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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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