NFL Scouting Combine
Well it was the combine that went down last week in Indianapolis for all thirty-two professional franchises. Once again, many topics were discussed, dissected, and overblown both by the local and national media alike. Only concerning myself with the Cleveland Browns, let’s review a few of the stories of what occurred for the orange and brown.
Don’t Repeat Past Mistakes
Remember two years ago when many were worried about quarterback Teddy Bridgewater due to his slender frame and smaller hand size? It would appear that the Browns were concerned, as they took a guy who had larger hands (despite being shorter). The team must realize there is much more to the puzzle than a few attributes.
Flash forward to this year; it is looking early on that Jared Goff is barking up the same tree. His hands are a full inch smaller than Carson Wentz’s and he is tipping the scales at not much north of two-hundred pounds. I will repeat my stance on this, as it has not changed from 2014. Can the guy play quarterback in the NFL? By which I mean, can the athlete process information quickly, make correct decisions, and perform at a professional level? My answer to this regarding Goff still remains at yes; I hope the Browns are not afraid to take the University of California product.
Great Words to Hear
During his press conference, Hue Jackson said two things I enjoyed hearing. The reason why I found them refreshing, it that is was a stark contrast from his predecessors (who ultimately failed).
First, the Browns’ coach will be heading to multiple pro days in the coming weeks. He will get an up-close look at the prospects at all the important positions – including quarterback. What a noble concept, actually scouting potential employees prior to working with them! This was not the norm for several years prior.
Also of importance, Jackson stated that he will not put a tremendous amount of stock into the scouting combine. Of course it will be important, especially with the personal interviews – but one workout or measurement will not define an athlete’s value.
Sashi Brown Ridding Misinformation
Many media outlets are dismissing the possibility of the Browns retaining any of their four top free agents. However, Sashi Brown stated at his press conference that they have been having updated conversations with each guy (Alex Mack, Mitchell Schwartz, Tashaun Gipson, and Travis Benjamin). Will they re-sign any or all of these guys? Time will tell, but I am not ready to say they definitely will not.
Conclusion: The week in Indianapolis is vital for all NFL teams; they must use their time wisely to get the required information from the young athletes. However, this is also a chance for front offices to meet to agents to discuss future contracts. It appears that the Browns are doing both currently (and in depth). I am not certain that was the case under past regimes – so I guess that is a positive heading into the 2016 free agency period.