Yersteday I gave you my initial thoughts and grades on the Cleveland Browns’ 2009 draft class.Â To summarize, while I was not overwhelmed by any means, I thought the Browns did a good job of sticking with a plan, getting solid and low-risk guys they were targeting (though no guys with true superstar potential), and using 2009 to build a foundation for the Mangini Era.Â My final grade was a B+.
Now that the “experts” have had a night to digest the events of this weekend, their opinions and grades are rolling in.Â The Plain-Dealer compiled a few of the early thoughts on the Browns 2009 draft class.Â And here are a few of them that I found this morning.Â All excerpts are copied directly from the original source, linked at the end of each section:
Mel Kiper Jr. Analysis and Grade for Browns 2009 Draft:
- Cleveland Browns: GRADE: B-
- “Alex Mack was 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.”
- Read the complete list of 2009 NFL Draft grades by Mel Kiper Jr. at ESPN.com
Todd McShay Analysis of Browns 2009 Draft:
- “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.”
- Follow the link to see Todd McShay’s draft analysis for each team at ESPN.com
James Walker Analysis of Browns 2009 Draft:
- “It’s one thing to gain additional picks. It’s another thing to draft the right players.Â For the next several months, expect many questions to linger about Cleveland’s first-day selections.”
- “(Alex) Mack is considered by many to be the highest-rated center in this year’s draft. He is a solid player by all accounts and very smart. But most projections had him going somewhere between No. 25 and No. 40. Add in all the aforementioned flashy talent (Clay Matthews, BJ Raji, Jeremy Maclin, Mark Sanchez) Cleveland passed over at other positions, and it certainly opens the team’s first pick for debate.”
- “Similar to Mack, Robiskie also could be considered a reach early in the second round. But he does fill a major need at receiver, as does Massaquoi, who was a top target for quarterback and No. 1 overall pick Matthew Stafford at Georgia. Following the release of veteran receiver Joe Jurevicius and the pending legal trouble with Donte’ Stallworth, it’s apparent Cleveland was concerned with its receiver depth.”
- Read the full post by James Walker on the Browns 2009 draft at the AFC North Blog on ESPN.com
Tony Pauline Analysis of Browns 2009 Draft:
Pauline wrote a “steals and reaches” article for SI.com.Â He did not have any steals listed for the Browns, but did have the following in the “reaches” section:
- “Alex Mack/C/Cleveland/21st: Eric Mangini traded down on three occasions in the first round, then reached for Mack with the 21st pick. Mack is solid on the pivot yet not dominant enough to justify Cleveland bypassing on so many talented players to get him.”
- Read the complete “steals and reaches” article by Tony Pauline at SI.com
Clark Judge Analysis of Browns 2009 Draft:
Judge wrote a length article of “draft judgments”.Â The first statement is from his ten general thoughts on the draft.Â Then he goes into the 10 biggest winners and losers of the 2009 draft.Â No one related to the Browns was in the “winners” section, but the last two statements listed below are from the “losers” section.
- “Just for the record, Cleveland, Eric Mangini has six players from the league’s 16th-rated defense … otherwise known as the New York Jets. Oh, yeah, one other thing: Mangini starts his career in Cleveland just as he started his career in New York — by exercising his first draft pick on a center.”
- “Cleveland wide receiver Braylon Edwards. He thought he was going to the Giants. He’s not. The Browns just spent two of their first three draft picks on wide receivers, so imagine what he’s thinking now.”
- “Cleveland quarterbacks Brady Quinn/Derek Anderson. Mangini doesn’t make the Mark Sanchez deal unless quarterback Brett Ratliff is included. That means he values the guy. Uh-oh, that means he thinks he can start, too. Either Quinn or Anderson goes.” [Editor's note: This makes no sense at all.Â The Browns need a 3rd string quarterback, but you want one with at least a little upside.Â I don't see Ratliff as a threat to DA or Brady at all.]
- Read the complete article of 2009 NFL draft judgments by Clark Judge at CBSsports.com
Pete Prisco Analysis and Grade of Browns 2009 Draft:
- “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.
- I like some of their picks, but they didn’t get enough in their trade downs.”
- Overall Grade: C
- Read the complete 2009 NFL draft analysis and grades from Pete Prisco at CBSsports.com
WalterFootball.com Analysis and Grade of Browns 2009 Draft:
- “I’m willing to bet that Eric Mangini has weird, worthless crap scattered all over his apartment. I’m also going to guess that he eats Ramen noodles each night, as he watches his black-and-white TV.Â How did I come up with this? Well, Mangini moved down from No. 5 to 17 in the first round for just a second-rounder, two backups and a developmental quarterback. Well, actually, Cleveland’s roster is so devoid of talent that the two backups will probably be starters.Â I like Alex Mack and Brian Robiskie.Â But Mangini has done nothing to improve a horrific defense and a non-existent running game. Drafting your first linebacker at No. 52, who happened to be a mid-round prospect, is not a good move. Neither is failing to address the right tackle or inside linebacker positions.”
- Grade given on 4/27/09: C-
- Read the complete analysis of the Browns 2009 draft class and each pick individually at WalterFootball.com
I’m a little surprised.Â I obviously had a higher opinion of the Browns’ draft than the people mentioned above, and I’ve seen lots of praise for what the Browns accomplished this weekend on Browns message boards.Â While I wasn’t expecting any of the experts to be jumping up and down saying the Browns knocked it out of the park, I thought opinions would be a little bit more positive.
But, of course, this is only a small sampling of the opinions that will be rolling in over the next 24 hours.Â And the nice thing is, none of these opinions mean jack squat.
My favorite aspect of the Browns’ draft is that ManKok executed a focused strategy in regard to both picks and the players they selected.Â One thing we know about the new regime is that nothing will be done haphazardly.Â We don’t know yet if the plan will work, but we do know this: there is a plan and there is a clear vision for how they want to build a competitive football team.Â That is something I feel comfortable rallying behind…for the time being.
Obviously we have to see if the plan actually works in the coming seasons, but I applaud Mangini and Kokinis for what I consider to be a solid draft weekend and a good first step towards building the foundation of a team that can be competitive on a yearly basis.