July 30, 2014

Joel Embiid’s workout with Cavs was “major success”

Embiid

Are you warming up to the Jo-Jo era in Cleveland? The Cavaliers were reportedly “blown away” by Joel Embiid’s recent workout in Cleveland, contrary to previous reports.

Just last week, a local radio host cited unnamed sources—who were not affiliated with the team, but were somehow a part of his physical—that Embiid’s workout didn’t go well, turning up a litany of medical issues. ESPN.com’s Chad Ford refutes that version of the story with his latest mock draft, one wherein the Kansas center is pegged as the No. 1 pick.

Embiid’s workout and interview in Cleveland last week were major successes, according to sources close to the Cavs. Embiid did a full workout there in front of the Cavs’ front office and owner Dan Gilbert. Multiple sources said that the team was blown away with the workout. Embiid even ended one session by launching and nailing a series of 3s. Directly after the workout, two different sources told me that Embiid was the strong favorite to be drafted by the Cavs. Even [Dan] Gilbert was on board.

Gilbert has long been reported as being a bit of a hurdle for the draft process due to his desire to make the playoffs this coming season. While Embiid might have the biggest upside of anyone in the draft, he also is the least NBA-ready of the top prospects. “In three years he has the chance to be the best center in the game, but Embiid is a long-term play,” one scout told Ford earlier this month. “It’s going to take him several years to be an impact player on a playoff team.”

The Cavs will play host to Andrew Wiggins (on Wednesday) and Jabari Parker (on Friday) later this week.

WFNY on the 2014 NFL Draft: Joe Gilbert’s Definitive Mock Draft

          nfldraft

The NFL Draft has finally arrived.  The buzz is at an all time high, but the uncertainty is still there around most of the picks.  This draft seems to be even more unpredictable then ever before.  Here is my attempt at guessing what will go down tonight in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft and also the rest of the picks for the Browns.  Unlike other outlets, we didn’t try to revise, repost and recycle rumors and innuendo. This is it. Please feel free to discuss my selections in the comments. And most of all, enjoy! [Read more...]

2014 NFL Draft, re-upping Brian Hoyer, Mike Evans over Sammy Watkins and C.J. Mosely – WFNY Podcast – 2014-04-15

WFNY Podcast LogoThe fake Jim Kanicki or the real Mike Burgermeister joined me to talk through some Browns topics.

We talked about the 2014 NFL draft, specifically who the Browns should take at #4. Mike Evans vs. Sammy Watkins and talking about three studs on the offensive line.

Finally, we talked a bit about NFL draft cliches.


Check out this episode!

McShay’s latest mock: Bortles falls to Browns at No. 4; Carr still on the board after two rounds

photo

Are pundits souring on the quarterbacks? After having the “Big 3″ being taken within the first few picks, ESPN’s Todd McShay still has Blake Bortles being the first quarterback to be selected, but not until the fourth-overall pick as used by your Cleveland Browns.

Conceding to his Big Board, McShay has Houston selecting All-Universe defensive lineman Jadaveon Clowney with the first-overall pick. From there, Auburn’s Greg Robinson goes to St. Louis and Buffalo’s Khalil Mack gets nabbed by Jacksonville at No. 3.

I think this pick would come down to Bortles or WR Sammy Watkins. I’m going with Bortles. While he isn’t a perfect prospect at QB, he has the highest ceiling of any quarterback in this class. He has some improving to do with his mechanics, but he showed clear progress in that area during his pro-day workout, and he checks all the boxes in terms of his size (6-foot-5, 232 pounds), intangibles, character, mental makeup and leadership ability. He can also make plays with his legs and is more creative than he gets credit for.

McShay has Watkins going fifth to Oakland, Mike Evans going seventh to Tampa Bay, Johnny Manziel (who he had going fourth-overall last month) going eighth to Minnesota, and Teddy Bridgewater falling to Tennessee at No. 11.

Choosing Bortles over Watkins at No. 4, McShay once again pegs the Browns as selecting a wide receiver with the 26th-overall pick. This time, the receiver du jour is Florida State’s Kelvin Benjamin, the 6-foot-5-inch giant who was hauling in passes from Jameis Winston.1

This pair of picks would give Cleveland a young and potentially explosive passing attack to develop (TE Jordan Cameron and WR Andrew Hawkins would help round out an impressive receiving corps). Benjamin has a lot of developing to do as a route-runner and is inconsistent catching the ball on tape, but he is a red-zone nightmare who does a great job of coming down with 50-50 balls.

Fans of size will also like that McShay has pegged Nebraska cornerback Stanley Jean-Baptiste in the second round. The 6-foot-3-inch corner would presumably step and provide size across from Joe Haden.

Derek Carr, a player recently linked to the Browns at No. 4, does not get selected in either of the first two projected rounds.

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

___________________________________________________

Footnotes:

  1. “It seemed like every time I looked up I had picked another wide receiver. There are a lot of teams with needs at the position, and a lot of good receiver prospects in this draft.” — McShay []

McShay’s latest links Browns to Manziel

photo1

The third installment of Todd McShay’s mock draft was published on Thursday morning and the Cleveland Browns find themselves once again linked to an old friend in Texas A&M Quarterback Johnny Manziel.

Manziel, who was described as the Browns’ darling prior to the elmination of Joe Banner and Mike Lombardi from the front office, had recently been bumped to the top of the pile, linked to the Houston Texans at the No. 1 spot. It appears that, for at least today, there’s a new hot name listed at No. 1 in Central Florida’s Blake Bortles, allowing Manziel to be available at No. 4 with the Browns’ first first-round selection.

Per ESPN.com’s McShay:

The mantra for the Browns is the same as for the Jaguars: take the best available QB. They’ll be pulling hard for Clowney and Robinson to be among the top three picks so they have some choices here, but in this scenario the only guy among our first round-worthy QBs is Manziel. I don’t know if he’s an ideal fit or if he’d be the Browns’ first choice, but I’m not worried about his size or arm strength as it relates to playing in cold weather. If I had to rank the top three QBs in terms of arm strength, I’d go Bridgewater, Manziel and Bortles, without much difference among the three. And Manziel’s 9 7/8-inch hands are plenty big enough to grip the ball in cold weather.

For what it’s worth, McShay has South Carolina’s Jadaveon Clowney as his No. 1 overall player and Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater as his top-ranked quarterback, each going second and third, respectively.

With Clemson’s Sammy Watkins and Texas A&M’s Mike Evans being selected fifth and 10th, respectively, the Browns are linked to Brandin Crooks, the 5-foot-9-inch wide recevier out of Oregon State at No. 26 overall. Crooks ran the fastest 40 time among receivers at the combine and his acceleration up the field right after the catch is elite. He would seemingly become the team’s No. 2 receiver opposite of Josh Gordon.

Image via Hessler Studios

NFL Draft: Todd McShay’s first mock draft has Browns landing Derek Carr

In the first of what will likely be a litany of mock drafts to be published between now and this spring’s selection weekend, ESPN’s Todd McShay has the Cleveland Browns selecting quarterback Derek Carr out of Fresno State.

Quarterback is the Browns’ top priority. Offensive coordinator Norv Turner wants a QB with size and the arm strength to push the ball down the field, and that’s what Carr provides. He is a little bit of a reach here, but there’s a lot to like about his game. He had a monster 2013 season (4,866 yards, 48 TDs to just 7 INTs), is very accurate and has great touch on short-to-intermediate throws, has a high football IQ and gets the ball out quickly. He can improve his deep-ball accuracy, but has the arm strength to make all the NFL throws and the maturity and experience to come in and play right away.

There are plenty of Browns fans who have grown fond of the 6-foot-2-inch, strong-armed Carr. Per McShay’s latest, Carr, the brother of former No. 1 pick David Carr, would be the fourth quarterback taken after Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater, Central Florida’s Blake Bortles and Texas A&M’s Johnnie Manziel go first, second and fourth, respectively. Presently, the Browns also have the No. 23 pick due to their trade with Indianapolis. While this could reasonably be used to move up in the draft if needed, McShay has the Browns selecting Vanderbilt’s Jordan Matthews, a 6-foot-3-inch receiver who provides a combination of size and pass-catching ability, providing a complement to the Pro Bowl-bound Josh Gordon.

[Related: Another bad fourth quarter quiets the typically confident Browns defense]

2014 Mock Draft has Browns missing out on quarterbacks yet again

The Cleveland Browns will once again just miss out on a quarterback and select a skill player in the 2014 NFL Draft, says Sports Illustrated’s Chris Burke.

In an entirely-too-early mock draft posted at SI.com, Burke has the Browns selecting fourth, representing a finish of roughly three or four wins in 2013. This said, the Orange and Brown are presently forecasted to miss out on the two quarterbacks slated to lead the pack at this time next year, Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater and Clemson’s Taj Boyd. Instead, they address the wide receiver position with USC’s Marqise Lee.

“Lee is just 6-feet tall, so we’re not talking about a Calvin Johnson-type that’s going to win jump balls consistently,” writes Burke. “What Lee will do, though, is get open and make plays. He caught a whopping 118 passes last season for 1,721 yards and 14 touchdowns. You’re looking at a Heisman frontrunner for 2013 and a player that could dramatically improve an NFL offense.”

If the Browns do finish among the five worst teams in the NFL, it will undoubtedly be due to poor play or a disastrous injury suffered by quarterback Brandon Weeden. Accumulating a slew of picks in 2013, it is widely expected that the Browns will attempt to trade up in the instance they are in need of a passer come next spring. If Boyd’s name rings a bell, it is because the Clemson star was slated to attend Ohio State but opted to go south once it appeared he would have to wait for Terrelle Pryor to finish his tenure with the team.

In 2012, with sure-fire quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III going first and second, respectively, the Browns picked third and selected running back Trent Richardson. Acquiring a third- and fourth-round selection this past weekend, the Browns will head into the 2014 NFL Draft with nine selections at their disposal.

[Related: WFNY weighs in on the Cleveland Browns’ 2013 draft]

 

 

Mock NFL Draft: ESPN’s McShay changes Browns’ target to Dee Milliner

Jumping ship after months of having the Cleveland Browns pegged with a pass-rusher, ESPN’s NFL Draft expert Todd McShay says that the Orange and Brown will now land cornerback Dee Milliner with the sixth-overall pick this spring.

Per McShay:

Analysis: I wasn’t as high as some others on Browns QB Brandon Weeden during last year’s draft process, but even I believe he deserves at least one year to prove what he can do under new offensive coordinator Norv Turner, whose system should play to Weeden’s strength as a big-armed passer who can drive the ball downfield. That leaves cornerback as a top need area, and Milliner is a no-brainer if he’s available. His instincts, recognition skills and discipline are impressive, and he’s reliable in run support. Milliner would be an excellent complement to current Browns starter Joe Haden.

Ignoring that giant first sentence that is just a way to say “no” to West Virginia’s Geno Smith, this would provide the Browns with one of the draft’s highest-rated prospects (Millner is No. 2 on Kiper’s Big Board) with the sixth pick in the draft. Consider that it not only addresses a need, but does so via a 6-foot-1-inch play maker with top-flight speed who would provide the Browns with a pair of high-profile backs to help bolster their pass-rush even more.

McShay, as well as colleague Mel Kiper Jr., had the Browns selecting the edge-rushing Dion Jordan in his most recent mock draft, but the class’ top pass rusher has seen his name skyrocket to the No. 2 spot which belongs to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Others who presently have Millner to the Browns in their respective mock drafts include Sports Illustrated’s Don Banks, and NFL.com’s Charlie Casserly and Daniel Jeremiah.

[Related: Fun with Numbers: New Browns Edition]

2013 NFL Mock Draft: Browns continue to be linked to defense

With ESPN’s resident draftniks releasing their second iterations of their 2013 NFL mock drafts, the Cleveland Browns continue to be pegged with having a strong focus on a pass-rushing linebacker.

Mel Kiper Jr did not waiver from his first mock draft, placing Florida State’s Bjoern Werner as the next big thing to wear Orange and Brown.

The Browns regressed on defense in 2012, and the pass rush was a culprit. This was, by every standard, a bottom-10 unit, and they simply need to add talent. If they want the best player available at this spot, and a guy who fills a void, it might be Werner by the time we get to April. In fact, by then he could be expected to go higher. A late arrival to football, he has a high ceiling, but already has a decent portfolio of pass-rush skills. What’s great about Werner isn’t just the explosiveness as a pass-rusher, it’s also his awareness. He keeps his eyes up and disrupts passing lanes. He’s a good fit for the Browns.

Todd McShay, conversely, has Werner being selected second-overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars. In turn, he gives the Browns a player on whom many fans have set their collective site: LSU’s Barkevious Mingo.

New defensive coordinator Ray Horton will run a versatile scheme that likely will employ a base 3-4 front, and while the Browns have good depth along the defensive front they need more talented edge rushers. Mingo fits the bill. He is raw, but is the fastest, most athletic edge rusher in the class and could be part as a disruptive perimeter duo with Jabaal Sheard.

The 6-foot-5-inch Mingo has drawn heavy comparison to San Francisco’s Aldon Smith due to his physicality and tenacity. There are, however, questions about his technique. Kiper has him being selected 10th overall by the Tennessee Titans.

Kiper continues to have Gerogia’s Jarvis Jones being taken one spot before Cleveland while McShay him sliding past Cleveland and landing in New York with the Jets who select ninth.

[Related: Cleveland primer for new athletes in town]

While We’re Waiting… A Tale of Two Cities, Matt LaPorta’s Future, Will Barton, Rivalry BBQ

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.

Literature and summer baseball. What could be bad? “To that end, I’ve been reading Dickens. A Tale of Two Cities, to be specific. It’s a gorgeous novel about love, both unrequited and not, about sacrifice and atonement. The plot of the book revolves around the French Revolution of 1848. It is not a baseball novel. Now you may ask what A Tale of Two Cities has to do with the Indians 12-5 loss to Cincinnati. As it turns out, there are a number of surprising parallels.” [Susan Petrone/It's Pronounced "Lajaway"]

[Read more...]

Mock NBA Draft: Chad Ford with Bradley Beal, Fab Melo to Cavs

Addressing two major weaknesses with two first-round picks, ESPN’s Chad Ford has adjusted his mock draft and has Florida’s Bradley Beal falling to the fourth-overall spot.

Kansas’  Thomas Robinson has unseated Kentucky’s Michael Kidd-Gilchrist as the second-overall selection, presently owned by the Charlotte Bobcats, allowing Beal to slip down to the fourth spot where the 6-foot-4-inch shooting guard would instantly provide a backcourt scoring threat in Cleveland to go alongside Kyrie Irving.

“The Cavs need a wing and like [Kidd-Gilchrist], Beal and Harrison Barnes,” sayd Ford. “Andre Drummond is also in the mix, but the Cavs don’t yet have a comfort level with him. If this comes down to Beal or Barnes, I think Beal will have the slight edge here. But it’s not a given. The Cavs have been interested in Barnes for the past year and could decide that his size is what they need.”

Beal recently surprised many pundits when he measured in north of 6-feet-3-inches. He’s striving to make his mark as a dynamic player, repeatedly saying that he can work on or off of the basketball, but continues to compare his game to that of shootin guards Ray Allen, Eric Gordon and Dywane Wade. He will only work out for the top-four teams in the draft, heading to Cleveland later this month.

With the 24th-overall selection, Ford has the Cavaliers addressing the front-court needs that would be prevelant having passed over Drummond with the first pick. The player of choice, per Ford, is the seven-footer out of Syracuse, Fab Melo.

“The Cavs could really use more help at the 5,” says Ford. “Anderson Varejao is around for a few more years but after that the cupboard is bare. Melo might need a few years anyway before he’s ready to be a serious contributor at the next level.”

Melo, 22, averaged 7.8 points and 5.8 rebounds in his lone season for Syracuse, providing physical toughness and good mobility. As insinuated by Ford, Melo’s offensive game needs a lot of work while his dedication and motivation will continue to be questioned until he shows what he can do at the next level.

The other potential center who could be selected at the end of the first round, Vanderbilt’s Festus Ezeli, went 30th-overall to the Golden State Warriors. 

[Related: An NBA title: What does Cleveland have to do?]

NFL Draft: McShay and Kiper Peg Browns with Richardson, Weeden

Cleveland Browns fans who didn’t approve of some of the selections in the recent NFL.com seven-round mock draft can now set their sites on the version compiled by ESPN’s Todd McShay.

In his latest endeavor, McShay has the Browns selecting the following 13 players:

1 (4) Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
1 (22) C0rdy Glenn, OT, Georgia
2 (37) Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State
3 (67) Ty Hilton, WR, FIU
4 (100) Nigel Bradham, OLB, Florida State
4 (118) Sean Prater, CB, Iowa
5 (139) Jake Bequette, DE, Arkansas
5 (160) Dajohn Harris, DT, USC
6 (204) Coryell Judie, Texas A&M
6 (205) Antoine McClain, G, Clemson
7 (245) Markus Kuhn, DT, NC State
7 (247) Bradie Ewing, FB, Wisconsin

McShay’s partner in NFL Draft crime Mel Kiper Jr. went with his final one-round edition, penning the Browns in with Richardson at No. 4 (citing instant success) and Weeden at No. 22, providing a bit of a corroboration between the two analysts. “If you don’t get Weeden here, you risk losing him,” said Kiper on the Browns potentially not waiting until the second round. 

[Related: Is Jason Pinkston the Browns true plan at right tackle?]

Hey! Come to our draft party!

Sporting News mock draft has Browns taking familiar name

Another seven round mock draft is out, and this one has the Browns selecting a very familiar name-

“Round 5

1. Indianapolis Colts: Tommy Streeter, WR, Miami (Fla.)

2. Denver Broncos (from St. Louis): D’Anton Lynn, CB, Penn State

3. Minnesota Vikings: Marcus Forston, DT, Miami (Fla.)

4. Cleveland Browns: Chase Minnifield, CB, Virginia”

Again, not to put any stock in such a forecast, but it would be an interesting PR move at the least to select Frank Minnifield’s son.

[Related: NFL.com reveals ever-ridiculous seven round mock draft]

Mock NFL Draft: Sporting News Says Tannehill at No. 4

With the dust beginning to settle on the order for the 2012 NFL Draft, Sporting News’ draft guru Russell Lande has the Cleveland Browns selecting Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill with the fourth-overall selection.

Per Lande:

By making a strong attempt to trade up, the Browns made it clear they don’t believe in Colt McCoy, so they reach a little bit and grab Tannehill to build around him.

Stanford’s Andrew Luck and Baylor’s Robert Griffin III go with the first two selections. The Browns would inherently select the third-best quarterback with the fourth pick. Not expecting the Browns to re-sign Peyton Hillis, Lande follows up the selection of Tannehill with Virginia Tech running back David Wilson with the 22nd-overall pick.

Chris Steuber, formerly of Scout.com, lists Tannehill as the 40th overall prospect, but states that he will certainly go higher due to team desperation.

ESPN’s Todd McShay recalibrated his latest mock draft to reflect the recent trade between the Redskins and Rams, landing Alambama running back Trent Richardson in Cleveland with the fourth pick. Defensive tackle Michael Brockers is McShay’s pick for 22nd.

[Related: With RG3 Gone, Browns fans prefer McCoy, Blackmon]

Scouts Inc. is Not Impressed with the Browns

Here’s a good discussion point for today. While reading through a few things in the ole Google Reader, I come to a Todd McShay 2012 mock draft (which is pretty ridiculous admittedly to be reading a mock draft before the season even begins) in which the Browns pick first and take Andrew Luck.

Now before anyone starts getting excited about bringing in Andrew Luck, and I better not hear any ‘tanking’ talk (I’m looking at you Brendan), I have to ask how the Browns are supposed to be picking first next season? McShay uses the inverse power rankings from Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. for his order, which was compiled ‘after the draft’. So let me get this straight, the Browns are the worst team in the league after the draft?

I understand that there are question marks about this Browns team. We have a new coaching staff. We have holes yet to fill on the defensive line and right side of the offensive line. We have a young QB in Colt McCoy, backed up by Seneca Wallace and Jake Delhomme. without OTAs it could take this team a while to get up to speed on a new defensive alignment and a different style of offense.

But dead last in the league?

(Photo: Tracy Boulian/The Plain Dealer)

 

Browns Should Try to Add Picks This Year

There is a generally accepted NFL Draft Pick Value Chart that most NFL front offices use to gauge value of picks for trade purposes.  It is a point system where the first pick is worth 3,000 points and Mr. Irrelevant is worth two points.  The idea being that if you wanted to trade the 25th pick in the draft with a value of 720 points for the 6th pick of the draft worth 1600 points, you would have to make up somewhere in the neighborhood of 880 points.

If you have the 25th pick in the first round, chances are you have the 57th pick in the second round which carries a value of 330 points.  In essence, when you add up your first and second picks (720 + 330 = 1050) you are still drastically short of the 1600 you need to get into the sixth spot.  In other years, a team could make up ground like that by trading a veteran player.  Without that option this year, teams will have to mortgage the future and trade future picks.

It is 100% worth it to mortgage the future for this year’s draft. [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.

[Read more...]

The NFL Draft: Best Athlete Available or Position of Need?

With the 5th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Arizona Cardinals select OLB Von Miller.

And just like that the Browns are on the clock. But what should they do?

Using Mel Kiper’s latest mock draft strictly for the purpose of establishing an order, we see that Fairley, Bowers, Newton, Green and Miller are off the board. Mel has the Browns selecting J.J. Watt, DE from Wisconsin. That would certainly fill a need, but is Watt the best player available? Is he even the best player available that fills a need?

The Browns will certainly be taking a hard look at Watt, as well as other defensive linemen such as Marcell Dareus and Robert Quinn. Wide receiver is also a need however, and many say that Julio Jones’ excellent performance at the combine may have vaulted him up draft boards.

It has been inferred that the Browns might not be opposed to taking one of a few top tier defensive backs as well, even though that isn’t perceived as a big area of need. Guys like Patrick Peterson and Prince Amukamara could potentially give the Browns the best young CBs in the league paired with Joe Haden.

So who would I like to see the Browns select? [Read more...]

Want to Get Excited About Marcell Dareus?

Now that the Browns have vacated a good portion of their front seven, the mock draft people are starting to take that cue and associate the Browns with defensive linemen. First up as Rick pointed out in WWW this morning is Marcell Dareus from Alabama. Obviously these guys will have nothing but highlights on Youtube, but still it is fun to see what visual evidence is out there that potential Browns draft picks could be beasts in the NFL. So, I put together a clip reel that might just get you excited at the prospect of having Dareus lining up next to Ahtyba Rubin next season for Dick Jauron and the Browns.

[Read more...]

Browns 2011 NFL Draft Update: Marcell Dareus Emerging as Favorite at No. 6

This is the second of a two-part segment on the 2011 NFL Draft: The first edition from three weeks ago previewed the overall forecast of the draft. This second article takes a closer look at the stories behind the potential first round draft picks by the Cleveland Browns.

It’s been a few weeks since my last update of the NFL Draft, but just like with the Cleveland Cavaliers record in the win column, nothing really has changed that significantly. As I published my last report, Andrew Luck had just announced his intent to stay at Stanford University, and this was shaping the makings of the top of the draft’s first round.

That has certainly happened, and there is a solid group of about five players that seem to be the most likely fits for the Browns at the No. 6 spot. What follows is my analysis of each of these folks and yet another look at what sources around the web are saying right now.

[Read more...]