August 26, 2014

Browns Undrafted Free Agency Signings and Rumors

Now this is one of the places where Twitter is really useful. Last night the floodgates were opened so that NFL undrafted free agents were allowed to negotiate with teams. Or is it the other way around? Either way, as these guys, who had been in limbo since the draft ended, started to have their phones ring they and their friends were tweeting about where they were going.  Luckily for everyone, a New England Patriots draft blog – nepatriotsdraft.com – was reporting and consolidating information from basically everywhere into a list.  So, who did the Browns reportedly get?

Carl Gettis – Cornerback – Missouri – (@CG_AKA_P_CHULO) Gettis is a four-year player from Missouri.  He is 5’10″ at nearly 200 pounds.  He came into college as a running back before switching to corner.  Not that it means a whole lot, but his most famous highlight has him playing press coverage against Illinois before making a one-handed interception.

Alex Wujciak (pronounced Wo-jack) – Linebacker – Maryland -  (@Awuj33) 6’2″ 245 pounder was pretty well known in ACC circles. Didn’t get a combine invite despite being a playmaker at a decent-sized school. Early on in his career, he had some knee injuries.

Chris Matthews – Wide Receiver – Kentucky – (@Caliboi_8) This dude is big and physical.  He is 6’5″ and 218 pounds.  He isn’t the fastest guy in the world, but he plays big and physical, including a willingness to block in the running game.  He was thought to be a potential 6th or 7th round steal potential on draft day.  Let’s hope he becomes an undrafted steal for the Browns.  (H/T Brendan from Brownsblog.com)

Troy Weatherhead – Quarterback – Hillsdale – (@t_dubski) Weatherhead played D-II football at Hillsdale.  He was the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC?) player of the year.  He is 6’3″ tall and weighs in at 218 pounds.  He has a lot of gaudy stats and averages from his years at Hillsdale, but seeing as it is Division II it only means so much.

The same can be said of what this means for the Browns’ QB position, specifically Jake Delhomme.  It could mean that he is gone.  It could mean that the Browns would like for him to be gone.  It might mean none of those things.  Undrafted free agency is like playing the lottery, especially with D-II talent.

Brian Smith – Linebacker – Notre Dame – (@BCSmith58)  First of all, I am assuming that this guy is going to be a superstar in the NFL because I found a highlight video of him on Youtube set to the sounds of Saliva’s “Click Click Boom.”  (I KNOW, right?)  Anyway, Smith is a 6’3″ 240 pounder.

This one I like.  I honestly don’t know a ton about Smith, but the Browns adding an experienced player from a major program at a position of need is always a good thing.  Obviously Smith went undrafted for a reason, but you always hear some success stories about undrafted linebackers like James Harrison and to a lesser extent even Marcus Benard.

Sidney Tarver – Linebacker – Tennessee State – Raw and athletic are the two words I read most often when researching this 6’3″ 240 pounder.  The National Football Post reports that he ran a 4.65 to 4.68 40-yard dash.  When the Browns scouted him they were among a multitude of NFL teams including the Ravens, Bears, Giants, Texans, Raiders, Chargers and more.

He is considered another of those hybrid type players between 3-4 rushing linebacker and 4-3 defensive end.  He was asked to do a lot of things in college.  While I have been hard on the Browns for attempting to convert players in the past, I have no problem with doing so with an undrafted free agent who has athletic ability.

Last, but not least is Kyle Anderson. He played at Georgetown College in Kentucky, but I couldn’t find a whole lot about him. He was first team All-American in the NAIA/AFCA for 2010. Georgetown College is in the MidSouth Conference. I feel like the janitor from Billy Madison unsuccessfully reporting anything other than what color car Miss Lippy drives back to Eric. If and when I figure out more about this guy, I’ll let you know.

In other news, Noel Devine, the speedy running back appears to be headed to the Falcons. Dane Sanzenbacher is rumored to be headed to the Bills. Bryant Browning could be headed to the Rams. Dexter Larimore to the Saints. Justin Boren to the Ravens. Devon Torrence to the Vikings.

Last, but not least, one UDFA RB Derrick Locke from Kentucky is going to make a production of his choice on Facebook according to reports. I have seen the Vikings and Rams mentioned. The fact that this guy is making a show of his announcement as an undrafted player really turns me off though. And update is that he has chosen the Vikings.

Updates:

According to @KMGSportsMgmt the Browns have agreed to terms with Jabari Fletcher from Appalachian State.

Browns are reportedly talking to the agent for Blayne Donnell, a small RB from Louisville and Juan Nunez a wide receiver from Western Michigan.  Donnell didn’t even have 50 carries in college, so keep that in mind.  Nunez is a MAC star.  He had 91 receptions and over 1,000 yards last season for Western Michigan.

Multiple tweeters are reporting that UTEP running back Donald Buckram has chosen the Browns over the Vikings. Maybe Derrick Locke’s decision to join the Vikings had something to do with it. Buckram is a guy who had a breakout junior season before fighting injuries his senior season. If he is more like his junior self, the Browns could have found a steal as he rushed for nearly 1600 yards and 18 touchdowns on 259 attempts for UTEP.

WARNING: You will want to mute these videos because they have filthy lyrics.

Dominic Alford – Offensive Guard – Minnesota – (@goldengopher76) Says on his Twitter that he is a member of the Cleveland Browns. The dude is 6’3″ and 321 pounds.

James Dockery – Cornerback – Oregon State – (@jdoc4) Also according to multiple sources on Twitter, James Dockery is a Cleveland Brown. Dockery did a correspondent piece for Jim Rome on his “Rome is Burning” TV show. Clip below.

L.J. Castile – Wide Receiver – University of Houston – This is one of those longshot types, I am guessing. 6’2″ 200 pound receiver with pretty average speed. Another body in camp at least.

Andre Caroll – Defensive Tackle – Delaware State –

Jarrod Shaw – Offensive Guard – Tennessee - Shaw is probably a pretty smart guy. He left school with two degrees. He got one in sports management and also a master’s degree in agriculture, leadership, education and communication. I’ll be honest when I say I don’t know what kind of classload is involved with getting that master’s degree. Even still, two degrees is better than one and far better than the none some kids come out of their NCAA careers touting.

  • Mark

    Even though most of these guys won’t end up making the team, I’m pretty excited to see the Browns front office in action . It’s going to be one crazy week.

  • mgbode

    even more than most years, these guys are likely camp fodder. they took away 2-a-days, they took away some of the padded practices, and we are implementing a new offense and a new defense.

    less practices + more to learn = extreme focus on getting repetitions to the guys we ‘know’ will make the team

  • http://www.twitter.com/boxoflewine Eli

    On your point mgbode, I feel like this will be a huge year for running backs. Teams with a tried and true passing game, like GB, will do fine, but teams like Cinci are totally out of luck trying to get a wide array of entirely new skill players in-sync. And defenses will have the same issues trying to get new players in the proper formations and shifts.

    With few of these guys running pro-style sets, it’ll be hard to find the “diamond-in-the-rough” who shines through with their work ethic.

  • Joe

    Just heard the Brown’s got Gettis and ALREADY that tool Aaron G is ripping them. I am telling you, it does not matter who the Browns get in free agency, that sissy-boy will rip on them. Go back to Denver – enough about your beloved Broncos already….nobody wants to hear it! Bring on 92.3FM all LOCAL sports…quickly!!!!!!!

  • mgbode

    @Eli – it very well could be. running sets are easier to implement and require less timing than passing sets, so it would make sense. we’ll get to see how important those off-seasons camps are to most NFL teams this year at least.

  • stin4u

    foooottttbaaallllllllllllllllll. I don’t even care if they don’t make the team, I love reading football news that isn’t money related.

  • Dan

    Another signing:
    NT/DT Andre Carroll – Delaware St

    (Per @JeffLynchSports)

  • Garry Owen

    Super Bowl.

  • Matty Ice

    @Joe I completely agree. Hammer and Rizz are awful. I stream on my iphone since I live in the south and they are painful to listen to. Hammer adds no value what so ever.

  • Matty Ice

    BTW- Craig, props for the information on WFNY. This info isnt available on any other site. Good looking out!

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com/ Rick

    I see some potential for special teams in that Notre Dame LB Smith.

  • http://twitter.com/Bbo13 B-bo

    So is it safe to say that Chris Matthews is well-suited for playing “Hardball”?

    You’ve been a wonderful crowd–remember to tip your waitresses

  • 5KMD

    I agree Rick as I am a pretty big ND honk. Will play his butt off and has the size and motor to do well on ST. I always remember him being really slow as a linebacker though and as ND started to get more talent there, his PT diminished.

  • JJ

    Miss Lippys car is green

  • mgbode

    ok, biggest Browns news of the day is that Nick Barnett is apparently going to be released rather than traded. he’s our MLB, let’s go get him (and now we don’t have to pay a draft pick?!)

    http://www.sportsoverdose.com/nfl-players/nick-barnett

  • Lyon

    agree mgbode… i’d love to sign Barnett. Let’s hope he wants to come here.

  • Nigel Tufnel

    Alex Wujciak (pronounced Wo-jack)
    glad I’m not in the draft room, how could you not draft him? This guy just sounds like an NFL linebacker.

  • RPM

    James Dockery CB Oregon State

  • http://TearsFromTowerCity TearsFromTowerCity

    L.J. Castile transferred from Houston to Delta State where he played his final season. He led DSU to the D2 National Championship game, was named All-GSC, All Super-Region 2, and was invited to play in the Cactus bowl.

  • Matt

    Chris Matthews is the steal of the group. Remember the guy only I had heard of (I’m a huge UK fan as well) Stevie Johnson, 7th rounder for Buffalo?
    Matthews is similar to “The Joker”. Differences being that Johnson is faster in the timed 40, Matthews is stronger & better at high pointing the ball.

    Matthews will impress in the preseason & I will go on a limb & say he makes the Week 1 roster as a WR3.