I've been hard on this management team.
There is no resident of Missouri that could rival my need to have Lerner's guys, Kokinis/Mangini actually "show me" something.
This weekend they did.
I am not going to back off my pre-draft prediction that 2009 will be a rough year for the Browns. I still see them firmly entrenched in rebuilding mode but now I see some hope.
*They did in fact stockpile picks. Moving down 3x in the first round to get a C won't excite fans but it allowed them to gain extra draft choices and player depth (via a trade with the Jets) lost in the Savage Era.
*I identified that they had issues with QB, RB, WR, TE, G, C, DL, LB, S, and CB. By getting the top C prospect in Round 1 and adding 2 WR in Round 2, they certainly added to the offensive firepower. As far as the rest of the needs go, they did via trade with the Jets and throughout the draft try to address RB, DL, LB, S and CB. You could also argue that they helped out their G situation with the selection of Mack as he could move to RG.
*The Browns weren't making sexy selections but I do agree with Lane Adkins in that they were making selections that made sense for the team and it's needs plus helped to add depth to the roster.
Of course, giving an A+ in April of 09 when the extent of the action you see from most of the players taken by the Browns consists of a brief College highlight reel, it's really hard to tell what is going to happen.
The thing that ultimately did in the Savage/Crennel regime, more than anything, was the lack of production from draft picks from rounds 3-7. Most of those guys either didn't make the roster or lasted a short time. As I kept hearing over and over on day 1, you might get the sizzle from your first round picks but the steak is contained after that, especially rounds 3-7.
Who knows whether Kokinis and Mangini added the beginnings of a championship roster this weekend or just more of the same but at least it's a good first step.
I did ask in my pre-draft article for them to stockpile as many picks as humanly possible to fill as many holes as possible.
They did it.
Until minicamp, that is.