Archive for June, 2008

Cleveland Browns Redraft:2002

Saturday, June 14th, 2008

Discouraged by the lack of success that my favorite NFL team, the Cleveland Browns, have had since their return to the NFL in 1999, I’m deciding to be a fantasy GM and redo their drafts. After redrafting in1999, 2000, and 2001, we’ve built quite an impressive team through the draft alone. Along with redoing those three year’s drafts, I also collected a number of free agents that first year, some whom Cleveland did sign, some others they didn’t but should have. Let’s look at the team that I’ve built. The free agents from 1999 are indicated in italics, and actual Pro Bowl selections of a player are represented by the number after their name:

Position Player Position Player
QB Kerry Collins (1), Jeff Garcia (4), Jake Delhomme (1), Tom Brady (4) DT Kelly Gregg, Rob Meier, Kris Jenkins (3)
FB Tony Richardson, Dan Kreider DE Jevon Kearse (3), Aaron Smith (1), Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila (1), Adewale Ogunleye (1)
RB Reuben Droughns, LaDainian Tomlinson (5), Dominic Rhodes ILB Eric Barton, Brian Urlacher (6), Antonio Pierce (1)
WR Marty Booker (1), Sean Morey (1), Donald Driver (3), Laveranues Coles (1), Dante Hall (2), Steve Smith (3), T.J. Houshmandzadeh (1) OLB Jamir Miller (1), Joey Porter (4), Adalius Thomas (1)
TE Desmond Clark (1), Jermaine Wiggins CB Corey Fuller, Mike McKenzie, Nate Clements (1), Nick Harper
C Jeff Saturday (3), Todd McClure SS Mike Green
OG Adam Timmerman (1), Randy Thomas, Jamar Nesbit, Brian Walters (3), Floyd Womack FS Mike Brown (1)
OT Jon Jansen, Chris Samuels (5), Matt Light (2) LS Mike Schneck (1)
K Phil Dawson P Chris Gardocki (1)

I’m  in a good position to move some players via trades, especially from the wide receiver position. Marty Booker and Laveranues Coles are tradable with the drafting of both Steve Smith and T.J. Housmandzadeh in 2001. We could also potentially part with QBs Jeff Garcia or Jake Delhomme and RB Reuben Droughns for draft picks, or at least moving up in this draft. And, due to the New Orleans trade way back in 1999, I have the last pick from that deal in the second round this year. My prospects of strenghtening this team even further is great.

As good as my redraft is, the actual drafting by the Browns during those three years was just as bad, which is a big reason for the firing of Dwight Clark, who was mainly responsible for the three-year train wreck. Now we’re fully into the Butch Davis era. Although he was head coach in 2001, he gained power of personnel decisions in 2002, and mainly the draft. So now I reexamine the 2002 draft and see how my picks (granted in hindsight) stack up to what Davis did. At this point, there aren’t very many holes to fill on the team. I still need to deepen the safety and offensive tackle positions, and also improve the tight end position. Also, if history would repeat itself, I lose Jamir Miller in training camp, where he suffered a career-ending Achilles injury, so outside linebacker becomes an area that would need improved, but that isn’t evident during the draft. Cleveland originally picked around the middle of the draft (16), but I’m assuming the team was more successful in 2001 with the new crop of players, so I’m choosing around picks 22-23. Here’s my draft board, with only the Saints second round pick indicating a selection number in the round. I did indicate where the actual Cleveland picks went with the number after their names:

Round Number Player
1 ? RB William Green (16)
2 44 (from New Orleans)
2 ? WR Andre Davis (47)
3 ? C Melvin Fowler (76)
4 ? LB Kevin Bentley (101)
4 ? LB Ben Taylor (111)
4 ? TE Darnell Sanders (122)
5 ? LB Andra Davis (141)
7 ? OT Joaquin Gonzalez (227)

With eight picks in 2002, Cleveland originally drafted the following:

  • one running back (1)
  • one wide receiver (2)
  • two offensive linemen (4)
  • one tight end (5)
  • three linebackers (8)

Out of those eight, at least four are still in the league, and two have had fairly good careers (Fowler and Andra Davis). A better draft than in previous years, but no stars in this group either. As in the previous years, the high round picks are busts for their draft positions. Let’s see how I do in comparison:

2002 Redraft

Round Original Pick New Pick
1 RB William Green SS Ed Reed

Taken eight picks after William Green, Ed Reed has been nothing short of a terror in the defensive backfield for the Ravens, making it to the Pro Bowl five times (2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008). He probably would have made it in 2005 as well if he didn’t miss six games with an ankle injury. He is the Ravens all-time INT leader with 34, has blocked four punts and returned three for touchdowns. He is also the first person in NFL history to return an interception, punt, blocked punt, and fumble for a touchdown. Did I mention he plays for the Ravens? It would be great to screw them out of a player of this caliber.

Round Original Pick New Pick
2 none G/C LeCharles Bentley

Taken by the Saints in this very spot, Bentley excelled at the guard position and started in 14 games. He was named Sports Illustrated ‘s Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2002 and Pro Football Weekly All-Rookie Team. He was selected to two Pro Bowls with the Saints (2003, 2005). He left New Orleans as a free agent following the 2005 season and signed with the Browns. He suffered a serious knee injury during his FIRST play in training camp. Attempting to make a come back in 2008, he brokered his release from Cleveland, but failed to catch on with another team that year.

Round Original Pick New Pick
2 WR Andre Davis CB Sheldon Brown

Picked in the second round, Brown is a fixture in the Eagles defensive backfield, playing in every game during his six-year career, and starting every game since late in 2003. Since becoming a full-time starter, Brown is averaging over 66 tackles and nearly 3 INTs a season.

Round Original Pick New Pick
3 C Melvin Fowler RB Brian Westbrook

A a third-round pick and two-time Pro Bowl selection (2004, 2007), Westbrook is a key part of the Eagles offense. He became the featured back midway through his second year, when he rushed for 613 yards, caught 37 passes for 332 yards, and scored 11 TDs. The following year, he ran for 812 yards, caught 73 passes for 703 yards, and scored nine TDs, and still missed three games. The next year, he missed four games and still put up 1,233 yards rushing and receiving, and scored seven times. He’s been fairly healthy the last two years, missing only three games total. During those two years, he averaged 1,275 yards rushing, 84 receptions for 735 yards, and 12 TDs. Imagine the damage an offense can do with he and LT in the backfield together.

Round Original Pick New Pick
4 LB Kevin Bentley ILB Larry Foote

A late fourth-round pick by Pittsburgh, Foote played very little during his first two years. In 2004, he became a starter and hasn’t missed a game yet. During the last four years, he’s averaging 85.5 tackles, three sacks and one interception a season.

Round Original Pick New Pick
4 LB Ben Taylor DE Aaron Kampman

A fifth round draft pick, Kampman made his mark during the 2003 playoffs by recording three sacks in two playoff games for the Packers. The following year, he’s become a steady defender, playing every game the last four seasons, and averaging 75 tackles and 9.5 sacks a season. He was elected to the Pro Bowl the last two years while recording 27.5 sacks during that span.

Round Original Pick New Pick
4 TE Darnell Sanders ILB Bart Scott

Scott was undrafted and signed with Baltimore. He made his mark on special teams during his first three years in the league. Scott came into his own filling in for the injured Ray Lewis in 2005, starting ten games and recording 92 tackles and four sacks. In 2006 he was second on the team in tackles with 103, he has also recorded 9.5 sacks and two interceptions. He was elected to the Pro Bowl that year as an injury replacement for Lewis. This past season, he made 93 tackles.

Round Original Pick New Pick
5 LB Andra Davis WR David Givens

Another Ohio-bred player (he was born in Youngstown), Givens has had a productive, if unremarkable, career. Drafted late in the 7th round, he played four seasons for New England, winning two Super Bowls. In 2007, he signed with Tennessee, but tore his ACL after five games. He’s currently a free agent.

Round Original Pick New Pick
7 OT Joaquin Gonzalez OLB James Harrison

Also from Ohio, Harrison went undrafted out of Kent State, and signed with the Steelers. Harrison saw limited playing time (mostly on special teams) during his first four years with Pittsburgh. He broke out in 2007, starting in all 16 games, and recording 98 tackles and 8.5 sacks. He was elected to the Pro Bowl that year.

2002 Redraft Summary

Let’s look how I did with the nine picks:

  • two defensive backs (2)
  • one running back (3)
  • three linebackers (6)
  • one defensive end (7)
  • one wide receiver (8)
  • one offensive lineman (9)

Out of my group, there are four multi-time Pro Bowlers, and a couple with one trip to Hawaii. I address a couple of need areas, depth in the secondary and running back. Reed adds a dominant defender in the backfield with Mike Brown, and Sheldon Brown adds strength to the cornerback position. Westbrook also adds another stellar back to pair, or split time, with LT. Givens is a lesser receiver in a crowd of Pro Bowlers, but adds depth there as well. Bentley and Kampman can’t be passed up despite  glut of studs in those positions on the team. But this could be a blessing, considering Randy Thomas left as a free agent after 2002, and Kearse and Ogunleye both left their teams as free agents after 2003, and may do the same here. Timmerman or could be potentially traded, lowering the salary cap significantly, or McClure as well. I’m also crowding the linebacking corp, but consider that most of these guys played a couple of years on special teams before breaking into the lineup, and again if/when free agency plays a factor, the position is loaded with talent.

Here’s the challenge in today’s NFL, with a salary cap, whom do you give raises to in order to keep them, and whom do you let go to free up cap space and give their spot to younger (and cheaper) talent? In the old days (pre-1990s), cap space and free agency was never an issue. Now, teams need to let popular and talented players go elsewhere for the sole reason of financials. Now with a solid team in place, those factors will help determine some decisions in the next couple of drafts. Next, we revisit 2003.

Cleveland Browns Redraft:2001

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

After redoing the 1999 and 2000 drafts for the Cleveland Browns, this team would have most of the key pieces to being a powerhouse for the next several years. Let’s look at what I did over the last two years. Actual number of Pro Bowl selections is represented in parentheses. All players shown were draft picks except those in italics, which were potential free agent signings (or trades in the case of Ahman Green and Tony Richardson) in 1999:

Position Player Position Player
QB Kerry Collins (1), Jeff Garcia (4), Jake Delhomme (1), Tom Brady (4) DT Kelly Gregg, Rob Meier
FB Tony Richardson, Dan Kreider DE Jevon Kearse (3), Aaron Smith (1), Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila (1), Adewale Ogunleye (1)
RB Ahman Green, Reuben Droughns ILB Eric Barton, Brian Urlacher (6)
WR Marty Booker (1), Sean Morey (1), Donald Driver (3), Laveranues Coles (1), Dante Hall (2) OLB Jamir Miller (1), Joey Porter (4), Adalius Thomas (1)
TE Desmond Clark (1), Jermaine Wiggins CB Corey Fuller, Mike McKenzie
C Jeff Saturday (3), Todd McClure SS Mike Green
OG Adam Timmerman (1), Randy Thomas, Jamar Nesbit, Brian Walters (3) FS Mike Brown (1)
OT Jon Jansen, Chris Samuels (5) P Chris Gardocki (1)
LS Mike Schneck (1) K Phil Dawson

In two years, the only area that I’m not settled in is tight end, and depth at running back, offensive and defensive tackles, and the secondary. Due to the New Orleans and St. Louis Rams trades back in 1999, I pick up two additional first round picks. So, here’s the draft picks I have to work with in 2001 (actual Browns selections shown):

Round Number Player
1 3 DT Gerard Warren
1 20 (from St. Louis)
1 23 (from New Orleans)
2 33 WR Quincy Morgan
3 65 RB James Jackson
4 97 CB Anthony Henry
5 134 LB Jeremiah Pharms
6 165 CB Michael Jameson
7 203 G Paul Zukaukas
7 245 WR Andre King

Overall, this was a pretty disappointing draft for the Browns. Outside of Pharms, every player stayed in the league at least four years, but Henry is the only one that’s developed into a quality player. Warren is considered one of the biggest busts of the decade, never living up to his first round potential. But what was new with any of Cleveland’s draft picks during this regime. With three picks in the first 33 of the draft (and hindsight in my corner), I’m sure I can do better. Here are my 2001 draft selections:

2001 Redraft

Round Number Original Pick New Pick
1 3 none RB LaDainian Tomlinson

The fifth overall pick, Tomlinson has missed only one game during his seven-year career. He’s averaging 1,521 yards rushing, 482 yards receiving, and 16 TDs. He’s made the Pro Bowl every year except his rookie year, when he rushed for “only” 1,236 yards and 10 TDs. In 2003, he became the first player in NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards and record 100 receptions in the same season. For the record, I was begging Cleveland to draft him, and pissed when they took Warren.

Round Number Original Pick New Pick
1 20 none CB Nate Clements

This pick would be a major coup for the Browns, with Clements having grown up in the Cleveland suburb of Shaker Heights and played collegiately at The Ohio State University. Clements was an immediate star in the NFL, starting 11 games his rookie year. He recorded at least 62 tackles every year, and was selected to the Pro Bowl following the 2004 season.

Round Number Original Pick New Pick
1 23 none DT Kris Jenkins

A second round pick by the Panthers, Jenkins would fill the need for a stud defensive tackle on a team loaded with talented ends. Outside his two injury-plagued seasons of 2004 and 2005, Jenkins has been the anchor of the Panthers defense. When healthy, he averages over 40 tackles and 4 sacks a season. His best single season in sacks was 2002 with seven. He’s made the Pro Bowl three times (2002, 2003, 2006).

Round Number Original Pick New Pick
2 33 none OT Matt Light

A second round pick by the Patriots, Light would give me another stud tackle to go along an already-talented offensive line. He’s made the Pro Bowl twice (2006, 2007).

Round Number Original Pick New Pick
3 65 none WR Steve Smith

Another great pick by Carolina, this time in the third round, Smith made a mark his rookie year as a dangerous kick returner. He led all rookies in net yardage with a 1,994 yard, and finished fourth in the NFL in that category in 2001. This performance earned him a Pro Bowl berth as a kick returner. The next year, he became a starting wide receiver, making 54 receptions for 872 yards. In 2005, Smith lead the league in receptions (103), yards (1563), and TDs (12). With the exception of 2004, where he was out all but one game with an injury, Smith has averaged 90 receptions, 1,210 yards, and 9 TDs the last four years despite being the only deep threat on the Panthers. In addition to going his rookie year as a returner, Smith returned to the Pro Bowl in 2005 and 2006.

Round Number Original Pick New Pick
4 97 none G/T Floyd Womack

Nicknamed “Pork Chop,” Floyd Womack was drafted late in the fourth round by the Seahawks, and has played in 75 games over the last seven years, starting 33 of them. He can play both guard and tackle. He too would have been the local pick of this draft, having played high school football at Cleveland East.

Round Number Original Pick New Pick
5 134 none CB Nick Harper

Nick Harper went undrafted, but signed with the Colts. His best year was in 2003, his first as a starter, with 98 tackles and four interceptions. He’s recorded at least 66 tackles and three INTs every year since. He joined the Tennessee Titans as a free agent in 2007.

Round Number Original Pick New Pick
6 165 none WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh

Slipping to the seventh round, Housmandzadeh played sparingly during his first three years with the Bengals. He broke out in 2004 with 73 catches for 978 yards and four TDs. During the last four seasons, he’s averaged 88 receptions, 1,040 yards and eight TDs a season. Housmandzadeh made the Pro Bowl for the first time in 2007 with 112 catches for 1,143 yards and 12 TDs.

Round Number Original Pick New Pick
7 203 none RB Dominic Rhodes

Rhodes signed with the Colts after going undrafted in 2001. He played in 15 games his rookie year, starting 10 in place of the injured Edgerrin James. That year, Rhodes rushed for 1,104 yards and nine TDs. He was out for all of 2002, and touched the ball sparringly the next three years behind James. After James left via free agency, Rhodes split time with rookie Joseph Addia, rushing for 641 yards and five TDs. He left as a free agent the following year for Oakland, but at out the first four games due to violating the NFL’s Substance Abuse Policy, and never did much on the field once he returned. He was then released, and resigned with the Colts for 2008.

Round Number Original Pick New Pick
7 245 none MLB Antonio Pierce

Undrafted, Pierce signed with Washngton and had a decent rookie year (52 tackles). He didn’t see the field much the next two years, but broke out in 2004 replacing the injured Michael Barrow. He recorded 112 tackles (85 solo) and two interceptions. He then signed with the Giants, recording 99 tackles in only 13 games, and 137 the following year (107 solo). His 2006 season earned him a Pro Bowl berth. In 2007, he recorded 103 tackles (77 solo).

2001 Redraft Summary

The original 2001 draft breaks down like this over eight picks:

  • one defensive tackle (1)
  • two wide receivers (3)
  • one running back (4)
  • two cornerbacks (6)
  • one linebacker (7)
  • one offensive lineman (8)

Now let’s compare it to the redraft (two extra picks this year):

  • two running backs (2)
  • one defensive tackle (3)
  • two wide receivers (5)
  • two offensive lineman (7)
  • two cornerbacks (9)
  • one linebacker (10)

Just about the same picks, with an extra running back. In fact, if you omit the extra picks from the Saints and Rams, the first three picks in both drafts addressed the exact same positions, just in a different orders. The new draft picked up four multi-time Pro Bowl selections (four of the first five picks I might add), and three other Pro Bowl selections. Plus, every player is still in the league, and only two aren’t starting for their current teams. The redraft is definitely a major improvement over what the Browns actually selected that year.

Review of the Three Redrafts

Here’s where it gets painful to look. Here’s what the Browns would have with three years of draft picks (free agents omitted):

Position Player Position Player
QB Tom Brady (4) DT Kelly Gregg, Rob Meier, Kris Jenkins (3)
FB Tony Richardson, Dan Kreider DE Jevon Kearse (3), Aaron Smith (1), Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila (1), Adewale Ogunleye (1)
RB Reuben Droughns, LaDainian Tomlinson (5), Dominic Rhodes ILB Eric Barton, Brian Urlacher (6), Antonio Pierce (1)
WR Marty Booker (1), Brian Finneran, Donald Driver (3), Laveranues Coles (1), Dante Hall (2), Steve Smith (3), T.J. Houshmandzadeh (1) OLB Joey Porter (4), Adalius Thomas (1)
TE Desmond Clark (1), Jermaine Wiggins CB Mike KcKenzie, Nate Clements (1), Nick Harper
C Todd McClure SS Mike Green
OG Randy Thomas, Jamar Nesbit, Brian Walters (3), Floyd Womack FS Mike Brown (1)
OT Jon Jansen, Chris Samuels (5), Matt Light (2) LS Mike Schneck (1)

Assuming these guys would play at the level that they currently do, the new Cleveland Browns would likely be the elite team in the league and be in a position to win multiple Super Bowls. Compare this to their actual picks, which produced one decent starter in Anthony Henry. It’s no surprise the Browns struggled like they did out of the gate, and just now showing signs of being a playoff contender. It’s worth noting that this was the last draft run by Dwight Clark before he was forced to resign. Looking back, he had absolutely no eye for talent. Next I’ll look at the 2002 draft and see if Butch Davis did any better.

Cleveland Browns Redraft:2000

Thursday, June 5th, 2008

As personal therapy for being a Cleveland Browns fan, I’m attempting to sooth the anguish of the first few years of the return of my team to the NFL in 1999. I decided to play fantasy General Manager and go back in tiime to redo the Browns disastrous drafts that were a big part of the cause of the team’s failure to win. Previously, I redid their 1999 draft. Now let’s move on to year two and reexamine the 2000 draft. As stated in the first post, the Browns gain an additional first-round pick this year to complete the Saints draft trade to acquire Ricky Williams. With that, let’s look at what I did in the new 1999 draft (number of Pro Bowl selections in parentheses):

Round Number Player
1 12 DE Jevon Kearse (3)
2 32 T Jon Jansen
2 45 G Randy Thomas
3 62 OLB Joey Porter (4)
3 71 WR Marty Booker (1)
3 78 CB Mike KcKenzie
4 99 DE Aaron Smith (1)
5 139 ILB Eric Barton
5 144 DT Kelly Gregg
6 174 TE Desmond Clark (1)
6 187 WR Donald Driver (3)
6 191 C Todd McClure
7 207 G Jamar Nesbit
7 218 LS Mike Schneck (1)

I built a good solid foundation with that first draft. Eight players taken eventually earned Pro Bowl berths, and three of those got at least three each. We also have the makings of a good group of receivers, offensive and defensive lines, and linebackers. Add in the nine free agents I targeted (LB Jamir Miller, CB Corey Fuller, QB Kerry Collins, QB Jeff Garcia, QB Jake Delhomme, G Adam Timmerman, C Jeff Saturday, K Phil Dawson, P Chris Gardocki), there’s the start of a good team.

I also picked up QB Kurt Warner in the expansion draft from St. Louis. This would have put me in an interesting, and potentially advantagious position in the 1999 preseason. It’s well known that Warner was the designated backup to Trent Green, who had just signed a big free agent contract with the Rams that offseason. Unfortunately, Green went down in the preseason with a serious knee injury that ended his season. This opened the door for Warner to not only lead the Rams to an unexpected Super Bowl victory, but also the Super Bowl and league MVP awards. However, in my scenario, Warner is no longer on the Rams.

Here’s where my Browns can really benefit. With four good quarterbacks on my team, one will lose a job come season-opening weekend. I would offer Warner back to the Rams for their 2000 fourth-round pick with a lot of conditions. If Warner would take the Rams to the playoffs, that becomes a third-rounder; a Super Bowl appearance, then  second rounder; a Super Bowl win, or league or Super Bowl MVP award, then I get their 2001 first-round pick as well as the 2000 second. Why not the 2000 first-round pick? That would mean the last pick in the first round, which is essentially the first pick in the second round. I would rather move it to the following year, hoping the Rams wouldn’t repeat.

Now let’s look at what picks I have available to me in year two (actual Cleveland picks shown):

Round Number Player
1 1 DE Courtney Brown
1 2 (from New Orleans)
2 32 WR Dennis Northcutt
2 62 (from St. Louis)
3 63 RB Travis Prentice
3 79 WR JaJuan Dawson
4 95 CB Lewis Sanders
4 110 TE Aaron Shea
5 130 DB Anthony Malbrough
5 146 DB Lamar Chapman
6 183 QB Spergon Wynn
6 206 OL Brad Bedell
6 207 OL Manuia Savea
7 209 DL Eric Chandler
7 225 S Rashidi Barnes

That gives me fifteen picks, and the top two picks and three in the top 32. Here’s what I would do with them:

2000 Redraft

Round Number Original Pick New Pick
1 1 DE Courtney Brown T Chris Samuels

Chris Samuels, originally chosen third overall by the Redskins, became an instant starter. He started every games he’s played in, and missed a total of four games due to injury over the past eight years. He’s also a 5-time Pro Bowl selection (2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007). Which of the two do you think has a better career? It’s also interesting to note that over the last two redrafts, three offensive lineman taken currently start for the Redskins (Jansen, Thomas, and Samuels).

Round Number Original Pick New Pick
1 2 none MLB Brian Urlacher

Urlacher became an instant starter his rookie season, starting 14 of 16 games. Outside of missing seven games in 2004 due to injuries, Urlacher has started every game since he became the primary Middle Linebacker. He was the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, and selected to the Pro Bowl every year except his injury year in 2004 and 2007 (6 times).

Round Number Original Pick New Pick
2 32 WR Dennis Northcutt FS Mike Brown

Mike Brown began the 2000 season as the Bear’s starting Free Safety, recorded the second most tackles on the team that year, and finished second (to Brian Urlacher) in NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year balotting. He started all but one game until 2004, when he injured his Achilles in the second game of the season. He returned in 2005, but missed the last four games with an injury. He’s missed most of the past two seasons with injures. Brown was elected to the Pro Bowl in 2005.

Round Number Original Pick New Pick
2 62 none RB Reuben Droughns

Outside of RB Ahman Green, whom I traded for in 1999, I don’t have a reliable back, having passed over this position in the 1999 draft. His first four years weren’t remarkable, having battled injures with the Lions, who drafted him originally, and then with Denver. He has his breakout year in 2004 with the Broncos, rushing for 1,240 yards and six touchdowns. He then signed with Cleveland in 2005 and recorded his second 1,000+ rushing season with 1,232 yards. After a disappointing 2006, Cleveland released him and he signed with the Giants.

Round Number Original Pick New Pick
3 63 RB Travis Prentice WR Laveranues Coles

Coles became the starting Wide Receiver for the Jets his second year in the league. He started every game from 2001 to 2006, averaging 81 receptions, 1038 yards, and 5 touchdowns. In 2007, he missed more than four games with injuries, and still totalled 55 receptions, 646 yards and 7 touchdowns. He made the Pro Bowl in 2004

Round Number Original Pick New Pick
3 79 WR JaJuan Dawson DE Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila

Gbaja-Biamila has become known as a pass-rushing machine. His yearly sack totals since 2001 are 13.5, 12, 10, 13.5, 8, 6, 9.5. That’s nearly 10.5 sack a year, and he made the Pro Bowl in 2003 because of it. The last two years he’s become more of a pass-rushing specialist as opposed to an every-down defensive end.

Round Number Original Pick New Pick
4 95 DB Lewis Sanders WR Dante Hall

Hall is known more for being a kick returner than a wide receiver. He made the Pro Bowl in 2002 and 2003 as a special teams player. He also holds the NFL record in 2003 for returing a kickoff or punt for a touchdown four games in a row.

Round Number Original Pick New Pick
4 110 TE Aaron Shea OLB Adalius Thomas

For the first four years of his career, Thomas filled the role of backup Libebacker and Special Teams player, making the Pro Bowl in 2003 for Special Teams. 2004 was his break-out year, amassing 72 tackles and eight sacks. For the last four years, he’s averaging nearly 80 tackles and nine sacks a season. He also made the Pro Bowl in 2006 as a linebacker.

Round Number Original Pick New Pick
5 130 DB Anthony Malbrough DT Rob Meier

Meier is a solid defensive tackle, averaging 26.5 tackles and 2.5 sacks a season.

Round Number Original Pick New Pick
5 146 DB Lamar Chapman QB Tom Brady

Its hard to believe Brady didn’t get drafted until late in the sixth round. He became the starter after Drew Bledsoe went down with an injury in the second game of 2001, Brady’s second year. Since then, he’s gone to four Pro Bowls, led the Patriots to four Super Bowls (winning three of them), voted Super Bowl MVP twice, and was voted league MVP in 2007. This past season, he broke the record for most TD passes by a quarterback (50), had 4,806 yards passing (third all-time), and a passer rating of 117.2 (second all-time). 31 teams are kicking themselves over this oversight.

Round Number Original Pick New Pick
6 183 QB Spergon Wynn TE Jermaine Wiggins

Wiggins went undrafted and played mostly a backup Tight End role with New England, Indianapolis and Carolina for four years. His best statistical year was 2004 with Minnesota, when he made 71 catches for 707 yards and four touchdowns.

Round Number Original Pick New Pick
6 206 T Brad Bedell SS Mike Green

“Mr. Irrelevant” in 2000, Green became the Bears starting Strong Safety by 200. until becoming a backup in early 2005. He then went to Seattle, where he’s struggled with injuries.

Round Number Original Pick New Pick
6 207 OL Manuia Savea DE Adewale Ogunleye

Ogunleye was undrafted and signed with the Dolphins in 2000, but sat out while recovering from a knee injury suffered during his senior season at Indiana. He became a starter in 2002 and recorded 9.5 sacks. The following year, he led the league with 15 sacks. He was traded to Chicago the following year, and has averaged 7.5 sacks a year as a Bear.

Round Number Original Pick New Pick
7 209 DE Eric Chandler FB Dan Kreider

Kreider signed with Pittsburgh after being undrafted. He became the starting Fullback in 2000, and maintained that role until 2007. Never much of a ball handler, Kreider is known for his bone-crushing blocks.

Round Number Original Pick New Pick
7 225 DB Rashidi Barnes G Brian Walters

Undrafted, Kansas City signed Waters as a free agent in 2000. He became a starter midway through 2001, and has missed two games since then. He was elected to the Pro Bowl in 2004, 2005 and 2006.

2000 Redraft Summary

With 13 picks, the Browns originally drafted the following positions:

  • two defensive ends (2)
  • two wide receivers (4)
  • one running back (5)
  • four defensive backs (9)
  • one tight end (10)
  • one quarterback (11)
  • two offensive linemen (13)

Of those 13 players, two never made it on a final roster, four more were out of the league within two years, and two others gone within four. That leaves five players that had careers lasting at least six years. Of those five, no one made a significant impact with any team they played on. its safe to say this draft class was a complete bust. That’s two years in a row of wasted picks.

With 15 picks in the redraft (two additional from the 1999 trades with New Orleans and St. Louis), we take:

  • two offensive linemen (2)
  • two linebackers (4)
  • two safeties (6)
  • two wide receivers (8)
  • one defensive tackle (9)
  • two defensive ends (11)
  • one quarterback (12)
  • one tight end (13)
  • one fullback (14)
  • one running back (15)

So I basically matched the positions, and addressed the defensive front seven with the extra picks and picking two less DBs. My 15 picks are all still in the league, although a couple are battling cronic injuries. I also nabbed six multi-time Pro Bowlers, and four others that have made at least one trip to Honolulu. This draft crop was a gold mine of talent late in the draft that year with two undrafted Pro Bowlers and Brady available until pick #199. With these first two new drafts, the Browns would have had the best offensive line and defensive front seven in the NFL, arguably the best QB in the game today, and a solid receiving corp, defensive backfield, and special teams. This team should have begun turning things around by the third season. Next, we look at the 2001 draft.