Nothing brings out so called experts like the NFL Draft. Everyone has their “individual draft boards”, which is usually based on what people in the media tell them.
For the most part, these fans haven’t ever seen the players they are rating highly, and even if they have seen them play, they don’t know if the skill set they saw during a college game will translate to the professional level.
In Cleveland, there is an affinity for the famous player or anyone from Ohio State. Either one of these guys will no doubt become a superstar.
You also have the people who will go back and criticize a team for not taking a player in a later round who wound up being a potential Hall of Famer. To be sure, if every team would have known Tom Brady would become one of the all time greats, they would have taken them in the first round, including New England and Bill Belichick.
Sometimes you don’t have a good book on a player until you get the opportunity to work with them on an everyday basis.
Remember, all of these people giving the Browns bad grades are not working in the personnel departments of any NFL teams. Mostly, they are media people with an opinion. And if you don’t agree with their ranking of players, then that team receives a bad grade.
This isn’t to say that Joe Banner and Michael Lombardi had the best draft since the Steelers in 1974 (they drafted Jack Lambert, John Stallworth, Lynn Swann, and Mike Webster) either. We are simply saying it is way too early to tell.
And trading the picks wasn’t a bad idea either. Apparently, the Browns didn’t see anyone there who could make an immediate impact with this year’s team, so they dealt them for a better choice in next year’s selection meeting. Why would that be a problem?
Also, ludicrous is the bashing Banner and Lombardi are taking for dealing with the Steelers, especially those saying you can’t deal in your division. If Pittsburgh wanted to deal Ben Roethlisberger, you’d have to be an idiot to turn them down because you don’t want to trade with a team in your division.
Look, we get that Banner and Lombardi aren’t likeable guys, at least in their public persona’s, and it is easy to take issue with their moves. But they have earned a chance, and they should get to fail a couple of times before they are written off as morons.
They are also getting heat for not trading down in the first round and picking up another second round selection. Yet, many of those people saying the Browns should have done just that, still complain about trading down in 2011 and giving up the right to pick Julio Jones.
Will we really hear from any of those people in Barkevious Mingo turns out to be the next defensive impact player in the NFL? Of course not.
The point is, the front office liked Mingo and they took him. He appears to be a superior athlete, but that doesn’t make him a great player, it simply gives him the ability to be one if he has the drive to succeed.
It is sure that the Browns’ executives interviewed the former LSU standout and talked to his coaches about those factors. It is part of the due diligence that organizations have to go through.
We won’t know how the Browns did until at least halfway through the 2013 season. Until then, you can’t condemn anyone for this rookie class. It’s simply way too soon.