Draft Grader: Cleveland Browns

Affected by a high rate of turnover in the coaching ranks, many Cleveland draft picks have struggled to pan out. Khaled Elsayed evaluates the Browns' selections from the 2008-10 drafts.

| 4 years ago

Draft Grader: Cleveland Browns

In case you haven’t noticed we’ve been going back over the 2008, 2009, and 2010 draft class of each franchise and assigning each pick a grade. Up next? Well that’s the Cleveland Browns.

Each pick between the 2008 and 2010 drafts receive a grade between +2.0 and -2.0 (in 0.5 increments) that depends upon:

• Where they were drafted
• Their performance
• Their contribution (how many snaps their team got out of them)
• Other factors such as unforeseen injuries and conditions that could not have been accounted for

Let’s take a look at how Cleveland drafted.


+2.0: You’ve just found Tom Brady in the 6th round

The Browns can but only dare to dream of finding a franchise quarterback in any round.


+1.5: Getting much more than you bargained for!

Not so much …


+1.0: The scouts nailed it!

Ahtyba Rubin, DT (190th overall pick in 2008): This former sixth-rounder has developed quickly to one of the most significant players on the Browns’ defense. Whether they were in a 3-4 or 4-3 he’s always had a nose for the ball-carrier… even if you feel the Browns would be better served limited his snaps some. Rubin has finished in the Top 7 the past two years in our defensive tackle Run Stop Percentage rankings.

Alex Mack, C (21st overall pick in 2009): Mack isn’t in the bracket of elite centers (if there is one), but his sheer consistency makes his selection an excellent one. By being in our Top 10 in our center rankings every year since entering the league, he’s delivered as expected.

Joe Haden, CB (7th overall pick in 2010): One of the better man coverage corners in the league, Haden rarely gets the praise he’s due with a lack of interceptions not capturing hearts and minds. However, his +30.0 coverage grade in three years should show just how good a player he has been.

T.J. Ward, SS (38th overall pick in 2010): Despite missing half of his sophomore season, Ward has already developed into one of the league’s top strong safeties. His sixth placed ranking in our safety grades for 2012 highlights this.


+0.5: Never hurts to find a solid contributor

Alex Hall, LB (231st overall pick in 2008): You don’t expect much of the 231st overall pick. Hall flashed some pass rushing ability as a rookie with three sacks, four hits and eight hurries on 96 pass rushes. He was also part of a trade that helped the Browns acquire Sheldon Brown and Chris Gocong. You’d settle for that.

Kaluka Maiava, LB (104th overall pick in 2009): Just about earns a positive on the strength of his contributions in 2012. The former fourth-rounder may have only been part of the Browns’ base defense, but that was enough to finish seventh overall in our 4-3 outside linebacker rankings. He has recently signed with the Raiders.


0.0: Nothing ventured, nothing gained (It could have been worse)

Paul Hubbard, WR (191st overall pick in 2008): An intriguing prospect, Hubbard never got on the field with a new regime in Cleveland who deemed him surplus to requirements in 2009 after spending a year on the practice squad.

Coye Francies, CB (191st overall pick in 2009): Francies’ draft stock fell and his NFL experience made it easy to see why. He rarely got on the field in 2009 or 2010 before being cut and is currently on the Raiders’ roster.

James Davis, RB (195th overall pick in 2009): What could have been? Davis had a huge preseason but injuries (some unconventional and others controversial) prevented him from having much of an impact before he was eventually waived by the Browns in 2010.

Shawn Lauvao, RG (92nd overall pick in 2010): Given the starting right guard spot in 2011, Lauvao put forth a series of uneven displays. A -7.3 grade in 2012 highlights the jury is still out on the former third-rounder.

Larry Asante, S (160th overall pick in 2010): Asante hardly lit things up for the Browns in training camp and preseason. They do get something of a pass because the Bucs stole him off their practice squad.

Carlton Mitchell, WR (177th overall pick in 2010): With just 54 offensive snaps, Mitchell didn’t have a chance to stand out on the field before eventually being cut in 2012.


-0.5: That pick was not put to good use

Beau Bell, LB (104th overall pick in 2008): The fourth-round pick was the Browns’ first of 2008 and required giving up their fourth and fifth round picks of the draft. He managed only two special teams tackles and no snaps on defense before he was cut a year later. Injuries played their part, but there were already question marks on Bell coming out in this regard.

Martin Rucker, TE (111th overall pick in 2008): The Browns gave up a third round pick in 2009 to trade up for Rucker. He struggled to pick things up in Cleveland and managed just 56 snaps before they cut him loose after a year.

Montario Hardesty, RB (59th overall pick in 2010): Missed a year due to an ACL injury in the final preseason game can’t be helped sometimes. However, when Hardesty did get on the field in 2011 and 2012, he failed to light it up and he is running out of chances in Cleveland.

Colt McCoy, QB (85th overall pick in 2010): In picking McCoy the Browns thought they had someone who would develop into a solid quarterback. People like to blame concussions for his problems but his -16.9 grade in 2011 rightly convinced the Browns to look in a new direction. Now traded away to the 49ers, it’s safe to say he wasn’t the answer.

Clifton Geathers, DE (186th overall pick in 2010): A freakish combination of size and athleticism, Geathers was a project that the Browns soured on before the start of the 2010 season.


-1.0: What a waste!

Brian Robiskie, WR (36th overall pick in 2009): Wasn’t Robiskie supposed to be the most NFL-ready receiver from this draft class? Three years on and he’s still not ready judging by how little playing time he has seen. No longer with the Browns this second-round pick managed 926 snaps among as weak a selection of wide receivers as you’re ever likely to see. The Browns needed much more than 421 yards over three years from him.

Mohamed Massaquoi, WR (50th overall pick in 2009): The second selection in the Browns’ two-part plan to rebuild their receiver group, Massaquoi had a rookie year that teased a productive career. Unfortunately, that was all the Browns got as he’s ranked in the Bottom 15 of our receiver ratings the past two years. He is currently an unrestricted free agent who has received limited interest on the market. 


-1.5: The scouts/ coaches failed, big time!

David Veikune, LB (52nd overall pick in 2009): You probably expect more than 16 defensive snaps from a second round pick right? Veikune was so bad that the Browns gave up on him after a year. The only statistic he recorded of note was a missed tackle on special teams.


-2.0: You just drafted the love child of JaMarcus Russell and Ryan Leaf!

There were no Russell/ Leaf hybrids to pick from.


Follow Khaled on Twitter: @PFF_Khaled


  • http://twitter.com/supraman1z Huck Finn

    I really don’t see why Haden would deserve the praise. He was the 7th overall pick and all he is is a good CB, nothing outstanding or noteworthy of praise. IMO, he’s better than solid (0.5) but the scouts didn’t “nail it” (1.0), he belongs in that 0.75 mythological category.

    • Littlebitconfused

      Drafting a CB who happens to be a good CB is… bad?
      Or like, cause he’s a top ten pick – he should be more impactful (like a JJ Watt caliber guy) ?

    • bossman09

      Any CB who would start on 32 out of 32 teams is pretty darn good. 16 of those teams would kill to have a player like him. You do realize the is a 1.5 and a 2.0 ranking above 1.0 correct?

  • brownsfanincali

    Robiskie, Massaquoi and Veikune all in one year in the second round has GOT to be one of the biggest whiffs of all time in the NFL draft … a monkey with a dart board could not have done any worse.

    • Tom Sawyer

      Good point. And look at the 2008 draft where we had given away our 1st, 2nd, and 3rd round picks mostly to draft Brady Quinn in 2007 and only got one worthwhile player Ahtyba Rubin. The other 4 were out of the league by 2010.

  • ABrown

    After following this site closely since the fall, I have to say I’m disappointed in how truly subjective so much of your player grading and game watching is. For me, it means that PFF info is interesting but not very trustworthy.

    Your grading of the 2011 Browns offensive line is troubling, your erratic use of the “throw away” category in evaluating passing is a problem, but the WORST mistake with numbers that actually can be verified is your reporting of passing numbers for Browns QB Brandon Weeden.

    On your passing direction individual player page you appear to account for 3385 yards Weeden gained but you assign those yards to 340 completions out of 420 attempts for a completion percentage of 80.9% and 8.1 yards per attempt. This is a HUGE MISREPRESENTATION when Weeden completed 297 passed out of 517 attempts (!!!!) for under 58% completion rate and 6.5 yards per attempt.

    You have failed to correct errors that subscribers have pointed out to you in the past. This error simply must be corrected since it the correct numbers are clearly verifiable and can’t be dismissed by “our subjectivity is better than yours”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

    Seems odd to call a QB picked in the 3rd round a bad use of a pick when he ranked 17th in the NFL in 2010 when he faced the toughest schedule in 30 years in the NFL for the half season that he played and then ranked 32nd in the league on one of the worst teams the Browns have ever fielded and those are ranks out of 37 or 38 NFL QBs. And McCoy has as much or more trade value in 2012 as Anquan Boldin.

    Compared to other recent Browns QBs like Quinn, Anderson, and Weeden (38th, -30.0), McCoy’s ratings are stellar. He’s done better than a lot of 1st rounders. How successful do you expect a 3rd round qb to be. Objectively, McCoy has to be a 0.0 or a 0.5. He was certainly a “solid contributor”