Other teams 'building the right way' (if by that you mean through the draft) jags bills Raiders seahawks vikings Browns dolphins... Most teams including perpetual cellar dwellers do it that way. Three years was also the time frame apologists were giving following following the debacle year one- if the team had actually been stockpiling talent that would have been reasonable
Umm...dude, recently the Browns have been building through the draft well...
2012: Trent Richardson, Mitchell Schwartz, Travis Benjamin, James Michael-Johnson, Emmanuel Acho, Trevin Wade, and in the supplemental draft, RG3's college teammate, Josh Gordon
(I wasn't high on the Schwartz pick at first, but everything I read on him and the way he's performed...it was a good pick).
2011: Phil Taylor, Jabaal Sheard, Greg Little
2010: Joe Haden, T.J. Ward, Colt McCoy, Shawn Lavauo, and at times Montario Hardesty
2009: Alex Mack
2008: Ahtyba Rubin
2007: Joe Thomas, Eric Wright (even though he's not on the team anymore - he had good years with CLE, and he's good in the NFL)
2006: D'Qwell Jackson, Lawrence Vickers
2005: Braylon Edwards, Brodney Pool (now anyways...he's good with the Jets. In Cleveland, he spent more time trying to figure out how not to get injured)
2004: Kellen Winslow Jr.
Holmgren and Heckert took over in 2010. If you'll notice before then we hit or miss on picks. Once Heckert Jr. took over the GM job (his dad was a former Browns GM back in the 80's and he also was the Dolphins GM when they were good), the picks became much better. As I mentioned, recently
the Browns have drafted better with Holmgren and Heckert Jr. I just hope that when Haslam officially takes full control, he allows Heckert Jr. to stay, but from what I heard, he may want to bring a high level executive from Philly (which is where Heckert came from), to be GM.
The Skins on the other hand:
2012: RG3 (he won't be terrible, but to me I just don't see him being the best or elite either), Kirk Cousins (ironically both are QB's)
2011: Ryan Kerrigan, Leonard Hankerson, and at times Roy Helu (I just don't see him as a #1 back)
2010: Trent Williams
2009: Brian Orapko (dude is a flat out beast)
2008: Fred Davis
2007: LaRon Landry
2006: Rocky McIntosh (at times)
2005: Carlos Rogers, Jason Campbell (say what you want about him, but once he left D.C., he succeeded)
2004: Sean Taylor, Chris Cooley
2004 was one of your best drafts. Cooley at TE, and Sean Taylor. Taylor was an absolute beast. We never truly know how good he could have been. He was already nasty (in a good way)...if he had played out his entire career, suffice is to say, I assume first ballot H.O.F.