Doling out grades in the immediate aftermath of a given NFL draft is essentially an exercise in futility.
The Seattle Seahawks were widely panned in 2012 after reaching for pass rusher Bruce Irvin in the first round, and maybe that’s proven valid criticism. They allotted their next two selections looking for leaders on both sides of the ball: little known Utah State MLB Bobby Wagner (who’s become a Pro Bowl-caliber performer) and diminutive QB Russell Wilson, a nice player but probably too short to succeed as a starter in the NFL, right?
1. Cleveland Browns: Say what you will about QB Johnny Manziel. But there’s no arguing he’s a unique talent, and it’s difficult to accuse the Browns of reaching for him at No. 22, especially given their need for ability and flair at the position … not to mention dishing up some hope for a fan base starved of it. But even if Manziel bombs, it’s certainly feasible that OL Joel Bitonio, RB Terrance West and CB Pierre Desir could still salvage this draft. And we haven’t even mentioned top pick Justin Gilbert, arguably the best corner this year and an intriguing sidekick to Pro Bowler Joe Haden, or the 2015 first rounder GM Ray Farmer plucked from the Bills.
2. St. Louis Rams: After obtaining the top offensive tackle (Greg Robinson) and No. 1 defensive tackle (Aaron Donald), they appear perfectly equipped to exchange blows with the other bullies in the NFC West. Scrappy DB Lamarcus Joyner and RB Tre Mason are also shrewd additions in an ever-escalating divisional arms race. Even seventh-round DE Michael Sam could enjoy opportunities to shine as a complementary piece to an already loaded D-line.
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LOCAL NEWS: First Impressions Of 2014 Draft: Ranking Team Classes 1-32 was originally published on praisecleveland.com