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Monthly Archives: April 2016

Rounds 1 – 3 for the Cleveland Browns – Analysis

Rounds 1 – 3 for the Cleveland Browns – Analysis

Early Draft Analysis 

Well the NFL Draft went down again this weekend, and the Browns were in the spotlight. While some knock all of their moves, some love their decisions. They traded down twice before actually making a selection; hopefully the guys in charge made the right moves. Let’s break down the first three rounds by the orange and brown.

Corey Coleman – Wide Receiver

I loved the position selected by the Browns in the first round, however I am not sold one hundred percent on the athlete. Coleman was the reigning Biletnikoff winner (as top collegiate wide out) – but his smaller frame worries me. I was hoping the team took a larger receiver like Laquon Treadwell; as their roster is currently full of short guys. I hope Coleman can high point the ball the way Odell Beckham Junior can. Quick hitters and bubble screens might be on display a fair amount to the former Baylor athlete. 

Emmanuel Ogbah – Defensive End / Outside Linebacker

It’s no secret that the Browns have swung and missed when drafting former Oklahoma State stars over the past few seasons. Despite the whiffs on Brandon Weeden and Justin Gilbert, the team chose their pass rusher in Emmanuel Ogbah. He excelled tremendously at finding opposing signal callers. However, the rest of his game (primarily run defense) remains a question. I hope he can be a three down defender, but that remains to be seen whether he can but it together.

Carl Nassib – Defensive End

A lot of stereotypes have been coming out about the former Penn State athlete. The lunch pail guy, who has a high motor, should be an improvement for the defense. I believe he can help more in the run game than Ogbah – hopefully both can meet up in the backfield on third down. The Browns decided that tough athletes who can be tenacious (and actually care about football) are of great value – and I am ok with that.

Shon Coleman – Offensive Tackle

A former leukemia patient, the Auburn lineman was reliable when starting for the past two seasons. He is definitely a resilient athlete and can hopefully compete for the starting right tackle position. Worst-case scenario is that he is in the mix for a rotational spot on this offensive line. I am extremely intrigued to see how this selection pans out.

Cody Kessler – Quarterback

After their final trade of the night, the Browns took a signal caller with the final selection of the third round of the draft.  It was Cody Kessler with the ninety third overall selection.  I don’t love the pick, but at least it was not Connor Cook.  He will be a developmental player no doubt – and I do not seeing him being the franchise quarterback for the Browns down the road.  Oh well, on to the final day of the draft.

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2016 in NFL Draft, Players

 

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The Cleveland Browns and the Draft – What to Do

The Cleveland Browns and the Draft – What to Do

Dos and Don’ts for the Cleveland Browns – Rounds 1 thru 3 for the NFL Draft

Here are a few nuggets of information that the Browns would be wise to employ when on the clock for their first three rounds. Obviously, the draft is not an exact science – but the guys making picks have got to start choosing great athletes. Let’s look at the rule.

Round 1 (Pick #8) 

This is under the assumption that the Browns do not make another trade; they went down to number eight while acquiring additional selections.

Do: Draft an Impact Player

It doesn’t matter if this means Ezekiel Elliot, Joey Bosa, or Myles Jack – the Browns desperately need a guy who not only is exceptional, but will also be the focus of opposing team’s game plans. It’s an offensive league, so naturally I would prefer the running back of the three listed – but the Browns cannot trot out a similar defense to the mess that was the 2015 unit.

Don’t: Trade Up or Take Linemen

Trading up appears to be a foreign concept to analytics, so that is of little concern. Nonetheless, I do not see anyone that bowls me over where the orange and brown would have to secure a few picks earlier. Laremy Tunsil, Ronny Stanley, and DeForest Buckner appear to be solid picks – but they are not helpers. They will not be the reason why the Browns win games in the fall. I understand the Bosa is a lineman as well, but his pass rushing ability puts him in a separate category (a draft-able one at number eight).

Round 2 (Pick #32) 

This pick number is usually designated in the first round, but thanks to the Patriots cheating – everyone’s selection are move up one choice. This is a coveted spot and will be an interesting decision.

Do: Get a Wide Receiver or Trade Down 

I preface with the fact that the wide outs are Josh Doctson, Michael Thomas, and maybe Will Fuller. This falls into the playmaker category that the team vitally needs. The Browns must score touchdowns, and a large (or fast) can largely assist with this long-term problem.

Don’t: Draft a Quarterback

Here the Browns would be settling for Connor Cook, Paxton Lynch, or possibly Christian Hackenburg. I don’t find any of the three as franchise signal callers, so using such an early pick on this trio does not make a ton of sense.

Round 3 (Picks #65 and 77) 

This is where the trade with the Eagles starts to take shape. Now, the Browns have a pair of choices in the third round – and can potentially draft two reliable athletes for this team.

Do: Get a Defender 

Both choices do not have to be spent on defensive guys; but it would be wise to get a cornerback, defensive lineman, or possible linebacker with one of their third round choices. The other can be another wide out (a shorter speedster to complement a larger one taken earlier), offensive lineman, or tight end.

Don’t: Trade Down 

The Browns got their haul already. Trading down in the first round will help both for years to come, as well as in later rounds. Dropping down in the third round might night a future second round pick, but that type of move appears to be foolish. Sure an earlier pick would be nice, but the Browns would be wise to get great players in 2016.

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2016 in NFL Draft

 

What the Trade Means

What the Trade Means

Rams and Titans Trade:  What Does it Mean for the Browns?

In case you haven’t heard (or have been living under a rock), but the Los Angeles Rams traded up from the fifteenth pick to the top selection in the 2016 NFL Draft.  This will have a huge ripple effect on the entire draft weekend, but (let’s face it) we only care about the orange and brown.  Speaking of which, the Browns have the second pick (at this point).  What should they do now?  Below are a few options.

Draft Wentz

I’m under the assumption that the Rams will take quarterback Jared Goff.  What’s the next best thing to do?  Well, if the Browns believe that Carson Wentz is a franchise quarterback as well – he is a worthy consolation prize from the other top signal caller.  The tangibles are there, the question then becomes can Hue Jackson take the athlete from a solid quarterback hailing from a small college to a franchise changer?

Trade Down

This appears to be the prevailing opinion for many fans of the Cleveland Browns.  They saw the haul that the Titans scooped up, and want their team to secure a handful of picks as well.  Trading down could net a star wideout, a reliable pass rusher, a replacement for Mitch Schwartz, and a quarterback.  The only scenario I could see this occurring is if the analytics justify this type of move.  Otherwise this should still remain a rumor.

Draft a Non-Quarterback

I am extremely opposed to this possible outcome.  Are Jalen Ramsey, Deforest Buckner, Joey Bosa, or Laremy Tunsil great football players?  Absolutely, but they cannot transcend a game the way a franchise quarterback can.  A team that has an established signal caller needs these players more than the Browns do.  Can the orange and brown use a phenomenal athlete?  You better believe it, but that’s not what Hue Jackson is building.

Conclusion:  The trade by the Rams to the number one selection appears to put the Browns in a spot to do one of two things.  First is that is draft Carson Wentz, assuming the team feels he is a franchise quarterback and is not taken with the first overall choice.  Secondly, the team could trade down and acquire additional assets to help boost the rebuild.  The new front office just saw their first curveball come their way; will they handle it well or pull a Pedro Cerrano?

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2016 in NFL Draft, Players

 

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The Scuttlebutt Before the Draft

The Scuttlebutt Before the Draft

Latest Browns Chatter

We are just under two more weeks until the NFL Draft weekend begins in Chicago. Excitement continues throughout the league and enthusiasm is in the air for all teams and fans alike. I hope the Browns’ front office has their game plan in place (and more importantly their contingencies). I’ve said it once and I’ll say it until the draft kicks off – I’m fine with the team kicking out the veterans who have played poorly last year. However, they MUST hit on their replacements in the pending draft. Outside of this obvious statement, let’s see other news surrounding the Browns.

New Leaders for the Team

There has been turnover from the veteran athletes who will be donning the orange and brown, but will they be upgrades from the guys they replaced? The debate comes down to whether Demario Davis and Rahim Moore could be the veterans that Donte Whitner and Dwayne Bowe were not. I would like to be positive regarding this; however this type of thinking is very uncommon for the Browns and their history in free agency. In addition to good pick ups, the team still needs a solid quarterback, great coaching, as well as a couple of breaks to go their way. I’d like to think that these guys would be solid finds by this front office (we’ll see what happens from there).

Trading Down Talk

The rumors continue to swirl regarding the Browns passing down an earlier pick for more choices and additional opportunities. I remain in the camp that if the Browns do in fact trade down, they do it with at the thirty-second pick (as opposed to the second overall choice). The team must get their signal caller at the second spot. I am positive that they will not be this high in drafting for quite some time (provided they choose a quarterback), so they must get the best signal caller the draft has to offer. Meanwhile, the thirty-second choice has a ton to offer and could result in a tremendous opportunity. Gaining additional second or third round selections could be what the doctor ordered for this team.

Conclusion: The quiet times and anticipation continues prior to the NFL Draft. The Browns introduced several new veterans (including Griffin) – they look to actually hit on a few of these decisions. Meanwhile, the analytics continue to come out that trading down and acquiring additional selections is a wise move. However, I could possibly be on board for this in the second round and beyond (they need a quarterback, in case you didn’t watch them last year). Getting the best value and getting the picks right is what the draft comes down to.

 
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Posted by on April 15, 2016 in Free Agency, Offseason, Players

 

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What’s New with the Browns?

What’s New with the Browns?

Calm Before the Storm: Cleveland Browns Before the Draft

It’s April, and that means the NFL Draft is just only a few weeks away. It appears that the league is always generating news for all twelve months. That said; let’s see what is currently going down regarding the Cleveland Browns. First, the team said goodbye to a native son, a prevailing thought should be kept in mind by the front office, and the 2016 year kicks off.

Out with the Old

The analytics machine reared its ugly head last week, as veteran Donte Whitner was the latest casualty from the Browns’ roster. The safety played well in spurts in his first campaign with the club, but had his issues in 2015 (and is not getting any younger). Like Karlos Dansby and Ifo Ekpre-Olomu before him, I wish the athlete nothing but the best – as long as he’s not facing the Browns. It will be interesting to figure out how this could potentially shake up the team’s draft plans. Jalen Ramsey is a tremendous talent, but the Browns need a quarterback before they should worry about the safety position.

Reaching for those QBs

It’s extremely obvious that teams typically overvalue quarterbacks (and rightly so on some occasions), therefore teams not needing a signal caller are in line to be the beneficiaries. I have a good feeling that if the Browns take Goff or Wentz with the second overall selection, they will be able to scoop up a valuable athlete that was previously given a first round grade. I am partial to a wide out being taken by the team at the thirty-second position. However, the opening of a need at safety must be considered as well. I know the team needs to improve their offensive line following a pair of departures last month. However, analytics would likely say that this position group could be acquired in the middle rounds of the draft.

Pre-Draft Workouts

Despite the team not practicing plays and running routes, etc., the Browns gathered together and began their strength training for the 2016 campaign. Hopefully the new strength coaches can be improvements upon their predecessors – as the rash of injuries in 2015 was mind numbing. Some camaraderie would also be welcomed; even if the team does not have one of the most talented locker rooms, solidifying a close knit group would be an advantage during the season (especially the tough times).

Conclusion: The news and notes continue to roll out for the Cleveland Browns. The turnover of the 2015 roster continues and the older veterans are on the chopping block. I have faith in this front office, but they must get the right guys to succeed the departed players. The Browns finally got together as a team for the upcoming season; while the Xs and Os will not be a talking point – I’m pulling for this being the start of a vastly improved unit from a year ago.

 
 

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Bob Griffin the Third – What to Make of This?

Bob Griffin the Third – What to Make of This?

I’m Just Fine with Robert Griffin III

There’s been much debate surrounding the acquisition of quarterback Robert Griffin III by the Cleveland Browns.  Was it a wise move, or will be another signal caller with a poor attitude?  I’m hoping for the former, but I’ll provide you with a few reasons why I support the team’s decision to scoop up the unrestricted free agent.

Reasonable Contract

Griffin inked a deal worth fifteen million dollars over two years.  In a time in the NFL where mediocre signal callers are making this amount in one year (i.e. Kirk Cousins) – this appears to be a cap-friendly, low risk deal by the orange and brown.  I understand the angst of letting in a guy who might feel he should be held in the highest regards for all the quarterbacks on the roster.  However, this was not the case in Washington last season (and I believe Griffin has grown from this experience).  Additionally, Hue Jackson is a no-nonsense coach that will not put up with selfish behavior.

Not Mutually Exclusive of Second Pick

The former number two pick in 2012 (ironically) should not affect what the Browns plan on doing with the number two pick in 2016.  Not only is the deal for a modest contract, the Browns have shown that they are still in search of their franchise quarterback.  Will Griffin be a day-one starter and resurrect his professional football career in Cleveland?  Or, will he start the 2016 campaign only to give way to a rookie in the middle of the season?  Those two scenarios will sort themselves out; however if the Browns only go with Griffin and another veteran or two – I fear that the quarterback position will not be substantially improved upon from the 2015 campaign.

Has Shown Ability

I understand it has been quite some time (just under four years), but at least Griffin has displayed success in the NFL.  Unlike his predecessor, he actually played the game and was victorious at it – en route to leading Washington to the playoffs.  Griffin’s injuries are well documented, but that is part of the reason why the Browns acquired the athlete at such a low cost.  If he can reclaim some of that magic from a few seasons ago, the guys in Berea might have made a brilliant move.

Conclusion:  Upon hearing about the rumors, I did not know what to think about Robert Griffin III and him coming to the Cleveland Browns. After reading the contract amount and years I feel much better about the team’s decision.  Can he fail?  Of course, but it’s not the end of the world if he does.  Add in the fact that the Browns’ brain trust is doing diligence at Jared Goff’s and Carson Wentz’s Pro Days – and the quarterback position might not be completely awful next year.

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2016 in Free Agency, NFL Draft, Players

 

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