It hasn't even been a full year since the 2010 NFL Draft, but that didn't stop ESPN's Mel Kiper from re-grading everyone's draft in the NFL. What did he have to say about the Cleveland Browns and the rest of the teams in our division?
Summary: It was a disappointing year, but Cleveland has a better roster because of some of these guys. T.J. Ward proved every question I had about him was wrong; he was fantastic, and did it all over the field. Joe Haden started slow and had to win over the coaching staff, but he'll be a long-term starter and still has Pro Bowl upside in my book. Colt McCoy got thrown into a starter's role and, amidst a lot of the usual rookie mistakes and misreads, showed the kind of toughness that teammates appreciate. I think he projects as the likely Week 1 starter in 2011, to little complaint, and that's impressive considering where the Browns got him. Draft grade: C | Current Grade: B+
That is a pretty good improvement, and rightly so -- Dick Jauron, a former defensive backs specialist, has two promosing young guys in the secondary to work with, and Pat Shurmur looks to help develop his second consecutive young quarterback. The rest of the picks did not really pan out, but if Montario Hardesty had not been injured, I have a feeling our grade would have risen to an "A-" or higher. It still can improve when the draft gets graded again two or three years down the road.
Here is how the rest of our division fared:
- The Cincinnati Bengals went from a C to a B
- The Pittsburgh Steelers went from a B to an A-
- The Baltimore Ravens went from an A to a C-
That is a tank job for the Ravens thanks to a couple of unfortunate injuries. The Steelers' youngsters are helped by already having superior talent around them, meaning they have the opportunity to look better than they might really be. The Bengals did not have much success defensively with their youth, but they drafted a quality tight end and receiver.