July 30, 2014

WFNY Roundtable: Browns draft predictions for the 1st round

Per an annual tradition, WaitingForNextYear presents its annual NFL Draft predictions. We hope you enjoy our takes and we look forward to watching — for better and for worse — tonight with you at the Map Room.

WFNY_roundtable

1) It’s Draft Day. In your prediction, what will the Cleveland Browns end up doing in the first round?

Jacob: After all the talk and all the rumors, I think the Browns stay put and pick at an area of great need: Cornerback. I’ll share my thoughts on Alabama CB Dee Milliner later. But I think he’s a perfectly fine pick at No. 6 and the Browns will stick there.

Kirk: The Browns will trade down into the 11-13 range, gaining a second round pick, and select quarterback EJ Manuel. We all know that Weeden isn’t Banner or Lombardi’s guy, and I forsee the Browns taking a QB, even if it’s not what I would do with the pick at all. The Browns seldom make me happy on draft day, and I expect that tradition to continue.

TD: I think all the talk is a total smoke screen. They desperately need a CB and I think like the fact that Dee Milliner’s medical history is an issue all of a sudden. I believe they want the Lions to pass on him and would snap him up at 6 in a heartbeat.

Scott: The Browns will be forced to wait until the final minute or so of their clock in hopes that a team is willing to trade up to the sixth slot. I’m presently erring on the side of this happening, allowing them to trade down to the 11th spot (everyone believes San Diego wants to move); the 12th (Miami) and 13th (Now the Jets thanks to their trade of Revis) are also in play. If this happens, I expect them to take Tyler Eifert or Alabama OG Chance Warmack. If they’re stuck at six, it’s a crapshoot between Milliner and a linebacker—my guess is Barkevious Mingo.

Craig: West Virginia QB Geno Smith. They’re slow playing it. I just wanted someone in this questionnaire to say Geno’s name. [Read more...]

The Browns and the First Round: Chance Warmack

We are less than a week from the NFL Draft, also known as the most important day of the year for your Cleveland Browns. With (another) new regime taking over the reigns and new schemes in place on both sides of the ball, it is crucial that Joe Banner, Mike Lombardi, Ray Farmer, Rob Chudzinski and the crew nail these three days. It all starts Thursday night with the primetime First Round. 

The Browns currently hold the sixth pick. Will they go with a defensive back? Could they turn to a pass rusher? Would they possible fortify the offensive line? Could they shock everyone and take an additional offensive weapon? Or maybe, just maybe, would they trade the pick to a team that wants to move up and snag one of those top offensive tackles?

From now until Thursday’s first round, a different member of the WFNY staff will take their look at one player in particular and tell you why the Browns, should they choose to, would go in this direction.

NCAA Football: BCS National Championship-Alabama vs Notre DameThe Player:

Name: Chance Warmack

Position: OG

School: Alabama

Height: 6’2″

Weight: 317

40-yard dash: 5.49 [Read more...]

Chance Warmack, E.J. Manuel and Darius Slay headline Mel Kiper’s “A” draft for Browns

Draft pundit Mel Kiper Jr. published a piece in which he personally picked the first three rounds for every team. The premise was an “A” draft for each team. When it came to the Browns, Kiper used the trade down theory and came up with this-

“Cleveland Browns Top needs: CB, QB, G, ILB, TE

Rd. 1 (11) G Chance Warmack, Alabama (via San Diego)

Rd. 3 (68) QB EJ Manuel, Florida St.

Rd. 3 (76) CB Darius Slay, Mississippi St. (via San Diego)

Analysis: As the GM of the Browns, I trade down and still hit a top need. That No. 6 slot is a high-leverage one, because it could be the last chance for several teams in need to get one of the three top left tackle prospects. In this case, it’s San Diego. I pick up this year’s third and next year’s as well. Without a second-round pick, the extra pick is a big help, and I still get a great player in Warmack, a guy who fills a need and should give a big boost to the run game. Warmack should be a Pro Bowl guard. The added third allows us to grab Manuel in a good value spot. For this draft you’ll see I have quarterbacks lower than most, but that’s a reflection of how I view the class. Lastly, Slay is a nice value in Round 3, an upgrade at the corner spot across from Joe Haden. This draft offers a good balance of immediate help at need spots, and the shot on upside at QB.”

The selection of Warmack gives the Browns a rock solid offensive line, and trading back to get him allows them to address the CB position and also get a developmental QB.

If the Browns were to put this plan into action, what grade would you give? Would you be happy with Manual in the third round? What about addressing the need for a pass rusher?

While We’re Waiting… Already starting to doubt the Browns?

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

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Skepticism Sunday: “It’s happening already. There hasn’t been a practice or even an organized team activity, let alone a game that counts. The team can’t even officially meet as a whole, but already, it’s happening. It seems with each passing regime, many in the Cleveland Browns fan base and media become increasingly more skeptical and mistrusting of the next group that comes in. Their reasons are not unfounded.” [Ryan Alton/Draft Browns]

Is drafting a guard the undoubted best move? “The best way for the Cleveland Browns to improve is for them to use the sixth pick in the draft to take Chance Warmack, offensive guard from Alabama and begin to complete the best offensive line in the NFL. When that happens, with a healthy Trent Richardson running behind that line, Brandon Weeden can be great. Or Colt McCoy. Or your grandmother, if she has a decent arm and half a brain.” [Brian Tarcy/The OBR]

Looking for stars on defense: “As you know, the 2013 Ohio State Buckeyes have a lot of defensive starters to replace. With only four returning starters — including none on the defensive line — the defense this fall will have more question marks than Frank Gorshin’s Riddler suit. Among those queries will be the usual ruminations on which young players will step up, which freshmen are likely to see playing time, who among last year’s backups can make the leap, and whether or not the D can continue the evolution it began over the last quarter of 2012. But perhaps the biggest question of all is: where will the defensive leadership come from in 2013? The Buckeyes will be as green as the Ohio Stadium turf on the defensive side of the ball.” [Michael Citro/Eleven Warriors]

This sounds familiar, eh? “Impossible as it may be, there is currently one small-market NBA team that may have the opportunity to replicate the Oklahoma City model. In the two and a half seasons since the end of the LeBron James era, the Cleveland Cavaliers have limped to a total record of 60-146 and have amassed four first round draft picks and currently have two more selections in the upcoming 2013 NBA draft (a likely lottery pick of their own and another from either the Heat or the Lakers). Stockpiling draft picks, sound familiar?” [Eric Palutsis/Pro Basketball Draft]

Loved this back-and-forth roundtable over at CTB: “There have been some notable exceptions (there’s at least one nice drive and kick play a game, for example), but overall the on-court chemistry between Dion Waiters and Kyrie Irving has been severely lacking. Dion hasn’t really figured out any off-ball moved or cuts yet, and combined with the fact that Kyrie is occasionally a reluctant passer, what often results is a stunted isolation for Kyrie at the end of the shot clock, while Dion sulks thirty feet from the hoop. I would love for Byron Scott to initiate a lot more movement for the Cavaliers in general, and a lot of that should involve the backcourt.” [Dani/Cavs: The Blog]

Looking at another LOOGY? “With the departures of relief pitchers Rafael Perez and Tony Sipp during the offseason, the Indians now have a huge opening in their bullpen for a lefty – preferably one who throws strikes and is not afraid of the later innings. Nick Hagadone would seem to fit the bill, for the most part. In parts of the last two seasons with the Tribe, the left-hander has shown the ability to strike people out and hold opposing bats at bay. The problem for Hagadone is that he has also shown the penchant for melting down.” [Craig Gifford/Did The Tribe Win Last Night?]

Baseball stats in the spring, what could be bad? “If a team has a really great spring training, it’s not like they can carry some of those wins over to the regular season. Ultimately, spring records don’t matter – players are rusty and getting in shape and pitchers may be trying some new pitches. Teams will occasionally come from behind to win at the end of games, when minor leaguers not expected to be on the 25-man roster are on the field. Is there ever any correlation between your record during spring training, and how you perform during the regular season? I figured I’d take a look at the Indians during the past 10 seasons when it comes to spring vs. the regular season, as well as teams that made the playoffs over the past 10 seasons.” [Stephanie Liscio/It's Pronounced "Lajaway"]

And finally, not Cleveland-related per se, but still related to stats. And maybe the opposite will occur to the Tribe in 2013? “There is a term used often in the sports analytic community called regression, or reversion to the mean, that contends that if a statistical phenomenon occurs, it is likely not to occur again and revert closer or back to the norm or average. In layman’s terms, it is a sophisticated way of saying things will even out. With this in mind, I took a look at MLB playoff teams since 2008 that improved their win totals by at least ten wins from one season to the next and then saw if they had a significant drop-off the next year, i.e. reverting back to the mean. What I found was of the 11 teams in this study, each one lost at least 5 more games the next season and 8 of the 11 failed to get back into the playoffs.” [Alex Burwasser/Bloomberg Sports' Stats Insights]

2013 NFL Draft: Weak draft? Fits for Browns at No. 6

Bjoern WernerThe NFL Combine is well underway this weekend. We’ve already had our usual pair of incredibly impressive speedsters (West Virginia’s Tavon Austin and Texas’ Marquise Goodwin) and plenty of updates from the Cleveland media.

But as all of these measurements and assessments take place, it begs the question: What is going on with this draft class? I’ve been monitoring draft boards for a monthly update at WFNY for a while now: November, December and January. It might just be or it might just be these sites, but there seems to be a whole heck of a lot of back-and-forth movement among the top 15 picks or so.

The Cleveland Browns own the No. 6 pick. They have a new owner, new front office and new stadium deal heading into 2013. Yet for now, there has been no consensus emerging over possible favorites for their selection. Is this yet another sign of a weak draft class with no can’t-miss prospects? [Read more...]

2013 NFL Draft: Jarvis Jones’ value falling, so what?

Jarvis JonesThe Super Bowl matchup is set. But for the Browns, despite the meaningless Pro Bowl next week, the next truly meaningful event on the schedule is April’s NFL Draft.

Of course, there will be the combine and several other related activities until the three-day draft begins on Thursday, April 25, but let’s just go for the imagery of this magical, franchise-defining moment in the middle of spring for the Browns and their new front office/coaching staff.

Each of the last two months around this time, I started out WFNY’s draft coverage by looking at the Big Board for the NFL Draft. First, I professed my love for a certain underclassman turnover-machine from Georgia, and then, I squared off against my friend Jordan in the debate over picking a guard or a defensive playmaker.

So let’s take another updated look today at the aggregate Big Board. [Read more...]

Browns NFL Draft Needs: Guard or Defensive Playmaker?

To keep up the flow of roundtable conversations this week, I bring to you a discussion I’ve had with long-time friend and occasional writer Jordan Marks, who blogs for Dawg Pound Daily. We tackle the major NFL Draft needs of the Browns and a number of prospects that could be a good fit. Let’s hear your take in the comments.

Jacob: Copied below is a lil spreadsheet of some NFL draft big boards — I picked eight different ones. You’ll see the top 19 guys; the clear players that separated themselves from the rest of the pack.

Position breakdown: 1 QB; 1 WR; 5 O-linemen; 2 LB; 2 CB; 4 DT; 4 DE

[Read more...]

2013 NFL Draft: Jarvis Jones emerging as No. 1 prospect

The Browns are 2-7. Although hope was high after the first win of the season just a few weeks back over the Bengals, pessimism has slid back into the minds of the Cleveland football fans.

With that being the case, we’re now right around five months away from the 2013 NFL Draft. And while plenty more could happen for the Browns in these final seven games and in the college football world, I thought it’d be helpful to do an overview of what to expect, as of now, when April arrives soon.

The fellow pictured to your right will be the star du jour. Jarvis Jones, a playmaking, ball-hungry outside linebacker from Georgia, has been dominating the SEC of late since returning from early injury issues. He’s also been dominating big boards and as I look toward the best fits for the Browns, he’s the guy that stands tall immediately. [Read more...]