Browns fans have gone through some rough NFL drafts over the years. Some obvious names immediately come to mind: Tim Couch, William Green, Brady Quinn, Courtney Brown, and plenty of other notable names. These failed drafts have been the major reason for our struggles.
With the 2010 season now four games away from completion, this years draft picks have looked very promising. After years of enduring painful drafts, this might be the best one we’ve had since our return in 1999.
Joe Haden, the seventh overall pick, is coming off an impressive performance against Miami. Currently on a four-game streak of games with an interception, he’s really performed well with his gradually added playing time.
With the loaded defense at Florida, there was some speculation over whether he was just a product of a tough SEC defense. He’s proven that he’s got the skills to be a playmaker though. The guy has incredible physical ability. Long arms to help break up passes, along with great speed. He’s looking like he could be a Pro Bowl corner.
The next two picks in the second round were T.J. Ward and Montario Hardesty. Both of these picks when made were considered major reaches by draft pundits due to their injury histories.
Ward has stayed healthy, and has played very well. Very good tackler. He’s been one of our top performers on the defense. Whether we should or could have taken him later is uncertain as none of us were in the draft rooms, but his play thus far has been well worthy of his selection spot.
Hardesty on the other hand is still up in the air. Suffering a season ending injury in the fourth game of the preseason, we’ll have to wait until next year to see if we have an extra running back to coincide with Peyton Hillis. His performance in the preseason was very impressive. He looked like a stud. It’ll be
interesting if he’ll still be able to hold up after the injuries. The potential is high, but it doesn’t take many injuries to end the careers of running backs.
Colt McCoy, the 85th pick in the third round, has obviously been spectacular. He might go down eventually as the steal of the 2010 draft. His maturity and leadership is unlike any of the many rookie quarterbacks we’ve had in the past ten years. In contrast to Tim Couch, Spergon Wynn, Luke McCown, and Charlie Frye; McCoy looks really comfortable on the field. He has great decision making skills. He’s very accurate. His play has been great considering he’s played Pittsburgh, New Orleans, New England, and New York (Jets). Great value.
The Texas Longhorns also failed to achieve bowl eligibility after playing in the national championship last season. McCoy’s play there has been sorely missed.
The other third round pick was Shawn Lauvao, an offensive guard. He’s been injured much of the year. No real idea what we got of him. It doesn’t help that offensive linemen are the hardest to evaluate by just watching the game. Eric Mangini likes him a lot though, so that’s promising. But who knows. Still a “we’ll wait and see” kind of pick.
The last three picks in the later round picks were Larry Asante, Mitchell Carlton, and Clifton Geathers.
Nothing special in these picks. Asante didn’t make the team. Carlton is built physically like an NFL receiver, but is doubtful to make the team next year. Clifton Geathers has since played for the Dolphins and the Seahawks, and is currently on the Cowboys roster. No major steals here.
As for the draft grade, I’d give it a “B+”. There’s no reason not to give it a high grade. Haden, Ward, and McCoy are really good players. If Colt McCoy becomes the long term solution at quarterback, it’ll be an “A+” draft easily.
As for next year, our biggest need is clearly at wide receiver. We have nobody other than Hillis that remotely scares defenses. I’d like to have a defensive end as well. With Eric Wright as a free agent at the end of the season, we might take another cornerback in the second or third round.
It’s also hard to predict what we’ll do with the uncertainty of whether Holmgren will stick with Mangini. That’s another article for another day though.
Browns 20 Bills 14
They’ve played really well against the AFC East. The Bills have also greatly improved throughout the year. Mangini needs to prove to Holmgren that he deserves a third year. The Bills are hoping to beat the Browns after a dismal loss last year, and the memorable blizzard game of 2007.
Right now the team’s on a roll. I also just think the Browns are a better team.
About the Author
Written by Joseph Hopkins
I write on here for the Cleveland Browns and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Favorite sports teams: Cleveland Browns, Cleveland Indians, Michigan Wolverines, Hendrick Motorsports, Team Red Bull, and Jeff Gordon and the #24 Drive to End Hunger Team.