Final Grades on Cleveland Browns’ 2013 Rookies

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Grading 2013 Rookies For Cleveland Browns

Browns
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Well another football season has came and gone with the Cleveland Browns. A fired head coach after one year, an injured starting quarterback and inconsistencies as a whole were the major stories this year. However, there were a few bright spots. Barkevious Mingo, who was the No. 6 overall pick, showed signs that he could produce at outside backer for years to come. He wasn't as highly touted as Dion Jordan or Dee Millner, but he had a decent year and will improve.

Compared to the top outside linebacker Jarvis Jones, Mingo had a much better year statistically. For once, a player the Browns drafted seem to pan out against other competition. In recent years, the Browns' draft picks have not produced, and that is a big reason why they have been in purgatory since 2002.

Just this previous season they traded former No. 3 overall pick Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts. They also drafted Brandon Weeden out of Oklahoma State at No. 22 overall that same year, and he has been a bust with his time likely over in the Browns organization. They possibly could have gotten it right with Mingo. They did have four other picks in last year's draft, but only one truly produced and made a difference along with Mingo.

This year's draft is a deep one filled with quarterbacks -- a big need for the Browns. Possibly five possible franchise quarterbacks are thought to be available in the draft. There is no way they could mess this up, but it remains to be seen. This year was a throwaway year for the new regime of Mike Lombardi and Joe Banner, but how did all of their picks do as a whole? Here are the final grades for them.

Jamyson Frierson is a Cleveland Browns and NBA writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @nflplaya77 ”Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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5. Garrett Gilkey, Round 7: Pick 227, Chadron State

Garrett Gilkey
Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Since coming back into the league in 1999, the Browns have lacked any kind of consistency at both guard positions. From Ross Verba to Shawn Lauvao, it's been a revolving door every year and it shows. Garrett Gilkey was the last pick for the Browns in the 7th round. At 6-foot-6 320-pounds he is massive and would be hard for any defender to get past. However, in his first start against the Pittsburgh Steelers he looked horrible. He got beaten off the ball and bulldozed by Brett Keisel all game long.

He also platooned with Lauvao during the season and was ineffective. Hopefully with another year of experience he will improve, but for his rookie season he was below average at best.

Final Grade: F

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4. Armonty Bryant, Round 7: Pick 217, East Central (OK)

Armonty Bryant
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Armonty Bryant was one of the biggest surprises for the Browns. He already came into the league with baggage as he was arrested for selling weed during football practice at ECU. Then a week after getting drafted he got a DUI. He was not making a very good impression for the Browns or himself. However, once he put the pads on he played lights out.

Bryant platooned with Barkevious Mingo and Jabaal Sheard for most of the year. Every time he came into the game he made a play. If it wasn't a quarterback pressure or sack, he was in the backfield stopping the run for a loss. He could also play with his hand on the ground just as he did at ECU. He was around the ball on every play and deserved a lot more playing time.

Final Grade: B+

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3. Jamoris Slaughter, Round 6: Pick 175, Notre Dame

Jamoris Slaughter
Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

Jamoris Slaughter was considered by many to be a possible steal in the draft. He had good size along with good instincts coming out of Notre Dame. However, he was injured all season for the Irish with an Achilles issue. Most teams shy away from drafting injured players, but the Browns don't. In 2010, they drafted injury-prone Montario Hardesty out of Tennessee.

In two years, he only played in 19 games. Hopefully Slaughter does not follow that same path and can contribute, but for now he is unproven and on the practice squad.

Final Grade: F

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2. Leon McFadden, Round 3: Pick 68, San Diego State

Leon McFadden
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Leon McFadden was another projected sleeper by analysts in the draft. However, there has been a lot of criticism by fans of the pick. Tyrann “Honey Badger” Mathieu was taken right after him, and statistically he had a much better season than McFadden. He started his first game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 17 due to Joe Haden's hip injury.

He didn't have a good game at all against Antonio Brown who amassed nine receptions for 87 yards. McFadden looked completely lost at times. He will be most remembered for the controversial pass interference call against the New England Patriots which ended up costing the Browns the game.

He still has a long way to go, but it is hard to see him as a starting cornerback in the NFL.

Final Grade : D-

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1. Barkevious Mingo, Round 1: Pick 6, LSU

Barkevious Mingo
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Barkevious Mingo was the top pick by the Browns in last year's draft. His career started off with a dangerous and nearly fatal injury during a preseason game win against the St. Louis Rams. Mingo was diagnosed with a bruised lung as he was seen on the sideline spitting up blood, but he recovered from the injury in time to play Week 2 against the Baltimore Ravens.

Mingo started off with a bang with a huge sack on Joe Flacco as he platooned with Jabaal Sheard. However as the season went on, it was obvious that Mingo still had a lot to learn. The bruised lung hindered the rest of his training camp in August, and he was basically learning the complex defense of Ray Horton on the fly.

In some games he looked like the next great outside linebacker, but then in games such as the tilt against the Kansas City Chiefs he looked like a bust, getting beat one-on-one against a fullback for a touchdown. He is scary athletic and can play with his hand on the ground as he did at LSU, but he must play better next year in order to justify his No. 6 overall pick.

Final Grade: C-


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