Tag:Cleveland Browns
Posted on: April 23, 2010 7:44 am
 

The First Round in Primetime: The Day After

Well my mock was obliterated by the crazy Tyson Alualu pick at #10 by the Jaguars, Denver's 20 trades and a few other factors. I think the Browns pick was so-so because I had Haden rated as my #2 CB. I think the Raiders actually made a terrific pick in Rolando McClain. Cincy picked a TE that missed all of 2009 with a knee injury. Gresham's a good player but will he hold up?  Detroit traded back into the 1st round to take a RB with who suffered a serious concussion in 2009.  I thought the fact that concussions were a hot-bed issue would lower Jahvid Best's stock.  Guess speed triumphs over head injuries. At least they got the best player in the draft in Suh.  The Jets looked smart again since they got my #1 CB at the #29 spot in Kyle Wilson. New England took a CB that I am not too high on in Devin McCourty. Pittsburgh got the best center in the draft in Maurkice Pouncey. Baltimore traded out of the first round completely. San Diego took the best RB in Ryan Matthews. I think the Seahawks had a great 1st round getting Russell Okung, the best OT; and Earl Thomas, my personal favorite safety. And lastly, I think that Denver (who made about 4 or 5 trades last night) had the absolute looniest 1st round of any team. First they took the guy I had as the 9th best…at his position, in WR Demaryius Thomas. That's the guy with the broken foot who never ran a full-speed workout this offseason. That's the guy who only ran two patterns in his college offense. And then, they traded back into the 1st to take my 9th best QB in Tim Tebow. So now they have Kyle Orton, Brady Quinn, and Tim Tebow; they traded their best WR; they took a WR who I don't like; the have an awesome left tackle to block for their left-handed QB of the future (which makes zero sense); and they still have a gaping hole at MLB, center, TE, and probably a few other places I can't think of right this second. Mind-blowing. You know what I like best though? Jimmy Clausen could still end up with the Browns. I am floored that Tebow went off the board before Clausen and McCoy. I guarantee the Broncos will live to regret that.  The teams that draft Jimmy Clausen and Colt McCoy should send the Broncos a Thank You card.  I can't wait to see what happens tonight.

Posted on: April 21, 2010 11:46 pm
Edited on: April 22, 2010 5:04 pm
 

First Round Mock Draft

Here's my stab in the dark barring trades:
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1.     St. Louis – Sam Bradford QB Okl – It seems the Rams are hung up on him.  But if they need a QB, which they do, they should take Clausen.  I think they will live to regret this.  Not every guy who once shredded his shoulder is Drew Brees.

2.     Detroit – Ndamukong Suh DT Neb – They are tempted to take Okung, but Suh is a once-every-decade DT.  He was the best college player in 2009 and he’s the best player in this draft.

3.     Tampa Bay – Gerald McCoy DT Okl – They will do back-flips Jason Pierre-Paul style if Suh or McCoy is there.  Tampa is in better shape than any 1st round team.

4.     Washington – Trent Williams OT Okl – I’m buying the talk that the Skins think Williams fits their zone-blocking scheme better than Russell Okung.  Speaking of Okung…

5.     KC – Russell Okung OT Ok St – I am tempted to give them Eric Berry here but I belive that Scott Pioli won’t take a safety in the 1st round unless he trades back.  Which he may do.

6.     Seattle – C.J. Spiller RB Clem – Pete Carroll wants him and he can’t wait until #14.  That may burn him in his search for an OT.

7.     Cleveland – Jimmy Clausen QB ND – Mike Holmgren doesn’t want to wait around for guys like Colt McCoy or Dan LeFevour, possible 2nd round options, to adjust to the pro-style game.  He’ll take the most pro-ready QB.

8.     Oakland – Rolando McClain LB Ala – Maybe they will trade this pick to the Steelers for the suspended Big Ben.  But if they keep it, I think Oakland will make the ultimate “throw everybody off” pick and actually take a good player.

9.     Buffalo – Bryan Bulaga OT Iowa – I think elderly GM Buddy Nix will make some weird picks.  But this won’t be one of them.  I think Bulaga is right up their alley.  But they would also like Clausen if he falls to them.

10. Jacksonville – Derrick Morgan DE GT – They never would have got the premiere DE at #10 in past years.  They should send a “Thank You” card to all of the 3-4 teams in the league.

11. Denver – Maurkice Pouncey C Fla – They want McClain but he’s gone.  A 10-year starter is a good, albeit not exciting, pick here.

12. Miami – Eric Berry S Ten – If the Chiefs and Browns don’t take him, I think he could fall.  He’s a talented player at a time when, I think, people are hesitant to give safeties big money.  The Dolphins have so many options here it will be hard for them to go wrong.

13. San Francisco – Kyle Wilson CB Boise St – I believe they have him higher on their board than Joe Haden.  And CB is a need pick for a team with no real GM.  A curious situation.

14. Seattle – Anthony Davis OT Rut – The Hawks gambled that a top OT would be there at #14 and they were right.  It’s just that Davis has the most questionable attitude of the OTs taken so far.

15. NY Giants – Mike Iupati OG Idaho – The fans want McClain.  The team might too.  But he’s long gone now.  Iupati fills a need and he’s an excellent, and versatile player.  Fans will applaud this pick…later.

16. Tennessee – Carlos Dunlap DE Fla – Surprise choice here, but I don’t think they trust Jason Pierre-Paul this high.  Dunlap is a Florida grad like former Titan star Jevon Kearse.  The Titans overlook Dunlap’s recent DUI because of his 4.6 speed.

17. San Francisco – Rodger Saffold OT Ind – SF needs a tackle.  I’m betting that they have Saffold rated higher than workout freak Bruce Campbell and SoCal guy Charles Brown.

18. Pittsburgh – Joe Haden CB Fla – I honestly think the Steelers would rather have Kyle Wilson.  If they trade up with Oakland or some other top 10 team, they may take Wilson earlier than anyone would have thought.

19. Atlanta – Brandon Graham DE Mich – I think the ATL sees Graham as their version of Dwight Freeney.

20. Houston – Earl Thomas S – I feel like Thomas can fit in here at S or CB.  This would be a steal for the Texans.  I could also see them taking another favorite of mine: Ryan Matthews.

21. Cincinnati – Aaron Hernandez TE Fla – A big shocker here.  But Cincy has some blockers at TE and Hernandez is the best receiving TE in the draft.  I’m guessing that they see Hernandez as a Dallas Clark-type of player to go along with Ochocinco and Antonio Bryant.

22. New England – Jared Odrick DT PSU – The Pats find their replacement for Richard Seymore.  Odrick is an athletic DT that can be shifted to DE in the 3-4 sets.  Seems like a classic Patriots’ pick.

23. Green Bay – Devin McCourty CB Rut – I would rather see them pick Patrick Robinson or Kareem Jackson, but I think they’re buying the McCourty hype.  They could take an OT here like Charles Brown, Bruce Campbell, or Vladimir Ducasse.

24.  Philidelphia – Jason Pierre-Paul DE USF – They might take a CB here, but I think they will be too tempted by JPP’s athletic ability if they stay put here.  But all I’m hearing is that Philly wants to trade up.

25. Baltimore – Kareem Jackson CB Ala – The Ravens grab a young, physical CB who fits their style of play.

26. Arizona – Colt McCoy QB Tex – I just have a hunch that the Cards are not satisfied with Matt Leinart and Derrick Anderson as their top two QBs.

27. Dallas – Bruce Campbell OT – The Boys need an OT and Jerry Jones loves athletes.  This just makes sense to me.

28. San Diego – Ryan Matthews RB Fres St – The Chargers get a replacement for LaDanian Tomlinson.

29. NY Jets – Sergio Kindle OLB Tex – Rex Ryan grabs a guy who can learn under Jason Taylor for a year.

30. Minnesota – Morgan Burnett S GT – The Vikes don’t buy the Taylor Mays hype so they grab this fast riser.

31. Indianapolis – Sean Weatherspoon LB Mizzou – He seems like a prototypical, fast Colts ‘backer.

32. New Orleans – Everson Griffen DE USC – The Saints need a replacement for Charles Grant on the D-line.

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Posted on: April 21, 2010 11:24 pm
Edited on: April 22, 2010 5:29 pm
 

The DTs...

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1.     Ndamukong Suh Neb – This is a no-brainer to me.  During 2009, he was hands down the best player in college football.  He absolutely took over the Big 12 Championship Game.  Didn’t he have 4.5 sacks in that game?  Jason Pierre-Paul had only 2 more than that in his major college career!  If St. Louis is stuck picking #1, they may want to reconsider The thought of a risky pick like Bradford, and take the safe bet.  Especially considering that the guy Suh terrorized in that Big 12 game, Colt McCoy, might be there when the Rams pick early Friday evening.

2.     Gerald McCoy Okl – 4-3 or 3-4 teams would love him (he can line up at end in a 3-4 presumably).  I’ve heard he’s a better pass rusher than Suh, but the stats certainly don’t show that.  To me, McCoy is the obvious #2 on this list.

3.     Jared Odrick PSU – A fast riser right now because he can project to a 3-4 DE.  He may go as high as #7 to the Browns if they see him as this year’s Tyson Jackson.  I see him more as a late 1st round pick.  That would mean that a better team would be taking him and he’d have an easier road to success.

4.     Dan Williams Tenn – He didn’t stand out to me but because 3-4 teams put a premium on his size as a potential run-stopping NT, he could go as high as the top ten.

5.     Lamaar Houston Tex – In the National Championship game he looked so quick.  He was perhaps the best defensive player in that game on that day.  I could see him moving between DE and DT depending on what team takes him.  He has more value to a 3-4 team in my mind.

6.     Tyson Alualu Cal – Yet another guy who could be moved to DE in a 3-4.  He seems to be gaining significant momentum as the dawn of the draft approaches

7.     Terrence Cody Ala – A mammoth on the D-line.  But he is a very fat guy.  He may only be good for 20 plays a game.  Maybe even fewer than that.  But he has made a conscious effort to lose weight this offseason, and some 3-4 team will take him in the early to mid 2nd round at the latest.

8.     Cam Thomas UNC – He’s a big dude who can play NT in the 3-4.  I feel like a broken record when talking about these DT prospects.

9.     Brian Price UCLA – His conditioning has come into question because of a poor pro day.  He was projected in the 1st round early on but he is slip-sliding on the boards.

10. Mike Neal Pur – He was stellar at the East-West Shrine game and that has improved his standing.  He could be used at DE by 3-4 teams.

Guy who would be higher if not for injuries:  Arthur Jones Syr

Guys who will be picked higher than originally thought because they are big: Linval Joseph ECU and Torell Troup UCF – I don’t know much more about either guy to make a fair assessment.

Two Georgia guys: Geno Atkins and Jeff Owens UGA – They are on the small side so it may be hard for them to find a place in today’s NFL.

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Posted on: April 21, 2010 11:01 pm
Edited on: April 22, 2010 4:57 pm
 

The RBs...

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1.     Ryan Matthews Fres St – I’ve been a Matthews fan since he tore up a tough Boise St. defense in their 2009 matchup.  BSU drove LeGarrette Blount to the point of criminal insanity.  Matthews, meanwhile, tore off 3 TD runs of over 60 yards.  He had over 1800 yards on the season.  I like CJ Spiller too, but to me, Matthews is more LaDanian Tomlinson than Spiller is Chris Johnson.  Maybe I’m wrong.  The good thing about elite RBs is that we should find out fairly soon.

2.     CJ Spiller Clem – He’s not Chris Johnson.  But he’s not Reggie Bush either.  Spiller is the most versatile RB in 2010, a threat to score in multiple ways.  I like him a lot, and I feel he will be off the board before Matthews.  I just think Matthews is more of the traditional 20 carry a game back.  Both guys will enjoy long-term success.

3.     Toby Gerhart Stan – As a Browns fan, I know he’s not Tommy Vardell.  That’s too simple.  White guys from Stanford are not all alike.  Toby has better speed than Tommy.  And better production.  His coach even raves about Gerhart’s pass-catching skills.  Look beyond the stereotypes of the white RB.  Gerhart is a 1000 NFL rusher and a premiere athlete (he played CF for Stanford’s baseball team).  Some team will be very happy with him.

4.     Jonathan Dwyer GT – He’s a bruiser and he’s somewhat slow.  His positive test for ADHD medication shouldn’t hurt his stock.  The system in which he played in college may though.  There are doubts about whether or not he is shifty enough to be effective.  In today’s two-back-system NFL, Dwyer has a place.

5.     Ben Tate Aub – I’ve heard that he runs too tall.  I’ve heard that he might be fumble prone.  I see him as an underrated runner who shined in his bowl game and who took advantage of his off-season workouts.  I think Tate is a hidden gem in this draft class.  He will likely go in round two.

6.     Montario Hardesty Tenn – I’d have him ahead of Tate if not for injury concerns.  But Hardesty did log over 500 career carries at Tenn despite an ACL tear in 2005.   He has good size and terrific speed for his build.  Even though he’s a RB I see his injury history as less of a concern than…

7.     Jahvid Best Cal – Those concussions scare me and I guarantee they scare every NFL personnel guy.  Concussions are a hot-button issue and, unfortunately for Best, he suffered one of the nastiest concussions I’ve seen in a while.  One nasty hit and his career could be over before it begins.

8.     Lonyae Miller Fres St – He would have started if not for my favorite, Matthews.  He’s more of a complimentary back.  But as I said before, the NFL is a two-back league.  I think of Matthews and Miller as sort of a poor man’s Cadillac Williams and Ronnie Brown.  But without the hype.

9.     James Starks Buf – I think Starks would be higher if not for his season-ending 2009 shoulder injury.  He’s had an excellent offseason to spring him into my top 10.

10.  Joique Bell Wayne St – His relatively slow 40 times have soured some scouts, but his production (albeit at a small school) was through the roof.  Bottom line is I like him, and at this point, it’s kind of a toss-up.

Guy who never lived up to his ability: Joe McKnight USC – touted as “the next Reggie Bush” at USC but he couldn’t match the hype.  But he was productive as a Jr. and he has speed to burn.

Two more small school studs: Deji Karim S Ill – Surprising speed and big time numbers in 2009.

Pat Paschall NDSU – I saw this guy in the East-West Shrine game and he impressed me with his tough running.

Two guys I’d steer clear of: Andre Dixon UConn – Has some off-the-field concerns but runs with great toughness.

LeGarrette Blount Ore – Some brave team will take a chance on this character concern.  He could be a steal if he keeps his head on straight.  Or he could…well, ask Byron Haut.

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Posted on: April 21, 2010 10:48 pm
Edited on: April 22, 2010 4:47 pm
 

Allow me to introduce myself

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Well, I not going to lie.

For years, I’ve been an NFL Draft junkie.  I’m a lifelong fan of the Cleveland Browns.  It’s a burden I wouldn’t wish on anyone and a joy I cannot describe to those who aren’t in the know.  My football fandom dates back to a Browns playoff run that involved an INT by the late Don Rodgers of the great Dan Marino.  I remember The Drive, The Fumble, The Hiatus, and all of the other things associated with Cleveland football since then.  It has been a long, long time since my beloved Browns have given me, or any of my fellow fans, a degree of joy even the Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders have given their fans in recent years.  These years of futility led to the yearly NFL Draft becoming my personal Christmas.  Every year, in late April, hope springs eternal for fans like me.  Every year, in late April, a fan’s faith in his team is tested.  Hundreds of college kids strive for success in the league.  And fans like you and me question their worth.  We criticize Mel Kiper and his haircut.  Todd McShay and his red face.  Mike Mayock and his intensity.  They say a QB has a low arm angle.  Or this RB runs too tall.  Or this lineman has short arms.  Or this DB has tight hips.  And we think they are full of you-know-what.  We saw that guy thread a needle in a bowl game.  Or run over a highly-touted safety.  Or man-handle a stud defensive end.  We listen to them say things like “League insiders think (fill-in-the-blank) will never be an NFL QB” or “Sources tell me that (so-and-so) is the next Reggie White.”  And we scoff, or we applaud when our team picks that guy, or we just talk ourselves into a particular pick.   Well this offseason I wanted to see for myself.  If I watched some games.  If I watched some youtube clips.  If I read the scouting reports and watched the all-star games and followed the Combine.  Can I make some assessments?  The draft is the most imperfect of sciences.  Not just predicting ability, but heart and soul.  Dedication.  Sheer will.  It’s impossible.  But I still wanted to try.  So in the following posts leading up to a major football fan Holiday, I am going to try my hand at this.  I have emerged from my laboratory (desk in my kitchen) and looked into my crystal balls (my Sony flatscreen and my Macbook laptop) and used my magic potion (cheap vodka) and I have come up with my own player rankings for each position not named kicker, punter, or long-snapper.  I will tell you why Tim Tebow is my 9th favorite QB in a weak class.  Why Ryan Matthews is my favorite RB.  And why I don’t trust Dez Bryant or Jason Pierr-Paul (do any of you?).  So here goes.  I’ll start with the QBs and work my way to safety.  I focused on guys I have seen in at least a little bit of game or work-out action.  I figure, if I’m going to call Kiper or McShay out, let people call me out.  Comments are not only welcomed, but also encouraged.  Give me your worst or your best.  Next up, the QBs.  I hope you read and react.  Thanks.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com