Grading a draft at the beginning of July? It sounds a little out of the ordinary, but what the heck. Jamison Hensley from ESPN's AFC North blog is grading the 2009 draft for all of the teams in the division this week, and he gave the Browns a "D." For your information, here are the picks from that draft who are and are not with the team still:
Still Here: C Alex Mack (round 1), WR Mohamed Massaquoi (round 2), and LB Kaluka Maiava (round 4)
Gone: WR Brian Robiskie (round 2), LB David Veikune (round 2), CB Don Carey (round 6), CB Coye Francies (round 6), and RB James Davis (round 7).
Seeing two second-round picks on the "gone" side has to hurt. Here is Hensley's reasoning for giving Cleveland a D as a grade:
Thumbs up: The Browns traded down twice and came away with a Pro Bowl center in Mack, although it's debatable whether the team would be better shape now with Mark Sanchez or Josh Freeman (both quarterbacks were selected in the slots that the Browns traded out from). Maiava showed promise in starting six games last year, his best season with the Browns. Other than that, there's not much to smile about.
Thumbs down: You have to question the Browns' strategy when it comes to addressing the wide receiver position. Hakeem Nicks and Kenny Britt were available in the first round when the Browns selected Mack. Mike Wallace was sitting there in the third round. Instead, Cleveland went with Robiskie, who is no longer with the team, and Massaquoi, who is the No. 2 receiver by default. The other second-round pick, Veikune, is the defensive end for the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
No way...you're telling me Veikune is playing for a team called the Saskatchewan Roughriders? Sure enough, he is. The Roughriders are a team in the Canadian Football League, and Veikune currently owns a spot on their practice roster as a defensive tackle. At least Veikune is playing for a team with an awesome looking mascot.
Regarding Hensley's comment about Mack, I don't think Sanchez would have done anything to turn this franchise around. Freeman had some clutch games in his sophomore year and was rough last year, but I could see a debate about him or Mack.