With 14 draft picks, there is a lot of optimism about what the Cleveland Browns did in the 2016 NFL Draft. There's no denying how bad some of the team's previous draft classes have been. Some media outlets like to re-grade drafts 3-4 years later, and that is what Sports Illustrated did this past week for the 2013 NFL Draft. Here was the team's draft class:
1st round (#6): OLB Barkevious Mingo
3rd round (#68): CB Leon McFadden
6th round (#175): S Jamoris Slaughter
7th round (#217): OLB Armonty Bryant
7th round (#227): OG Garrett Gilkey
It was the first year that Joe Banner and Michael Lombardi were involved. They were hoping to accumulate more assets in 2014, a draft they never got to be a part of when they were canned after the 2013 season.
A bit of an unusual draft for the Browns, who landed an impact defender in OLB Barkevious Mingo at No. 6 and then picked just once more (CB Leon McFadden) in the next 167 selections. Cleveland did pick up a third- and fourth-rounder in 2014. Plus, remember, the Browns traded in this year's second-rounder to get WR Josh Gordon in the 2012 supplemental draft. That Gordon gamble paid off and the Browns will have lots of choices in 2014. Strictly in terms of the 2013 draft, though, there's not much to go on here -- slightly disappointing for a team hoping to make big strides.
This week, Greg Bedard downgraded the draft class to an F. No kidding:
Mingo has seven career sacks (none in 2015) and won’t have his fifth-year option picked up, but all hope is not lost: Jabaal Sheard had the same experience in Cleveland, and he’s flourishing for the Patriots. DE Armonty Bryant (seventh round) is a good player. But that is it from this group.
Bryant has ended up being the best-of-the-bunch, but even his status is in doubt given his off-the-field troubles and how this year's draft class saw a couple of defensive ends drafted. Surprisingly, another team drafted as bad as the Browns that year: the San Francisco 49ers also received an F, despite having 11 draft picks.