Apr 29, 2011

Looking at Prospects for the 2nd Round

Im going to go out on a limb and say the Browns take a defensive end with either of their two picks this evening. I say this for a few reasons:
In a 4-3 defense a team will usually pair up two defensive tackles that compliment each other's playing style. In other words, if a team has a massive run stopper at one d-tackle spot, they would usually grab a quicker d-tackle to get some pressure on th
e passer from the middle. The Browns, however, went with two massive run stoppers. And I love it. However, they will desperately need to establish a pass rush from the outside.
A three names in particular stick out:
1) Brooks Reed, Arizona
Reed is a smaller pass-rusher that has had some connections to the Browns over the past few weeks, according to Tony Grossi.
2) Justin Houston, UGA
Houston is a larger d-end who is very athletic (played some OLB for Georgia). The only setback for Houston is that Heckert has tended to draft smaller defensive ends (about 250 pounds).
3) Sam Acho, Texas
Acho is a smaller defensive lineman that Heckert tends to prefer. I mention him here because he fits the mold that Heckert looks for size-wise.
Wideout is another obvious need. We here at ClevelandsRocks have been huge sticklers about taking a wideout with our first pick, now is the time to make a move. Here are a few names to keep an eye on:
1) Leonard Hankerson, Miami
Hankerson is the U's all-time touchdown receiver. That's saying something.
2) Randall Cobb, Kentucky
In the mold of Percy Harvin, Cobb could be great in a WCO that lets him run after the catch.
3) Titus Young, Boise St.
Similar to DeSean Jackson, who Heckert took a few years ago in the 2nd round.

Post-Round 1 Thoughts

Browns wrapped up a night of wheeling-and-dealing by selecting Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor. Taylor is an intriguing prospect that most people saw getting selected as a nose by a team that runs a 3-4 defense, due to his great ability to stop the run but little talent rushing the passer. It's even more interesting because those are two traits that current DT Atyba Rubin possesses. However, I love the pick. Rubin and Taylor manning the inside of a 4-3 front is not only going to make it tough to run the football, but will also free up our linebackers to make plays. Ask Cincy's linebackers how it feels to not have two solid defensive tackles that can eat up blockers in a 4-3 defense.

Stopping the run is key in the AFC North. I don't care what the 'experts' say, if you cant run the ball and stop the run, its going to be really tough to win football games, especially in cities like Baltimore, Cincy, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland when the winter weather rolls in.

This pick is even better because we came away with extra 2nd round and 4th round picks this year and an extra 1st round and 4th round pick next year. This team needs players, not one home run hitter. Stockpiling picks is the best way to become more competitive. Taylor is a great value at that spot, and it helps that we should have at least one more defensive lineman (Brooks Reed??) to go with him by the time the second round is over tonight.


Apr 28, 2011

Pre-Draft Thoughts

There is one glaring difference between this draft and the recent past for the Cleveland Browns. That being, I would not be upset with any pick they make in the first round. There is discussion on whether or not to take AJ Green, Pat Peterson, Julio Jones, Robert Quinn, the possibility or trading down, or grabbing someone who slips to six. And honestly, I would be okay with any of these. Obviously, as fans, we all have our own preference, but any of these would make me happy. Maybe I am being overly optimistic based off of last years draft success. But how many times over the past drafts have you gone into the draft thinking, "i'd be okay with any of these picks". No matter what Tom Heckert and Mike Holmgren decide, the Browns are most likely going to get a playmaker. Assuming they don't make an extra stupid mistake, the Cleveland Browns are going to get somebody to immediately fit in and make an impact.

With less than four hours to go, I can't remember the last time I was this excited about a Browns draft. Lets GO Brownies and get us some future stars!

NFL Mock Draft

This is the final mock draft done by the three authors of this blog. Please send us your or comment on ours. We'll see who has the best at the end.

1. Carolina- Cam Newton- As much as I think this is going to be another terrible QB in the pros, i'm going with the safe bet on them picking Cam.
     -- Other possibility- Marcel Dareus

2. Denver- Von Miller- I think this is going to be one of the surest bets in the top 10. Denver needs help on that side and he can fit right in.
     -- Other, Pat Peterson

3. Buffalo- Marcel Dareus- They need help everywhere. The best d-lineman here can step in.
     -- Other, Blaine Gabbert

4. Cincinnati- A.J. Green- Run by the worst owner in professional sports, the Bengals should be taking a QB. Stubborn pride gets you nowhere in the NFL. Their dumb fairweather fans will also think a WR will win games even thought they will not have a QB to throw to him.

5. Arizona- Pat Peterson- This is the best player available at this point. If not, I think they will try to trade out of it.
     --Other, Trade to Dallas or Tenn. for Peterson.

6. Cleveland- Julio Jones- THIS PICK WILL BE TRADED DOWN. I believe with Gabbert still there we will trade down to Tenn or Minn and then draft Jones there.
     -Other, Also trade down and get Robert Quinn

7. San Fran- Prince Amukamara- They need help all over the defense. Prince can lock down receivers.

8. Tennessee- Nick Fairley- If they are still there at 8. look for Fairley to come off the board.
     --Other, Jake Locker

9. Dallas- Cameron Jordan- Even with Ware, I bet they look to add to their defense especially if Prince is taken.
     --Other, Prince

10. Washington- If not traded with the Browns, look for Jake Locker here.
     --Other, Julio Jones, or Robert Quinn

11. Houston- Aldon Smith- This may be a little early for him so look for them to trade down. They need help on defense. They may also try to trade up to 5 for Pat Peterson.

12. Minnesota- Jake Locker- Ok, so I know I have Locker for two teams. I think Minn will try to trade the hardest since they are sitting the farthest back.
     -Other, JJ Watt

13. Detroit- Anthony Costanzo- With their star QB spending most of his career on his ass, its obvious they need to shore up the line.

14. St. Louis- Da'Quan Bowers- Could end up being a star since he's slipped this far. If his knees end up ok this is a steal.

15. Miami- Mike Pouncey- A good pick this late thanks to a strong d-line class.

16. Jacksonville- Robert Quinn
17. New England- J.J. Watt
18. San Diego- Muhammad Wilkerson
19. New York Giants- Corey Liuget
20. Tampa Bay- Adrian Clayborn
21. Kansas City- Akeem Ayers
22. Indianapolis- Nate Solder
23. Philadelphia- Jimmy Smith
24. New Orleans- Gabe Carimi
25. Seattle- Christian Ponder
26. Baltimore- Brooks Reed
27. Atlanta- Kyle Rudolph
28. New England- Mark Ingram
29. Chicago- Derek Sherrod
30. New York Jets- Jabaal Sheard
31. Pittsburgh- Aaron Williams
32. Green Bay- Cameron Heyward

Apr 27, 2011

NFL Draft Challenge

1. Carolina Panthers - DT Marcell Dareus
 -- This is just an argument on where a franchise is going.  The past two years the Lions and Rams changed their direction by going QB and reinventing their offense.  Now it's easy to say Ron Rivera is going to come in and get the guy he wants, but I think owner Jerry Richardson has more say in this then many are led to believe.  Most recently when the team had the #1 overall pick they took Julius Peppers and found an undrafted QB to take them to the Super Bowl.  I feel Richardson will trump Rivera (hell Rivera may even want to go defense first anyways) and the Panthers will surprise the majority of mock drafters and take Dareus.
     -- Other Possibilities : QB Cam Newton, QB Blaine Gabbert

2. Denver Broncos - OLB Von Miller
 -- The Broncos need some type of impact defender.  To me, that means they're either going Dareus (who's gone), Patrick Peterson, or Von Miller.  The team already has impact players at each position (Champ Bailey and Elvis Dumervil respectively), so to me it comes down to what does the franchise fear more, Bailey's age or Dumervil's injuries?  That said I again mention John Fox and if there's one thing the Panthers have is great linebacking core.  Therefore they're taking Miller, but I'm really guessing between him and Patterson, but if I'm wrong on Dareus going #1 then he'll get selected here.
     -- Other Possibilities : DT Marcel Dareus, CB Patrick Peterson

3. Buffalo Bills - QB Cam Newton
 -- This is going to be a bad pick.  I hardly pay any attention to college football but I chose Auburn as my school back during the Tubberville era because I liked his name.  Even with my vague Auburn connection, Cam Newton is going to be a bad NFL player.  People like him do not translate.  Period.  That said, Buffalo makes moves that make no sense.  Ryan Fitzpatrick is above league average, address every other one of your needs, even though I will admit Newton fits their system.  But as we saw last year they will pick whoever they think is the best player on the board (C. J. Spiller one year later is still mindboggling).  Have fun picking the next Vince Young Buffalo.
     -- Other Possibilities : CB Patrick Peterson, DT Marcel Dareus

4. Cincinnati Bengals - WR A.J. Green
 -- Speaking of terrible franchises, let's talk about the Cincinnati Bengals.  Run by the worst owner in pro sports, this is a team that still thinks Carson Palmer is coming back.  So instead of address a gigantic need at QB, they will address a different need at WR. This team should be taking Blaine Gabbert or whatever QB they have highest on their board, but instead they'll draft a guy who will barely touch the ball next season since his QB will be horrendous.  Please keep staying stupid Cincinnati, I really don't enjoy your bandwagoning fans telling me how great the Bengals are when they have one good season in the past 20 years.
     -- Other Possibilities : QB Blaine Gabbert, QB Cam Newton

5. Arizona Cardinals - CB Patrick Peterson (pick traded to Dallas)
 -- Terrence Newman is really old.  The only other corner on their roster I can think of is Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann, so this is a position of need.  Dallas will probably add in a conditional 2nd rounder in next year's draft along with their #9 pick and a 6th or 7th rounder.  Jerry Jones understands that when you can jump up and get an elite talent it's something all teams should do.  Peterson will help turn their secondary around which was not exactly good last year.  Arizona will get what they need, which is picks.  They're not interested in taking a QB so someone high on their defensive front seven big board will still be around in four picks.
     -- Other Possibilities : OT Tyron Smith, QB Blaine Gabbert

6. Cleveland Browns - DE Robert Quinn
 -- The rest of the blog goes into far better detail then I do on the Browns draft day scenario.  I think this is the guy that they want and that they will not find a partner to trade down.
     -- Other Possibilities : WR A.J. Green, CB Patrick Peterson

7. San Francisco 49ers - QB Blaine Gabbert (pick traded to Tennessee)
 -- At this point I think the Titans will decide to move a 2nd or a 3rd rounder next year in order to grab a franchise QB since Vince Young is all but done.  Plus, does Blaine Gabbert not just sound like an average Tennessee QB?
     -- Other Possibilities : CB Prince Amukamara, DE Aldon Smith

8. Tennessee Titans - CB Prince Amukamara (pick traded to San Francisco)
 -- For some reason San Francisco still believes in Alex Smith, and with so many holes all over the defense I think they'll go best player available that fits them, which I think is Amukamara.
     -- Other Possibilities : QB Blaine Gabbert, WR Julio Jones

9. Dallas Cowboys - OT Tyron Smith (pick traded to Arizona)
 -- Arizona has probably the most holes in their roster out of anyone in the league.  So trading for more picks makes sense and drafting someone who can try and protect whatever veteran QB they bring in makes more sense.
     -- Other Possibilities : DT Nick Fairley, C Mike Pouncey

10. Washington Redskins - QB Jake Locker
 -- Mike Shannahan falls in love with guys who have great skills, regardless of whether or not they can turn those skills into results on a football field.  Jake Locker has the best QB skills in the draft, and possibly in the entire draft.
     -- Other Possibilities : WR Julio Jones, OT Tyron Smith

11. Houston Texas - DT Nick Fairley
 -- Houston needs new defensive players basically everywhere other then LB, so they'll go with the best player available on their board defensively.
     -- Other Possibilities : DE Robert Quinn, DE Cameron Jordan

12. Minnesota Vikings - C Mike Pouncey
 -- The Vikings would love to get a QB at this point, but I feel they're going to hedge their bets once 3 go off the board in the top 10.  They'll probably grab Ryan Mallett or Christian Ponder in the 2nd round, possibly even trading up to get one.
     -- Other Possibilities : OT Gabe Carimi, OT Anthony Castonzo

13. Detroit Lions - OT Gabe Carimi
 -- Matthew Stafford keeps getting hurt and the Lions really want to prevent this from happening.  It's possible that they could take a DE, but I really doubt it.
     -- Other Possibilities : OT Anthony Castonzo, C Mike Pouncey

14. St. Louis Rams - WR Julio Jones
 -- When Jones falls into their lap they will love it.  If for some reason he doesn't, they'll go DE like nearly every other team in the draft.
     -- Other Possibilities : DE Cameron Jordan, DE Aldon Smith

15. Miami Dolphins - DE Cameron Jordan
 -- The Dolphins have some serious issues when it comes to putting together a quality defense.  Jordan might actually fix those issues, then again he might not and they might be drafting top 5 next year.

     -- Other Possibilities : DE Aldon Smith, DE J.J. Watt

16. Jacksonville Jaguars - DE Aldon Smith
17. New England Patriots (from Oakland) - DE J.J. Watt
18. San Diego Chargers - OT Anthony Castonzo
19. New York Giants - OT Nate Solder
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - CB Jimmy Smith
21. Kansas City Chiefs - OG Danny Watkins
22. Indianapolis Colts - OT Derek Sherrod
23. Philadelphia Eagles - DE Da'Quan Bowers
24. New Orleans Saints - DE Ryan Kerrigan
25. Seattle Seahawks - RB Mark Ingram
26. Baltimore Ravens - CB Aaron Williams
27. Atlanta Falcons - WR Torrey Smith
28. New England Patriots - DE Jabaal Sheard
29. Chicago Bears - DT Muhammad Wilkerson
30. New York Jets - DT Phil Taylor
31. Pittsburgh Steelers - DE Adrian Clayborn
32. Green Bay Packers - CB Brandon Harris

Latest Mock Draft

1. Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
Jimmy Clausen didn't show nearly enough for a new coach to believe in and Newton's stock has never been higher.
2. Denver Broncos: Marcel Dareus, DL, Alabama
John Fox beefs up his new 4-3 defense with the best defensive lineman in the draft.
3. Buffalo Bills: Von Miller, LB, Texas A&M
GM Buddy Nix has to realize that Blaine Gabbert doesn't have the potential to live up to a top-3 pick, right?
4. Cincinnati Bengals: AJ Green, WR, UGA
New offensive coordinator Jay Grude, is a huge Andy Dalton fan, so look for either him or another QB later in the draft or the Bengals to trade back up.
5. Arizona Cardinals: Patrick Peterson, DB, LSU
Even pick number 5 is low when you're talking about the best player in the draft.
6. *Washington Redskins: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Mizzou*
Mike Shanahan plays hiscards close to his chest. If Gabbert falls to 6 someone is making a move. 
*Projected trade with Cleveland*
7. San Fransisco 49ers: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
New coach Jim Harbaugh needs help in the defensive backfield. He'll find a quarterback later.
8. Tennessee Titans: Jake Locker, QB, Washington
Tennessee is desperate for QB help. I see them being more inclined to Locker's skill set than the West-Coast talent that Andy Dalton is.
9. Dallas Cowboys: JJ Watt, DL, Wisconsin
Jerry Jones doesn't draft offensive linemen in the first round, andRob Ryan is going to want a new toy for his defense.
10. *Cleveland Browns: Robert Quinn, DE, UNC*
The Browns get theguy they wanted all along, as well as a pick in a later round from Washington. For the record, Heckert has drafted a wideout only once since he became an integral part in draft day decisions in Philly and Cleveland (Jeremy Maclin, Mizzou).
*Projected Trade with Washington*
11. Houston Texans: Aldon Smith, OLB/DE, Mizzou
Wade Phillips is moving Brian Cushing to the inside, and is going to need someone from the OLB spot to get some heat on the QB.
12. Minnesota Vikings: Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
Minnesota doesn't have a problem overlooking character speculations, and Fairley is too good to pass up here. Especially with the aging Pat Williams and the number 1 choice, Jake Locker, off the board.
13. Detroit Lions: Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
Castonzo played left tackle at BC, something that Tyron Smith didn't do. Detroit should have finally realized it's time to protect their franchise QB
14. St. Louis Rams: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
St. Louis will be ecstatic with this scenario. I have Jones dropping because the combine wasn't enough for scouts to ignore his questionable-at-times hands.
15. Miami Dolphins: Andy Dalton, QB, TCU
Dalton fills a huge need here. This pick is easier since Mark Ingram may not be good enough to warrent at top-15 pick.
16. Jacksonville Jaguars: Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue
Jacksonville gets an overachieving, blue collar, hardworking player. In other words, a solid player with limited potential.
17. *Kansas City Chiefs: Muhammad Wilkerson, DL, Temple*
Scott Pioli finds Wilkerson falling, and makes a move with New England to land a new piece for Romeo Crennel to use in the 3-4 defense.
*Projected Trade withNew England*
18. San Diego Chargers: Cam Jordan, DL, Cal
AJ Smith finds a huge talent in Jordan, who played in the 3-4 defense in Cal. Jordan is a plug-in starter from day 1.
19. New York Giants: Tyron Smith, OT, USC
New York lands a young talent in Tyron Smith, an athletic tackle that will benefit from playing with a solid and experienced line.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Brandon Harris, CB, Miami
Jimmy Smith is a better talent, but with Aqib Talib's recent troubles, I doubt Tampa is looking for another potential disaster. DE is a bigger need, but Harris is an underrated prospect.
21. *New England Patriots: Mike Pouncey, OL, Florida*
Pouncey is flying high after a nice off-season/pre-draft process and the fact that his twin brother was great as a rookie last year. He very well may go higher than this, but in this mock, Belidouche solidifies his offensive line.
*Projected Trade with Kansas City*
22. Indianapolis Colts: Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois
Indy takes the best player available and gets some help for its defensive line. Offensive tackle is a need, but Liuget at 22 is too good to pass up.
23. Philadelphia Eagles: Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado
Smith, as mentioned before, is the second coming of Chris Henry. However, Philly needs a cornerback, and Andy Reid believes in two things: 2nd meals and 2nd chances.
24. New Orleans: Kyle Rudolph, TE, Notre Dame
With no more Jeremy Shockey, Sean Payton pleads for a new tight end weapon. Rudolph has top-15 talent, but has fallen because of injury.
25. Seattle Seahawks: Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
Bowers, or "Black Chris Long," falls a long long way after teams question his health and the fact that he isn't as good of a pass rusher as advertised. Pete Carroll and Seattle scoop him up after a Brady Quinn-esque fall.
26. Baltimore Ravens: Cam Heyward, DL, Ohio St. (can suck my balls)
Heyward is a perfect fit as a defensive end in Baltimore's famed 3-4 scheme. He and Haloti Ngata will be a force on the line.
27. Atlanta Falcons: Brooks Reed, DE, Arizona
Reed looks like Clay Matthews, and that is one of the biggest pluses on his resume. Atlanta needs something across from the immortal John Abraham.
28. *Cincinnati Bengals: Christian Ponder, QB, Florida St.*
Jay Gruden gets his quarterback by trading back into the first round. It's not Andy Dalton, but Ponder may be the second-best fit for the WCO in the draft.
*Projected Trade with New England*
29. Chicago Bears: Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor
With the release of Tommy Harris, Chicago will be looking for a replacement. Taylor has questions about injury, but is a huge--literally--talent.
30. New York Jets: Akeem Ayers, LB, UCLA
Ayers is a great pass rusher who played in the 4-3 at UCLA. If anyone can help him transform into a 3-4 rushing linebacker it's The Foot, Rex Ryan.
31. Pittsburgh Steelers: Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin
Pittsburgh always tends to have a weaker that hoped for offensive line. This mock has plenty of tackles available, so Pittsburgh jumps on the opportunity to take Joe Thomas' replacement at Wisconsin. Then they pray he's half as good. Fuck you Pittsburgh.
32. Green Bay Packers: Nate Solder, OT, Colorado
Not too many areas of weakness for the Pack. I remember seeing an injury report last year that said "Questionable, Chad Clifton: knees." To say that's not a good sign is an understatement. Solder provides much needed depth.

A few notes and observations:

No running backs in the first round?? Yeah, I cant believe it either.
I will be shocked if more than 5 of these picks turn up how I have predicted them.
Stay tuned to our twitter (@ClevelandsRocks) and Facebook page, as well as the blog for instant analysis from yours truly.
PS: $100 and my left nut says Heckert doesn't draft a wideout with his first pick.

The Browns Best Draft Scenario

With one day looming until the greatest non-game sporting event of the year, many Cleveland fans are wondering what the Browns should do with their sixth pick. Many people think AJ Green, Pat Peterson, or one of the many defensive lineman. However, I believe that I have constructed the best possible scenario for the Browns and their first round pick. Trade it down!

Now, there are some other scenarios that have to fall into place for the Browns to take advantage of this tactic. Obviously, Blaine Gabbert or Cam Newton have to be there. If one of them slips this far we have the option to trade down. Also, I will assume that AJ Green and or Pat Peterson will be gone. If they are still there, I think it will be too hard to not grab one of them based on pure talent.

Keeping on the line of us trading down, lets say the Titans at 8, Redskins at 10, and Vikings at 12 all come calling. Hopefully, between the tandem of Heckert and Holmgren can muster up some good compensation for our 6th overall pick. The preferred compensation being a 2nd round pick from them. I'm sure for that we will have to throw in maybe a 5th or something but three picks in the top 40 can help greatly.

With trading down, I still see two main options we can go with. Therefore, I will have two "mock-tracks" assuming the next pick will be based off the first pick.

Track One:
- Pick 8, 10, or 12- Julio Jones- There are some mocks that have the Browns taking Jones at 6. However, looking at the teams right behind us, there is no team with a glaring need for a WR. Therefore, I believe that Jones will be here a few picks later. This will thrill many fans who want a WR and will surely help McCoy out.
-Pick 37- Marvin Austin- With taking Jones in the 1st, this leaves DL with the next big hole. At this point, most of the top tier is gone. However, there is still talent. Austin had a year off but has fared great in workouts and interviews. Other possibilities are Cameron Heyward, Justin Houston, or a top tier slipping like Adrian Clayborn.
-Pick 39, 41, or 43- At this point the Browns can go in many directions. Hankerson will be there to help out at WR. Brandon Harris could also be there to help the secondary. Many other second tier DL will be there too. This pick will just help boost our young team.

Track Two:
-Pick 8, 10, or 12- Robert Quinn- Quinn preformed greatly at the combine and can jump in to help our new 4-3 front. Teams have also said he has had great interviews and showed character growth. This fills our biggest hole being DL.
- Pick 37 - Jonathan Baldwin or Leonard Hankerson- Obviously here we would be filling WR. No Green or Jones but Baldwin can fit in nicely with the west coast offense.
-Pick 39, 41, or 43- Here the Browns can again look at many options. With not getting a 1st tier WR we could look at whichever one we didn't pick at 37. We could also help the secondary or look at a LB.

Trading down would likely give us three picks in the top 40. Trusting then with Heckert and Holmgren, I think the Browns can draft three quality players that can jump right in and help us win. I think this scenario gives us the most options to go with and doesn't tie us down to a certain pick.

Question Of The Day

Okay, assuming that the Browns attack the 2 biggest needs in the first two rounds, WR and DL, this is a question regarding the third round. Todd McShay said today that Ryan Mallett may fall all the way to the early third round. This is due to his character issues mostly being an alleged drug problem. However, McShay said whichever team grabs him will be getting first round talent at a cheaper rate. I know we are standing by Colt at QB but this could add a backup plan not named Seneca Wallace.

My question to you Browns fans, if Ryan Mallett is available in the third, should the Browns give him a look?

Apr 26, 2011

NFL Draft Drinking Game!

Ok ladies and gentlemen, the 2011 NFL Draft is about to happen! This Thursday, the first round will be on prime time television for the second straight year. This makes it perfect to go out with the guys and watch the greatest "non-game" sporting event of the year.  And what better way to celebrate and or mourn your team's picks than drinking mass quantities of alcohol. Whether you follow these rules exactly or just use them as a guideline, they will for sure make your draft watching experiences greater. Rumor has it Bengals' owner Mike Brown follows these rules while he's in his own war room.

Feel free to print these and share them with your friends. I'd ask that you just keep our name on them since it took a while to create this. 

Once again, enjoy, be safe, drink responsibly, and GO BROWNS! 

NFL Draft Drinking Game
Please Drink Responsibly
Created by: Cleveland's Rocks
Personal Team:
  • Personal power hour when your team is on the clock.  1 Drink per Minute
  • If you’re upset about your teams pick.   Drink until your not
  • Roger Goodell makes a pick announcement.   Social
  • Any pick is traded.   Social
General Phrases:
  • Any mention of the Scouting Combine i.e.  40-yard dash times, bench press, vertical leap 1 Drink
  • If a player is described as a "project", or "sleeper"  1 Drink
  • "Physical specimen."   1 Drink
  • "Intangibles."   1 Drink
  • “Drafting for need”   1 Drink
  • "Best athlete available."   1 Drink
  • “Tremendous upside”   1 Drink

  • Any analyst disagrees with the pick made.   1 Drink
  • Fans boo their first-round pick.   1 Drink
  • Whenever ESPN cuts to a teams “War Room”   1 Drink
  • Camera shot of draftee at home with family.   1 Drink  
  • Draftee at podium is wearing an obnoxiously colored suit (green, purple, yellow, sharkskin), a derby hat or extremely gaudy jewelry.   1 Drink
  • A player from a college you've never heard of is picked.   1 Drink
  • Draftee slips because of "personal problems”.   1 Drink
  • The highlight footage of a first-round pick makes him look like the single greatest player to put on a helmet and play the game of football.   1 Drink
  • Every time someone mentions that Tom Brady was drafted in the 6th round.   1 Drink
  • Every time Chris Mortensen “breaks” a story. 1 Drink
  • Shot of Al Davis in the Raiders War Room - 1 Drink and yell DIE ALREADY
  • Cincinnati drafts a player that's been arrested before.   2 Drinks
  • Last player in green room after 20 picks.  2 Drinks per pick until he is drafted, then give him a standing ovation
  • Every time someone makes a joke about the Lions taking a receiver.   2 Drinks

Personal Phrases/Situations:
            Mel Kiper:
·       Calls a pick a "steal" because he had him listed higher on his draft board 2 Drinks
·       Someone makes a comment of his hair. 3 Drinks
Chris Berman:
·       Anytime he interrupts someone.   1 Drink
·       Anytime he says “Raydas”   5 Drinks
Tom Jackson
·       Let’s slip one of those high-pitched giggles that sounds funny coming from a former middle linebacker.   2 Drinks

Enjoy and once again please DRINK RESPONSIBLY

Apr 25, 2011

HANNAHAN via Blake

Heading into the 2010 offseason, Jack Hannahan was unemployed trying to find what was his best shot at cracking a major league roster in 2011.  At age 30, he had just spent the year between Boston and Seattle's AAA affiliates without even getting a September call-up.  After some deliberation, Jack ultimately chose to accept a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training from the Indians.  Hannahan put together a very strong Spring and with the Indians complete and utter lack of any other veteran 3Bs, he became the team's de facto starting 3B for Opening Day. Even after winning a starting job Hannahan still is viewed as nothing more then a filler player until Lonnie Chinsenhall's arbitration clock is ready to begin.  This all said, I feel the Jack Hannahan is the next Casey Blake.

Blake spent his first four years in the majors collecting garbage time at bats between the Blue Jays, Orioles, and Twins.  He entered the 2003 season as our surprise starting 3B, winning the job despite having only 3 career homers and averaging less than 41 plate appearances per season.  In 2003, Blake was also seen solely has a place-holder until former first round pick Corey Smith was ready.  Casey exceeded expectations and hit .257/.312/.411 with 17 bombs and 67 RBIs, all in a lineup that failed to win 70 games.  Blake simply put numbers were too hard to ignore heading into 2004, and the rest is history. Blake has gone on to have an extremely serviceable career as was the key piece for the Dodgers in the deal that brought us Carlos Santana.

Hannahan enters his fifth major league season after bouncing around between Detroit, Oakland, and Seattle.  Unlike Blake, Jack was given significant at bats in 2008 and 2009, logging just over 800 total plate appearances, and boy was he was terrible.  In 2008 he put up an uninspiring line of .218/.305/.342 in 501 ABs, and yet he was someone able to digress in 2009 turning his line into .213/.297/.326 in 301 ABs between the Athletics and the Mariners.  To put it bluntly, Hannahan was horrendous.  However, with April nearly over, Jack's put together a respectable .253/.323/.407 line with 2 homers and 9 RBIs, a line that is eerily similar to that of Blake's in 2003.

Both players play excellent defense and do what is asked of them.  Am I out of line in believing in Hannahan?  Is it out of the question to say Hannahan is Blake?  What do our (very few) readers think?

The Only Unbiased Look At OSU and Tressel

Once again, I am giving my opinion on the latest Ohio State and Jim Tressel news. I believe that I am giving a very unbiased look at the allegations, sanctions, and possible punishment put forth by the NCAA. Just about every time I write something like this, I get bashed saying that I hate OSU. I do not. I just think that since the fan-ship runs so deep, people sometime blur their own reality and along with that the truth. I wrote about Tressel knowing about the tattoos right after that news broke. I received many messages saying I hate OSU, none of those are true, and Tressel would never lie like that. Well ladies and gentlemen, we are not living in the world we thought we knew.

First off, the biggest question is how big will the punishment be? The first news about punishments ranged anywhere from another slap on the wrist to "lack of institutional control", or aka, the death penalty. The good news is that the death penalty is already off the table. I highly doubt this would ever had happened being that OSU is the face of the Big 10. Nonetheless, the are still serious punishments on the table.

As ESPN's Joe Schad already reported, the possible punishments included an additional suspension, vacating wins, loss of scholarships, coaching staff restrictions, and probation. Lets pick a piece each possible punishment.

First being an added suspension. This seems like the most logical and easiest reactions by the NCAA. Bruce Feldmen said don't be surprised if the Tressel suspension is pushed all the way to a year in length. He also hinted that it may surpass that. This would obviously hurt OSU. Without Tressel calling plays, a run at the Big Ten Championship is almost out of the questions. This can also hurt recruiting effort for the following year.

Vacating wins would only be the case if they find proof the Tressel knew that he was playing players that should be suspended. Basically, he was playing ineligible players. This is grounds for vacating wins, the Big Ten championship, and the Sugar Bowl. There is a decent chance that this may happen to some extent. However, I don't think this would cause too much harm. Like Reggie Bush said, "You can take away the rings and the trophies. but you can't take aware the memories."

The next two, loss of scholarships and coaching staff restrictions, could severely hurt the program. As evident from other schools, taking away some scholarships can set a program back five years easily. Even worse, cutting the coaching staff down to eight coaches can really hurt recruiting efforts. About 80% of the day to day recruiting efforts in a college football program are handled by the assistant coaches. Phone calls, visits, and emails can only be done by assistants until the players are seniors. Even then, most of the effort is done by them. Cutting the staff down would obviously hurt.

After the NCAA makes its decision, many well question Tressel's job security. I personally do not think that he will get fired. He is the face of OSU over the past decade. But if this is more serious than we can imagine, how much can Ohio State take? If this puts the program as a whole back five or so years, can the administration can take anymore? One ESPN reporter brought up the sanctions brought on the school in 2006 for the basketball program when O'Brian was fired after violations. This could be used as a "second offense" for the university and make things worse.

Basically, this is going to be a very long summer for the Ohio State Buckeyes, the Tat Five, Jim Tressel, and worst of all the OSU fans.  The fans are the people who get hurt the worse in all of this. We are going to have to wait all summer long and then face the penalties that are forced upon us. OSU fans might be waiting a couple seasons for a bowl game due to selfish players and a coach trying to cover it up.

Apr 22, 2011

Why Browns Fans Should be Watching the Bengals Very Closely

With the draft less than one week away, I figured it's time for me to put my two cents in on a more consistent basis. When looking over all the mock drafts out there (100% of which are bullshit) the Browns are constantly being given either of the two top receivers (Jones or Green) or Robert Quinn. Here's the point: regardless of which direction the Browns choose to go, the Bengals will have had the biggest impact on that selection. Lets play through a couple scenarios:

For clarity lets assume picks 1-3 pan out as follows:
1. Carolina: Cam Newton
2. Denver: Marcel Darius
3. Buffalo: Von Miller

Option #1: Bengals select AJ Green, WR, UGA

If this pick happens the Browns are obviously not going to be taking AJ Green. But the more important aspect of this pick is going to be that Arizona could very well pass on Blaine Gabbert as well. Many people see the Cards taking Gabbert, but I'm not as sure. It's definitely a possibility, but I see them feeling much better about taking their luck and trying to find a serviceable QB via trade or free agency. This scenario would be a god-send from the Browns perspective. Teams such as Washington, maybe even Tennessee or Minnesota would be on the phones trying to work a trade because they know that San Fran sits at 7 with a monstrous hole at quarterback. The Browns could very well trade back, scoop up a pick as compensation, and still come away with a top 12 pick.

Option #2: Bengals select Blaine Gabbert, QB, Mizzou

If this is the case then the Browns are in a tough spot. Do they draft the best player available (assuming the consensus best players available are AJ Green and Patrick Peterson, at least one of which is bound to be there at 6) or do they draft for need and still come away with a top 10 talent in a player such as Robert Quinn? The point is that if Cincy drafts Gabbert and both Newton and Gabbert are off the board at #6, the Browns are in a much more difficult spot.

Option #3: Bengals select Andy Dalton, QB, TCU

Here me out here. SI's Peter King recently wrote that the Bengals have had 5 contacts with Dalton thus far (interviews, workouts, meal) and that one scout told him that "it's getting hard for Jay Gruden to hide how much he loves Andy Dalton." Dalton originally emerged as a mid-round prospect, but has shot up draft boards and many 'experts' are predicting him to be chosen in the first round by teams like Miami (#15). It only takes one team to fall in love with a prospect. This scenario is exactly like the first one mentioned in this post because it would almost surely open up a ton of trade options for the Browns at #6, assuming Gabbert gets by Arizona.

Keep an eye on pick #4. The Browns have a lot riding on who the Bengals end up selecting.

Apr 21, 2011

A Robert Quinn Scenario

An article posted today on Cleveland.com by Mary Kay Cabot talked about the possibility of the Browns drafting d-lineman Robert Quinn out of North Carolina. This is not a bad idea considering the major hole the Browns have at d-line. However, one thing that was absent from the article was where Quinn would be taken.

Personally, I think the best scenario in which to draft Robert Quinn would be to trade down. Iv'e looked over many mock drafts and the highest I've seen Quinn go was 6th to the Browns. The most common place I have seen him is anywhere from 11-16. This would be a perfect place to draft him.

In my first "trade down scenario" of the year, i'm convincing myself more and more that this is a better option. Several pieces need to fall in place for this to work. First off, Cam Newton or Blaine Gabbert need to be available. If one of them is around at six, there will be some teams interested in trading up. Tennessee, Washington, and Minnesota are all in the top 12 and in need of a QB. A trade with one of those teams will likely give us around two solid players that can step in immediately and help out. Most likely veterans, our young team can use their experience on both sides of the ball. If not, than hopefully we gain some 2nd and 3rd round picks

Now, lets imagine we make that trade. We are now sitting a around ten-ish with three options. Robert Quinn could easily be there. With comparisons to DeMarcus Ware, this could end up being a steal. Some question his character issues. However, after apologizing and taking complete blame for his suspension, he has had great interviews with many teams. He seems ready to put that past him and grow in the NFL. Oh, and did I mention he ran a 4.58 40 at the combine?

Lets say however that Quinn is gone at ten or twelve. Don't worry, we still have options. Julio Jones could very well be there. As much as I like avoiding WR's in the 1st, this, at mid-first round, would be a steal. Cleveland fans would be getting their WR and either more picks or players.

Here are some other options that could still be there at 10-12:
Prince Amukamara- Could go higher or could fall to here. This makes our secondary dominant.
Nick Fairly/Cameron Jordan/JJ Watt- One, two, or all of them will be there. As stated before, we need some help here.
*WILDCARD* Mark Ingram- Here me out here, if we trade down far enough, this may not be a terrible idea. Think about it, we have Hillis who had a dominating year. But lets be honest, how long do you think he will last giving that effort. Plus, another dominant RB could make him better. I know we have many other holes to fill but if we trade down to say between 15-20, this might work.

Game #18: Random Indians Baseball Card of the Day

Candy Maldonado 1991 Donruss

Not exactly sure how you could make a baseball card more awesome then this.  Sewage green boarder with random colored stripes on the side?  Check.  Spring training road picture?  Check.  Absolutely awesome first name with a latino last name?  Check.  Yeah, this is basically baseball card perfection at its finest.  I owned about 17 of these since my grandma would raid garage sales for mass produced cards from the early 90s, and somehow Candy always found his way into my collection.  I cherish each card dearly and their combined value of $.17 isn't nearly high enough.  Hell, if you tripled that value I'd still laugh in your face.  Here's to everyones favor former Indian now announcing for ESPN deportes, Candy Maldonado (Yeah that's right he's better then Baerga).

ESPN Todd McShay Latest Mock

Not sure who Todd McShay has been talking to but this latest mock draft makes no sense what so ever. In his latest mock draft on ESPN, McShay had the Bengals drafting A.J. Green with the 4th pick. This could very well be their pick but I still think Mick Brown will come to his senses and draft a QB. Green, a Cleveland fan favorite, could be a possibility with our pick.

But what shocks me the most is what he has the Browns drafting after Green is selected. McShay has us drafting Julio Jones. Jones is a great WR and many think he is as good if not better than Green. However, I think there are many more pressing issues we need to attend to. Over the past few weeks, I have warmed up to the idea of Green but still don't love it. WR's have way too much risk that high. But Jones at 6? Com'on! With as strong as a d-line class as it is, if Green is gone, I hope we look that direction.

A reminder to a ll Browns fans who keep yelling at me to get a WR, we are now switching to a 4-3 defense. With that, we need FOUR starting defensive lineman. Have you seen our latest depth chart for d-line? We have Brian Schaefering starting a RE. The previous three years he has fought to make the practice squad. We have a man from South Dakota named Ko Quaye who has recorded ZERO career tackles. We have no depth at d-line. Ya, our WR depth is very below average but with so many top d-lineman in this draft, I don't know why we dont look at one if Green is already gone. I'd actually prefer one even if Green is still there based on this post, but thats already been discussed.

Also, Heckert has said many times that he will draft by best player available at the time. We can't be sure whether this is just a ploy or not, but we can be fairly certain it is not. Based on that, Julio Jones is by no means the best player at the 6th spot. This is why I don't understand McShay's last mock.

Speaking of me not understanding McShay's last mock draft, how do I get a job with ESPN? Honestly, I think I can do the same if not better job that Todd McShay and Mel Kiper. Actually, I think many people can. Their only job is to look through stats of college players all day and project where they will go in the draft. Yet, lately, they have been very wrong with their promises. Ya, I know its a crapshoot projecting these players, but when you come off as a pompous douche-bag, then you better step up. Hey Mel, I'm still waiting for Jimmy Clausen to become a star and throw for 4,000 yards.

I propose a challenge. The three writers on this blog will each submit a mock draft. We can also take some from our readers. For us, we will each make a 1st choice and a second choice for each pick. Then, take Kiper's and McShay's last two mock drafts they make. Score 3 points for a correct pick on your first choice and 1 point for a correct pick on your second. Most points wins. Just remember people, they are the ones making the big bucks.

Apr 20, 2011

Game #17: Random Indians Baseball Card of the Day

1998 Willie Martinez Bowman

I remember Willie Martinez because he was supposedly related to Dennis Martinez, the great start for the Indians during the 1995 World Series run.  Therefore, everyone in Cleveland loved that he signed with us as an amateur free agent, since he was destined for greatness.  That greatness came on June 14, 2000 in what was Martinez' only game.  He pitched 3 innings of relief giving up 1 run, 1 hit, and 1 walk.  Since this was as near to perfection as Martinez could get, he decided it would be the only time he ever needed to pitch in big league game and he disappeared from baseball soon thereafter.  Here's to you Willie Martinez 1998 Bowman, because I used one of my very limited card cases on you to prevent damage to your ever valuable rookie card.  At your peak you were worth at least $.25 and I would never dare sell you.

Apr 19, 2011

Game #16: Random Indians Baseball Card of the Day

Before I make this post I'd just like to say I'm James and I just joined the blog.  As evident by my post on Chris Antonetti below, I will be primarily writing about the Indians, but I'll also have posts on NASCAR and college basketball, as well as dabbling in virtually every other sport, like posting my mock Browns draft.  Anyways, the card of the day:

2000 Bowman Sean DePaula

I remember this card and DePaula from the end of the 1999 season he debuted against the Angels and gave up 4 runs in 1/3 of an inning.  I remember Rick Manning claiming his blow up was just nerves and not the fact he was a 9th round pick 3 years earlier and the Indians are notorious for being horrible drafters.  Manning actually looked right when DePaula only gave up 2 runs in 11 and 1/3 innings the rest of the way.  However, Sean didn't make the Opening Day roster in 2000 and only appeared in a handful of games the rest of his career, all for the Indians.  He actually looks liked a serviceable according to his Baseball Reference page but for whatever reason he only appeared in 26 games in under 35 innings and never appeared in a major league game after 2002.  Here's to me buying this card for at least $.50 in 2000 thinking he was the next Paul Shuey, oh well.

Offseason Guide to the Indians Early Season Success

Everyone knows that the Indians having the best record in the American League 10% through the season is a surprise.  Frankly it's surprising that the Indians have a record over .500, let alone a record that leads the AL Central.  Lots of people are trying to explain what the change is from last year to this or whether or not they'll keep it up.  While that's all good and dandy, why don't we give some credit to this guy: 

New Tribe GM Chris Antonetti went into the off season with an actual plan and stuck to it.  The majority of our fan base was angry that the Dolan's gave him the job after old GM Mark Shapiro was "promoted".  Basically Tribe fans saw Antonetti as nothing more then a new Shapiro with some facial plastic surgery which didn't get him off to the kind of start he would like.  Then while the Red Sox were helping Carl Crawford fund a Salvation Army youth league and the Phillies and Cliff Lee were ignoring how awesome it is to play in an Indians uniform, Antonetti and his plan too place, and relatively nothing happened.

He brought in Paul Phillips and brought back Luke Carlin on minor league deals with invites to Spring Training.  Even though I personally don't like Paul Phillips (and I'm not sure how I actually have an opinion of him, but I do), both of these moves were smart and savvy.  The team needed catching depth that could handle a big league staff with the Guitarist coming back from his knee injury and Lou Marson struggling mightily to hit big league pitching, and Chris Gimenez and Wyatt Torregas leaving to try and make a big league club elsewhere.

Next Antonetti brought in Jack Hannahan and Adam Everett on minor league deals with invites.  I saw this move as Phillips and Carlin just in the infield, but with a stronger undertone, while the majority of fans saw this as penny-pinching for depth.  Sure Everett and Hannahan have bounced around franchises, but it's solely because they can't hit.  They are both great defensively and even if they put up their career lines (.224/.310/.349 and .244/.295/.344 respectively), they'll both bring a very necessary defensive presence on the infield, something the team severely lacked in 2010.  I mean, does Hannahan not look like a sure-fire All-Star to you?

Travis Buck signed a minor league deal soon thereafter.  Although we have no need for another left handed outfielder (Brantley, Sizemore, Choo) Buck came as cheap as they come, and when healthy he's been productive.  He also got some work in at 1B during Spring Training and can play CF.  With options left, he's been a solid extra OF while Sizemore was out and I'll be shocked if he's not the guy we option when we need a starter to fill Talbot's spot, but for a minor league deal Buck is a great value.

The next move seemed like it would be the last one of the offseason when Austin Kearns was brought back.  Although I did not like the idea of giving Kearns over 1 mil guaranteed, the team needed some other type of right handed bat and Kearns proved he could hit AL Central pitching last year, so the move could've been way worse.  Naturally most fans saw this as a repeating the cycle of last year, but this time a right handed bat like Kearns was actually needed.  Most importantly Kearns showed a desire to get better this offseason by taking the Miguel Cabrera approach, get a DUI to take attention away from how awesome his stat line is.

Right before Spring Training the team gave Orlando Cabrera and Chad Durbin major league deals, both for around 1 mil each.  While I was thrilled with Cabrera's deal (he's Everett/Hannahan with some actual offense and a positive veteran presence in the locker room), I completely detested the Durbin signing.  For one, we had him in 2003 when our staff was an abortion and we waived him after giving up 7 runs in less then 9 innings.  Not only has he been horrible in the past with us, he's never pitched late in ballgames.  If there was any need for a veteran in bullpen, it would be late in games.  However, during Durbin's career he's either been a starter, long, or middle man.  Chris Perez is solidified as our closer with plenty of other younger, more opportunistic, and cheaper relievers set for middle and long relief roles.  Naturally, Durbin's been shit in under 4 innings this year picking up an extra innings loss in the process and will likely be a released before the Trading Deadline.  I would have preferred to see Jensen Lewis or Doug Mathis make the team in the long role until one of them steps up/steps down and needs to be DFAed, somewhat like Jorge Julio and Luis Vizcaino have been used in past years.  Sure they're not very good, but neither is Chad Durbin and they'd make a hell of a lot less then him. Here's some photo evidence of Chad Durbin looking horrible before pitching horrible.

Overall Antonetti is a main reason as to why this team is 12-4 and as good as it is.  He spent around 3 mil bringing in 6 guys currently on the big league roster all while giving younger players an actual shot to play regularly.  Instead of signing Russell Branyan for no fucking reason and dealing him a month before the deadline to an idiotic GM for a poor man's Josh Anderson, Antonetti fit the teams needs all while staying cheap and saving money for the future.  This team may slow down and finish in 4th with 70 wins (hopefully not), but at least the Dolan's will save some money to actually spend in a year or two when our younger guys hit arbitration and need to get paid.  I'll leave you with a picture of Larry Dolan looking into the future and seeing the Tribe's back-to-back World Series in 2013 and 2014.

He sees victory.

Just Another Reason Why I Love Cleveland

Best city in the world. Best fans in the world. Let's go everybody who is playing the Heat in the playoffs.

Shoutout to Pam for risking her life and the lives of others on I-480 for this great pic.

Lockout Hits Home

Rick Reilly just wrote a great article on ESPN.com talking about the serious side of the NFL lockout. Many people do not realize that there are NFL players who are not making millions of dollars. For many, this work stoppage has forced them into a very difficult predicament. 

One player Reilly focused on in his article was Cleveland Browns defensive lineman, Brian Schaefering. Undrafted in 2008, out of the small Lindenwood University, Schaefering is only making the league minimum of $395,000. You may say, "how can you not live of of that?". Well for starters, after taxes, Brian and his wife only netted about $200,000. A father of three, all under the age of 8, Schaefering faced many bills and isn't living the luxurious life many imagine of an NFL player. 

"I'll do anything," says Schaefering, 27. "If I have to work for UPS, I will. I gotta family to feed. I've paved roads, fixed roofs, done landscaping. I'm not better'n anybody else. I don't want any handouts. I'd be happy with $12 an hour if I could get it."

Schaefering recorded 31 tackles for the Browns in 2010 and even recorded a safety in week 6 against the Steelers. He started the last nine games for the Browns after barely making the practice squad the year before. 

"The problem is," says Schaefering, "who wants to hire a guy who may have to pack up and leave [for the NFL] a month or two into it? ... I hear people joking around about this thing, but it's no joke," he says. "If this goes into the season, my wife might start panicking a little."

Lets all wish the best to Brian Schaefering and his family. He is a true blue collar guy trying to live his dream. This is what Cleveland is made of. I wish the best of luck to his family and pray this lockout ends as soon as possible so we get to see him out on the field again this year for the Browns.