Browns Draft Draws Mixed Reviews

It is a good thing that football games are decided on the football field, and not in the court of media opinion. The Browns draft, compared to those of our division rivals, is not being held in high esteem by football writers outside of Cleveland. Here is a listing of the grades given to the Browns draft elsewhere, along with the grades given to other teams in the AFC North.

While surfing around the 'net today looking for Browns info, I came across a number of articles which buzzed through each team in the NFL and "graded" their drafts. These are probably fairly quick articles to write with a Sunday deadline breathing down one's neck.

Based on what I read, I suspect some of these "experts" simply go through each teams list of rookies and count the number of names they recognize. Those with a lot of easily recognizable names get good grades, ones with names like Ryan Pontbriand do poorly. Other than that, just give whatever the Cardinals do an "F" and the column's done. Piece of cake.

The only thing lazier than writing a post-draft grade column, one would guess, is writing an article on the post-draft grade columns.

That's where I come in.

Despite my slothfulness and the post-draft-weekend dullness of mind, I was able to detect that the majority of writers didn't seem very impressed at all with the work that Butch Davis and crew did over the weekend. A large part of the problem is likely that Davis drafted players that he liked rather than ones that Mel Kiper liked.

Then again, most of these writers haven't had much of a chance to spend time in Berea. Perhaps a good dose of a Carmen Policy press conference would set them straight. There's no way they could get through that unconvinced that either the Browns had a good draft or, at the very least, that the English language has fallen into the wrong hands.

Most evaluators gave the Garcia and Davis team's third effort an "average" grade at best, which might seem at odds with the Herculean efforts that the Browns put into the draft. The Browns may have made picks that don't make sense to we ignorant masses outside the war room, but no one can accuse the team of being out-worked. The Browns sent people to Manitoba to look at players, but the USA Today hardly seems appreciative of all the hard work.

Source Grade Comments Bengals Ravens Steelers
New York Post A "C Jeff Faine should start immediately and open holes for William Green. OLB Chaun Thompson in second round is dangerous edge rusher who would have looked good in green and white." A B B
Cox News Service B "The Browns wanted to get faster on defense and did it with second-round LB Chaun Thompson and third-round S Chris Crocker." A A B+
Newsday C "Notre Dame C Jeff Faine was a decent first-round pick, but second-round LB Chaun Thompson of West Texas A&M was a waste." A A+ B
Fox Sports C+ "I love the Browns' first pick. Center Jeff Faine "is tough, nasty and loves to get bloody and muddy," as coach Butch Davis puts it. Well, it's about time somebody on the field got tough and nasty in Cleveland." B+ A B-
CBS Sportsline C "Getting Faine was a nice move, but much of the rest of the draft was questionable." A A B-
ESPN C- "...when a team has to use a first-round choice on a center, that isn't a good sign, even if the center is an excellent prospect. Taking Eric Steinbach would have been a better selection. Centers are made, not drafted high, Butch." A- A+ C+
New Jersey Star Ledger C- "Another commandment breaker. This one goes: "Thou shalt never take a center in Round 1." Jeff Faine is a solid prospect, but not worth the 21st pick overall. G Eric Steinbach was still on the board and would've been a better choice." A B+ C-
MSNBC D "Decimated by salary cap losses, Butch Davis needed to make a splash in the draft. Instead it was a flop...  This wasn't a disaster but it wasn't much help." A A C+
USA Today D "Yes, they need to toughen the O-line and C Jeff Faine addresses that. But should Browns have grabbed him 21st overall? Top centers almost always can be found later." A A B-

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