July 28, 2014

Do you want the Browns to lose for the draft? – WFNY Roundtable

WFNY_roundtable

Craig: It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Well, not for TD who prefers March Madness, but I digress. The holidays are here and it’s a confusing time to be a Browns fan. In the middle of fan appreciation week, there are lots of fans out there who probably don’t want the Browns to defend their home field this last time they play on it against Chicago this weekend.

Personally, I always want my team to compete and try to win. The chips will fall where they fall in terms of the draft and it’s up to the talent evaluators to make the most of their picks wherever they happen to land. That’s just my opinion on it though. I do see the downside of winning late, meaningless games at the end of the season. [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...]

Browns Find Themselves as Week 1 Losers in More Ways Than One

As Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison discussed the goings on of the first week of the NFL regular season, with the entire NBC Football Night in America staff awaiting the kickoff between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Denver Broncos, live from Whatever Corporation Field at Mile High, the two well-respected and suit-clad gentlemen offered up who their “winners” were as judged by the opening week’s festivities.

With Dan Patrick listening on, Dungy offered his winner: Dan Snyder, the always-spending owner of the Washington Redskins. Harrison would follow up with his nomination: The Atlanta Falcons.

Both winners were very deserving. The Redskins would drop 40 points on the New Orleans Saints, Super Bowl hopefuls amidst the chaos within the suspended coaching ranks, largely led by their rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III. The Falcons would match the ‘Skins’ total by putting up 40 points on the Kansas City Chiefs, a team some pundits have picked to win the AFC West, largely led by their quarterback in Matt Ryan as well as their second-year wide receiver Julio Jones. Both “winners” very deserving, and both being dubbed as much large in part to the Cleveland Browns.

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Guessing what the Browns’ moves mean… so far

These are allegedly tea leaves

Even without a ton of movement in free agency, I think we’ve seen and heard enough to start at least making some educated guesses about what the Browns are thinking and doing. Please save me the cheap jokes about them doing “nothing” in the comments.

Defensive line – Regardless of what you think about Frostee Rucker or Juqua Parker, their signings say a few things. First of all, the Browns probably won’t spend one of their high draft picks on a defensive end. It seemed like even the best defensive linemen in the draft were reaches at #4 anyway, so this is good news. The Browns have Sheard, Taylor, Rubin, Rucker, Parker and holdovers like Marcus Benard, Scott Paxson, Brian Sanford, Brian Schaefering, Emmanuel Stephens and Jayme Mitchell. Hold on there, Jayme Mitchell.

Will Burge from ESPN Cleveland reported on the first day of free agency that Mitchell’s people were trying to contact the Browns, presumably to figure out his future. My guess is they were trying to secure his release. Regardless, the Browns will probably draft a defensive end somewhere in the draft, but it won’t be all that high, considering their signings. [Read more...]

NFL Draft: Mayock says Browns should do “whatever it takes” to get RG3

During a teleconference yesterday with the media, NFL Network’s Mike Mayock weighed in on the Browns’ draft and the quarterback position.

“As much as I like Colt McCoy, I still think they have to look to upgrade that position and I think they have to do whatever it takes to get there,” said Mayock of grabbing Griffin. “If it’s me, yeah, I’m looking at that real hard. I want to go get RG3.”

The Browns, specifically Randy Lerner, have spent a lot of time talking about the importance of the quarterback position since the final whistle sounded on this past season.  It would seem likely that the Browns would go to extra lengths to find their quarterback considering all that noise.

What remains to be seen is whether the Browns will trade up in the draft or pony up in free agency on someone like Matt Flynn.  Obviously if it is up to Mayock the Browns will do whatever it takes on draft day including paying the high price of packaging both picks together.

It seems easy for draft experts to say that the Browns should just package their two picks, but Browns fans know the price.  Browns fans spent the entire year dreaming of having two picks after mortgaging a year trading down with Atlanta for the right.

All these factors just add to the pressure of a typical NFL off-season.

[Related: Quotes Randy Lerner on WTAM with Mike Trivisonno]

NFL Free Agency Rumors: Falcons, Browns, Ray Edwards and Osi Umenyiora?

According to too many people to count on Twitter last night from Cleveland reporters Tony Grossi and Mary Kay Cabot, to Adam Schefter and the national guys, the Browns and Falcons were bidding for the services of former Vikings defensive end Ray Edwards.  Some even referred to it as a “bidding war.”  Who knows if that was just a measure used to try and hype up the news.  Regardless, it is difficult to figure exactly how a high profile signing of one of the best defensive players available in free agency fits into Tom Heckert’s supposed “philosophy” to not go too big in free agency.

In a way, it could be in the Browns’ best interest to keep a player like Ray Edwards away from Atlanta.  He is just one player on an entire team, but he has the potential to be pretty dominant.  The Browns, of course, are hoping the Falcons have a pretty bad season to help improve the draft status of the picks they traded for when they gift-wrapped Julio Jones for the Falcons during this year’s draft. [Read more...]

Post-Draft Browns Thoughts on Greg Little and Undrafted Free Agency

It is May.  The draft has come and gone.  Has the glow of the draft-day trade by Tom Heckert worn off yet?  In some senses, it will be a long year watching the Atlanta Falcons to see how Matt Ryan performs with his new weapon Julio Jones.  Ryan threw for just over 3700 yards and 28 touchdowns in 2010.  Add Julio Jones to Roddy White, Tony Gonzalez and Michael Jenkins.  That isn’t even to mention a nearly 1400 yard rusher in Michael Turner.  The last few sentences are exactly the reason why it is so ponderous to hear ProFootballTalk say that Julio Jones and Greg Little will forever be inextricably tied to one another in the NFL.

The Browns used the second round pick acquired from Atlanta to select Greg Little.  From that standpoint, it seems highly logical.  They both play the same position.  The Browns seemingly passed on Jones directly, as he was the only logical pick left on the board that high, at least according to most people.  But is it fair to make the comparison? [Read more...]

NFL Draft: Browns Roundtable, Part II

Yesterday, we took on the ever-popular debate of need versus player, but in general terms.  Today, we get a little more specific and debate which way the Browns go if things go as many suspect…

Scott: Focusing solely on the first round, let’s say we have the following hypothetical: Cam Newton to Carolina, Von Miller to Denver, Marcel Dareus to Buffalo, AJ Green to Cincinnatti, and Patrick Peterson to Arizona.

No trades were able to be consumated – teams want to move up, but they don’t want to pay to move to sixth overall.  Which direction do you go and why? [Read more...]

Expecting the Unexpected From Carolina

Veteran journalist Mark Leonard is back to discuss the upcoming NFL draft. You can find the Mark’s other guest pieces here and here. Mark is a Lorain native who loves writing about his favorite teams.

What would the Cleveland Browns end up doing at six if the Carolina Panthers actually chose to do what would be best for themselves—instead of selecting Auburn QB Cam Newton first overall?

If Alabama DT Marcell Dareus rightfully went atop next Thursday’s draft, LSU CB Patrick Peterson, Texas A&M OLB Von Miller, Georgia WR AJ Green and UNC’s Robert Quinn, drafted as an OLB by Arizona, might all expect to promptly drop from the board.

Left prominently available for selection at slot #6 would be Clemson DE Da’Quan Bowers, Alabama WR Julio Jones, Auburn DT Nick Fairley, Nebraska CB Prince Amukamara and less-celebrated pass-rushers like Missouri’s Aldon Smith and Purdue’s Ryan Kerrigan, both of whom are DE/OLB hybrids, might re-enter prominence in Cleveland’s conversations. Even Illinois DT Corey Luiget might warrant consideration, as could Iowa DE Adrian Clayborn. [Read more...]

NFL Draft: Heckert Keeps Browns’ Strategy a Mystery

Close to the vest, but appeasing the masses, Browns general manager Tom Heckert took to the podium on Thursday morning to discuss the upcoming 2011 NFL Draft.

Chief among questions during the 45-minute press conference surrounded what he considers to be the Browns’ biggest “need,” an inquiry which received little to no answer with regard to specifics. 

“We’re going to try to the best of our ability to stick to a philosophy of drafting the best available player,” said Heckert when prompted with a question regarding the team’s needs on both offense defense.  Heckert feels that picking the best player, regardless of position, and attempting to not “get too cute” is the key to a successful draft.  [Read more...]

NFL Draft: Browns to Play Host to Wide Receivers Green and Jones Among Others

With 17 days left until the Cleveland Browns make their way to Radio City Music Hall to add to their current stable of athletes, general manager Tom Heckert and company will visit with many of the top prospects who will hear their respective names called early into the evening.

Per Mary Kay Cabot, this week will feature many of the NCAA’s top players making a pit stop in Berea to be interviewed and examined by Heckert, team president Mike Holmgren and the newly-acquired head coach Pat Shurmur.  [Read more...]

NFL Mock Draft: Julio Jones at Sixth Overall?

It’s already being characterized as being unpredictable as ever, but the 2011 NFL Draft continues to be one of the more anticipated events of the upcoming spring. 

Whether by fans looking to see who shows up despite union wishes or others hoping their team lands a top prize, this year’s three-day event should be full of unknowns. 

Case in point, the mock draft released today by ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr who has the Browns selecting a wide receiver – a position widely considered to be “of need.”  The only issue, said wide receiver (typically a high-risk position at the top end of drafts) is the second of his kind to be taken in the top six as Kiper has Tom Heckert and Mike Holmgren going with the sure-handed Julio Jones out of Alabama.

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While We’re Waiting… Julio Jones, Buckeyes Hoops, NFL Labor and more

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.

So Julio Jones might be a bit of a reach at 6 now that he has a broken foot requiring surgery…  It’s pretty amazing Jones was able to run a 4.39 forty anyway, but this must have been a pre-existing injury the wideout simply wasn’t aware of while training for Indianapolis.  Jones’ strong Combine effort seemingly helped to solidify his standing as a likely top-15 pick.   We heard similar optimism at this time last year about Demaryius Thomas’ broken foot, which remained a problem for him after Denver drafted him.   Michael Crabtree, on the other, had a similar injury and enjoyed a productive rookie year.  [ProFootballTalk] [Read more...]