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Cleveland Browns 2015 NFL Draft Grades

Posted By: Chris Ransom on 5/23/2015

Cleveland Browns 2015 NFL Draft Grades

Chris Ransom grades the Cleveland Browns 2015 NFL Draft. Does Cleveland have a bright future after drafting 2 first round picks with the 12th and 19th picks in the 2015 NFL Draft?

12. Danny Shelton, NT, Washington A+ Grade

I originally gave this a B+ grade because I thought Shelton would split reps with Phil Taylor at nose tackle, but Shelton will be starting all 3 downs which is why this pick gets bumped up to an A+ grade. I think Shelton is a top 10 talent, but I wasn't sure Shelton would start which was the main reason I felt a little uneasy about this pick at first.

The Browns' 3-4 defensive line will be much deadlier next season with starters with quality starters and backups. Randy Starks is moving from a 4-3 in Miami to the 3-4 right end role. Shelton will play next to him at nose tackle. Desmond Bryant who played 3-4 right end last season will be the Browns starting 3-4 left end. That starting core up front looks deadly.

Phil Taylor will be the backup 3-4 right end behind Starks after starting at 3-4 left end and nose tackle last season. Taylor will probably come in as a substitute if any of those 3 starters get injured. You also have Ishmaa'ily Kitchen as a backup nose tackle and John Hughes a 6-4 320 lb big man as a backup 3-4 left end.

One thing Cleveland had at the beginning of the season was a deadly run stuffing unit. As the season progressed this run stuffing unit fell apart because it lacked depth. Drafting Shelton gives you a starter plus the Browns got the other necessary pieces to add depth to that position.

19. Cameron Erving, RG, Florida State A Grade

I originally gave this a C- grade because the Browns' already had Alex Mack at center and most assumed Cleveland would take Erving as a starting right tackle. With Erving projected to start at right guard this pick is getting moved up to an A grade.

Cameron Erving is a guy with the versatility to play anywhere on the offensive line at left tackle, left guard, center, right guard, or right tackle. He played left tackle and center at Florida State.

When you project Erving at the next level, it really depends on the position he plays whether it's offensive tackle or center because he has no experience at guard despite having the versatility to play that position. I see a backup left tackle, a below average starter at right tackle, or a Pro Bowl caliber center. Unfortunately for Erving he's on a Cleveland team where he'd be a backup right tackle and a backup center at one of those positions.

The Browns made him a starting right guard over John Greco. Worst case scenario you get an effective, but not elite starting right guard. Best case scenario, you got this years Zack Martin. Remember Martin played left tackle at Notre Dame before converting to right guard in the NFL. Just saying!

51. Nate Orchard, 3-4 ROLB, Utah A- Grade

I love what Nate Orchard brings to the table as a prospect. At the same time, Orchard is listed as a backup behind Barkevious Mingo at 3-4 right outside linebacker. That's why this pick got bumped down from an A+ grade to an A- grade.

Orchard has the versatility to play 3-4 left outside linebacker as well after registering 18.5 sacks at Utah. If either Mingo or former Utah Ute Paul Kruger get injured at any point in 2015, Orchard will get to start and show the Browns what he can do.

Even if Orchard begins his career as a backup, he will get playing time and get a chance to show what he can do. As the season progresses, I expect Orchard to become a starting right outside linebacker going up against left tackles, because I'm not sold on Mingo. Even if Mingo improves, he will split time with Orchard the same way he split snaps with former Brown Jabaal Sheard because Orchard has the ability to be just that good long term.

77. Duke Johnson, RB, Miami FL B+ Grade

I originally gave this an A+ grade, but am going to move this down to a B+ grade because I've heard mixed reviews on Johnson.

One person at Browns' minicamp thinks Johnson has done so well that he will start in week 1. Another person believes he's the fourth best running back on this roster behind Isaiah Crowell, Terrance West, and Glenn Winston.

I think Johnson will beat out Winston for the third string job. He won't start right away though. Cleveland will call some two running back sets with Crowell and West similar to how the Patriots operate 2 back sets.

Johnson will get action on third down and in goal line situations. He will have to do well on those plays if he wants to see more minutes.

96. Xavier Cooper, 3-4 LE, Washington State C Grade

Xavier Cooper is listed as a third string left end with Billy Winn being listed as a third string right end. Third string players that play in the 5 technique aren't guaranteed roster spots. However, I think Cooper is a sleeper, and that over time hce can develop into a solid backup.

115. Ibraheim Campbell, SS, Northwestern C- Grade

Cleveland gets a strong safety for depth. Campbell can make an interception when lined up in the right place. His missed coverage assignments and missed tackles make him a liability. At this point, Campbell is a third string strong safety on the Browns' depth chart.

123. Vince Mayle, WR, Washington State C- Grade

Cleveland is turning into Washington State Cougar Town with a couple of cougars headed to Cleveland. Right now Mayle is the #6 receiver on this depth chart. Dwayne Bowe is the #1 receiver on this depth chart with Brian Hartline as their #2 option and Andrew Hawkins in the slot. Hawkins and Hartline will rotate on the inside and outside with Bowe as the #1 receiver. Taylor Gabriel is the #4 receiver on this depth chart, and Travis Benjamin is now the #5 receiver on this depth chart after seeing extensive time as a slot receiver as a rookie.

189. Charles Gaines, CB, Louisville B Grade

Charles Gaines is an excellent value pick at this spot. My big issue with this pick is that Gaines is listed as the #7 cornerback on this depth chart behind Joe Haden, Tramon Williams, K'Waun Williams, Justin Gilbert, Pierre Desir, and Robert Nelson all listed ahead of him. Gaines would be competing to be a starter on any other team.

195. Malcolm Johnson, TE, Mississippi State B Grade

It is uncertain what happens with Malcolm Johnson. He will be the third string tight end, play as the #3 tight end in 3 tight end sets near the goal line, and will also be the blocker on plays that require a fullback.

198. Randall Telfer, TE, USC B- Grade

Randall Telfer was projected to go higher than Malcolm Johnson. If Johnson makes the move to fullback, then Teller will be the #3 tight end on this roster.

219. Hayes Pullard, 3-4 MLB, USC C- Grade

Hayes Pullard has the versatility to play on the inside or outside at 3-4 middle lineber. Unfortunately he is listed as a third string middle linebacker on this depth chart.

241. Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, Oregon C Grade

Ifo Epkpre-Olomu is listed as the #8 cornerback on this depth chart. There's no guarantee he makes this roster and that has to concern you especially when 7 cornerbacks including Charles Gaines are ranked ahead of him on the depth chart.

Cleveland Browns Team Grade: C Grade

Cleveland only got two sure fire starters in the first round with Shelton and Erving. I'm gonna go out a limb and say that Shelton is a Pro Bowl player, and that Erving is a great starter, but never becomes a Pro Bowler.

Nate Orchard and Duke Johnson have a chance to blossom into starters. I have Cleveland starting 0-5 and finishing 7-9. I think Orchard and Johnson will start by this point when the Browns manage to win some games by going on a hot streak.

Cleveland Browns 2014 NFL Draft Grades

Posted By Chris Ransom on 5/18/2014

Chris Ransom breaks down the Browns 2014 NFL Draft grades.

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