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NFL Cleveland Browns

Grading the Cleveland Browns’ 2014 Draft Picks

Grading the Cleveland Browns' 2014 Draft Picks

Justin Gilbert, Johnny Manziel
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The Cleveland Browns entered the 2014 NFL draft with 10 selections, but some movement during the draft cut them down to six total picks in 2014 and additional selections in 2015; including the Buffalo Bills' first-round choice. Cleveland's decisions were interesting, and once again the Browns were the talk of the first round. Here's a look at what Cleveland added in the draft, and each selection's grade.

Justin Gilbert, CB Oklahoma State: Round 1, No. 8 Overall

Justin Gilbert
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Justin Gilbert, CB Oklahoma State: Round 1, No. 8 Overall

Justin Gilbert
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The Browns are in need of assistance in the secondary and the selection of Gilbert gives Cleveland a potential star cornerback to start opposite Joe Haden. Not only could Gilbert compete for the starting corner, but he is an explosive special-teamer. By trading down in the first round, Cleveland picked up Buffalo's first-round pick in 2015, something that should prove valuable during Cleveland's rebuilding process. Grade: A-

Johnny Manziel, QB Texas A&M: Round 1, No. 22 Overall

Johnny Manziel
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Johnny Manziel, QB Texas A&M: Round 1, No. 22 Overall

Johnny Manziel
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Cleveland fans are thrilled with the selection of Johnny Football, and for good reason. Manziel may have some development to do, but his exciting playing style will be a joy to watch when it becomes time for him to step on the field. The hope is that it will not be necessary for him to play this season and learn the NFL game from the sidelines, but Cleveland was correct in moving up from No. 26 to select the former Heisman winner. Grade: A

Joel Bitonio, OL Nevada: Round 2, No. 35 Overall

Joel Bitonio
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Joel Bitonio, OL Nevada: Round 2, No. 35 Overall

Joel Bitonio
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

After it was widely thought that the Browns would look for a receiver at No. 35 overall, their selection of Bitonio came as a surprise. But, Bitonio is versatile in that he can play all three positions along the offensive line. He is a smart player who brings toughness to a Browns team that is in need of an overhauling on the o-line. Cleveland will be able to shift Bitonio around the line in case of injury, or in offensive schemes. Grade: B+

Christian Kirksey, OLB Iowa: Round 3, No. 71 Overall

Christian Kirksey
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Christian Kirksey, OLB Iowa: Round 3, No. 71 Overall

Christian Kirksey
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Heading into the draft, the Browns were looking to add an agile linebacker, and Kirksey certainly fits the bill. His instincts and ball awareness make him a solid choice, but he will need to get stronger if he wants to see playing time in Cleveland. With the Browns potentially needing a wide receiver, Kirksey's selection seemed odd, especially with Browns players like Sheard, Kruger, Mingo and Groves. Grade: C+

Terrance West, RB Towson: Round 3, No. 94 Overall

Terrance West
Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

Terrance West, RB Towson: Round 3, No. 94 Overall

Terrance West
Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

West may not have been a household name leading into the draft, but he certainly turned heads when the Browns elected to draft the small RB out of Towson. Last season, West led the FCS with 2,519 yards rushing and 41 touchdowns. He is a workhorse who may fit nicely in Kyle Shanahan's offense; much like Alfred Morris in Washington. The Browns needed to look at RB with Ben Tate's injury history, and West was the answer. Grade: B

Pierre Desir, CB Lindenwood: Round 4, No. 126 Overall

Pierre Desir
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Pierre Desir, CB Lindenwood: Round 4, No. 126 Overall

Pierre Desir
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Of course, Lindenwood isn't churning out NFL prospects, but Pierre Desir looks to have a bright future in the NFL. At 6-1, Desir's size and athleticism will enable him to cover the bigger receivers of the NFL. Although taller in stature, Desir isn't extremely physical when it comes to stopping the run, but his ball skills are why the Browns are taking a calculated risk. He could turn out to be a fourth-round steal. Grade: B+