Redoing the Browns 2013 Draft

By Jeff Ellis

The Browns have always been a disaster but ever since Jimmy Haslam took the helm their ineptitude has been unmatched. The front office has managed to blow a plethora a picks this is in spite of spending seven figures between scouts and the general manager.

Who am I? Well I am one dude who has been scouting, projecting, mocking, and trying to develop his own numbers for almost 20 years now.

As I got more fed up with the Browns I thought it would be fun to do a three part series looking back at my mocks and projections. This way I could see who I would have selected if I was the one making the call.

A big thanks to all the great guys here at Everybody Hates Cleveland for giving me a podium to write from.

Without further ado here is my redo of the first Haslam draft this one helmed by Mike Lombardi and Joe Banner.

The Browns made a series of trades on draft day. I am going to keep the Devone Bess deal, yes I know this deal ended up being a disaster but at the time I liked it and would have done the same. He had been such a dependable player before his arrival and the combination with picks would have made for a very interesting core of receivers.
I didn’t love the trade they made with the Steelers in the 4th and will not do the same.
They also traded their fifth round selection to the Colts for a fourth. I am fine with this since it was a weaker draft and I am not helping a team in divison.

First pick #6 over all
The Browns were in love with Mingo and delighted when he fell to them. They tried to keep it a secret but everyone knew it would be the selection. Grantland had a piece were they acted like it was a matter of National Security. I got the pick right in my mock from a month out. I was not a big fan of Mingo, as I think production is very important. Mingo with all his talent should have dominated in the SEC. He did not.

The Browns had a deal in place to trade down if Mingo was off the board. I don’t love this draft and didn’t at the time. So I gladly take the deal offered by the Rams trade down to 16 and add a second rounder which the Browns didn’t have because of the Josh Gordon selection the year before.

First round #16 Tyler Eifert TE Notre Dame
I thought the Browns didn’t have a single tight end on their roster at the time. I didn’t have faith in Jordan Cameron ended up breaking out the next year. Instead I jump on the chance to add an offense weapon who at 6’6” always makes an ideal red zone target. 
Leading up this draft, this had been my desired plan the whole time. Browns trade back add a second and pick up Eifert. The Browns add a premium player at a position of need. Eifert worked mostly as a second tight end in his first year and could have done the same thing for the Browns.

Second round #41 Keenan Allen WR Cal
I was a big fan of Allen who the Browns actually could have drafted in the third round. Allen was my number one wide receiver in this draft at the start of the process and ended up second behind Tavon Austin.
He had injury issues which caused him to fall on draft day, but the tale of the tape showed that he was a great player in school who dominated opponents. He was a hurdle champion, with speed, and size. I will never understand why he was the eighth receiver taken.
Allen has never had less than 67 receptions in a season and only dropped that low because he was hurt and played in just eight games this year. The Browns need at receiver, specifically adding a guy over six feet has been the third most glaring one on the team over the past years.

Third round pick #68 Damontre Moore OLB/DE
Moore was a player who I saw at points leading up to the draft projected as a top ten pick. He stepped into the big shoes left by Von Miller at TAMU and excelled playing the joker which makes him a natural fit for a 34 rush backer. The Browns have had a need for a pass rusher since they returned. They are yet to find a stable reliable player who is good for eight or more sacks a year.
Moore was the top pass rusher on the board, but a huge risk over some concerns about character and lack luster numbers at the combine. The character concerns turned out to be a true concern and led to him being waived for the Giants just one year have showing some ability posting 5.5 sacks.
Even with his issues he would have been better than McFadden who was quickly out of the NFL.

Fourth round pick #111 Barrett Jones G Alabama
The Browns trade this pick to the Steelers who took Shamarko Thomas. I was a fan of Jones who played every spot on the line for Alabama. His versatility was a big bonus in his value. I liked his potential mostly as an inside player on the line.
He has played for four teams since he was drafted appearing in ten games, so this pick would have been a failure.

Sixth round pick #175 Bacarri Rambo S Georgia
Now we are entering the area where my knowledge was limited at best. I saw three names here I was pretty familiar with the other two were Kenjon Barner and Andre Ellington. I still had faith in T-Rich at this point so I would be looking for secondary help and not a running back.
Rambo struggled with the Redskins but has turned into a solid player for the Bills.

Seventh Round pick #217 Reid Fragel OT OSU
Again this is me looking for players I liked. I thought Fragel had good upside and was an above average athlete who could start at right tackle for a team down the line.
So far he has played in one NFL game and been on five teams practice squads, about what you expect for a 7th rounder.
The actual Browns made a much better pick here with Armonty Bryant, even with all of his character concerns. So this is a failure pick for me.

Seventh round pick #227 Joseph Fauria TE UCLA
I know I had them drafting a tight end already, but the top player on the board here would have been Fauria. He was a big target a 6’8” and his uncle was a very good tight end, Christian Fauria. I remember he was the player I was most surprised to see go undrafted.
As a rookie he had seven touchdowns mostly being used as red zone weapon. The next season he got hurt and since then has bounced around practice squads.

So there is my draft round by round, and while I am one man. I think this draft by every measure would have produced better results than what Banner and Co did in their first draft. 

Jeff on twitter: @jeffmlbdraft
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