With the draft in the books time to go back and do a wrap up of how teams made out. I might be a bit of a harsh critic to the top 3 round picks, but that is where you need to hit in the draft to be successful. Sure most of the league is 4th rounders and later, but any that turn into Pro Bowlers or All-Pro players is mostly out of luck. So without further adieu, we are on to Cleveland rocks...with the Browns draft class.
1 (10) - Jedrick Wills Jr OT Alabama - B+
2 (12) - Grant Delpit S LSU - originally a C+.......editing it to a B
3 (24) - Jordan Elliott DT Missouri - C+
3 (33) - Jacob Phillips LB LSU - B
Not a bad draft class in my opinion with their first picks in the top 3 rounds of the draft to combine with their solid free agent class as well. I was never too high on Jedrick Wills Jr since there has not been too many very good blockers out of Alabama of late. Many did see him as the top talent and his pass blocking was the most complete out of all the top tackles. My concern is he has never played on the left side yet and despite him having been blocking Tua's blindside, switching to the left tackle spot is not the easiest. If he cannot work there then I am not sure he will have a home with Jack Conklin firmly entrenched to the right tackle spot. I do love that they took a tackle here with such a big need and would have been delighted with any of the top 4 names here. I originally hated the Delpit pick seeing him more as a media darling thanks to his high profile. Now looking back over it, it was not a bad high reward selection. If it is true that he had a down year due to an injury and if he can get back to his 2018 ability then they really landed a steal. I do concern where his lack of instincts, ability to tackle, and lack of true ball skills will hurt him out the gate in the NFL. I am a little 50/50 on this pick to be honest, I do not hate it, nor do I love it. Elliott is a pick I hate and he does fill a need giving them another pass rusher up front. Especially, if they move off of Olivier Vernon or Sheldon Richardson. I just never like drafting the tackle who has the talent, but no motor that comes around every year. On a young coaching staff and on an already volatile locker room I am not sure Elliott will work out as expected. He will either be a big boom pick or an absolute bust in a year or two. The Browns clearly have a love for LSU players over the years from Barkevious Mingo, Greedy Williams, Grant Delpit, and now Jacob Phillips. They did have a big need at linebacker and LSU ones generally do work in the NFL. This was a solid pick and could help them replace the overrated Joe Schobert who was overpaid by the Jags.
4 (9) - Harrison Bryant TE FAU - B
5 (15) - Nick Harris C Washington - B
6 (8) - Donovan Peoples-Jones WR Michigan - A
I actually really liked the Browns draft and I feel like they checked off a ton of boxes this off season. My only curiosity is why they brought in Bryant after signing Austin Hooper and still hold on to David Njoku. To go along with a crowded receiving core that needs some sorting. I worry like last year Mayfield will have too many mouths to feed he looked overwhelmed trying to please everyone. Moving either Njoku or OBJ or both would make a lot of sense.. It never hurts to have more draft capital for next year or get a corner or edge rusher in return that they could still use more of. Other than that I can see Bryant being one of the bigger steals of the draft as a mismatch and athletic tight end who Mayfield could lean on in the middle of the field to go along with Hooper. I really liked the Harris pick with J.C. Tretter being about a league average center. Harris to me could come in right away and be a contributor if need be thanks to his experience. More muscle is still needed on him, but same could say about most late round blockers. Meanwhile, the high upside pick of Peoples-Jones is a fine move by the Browns, especially if they move on from OBJ. Plus, OBJ and Jarvis Landry's health has never been the most reliable things either. The former Wolverine has a ton of untapped potential where he was in a stagnant Michigan offense that is more run centric. If he gets coached up and learns some tricks from the Browns current receiving stars he can turn into a great find for the Browns. All in all there is no reason for the Browns to not be more competitive next year. Unfortunately, all this talent will put more pressure on Mayfield to really step up, if he falters I would not be shocked if they start to look for another option at quarterback. Overall, this draft deserves a strong A- that promises a ton of upside if the likes of Bryant, Delpit, and Elliott do pan out as many expect.