My guidelines for the re-draft:
- I stay with the picks they selected, it means that trades that happened in the actual draft will stay in place.
- If I pick a new player, it’ll be within ten picks of the Browns pick. I’ve seen re-drafts on the internet where Russell Wilson was the 1st pick in the 2012 draft when he was the 75th pick in the actual draft. I’m not going crazy revisionist history just picking players that were in the range of their original pick.
Third overall pick: LB Luke Kuechly, Boston College (Originally drafted ninth overall by Carolina)
Original pick: RB Trent Richardson, Alabama
Trent Richardson was called one of the “three sure-thing players” in the draft by Bill Polian. After 1,317 total yards and 12 total touchdowns his rookie season, Browns fans thought they had a franchise back despite knee and rib injuries which limited his production.
Two games into the 2013 season, the Browns shipped him to Indianapolis for a first round pick. Once he was there, he never showed his true potential and averaged 3.1 yards per carry in two seasons. He’s currently a free agent and hasn’t played since 2014.
Despite a concussion that sidelined him for most of last season, Kuechly has been one of the best defensive players in football. A three time First Team All-Pro, Defensive Rookie of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year, Kuechly has been one of the few elite players taken in the 2012 first round.
22nd overall pick: S Harrison Smith, Notre Dame (Originally drafted 29th overall by Minnesota)
Original pick: QB Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State
Brandon Weeden was 28 years old when the Browns drafted him in the first round. He was the starter for the entire 2012 season and set a franchise rookie record with 3,385 yards passing. He struggled in 2013 and was released after the season. He’s been a backup in the league since with Dallas and Houston.
Harrison Smith has been a productive safety in Minnesota’s defense since they drafted him. 411 tackles, 7.5 sacks and 12 interceptions through five seasons has earned Smith two trips to the Pro Bowl and was ranked the 73rd best player in the NFL in 2016.
37th overall pick: RT Mitchell Schwartz, Cal
Mitchell Schwartz was the Browns second round pick in 2012 and was the team’s starting right tackle from 2012 to 2015. While he struggled at the start of his career, he continued to grow and improve every season.
After failed contract negotiations, Schwartz left Cleveland for Kansas City in 2016. He was recognized as a Second team All-Pro after the 2016 season.
87th overall pick: WR T.Y. Hilton, Florida International (Originally drafted 92nd overall by Indianapolis)
Original pick: DT John Hughes, Cincinnati
John Hughes was a solid but not great rotational player during his time in Cleveland. He record 5.5 sacks and a forced fumble during his five seasons with the Browns before releasing him last September. He made brief stops with New England and Tampa last season and is now a free agent.
Hilton has been Andrew Luck’s go-to target since they both arrived in Indianapolis in 2012. 374 catches for 5,861 yards and 30 touchdowns in his first five seasons and despite his small 5’9, 180 lb frame, he’s only missed two games in his career.
100th overall pick: QB Kirk Cousins, Michigan State (Originally drafted 102nd overall by Washington)
Original pick: WR Travis Benjamin, Miami (FL)
No disrespect to Travis Benjamin. I enjoyed him as a football player when he was in Cleveland. He was dynamic as a return guy and was growing as a wide receiver. 2015 was his best season when he caught 68 passes for 966 yards and five touchdowns.
He left Cleveland for San Diego in free agency and had 47 catches for 677 yards and four touchdowns.
The Washington Redskins were smart drafting Kirk Cousins in the fourth round in 2012. Robert Griffin III never could stay healthy during his tenure and once Jay Gruden got there, he was smart enough to realize Cousins was the better option. In the last two seasons as a full time starter, Cousins has completed 68.3% of his passes for 54 touchdowns and 23 interceptions while leading the Redskins to two winning seasons and a playoff appearance.
120th overall pick: CB Brandon Boykin, Georgia (Originally drafted 123rd overall by Philadelphia)
Original pick: LB James-Michael Johnson, Nevada
Johnson spent one season with the Browns. He recorded 36 tackles in ten games with the team. He’s been shuffled around the league since making stops at Kansas City, Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, Detroit and Miami.
Brandon Boykin made an impact his rookie season not as a corner but as a kick returner with 1,037 yards, second in the NFC. 2013 saw his breakout season as a corner with six interceptions which were second in the NFL. His career took a dip the next season and Philadelphia traded him to Pittsburgh in 2015. He’s recently been with the Chicago Bears.
160th overall pick: WR Marvin Jones, Cal (Originally drafted 166th overall by Cincinnati)
Original pick: OL Ryan Miller, Colorado
Miller spent two seasons with Cleveland. He played in eight games in 2012. He’s spent time with Denver, San Diego and Dallas but never played in a game with each team.
Jones spent his first four seasons with the Bengals, he was solid but was always in the shadow of AJ Green. His best season in Cincinnati was in 2013 with 51 catches, 712 yards and ten touchdowns. He left for Detroit in 2016 and had 930 yards and four touchdowns in his first season with the Lions.
204th overall pick: DT Billy Winn, Boise State (Originally drafted 205th overall by Cleveland)
Original pick: LB Emmanuel Acho, Texas
Acho never played a game for the Browns and was traded to Philadelphia in 2013 for Dion Lewis. He was cut and spent the 2013 season on the Giants practice squad. He returned to Philadelphia and spent two seasons there. He now currently works for the Dallas Cowboys website as well as the Longhorn Network.
Billy Winn spent three seasons with the Browns and was a solid rotational guy for the team. He recorded 77 tackles, three sacks, two interceptions and two forced fumbles during his Browns tenure. He was traded to the Colts in 2015 and spent last season with the Denver Broncos, recording 19 tackles in 16 games.
205th overall pick: DE Scott Solomon, Rice (Originally drafted 211th overall by Tennessee)
Original pick: DT Billy Winn, Boise State
Scott Solomon played for four different teams during his four seasons in the NFL including a stint with the Browns. His seven tackles and sack in two games with the Browns along with his drive and effort led to people on social media saying they’d take “22 Scott Solomons” on their football teams. He’s currently a free agent.
245th overall pick: DT Damon Harrison, William Penn (Originally undrafted)
Original pick: CB Trevin Wade, Arizona
Wade spent just one season with the Browns. He played in 12 games and recorded 17 tackles. He spent the last two seasons with the New York Giants, playing in all 32 games (five starts) and recording 78 tackles during his tenure.
The man they call “Snacks”, Damon Harrison went undrafted in 2012. He went to the Jets and established himself as one of the best nose tackles in football. He signed with the Giants in 2016 and after another great season, he was recognized as a First Team All-Pro.
247th overall pick: S Tashaun Gipson, Wyoming (Originally undrafted)
Original pick: TE Brad Smelley, Alabama
Smelley played in just two games with the Browns, catching one pass for 3 yards. He also spent one season with the St. Louis Rams. He’s currently a free agent.
Gipson signed with the Browns after going undrafted. In 2013, he recorded five interceptions, fifth in the NFL. 2014 seen Gipson get six interceptions, second in the NFL and earned him a Pro Bowl nod but couldn’t play due to an MCL injury. Gipson left Cleveland for Jacksonville in 2016 for a big contract and only recorded one interception last season.