The running back and quarterback positions are each taken care of, but many fans are still wondering why the Cleveland Browns did not bother to acquire a wide receiver until the 100th overall pick. Chris Burke from Sports Illustrated downgraded the Browns accordingly for this apparent oversight as he handed out draft grades for his 2012 team-by-team breakdown:
I don’t mind Cleveland going all-in to get Trent Richardson at No. 3. Heck, I don’t even really mind reaching for QB Brandon Weeden at 22. I’m not sure what happened after that, though, as the Browns took OT Mitchell Schwartz when they needed a receiver, then tanked picks on DT John Hughes (87) and WR Travis Benjamin (100). Grade: C-plus
Considering that many scouts did not even project defensive tackle John Hughes to be selected at all, let alone in the first few rounds, that pick alone seems to be weighing Cleveland's overall grade down rather significantly. The mindset here is that even if Hughes ends up being the player the Browns think he is, they still could have landed him much, much later in the draft. Aside from that, however, it's hard to find fault for a team that had so many glaring needs entering the draft.
As Burke points out, going all-in for Trent Richardson probably doesn't feel like a 'value pick' to most, but he still represents a budding superstar at the tailback position, and might just go down as the best overall player in the entire class. Regardless of how impressed analysts might be by certain team's draft classes, or disgusted by others, we won't be able to truly evaluate this year's crop of rookies until the heart of football season. And until then, we're all experts.