BEREA—At the conclusion of the first round of the draft Thursday night, Joe Banner addressed the media and he summarized the team’s philosophy concerning the draft. He was asked about drafting a cornerback, but his philosophy seems to summarize what happened on Day 3 of the draft for the Browns.
“As we’ve said all along, we’re really not going to force filling a need on a short-term basis as opposed to building the team we want to have to get really good and sustain it,” Banner said.
“…We’re not going to fill all the needs of the team this year, it’s just not going to happen, I’ll tell you right now,” Banner said. “If there’s a guy there we think can be a long-term solution and quality player, we’ll pick him. If it’s just somebody that upgrades us for this year and then we’ll need to replace again, we won’t.”
After foregoing trading down in the first round, the Browns took an impact player with the sixth pick in Barkevious Mingo to provide pass rush from outside linebacker. The Browns didn’t have a second-round pick after selecting Josh Gordon in the supplemental draft.
They did add veteran wide receiver Davone Bess on the second day of the draft and selected cornerback Leon McFadden in the third-round.
On the final day of the draft, the Browns traded their fourth- and fifth-round picks for future picks before finally selecting safety Jamoris Slaughter in the sixth-round. They closed the day out by
Day 1 Summary
It’s obvious the Browns are going all out to get after the quarterback, besides stopping the run. They have committed a small fortune to upgrade the front seven: Unrestricted free agent additions Paul Kruger ($40.5 million), Desmond Bryant ($34 million), Quentin Groves ($2.2 million) and now first-round pick Mingo, who will command top money as the sixth-overall selection. Even though under the new CBA, player salaries are slotted, Mingo should get more than the $16.2 million that Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne received last year.
Those players added to holdover first-round pick Phil Taylor (4 yr $8 million), second-round pick Jabaal Sheard (4 yr $5 million), Ahtyba Rubin (4 yr $27 million) and D’Qwell Jackson (5 yr $42.5 million) will easily put the Browns over the $100 million mark for the front seven.
I like the move to continue to add pass rushers. If Mingo can complement what they have opposite Kruger, Groves and Sheard, it could be a home run.
Day 2 Summary
The trade to acquire Davone Bess gives the Browns another veteran receiver who is dependable in the slot. The Browns haven’t had that guy since Joe Jurevicius was here in and the Browns were explosive under Rob Chudzinski in 2007. Bess is the 14th most productive receiver in the NFL the last four years with 267 receptions since 2009.
“Davone is a proven receiver who has been extremely productive throughout his career,” Chudzinski said. “He possesses outstanding hands and separation skills, while also showing the ability to pick up yards in key situations. Because of his talent and experience, we feel as though he can come in and help us right away.”
I’m glad the Browns added a cornerback in Leon McFadden in the third-round. He should be able to battle for a starting position opposite Joe Haden with the current contingent of candidates. McFadden played four years as a starter and made a lot of big plays.
“I think that is a coach’s call,” Mike Lombardi said when asked if McFadden should start. “I think he’s got the skills to certainly compete and whoever wins the job will be determined based on their play on the field.”
McFadden said playing in the Senior Bowl and the Mountain West conference helped him.
“I took full advantage of the opportunity at the Senior Bowl and showed that there are players in the Mountain West that can play,” he said. “It was definitely good preparation as they throw a lot and that prepared me a lot for teams that throw the ball.”
Day 3 Summary
The Browns started the day by trading their fourth-round pick (111th overall) to their arch-rival the Steelers, who promptly selected safety Shamarko Thomas from Syracuse—a perceived position of need for the Browns.
Even if the Browns didn’t want Thomas, with all of the holes on the roster there had to be a player on the board that could’ve helped the Browns.
It’s curious for a number of reasons. First of all, there is a reason the Browns haven’t traded with the Steelers since 1968 when they obtained quarterback Bill Nelsen. Since the Browns face Pittsburgh twice a year, why take a chance on the player. It was also the first time since 1973 the Steelers traded away a future draft choice.
After the dust settled and it appeared the Browns would make their first pick in the fifth-round, they traded again, this time with the Colts for a 2014 fourth-round pick.
The Browns came into the draft with many holes to fill and said they couldn’t fill them in one draft, but it seems there had to be players available that could’ve at least provided depth for the Browns in the fourth-and fifth-rounds.
On the positive side, the Browns have added assets for the 2014 draft by adding an extra third-and fourth-round pick.
After the two trades, the Browns jumped back in and picked Slaughter in the sixth-round. He missed 10 games last season after rupturing his Achilles in the third game of the season. He said he is 90 percent recovered and expects to be ready for the start of training camp.
The Browns concluded their day with two seventh-round picks as they added another pass rusher in Armonty Bryant from East Central Oklahoma and offensive lineman Garrett Gilkey from Chadron State.
Browns fans have to look at the Browns first four rounds of the draft this way:
First round—OLB Barkevious Mingo (6th overall)
Second round—WR Josh Gordon (taken in 2012 NFL Supplemental Draft)
Third round—CB Leon McFadden (68th overall)
Fourth round—WR Davone Bess (traded 104th & 164th in exchange for Dolphins 111th & 217th & Bess)
Fourth & Fifth rounds—Extra third- and fourth-round picks in 2014 for 111 & 139)
Sixth round—S Jamoris Slaughter (175th overall)
Seventh round—DE/OLB Armonty Bryant (217th overall)
Seventh round – OL Garrett Gilkey (227th overall)