Tag Archives: Laken Tomlinson

Early Options for the Browns – Offense

Early Options for the Browns – Offense

NFL Scouting Combine – Part One

Offensive Line

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).

Tight Ends

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.

Wide Receivers

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.

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Posted by on February 26, 2015 in NFL Combine, NFL Draft


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Quick Analysis – Senior Bowl – North

Quick Analysis – Senior Bowl – North

Senior Bowl – Scouting Reports – North Squad

It’s Scouting season! Once again, some of the best football players in the world come to convene in Mobile, Alabama. Certainly, some guys stood head and shoulders above their counterparts – while others faltered greatly. How much will these impressions influence general managers this April? It is relatively up to the personality of the NFL organizations as well as the men in charge of personnel decisions. However, a great first impression is not a bad thing – let’s see whom the orange and brown could key on and whom they might want to avoid.

North Roster Stock Up:

Jamison Crowder – WR – Duke University – The undersized wide out displayed his blazing speed in drills. He excelled in both during out routes as well as deeper tosses from signal callers. While Browns’ fans may groan at the thought of another short guy catching passes, he could be a solid option in the middle rounds of the draft.

Danny Shelton – DT – University of Washington – The large man on the defensive line showed how exceptional he could be at the next level.   Getting around offensive linemen either by blowing by them or sliding around them were two consistent results that occurred for the former Husky. Could he help the Browns defense? Most likely, but will they select him during the draft?

Laken Tomlinson – OG – Duke University – He more than held his own against his opponents during blocking drills. I was impressed to see him stand up defensive stalwarts on multiple occasions. The Browns would be wise to give him a look, as the interior of their line is in need of upgrading.

Donovan Smith – OT – Pennsylvania State University – He possesses all the tangibles required for an offensive lineman in the NFL. Smith performed the way that he should have during Senior Bowl week. Manhandling the opposition was the norm for the star. I wouldn’t mind the Browns giving this guy a hard look this spring.

North Roster Stock Down:

Jeff Luc – ILB – University of Cincinnati – The linebacker struggled consistently in coverage during one-on-one drills. While the position is rather set (for the Browns) with Chris Kirksey, Craig Robertson, and Karlos Dansby – they could always use another reliable guy back there. Luc will have to continue to impress scouts if he wants to get chosen during the earlier in the draft.

Bryce Petty – QB – Baylor University – I was underwhelmed by the play of the prolific quarterback. He struggled with his timing when tossing the ball to receivers, and did not accurately hit his spots during individual drills. Like many college quarterbacks, he will need time to transition to playing under center. I (obviously) wouldn’t write him off yet, but he’s got a great deal of room to grow.

Devin Smith – WR – Ohio State University – The national champion came to Mobile to prove he is more than a one-trick pony. Unfortunately, that did not come to fruition – as the speedster could not cause separation during shorter routes. I have my doubts that he can translate to the professional game, but the buckeye still has ample time to refine his game.

T.J. Clemmings – OT – University of Pittsburgh – The large athlete has tremendous strength and size, but was very up-and-down in his play in Mobile. Some times he was sufficient, while others his opponent made him look foolish. The Browns might want to look at a guy who can be a starting right tackle on day one, but if they want to wait to see if Clemmings slides – he could be in their future plans. 

Conclusion: Some of the athletes looked great this week, while others did not. Along those lines, some will be exceptional professionals and many won’t. Are the guys who stood out going to be bona-fide stars, while the disappointments will be busts? Of course not, but a good start here will keep the attention of scouts on these prospects. I’m hopeful the Browns can use this week to make informed (and more importantly correct) decisions draft weekend.

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


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