April 23, 2014

Running Down the Browns Pre-Draft Invitees (Part 2)

(If you missed part 1, you can go back and read that first.)

As I said in part 1, 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.

Indiana offensive tackle James Brewer (3/?) – It is nice that the Browns are looking so hard at possible additions to the right side of the offensive line.  James Brewer struggled early in his college career with injuries.  In his first two college seasons (after red-shirting 2006) he suffered a foot injury and an ankle injury.  The foot injury caused him to miss all of 2007, and he played eight games in 2008.  He is 6’6″ and 323 pounds.  He is another player with four years of experience in college.  He is probably somewhere in the top ten for offensive tackles in the draft depending on who you ask.

Texas cornerback Curtis Brown (3/?) – If the Browns don’t draft Patrick Peterson up at number 6, this is one of those names that could start to look interesting in the second round.  Even if the Browns bring back Eric Wright, they will need to find some more depth at corner this off-season.  Tom Heckert has indicated that the Browns will focus a lot on finding players with exceptional speed and athleticism on defense.  Curtis Brown could fit this mold.

Curtis Brown is another player who is considered top ten at his position in the draft.  He ran a 4.4 in the 40-yard dash and was at Texas for four years.  He had been a wide receiver in high school prior to being a defensive back in college.  He has plenty of special teams experience.  He even returned some punts during his career.  The Patriots are also scheduled to work out Brown

Lehigh guard Will Rackley (3/21, 4/10) – More on the offensive line… 16 NFL coaches and about 30 scouts were at Lehigh’s NFL Pro Day.  Rackley, the 6’3″ 310 pound offensive lineman, needed to show off after skipping drills at the combine due to a minor “hip flexor tweak.”  The 6’3″ 309 pounder is known for his athleticism, so it was important for him to perform for coaches and scouts.  Some of the scouting websites have him listed as a guard and others have him listed at tackle.  I believe he played tackle his senior year at Lehigh.

Auburn quarterback Cam Newton (?/?) - Previously discussed at WFNY in this post

Arizona defensive end Brooks Reed (?/?) – According to RavensInsider at NationalFootballPost, Reed is moving up the draft boards.  He is drawing comparisons to Clay Matthews with his pass-rushing abilities, athleticism and long blond hair.  So the hair doesn’t really matter that much, I guess.  This is a guy where the question is if he is an outside linebacker or a defensive end.  His picture at the combine has him in a DL shirt, but at 6’3″ and 263 pounds it could go either way.

Some of the draft websites indicate there are questions around his ability to cover like a linebacker in space.  Remember when Kamerion Wimbley used to do that in Romeo Crennel’s schemes?  Let’s assume if the Browns find Brooks Reed on their radar it will most likely be as a defensive end putting pressure on the QB.

Clemson defensive end Da’Quan Bowers (?/?) - Previously discussed at WFNY in this post…

South Carolina cornerback Chris Culliver (4/2) – Not sure why he is listed as a corner.  Most of the sources I researched had him listed at free safety.  Always remember that there is a big difference between strong safety and free safety.  T.J. Ward is a strong safety and will be less likely to be exceptional in coverage.  Free safety is more likely to end up one on one with a receiver deep in the secondary.  Depending on the Abe Elam situation the Browns could (and probably should) be in the market for a free safety somewhere in the draft.

Chris Culliver is another fast player.  He ran the low to mid 4.3s in the 40 yard dash.  He tore a pec muscle this season and missed time after playing seven of the first eight games.  Culliver has experience as a kick returner as well as both corner and free safety.

Texas A&M linebacker Von Miller (4/11) – I don’t know what I really need to tell you about Von Miller.  He is the Butkus award winner and widely considered to be long gone before the Browns are on the clock with the 6th pick in the draft.  If Miller happens to be there and the Browns decide to take him, I will scold any Browns fan who gets upset.  No draft picks are guaranteed, but Miller is one of those athletes that loves to tackle and has a sense to get it done behind the line of scrimmage.  You don’t want to draw comparisons to other linebackers, but we all know great ones.  Miller has the potential to be one of those really great ones.

That’s all for now.  As more of these visits get announced, we will continue to run the players down that the Browns have interest in.  As they become apparent, it will continue to put a picture together as to what the Browns feel about their current depth chart.

 

  • SlawDawg

    “I will scold any Browns fan that gets upset”

    Hahaha! Sounds like my 3rd grade teacher, but a fair point.

  • bobby

    I agree with Von. I definitely think Miller could be starting and be making impact plays for the browns D this fall (if there is football this fall…).

  • jimkanicki

    i point i want to get in and i might come back to it again because it’s worth looking at: the quickest way to the super bowl is through the o-line. ie, if you can find a team with 3+ probowl OLinemen, they’re probably at the top of the league if not dynastic.

    here’s the data:
    shula dolphins… 2 HOFers… langer, little, kuechenburg, evans.
    lombardi packers… 2 HOFers, gregg-kramer + gillingham, skowonski
    staubach cowboys: neely, scott, donovan
    madden raiders: 3 HOFers.. shell, upshaw, otto,
    Theisman Redskins: May, Grimm, Jacoby, Bostic
    Montana Niners: Oates Sapolu Wallace Burton
    Young Niners: Quillan, Cross, Fahnhorst
    90s Steelers: Dawson, Searcy, Haselrig
    00s Steelers: Faneca, Marvel Smith, Dawson
    Pats: Woody, Koppen, Light, Mankins
    80s Giants: Elliot, Roberts, Oates
    00s Giants: Snee, Diehl, OHara

    we’ve got 2 and half (steinbach doesnt suck) probowlers. get us a carimi level anchor for the right side and we’re right there.

    worth looking at, imo.

  • bobby

    @ jim- Steinbach gets by more from reputation I think. But I do think that OL and how good your QB and in turn you offense is are directly correlated. Still, the browns just need differences makers, and Id say specifically on D. As putrid as the O was most games, I still think you can create offense from D. You can outcoach an outmanned O since the D still has to react, but its so much harder to outcoach an out matched D. How great would it be if Carmini or another OL slides to the 2nd? really tho, chances are they get taken above their projections.

  • Shamrock

    Please not another OL besides Mack is your third OL, Thomas-Steinbach-Mack. Free agency is where they could fill out right side unfortunately no free agency probably. Draft playmakers personally Peterson, Miller or Dareus on d or Green on o. I hope Julio Jones falls to second and maybe Mark Ingram. Slim to none on Ingram probably.

  • jimkanicki

    @shamrock — remember the jax game? lauvao started next to st clair? six sacks and more pressures. if you remember, it was a total bull-rush, pocket collapse so there weren’t even any lanes for colt to escape from.

    if you draft a carimi it’s like getting two starters because a lauvao now has some air cover to be effective.

    the numbers above don’t lie. look at any consistently good team and they’ve got at least 3 probowl linemen. the noteable exception is the bradshaw steelers — mike webster was the only decorated lineman they had.

    the only stud o-line i could find that did not get to the super bowl was the cunningham vikings. steussie, mcdaniel, christy were pro-bowlers in 98, korey stringer was on that line too, but not probowl.

    there seems to be a correlation between 3+ probowl lineman and winning. just sayin.

  • jimkanicki

    ^^ps, that vikes team was 15-1. just saying they didn’t get to the SB.

  • Matt

    I hope the Browns draft A.J. Green and somehow give him #31 to make my jersey relevant again.

    But for reals, start at the line. Either one really, but preferably the D-Line, due to the blood-letting.

  • mgbode

    you may have to scold me. i would not be happy with Von Miller.