The 2012 NFL season is winding down and now is as good as time as any to go back and evaluate each team’s draft class.  This year we’ll be giving grades based not only on performance from each player, but also their potential to improve in the next few seasons.  Today we examine the draft of the Cleveland Browns who moved up one spot to grab T-Rich.

SCALE Round 1 – Each player is evaluated on a 0-5 Scale.
Round 2 – Each player is evaluated on a 0-4 Scale
Round 3 – Each players is evaluated on a 0-3 Scale
Round 4- Each player is evaluated on a  0-2 Scale
Round 5 – Each player is evaluated on a 0-1 scale
Rounds 6,7, undrafted – Each player given a point based on production, no penalty for missing on pick.
Bonus points are given to any player who exceeds their draft position.
Fractional points are also given.

98-100 – A+
94-97 – A
90-93 – A-
88-89 – B+
84-87  – B
80-83 – B-
78 – 79 – C+
74-77- C
70-73 – C-
68-69 – D+
64-67 – D
60-63. – D- |
59 – 0 – F

CLEVELAND BROWNS                                                                                                              

Round 1: Trent Richardson RB, Alabama
Richardson proved to be worth moving up one spot for.  He was a force as a runner and also as a receiver as he hauled in 51 balls for 367 yds to go with his 950 yards on the ground.  He also scored 11 TDs and did this all on while playing with a set of bad ribs, that robbed him of most of his explosiveness.  If Richardson comes back 100 percent healthy next year he has the potential to the lead the league in rushing.
Production Grade: 4.5/5
Potential Grade: 6/5

Round 1: Brandon Weeden QB, Oklahoma St.
Weeden had an up and down rookie season to say the least.  He proved to be an adequate down the field passer but made a lot of bad throws that turned into interceptions.  With a new coaching staff in place and him approaching 30, Weeden’s upside and future is very cloudy indeed.
Proudction Grade: 4/5

Potential Grade: 3/5

Round 2: Mitchell Schwartz OT, CAL
Schwartz started all 16 games and held his own.  He proved to be an asset in the running game and should have the right tackle spot lockdown for the Browns for the forseeable future.
Production Grade: 4/4
Potential Grade: 4/4

Round 2 Supplemental Josh Gordon WR, Baylor
I had to include Gordon in this year’s evaluation eventhough his pick will be in the 13 Draft.  Gordon overcame a slow start to become one of the more explosive receivers in the league.  His 805 receiving yards was third amongst all rookies and the Browns look like they have themselves a legitimate threat on the outside.
Production Grade: 4/4
Potential Grade: 4/4

Round 3: John Hughes DT,  Cincinnati
This pick suprised a bunch of people on draft day but Hughes played pretty well.  He had 34 tackles and three sacks and appeared in al 16 games.  He will have to adjust to a new 3-4 defense and while he may always be a solid player his ceiling is not very high.
Production Grade: 2.5/3
Potential Grade: 2

Round 4: Travis Benjain WR, Miami
Production Grade: 1.25/2
Potential Grade: 2/2

Round 4: James-Michael Johnson LB, Nevada
Johnson was having a decent rookie season with 36 tackles before getting hurt.  He should be in the mix for a starting spot in the middle of the Browns defense in 2013.
Production Grade: 1/2
Potential Grade: 1.75/2

Round 5: Ryan Miller G, Colorado
Miller appeard in 8 games on a fill in basis.  Will compete for a roster spot next season.
Production Grade: .25/1
Potential Grade: .5/1

Round 6: Emmanuel Acho OLB, Texas
Acho didn’t appear in any games as he was hurt and placed on injured reserve.  His potential to become a productive member of the Browns is quite low.
Production Grade: 0/0
Potential Grade: 0/0

Round 6: Billy Winn DT, Boise St.
Winn proved to be a bit of a steal for the Browns as the 6th rounder racked up 26 tackles with a sack and an interception.  He played in all 16 games with 10 starts.  The Browns should be able to find a spot for him in their new 3-4 defensive look.
Production Grade: 1/0
Potential Grade: 1/0

Round 7: Trevin Wade CB, Arizona
Wade appeared in 13 games and made 17 tackles.  He’ll compete in camp to impress the new coaching staff.
Production Grade: .25/0
Potential Grade: .5/0

Round 7: Brad Smelley TE, Alabama
Smelley caught one pass while appearing in 2 games.  His upside is not very high.
Production Grade: 0/0
Potential Grade: 0/0

Undrafted: LJ Fort OLB, Northern Iowa
This undrafted OLB played well having made 20 tackles with a pick and a sack to boot.  He should be in the Browns OLB rotation next season.
Production Grade: .5/0
Potential Grade: .5/0

Final Grade: 48.5/52 = 93% A-
The Browns found some nice players all throughout the 2012 Draft.  On offense they got a future star at RB in Trent Richardson, a potential starting QB in Weeden, their right tackle of the future in Mitchell Scwhartz, and two explosive receivers in Josh Gordon and Travis Benjamin.  They also found help on defense with 3rd round DT John Hughes, and later picks of Billy Winn and undrafted free agent LJ Fort.  A lot of this future class’s potential will be greatly affected by the new coaching staff, as it is likely they will want to get a lot of their own players to fit their schemes, and could release players who don’t fit.  Even with that being said, this class is loaded with potential and a few more like this will help the Browns to once again be relevant in the AFC North.

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