza

    1. Just like last year, we’ll start it off here: On a scale of 1-to-10, what is your perception of the Browns’ 2013 draft?
    -Overall a 7. A 4th and 5th weren’t going to be major contributors this year anyway (if you point out Billy Winn, look towards Owen Marecic as well). Another 2nd day pick next year is more ammunition to move up, or make a move on a veteran player.

    2. On a scale of 1-to-10, how well do you think the Browns did in addressing their needs?
    -Overall a 3, and I say that nowing full well the Browns couldn’t trade rosters with the 49ers and didn’t have 25 1st/2nd day picks in the draft, so they weren’t going to address every need they have (ie; many).

    3. On a scale of 1-to-10, how would you say the new triumvirate of Joe Banner, Mike Lombardi and Rob Chudzinski did from a strategy standpoint?
    -Overall a 7, they put an emphasis on the pass rush (free agency and draft combined), which is main thing they set about to do initially. The front 7 is deep, and the outside DE/LB can get after the QB.

    4. Fact or Fiction: When assessing this draft, Josh Gordon and Davone Bess must be considered.
    -Fact. Without taking Gordon, they’d have a No. 2, by default Gordon is their No. 2. Bess, for the most part, was traded for a 5th basically. So yes, both players were impacted the outcome of the draft. With that being said; great draft.

    5. Honestly, how do you feel about trading with the Pittsburgh Steelers?
    -If you believe the safety they drafted is going to turn into a solid starting caliber player, it’s not good. Personally, you traded a 3rd day pick for a 2nd day pick. Win.

    6. Who was your favorite selection of the players not named “Barkevious”?
    -McFadden. Really don’t see a 6th and 2 7′s making a huge impact.

    7. Who was your least-favorite selection?
    -Cop out, none. I’d say one of the Bryant or Gilkey, but who knows.

    8. Between Jamoris Slaughter, Amonty Bryant and Garrett Gilkey, who has the biggest chance of contributing this season? And long term?
    -Long term: maybe Bryant, based solely on measurables.
    -Immediate: maybe Gilkey, guard play was pretty bad last year.

    9. Of the players currently on the Browns roster, who will be impacted the most (positively or negatively)?
    -Jordan Cameron. No TE of consequence in free agency or the draft, sink or swim time.

    10. If you would have preferred the Browns done one thing differently, what would it be?
    -Nothing. Trade a ’14 1st for a ’13 2nd? A ’14 2nd for a ’13 3rd? No, the team will be .500 at best. Give them 2 off seasons before they get run out of town.

  • http://twitter.com/bbo13 B-bo

    1. Just like last year, we’ll start it off here: On a scale of 1-to-10, what is your perception of the Browns’ 2013 draft?

    I’ll say a 7. Mainly because of the move to get Bess for peanuts. And those improved picks for next year might (will) be big in our attempt to move up to get a QB in 2014.

    2. On a scale of 1-to-10, how well do you think the Browns did in addressing their needs?

    5–and that’s being generous. WR is looking better and better for us. Mingo is nice, but he wasn’t a need. I understand the concerns about whether Milliner is an elite guy or not, and about tying up so much money in our CBs, and that a better pass rush can help mask some deficiencies in the secondary. But the defensive backfield is the glaring weakness of this team, and we did nothing significant to help that. And the o-line concerns going in are still very much there.

    3. On a scale of 1-to-10, how would you say the new triumvirate of Joe Banner, Mike Lombardi and Rob Chudzinski did from a strategy standpoint?

    Mingo was clearly the centerpiece of their strategy, and that I disagree with when CB help was there for the taking. But I did like the flipping for better picks next year, and the theft of Bess, so 7 overall.

    4. Fact or Fiction: When assessing this draft, Josh Gordon and Davone Bess must be considered.

    Of course they must. Gordon is the direct reason we had no round 2 pick, and getting Bess involved moving picks, so they must both count. And both are really nice moves.

    5. Honestly, how do you feel about trading with the Pittsburgh Steelers?

    Who cares who we made the deal with? If we’re going to stop being the division/league doormat, it’s time to let business decisions be business decisions and stop worrying about the personal side.

    6. Who was your favorite selection of the players not named “Barkevious”?

    Probably Slaughter, though it’s not like there’s many other options. IF he turns out to recover from the injury, that could be a great value pick. Josh Gordon was a nice get, too.

    7. Who was your least-favorite selection?

    It might just be Mingo. And not because I don’t think he can be great. Had Milliner not been there, I’d have really liked the pick. But I think CB is the glaring weakness.

    8. Between Jamoris Slaughter, Amonty Bryant and Garrett Gilkey, who has the biggest chance of contributing this season? And long term?

    This season? Gilkey. I can’t see Slaughter getting back to play, at least not a full season. And our d-line depth is substantial as is. Long term? Slaughter. Again, assuming he heals fully from a potentially disastrous injury.

    9. Of the players currently on the Browns roster, who will be impacted the most (positively or negatively)?

    Weeden. He won’t be able to use lack of surrounding talent as an excuse this year. Or coaching. Put up or shut up, old timer.

    10. If you would have preferred the Browns done one thing differently, what would it be?

    Is my regret over not taking Milliner evident yet? At the very least I’d rather they had traded out and gone with something like Eifert or Xavier Rhodes, plus gotten a second rounder. The second had quite a bit of meaningful talent available.

  • The Other Tim

    I watched the 15 minute highlight reel of McFadden on youtube. Don’t knock the Mountain West, it appears to be an ill-advised passing league. (rim shot)

    I for one am stunned that the FO kicked the can down the road. Next season the owner could be in a minimum security prison and everybody could be out of a job.

  • hopwin

    So weird to see such overall high grades compared to the grades for how well they filled needs. Perhaps I view the draft incorrectly as a vehicle to fill holes.

  • saggy

    Or Braxton Miller. Ok, maybe not Braxton Miller.

  • Natedawg86

    “or our 4th into the Steeler’s next year’s 3rd (given how few selections will separate their likely low third round position from where we would have picked this year).”
    We traded 111th pick for steelers next yr 3rd rd which would be around the 80th pick (79 this year). That gives us 4 picks in the top 80 next year, three in the second day (or less depending on how weeden does this season.

  • Natedawg86

    Miller time

  • Natedawg86

    1. I give them a 6. Will “Draft Day” come out before the 2014 draft and reveal our secrets?
    2. I give them a 4. We got a corner, but didn’t really address anything else of need until 6th and 7th rd, where you typically don’t get a lot of contribution in the season
    3. Give them 8. It feels like they had a draft board and stuck to it. I will adjust this after next draft if needed
    4. Fact. We are grading draft not Lombardi/Banner
    5. Stunned, a little pissed. We need to NAIL that 2014 pick with a pro bowler and hope the steelers S drafted is not a Browns killer
    6. Slaughter
    7. NA
    8 Slaughter
    9. Weeden – All those traded picks shows that we are moving our peices around the board getting ready to strike early next year if needed.
    10. Draft Tyler Bray with last pick! Cmon man

  • mgbode

    Free agency is to fill holes on the roster, the draft is a way at increasing the overall talent. Yes, you want to pick players that do both when possible (maybe trade down to do so, etc.), but teams that just draft for need end up taking Robiskie and MoMass in the 2nd round.

  • Zach

    1. Just like last year, we’ll start it off here: On a scale of 1-to-10, what is your perception of the Browns’ 2013 draft?
    -Eight. It wasn’t sexy, but it was well planned and executed. Lombardi and Banner hedged their bets by taking picks next year and seeing how the current offense works in the new system, while bolstering it with Bess and patching up the D. It’s a little conservative, sure, but smart. If the offense turns this year, then they’re stacked for the draft next year and can take plenty of risks. If not, they’ll be in position to draft who they need and still have enough left to pick for long term growth.

    2. On a scale of 1-to-10, how well do you think the Browns did in addressing their needs?
    -Seven. I agree that they should’ve considered trading down in the first for a pick in the second, and maybe they could’ve snagged a quality TE. However, I have to praise them for drafting players to fill voids they knew they had and avoiding drafting for those question marks.

    3. On a scale of 1-to-10, how would you say the new triumvirate of
    Joe Banner, Mike Lombardi and Rob Chudzinski did from a strategy
    standpoint?
    Eight. They’re operating on a much higher level than the last regime, and I hope the coaching staff is too. It shouldn’t be hard to outshine Shurmur.

    4. Fact or Fiction: When assessing this draft, Josh Gordon and Davone Bess must be considered.
    Fact.

    5. Honestly, how do you feel about trading with the Pittsburgh Steelers?
    Shamelessness is a good trait to have in a FO. I approve.

    6. Who was your favorite selection of the players not named “Barkevious”?
    Gilkey. I think he’s seriously underrated, and has the potential to start sooner than people think.

    7. Who was your least-favorite selection?
    Armonty Bryant. I don’t think he’s going to work, but hey, at least it was a low risk pick.

    8. Between Jamoris Slaughter, Amonty Bryant and Garrett Gilkey, who
    has the biggest chance of contributing this season? And long term?
    Gilkey on both fronts. I think Slaughter is going to take time to get healthy and develop, but Gilkey might be playing by the end of the season. If they can fix his footwork, he might put Danny Woodhead to shame.

    9. Of the players currently on the Browns roster, who will be impacted the most (positively or negatively)?
    Haden and Skrine. Haden gets some much-needed help and Skrine gets to take a seat. If McFadden can play the position without drawing flags left right and center, he’s got the #2 position. And let’s not forget Haden’s job gets exponentially easier with a legitimate pass rush.

    10. If you would have preferred the Browns done one thing differently, what would it be?
    I think they could’ve improved by trading down in the first, but I can’t really fault the approach they took. They recognized a weak draft class and the fact that they’re installing a new system. They fixed the unquestionable faults and left alone the positions that needed further analysis. I really have to give them a hand.