Ray Farmer gets his second chance to set the foundation as the Cleveland Browns' general manager with two first-round picks in the NFL draft on Thursday night. Teams that draft well usually win. The Browns have struggled in this all-important facet of team building. Today continues a three-part series looking at how the Browns have fared in the draft the past three years.
Total picks: 5
Left on the roster: 2
Starters on the roster: 1
First round: Barkevious Mingo, LB, LSU — 30 games, 14 starts, 55 tackles, seven sacks. Mingo had a so-so rookie season, then fought through a shoulder injury that required postseason surgery to play well in 2014 under Mike Pettine. Mingo showed toughness and dedication in playing with pain and limitation, and assuming he is healthy could emerge this season provided he is what Mike Lombardi and Joe Banner thought he was when they drafted him in the top 10. The jury is out on Mingo, who may never develop into a star but is far better than third overall pick Dion Jordan, who will miss the entire season after being suspended. At a minimum, Mingo could be a solid rotation linebacker for a team that needs numbers at the position.
Third round: Leon McFadden, CB, San Diego State — 16 games and two starts in Cleveland, seven games in San Francisco, 18 total tackles, no interceptions — McFadden was victimized often as a rookie and was released in August of 2014. He is young and could develop, but for the Browns this was a failed third-round selection.
Sixth round: Jamoris Slaughter, S, Notre Dame — Spent 2013 on injured reserve and never played for the Browns.
Seventh round: Armonty Bryant, DE, East Central Oklahoma — 17 games, two starts, 13 tackles, three sacks — Bryant drew the eye of Mike Pettine during training camp last season and was slated to be a strong member of the defensive line rotation. But he tore an ACL in the fifth game and now must rebound from that serious injury. The coaching staff remains high on him, but coming back from that injury can be a challenge for an interior player.
Seventh round: Garrett Gilkey, OG, Chadron State — Six games and one start in Cleveland, 16 games and one start in Tampa Bay — Gilkey was a surprise release at the end of training camp last season. He seemed at least to be a guy who could provide depth, and his absence was felt when Alex Mack was injured.
Total picks, 2012 and 2013: 16
Players remaining on the roster: 6
Starters on the roster: 2