Is the NFL Draft ever really over? Yes in the sense that the actual selecting of draft picks is done.
However, when it comes to analyzing the picks that were made, that train never stops.
Specifically, “draft grades” are a huge phenomenon each year.
Fans love to rank things or put some sort of tangible evaluation around them.
That’s what Pro Football Focus has done with their latest 2022 draft grades.
The Cleveland Browns, according to PFF, had a draft grade of “B”. Is that an accurate letter grade?
Or, is PFF off their rocker?
Let’s dive into it.
Nailing the First Pick
Hitting on a first-round pick is monumental for the career of an NFL general manager.
If they swing and miss, at least part of the blame is always coming back to the GM.
Andrew Berry didn’t have that this year, nor will he have to make a first-round selection in each of the next two drafts.
So, making a splash with their second-round pick became crucial this year.
Berry ultimately traded back into the third-round and took cornerback Martin Emerson out of Mississippi State.
While cornerback wasn’t on their list of immediate needs, the Browns found a good one in Emerson.
— Martin Emerson Jr (@MartyMargg1) May 3, 2022
Joe Moorhead, a Steelers fan and University of Akron football coach, recruited Emerson to Mississippi State.
Mississippi State fired Moorhead after Emerson’s freshman season.
However, the Zips head coach has high praise for his former player per cleveland.com.
“Oh no!”, proclaimed Moorhead jokingly, knowing his Steelers now have to face Emerson twice per season. “I love Martin. That kid is really good. He’s going to make it tough on Pittsburgh. I’m telling you, the Browns are going to love Martin”.
Whether he starts or not is to be determined.
There are plenty of believers, like Moorhead, that think Martin can be special.
Martin Emerson vs. Jameson Williams pic.twitter.com/9lW9nrm2mN
— Dawg Pound Dish (@DawgPoundDish) April 30, 2022
Filling the Gaps
If there’s one thing you can absolutely say the Browns did do with their picks it’s that they filled depth chart needs.
After Emerson, the Browns went edge rusher, wide receiver, and interior defensive lineman.
All three of those positions were listed as needs prior to the draft.
Alex Wright, edge rusher out of UAB, is as physical as anyone.
His move-set needs some fine tuning to beat NFL offensive lineman.
But his size and speed should allow him to provide quality depth for the Browns right away.
If he can learn a few things from Myles Garrett in terms of getting better bend and pass rushing angles, look out.
— CB (@ORnBNBucksCrew) April 30, 2022
Wide receiver David Bell out of Purdue is knocked for his speed.
His 40-yard dash time at the NFL Combine clocked in at a pedestrian 4.64.
However, the 2021 Big Ten wide receiver of the year is out to prove his hands can do more than enough to create success at the professional level.
— Matt Wilson (@CoachWilson66) May 2, 2022
With a receiver room seeing a lot of turnover in the past year, Bell has a chance to earn a contributing spot.
Perhaps the most charismatic of any draft pick this year is Perrion Winfrey out of Oklahoma.
The defensive lineman is a monster on the inside at 6-foot-4 and over 290 pounds.
Embracing a “dawg mentality” won’t be a challenge for Winfrey at all.
Found it!!! Perrion Winfrey putting the NFL on NOTICE. #WreckThisLeague
(No idea where he’s heading in this video, but he’s going there with BAD intentions. 🔥🔥🔥) pic.twitter.com/xIpiZRNPfv
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) April 30, 2022
With five and a half sacks on top of 11 tackles for loss last season, Winfrey is looking to dominate alongside a talented Cleveland defensive front.
Most will agree a B is a fair grade for the Browns.
There were no groundbreaking moves made to put the class over the top.
That’s not what needed to happen though.
Cleveland is in win-now mode and needs solid, consistent pieces on the roster with depth behind them.
Following this draft, Andrew Berry should be able to confidently say “mission accomplished”.
Now we wait for the on-field results.