Day 3 concluded without Cleveland doing much of anything.
At #127, Cleveland chose… another cornerback, Pierre Desir out of Lindenwood. (No, until this draft pick, I never heard of it either.) However, the dude is massive (6″1, 198 pounds) and I love the idea of having huge cornerbacks in the modern NFL. Great value here too; according to Dawgs by Nature, one scout had him pegged as a second rounder who only fell because of his school and his age (he’s 24). B+.
The last thing Cleveland did was flip her seventh rounder to Baltimore (no. 218) for a sixth rounder next year. Cleveland ended up taking a total of six players with her bounty of pick, but I like all of them. I’d give the draft, as a whole, a B+. The one boom/bust pick in the draft is Manziel (although there are injury concerns too). I said Cleveland needed a QB, OG, and LB out of this draft; we got all of those. We added two good sized defensive backs, both of whom will probably start. We got a power running back. Yet, we lost a wide receiver. Not just any wide receiver — the best wide receiver in the NFL last year. A lot of my friends are bitching and moaning about trading down instead of taking Watkins at #4. One of them even speculated that the FO knew about Gordon’s possible suspension (which is true) and that they drafted Johnny Football to sell season tickets before the news of Gordon broke out. “We got played” were his exact words. I won’t go to that level of conspiracy. That Gordon may well be suspended for the entire season, and the Cleveland knew about it before the draft and still did not choose a wide receiver, tells me one of three things:
1) The entire story about Gordon is bullshit, as the receiver and his agent are saying.
2) They genuinely think that Cleveland’s receiving corps, as is, can handle the job.
3) They aren’t done, still have tons of cap room, and will pick up another receiver or two somehow.
#3 is the most likely; apart from Cameron at TE, nobody on Cleveland’s receiving corps is all that great. Greg Little has mastered the art of putting hands on footballs for but a fleeting moment; retention of said footballs eludes him. Andrew Hawkins is really fast. Nate Burleson has a broken arm. Travis Benjamin is both really fast and injured. Ogboyanna is a good pass catcher out of the backfield; I’m not sure about Ben Tate.
Now, one way to get some wide receivers after the draft is UDFAs. Yay, undrafted free agents! Dawgs by Nature has a giant list, most of it unconfirmed. The Shaws — one a QB, one a WR, and as far as I know totally unrelated — are the gems of those reported thus far. A lot of those receivers seem to be smaller, speedy guys. Willie Snead is reportedly the greatest wide receiver in the history of Ball State. Make of that what you will. Here are some more details about the UDFAs.
As for remaining free agents, rotoworld has an up to date list. Danario Alexander’s name was tossed around pretty frequently among some people I know. Santonio Holmes or Miles Austin would also be fine additions.
The Browns got better. That is the #1 goal of the draft, and in this they succeeded. Add another receiver or two, maybe a lineman (for depth), and we could be in for an exciting 2014-5 season!