Here is a quick look at how various media outlets graded the Browns' 2009 draft. Well a week has passed and the new class of rookies has hit the field wearing their signature orange Browns helmets for the first time.
A friend of mine who read my original recap commented to me that I didn't give it a grade. True. So here it is.
Only time will tell if the grade will go up or down, but I think overall the Browns did very well. There has been a lot of griping that the Browns didn't get proper compensation for their “trade-downs”, especially the two 6th round picks they acquired. But, with the exception of a major upgrade to the pass rush, they filled a lot of holes on the roster.
If 6th rd pick James Davis, RB, Clemson, can emerge then the Browns first round trades will look awfully good.
Davis' stock slid this year due to a terrible season for him and the entire Clemson squad. But he still possesses the skills he flashed as a soph. and junior and has been compared by many to former Denver RB Terrell Davis. Davis himself was an unhearalded 6th rd choice. So while I thought the Browns would surely draft L McCoy when he was available in the 2nd, Mangini and Kokinis are trying to grab some lightning in a bottle.
It should be noted, Kokinis was part of the Raven braintrust that successfully drafted complimentary RB Chester Taylor in the 6th rd in 2002.
Okay – onto the other Browns grades.
Mel Kiper – ESPN – B-
“Alex Mack was a a good pick at No. 21 and Mohamed Massaquoi was a very good pickup in the second round. I think fellow second-rounder David Veikune was a bit of a reach in that round, but not enough of one to seriously dent the Browns' grade. They didn't get a great receiver in Brian Robiskie in the second round, but he's polished enough as a rookie that he could be a solid possession guy for this franchise.”
Todd McShay – ESPN
“Best pick: WR Mohamed Massaquoi, Georgia (Second round, No. 50 overall)
Worst pick: WR Brian Robiskie, Ohio State (Second round, No. 36 overall)
Bottom line: While teams don't usually like to take centers so early in the first round it's unlikely Alex Mack would have been off the board in the next few picks had the Browns not traded up to No. 21 overall to get him. You can't fault them for bringing Mack into the fold, but they had other priority needs including wide receiver and a pass-rush upgrade that could have been addressed there. Cleveland got its receivers in the next round, though I think Robiskie was a reach because he likely won't turn into anything more than a possession-type No. 3 receiver. I expect Massaquoi to emerge as the bigger playmaker of the two. I also liked the way the Browns hankered down on Day 2 and found versatile, instinctive playmakers like DE David Veikune, LB Kaluka Maiava and DBs Don Carey and Coye Francies.”
Pete Prisco – CBS Sports – C
“Best pick: I love the pick of receiver Brian Robiskie in the second round. He will be a starter as a rookie.
Questionable move: Trading down as much as they did and not quite getting the value they deserved. The Jets got the better of them in that deal for the fifth pick.
Second-day gem: Sixth-round pick James Davis was a highly rated back a year ago, but he struggled as a senior. There is talent there.
Summary: I like some of their picks, but they didn't get enough in their trade downs.
Larry Weisman – USA Today – B
“Creative deal-making allowed the Browns to load up on picks and players from the New York Jets that coach Eric Mangini likes. C Alex Mack was the best at his position, solidifies problem area, but may have gone a tad early at 21. Both receivers, Brian Robiskie and Mohammed Massaquoi, will contribute quickly and Robiskie may start. LB/DE David Veikune may lack a true position, should get first look as rush end in 4-3 sub package.”
John Czarnecki – FOX Sports – C
“There's a good chance that Eric Mangini's former employer, the Jets, picked the Browns' pocket. Cleveland didn't get enough value for the fifth overall spot in the first round from the Jets, unless you really love Jets safety Abram Elam, DE Kenyon Coleman and third-string QB Brett Ratliff. Well, Mangini does love those players and that's why he pulled the trigger on the draft's biggest trade.
Cal center Alex Mack should eventually be a starter and the fans had to love Buckeyes WR Brian Robiskie in the second round. Hawaii's David Veikune is a project at outside linebacker, but he does have power and good hands.”
Gregg Rosenthal – Rotoworld – B+
“Eric Mangini hasn't made many fans in Cleveland, but this weekend should help win them over. They brilliantly moved down the draft board, grabbing three extra picks and three veterans. This was the perfect strategy for a thin roster in a deep draft without stars. Center Alex Mack, wideout Brian Robiskie, and OLB David Veikune all should help right away. Fourth-rounder Kaluka Maiava could be a steal out of USC.
They didn't get an A for two reasons: They may regret passing on Mark Sanchez and they didn't improve their pass rush enough.”
Ross Tucker – SI.com
“Eric Mangini and George Kokinis did a ton of business in stockpiling players that fit what they are looking to do in Cleveland, starting by trading down and getting a trio of former Jets. Georgia's Mohammed Massaquoi and Ohio State's Brian Robiskie are the anti-divas at wide receiver who could both become solid pros. Cal center Alex Mack was the best interior lineman in the draft, and his passion for the game will wear off on his fellow linemates.”
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Written by Ryan Carey