Pro Football Talk is doing NFL fans a great service by tracking all the 2011 draft visits by team. You should check back often as it is updated. I thought maybe we should go ahead and add some depth of information to their list of players visiting the Browns in case these names appear on Kiper’s board as the Browns move through the various rounds of the draft.
TCU quarterback Andy Dalton (3/?) – Dalton has been screaming up draft boards after posting impressive workouts. The Bengals, Jaguars, Bears, Patriots and Browns have all been doing some level of research on him. Dalton had an exceptional career at TCU. He was the MVP of three out of the four bowl games he played in during his TCU run. These were the Texas Bowl vs. Houston, the 2008 Poinsettia Bowl against the Boise State Blue Carpets, and of course this year’s Rose Bowl against Wisconsin.
The question for a guy like Dalton will always be was it the guy or was it the system? He played in that exciting college spread. He had to run the offense and audible, but whether he can adapt to the NFL game remains for NFL scouts and coaches to figure out before draft day.
As far as the Browns are concerned, I would consider this in that category of guys where Holmgren takes a QB every year somewhere. I still wouldn’t expect the Browns to take someone like this in the first or second round, to be sure.
Oklahoma running back DeMarco Murray (3/?) – The Browns will have Peyton Hillis and Montario Hardesty competing for spots in the starting backfield. After that, it looks kind of thin. Murray is a speedster. He posted a 4.41 second 40 time at the combine. He is projected to go in the second or third round depending on which NFL draft website you check out. He had over 1000 yards rushing in the ’08-09 season for Oklahoma. The other two years he was over 700 yards.
He might be a great candidate to be a third down, change of pace back in the NFL. This season he caught 41 balls for 522 yards and 4 touchdowns. I am still learning about the West Coast offense, but it seems to me that a really fast running back with pass-catching ability would flourish in the West Coast. Because Peyton Hillis had such a good year, we don’t often think of running back as a need for the Browns, but make no mistake. It is.
Wisconsin offensive tackle Gabe Carimi (3/11) – Joe Thomas’ replacement at Wisconsin projects to be a left tackle in the NFL. Joe Thomas’ replacement does not project to be a left tackle for the Cleveland Browns. There is already a guy there you might have heard of. His name is Joe Thomas. Enough of my silliness.
Carmimi is a giant at 6’7″ and 314 pounds. He is widely considered to be in the top five of OTs in the draft. I can’t figure out the scenario where the Browns take Carimi right now, but they could do far worse. The right side of the offensive line has been a struggle for the last few years and if the Browns can find a way to take care of other pressing needs, I would never oppose finding the solution on the right side of the offensive line for the next decade.
Eastern Kentucky defensive tackle Andrew Soucy (3/15) – Soucy was the Ohio Valley Conference player of the year at Eastern Kentucky. He is 6’2″ and nearly 300 pounds. This is a potential late draft pick. Soucy might be legit, but it is hard to project him in the NFL after he dominated Austin Peay, Eastern Illinois, Jacksonville State, Morehead State, etc. in his conference.
LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson (3/16) - Previously discussed at WFNY in this post…
Miami cornerback Demarcus Van Dyke (3/17) – DeMarcus Van Dyke is fast. He ran the fastest 40 at the combine at 4.28 seconds. Van Dyke also beat Patrick Peterson by 0.06 seconds for comparison’s sake. Van Dyke could be a late-round pick with a good amount of upside. He finished four years at a pretty elite program, has lots of experience on special teams and obviously has some athletic gifts that you just can’t coach. In one interview on Scout.com he is quoted as saying, “I can do anything they want me to do. I’ll play special teams, clean lockers, do whatever it takes to be on the team.”
(Stay tuned for part 2 when we get to the rest of PFT’s list.)