Style Over Substance

By Aaron Goldhammer

John Clayton said they were the #1 winner of Thursday night.

Peter King said it was a great trade for both teams.

Jay Glazer tweeted that he “Loooved Cleveland.”

If the reaction on Friday’s Really Big Show was any indication, the fans were less impressed.

Who do you trust? The top national pundits or the pulse of Northeast Ohio?

In the end, trading down 21 spots will not win you rave reviews from Browns nation. Most in the Dawg Pound wanted AJ Green or Julio Jones; a playmaker for Colt McCoy that could take any slant or hitch to the house.

Yet, Cleveland’s 2011 draft was not about those fireworks or SportsCenter highlights. It was about improving the team in areas that fans don’t talk about at tailgate parties.

The 2010 Browns ranked 27th in rush defense in the NFL in 2010. In their November 7th win over New England, they allowed just 68 yards on the ground. In contrast, in the final four games of the year, all of which they lost, the Browns allowed an average of 160 rushing yards. Yikes.

If the 2010 Browns had an improved defensive line, they might have gone 8-8, maybe even better. In the midst of all the talk of wide receivers, the Browns biggest need this draft was clearly on the front.

You don’t topple the Ravens and the Steelers by getting just one guy. They started the process this weekend by getting tougher in the trenches and adding future draft chips.

If they can use the Falcons picks wisely, the booty of their trade will indeed be a “king’s ransom.”

In Heckert I trust…my draft grade through day two: A.



  1. The Browns without a doubt were winners in the draft. It is unfortunate that so many Cleveland fans cannot see past their noses. There were 5 top players in this draft and the Browns had the misfortune of drafting 6th. They were going to get no value if they stayed in their position. However, they were able to use their position essentially to make their 3 round pick another 2 round pick, add a 4 rounder this year…then stockpile another 1st round pick and 4th round pick next year. They were also still able to maneuver to select a first round talent in this draft that addresses a major need. The fact that we did not get a big play receiver will make many fans initially disappointed. What the national analysts are not blinded to is the fact that the Browns have more needs to address than just the lack of a #1 receiver. The additions to the defensive line will go a long way to improving the team’s run stopping ability. The additions of TE and FB will also help the team make the transition to the WC offense. The Browns draft class may not have been flashy, but it contributed to the short term and long term success of the team.

  2. I have to say Aaron when you arent being blatanly obtuse about The Ohio State University, I tend to enjoy if not agree with you perspective. I was so happy to see the Browns trade down. They didnt take the DT i wanted because of Taylor but i can live with that. The Browns had a great Draft, the only thing i didnt like was the TE pick i thought we could hold off a year till we needed to worry about getting younger in that position. but Heckertt and Holmgrem knew the draftees better than any of us could and I trust the Judgement and history of them in the draft. i hope we get 3 more starters from this year making it 8 in 2 years. Now just to get the Republican judges to hurry this out of courts and get back to football.

  3. Aaron —

    You are SPOT ON in your draft assessment. We are moving to the 4-3 and had 1 starting defensive lineman prior to the draft. We picked up a playmaking wr and te later in the draft. The Falcons gave up a lot for AJ Green. This weekend was really great for the Browns

  4. Aaron…YOU HAVE NO CLUE WHAT THE “PULSE OF NORTHEAST OHIO” FANS IS!!! You never have and never will as long as you keep handling yourself as you do on WKNR. We don’t want to hear your contrived (Aaron vs. Rizz takes), your non-stop OSU bashing, your brutal treatment of the fans who take the time to wait on hold and call in only to be hung up on most of the time by YOU. We don’t want to hear about Carmello, smelly Denver or any of the rest of it as you keep being in a daze and wonder why you are not and never will be considered a Clevelander…PERIOD.

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