Looking Back at The Browns 2005 Draft

Mike GCorrespondent IApril 19, 2009

CLEVELAND - DECEMBER 21: Braylon Edwards #17 of the Cleveland Browns reaches for a first quarter first down over Jamar Fletcher #25 of the Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns Stadium December 21, 2008 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

This begins a two-part series on reviewing the Cleveland Browns 2005 and 2006 drafts. It's way too early to look at success or failure from the '07 and '08 draft, as those players are still developing. Also, I think it's irrational to grade a team's selections based solely on whether or not the players developed, without factoring in what was available in that round.

Therefore, in reviewing these picks, I will compare the player's performance that the Browns drafted to the next player drafted at the same position. This assumes the Browns correctly determined two things: 1) Its needs 2) The relative strength at each position (e.g. WR was a top heavy position in the draft, and there was depth at DT).  

First Round:

Browns Pick: Braylon Edwards

Next WR Drafted: Troy Williamson, Mike Williams

Clearly, the Browns drafted the right WR here, regardless of what you think of Braylon's drops. Williams was out of the league in two years, and Williamson finally caught for 1,000 yards last year—for his entire career.

Much has been said about the Browns potentially grabbing Demarcus Ware or Shawn Merriman, but remember two things: First, both of these guys were from smaller football schools (Troy St., and Maryland respectively) and thus were considered less "safe" than Edwards. Second, the Browns had recently failed in the top 5 with Couch, Warren, and Brown, and as such, the "safest pick" was probably very attractive to them.

Second Round

Browns Pick: Brodney Pool

Next FS Drafted: Josh Bullocks, Nick Collins

If the Browns were going to go after a free safety in the second round, this was the year to do it. Bullocks and Collins have both enjoyed success in the NFL, and it's a close call to say which of the three is the best. Pool has the best numbers, so I'd give a slight edge to him in this spot. This is somewhat biased, as I've never closely watched the other two play.

Third Round

Browns Pick: Charlie Frye

Next QB drafted: Andrew Walter, David Greene

If the Browns were going to go after QB in the third round this was not the year to do it. Walter started a host of games for the Raiders, with little success. Greene on the other hand, hasn't thrown a pass in the NFL.

The fact that Frye started almost 20 games for the Browns, and eventually got a sixth round pick for him latter, makes him the best of the three QBs.

Fourth Round

Browns Pick: Antonio Perkins

Next CB Drafted: Travis Daniels, Vincent Fuller

The Browns missed on this pick as Perkins never really saw the field, and ended up trading a sixth round pick for Daniel three years later. Fuller has never played regularly.

Fifth Round

Browns Pick: David McMillan

Next ILB Drafted: Adam Seward, Robert McCune

None of these three players did anything of substance in their careers, however both Seward and McCune are still in the league (neither on the team that drafted them). It's important to note, Michael Boley (OLB-Falcons) was drafted later in this round, and has had great success in the league, but he's 4-3 OLB who wouldn't have fit the Browns system.

Sixth Round

Browns Pick: Nick Speegle

Next LB Drafted: Jared Newburry, Pat Thomas

Speegle played predominately on special teams, but was out of the league in three years. Newburry never made the 49ers roster after being drafted. Thomas, finally got regular playing time as an OLB last year for the Chiefs, starting nine games. However, he is also a 4-3 OLB, so he probably wasn't on the Browns radar.

Seventh Round

Browns Pick: Joe Dunn

Next T Drafted: Jeremy Parquet, Patrick Estes

Dunn was let go after one year with the Browns, both Parquet and Estes are still in the league, though neither has ever started a game.

Undrafted Players

Browns: Joshua Cribbs, Simon Frasier, Lance Moore

Other Notables: Chris Carr, Nate Washington, Ryan Grant (by Giants), Jim Leonhard (by Bills), Robbie Gould (by Patriots)

Cribbs is probably the best of the undrafted players who are currently with the team that originally signed them. Fraser started six games for the Browns, and is still in the league.

Carr, Washington and Leonhard all switched teams this off-season, with various levels of success—none great—with the teams that signed them. Grant and Moore achieved their biggest successes after being cut by the team that originally signed them.

Overall Draft

Based on what was available at the positions of need for the Browns in the '05 draft, they picked the right players where it mattered most (1st and 2nd round), and did slightly better than the teams that drafted after them targeting the same positions.

While the jury may be still somewhat out on Braylon Edwards, nobody can argue that the team would have been better off with the other options at WR. All-in-all, Savage should be commended for the draft, and finding Cribbs after it.


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