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Cleveland Browns Draft Report Card

By Chris Catania, NFL Correspondent

(Sports Network) - The Browns' draft was about as exciting as their uniforms. That's what happens when you use your top pick on a center. Still, Jeff Faine should come in from day one and fill a gaping hole now that Dave Wohlabaugh has departed for St. Louis. The Browns desperately needed linebackers after losing three in free agency and only reloading with Barry Gardner. They took Chaun Thompson in the second round, but there's no way to project his impact in the NFL this year coming from small-school competition. Needed help at safety so fourth rounder Chris Crocker will be given every opportunity. However, Crocker was a big reach in round three. DL Antonio Garay made plays when healthy at Boston College. If he can recover from a broken leg and stay healthy in camp, he’ll be a bargain for the Browns. With needs at LB and in the secondary, Lee Suggs seemed like a luxury pick the Browns can’t afford. He’ll eventually replace Jamel White as William Green’s backup, but with those two very productive backs already on board this year the defense could have used the pick more. Regardless of which player wins the camp QB battle between Tim Couch and Kelly Holcomb, the Browns should be able to score points. They’ve invested high picks to accumulate a stable of big-play wideouts in Quincy Morgan, Dennis Northcutt and Andre Davis. William Green was sensational in the final quarter of the season and in the playoff game versus Pittsburgh. For the Browns to return to the postseason they’ll need big years up front from former top picks Courtney Brown and Gerard Warren because this draft doesn’t provide the 2003 help the linebackers and secondary needed.

2003 Draft Picks: (1st Round-21st overall) C-Jeff Faine, Notre Dame; (2-52) LB-Chaun Thompson, West Texas A&M; (3-84) S-Chris Crocker, Marshall; (4-115) RB-Lee Suggs, Virginia Tech; (5-142) C/LS-Ryan Pontbriand, Rice; (5-152) CB- Mike Lehan, Minnesota; (6-195) DL-Antonio Garay, Boston College.

Overall Draft Grade: D

04/29 17:21:21 ET

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