Despite many claiming otherwise, the Cleveland Browns don’t have young elite talent.
CBS published their Top 25 NFL players who are 25 and under, and not one Cleveland Browns player made the list. Truthfully, only one really had a shot in Greg Newsome, so this isn’t the most surprising thing to happen today. It is, however, an indication that the Browns have at best drafted solid picks, instead of future Pro Bowlers.
Yes, guys like Greg Newsome and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah had good rookie years, but that’s all it was; “good”. They played fine but didn’t exactly become game-changers during the season. They were far from issues on the team, and both filled in at positions that needed upgrades. Upgrades they provided, but they are far from the league’s elite.
None of the mid-round picks are even close to being starters, and this is a team that is built with the mindset that every mid-round pick has to develop for them to sustain this team going into the future. Right now, guys like Anthony Schwartz and Tommy Togiai are guys who, according to some in the media, think won’t even make the team next year.
So no, the Browns‘ previous two draft classes weren’t great, and you could argue they were just “fine” and not even “good”. So it’s not surprising to see the team not have any talent who can crack the Top 25, and the sad thing is; they could’ve.
25. Panthers S Jeremy Chinn (24)
24. Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb (23)
23. Buccaneers LB Devin White (24)
22. Titans DT Jeffery Simmons (25)
21. Panthers DE Brian Burns (24)
20. Bengals S Jessie Bates III (25)
19. Steelers S Minkah Fitzpatrick (25)
18. Panthers WR D.J. Moore (25)
17. 49ers LB Fred Warner (25)
16. Cowboys LB Micah Parsons (22)
15. Chargers OT Rashawn Slater (23)
14. Commanders DE Chase Young (23)
13. Bears LB Roquan Smith (25)
12. Eagles WR A.J. Brown (25)
11. Seahawks WR DK Metcalf (24)
10. Colts RB Jonathan Taylor (23)
9. Packers CB Jaire Alexander (25)
8. Cardinals QB Kyler Murray (25)
7. Buccaneers OT Tristan Wirfs (23)
6. Bengals WR Ja’Marr Chase (22)
5. Vikings WR Justin Jefferson (23)
4. 49ers DE Nick Bosa (24)
3. Bengals QB Joe Burrow (25)
2. Ravens QB Lamar Jackson (25)
1. Chargers QB Justin Herbert (24)
Andrew Berry whiffed on the 2020 NFL Draft
Too many people claim Andrew Berry is a genius, but the thing is, we can, in real-time, prove that he got the first two picks of 2020 wrong. Berry picked Jedrick Wills and Grant Delpit in the first and second rounds of his first draft. The players were controversial to a degree, but the positional fit was not.
The team needed tackle and safety, in that order, and that is what the team addressed. The only problem, the team took the two wrong players.
At the time of drafting Wills and then Delpit, Tristan Wirfs, and Jeremy Chinn were both still on the board, respectively. In fact, many, myself included, wanted Iowa’s Wirfs. Tampa Bay ended up taking him after the Browns took Wills, and Wirfs became an All-Pro, Super Bowl Winning, elite tackle.
Wills may not get a second contract.
Now, pointing out the Browns made a mistake taking Delpit will feel “unfair” to some, but remember, being able to stay healthy matters. Chinn is an elite-level safety in the NFL, and Delpit, who was taken before Chinn, may not even start in year three.
Delpit is again a guy who may not get a second contract.
Berry gets a lot of unfair praise for his drafts. His drafts have been mediocre at best, with most of his picks being guys you wouldn’t want as backups, let alone starters. Yes, Newsome and Owusu-Koramoah are good starters, but if in three drafts, they are your “best’ picks; can you really say you’re a great judge of rookie talent?
This is, realistically, the last chance for the class of 2020 to prove what they have to offer, and if they don’t, then it’ll be time to move on from them in 2023.