This week, Marshall Faulk said, "At the end of the day, every GM has the same goal: win a championship. But when you’re Professional Grade, it takes vision to build a path toward that goal. Look back at all the moves your front office made this year, and give them a grade. Is your team on the right path?"
Heading into the season, Cleveland Browns GM Ray Farmer had a pretty high approval rating from the fan base, with 84% of fans approving of the job he was doing, 11% not approving, and the remaining 5% being unsure. If I would have polled fans after the Browns were 7-4, I'm sure Farmer's rating would have stayed pretty high. Now, with the team at 7-7 and out of playoff contention, I'm not so sure.
Farmer's high approval rating came after fans felt the team had a very strong draft, one which included picking up the Bills' first-round pick in 2015 and then selecting CB Justin Gilbert and QB Johnny Manziel in the first round. One of the biggest offseason criticisms that Farmer faced was the fact that he really didn't address the receiver position. When the regular season rolled around, though, the likes of WR Miles Austin, WR Andrew Hawkins, and WR Taylor Gabriel proved to be a pretty solid unit.
Heading into Week 16, if we reflect back, how effective was Farmer's draft? Gilbert has basically been the team's No. 4 cornerback all season. Manziel was counted on to contribute last week, but looked everything like a rookie in a 30-0 blowout loss. CB Pierre Desir, a fourth-round pick, never saw the field until last Sunday because he was labeled as a "redshirt" player. As the season has gone on, the wide receivers haven't been as hot. Buffalo is in position to finish with a better record than the Browns, making their first-round pick not as enticing as it once seemed. The kicker and kick return positions were never addressed.
Personally, I'm still content with the job that Farmer has done. Despite the team's disappointing finish, Cleveland exceeded the expectations of many, and Farmer will once again have a lot of cap space to work with next offseason. Let us know what you think of the job Farmer has done -- do you approve or disapprove?