CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The Browns just wrapped up their 2021 Draft, and you will see various media outlets grading that draft. But how do they know? It is frequently said you need to wait three years or so to grade a draft. So let’s do it. 2018 Draft, here we come.
Their first pick was Baker Mayfield, they opted for him over Sam Darnold. So far this has proven to be the right choice. Darnold is already on his second team, Carolina, Mayfield has lead the Browns to a playoff run. Critics will say they could have taken Josh Allen or Lamar Jackson. True, but everybody was wrong about those two players. Baltimore even passed on Jackson once. They drafted tight end Hayden Hurst with their first round pick, then traded back into the round to select Jackson. They obviously did not think he would be this good or they would not have gambled like that.
Three picks after Mayfield the Browns were back on the stage selecting Denzel Ward. There were some complaints about this pick at the time, some fans wanted pass rusher Bradley Chubb from North Carolina State. He went with the next pick to Denver. Both Ward and Chubb have been good players. It’s impossible to say the Browns made the wrong call.
Their next pick was the wrong call. They picked Austin Corbett, a guard out of Nevada. He just never put it together and was later traded to the Rams. Two picks later Nick Chubb was a Cleveland Brown. Nailed it.
The rest of the picks were strike outs. DE Chad Thomas in round three. WR Antonio Callaway in the fourth round looked like a value pick, but he did not pan out at all. Genard Avery was their fifth round pick, he flashed his rookie year but never did much after that. In the sixth round Damian Ratley and Simeon Thomas were the picks. Yawn.
Normally having a list that long of bad picks will earn a draft a bad grade. Not this one. Three foundational pieces were acquired in Dallas during that draft. That many bad picks will cost them an A+, but I will grade this draft as an A.