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What if the Browns had listened to Mel Kiper and Todd McShay the past 7 years?

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2012 NFL Draft - First Round

Over the past week or so, several of our fellow NFL blogs here at SB Nation have taken a look at how their teams would have fared if they had listened to Mel Kiper and Todd McShay over the past seven years with respect to the NFL Draft.

For the exercise, we’re going to look at the Cleveland Browns’ actual first-round draft picks and the final mock drafts of both Kiper and McShay. We will use the “Approximate Value” statistic from Pro Football Reference, which is their attempt to attach a single number to every player who has been in the NFL since 1960.

This is an imperfect system — for example, some players performed with teams after leaving Cleveland, and some draft-day trades led to extra picks in other rounds. Also, some players were simply off the board already (regarding the mock drafts). Take it for what it is worth.

First, here are the Browns’ ten draft picks from 2010-2016.

Browns’ First Round Draft Picks 2010-2016

Year Player Position All-Pro Pro Bowl Games Started Approximate Value
Year Player Position All-Pro Pro Bowl Games Started Approximate Value
2010 Joe Haden CB 0 2 81 40
2011 Phil Taylor DT 0 0 42 20
2012 Trent Richardson RB 0 0 37 17
Brandon Weeden QB 0 0 25 14
2013 Barkevious Mingo OLB 0 0 17 12
2014 Justin Gilbert CB 0 0 3 4
Johnny Manziel QB 0 0 8 5
2015 Danny Shelton NT 0 0 31 12
Cameron Erving OL 0 0 17 7
2016 Corey Coleman WR 0 0 10 3
TOTAL 0 2 271 134

That looks pretty ugly. Cleveland has a combined AV of 134, which ranks them 26th in the NFL despite being one of only two teams to have selected ten players in the first round since 2010. You can see how Cleveland compared to other NFL teams in AV below.

NFL Teams Ranked by AV of First Round Draft Picks 2010-2016

Rank Team AV Points Picks Rank Team AV Points Picks Rank Team AV Points Picks
Rank Team AV Points Picks Rank Team AV Points Picks Rank Team AV Points Picks
1 LAR 238 9 12 SF 164 9 23 NYG 148 7
2 DAL 230 7 13 LAC 163 7 24 TEN 145 7
3 HOU 213 7 14 NYJ 162 8 25 BUF 137 6
4 DET 208 8 14 NO 162 8 26 CLE 134 10
5 CAR 199 6 16 ATL 161 6 27 PHI 118 7
6 MIN 189 10 17 ARI 159 7 28 JAX 111 7
6 NE 189 6 18 IND 156 6 29 GB 99 7
8 TB 188 7 19 KC 155 6 30 OAK 95 5
9 DEN 183 7 20 WAS 154 5 31 CHI 80 6
10 SEA 171 5 20 CIN 154 8 32 BAL 79 5
11 PIT 166 7 22 MIA 151 7
Credit: Blogging the Boys

Now, let’s take a look at how Kiper and McShay would have done. McShay (AV = 244) out-performed Kiper (AV = 225), numbers which would have either been the best in the NFL or in the top three. One of the biggest reasons it that both men selected WR Julio Jones, and we all know that the NFL media will always remind Browns fans of that. Jones himself has an AV of 74 as one of the game’s best and most consistent receivers.

There were a few big blemishes, such as McShay taking QB Geno Smith and Kiper taking WR Justin Blackmon. The only consistent factor among all three drafts is that everyone selected NT Danny Shelton. Although Shelton only has an AV of 12 right now, a few more seasons like the one he just had will have made him a worthwhile first-round selection.

Mel Kiper’s Final Picks for the Browns 2010-2016

Year Player Position All-Pro Pro Bowl Games Started Approximate Value
Year Player Position All-Pro Pro Bowl Games Started Approximate Value
2010 Derrick Morgan DE 0 0 80 35
2011 Julio Jones WR 2 4 78 74
2012 Justin Blackmon WR 0 0 18 9
Doug Martin RB 1 2 57 35
2013 Dee Milliner CB 0 0 14 6
2014 Sammy Watkins WR 0 0 37 21
Teddy Bridgewater QB 0 1 28 22
2015 Danny Shelton NT 0 0 31 12
Nelson Agholor WR 0 0 26 5
2016 Ronnie Stanley OT 0 0 12 6
TOTAL 3 7 381 225

Todd McShay’s Final Picks for the Browns 2010-2016

Year Player Position All-Pro Pro Bowl Games Started Approximate Value
Year Player Position All-Pro Pro Bowl Games Started Approximate Value
2010 Dan Williams NT 0 0 66 36
2011 Julio Jones WR 2 4 78 74
2012 Trent Richardson RB 0 0 37 18
Kendall Wright WR 0 0 41 26
2013 Geno Smith QB 0 0 30 14
2014 Sammy Watkins WR 0 0 37 21
Teddy Bridgewater QB 0 1 28 22
2015 Danny Shelton NT 0 0 31 12
Melvin Gordon RB 0 1 24 15
2016 Joey Bosa DE 0 0 11 6
TOTAL 2 6 383 244