Grade : A-
Round 1 Pick 8 – Justin Gilbert
Round 1 Pick 22 – Johnny Manziel
Round 2 Pick 35 – Joel Bitonio
Round 3 Pick 71 – Christian Kirksey
Round 3 Pick 94 – Terrance West
Round 4 Pick 127 – Pierre Desir
After day one of the draft the Cleveland Browns were flying at an A+. Ray Farmer exploited the desperation of the Buffalo Bills to drop from 4th to 9th taking the Bills 2015 round one selection and 2015 fourth round selection.
The Browns then took that round three pick and moved up one place in the draft to grab cornerback Justin Gilbert. Five cornerbacks went off the board in round one, by playing smart the Browns were able to get both one of the best cornerbacks in the draft and a 1st round pick for next year.
In a pass happy NFL having a solid CB like Gilbert could make the difference in tight
games. Especially when the Browns front seven isn't anything special. Gilbert amassed seven interceptions in 2013. If he does anything like that in 2014 he will be a great pick.
If round one wasn't good enough already the Browns then traded up from 26 to 22 to snatch QB Johnny Manziel. Manziel is a great fit for the Browns, he immediately injects excitement into the franchise and Kyle Shanahan is a coach who can get the best out of a mobile QB like Manziel.
The round two pick however is puzzling. In the Browns defense, Joel Bitonio looks like he is a good fit for the Browns zone blocking scheme and should contribute immediately.
However, very quietly the Browns offensive line was already very good. Joe Thomas might well be the best left tackle in the NFL, whilst Alex Mack is now the best paid center. The line wasn't really a priority for the Browns, therefore to use a second round pick on Joel Bitonio is odd.
Doubly so when the news breaks that star wide receiver playmaker Josh Gordon is facing year long drug suspension and Marquise Lee is just sitting there waiting to be picked.
In fact the Browns didn't draft a wide receiver at all in this draft. They took inside linebacker Christian Kirksey, RB Terrence West and CB Pierre Desir. These picks fillneeds and add depth. If the Josh Gordon situation wasn't what it is then they would be great picks.
Desir in particular looks like he could be a great find later on in the draft. He needs development but he looked has excellent raw attributes and held his own in the Senior Bowl.
The 2014 draft was a success for the Browns however, not getting a wide receiver at all in a draft stacked with wide receiver talent looks like a foolish gamble. It really takes the shine off the Browns draft.
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