With the 2014 Super Bowl coming up next weekend, and the 2014 Draft season in full swing, its time to take a look back at the 2013 NFL Draft for our Cleveland Browns. The Browns, under first year head coach Rob Chudzinski, first year GM Mike Lombardi, first year CEO Joe Banner and first year owner Jimmy Haslam, embarked together on their first draft together. They entered with the #6 overall pick and missing their second round pick, due to the selection of Josh Gordon in the supplemental draft.
As we know the Browns selected Barkevious Mingo with the 6th selection and Leon McFadden with their third round choice. They traded their 4th and 5th round picks, for 1 round earlier picks in the 2014 draft. In the 6th the Browns selected safety Jamoris Slaughter and Armonty Bryant. In the 7th the Browns added to their offensive line with developmental tackle Garrett Gilkey.
- Mingo struggled with his health and consistency throughout the season. He showed flashes of a speed rush and ability to get to the QB but didn’t have any counter moves or develop as the season went on. Mingo will continue in a hybrid 3-4 defense on Mike Pettine, this should allow him to reach his potential in years 2 and 3.
- McFadden became more involved with the defense later in the season. While not showing flashes that would make some think of him as a future starter, he does have skills that could develop into a mid level #2 corner.
- Slaughter was cut at the beginning of the season and signed to the practice squad for the entire season. Slaughter had some struggles with injuries coming into the season. He was signed to a futures contract at the end of 2013. He could compete for a roster spot next season.
- Bryant, him of multiple arrests in college, showed some signs of being a situational pass rusher. Keeping himself out of trouble will be key for Bryant, as that is why he fell so far in the draft. Many opponents of this Browns Front Office think Bryant could be a better player then Mingo, a highly biased opinion.
- Gilkey was forced in to playing early in the season due to injuries. That experience should help him but where he fits next year will be of interest. The Browns have a few free agents on the line and could draft a starter, or two, putting Gilkey’s future in doubt.
SI did a redraft which led to the Browns choosing:
6. Cleveland Browns
(Original pick: Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU)
Re-do pick: Kiko Alonso, LB, Oregon
Mingo had sacks in his first three games of the regular season and then just two more the rest of the year. Even if Alonso’s tackle total (159) got a bit inflated, it’s hard to deny he was a steady and productive presence in the middle of Buffalo’s defense all season long, playing every one of the Bills’ 1,176 defensive snaps. He was stellar in coverage (with four interceptions) and solid in run defense. In Cleveland, Alonso would be an upgrade over veteran middle linebacker D’Qwell Jackson.
Alonso would of filled a big need for the Browns. SI did not have many players selected in their same spots but it is interesting to note that Mingo was not drafted in the first round of their redo.
Kiper instead looked back at the grades he gave the teams for the 2013 draft and re-graded their drafts. For the Browns his grade went down, but not greatly as he didn’t have a high grade for them in the first place.
Post-draft grade: C+
Summary: I was skeptical about early impact from this class. At the time I wrote: “Mingo adds depth at outside linebacker, but he’s going to need some developmental work because he played with his hand on the ground at LSU. After that, there isn’t a lot here that you’ll see in 2013.” The whole system issue may have been overstated, but the fact that Mingo still needs development wasn’t. He’s just not a three-down player at this point, and was pretty inconsistent with his pass rush. After that? Well, there isn’t much at all. McFadden got some decent reps late and could start next season, but it’s all wait-and-see after that.
New grade: C-
Many of you were unhappy with the Browns draft last year. Looking at the additional picks coming this draft and the results of 2013 how would you view the draft? Who would you have selected instead of Mingo? What grade would you give the draft now?