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Mel Kiper Grades the Cleveland Browns’ 2019 NFL Draft With an A-

It’s tied for the 2nd-ranked draft class in the NFL, per Kiper.

NFL: NFL Draft Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN’s Mel Kiper graded every team’s draft from this past weekend, including the Cleveland Browns’ draft. Kiper stresses that his grades are based on the following criteria:

  • How effectively did a team address key personnel voids?
  • How efficient were they in maneuvering on the draft board?

Kiper gave the Browns a letter grade “A-,” which was tied for the 2nd best grade in the NFL (note: there were three other teams that received a “A-”).

Cleveland Browns: A- | Top needs: DB, OT, ILB

In March, I gave the Browns an “A” when I re-graded the 2018 draft. GM John Dorsey has them on the right track after years of ineptitude; they haven’t made the playoffs since 2002. This offseason has continued that momentum, with the free-agent signing of Sheldon Richardson and trades for Odell Beckham Jr. and Olivier Vernon. This should be a playoff team in 2019.

Cleveland didn’t have a Round 1 pick because of the OBJ trade -- I know Browns fans are perfectly fine with that -- so Dorsey needed to do work on Day 2. He did that with his first pick, taking supertalented cornerback Greedy Williams (No. 46) who dropped because his tape raises issues about his tackling. I believe in Williams’ talent, though, and the stinger he suffered early last season contributed to a down year. He could be a starter opposite Denzel Ward. Elsewhere, the Browns added linebacker Sione Takitaki (No. 80) who will compete for Jamie Collins’ vacant spot. They got good value in safety Sheldrick Redwine (No. 119) and inside linebacker Mack Wilson (No. 155). Wilson was my third-ranked inside linebacker. Round 5 is too high for a kicker, though, and I had an undrafted grade on Austin Seibert.

A big part of this class has to be OBJ, a genuine superstar. That gets at least a half-letter bump. Meanwhile, Williams is already guaranteeing a Super Bowl berth. If that happens, I might be giving out another “A” or “A+” in the re-grades. Let’s see what Baker Mayfield has in Year 2.

To compare, last year, Kiper gave the Browns a B- initially; but, as he mentioned above, he recently re-graded that draft to an A.

You can see a round-up of other grades for the Browns’ drafts here, which range from A- all the way down to C-.