April 25, 2014

NFL Draft: Cleveland selections talk about being Browns

The Browns have made six selections to this point in the draft. They are all expected to contribute something to the team this year. Here’s what they had to say about joining the Browns.

RB Trent Richardson

(On his reaction to becoming a Cleveland Brown)- “Just to let you know how I’m feeling, I haven’t been able to sleep. I am just so excited to be here. I love the feeling. All of the great running backs that have come from here, to try to follow in their footsteps and make a name for myself is going to be big.”

(On being in Cleveland)- “Just being here is an honor and a pleasure. To be a part of this tradition that they have here with these great running backs that they have had here and to try to make a name for myself is going to be big. I have a lot of respect to earn and I have a lot to prove. It is going to be a challenge for me and more of a big opportunity for me, especially around this community.”

QB Brandon Weeden

(On his reaction to being drafted by the Browns)- “It’s a honor. This is obviously a great organization. I am sure Trent can attest to this, to hear your name called on that night is pretty special. I think it really is. It is a dream come true for all of us and to be a part of a great organization like this is truly an honor. I think he can tell you, we’re ready to start playing football. We have been doing all of this others stuff, traveling and doing other stuff, we are ready to line up and play some football. It’s a lot of fun.”

OT Mitchell Schwartz

(On if he prefers the left side or the right side)- “Obviously if you go to Cleveland, Joe Thomas is the left tackle, so probably right now a little more right tackle. Honestly, I’m pretty comfortable with both, like you said I’ve played both in my career, so I’m comfortable doing either. I know Cleveland has probably the best left tackle in the game, so I understand my role in regards to that.”

(On if he knows Browns center Alex Mack)- “Yeah, I played with him. My first two years at Cal were his last two. I’ve stayed in contact with him throughout the process and talked to him a little bit. I’m sure I’ll get the full scouting report on Cleveland. It’s definitely going to be good to have a former teammate there. It’s always good when you know someone going into a new situation.”

DT John Hughes

(On what he feels he can add to the team) – “I think I can be a great addition to the team. Anyway I can help the team, anyway they ask me to help them, and I will be more than happy too. I feel like I can be a nice addition to the defensive line.”

WR Travis Benjamin

(On if he knew the Browns were targeting him and when he thought he would be picked)– “They were talking to me a lot over the time period of the job process, but I didn’t think it would be this early.”

(On if he thought he was a first round talent but didn’t have the size)– “I didn’t think I was a first round talent. It’s not my tussle, I can be pick at. Talking to the teams day in and day out they said that they would take me in the fourth, fifth, sixth round, but I never thought when Cleveland was up that they would pick me.”

LB James Michael Johnson

(Did you have an idea where you might be taken?) “No, I really didn’t have an idea. I had a feeling what teams where looking for linebackers. I knew Cleveland was one of those teams and am really grateful they took me.”

(Did you visit the Browns? If so, how’d that visit go and who’d you meet with?) “I met with everybody. The head coach, the GM, the D-coordinator, player personnel – I met with everybody, man. It was a good experience and was one of my favorite experiences. Everybody was nice to me, and I had a good feeling about it. I thought it was a good situation, and I had a good feel when I went there.”

(Complete conference call transcripts can be found at Ohio.com)

  • saggy

    (On if he knew the Browns were targeting him and when he thought he would be picked)
    “They were talking to me a lot over the time period of the job process, but I didn’t think it would be this early.”
    i don’t think i even need to say anything else.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    lol.. i know seriously.  their agents must be loving this.

    so seems like every one of our picks was surprised to be taken when they were.  hughes and benjamin said the same things.  at least schwartz, weeden have been discreet enough to be quiet about it.

  • Ritz

    Yea it’s not a good sign

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

     Or an elaborate plot by Heckert to keep everyone from knowing the Browns strategy?

    Ok, maybe not.

  • http://twitter.com/Pelderskelter Patrick Elder

    No one will care what their “value” was as long as they play well. If the organization thinks they will be good players, then that should happen, and I don’t see why they would think otherwise. 

  • Natedawg86

    I’m gonna see how long I can be positive. I am always second guessing. Time to let the players drafted prove they shouldn’t have been drafted rather than justifying why they were

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Exactly I overreacted yesterday when Weeden was selected and Reiff was missed.  I don’t know about Schwartz other then what I’ve read mentioned of him here so we’ll see what happens.  I still think WR is a weakness and so is the opposite corner but time will tell. 

    As I see it Richardson is the lone legitimate threat but maybe Weeden will bring out more in our WRs. The Browns have the TEs perhaps will see more of them incorporated in the offense. I expect we’ll see alot of 7-8 defenders in the box so Little should have opportunities.

    I’ll let the games and overall record do the talking.  This will be year three for Heckert it’s time for the excuses to end.  If there isn’t an improvement, not dramatic but tangible, easily seen, then it’s time for some serious questioning.

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

     I’m impressed Shamrock.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I’m not a Browns fan anymore but that still doesn’t mean I’m not a competitor.  Watching/reading/listening to them absolutely kills me.  13 years is insane, inexcusable!

  • DontbringLBJback

    I’m trying to be positive as well… have no choice anymore… but when you look at the players that slid that were GREAT value like Reiff, Hill, Randle, Mike Adams…. and we didn’t get any of those guys.

    I was praying that they would make a move for Alshon Jeffrey late in the 3rd, but of well.

    Frankly, I would trade ANY other teams draft for ours at this point.  It was just that bad.

  • Ritz

    But if I can get player A a round later then I can take player B now and still get player A.

  • mgbode

    richardson – if he is truly as good as advertised, i have no problem trading up to get him.
    weeden – i hope i am wrong about him.  lots of smart football people think he’s good.
    schwartz – among the 5-6 2nd tier OTs (after Kalil).  not sure why we liked him better than others, but apparently we did.  i don’t think this is a reach (hard to tell others true boards at this point when all graded so close)

    hughes – we trade down, pass up on WRs considered capable of starting (including a personal pet favorite of mine m.sanu), then draft an “at best” rotational DT considered a 6th rounder by most sites.  feels like heckert’s veikune moment.  god, i hope not.

    travis benjamin – no problem with where we drafted him as he has skill and some decent upside for where he was drafted.  my problem is that he was our first drafted WR and we waited this long to draft a WR.  feel bad that it’ll be held against benjamin by some.

    JMJ – i’m a bit giddy on this one.  i don’t care what others say.  i think he’s a steal this late and that we have been waiting for a fast aggressive WOLB (obviously he’s not B.Wagner or L.David, but that’s why he was still there).  not sure if he can do it right away, but I think he’ll be above Maiva on the depth chart and challenge for that spot.  if Fujita is suspended at the start of the season, he may not get his job back (crossing-fingers).  yeah, i’ll stick my neck out on this one.  it’s the one really good pick we made on the 3rd day IMO.

  • Nicholee

    That’s simply not true.  You’d trade ours for New Orleans?  Really?

  • Steve

     That’s assuming that all 31 other teams use the same scouting website you read prior to the draft, which is just not true.

  • Harv 21

    consider that a like for this comment of yours throughout all these comment sections.

  • Jaker

    I am so tired and fed up with the negativity around here! The Draft is over, there is no reason to second guess any of the choices right now, drafts rarely go just as the fans want them to go. I understand and agree with a few of the arguments about certain choices, but that is in the past now, and nothing can change that. We have 11 new players in addition to a few undrafted additions as well, so before we label them as overdrafted or low value, we owe them the chance to show us why they deserved to be picked where they were. If we are supposed to believe in Heckert and Holmgren, we should let them run the team the way they want to do it! Everyone involved (players, H&H, front office, coaches, beat writers/team reporters, and most importantly, the FANS) all want the same thing: a Super Bowl Victory. And if you think that they secretly don’t want that, well then keep your negative comments to yourself, because that is ridiculous. Everyone wants to win, and we are closer to winning today than we were yesterday. What matters now is who we have and how we can achieve what we want.

    As much as everyone is trying to make me feel negative, I refuse to feel that way. I have the entire season to hate on the Browns if they fail to live up to my expectations, which as of right now are to compete to make the playoffs. Maybe Mitchell Shwartz was picked to high, or maybe he’s the answer at RT. Maybe Benjamin is our shot at DeSean Jackson, or maybe he’s our next Andre Davis. The point is that I’m going to hope for the best, because I’ve put too much of my time in to this team to waste anymore of it on whining or premature speculation. I’m gunna remain a Browns fan, through thick and thin. I’m not gunna quit on them now, on the verge of something special. Maybe we are still a ways away from what we want, but I want to at least say I believed in them early on unlike others who bash the picks. It won’t always be easy, but it will be worth it in the end. And when they finally win a Super Bowl, its gunna be the sweetest feeling ever.

  • Jaker

    that is really unfortunate. I couldn’t imagine just dropping the Browns like that. I know they let us down a lot, but doesn’t it seem like Heckert’s first two drafts went really well? 
    they have been going in the right direction for the last 2+ years, I think this draft has a chance to be the best one yet.

  • Jaker

    agree on Sanu, we have to watch out for him in Cincy, Green+Sanu= Dynamic Duo.

    also, is JMJ an outside LB or inside? I’m just trying to figure out of he will go inside and push Dqwell outside or if he will stay outside. where is his best fit?

  • Jaker

    sorry everyone, I didn’t mean to go all “Frankie Muniz” on ya

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    you ascribe a simplistic calculus to my assessment (and many other fans) that is incorrect and unfounded.

    there is empirically more evidence that heckert reached on hughes (and others) than there is to the contrary.

    im sorry to have to point this out.  i do so in large part because the seems to be a lack of clear-eyed appraisal of these picks from our ‘news sources.’  thus it’s left to fans in forums to point out the apparent reality.

    will this be a good draft?  maybe.  will it be as good as it couldve been given the consistent apparent ‘reaches?’  probably not.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    speaking for myself, the schwartz pick is fine by me.  the browns has visits from glenn, martin, adams, silotolu as well as schwartz so this seems a well researched decision and they surely know more than me or the online draft boards.

    im willing to accept that someone may have snuck in to take a 29 year old qb between 22 and 37.  i find it unlikely personally but again, they spent time with weeden and really like him. fine.

    but the hughes pick was absurd on so many levels that it removes the benefit of doubt on everything else they did. i dont think it’s unreasonable for unhappy fans to express themselves.  

    i find it kinda unreasonable that these opinions should be clucked at for their tenor while avoiding an acknowledgement that it was a bad pick or worse actually defending the pick.

  • mgbode

    DQ isn’t going anywhere.  Heckert has been consistent on that.  So, JMJ will have to try his hand at WOLB if he wants to start.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    apparently dmitri patterson isnt going anywhere either.  6m guaranteed seems to have taken CB off the board as a ‘need.’  questionable decision, imo.

  • porckchopexpress

    Jim here is my explanation as to why the pick isn’t the mind blowing stretch that it seemed to me yesterday. Here are all of the other D linemen and who took them after the Browns in Round 3 and Round 4.  I know what the scouts and experts say, but given that every scout and expert crapped the bed on how the first round would go down, I think we can say that they simply don’t have the pulse of NFL GMS.  Which is why I think that if Heckert felt someone was after his guy probably in the 4th he took him in the 3rd.
    3rd after Browns
    Akiem Hicks (NO)
    Jay Bequette (NE)
    Brandon Thompson (Cin)

    4th Round
    Alameda Poe (Pit)
    Jaye Howard (Sea)
    Jared Crick (Hou)
    Mike Daniels (GB)

    That is 7 guys in 1 and quarter rounds. Given the proof that we saw that players weren’t correctly valued in the first rounds (Hill, Upshaw dropping to 2nd for ex) I just don’t think we can use scouts word that “everyone” had this guy as a 6th round pick.  Seven guys went and I think it is at least plausible that someone might have taken Hughes in the 4th.  I’m going to assume you didn’t have any of those 7 names in your mind while watching the draft. So Heckert took one guy you didn’t know over another guy you didn’t know, and the only evidence this was a bad move was the opinion of people who had spent 2 days being 50% wrong on where guys should be taken.  The good news is we have 2 of these guys in the divisioin to do “side by side” comparisions. 
    In no way being confrontational I know everyone is pretty heated the day after.  I just think when looked at in the context of late 3rd and 4th round its not a total mind blower.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    ill concede that point while not agreeing with it.

    (but youre wrong that i was unfamiliar with those names. in particular, pittsburgh managed to draft value and find casey hampton’s replacement in the 4th round with Ta’amu.)

    but that leaves the second issue which is:  arent there greater areas of need?  not even talking WR here… OLB, S, and CB all have either 30 year olds or journeymen as starters.  at DT we have two of our best players.  drafting for ‘depth’ is something teams without holes do.

    whatevs, it’s done and it’s all been said.  [reserving the right to say more, however.  :-)  ]

  • porckchopexpress

    The only thing I’d say about need is that while we are thin in DB WR, a deep Dline can alievate a lot of problems at CB and S.  You need more tanks than planes to fight and effective battle because tanks take a bigger beating.  So I think the philosophy is that depth on the Dline will make a lesser corner like Skrine better than a 3rd round corner could do with a thin line. 

    Now I’m also done, until WFNY posts Kiper’s draft grades later today/tomorrow and we can really throwdown.
    : )

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    lol.. kiper likes our our draft.

    me?  i like/love pittsburgh’s.  and cincy’s.  ravens did well too.

  • Max

    I think it makes perfect sense. It’s not wishing they’d do badly or anything. It’s just drawing a line and saying “I’m not going to let this team have an influence in my life anymore”

    Life is too short and there are far too many other things that are truly important to waste time with the Browns any longer. Gas is $4 a gallon. A box of Cheerios is almost $5. Our bridges and roads are falling apart, and all our politicians are corrupt.

     I wish the Browns well. Other than that they wont get any of my time, money or attention. I refuse to be the reason my Son ends up with a lifetime of sports misery because of a football team. I’ll let him choose his own path. They left me for 3 years in the 90′s, I think its my turn to leave them for a while

  • Keithclh

    Heckert will need to order a larger body bag for weedon. He will be out by game 6

  • Ritz

    Or I am using the information that has been reported about Hughes being considered a 7th round talent by many other NFL teams

    But yea, I am sure you know better what I was thinking about when I wrote my comment.

  • dannyczek

    I’d be curious what Stephen Hill thought when the browns did NOT draft him at 37.

  • Sleepless

     All see in Weeden is another washed up Anderson Get over the arm people.
    The best choice at the this time is McCoy. Weeden will be hurt within the first 6 games and down goes the Walrus.