Donovan Peoples-Jones: Browns best Round 6 draft pick in 15 years

Cleveland Browns v Cincinnati Bengals
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Ahtyba Rubin was the Browns steal of the 2008 draft

DPJ is the best sixth round pick of his generation. However, if we wind the clock back to Generation Z, there were a few worthy picks. One was Ahtyba (pronounced Ah-TAH-ba) Rubin in 2008. Rubin played seven seasons and started 75 games.

In 2010, playing the nose tackle in Rob Ryan's 3-4 defense, he led NFL interior linemen in tackles with 83, according to Pro Football Focus. That's an absurd number for a defensive tackle. However, PFF actually gave him the lowest grade of his career at 49.2. We don't have access to the database from 2010, but in today's grading scale, 49.2 would have placed an interior defender at 102nd overall, or somewhere between Roderick Perry and Perrion Winfrey.

Perhaps if the player was double-teamed on every play, you might argue that the offense was successful at neutralizing him most of the time. PFF claims that their grading system doesn't evaluate how good the player is, but rather the effectiveness of the player in carrying out the assignment as it was drawn up in the playbook.

Thus, the graders may have not taken double-teaming into consideration. If so, they really need to re-think the grading system, because a low grade like that probably kept a deserving player out of the Pro Bowl. In any case, by 2012, according to at least one source, Rubin was the highest-paid interior lineman in the NFL. He must have been doing a few things right.

After his big contract was over, the Browns lost him to free agency, and he moved on to the Seattle Seahawks for two seasons, and then he moved on to Denver and Atlanta in his final campaign.

Unfortunately, Rubin was the only pick from 2008 to make it. General Manager Phil Savage had managed to trade away their first, second, and third-round draft picks, leaving the Browns with only Day 3 picks for that year's draft. How does a team build through the draft when there are no draft picks? After the season, the depleted Browns fired Savage, who probably deserved it after getting fleeced of draft picks. Savage was a good evaluator of talent, but shouldn't have been in a position to make trades.

Another good pick from that era was blocking fullback Lawrence Vickers, who opened up holes for Jamal Lewis, Jerome Harrison and Peyton Hillis. It was four and five yards and a cloud of dust when Vickers was in the backfield, as described on the next page.