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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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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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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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