March 4, 2024

Grading the Browns 2018 Draft Haul

0

One of the biggest and most anticipated drafts in recent memory has come and passed. After the dust settled Saturday, there is arguably more questions post-draft than there was pre-draft with the Browns (surprise, surprise). The Browns draft was top-heavy with five picks in the first 67 selections. As we look towards training camp and OTA’s, I’ll assign a letter grade to each pick based upon my evaluation, need, value, and fit.

Page Break

Round 1.1 – Baker Mayfield, QB | Oklahoma

https://247sports.com/nfl/cleveland-browns/Article/Hue-Jackson-explains-what-about-Baker-Mayfield-won-him-over-117794154

Dorsey left everyone guessing (even his head coach) up until the morning of the draft when the Baker noise at one got louder. I’m not going to divulge on Baker’s pros and cons as most everyone has formed their own opinion. Love the pick or hate it, Mayfield’s story is admirable and his college production is undeniable. His size and attitude will be scrutinized by many, but he can make all the throws and most importanty is accurate. A combination of traits a Cleveland QB hasn’t possessed in a long, long time. My preference was Darnold, but Baker can thrive with the offensive weapons and roster that is in place. All that’s left to do is wait, something Browns fans are especially familiar with.

Grade: B+

Page Break

Round 1.4 – Denzel Ward, CB | Ohio State

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQm_KUK6y8wFBjRLRx9OrAzcSYSLrYE4sQAQvl5XUPDr8I84c4G

Many fans, just like myself, built up the idea of Bradley Chubb at four or a possible trade that when Ward’s name was called it was a minor shock. Once I had time to digest the selection, I warmed up more and more to the idea that drafting the best cover corner in the draft was the right move. Ward is technical, patient, and physical in coverage, plus his speed (4.38 40-time) make up for his undersized frame. At four, Ward seems like a bit of a reach, but I’ve concluded that if Ward can make the impact Marshon Lattimore made last year for the Saints, then I’ll be happy.

Grade: B

Page Break

Round 2.1 (33) – Austin Corbett, OL | Nevada
https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http%3A%2F%2Fimage.cleveland.com%2Fhome%2Fcleve-media%2Fwidth600%2Fimg%2Fbrowns_impact%2Fphoto%2Faustin-corbett-513dabf354c61fc7.jpg&imgrefurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cleveland.com%2Fbrowns%2Findex.ssf%2F2018%2F04%2Fbrowns_pick_nevada_ot_austin_c.html&docid=SOwK33FiU81hnM&tbnid=Mi1HzBOQH_l4iM%3A&vet=10ahUKEwiuvaaBrePaAhVM7IMKHTibCcgQMwgyKAAwAA..i&w=600&h=475&bih=602&biw=1242&q=austin%20corbett&ved=0ahUKEwiuvaaBrePaAhVM7IMKHTibCcgQMwgyKAAwAA&iact=mrc&uact=8

An under the radar prospect while more recognizable names like Connor Williams were anticipated with this pick, the Browns did well drafting Corbett. I’ll admit I had to research Corbett as he wasn’t a sexy name pre-draft. A four-year starter at Nevada, Corbett worked exclusively on the edges of the line but can kick inside and be an immediate starter at either guard or tackle. Aggressive at POA and finishes blocks with authority, plus is extremely proficient in pass blocking. Excellent character guy and follows the theme of Dorsey’s culture-changing effort. Predicting he will anchor left side with Bitonio for years to come and has leadership qualities to make Joe Thomas-like impact.

Grade: A

Page Break

Round 2.3 (35) – Nick Chubb, RB | Georgia

https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=https%3A%2F%2Fugawire.files.wordpress.com%2F2018%2F01%2Fusatsi_10512561.jpg%3Fw%3D1000%26h%3D600%26crop%3D1&imgrefurl=https%3A%2F%2Fugawire.com%2F2018%2F04%2F27%2Fnick-chubb-most-expensive-2nd-rounder-ever%2F&docid=1OxV91IvBPzWyM&tbnid=MJGXOlEj0i8lpM%3A&vet=10ahUKEwjd6aK1r-PaAhWKy4MKHZlVCdMQMwhOKBMwEw..i&w=1000&h=600&bih=602&biw=1242&q=nick%20chubb&ved=0ahUKEwjd6aK1r-PaAhWKy4MKHZlVCdMQMwhOKBMwEw&iact=mrc&uact=8

A surprising pick as Dorsey doesn’t normally take running backs this early, but Chubb is a big, bruising back that produced at the highest level. Finishes each run violently, carries defenders for extra yardage, and is tough to take down. Also possesses quickness to make aggressive cuts and possesses impressive straight-line speed. Chubb is capable of being an every down back but should concede 3rd down duties to Duke Johnson. He doesn’t have an extensive track record of catching the ball out of the backfield which limits his versatility, his biggest knock. However, pending durability, Chubb should be the Browns #1 back for foreseeable future.

Grade: B

Round 3.3 (67) – Chad Thomas, DE | Miami, FL

https://res-3.cloudinary.com/rivals/image/upload/f_auto,q_auto,t_large/suwi8tmhzz2pjjwxreke
This pick was puzzling to me. Although Thomas has the ideal athletic frame, he lacks necessary toolkit to get to the QB. Recorded 26 TFL over his last two seasons but projects best as a rotational interior rusher and utilized in sub-packages. Best trait is his physicality and it shines through against the run. Better prospects were available at this selection and in my opinion he would have been around in the 4th or 5thr round. Thomas is a project that definitely feels like a reach.

Grade: C-

Page Break

Round 4.5 (105) – Antonio Callaway, WR | Florida

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?
q=tbn:ANd9GcQTB5qUs7ASNaAizkNCLUBETYl_0qYmU-9BZIDnbvNB3qixRk4ajg
Traded up with NE to select the player with the most behavioral red flags in the draft. Reportedly tested positive for marijuana at the combine. Claimed it was a diluted sample. The pick goes against the theme of drafting culture-changing, good-character guys earlier in the draft. Not surprising; however, as Dorsey has a track record with taking chances on big-time talent that falls due to character concerns. Callaway proved the speed to make electrifying chunk plays when on the field, but his availability is his biggest issue. Again, seems early to be taking a risk with glaring evidence of bad behavior, but Dorsey hopes Callaway can be what Tyreek Hill was for the Chiefs. Definition of boom or bust.

Grade: C

Page Break

Round 5.13 (150) – Genard Avery, LB | Memphis

Avery, a twitter darling among the draft community, produced impressive defensive output during his time at Memphis. Described as a tweener, playing the hybrid role at Memphis lining up at the edge most of the time. He Accumulated 33 TFL and 13.5 sacks his final two years. Excellent combine results and athletic scores, Avery could be a late-round steal at a position the browns have been lacking play-making ability. I love the pick and hope he can develop into a starter. Projects as rotational rusher/OLB and will contribute on special teams early on.

Grade: A
Page Break
Round 6.1 (175) – Damion Ratley, WR | Texas A&M
https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSbLBcN0XTHHCT04rEuM5qC3Sh95oLvNMYkDtvk_I93ljGPl9qV3g
Damion Ratley (6’2, 190 lbs.) is a big, athletic receiver that ran a 4.45 40-yard dash at his pro day. His time would have been in the top-ten would he have participated at the combine. His other athletic test scores graded above average too, impressive considering his size. Ratley only caught 30 balls his senior season, but six of them were touchdowns. More specifically, he averaged a TD every 5.8 catches during his three seasons at Texas A&M. Ratley is a pure upside pick with above-average athletic ability and a legit deep-ball threat who can stretch the field. He will need to develop his route running skills and refine fundamentals to make any contributions early on. Not thrilled with the pick as Equanimeous St. Brown was still on the board but his athletic upside is intriguing.

Grade: C

Page Break

Round 6.14 (188) – Simeon Thomas, CB | Louisiana – Lafayette

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?
q=tbn:ANd9GcRvCsh_uX2tdlFjBwy4bebQWW4ovGOQXLnyNYWtJvrqOWTGxTIA_w

Another boom or bust pick that probably shocked many as Thomas’ name wasn’t circulated among majority of draft pundits. However, the Browns used a top-30 visit on Thomas and appear to value his size and strength. Missed two games in 2017 and is another prospect that missed playing time throughout his career due to behavioral/academic issues. Lined up both at safety and cornerback which provides positional versatility. However, his athletic profile is his most intriguing quality: 6’3, 190 lbs., 35-inch arms, 39-inch vertical, 11’3 broad jump, 4.47 40-yard time. It’s apparent the new regime values adding athletically gifted, strong, physical prospects to the roster, and Thomas fits that profile.

Grade: C

About Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WP Twitter Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com