Senior Bowl Notes
The annual Senior Bowl from Mobile Alabama just concluded last week, and like every season there are a few things to take away from the ever-important period. There were several members who improved their draft stock, and others less than impressive on the practice field. However, in addition to the athletes participating – there has actually been some conversation regarding the Cleveland Browns. Let’s look into both areas.
What to Make of Carson Wentz
The tall (six-foot, five inches) signal caller from North Dakota State was definitely the man on display in front of hundreds of NFL scouts. He is similar to Paxton Lynch in both stature as well as level of collegiate competition he has faced. The latter is a reason why many feel he might be more of a project than Jared Goff (to which I agree). I like what he can do as a quarterback, but would prefer the Browns go in another direction at quarterback (especially with their first round choice).
Braxton Miller at Wide Receiver
Another athlete who garnered a fair amount of praise was former quarterback (turned wide out) Braxton Miller. In addition to playing his collegiate games in this state, many remember some shifty moves that accompany the playmaker. I feel he would be a viable addition to a wide receiving corps, but like Wentz could take time to develop into his role in the NFL. Even with the possibility of getting Josh Gordon back, I would prefer more of a dynamic, experienced, and large wide out who can intimidate defenses. Miller would be a superb third receiving option, but I envision someone reaching for him in the
upcoming draft and hoping he will be their main attraction on the outside.
The Rise of Noah Spence
The former Ohio State defensive lineman has been dominating in drills during his time in Mobile. However, the substance abuse issues (leading to his dismissal from Columbus) are enough reason for teams to bypass the phenomenal defender. The Browns should be one of those organizations to not gloss over red flags; they simply don’t have to culture to overcome these characters.
A Reason to Believe?
For the first time in what seems like an eternity, the Cleveland Browns actually sent representatives to the Senior Bowl to watch and interact with the draft eligible players. In addition to the many scouts, head coach Hue Jackson owner and Jimmy Haslam were busy delving into athletes as well as holding many interviews. One could hope that they are doing it the right way; this is the opposite of what they have previously done and that did not work.
Conclusion: This is an exciting time for almost every team in the NFL (at least the thirty not currently preparing for the Super Bowl). However, people must temper enthusiasm with these seniors – sure some look good now but the level of competition will increase significantly over the course of the next few months. Optimistically, I am pulling for the Browns uncovering multiple late round gems in the draft. There’s a good chance that these guys could have been participating in the Senior Bowl festivities.