Mel Kiper Jr. gave Cleveland a B (which 8 other teams shared). Kiper dinged the Browns a bit for Erving (why do people insist he’s a center when he doesn’t have much experience there and won’t play center with the Browns in the first season?), but dinged them more for not grabbing a QB. Kiper doesn’t surprise me any more; he’s as mainstream as mainstream gets.
Sports on Earth also gave Cleveland a B. They attack the Erving choice and immediately explain why they are stupid one sentence later!
Cameron Erving was an odd choice, unless the team really thinks Alex Mack is opting out after this year. On the other hand, he can play all five spots on the line.
Why is this so hard for people to understand? Sports on Earth, to be fair, did have a much better reason for dinging Cleveland, the lack of pass catchers. Kiper’s more optimistic than they are.
Football Outsiders didn’t mention Cleveland’s first round directly in their Day One Audibles, although they did have this gem:
Scott Kacsmar: Cleveland’s offensive-line spending is like paying four security guards $100,000 to escort Pauly Shore and Andy Dick around town. What’s the point?
Hey now, we’re going to be a run first offense, Kacsmar. Browns were passed by in Day Two and Three Audibles too.
SI gave Cleveland a B-, insisting that DeVante Parker was more useful to Cleveland than Danny Shelton (which is the height of absurdity); again, the standard “WHERE DO THEY PLAY ERVING HE’S A CENTER” line is paired with rare criticism for taking Duke Johnson — Johnson has a different skill set than Crowell or West, so this isn’t really fair either.
SB Nation says “B”. Nothing new or exciting in terms of commentary.
NFL.com was very kind, with a B+. They didn’t like Cleveland’s Day 2 (but praised Duke Johnson and Nate Orchard; I have to think it’s for what Cleveland didn’t do, that is, take a wide out.) They have nice things to say about Mayle and bad things to say about Cooper, the safety.
CBS Sports didn’t give out grades, but loved Cleveland’s draft.
Fansided had the best grade for Cleveland, an A-. They didn’t like Mayle (called him mostly a possession guy) and really hated Charles Gaines, who they think won’t even crack the final 53.
I, personally, think Cleveland deserves an A. They addressed needs, found quality players, and didn’t make many picks that seem likely to fail. Those that do are sixth and seventh rounders.