The Cleveland Browns are officially in the offseason.
This is the time to evaluate all positions including the front office.
Andrew Berry joined the Browns in 2020; it is his first stint as a general manager.
He rose through the ranks as a scout and in various VP roles before coming to Cleveland.
Let’s evaluate and grade his first year in Cleveland as GM by taking a look at the draft picks and free agent signings that occurred on his watch.
We will start with the 2020 draft picks.
The Browns had 7 picks in the 2020 NFL Draft.
They included the following:
- Jedrick Wills – Offensive Tackle (1st round, 10th overall)
- Grant Delpit – Safety (2nd round, 44th overall)
- Jordan Elliott – Defensive Tackle (3rd round, 88th overall)
- Jacob Phillips – Linebacker (3rd round, 97th overall)
- Harrison Bryant – Tight End (4th round, 115th overall)
- Nick Harris – Center (5th round, 160th overall)
- Donovan Peoples-Jones Wide Receiver (6th round, 187th overall)
#Browns Jedrick Wills Jr. and Harrison Bryant were named to the PFWA 2020 All-Rookie Team.
— Camryn Justice (@camijustice) January 19, 2021
As for DPJ, Urban Meyer said before the draft that he believed him to be a Top 10 pick so the Browns getting him in the 6th round is a steal.
— Dustin Fox (@DustinFox37) April 26, 2020
5 of 7 draft picks/rookies played significant roles in the 2020 season.
Unfortunately, Grant Delpit tore his Achilles in preseason practice so he never got to take to the field in 2020.
While his future looks bright, he can’t be fully evaluated until 2021 when he presumably will be healthy and ready to play.
The other name that doesn’t really elicit much response is Jordan Elliott, drafted in the third round.
He started in 1 game but did see enough playing time to get 15 solo tackles.
As for the other 5, I would say Berry earns top marks for drafting them and getting immediate contributions from them.
Immediately following the draft, Coach Stefanski said this:
“We got some guys that we are excited to bring into our building. I think we got better on both sides of the ball. And I think we added some guys that we are looking forward to developing. I don’t think any of us think any of the guys added are finished products — so that is the fun part in getting to work with them. Obviously, that will start virtually and remotely and then eventually that will turn into being hands on to them, God-willingly sooner than later…Pleased with how it went. You can never predict it, but I thought the plan was sound. Kudos to [GM] Andrew Berry and his crew.”
Free Agent Signings
Here are 10 free agents signed by Berry.
- Austin Hooper, Tight End
- Jack Conklin, Offensive Tackle
- Case Keenum, Quarterback
- B.J. Goodson, Linebacker
- Karl Joseph, Safety
- Andrew Billings, Defensive Tackle
- Kevin Johnson, Cornerback
- Andrew Sendejo, Safety
- Adrian Clayborn, Defensive End
- Cody Parkey, Kicker
The juggling act of signing free agents is to preserve cap money while securing quality talent that can make contributions.
Berry’s Browns paid Austin Hooper big bucks; the jury is out on whether he earned them this season.
Austin Hooper’s 4th down catch 👀🔥 pic.twitter.com/DeAkKfwW4i
— Athlete Tweets 🔥➐ (@AthleteTweetts) January 17, 2021
He was out with an emergency appendectomy so he missed playing time, but he did make that huge catch in the Chiefs game to keep the Browns in it.
Jack Conklin was a huge asset when he was on the field; he was instrumental to the success of the Browns running game.
#Browns GM Andrew Berry wouldn’t rule out taking a similar approach to the defense in the offseason as he did to the offense in adding T Jack Conklin and TE Austin Hooper as FA’s. pic.twitter.com/IvtbiTp13I
— Fred Greetham (@FredGreetham) January 20, 2021
Keenum did not take the field but is believed to be mentoring Mayfield on the sidelines.
The Browns defense as a whole needs to be reevaluated.
There were many injuries so it seemed to be a revolving door of players.
And Cody Parkey had his ups and downs during the season but kept the Browns competitive through it all.
In summary, Berry earned an A+ in the draft and a B+ in free agent signings so his overall grade for the first season would be an A-.
2021 will be interesting for him and the Browns organization as they have lots of decisions to make on free agents and contract extensions.