Report Card for the Cleveland Browns' Undrafted Free-Agent Signings

Wes StueveContributor IIIMay 14, 2014

Report Card for the Cleveland Browns' Undrafted Free-Agent Signings

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    Jay Sailors/Associated Press

    The 2014 NFL draft was productive for Cleveland, netting six players and three 2015 draft picks. In addition to those six players, though, the Browns signed 11 more as undrafted free agents.

    Undrafted free agency doesn't garner near the headlines that the actual draft does, but most teams add more players after the draft than they do during it. Obviously, the most talented players are usually selected, but some valuable contributors can be signed.

    Cleveland has a roster that could greatly benefit from the addition of a few undrafted free agents. The Browns are still weak at a few positions, and players there will have the opportunity to make the team and contribute.

    Not every signing is a great one, though. Some of the signees won't make it past rookie camp, and others will be cut during the preseason.

    How did Cleveland's signings grade?

Ray Agnew, FB, Southern Illinois

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    Southern Illinois (Candid Color)

    A short, stout back, Ray Agnew weighs in at 5'10", 247 pounds. Agnew is a decent athlete for his size, but he isn't going to blow anyone away as a receiver or runner. He is primarily a blocker.

    Which is what Cleveland needs. The team signed Chris Pressley as a blocking fullback, but he is far from irreplaceable. The Browns intend to implement a power run game, and Agnew is a good fit within that scheme.

    In all likelihood, Agnew won't make the roster. Cleveland won't carry many fullbacks, and Pressley will likely beat him out. He is still a good fit, though.

    Grade: B

Calvin Barnett, DL, Oklahoma State

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    Brandon Wade/Associated Press

    A 6'2", 317-pounder, Calvin Barnett has good bulk but lacks ideal length. His penetrating style of play generated three sacks and seven tackles for loss in 2013.

    In Cleveland's 3-4 scheme, Barnett would likely play defensive end. His size is more of a nose tackle's, but his play suggests defensive end. 

    It is unlikely that Barnett makes Cleveland's roster. The team already has strong depth along the defensive line, and Barnett isn't a perfect scheme fit by any means.

    Grade: B-

Darwin Cook, SS, West Virginia

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    USA TODAY Sports

    A good athlete with playmaking ability, Darwin Cook intercepted four passes in 2013. The 5'11", 194-pounder lacks size but can play.

    Cook had 243 tackles throughout his college career, as he contributed in all four seasons at West Virginia. However, the Browns are deep at safety with Josh Aubrey, Jordan Poyer and Jamoris Slaughter all competing for roster spots.

    Cook could be talented enough that he earns a roster spot over one of those three, but he will have to impress in camp. Schematically, Cook is a good fit as Cleveland tries to increase its turnovers forced in 2014.

    Grade: B+

Isaiah Crowell, RB, Alabama State

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    In 2014, no team drafted a running back as talented as Isaiah Crowell. Of course, Crowell was available as a free agent for a reason: character issues.

    And those issues are not insignificant. However, when the Browns are risking nothing by signing Crowell, it is a terrific move to add him.

    The 5'11", 225-pounder is a great athlete with shocking quickness and speed. He runs with tremendous power and vision. In Cleveland's offense vision and power are the two most important traits a running back can have.

    It is possible that Crowell's character concerns will win out, and he'll never amount to anything. There is also a chance, though, that Crowell overcomes his issues and becomes an outstanding starting running back, possibly even this year.

    Grade: A+

Anthony Dima, OL, Massachusetts

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    Stephan Savoia/Associated Press

    Anthony Dima started 10 games at left tackle in 2013. The 6'6", 290-pounder has ideal length but lacks great bulk and athleticism.

    Because of his skill set, Dima may be a fit inside at guard. There, his athleticism will play up better, as opposed to isolating him on the outside at tackle. 

    Cleveland's zone-blocking scheme requires linemen who can attack the second level and pick up blockers in space. Dima isn't great at this by tackle standards, but for a guard, he is decent. Additionally, Cleveland still doesn't have great depth along the offensive line, and Dima could help there.

    Grade: B

Chandler Jones, WR, San Jose State

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    Brian Bahr/Getty Images

    With 79 receptions and 1,356 yards in 2013, Chandler Jones had a breakout season. The San Jose State Star is clearly undersized at just 5'9", 183 pounds, but he is also talented.

    Jones is fast, and he's quick. Obviously, Jones' size is working against him, but his speed and quickness could be enough to earn him a roster spot.

    The Brown remain incredibly weak at wide receiver. With Jones' talent, he has a legitimate chance of making the team and contributing as a rookie.

    Grade: A

Jonathan Krause, WR, Vanderbilt

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    Elise Amendola/Associated Press

    Jonathan Krause is a good athlete, and at 5'11", 187 pounds, he is undersized but not terribly so. In 2013, Krause was productive, catching 42 passes for 714 yards. 

    However, Krause isn't much more than a pure deep threat. He struggles to make plays underneath, and his lack of a complete skill set could hurt him.

    Again though, the Browns have a huge hole at wide receiver. Krause is talented enough to compete, and Cleveland could fall in love with his vertical ability, though it isn't necessary in Kyle Shanahan's offense. 

    Grade: B+

Michael Philipp, OL, Oregon State

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Though he played tackle at Oregon State, Michael Philipp is almost certain to kick inside to guard in the NFL. The 6'4", 316-pounder has terrific guard size, and his skill set is better suited on the inside.

    Philipp's sluggish footwork and lack of length hurt him on the outside, but his quickness and ability to play in space make him a good fit as a moving guard. In Kyle Shanahan's offense, Philipp works well.

    The Browns still need more depth along the interior offensive line as they attempt to acquire more mobile guards. This could give Philipp a chance at making the roster, or, at the least, Cleveland's practice squad.

    Grade: B+

Connor Shaw, QB, South Carolina

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    USA TODAY Sports

    A poor man's Johnny Manziel, Connor Shaw is a logical addition for Cleveland. If Shaw develops into a capable backup, he is a perfect fit for the Browns, as they could run the same offense should Manziel go down with an injury.

    The 6'0", 208-pounder is a mobile quarterback who has also impressed as a passer. In 2013, Shaw threw for 24 touchdowns compared to just one interception. 

    Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan loves his mobile quarterbacks, and as mentioned, Shaw is a logical fit as a backup for Manziel. Shaw has potential, and he fits what Cleveland is trying to do.

    Grade: A

Kenny Shaw, WR, Florida State

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    Phil Sears/Associated Press

    At Florida State, Kenny Shaw was undeniably productive, catching 54 passes for 933 yards as a senior. However, at just 5'11", 174 pounds, Shaw is short and extremely thin.

    Additionally, Shaw isn't a great athlete. He lacks deep speed and is limited mostly to underneath routes where he isn't anything special with the ball in his hands either. Fortunately, in Cleveland's offense, deep speed isn't as important as underneath skills are. 

    Shaw is a smart player with good hands, but that may not be enough for him to stick on an NFL roster. It is of course possible that Shaw impresses enough to make a shallow Cleveland wide receiver unit.

    Grade: B

Willie Snead, WR, Ball State

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    Willie Snead was incredibly productive at Ball State. As a sophomore, Snead caught 89 passes for 1,148 yards and nine touchdowns. The next year, Snead came back with an even more impressive season, with 106 receptions, 1,516 yards and 15 touchdowns.

    At 5'11", 193 pounds, Snead is a bit undersized and could definitely be faster. He can run routes and catch the ball, though. That type of production doesn't happen to bad players, even in the MAC.

    As a Brown, Snead will need to show that he can still get open in the NFL. He didn't play against a high level of competition in college, and his physical skill set isn't an impressive one. He has a legitimate chance of making the roster, though, because he quite simply knows how to play football.