NFL Scouting Combine – Part One
The more I think about it, and the more I hear from NFL Insiders – should the Browns opt for a offensive lineman (at least early in the draft), it will be a guy on the outside. This does not bode well for Mitchell Schwartz, unless he assumes the role of right guard and embraces competition with John Greco. The three guys listed below are possible draft picks for the Cleveland Browns:
T.J. Clemmings did not hurt his draft stock in Indianapolis. The converted defensive end excelled in the forty-yard dash as well as individual drills. He finished his collegiate career at right tackle, but could obviously slide over to the blind side of the quarterback. Many pundits list him as their best rated offensive tackle, which sounds like the Browns would draft him – if he were to be available with the twelfth pick.
Ereck Flowers drew some national praise from the media during his work at the combine. Some wonder if he will struggle at the left tackle spot, and might be better as a right tackle. In 2015, that is not a problem for the Cleveland Browns (assuming they select him) – however when will the Browns find the replacement for Joe Thomas and move the veteran to the right side? On the contrary, the Browns could wait until possibly the second round to take Flowers (while acquiring two playmakers at other positions first).
I really liked Laken Tomlinson ever since the Senior Bowl. The guard walled off defenders and was athletic in drills. If the Browns surprise some and choose the guard, I would be eager to see what they choose to do at right tackle. There are a few options there currently on the roster, including Michael Bowie (who is coming off injured reserve).
In my opinion, there are only two realistic game-changers for the tight end position this year (while Nick O’Leary is a maybe in that department). The Browns can take the top guy with their third pick, and the other guy a round or two later. Since Jordan Cameron is likely departing, and Jim Dray and Gary Barnidge are complementary pieces – I want to see the Browns acquire their main tight end this year.
Clive Walford did not display exceptional speed during the forty-yard dash, but hopefully that will help the Cleveland Browns during their draft. Walford looked smooth in drills and displayed athleticism that is lacking at that position. I would be very happy if the Browns took him, and getting him the third round would be a steal. Of course it all comes down to Ray Farmer’s draft board and how the chips fall on the table in April.
Another guy who is an athletic freak is Maxx Williams from Minnesota. He has made some acrobatic grabs during his collegiate days, and will be required to replicate that if he dons the orange and brown. He also displayed soft hands during the combine, something that made scouts happy. The quarterback’s best friend is a threat in the red zone. Whether it is Johhny Manziel, Connor Shaw, or someone else – having a security blanket like Williams would be a nice luxury to have.
Realistically, Amari Cooper will be drafted before the Cleveland Browns are on the clock at the twelfth selection. However, there are two viable options that I would like the team to select in the first round. Should they choose either (and add a veteran like Cecil Shorts via free agency), and my faith in the team’s passing game would be heightened.
Kevin White put on a show in Indianapolis – the athlete broke the 4.4 barrier in the forty-yard dash and was exceptional during drills. He has been climbing up draft boards over the past few months, but hopefully not too high where he’s taken in the top ten. Not playing with an exceptional quarterback in college should be looked as a positive – there’s a great chance the Browns don’t have their franchise signal caller in 2015. That being said, why can’t he perform at the next level?
The other guy Ray Famer might want to look at is DeVante Parker from the University of Louisville. He did not perform as well as White did at the combine, but he was just as impressive on the field. Despite Teddy Bridgewater’s departure and a foot injury, he still put up good numbers (five touchdowns in seven games). I think he can develop into a number one wide out and have the team forget about that dude from Baylor.
Conclusion: While the Browns appear to be solid in a few areas of their roster, they can always stand to upgrade. Getting a top right tackle and a stalwart at tight end would be a solid start to the offseason – nailing down that top wide out is a must. In a few months, the offense can be completely transformed (to hopefully a feared one). Management is due to make it happen for the Cleveland Browns.