Cole: Browns Get a C+ for Draft Picks

Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports is handing out his AFC and NFC grades for the draft – including the Browns, which you can read about below.

Picks: RB Trent Richardson, QB Brandon Weeden, OT Mitchell Schwartz, DT John Hughes, WR Travis Benjamin, ILB James-Michael Johnson, T Ryan Miller, ILB Emmanuel Acho, DT Billy Winn, CB Trevin Wade, RB Brad Smelley.

Grade: C+

Analysis: There’s nothing wrong with giving up extra picks to get a player you really love. The Browns had plenty of picks to trade and made sure they got the guy (Richardson) they wanted rather than getting jumped by Tampa Bay at the last moment. That doesn’t make up for missing on a chance to get Robert Griffin III in early March. As for Weeden, 28-year-old prospects are problematic. He comes out of spread offenses and doesn’t have a lot of experience calling plays, a bad combination. The Browns needed wide receivers and Stephen Hill was on the board when they took Schwartz.

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4 Responses to “Cole: Browns Get a C+ for Draft Picks”

  1. Denolakes says:

    And how many games has Jason Cole won as a coach or played in as a player? My guess is a big fat “0”. No doubt, this draft had some head-scratchers . . . but overall was a decent draft, from all accounts.

  2. Dotcommie says:

    There are a number of ways to grade this draft. So, giving it a C+ without a reasonably-thorough explanation is actually pretty worthless as a grading system.

    Looking at it from a play-maker perspective, the Browns should probably get a C+. Their first pick is clearly a top-level player and should provide excellent spark.

    Their second first-round pick is highly suspect until he proves himself. In the first round, you want to have guys that will step in and make an impact, not maybe make an impact, maybe within a few years. They had a great opportunity to trade up to San Diego or Chicago and get Kendall Wright, or even trade-down and get Quick, Hill or Jeffrey. They didn’t even bother to pick a WR until pick 100. Obviously, they feel WR is an area of strength… *cough, cough*

    Schwartz is fine in the second round, if a little high since he was projected as a third or fourth round pick. You can’t argue the need for a RT, and quality mid-round picks like the RB James were being picked early.

    Some of their later picks were guys that may not have been drafted, but some were quality late-round picks. So, while I can fault them for not filling some deep holes, you can’t say that they didn’t have a quality draft.

    However, if you are basing your grade on hitting on those early-round picks, you do have to grade them down because of the unknown quantity in Weeden and probably getting Schwartz at least half a round early.

    My personal grade is based on what they’ve brought in, and I can’t give Weeden a high grade based on potential. Potential gets you fired, and Weeden may well end up getting someone fired if he pans out like most QBs not taken #1 or #2 overall. Likewise, Schwartz isn’t the best available talent at #37.

    For me, it’s a C. “C” for Can’t expect this team to compete next year, either.

    • Denolakes says:

      I don’t know that I would use the word “suspect” as to Weeden, any more than I would stick the label to the other QBs drafted earlier. Washington has sold out to RGIII, as has Indy to Luck. Frankly, Weeden would have been a better pick for the ‘Fins than ol’ whatsizname. A lot of draft “analysts” (another word for unemployable perpetual adolescent) felt Weeden is a legitimate starting QB in talent, skill set and mentality. No one in the league has expressed any concern over his age — other than noting that he is 28 years old. The guy throws bullets with accuracy; tough not to like that. Considering the revolving door that has been Cleveland’s QB position for the past 12 years, getting 7-10 years out of a quality QB sounds pretty damn good to me. The more I read about Schwartz, the more I like him. He is durable, versatile and plays with intelligence along an OL that needs durable, intelligent players and a brand new running game that has potential to spank defenses. remember, Hillis ran behind sxome of these same guys on the OL in 2010 — but now the right side has improved, too, with Pinkston and Luvauo. I kinda get a TJ Ward feeling in Schwartz — not a bad feeling to get at all. Hughes I can’t figure — but with the FA additions to the DL to fill out the rotation, it is a piece that could very well fit. They were not going to get everything in this draft that they wanted. I would have liked a WR — and BTW, they got one — but the OLB added was a solid choice, by all accounts. Overall, I like this draft and the direction the front office is moving this team. I predict that they will compete this year — but not make the playoffs in a division that will most likely have 2 play-off teams or maybe 3 again. They will not go 0-6 in this division — and the division games will be a lot more fun from th is point forward for more than a few years to come . . . that’s OK with me.

      • Dotcommie says:

        I think that “suspect” could be used on the earlier picks, but you have to recognize differences in throwing.

        Luck’s really-quick release reminds me of the top QBs in the NFL, like Peyton Manning and Brady. I think that Indy would have been crazy to entertain any ideas of RG3.

        RG3 has other skills that improve his stock. He appears to have a better head on his shoulders than Michael Vick, and that is whom I would compare him to most.

        Tannehill has a large number of question-marks with regards to taking it up to the next level. His knowledge of reading pro-quality defenses will be tested (pass-fail).

        As for Weeden, it’s not that I think he’ll fail. It’s just that the percentages are against him succeeding. With a #22 pick, you get fired if you blow them and then can’t get enough to counter that miss in later picks. I like that he’s pitched in the Minors. That shows that he understands the rigors of a long season throwing the ball (even if it’s a different ball). It also shows that he’ll have a good arm.

        Plus, pitchers have to have a quick release if there are guys on base. That could mean that he’s “The Guy.” Who knows? If he is, I’ll be watching every minute of it, without Rolaids.

        One thing that I think may be understated is the quality of the undrafted free agent WRs we picked up. There’s a good chance that we’ll see a couple of them with the team this year. One may even start, considering that the options ahead of them are pretty weak. It gives me a shred of excitement that I have lost over the past year and a half.

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