2013 NFL Offseason: Cleveland Browns
Draft Grades, Season Previews, Team Needs, Free Agents
Cleveland Browns (Last Year: 5-11)
2013 NFL Draft Grade: C-
Please note that the overall grade is not an average of all the individual grades. Other things are taken into account like team needs and goals.
Goals Entering the 2013 NFL Draft: Cleveland has a new regime, and based on Michael Lombardi's decision to go with scheme over personnel, this franchise will likely be looking for a new front office in a few years. The only way Lombardi can keep his job long-term is if he finds a franchise quarterback. Elsewhere, the interior offensive and secondary are the two areas that must be addressed. If the Browns don't like Geno Smith, they must trade out of the No. 6 pick.
2013 NFL Draft Accomplishments: Scheme over personnel never works. Cleveland fans saw it fail with Romeo Crennel recently, and it's capsized other franchises countless times elsewhere. The Browns had a very solid defense last year that kept the team in a lot of games. Despite this, Lombardi came in and decided to move to a 3-4, which meant that two of the stop unit's better players, Jabaal Sheard and Ahtyba Rubin, were no longer good fits. This is why the Lombardi regime will ultimately fail.
Barkevious Mingo was chosen No. 6 overall because of the poor Sheard fit. Mingo will start across from Paul Kruger and will probably struggle in the early going. He was dreadful this past season and completely quit at times. He was definitely a reach at No. 6; he probably should have gone in the early teens just based purely on potential.
None of Cleveland's other picks scored higher than a "B". Nothing really stood out, and it's inexplicable that a potential starting quarterback wasn't added. That's just inexcusable.
Given their selections and scheme change, the Browns are worse now than they were at the end of the 2012 season. That's why I'm giving them a bad grade.
2013 NFL Draft Individual Grades:
6. Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU: C- Grade
I guess 2012 tape doesn't matter for the Browns. Barkevious Mingo was awful this past season and flat out quit in some games. Mingo doesn't even fill a real need unless Jabaal Sheard is dealt, which is confusing in itself because Sheard was one of the top defenders on the Browns last year. You also have to wonder what the Browns are going to do at quarterback. Michael Lombardi has a dubious draft history, and it doesn't seem like he's off to a good start.
Follow @walterfootball for updates.
68. Leon McFadden, CB, San Diego State: B- Grade
This is a bit early for the 5-foot-9 Leon McFadden, but the Browns were desperate for cornerback help across from Joe Haden. It's hard to argue this selection too much considering how badly Cleveland needed an upgrade at the position.
175. Jamoris Slaughter, S, Notre Dame: B- Grade
The Browns had to find some competition for the safety spot next to T.J. Ward. This is a slight reach for Jamoris Slaughter, but that's not that big of a deal in the sixth round.
217. Armonty Bryant, DE/OLB, East Central Oklahoma: B Grade
Armonty Bryant possesses good talent, but he also has character issues. He was arrested during football practice once for selling drugs. He might be worth the risk in the seventh round.
227. Garrett Gilkey, OT, Chadron State: B- Grade
Tackle depth wasn't a priority for the Browns, but it doesn't hurt. Garrett Gilkey was considered a Round 6-7 prospect.
*** 2013 NFL TEAM NEEDS BELOW COMMENT BOARD ***
It seems like the Browns bring in a new coach every couple of years. They're beginning anew again, firing Pat Shurmur after just two seasons. Perhaps this franchise should look at the Steelers, Ravens and Bengals, who have maintained a combined five coaches since 2003. There's a reason those three teams consistently make the playoffs, while the Browns continuously pick in the top 10 of the NFL Draft almost every April. Cleveland needs stability.
- Quarterback: Brandon Weeden will turn 30 in October. Nice first-round pick, Holmgren. Cleveland desperately needs a franchise quarterback that the team has never had since its return to the NFL in 1999. The Browns missed out on Robert Griffin, and now there aren't any worthy signal-callers to draft this April. Signed Jason Campbell and Brian Hoyer
- Rush Linebacker: Jabaal Sheard led the team in sacks with only seven. Juqua Parker-Thomas was next with six, and he'll be a 35-year-old free agent this offseason. Cleveland desperately needs rush linebacker help. Damontre Moore is the no-brainer pick if he's available at No. 6 overall this April. Signed Paul Kruger and Quentin Groves
- Cornerback: Sheldon Brown is a 34-year-old free agent, so Cleveland will need to find young blood across from Joe Haden. Buster Skrine is too heavily penalized to be relied upon as a starter. Signed Chris Owens
- Right Guard: The Browns had issues at both guard positions, but John Greco handled himself well since replacing Jason Pinkston in October. Right guard Shawn Lauvao, however, was the weak link on an otherwise solid offensive line.
- Wide Receiver: Rookie Josh Gordon improved as the year went on, but Greg Little kept dropping passes. Little is too unreliable, so the front office should bring in some competition for him. Traded for Davone Bess; signed David Nelson
- Defensive End: The front office will have to add some new personnel to make their new 3-4 defense work. Signed Desmond Bryant
- Inside Linebacker: Cleveland could use an upgrade at linebacker with Chris Gocong coming off a torn Achilles. D'Qwell Jackson might move over to the weakside position if the front office selects Manti Te'o in the 2013 NFL Draft.
- Tight End: Second-year tight end Jordan Cameron possesses potential, but he didn't show anything last year. He'll get a chance with Ben Watson likely gone, but Cleveland needs to bring in someone else to challenge him. Signed Kellen Davis and Gary Barnidge
- Fullback: The Browns were so desperate for a fullback this year that they converted Alex Smith from a tight end into one.
- Kicker: Phil Dawson needs to be re-signed. Signed Shayne Graham
- Punter: Reggie Hodges also needs to be re-signed.
2013 NFL Free Agent Signings:
Paul Kruger, DE/OLB, Ravens. Age: 27.
Signed with Browns (5 years, $41 million)
Paul Kruger notched nine sacks during the regular season and then three more against the Colts in the playoffs. He also was solid in coverage.
Desmond Bryant, DT, Raiders. Age: 27.
Signed with Browns (5 years, $34 million)
Desmond Bryant served as a solid interior pass-rusher after Richard Seymour was lost for the year. Excluding Lamarr Houston, no other Raider defensive lineman was better at applying pressure on the quarterback, though that's not saying much.
Shayne Graham, K, Texans. Age: 35.
Signed with Browns
Shayne Graham was a decent 31-of-38 last year with 4-of-9 from 50-plus.
David Nelson, WR, Bills. Age: 26.
Signed with Browns
David Nelson caught 61 passes for 658 yards in his second season back in 2011. Unfortunately, he tore his ACL in the opening week this year. He should be ready for kickoff weekend of 2013.
- Jason Campbell, QB, Bears. Age: 31. -- Signed with Browns (2 years)
- Brian Hoyer, QB, Cardinals. Age: 27. -- Signed with Browns (2 years)
- Christopher Owens, CB, Falcons. Age: 26. -- Signed with Browns
- Kellen Davis, TE, Bears. Age: 27. -- Signed with Browns
- Quentin Groves, DE/OLB, Cardinals. Age: 29. -- Signed with Browns (2 years, $2.8 million)
- Rashad Butler, OT, Texans. Age: 30. -- Signed with Browns
- Gary Barnidge, TE, Panthers. Age: 27. -- Signed with Browns (3 years)
Cleveland Browns Free Agents:
Salary Cap: TBA.
Phil Dawson, K, Browns. Age: 38.
Signed with 49ers
Phil Dawson showed no signs of his age this past season, nailing 29-of-31 attempts, including a perfect 7-of-7 from 50-plus.
Sheldon Brown, CB, Browns. Age: 34.
Sheldon Brown is coming off a great year, serving as a terrific starter across from Joe Haden. He also held his own when Haden was out of the lineup. Unfortunately, he turns 34 in March, so his best days are behind him.
Joshua Cribbs, KR, Browns. Age: 30.
Signed with Raiders
Joshua Cribbs maintained decent return averages in 2012, but he has just one special-teams touchdown in the past three years. He'll be 30 in June.
Juqua Parker-Thomas, DE, Browns. Age: 35.
Juqua Parker-Thomas served as a solid situational pass-rusher for the Browns, registering six sacks. He'll be 35 in May, however.
Kaluka Maiava, OLB, Browns. Age: 26.
Signed with Raiders (3 years, $6 million)
Kaluka Maiava started games at both strongside and weakside linebacker this year. He handled himself pretty well as a two-down player.
Ben Watson, TE, Browns. Age: 32.
Signed with Saints
Ben Watson's best days are behind him. He caught 49 passes for 501 yards and three touchdowns in 2012.
- Frostee Rucker, DE, Browns. Age: 29. -- Signed with Cardinals
- Mohamed Massaquoi, WR, Browns. Age: 26. -- Signed with Jaguars (2 years)
- Usama Young, S, Browns. Age: 28. -- Signed with Raiders
- Chris Gocong, OLB, Browns. Age: 29.
- Chis Ogbonnaya (RFA), RB, Browns. Age: 27. -- Re-signed with Browns (2 years)
- Reggie Hodges, P, Browns. Age: 31.
- Ray Ventrone, S/ST, Browns. Age: 30.
- Alex Smith, FB/TE, Browns. Age: 31.
- Scott Fujita, OLB, Browns. Age: 34.
- Brandon Jackson, RB, Browns. Age: 27. -- Re-signed with Browns
2013 NFL Free Agent Positions:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K/P | FA Grades
2013 Fantasy Football Rankings - May 24
2013 NBA Mock Draft - May 22
2014 NFL Mock Draft - May 21
Charlie's 2014 NFL Mock Draft - May 20
NFL Picks - Feb. 3
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