CLEVELAND - Nearly four and a half months passed between the Browns last game of 2013 and the last day of the 2014 NFL Draft.
In that time, the team shed 2013's season-starting QB and former 1st round pick, signed a new starting RB, had a movie made about its draft day drama and learned it may lose the league's leading wideout next season.
Free agency answered some questions for Cleveland but how well did the team do filling holes with the 10 picks it took into the 2014 draft?
No expert—no matter how good they are—can accurately say which teams are the real winners and losers of a draft in which the players haven’t yet suited up. But, based on what they know right now, lots of pundits are offering their preliminary grades.
So how do Cleveland’s picks rate?
Bleacher Report (B+) "...just like in the movie Draft Day, it was the Cleveland Browns that stole the show with a series of selections that should help change the losing culture of the franchise."
CBS Sports (B-) "I loved the move to go up and get Johnny Manziel in the first, but why pass on receiver with the Josh Gordon situation?"
Dawgs By Nature (A) "I thought the first round couldn't have gone better for the Browns. ...Bitonio is a guy that a lot of people had mocked in the first round... ...A lot of the success of the draft hinges on one man, Johnny Manziel."
ESPN’s Pat McManamon (A-) "The Browns landed the top cornerback and quarterback on their board on Day 1. ...The decision not to take a receiver is ... interesting."
ESPN’s Mel Kiper (B-) "Johnny Manziel's celebrity transcends the reality of what he adds to the Browns as a football player..."
NFL.com (Winner) "Third-round running back Terrance West adds a fun complement to their backfield."
Rotoworld (A-) "The lack of wide receivers concerns me less because OC Kyle Shanahan will orchestrate a heavily run-based offense as he eases in Johnny Football."
SB Nation (B-) "The Gilbert selection was the pick head coach Mike Pettine wanted. Manziel was likely the one general manager Ray Farmer and owner Jimmy Haslam wanted."
Sports Illustrated (B+) "...Desir was Cleveland’s final pick, and there was nary a receiver to be found among the previous five choices."
Yahoo! Sports (C-) "...five games into the 2014 season, long-suffering Browns fans may be wondering what if the Browns had just selected Sammy Watkins (or Evans) at No. 4..."