Their 2014 NFL draft only lasted four rounds but did the Cleveland Browns make their picks count?
Round 1 – #8 – Justin Gilbert – CB – Oklahoma State
The only thing better than a shutdown corner is two shutdown corners. Joe Haden now has a wingman in Justin Gilbert, whose freakish speed, length and athleticism given him higher ceiling at corner than anybody else in the 2014 NFL draft.
Round 1 – #22 – Johnny Manziel – QB – Texas A&M
A lot of people were surprised that Johnny Manziel fell all the way to the 22nd pick and the Cleveland Browns were wisely the ones who went and got him. For all his doubters and question marks the kid is a playmaker with a ridiculous competitive streak that can galvanize a franchise long bereft of anything like him.
Round 2 – #35 – Joel Bitonio – OT – Nevada
One of the more versatile offensive lineman in the draft. Joel Bitonio played left tackle at Nevade, has the length and power for right tackle and the size to kick inside to guard. There are few faults to his game and he can start right away.
Round 3 – #71 – Christian Kirksey – OLB – Iowa
Mike Pettine likes athletes at linebacker and Christian Kirksey is most definitely an athlete. He thrives in space chasing down ball carriers with experience in coverage. A team leader with upside.
Round 3 – #94 – Terrance West – RB – Towson
He carried an entire program on his back in 2013 and Terrance West didn’t even flinch. Plenty of size for the position but great feet to keep his balance when making cuts or getting hit. A great insurance policy for Ben Tate.
Round 4 – #127 – Pierre Desir – CB – Lindenwood
More development will be required of him but Pierre Desir is another long cornerback with very intriguing athletic potential. He flashed it constantly at the Senior Bowl and isn’t in awe of NFL competition. Given enough time he’s another solid piece added to that secondary.
The only reason this isn’t an A+ is because the Cleveland Browns did not address the receiver position even in spite of the Josh Gordon news. Otherwise every pick they made landed on a potential impact player for now and in the future.