Hue Jackson told the media they needed to trust him after the Cleveland Browns drafted Cody Kessler. A somewhat innocuous statement but one that brought a lot of attention. Some thought Hue was arrogant. Others were okay with the confidence.
For me, it brought up a more overarching question for fans in particular: Who Do You Trust?
Throughout the 3 days of the NFL Draft, I spent the time grading picks. For the first 2 days, I graded every pick made while on the third day I focused only on the moves that the Cleveland Browns Organization made. Those grades were based on my impressions of the players, their fit and where I thought they should go. Nothing more. Most I had seen film on or at least studied profiles on but nothing more.
Not too different than other media members, the amount of information we are privy to is very limited. We don't know the interviews, the medicals, the background checks or have access to a lot of All-22 film. Teams have all that and more.
Yet, fans and media give grades and opinions based on the limited information they/we have. Nothing wrong with it, it can be fun to do, discuss and argue about but it often leads us to trust the media over the team.
(To be fair, over the last decade plus the Browns have tried every which way to win the Draft and have failed. The history gives fans very little reason to trust them even though this new regime just finished their first NFL Draft together.)
So today overall grades came out. I wanted to share some of the big media members grades for the Browns before coming back to the question at hand: Who Do You Trust?
ESPN - C
I think they should have gotten safety Justin Simmons at the end of Round 3 instead of reaching on Cody Kessler, a player who lacks starter upside. Safety Derrick Kindred helps after free agency further weakened the secondary. I believe the Browns are doing the right thing in piling up picks, but two things stand out: all the WR picks seem to go beyond simply how the board lined up, and felt a little excessive at the cost of other needs. Second, this draft will be in part remembered for what Carson Wentz becomes. With Cleveland, it always comes back to the QB. At least the next one has some weapons.
SI - C+
But how the Browns’ class looks in hindsight will depend on how well Ogbah, Carl Nassib and offensive tackle Shon Coleman fit. Both Ogbah and Nassib would have been obvious fits in a 4–3 scheme and are more projections for a 3–4, so we’ll see. Schobert led off the fourth round and is one of the draft’s better under-the-radar picks—an effective, active linebacker. We have to take into account the extra picks Cleveland got in future drafts for trading down twice from the No. 2 pick. How many of this year’s 14 newcomers will stick?
Bleacher Report - C
There were good picks, like Oklahoma State defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah in Round 2. Bad ones, like Kessler in Round 3.
And there were wide receivers. Oh boy were there wide receivers. The most wide receivers drafted by a single team in a single draft in 40 years.
Granted, there probably wasn't a more WR-needy team in the NFL entering the draft than the Browns. The question now is which of these quintet of young wideouts will actually help the team.
NFL.com - B+
Connecting Robert Griffin III with another former Baylor star, Corey Coleman, makes a lot of sense. Getting four extra picks to move down eight spots is a good deal, if you buy into the "more is more" theory when it comes to accumulating selections. Only capitalizing on the extra selections will make it a great deal.
Day 1: After trading down from No. 8 overall, the Browns secured the same player I gave them in my final mock draft in Coleman. He’s the top receiver on our draft board, as he can separate before the catch and take it to the house after it, all leading to an outrageously good (and best-in-class) 4.88 yards per route last season before his quarterback situation hurt his production (he finished third in that stat).
CBS Sports - C-
The Browns had 14 picks, thanks to a bunch of trade-downs, and they landed a lot of decent players. But this is a draft that will be defined by how well Carson Wentz plays for the Eagles since they traded out of the second spot with a chance to pick him. If he is great, this draft will be irrelevant. If he's not, the Browns win. There are some good players here to help the rebuild, but numbers aren't always the best thing if they don't pan out.
That is a whole lot of opinions there. You can click the link to open their full descriptions in a new window but it is clear that all of the grades are based on preconceived notions based on limited information. If you look back at my grades (Day 1) (Day 2) (Day 3) you will see the same thing, grades based on preconceived notions based on limited information.
Yet, fan response has mostly been in line with the major media's. We've seen the full spectrum but there has been a some negative, a lot wishing for more "splash" (meaning name players, particularly Buckeyes) and a lesser percentage excited for what the Browns accomplished.
The theme that the Browns "passed on a QB" is all that matters or "it doesn't matter till they get a QB" has been strong as well.
That leads us back to the question: Who Do You Trust?
Do you trust the combination of the media and your thoughts (with our limited information) or do you trust Hue Jackson and the Browns Front Office (with their more in-depth information)?
The answer to that question will decide how you see things going forward. For example, for a couple years the Seattle Seahawks were said to be reaching on picks until those picks started to work. Now, Seattle's moves are assumed to be right with any busts overlooked in the last 3 to 4 seasons. Seattle hasn't changed their process but the media has.
That is the power of winning. That is also the power of the media for fans.
So, today: Who Do You Trust?