Monthly Archives: April 2015

Pick #19 – EBBs and Flows – Eric’s Big Board

Pick #19 – EBBs and Flows – Eric’s Big Board

EBBs and Flows – Eric’s Big Board at #19

We now go further into the 2015 NFL Draft and the Browns’ second selection in the first round.  Again, I only put realistic options at this spot in my top five for the nineteenth pick.  Some of these guys listed below might be gone before the Browns pick for the second time, but let’s take a deeper look anyways.

1 – Malcom Brown – This is my top athlete to take, provided the Browns choose either Parker or a pass rusher at number twelve.  Brown will likely be a defensive end, as opposed to Shelton who is more of a tackle.  That should not be a problem though, with Phil Taylor and Ismaa’ily Kitchen manning the middle of the defensive line.  I really appreciate the speed he possesses off the edge, and he is unique blend
of power and quickness at the point of attack.

2 – Bud Dupree – The pass rusher would be the complementary piece to Shelton or Parker, as the Browns would be foolish to draft two pass rushers in the first round.  Dupree packs on an additional twenty pounds over a few of his counterparts, and should be able to hold his ground better when defending the run.  I really believe this could be a steal for the Browns at pick nineteen, provided they choose to go this route in a few weeks.

3 – Jalen Strong – Assuming the three top wide outs are chosen before the Browns’ first selection, they ought to go defense at the twelfth spot.  However, they could then nab the perceived fourth best receiver with their next pick.  Granted it might be a bit of a reach (many feel he will be taken a few spots later in the draft) – but the Browns need a number one option at wide receiver.  If they feel Strong is that guy, then I’m on board.

4 – Cameron Erving – Some could call this a boring pick by the Browns, but so were Joe Thomas and Alex Mack.  Let’s face it, Mack can leave after the 2015 campaign and Thomas is not getting any younger.  Erving would be another anchor for the interior of this offensive line – possibly starting at right guard and moving to center in 2016. Linemen can be found in all rounds of the draft, but one as versatile as Erving is very rare.

5 – Trade Down and Get Maxx Williams – Although I am still throwing a party for the Rob Housler signing, the Browns need an exceptional tight end.  Through game film, the NFL Combine, and Pro Days, Williams has been head and shoulders above the rest at his position.  The only issue at taking him at nineteen would be the look of desperation (and likely not taking the best player available).  If the Browns slide back a few spots, pick up an extra third round pick or so, and still get Williams – I would not complain.

Conclusion:  My big board became a little more difficult for this draft pick; as it is largely based on what Ray Farmer and company decide to do seven spots earlier.  The bottom line is they must get it right at both spots – getting best player available is a wise move.

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Posted by on April 25, 2015 in NFL Draft, Players


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EBBs and Flows – Eric’s Big Board at Pick #12

EBBs and Flows – Eric’s Big Board at Pick #12

EBBs (Eric’s Big Board) and Flows – Top Five at #12

It’s getting close to crunch time for the 2015 NFL Draft, so now would be a great time to come out with my own big board!  Let’s first take a glance at the Browns’ first selection in the first round. I omitted players who I am confident will be taken before the twelfth pick.  Therefore you will not see a Jameis Winston, Amari Cooper, or Leonard Williams, etc.

1 – DeVante Parker – The NFL is all about offense, and the Browns are in dire need of a top-line wide receiver.  With Cooper and Kevin White likely off the board, they could do a lot worse than Parker.  There’s no doubt that Dwayne Bowe and Brian Hartline would be exceptional at tutoring this highly talented rookie (and will benefit with Parker taking away coverage). The Browns need to score points and Parker will help with that.

2 – Vic Beasley – This could be a long shot, but if the fearful pass rusher is on the board – the Browns would be wise to snatch him up. They need another reliable member of the outside linebacker corps; right now only Paul Kruger is the one guy who falls in that category.  If Mingo gets his act together and they secure Beasley, quarterbacks will have to fear the Browns’ pass rush.

3 – Shane Ray – Another unlikely candidate at the twelfth spot, but crazier things have occurred.  While I would prefer Beasley, Ray would be a welcomed addition to this roster.  He had a magnificent career in college, and I fully expect that to continue in the NFL.  Ray’s got a bit more size than Mingo on the edge; hopefully he can help the team against the run better than the veteran linebacker for the Cleveland Browns.

4 – Danny Shelton – I like the upper echelon of pass rushers to the run stuffer in this draft (hence my big board rankings).  However, if the top two are gone – Shelton can greatly improve this defensive line in 2015.  This is a needed selection, as the unit underachieved tremendously in 2014.  Having Shelton join veterans Randy Starks and Desmond Bryant is a good start.  Coupling that with Phil Taylor, Billy Winn, John Hughes, and Ishmaa’ily Kitchen, and I love this defensive front.

5 – Randy Gregory – Who honestly knows where this pass rusher will land during the draft?  Once a consistent top five selection, Gregory’s failed marijuana test at the combine will make general managers think twice about drafting him.  On that note, I understand if the Browns are on that list to not take Gregory based on his past – they have experienced a similar headache in Josh Gordon.  But if the Browns do take the rusher and he plays the way many feel he is capable, then he might be the steal of the draft.

Conclusion:  Clearly the team can go a few ways with their first pick, including using it for a trade up or down.  However, I’m sticking to status quo and want the team to take a playmaker.  What are two positions that fill that role?  The answer is a wide receiver on offense and a pass rusher on defense.

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Posted by on April 18, 2015 in NFL Draft, Players


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Rob Housler…Come on Down!

Rob Housler…Come on Down!

The Browns Did It! 

The Cleveland Browns did something two of their division rivals could not accomplish – sign free agent Rob Housler to a contract. It is a one-year deal for the tight end, so it would be wise if the new member of the team rents a place to live for the next twelve months. Let’s see what this means for the franchise.

Filling a Role

Housler appears to fit the same mold as recently departed Jordan Cameron; a pure pass-catcher who is not expected to block even during a fraction of his playing time. While the tight end had a Pro Bowl year in 2013, Cameron was oft injured last year. Therefore, if Housler can have a respectable output in 2015 – over forty catches and five hundred yards – it would be deemed as a smart signing by the club.

Draft Ramifications

Several fans and media members have been predicting Maxx Williams be drafted by the Browns in the first or second round of the 2015 Draft. There was a gaping hole in the roster, and the team was in desperate need to fill it with a tremendous playmaker. While the acquisition of Housler is not going to make anyone forget about the top tight end prospect; perhaps the Browns now reconsider the position and choose a Clive Walford (still my favorite tight end prospect) in the third or fourth round.

Veteran Leadership

This signing by the team will add another presence needed by the offensive unit. Having gone through the rigors of the professional game, the tight end should be helpful with expectations all year long. This will come in handy, provided the Browns secure a guy at the same position draft weekend.

Conclusion:   Obviously this was not an Earth-shattering move by the orange and brown, but I do not hate it. They needed an athlete to fill the role of a receiving tight end, and possibly compete with younger guys who the team can sign in the coming weeks. Another ho-hum move during free agency by Ray Farmer and his staff, but hitting homeruns in the draft is where winning franchises are made.

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Posted by on April 10, 2015 in Free Agency, Players


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Browns Finally Catching a Break

Browns Finally Catching a Break

NFL Finally got One Right

The league finally handed down their punishment on the Browns’ General Manager this week.  In the end, the team was docked $250,000 and Ray Farmer will be suspended for four games next fall.  Surprisingly, the team will not lose any draft picks as a result – something that was speculated to occur from some media members.  More surprisingly, I actually agree with the league’s decision on something.  Let’s delve into who why this matter was handled properly by the NFL.

Untouched Draft Board

It was the correct move not to hurt the team during draft weekend. Granted, texting down on the field during games is not a wise decision – but it did not give the Browns any sort of advantage over their opponent.  In fact, you could argue it hurt the team – causing infighting, hurt feelings, and the departure of offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan (allegedly).  Hopefully what comes from this is that the
general manager makes the most of the team’s ten selections in a few weeks.

Hefty Fine

This should not be a shock to anyone, seeing that the team will forfeit a quarter of a million dollars.  While the only one hurt, monetarily at least, is Jimmy Haslam – you can bet that this will be in the back of his mind should Ray Farm make a poor decision regarding personnel.  I am hoping that in a few years the Browns are an
excellent franchise with many All-Pros and this fine is water under the bridge.  We are pretty far from that being a reality, however.

Four Weeks of Vacation

Another aspect of this ruling is that Farmer will be cut off from all team contact during the first four games of the 2015 regular season. Therefore, not only is he expected to draft exceptionally well but he must also have his “ducks in a row” once the exhibition season ends. The Browns’ final roster heading into the 2015 campaign will likely not be tinkered with for at least one month.  They cannot afford
injuries, and Farmer might want to tell Bill Kuharich and his scouts about a few athletes he has his eyes on (provided they are released during the suspension).

Conclusion:  Many Browns’ fans should feel relieved that their favorite team did not foolishly surrender any selections during the upcoming draft.  Although, the franchise’s general manager will have many eyes focused squarely on his moves this upcoming offseason.  Like many signal callers that have donned the orange and brown in the past decade and a half, the guy in charge might be on a “short leash”.  The franchise is more than due for a guy in that scenario to actually become successful at his job.


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