AFC North: Beau Bell
Therefore, this week in the AFC North blog we will take a look at the 2008 draft classes in the division and provide a letter grade. Tuesday we start with the Cleveland Browns.
Draft picks: LB Beau Bell (fourth round), TE Martin Rucker (fourth), DT Ahtyba Rubin (sixth), WR Paul Hubbard (sixth), LB Alex Hall (seventh)
Analysis: This was the final draft of former general manager Phil Savage's tenure in Cleveland, and it turned out to be a bad one. The Browns were coming off a successful 10-6 season in 2007 and had high expectations. Savage made a risky move by trading away all his top picks in 2008 in a draft-day deal for quarterback Brady Quinn the year prior and offseason trades to get defensive linemen Shaun Rogers and Corey Williams. To some degree, you must consider those players in this equation. But none worked out besides one productive season from Rogers. Of the five picks, only Rubin panned out and is still with the team. He is now Cleveland's best defensive lineman, which prevents this draft from being a complete disaster.
AFC North blog draft grade: D+
On Wednesday we will take a look at the 2008 draft of the Cincinnati Bengals.
Cleveland had zero picks in the first three rounds, but drafted linebacker Beau Bell and tight end Martin Rucker in the fourth round, defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin and receiver Paul Hubbard in the sixth, and linebacker Alex Hall in the seventh round. They all struck deals before the deadline, as the Browns will begin training camp in Berea, Ohio, Wednesday afternoon.