Mar 23, 2012

Running Backs Vs. Wideouts in the Top-10

In Don Banks of SI.com's latest mock draft, he argues that there has been more success in drafting wideouts in the top-10 than there has been in drafting running backs in the top-10. With this logic, he projects the Browns to pick Justin Blackmon over Trent Richardson at #4 come April. I decided to do a little research and see top-10 drafted runningbacks vs top-10 drafted wideouts since 2002 to find out if Banks is correct. (I decided not to include 2011 because one year isn't enough to make a solid conclusion, though AJ Green and Julio Jones showed promise after being top-10 picks)

Running Backs 
Ronnie Brown, Dolphins #2 (2005)
Cedric Benson, Bears #4 (2005)
Cadillac Williams, Bucs #5 (2005)
Reggie Bush, Saints #2 (2006)
Adrian Peterson, Vikings #7 (2007)
Darren McFadden, Raiders #4 (2008)
CJ Spiller, Bills #9 (2010)

Wide Receivers
Charles Rogers, Lions #2 (2003)
Andre Johnson, Texans #3 (2003)
Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals #3 (2004)
Roy Williams, Lions #7 (2004)
Reggie Williams, Jaguars #9 (2004)
Braylon Edwards, Browns #3 (2005)
Troy Williamson, Vikings #7 (2005)
Mike Williams, Lions #10 (2005)
Calvin Johnson, Lions #2 (2007)
Ted Ginn Jr., Dolphins #9 (2007)
Darius Heyward-Bey, Raiders #7 (2009)
Michael Crabtree, 49ers #10 (2009)

I italicized the players that I think justified their top-10 selection, with 2 out of 7 running backs (AP and Run DMC) and 3 out of 12 wideouts (Andre Johnson, Fitz, and Megatron). While it's not like either position has a high number of successes, running backs seem to have more when compared to their peers drafted in the top-10.

With this in mind, I DO NOT, CANNOT see Heckert drafting Blackmon at #4. I called into 850 WKNR's Hooligans today and pointed out that Heckert passed on Julio Jones last season at pick #6. Why would he take a wideout rated lower (according to most) this season at pick #4? I just can't fathom Heckert doing that.

Sometime this weekend I'll try to post a blog about why I think Trent may not be the choice either.

In the mean time, since I'm back here in Athens to watch my Bobcats play knock-off North Carolina, I'm going to go start drinking. If anyone who reads this goes to OU or is here in Athens, you'll prolly see me tonight. I'll be the shitfaced Marine stumbling all around Court St. Win or lose, we still booze!! (It's true in Cleveland and it's sure as shit true down here at OU)

Mar 21, 2012

Report: 3 top 10 Prospects Don't Want to be Browns

According to that dude on BleacherReport that no one likes , 3 top-10 draft prospects have told their agents they don't want to play in Cleveland. Now, I'm not going to say a lot about this because I think it's a crock of shit, and come draft day players are going to want to get drafted, preferably in the top 5.

So I'll be frank. Players can say whatever the hell they want before they get drafted, I don't give a shit. Chances are we aren't going to pick up any of those three players anyways. All I care about is who is wearing that Orange and Brown. These guys can say whatever they want. They aren't in the NFL yet. Shit, I don't even care what people like Mario Manningham or any other douchebag of an NFL player say. Because when it comes down to it, I want guys like this, or this, or this, or maybe this, even this, guys that bleed that fucking Orange and Brown just like I do.

You know what we don't want here in Cleveland. People that don't wear their heart on their sleeve. People that always search for the easiest way out, the most glorifying path, the biggest markets, the most money. We don't want people like that. So if you don't want to come to Cleveland--*cough* Justin Blackmon *cough*-- that's fine with us. We don't want you.

MOCK DRAFT 3.0: Post Free Agency

Here is the third version of my mock draft. Or, at least the first half of it. In order to make it a little more interesting I tried to find good Youtube clips of all the players I have projected thus far. Unfortunately, some suck so I had to improvise with different clips. Because of that, however, this has taken me all fucking day to do so I'm going to try to post the second half either tonight or tomorrow whenever I find 3+ more hours to spend browsing the internet. As always, COMMENT. 

1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck, QB Stanford

Luck is a lock to go #1 overall, his combine performance rivaled that of Cam Newton last year and he is the best QB prospect since Peyton Manning in 1998.

I couldn't decide between these two Youtube links, so here are both of them:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RF9PFJI_t5I
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4_w-puInqY&feature=related

Previous pick: Luck

2. Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III, QB BaylorGriffin is also a lock here after Washington's historic trade with St. Louis a few weeks ago. Some people say that 3 #1's and a #2 isn't too much for a franchise QB, and I say it depends. When you don't have much support around a young QB, trading away those picks can be detrimental to his development. I don't have a problem with the Browns not giving up that much for RG3. With that in mind, Mike Shanahan will be able to groom him as good as anyone in the NFL would be able to.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcceo1UrXbc

Previous pick: Griffin

3. Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil, OT Southern CalMost people are calling this pick a lock as well, and it looks like it fits the billing. The Vikings need to protect Christian Ponder against the likes of Cliff Avril, Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers.

Not too many good videos of Matt Kalil on Youtube, so here's one of him in high school getting interviewed and with clips from practice pancaking kids literally half his size.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tuhf-Q5-i6Q

Previous pick: Kalil

4. Cleveland Browns: Trent Richardson, RB AlabamaI originally had Ryan Tannehill at this spot, but I'm editing it for a few reasons. First of all, if the Browns pass on Richardson I could see him falling all the way to the Bengals at #17, and I can't see that happening in real life. Secondly, I think the Browns are high on Brandon Weeden of Oklahoma State, and wouldn't be surprised if they try to pick him up at #37. However, I could also see Heckert trying to pick up a running back later on such as LaMichael James or Isaiah Pead, similar players to Brian Westbrook and LeSean McCoy. Thirdly, Heckert has a history of going after established, highly decorated players in the first round, and Tannehill's lack of experience doesn't fit that mold. I think Morris Claiborne is an option here, but so far all the Browns' moves have been defensive, so I see them focusing on the offensive side of the ball come April. Also, don't rule out the possibility of trading down. Lastly, I have no fucking idea what Heckert is going to try to do here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fMXHSl-tqg

Previous pick: Trade with Jacksonville (I'm not projecting trades in my mocks anymore)


5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Morris Claiborne, CB Louisiana StateAqib Talib is on death row, right? Ronde Barber is on his death bed, correct? Eric Wright isn't nearly as good as he likes to think he is. If you can't tell where I'm going here, the Bucs need corner help. Especially in a division with Drew Brees, Cam Newton, Matt Ryan, and Derek Anderson. Trent is a popular pick here, but I don't know if he'll be availible and while Legarrette Blount needs a compliment, I don't think his shortcomings in the passing game warrant a top-5 pick.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUCkN_oyB5M

Previous pick: Claiborne




6. St. Louis Rams: Justin Blackmon, WR Oklahoma StateSt. Louis needs some help on the offensive side of the ball, especially after losing Brandon Lloyd to New England via free agency. Blackmon has supposidly been high on St. Louis' board for a while now, and if he's here at #6 I would think that new GM Les Snead would take him to give Sam Bradford a new toy to work with and hopefully develop with.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqiDndGkiaQ

Previous pick: Riley Reiff, OT Iowa


7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Michael Floyd, WR Notre Dame
A lot of mocks have Michael Floyd going here, and I'm going along with it because I'm not sure on too many other of the Jags' options at this point. Floyd had an impressive Combine performance, and I don't think that Blackmon is necessarily the clear-cut, without-a-doubt #1 wideout in this draft.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9liJMCLHjU

Previous pick: Trade with Cleveland


8. Miami Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill, QB Texas A&M

Miami desperately needs a QB unless they want David Garrard to take the reigns for them in 2012. New offensive coordinator Mike Sherman coached Tannehill at Texas A&M, and coach Joe Philbin did a nice job with both Aaron Rodgers and Matt Flynn up in Green Bay. Tannehill is a consensus top-10 or 12 prospect, so grabbing him at #8 isn't too much of a reach at all, especially considering the value of his position.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MwoWKvrLR4

Previous pick: Melvin Ingram, DE South Carolina

9. Carolina Panthers, Dontari Poe, DT Memphis
Poe dominated at the Combine, and while Carolina's offense is up-and-coming, the defense needs work. Poe can help solidify the front four, and with the return of John Beason in the linebacking corps next year, the D can be vastly improved.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HOLfF2JXNAw

Previous pick: Poe





10. Buffalo Bills: Riley Reiff, OT IowaThe Bills upgraded their defense a shit-ton by bringing in Mario Williams, so I see them turning to the offensive side of the ball with their first pick. Their skill positions are pretty solid for the most part with Stevie Johnson, Fred Jackson, CJ Spiller, and Ryan Fitzpatrick (assuming he doesn't shit the bed in the second half of the season again). They lost, or at least it appears they will lose Demetrius Bell in free agency, so Reiff can fill the void left on the offensive line.

No good Riley Reiff videos on Youtube. Get some Ricky!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wIm_41OIOM

Previous pick: Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB Alabama

11. Kansas City Chiefs: Courtney Upshaw, OLB AlabamaThe Chiefs have a young Justin Houston on the other side of Tamba Hali right now in Romeo Crennel's 34 defense, but Upshaw is a great talent. The offensive line was beefed up with the signing of Eric Winston, and Peyton Hillis was brought in as insurance for Jamaal Charles. I think Scott Pioli and Crennel would love to see Dontari Poe here at #11, but in this case scenario, Upshaw provides a spark to an already solid Chiefs defense.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvMwSUM9fZI

Previous pick: Dave DeCastro, OG Stanford

12. Seattle Seahawks: David DeCastro, OG Stanford
Dave DeCastro is no ordinary interior lineman. He has been compared to the likes of Steve Hutchinson, and rightfully so. He has a nasty streak that I'm sure Pete Carrol is familiar with from his connections and time in the PAC-12. With Robert Gallery out, offensive line becomes a need for the Seahawks. The only question is if Seattle is going to use 3 out of 4 past first round picks on a lineman.

When in doubt, find high school highlights.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9yIUuQgNmg

Previous pick: Quinton Couples, DE UNC

13. Arizona Cardinals: Whitney Mercilus, OLB Illinois
Mercilus was the nation's leading pass-rusher last year as a 4-3 defensive end at Illinois. However, he lacks the ideal size to play the same position in the pros. The Cards need a pass-rush really bad, and could hope to convert Mercilus to an outside backer in their 3-4 defense.

No good Whitney Mercilus videos either? C'mon Youtube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqpG7jEWJVc

Previous pick: Luke Kuechly, ILB Boston College


14. Dallas Cowboys: Fletcher Cox, DL Mississippi StateJust a hunch with this pick, but Rob Ryan loves adding to his defense. The Cowboys picked up Chris Carr and Brodney Pool in order to beef up their secondary, but their d-line is aging and Cox would provide an infusion of youth.

Leave it to Mississippi State to play a segragated game of beach volleyball.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQBgR5Mqeeo&feature=related

Previous pick: Janoris Jenkins, CB Northern Alabama

15. Philadelphia Eagles: Michael Brockers, DT Louisiana State

Andy Reid likes grabbing defensive line help early in the draft, so I have him sticking with it here. I'm not sure if Brockers is high on the Eagles' board or not, but I've seen him all over the first round in other mocks. Because of that, I'm going to slap him right here, where I think the Eagles are going d-line anyways.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yY_6vu1P5cI

Previous pick: Brockers

16. New York Jets: Stephen Hill, WR Georgia Tech

The Jets, aside from possibly the Redskins, like to make more headlines than anyone else in the NFL. Stephen Hill dominated the Combine, and after seeing Plaxico Burress probably walk, New York's front office will be looking for someone to replace him and hopefully make something of Mark Sanchize.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VHFeehT0Ro

Previous pick: Mark Barron, S Alabama


17. Cincinnati Bengals: Quinton Coples, DE North Carolina


Couples falls a bit in this edition of my mock draft. After losing Frostee Rucker, the Bengals could use another defensive end to pair with Carlos Dunlap. Yeah, they have Michael Johnson, who split reps with Rucker in 2011, but he was benched in favor of Rucker last year. Couples can provide much more of an impact than Johnson can in 2012. Also, he'd look good in a Bengals uniform getting shut down by Joe Thomas twice a year.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXUwh3VwZiU

Previous pick: Trent Richardson, RB Alabama


18. San Diego Chargers: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB Alabama


Quentin Jammer is getting up there and could benefit from a move to safety. Antoine Cason and Kirkpatrick could provide San Diego with a very solid pair of young corners. Of course, if AJ Smith had any idea what he was doing, he would draft a new head coach with this pick. But I digress.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzXUEtd5k3M&feature=related

Previous pick: Stephen Hill, WR Georgia Tech


19. Chicago Bears: Cordy Glenn, OG Georgia


I previously had the Bears taking Michael Floyd here, but I jumped him up a shit ton in this mock and since then the Bears have traded for Brandon Marshall. Glenn is a very good interior line prospect, though not on the level of DeCastro. Gabe Carimi and Glenn would give a nice foundation on the offensive line in Chicago.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9qm8JROXWc

Previous pick: Michael Floyd, WR Notre Dame


20. Tennessee Titans: Janoris Jenkins, CB Northern Alabama


Cortland Finnegan left for St. Louis, and word is that Jenkins manned up to his off-field issues at the Combine. Tennessee brought in Kam Wimbley this week, so that alleviates some pressure to focus on the pass rush.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5_HtTQPWFg

Previous pick: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB Alabama


21. Cincinnati Bengals: Mark Barron, S Alabama


I can't believe that Chris Crocker has lasted in the NFL 10 years, let alone starting. Barron is a great value pick here, and can provide a nice compliment next to newly resigned Reggie Nelson.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUPrI8sI63A

Previous pick: Alphonzo Dennard, CB Nebraska


22. Cleveland Browns: Jonathan Martin, OT Stanford


Martin was once thought of as a top-10 or so pick, and with the Browns' desperation on the right side of the line, they should be thrilled if he falls down here. I know receiver is a big need, but I think Heckert understands that the line comes first. I also honestly think Brandon Weeden is a possibility here as well, but I think that Heckert takes a gamble that he'll be there at #37.

Maybe the best clip on Youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fZCCAqoSwY

Previous pick: Kendall Wright, WR Baylor


23. Detroit Lions: Doug Martin, RB Boise State


The Lions picked up Javid Best a few years ago, but his career is in jeopardy after over 341 concussions. They also picked up Mikel Leshoure last Spring but he missed the entire year due to injury. I think Martin is a real possiblity here. The Lions couldn't run the ball for shit last year, and while they may have a huge need in the secondary, they don't tend to reach for players. Martin is one of the top players available in this scenario.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TE1T5o420Vc&feature=related

Previous pick: Jonathan Martin, OT Stanford


24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Luke Kuechly, ILB Boston College


Kuechly probably won't fall this far after an impressive Combine performance, but if he does, Pittsburgh is waiting with a big hole at inside backer. James Farrior was just released and Kuechly is the consensus top inside linebacker in the draft.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3ykWbu2Gl0

Previous pick: Jerel Worthy, DT Michigan State


25. Denver Broncos: Kendall Wright, WR Baylor


You think Peyton Manning would like this pick? Wright would be an excellent compliment to Demaryius Thomas and allowing Eric Decker to go where white receivers belong in the NFL--the slot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkBtsOuM300

Previous pick: Lamar Miller, RB Miami


26: Houston Texans: Dont'a Hightower, ILB Alabama


After trading away DeMeco Ryans this week, Hightower can step right into a familiar role inside of Wade Phillips' 3-4 defense. Hightower excelled in Nick Saban's 34 defense at 'Bama and could do the same in the NFL.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8vxcZU8-fg

Previous pick: Cordy Glenn, OL Georgia


27: New England Patriots: Stephon Gilmore, CB South Carolina


Gilmore is good value here, Mike Mayock has him rated as his second-best corner in the draft. It's no secret that New England's defense could use some improvement, the question is which position group.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wq_7sE0jMzM

Previous pick: Whitney Marcilus, DE/OLB Illinois


28. Green Bay Packers: Devon Still, DL Penn State


Green Bay's defense was not very good last year, but it was masked by the fact that their offense put up points in bunches. I'm sure the Pack would love for one of these corners to fall down to them at #28, but it's not happening in this mock draft.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2uZ-b0GgEQ

Previous pick: Fletcher Cox, DL Mississippi State


29. Baltimore Ravens: Peter Konz, C Wisconsin 


Konz is a popular pick here since Matt Birk is slipping gradually into senility. Konz comes from a Wisconsin program with a decent reputation of solid offensive lineman.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcIAKTvMl1Q

Previous pick: Konz


30. San Francisco 49ers: Coby Fleener, TE Stanford


Jim Harbaugh used two-tight end sets often at Stanford. Fleener would pair up nicely with Vernon Davis to get a Gronkowski/Hernandez type of combination like New England has.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyWRmSDDvxo

Previous pick: Alshon Jeffery, WR South Carolina


31. New England Patriots: Vinny Curry, OLB/DE Marshall


Curry is an intriguing prospect who has the versatility to play both down on the line and upright in Bill Belichick's 34 defense.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7KM3SddVuQ

Previous pick: Chase Minnifield, CB Virginia


32. New York Giants: Dwayne Allen, TE Clemson


Jake Ballard sucks still. Allen is a good traditional tight end that the Giants and Tom Coughlin look to utilize in their offense.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5axTDv4oZxk

Previous pick: Allen

SECOND HALF OF THIS MOCK COMING EITHER TONIGHT OR TOMORROW...CHECK BACK HERE OR ON TWITTER FOR UPDATES

Mar 20, 2012

Another Browns Opinion on Skilled Offense

This blog is primarily a Browns blog and as the guy who is supposed to be blogging about our other losing teams, I figured its time for a change up to the traditional mold, so here's Indians blogger James' opinion on what the Browns should have been doing this offseason.  Just to make it clear, I often disagree with fellow bloggers JP & Chip on what Cleveland should be doing and the direction they should be going, so this isn't going to be me simply re-stating what their general consensus is.  Anyways, lets get down to what Tom Heckert and Mike Holmgren should be doing in free agency sif they took my opinion as gold.
  • 1. Look  West to find Colt McCoy some serious competition
If there anything was proven last year about Colt McCoy it is that no one still knows exactly how good he is.  Throughout the Browns kingdom fans have gone back and forth on whether last years performance was a sign McCoy was bad, average, or good based on whether his throws were a result of his lack of skill or the lack of skill players around him.  In my mind, why not speed up the process and bring a QB or two to compete and turn the pressure up on McCoy.  Once we lost out on the RGIII lottery, the team should've immediately looked to lock up the guy to right doing his best Abraham Elam tackling impression on his wife.  Jason Campbell is the proto-type QB you want to bring in to compete for a starting job.  He's a former first rounder who has started multiple seasons for two teams with some average success.  Naturally, the Browns ignored the idea of adding Campbell even though he got a cheap, riskless 1 year 3.5 mil deal with Chicago.  Cleveland still has hope though, with the Peyton Manning sweepstakes coming down to Denver, San Fran, and Kansas City, I was an advocate of bringing in whichever scorned QB was cut.  Manning ended up in Denver, and grabbing the Christ of football for a fourth round pick is again something the team should consider.  Tebow at the very least would breath some life into a seemingly dead offense, and at best he would take his team to the playoffs.  Let's not forget the Tebow and the expansion era Browns have the same amount of playoff appearances, and Tim has more wins.  Of course H&H Co. are going to pass on adding anyone with big play ability on the offense, and we will probably reach on a QB somewhere in the first round (I swear if they draft the reverse Matt Jones, uh I mean Ryan Tannenhill) they will lose at least 10 games.  Simply said, there should be some QB competition for some urgency at a position that will be address next year when we draft Matt Barkley/Landry Jones/Tyler Bray/Tyler Wilson.  Instead, it looks like the team will be standing pat and again competing with the state of Florida for the worst professional starting QB in the league.  Hell, at this point I would've considered bring in another West Coast QB, Brady Quinn.  I can't believe I'm serious too, Jesus this team.


  • 2. Sign/Trade for a proven elite WR and DO NOT draft one

This is a topic I felt strongly about last year, a topic I feel strongly about this year, and a topic I will feel strongly about next year. That said, the front office is still going to follow their "draft and develop" plan and we will be seeing another year of Greg Little, Josh Cribbs, and Mohammad Massaquoi as the starting WRs.  Now before anyone says that Justin Blackmon could and would upgrade that wide receiver core significantly, let me present a list for you.  AJ Green, Julio Jones, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Michael Crabtree, Calvin Johnson, Ted Ginn, Braylon Edwards, Troy Williamson, Mike Williams, and Reggie Williams.  Those are the last 10 WRs selected in the top 10 of the draft, and stuck right in the middle of that list in terms of effective performance is good ole' Braylon Edwards.  If we take Blackmon in the top 10 we are either going to get Julio Jones (who we effectively traded last year), Troy Williamson (that goofy looking guy on the left who's single season peaks are 37 REC/455 YARDS/2 TDs, or a guy in the middle like Braylon.  Yeah, I'd rather sign a proven guy too.  You can sign a Marques Colston or Vincent Jackson to get the job done, or even better move two 3rd round picks for a stud (and mentally unstable) Brandon Marshall.  Sure they both got paid big ($40 mil over 5 and $55 mil over 5 respectively), but if there ever was a time for the Browns to spend money on wide receivers now is the time.  Colston fits the extremely West Cost Offense being a guy who blocks very well and can slants and quick routes superbly.  Jackson doesn't fit as well, but if there is any part of the playbook the Browns must address it's running deep routes to stretch the defense and there might not be anyone better at doing this in the NFL then Jackson.  Hell, even if you don't like these two guys we could've moved two Colt McCoy clones for Brandon Marshall a top 10 receiver in the league.  Instead Holgrem, the guy who took Koren Robinson (and his creepy mugshot) in the top 10, is going to either stand pat and do nothing or draft Justin Blackmon.  Call me crazy for being a pessimist, but I don't have any confidence that a top 10 WR is going to turn into a stud, especially in Cleveland, especially with Colt McCoy throwing to him, especially with Mike Holmgren in the front office.  Just staying.


  • 3. Fill the backfield with value RB(s)
I firmly believe that in order to have a great running back you have to have a great offensive line.  Right now the Browns employ an average offensive line, so the team either needs to bring in an extremely skilled running back or deploy a committee of average RBs who fit the system well.  Now depending on your viewpoint, Peyton Hillis could've fallen in either of these categories.  Personally, I think Hillis doesn't fit the WCO the way Shurmur wants to run it, so letting him walk for big money wasn't something I would lose sleep over.  However, letting the guy walk to Kansas City for $3 mil makes no sense.  He already knows 

the system at least somewhat well.  He already has proven he can be effective (no one in Cleveland has forgotten 2010).  Now he proves that he isn't going to cost an arm and a leg to keep.  Effectively management must've wanted a clean break after the up-and-down 2011 year, but for that price tag it seems to be a completely wrong decision.  Looking at the current roster, H&H Co. cannot realistically want to head into camp with a Brandon Jackson/Montario Hardesty split backfield.  They surely know that at some point during the season one of them is going to injured, and even those two healthy isn't exactly screaming confidence in the running game (something a WCO must have in order to be successful).  The rest of the FA crop of runners is full of over the hill backs who aren't good at catching the ball (Cedric Benson, Brandon Jacobs, Michael Bush, Ryan Grant).  The only other back who might have fit the system, Mike Tolbert, signed with Carolina.  Unless we make a trade (a 2nd rounder and conditional 3rd for Jonathan Stewart? Please?), we are going to be drafting a RB high in the draft.  All signs point towards Trent Richardson, but why couldn't we have just re-signed Hillis and address other issues in the draft.  It seems like H&H Co. wanted to create another hole in a team full of holes because they didn't like Hillis at all.  Why?  

This article just brings up one obvious point. Unless draft some combination of QB, RB, and WR with our first three picks, we are going to be missing out filling holes in free agency.  It's one thing to believe that you have to build your team through the draft (don't all teams not owned by Dan Snyder think this anyways), but when there is good value on the free agent market you should probably go sign some of it.


Looks like another sub .500 year again Cleveland. Fuck.

Makers Mark to Make Tim Couch Bottle

Maker's Mark, known as Kentucky's Bourbon Whiskey, just unveiled a commemorative Tim Couch bottle.  While I assume this is to commemorate the Time Couch- Kentucky Football Legend, I can't help but think many Browns fans will resort to this alcohol to cope with Tim Couch- Cleveland Browns bust.

Pic courtesy of EDSBS
While I always liked Couch, and thought he would have been decent in the league if given even half a real chance, there is no doubt he started a trend of completely shitty drafts. He will always be the cornerstone of Browns busts even to Courtney Browns' dismay.

As a Browns fan, I will for sure grab a bottle or three of these special edition bottles cause, well, I'm a Browns fan. In fact, if Colt is out there next year, I may need a bottle for every Sunday.

So while this special edition bottle may have been marketed towards Kentucky fans (they like football?), it may in fact be a better seller for the depressed, angered, and hopelessly driven to alcoholism fans of Cleveland. Remember, win or lose, we still booze. And now we can booze with Tim Couch!

Mar 19, 2012

Tim Tebow to the Browns?

Is that hair or a crown of thorns?


In light of the entire Peyton Manning saga, Tim Tebow is lost in the mix. The Broncos are apparently going to shop Jesus Christ himself, and I'm here to make the case that Browns fans shouldn't scoff at the notion of acquiring Tebow as quickly as they are.

Through his first [somewhat] full season as a starter, here are Tebow's stats in the past 13 games. Aka his starts this season, including the playoffs.

141/308
46% completion percentage
2,102 yards
13 TDs
6 INTs
13 Fumbles
38 Sacks taken
6 Rushing TDs

Now, most people bitch and complain about those stats, and rightfully so. But Tebow has won with those stats. He's won with bad stats, and imagine if he continues to develop. I know, I know, but think about Pat Shurmur and Brad Childress. These two guys are known for their ability to develop quarterbacks, most notably Donovan McNabb. He turned out to have a half-way decent NFL career. Just for the hell of it, let's check out McNabb's stats through his first 13 games started.

225/401
56% completion percentage
2,189 yards
17 TDs
12 INTs
9 Fumbles
34 Sacks taken
3 Rushing TDs

Hmmmmm, those stats don't look all that different. Yes, Tebow's completion percentage is significantly lower, but that is something that young quarterbacks develop throughout their careers with good coaching. Look at how McNabb developed with Shurmur and Childress.

The point of this blog isn't to say that the Browns need to go out and pick up Tim Tebow today. But it is to say that Browns fans shouldn't jump to crucify Tebow or the Browns if they are interested in getting him. If Tebow becomes a Brown and Shurmur and Childress do a fraction of the job they were able to do with McNabb, I think Cleveland fans would be ecstatic.

Oh, by the way, cut the bullshit about Tim Tebow not having any potential or room to develop. He was a first round quarterback and beat out a decent QB in Kyle Orton this past season.

WWTTD

Mar 15, 2012

Grading the Browns Free Agency Moves Thus Far

So far in free agency, the Browns have been pretty quiet when it comes to their signings, but have made a lot of noise when it comes to who they've let walk. Let's go through them one-by-one.

Re-sign Alex Smith, TE (1 year deal)
I'm too lazy to look up the actual financial details of this deal, but I remember seeing it and thinking that it made sense of a role-playing tight end. I like Smith's attitude a lot, but I'd rather see Evan Moore on the field more than him. In my mind, Smith and a declining Ben Watson are very similar type of players.

GRADE: B-

Sign Frostee Rucker, DE from Cincinnati (5 year, $21 million deal)
I like the signing of Rucker, and to be honest the financials don't scare me like they do for some people I've read. Some of you may read WalterFootball, and he gave this signing a "Millen on Acid" grade. Because of that analysis, I'm starting to like it. WalterFootball also argued that the Rams would be retarded to not draft Jimmy Clausen #1 overall in 2010. Anyways, Rucker gives the defensive line a decent push from the left side. Rucker had 4 sacks last year as a rotational defensive lineman, but is excellent against the run, something this young Browns d-line needs. The stat I'm most excited about is that Rucker led the Bengals with 11 tackles for loss in 2011. Lastly, I love the fact that Rucker and Jonathan Fanene, two major pieces in the Bengals front four, are gone.

GRADE: B

Release Eric Steinbach, OL
Steinbach was owed a shit-ton of money after sitting out an entire year in 2011 and getting an unbelievable deal by Phil Savage in 2007. That being said I don't mind his release. I would rather have seen the two sides work out a deal and give Steinbach a chance to come back, but since it couldn't be worked out I can accept this release. Now, either Heckert is going to bring in someone to start and give Pinkston/Lauvao a chance to compete for the other guard spot, or he has a lot more confidence in Pinkston and Lauvao than everyone thinks he does.

GRADE: B+

Let Peyton Hillis, RB, Walk
I don't like this move. Not at all. Say what you want about Hillis, but he had the ability to change games. My roommate argues with me and says he isn't a West Coast running back, which I say is bullshit. The man had 61 catches in 2010. 61! That's how many our #1 receiver had this past year! What else do you need to be a good fit in the WCO? Nothing. You need to be able to run and catch the ball. Boom boom. Done and done. Hillis had the ability to do both. Now, I would be less upset about this move if the Browns had a starter-quality back behind Hillis, but now all it means is that the Browns have one more hole to fill in the draft or free agency. A lot of people are going to say that Trent Richardson is going to be a Brown at #4 come April, but I'm not as convinced. Heckert's running backs in Philly were not first round picks (McCoy and Westbrook). I could see him picking one up in the 2nd/3rd round. The point is though, I would feel a lot better about that back being paired with Hillis.

GRADE: D

Re-Sign Dimitri Patterson, CB (3 year, $16 million deal)
I love this deal, because I think Patterson can be an effective starter in this league. Even if the Browns pick up Claiborne or another corner to start in the draft, Patterson is a very good nickle back. Statistically, I've read that Sheldon Brown actually wasn't all that bad this past year, but let's be honest, he's getting old and should be replaced by a younger DB, whether it be Patterson or another player.

GRADE: A

Re-Sign Oniel Cousins, OT 
Not much to say about this signing. Cousins provides depth, but I think we all know we should not be too excited about seeing him on the field on the right side or (gasp!) fill in on the left if Joe T gets hurt (please God don't tell me I just jinxed him).

GRADE: C (I guess?)

Re-Sign Brian Schaefering, DT
I like Schaefering a lot. I think he provides a solid rotational presence on the defensive line, something teams like the Giants and Bengals have shown is very important to a defense.   

GRADE: B 

Mar 12, 2012

New Browns Draft Options


So we lost out on RG3. Big whoop. I loved the guy but I think he just got into a much crappier situation than Cleveland would have been. But that is beside the point; this blog is not about him.
The Browns still have the #4, #22, and the #37 pick. There are plenty of ways we can go with this, even for the Colt haters out there. Lets analyze some scenarios with our first draft pick.

Morris Claiborne:
Pros: Would immediately give us a top 5 secondary. With Haden and Claiborne, even high-powered offenses would struggle to pass against us. This is also a warm welcome since we play AJ Green twice a year for the foreseeable future. As bad as our run-defense was, adding two shut down cornerbacks would allow the rest of the defense to focus on the run. TJ Ward could be more aggressive knowing he has help on the sides. In all essence, there is no downside of drafting Claiborne.
Cons: Unfortunately, Claiborne cannot throw, catch, run, and score the ball. I personally don’t think the Browns have the luxury to take the Best Player Available with our top 5 pick. As much as I would love to go all defense with just about every draft, eventually, the Browns will need some playmakers on offense.
Justin Blackmon:
Pros: The Browns clearly need some offensive playmakers. For the few Colt believers left, this is the pick that has been argued for months. Blackmon is easily the best WR in this class. Although he lacks the vertical threat the Browns really need, he is very sure-handed which is a need for the Browns who were near the bottom in drops.
Cons: As much as people like Blackmon, the cold hard fact (I owe Coors $ now) is that he is not a top 5 pick. When you draft a top 5 WR, you need to be assured that he will be a Megatron, Andre, Fitz, or Green. Blackmon is not. He is a generous 6’0’’ and doesn’t have the breakaway speed to complete deep routes. I have no doubt he will be a talented WR but the fact is, you just don’t draft possession receivers in the top 5. If Blackmon were in the draft last year, he would have likely gone between 12-20. The Browns already have a possession WR (albeit not the best hands), they don’t need another one in the top 5.
Trent Richardson:
Pros: This would only happen if the Browns and Peyton Hillis do not come to an agreement. That we will find out soon. Again, like Blackmon, there is no doubt that Richardson is at the top of his position in this class. I also have no doubt he will be successful in the league. He is a bruiser that also has speed to get to the next level. By far, he is one of the more complete backs that have been in the draft in quite some time.
Cons: Once again, similar to Blackmon, he will be quite the reach at 4. RB’s are rarely ever drafted this high. In fact, AP is the only one drafted this high in the past decade. Could he be the next AP? Sure. But the thing about running backs is that most of them are surprises that turn into stars. Just refer to where Ray Rice, LeSean McCoy, and Chris Johnson went. Plus, Trent has around 700 touches already most against SEC defenses. That’s more than 300 more than LaMar Miller and David Wilson. Who knows what his NFL durability will be like.
Ryan Tannehill:
Here is where it gets interesting. Like we had it in our latest mock draft, the Browns would be trading down to draft Tannehill. In our scenario, we have the Jags trading up for Blackmon. However, I wouldn’t rule out a number of other suitors. Even though I said Blackmon is a stretch at 4, there will be some GM’s who like him. Furthermore, the fact that Claiborne will be there makes the trade value skyrocket. There are plenty of teams who need a lockdown corner. The Cowboys immediately come to mind. If Peyton and Flynn fall to other teams, there is a good chance Tannehill will be there at 14. A trade would likely add the Browns either a 2nd round pick, or a future 1st.
Pros: No question he is a work in project but Tannehill boasts a 6’4” 220 frame with a cannon arm. He has the size to be an NFL QB and we finally have someone with an arm to throw a deep ball. He is also very smart and has already had some experience learning the WCO at A&M.
Cons: Like I said, he is a work in progress. A converted WR, Tannehill only started at QB for the past two years. He has talent but it is raw talent. Can Shurmur and Childress get it out? Honestly, I think he would benefit the most from sitting behind a good veteran for a few years with great play caller, basically, the antithesis of the Browns.
Brandon Weeden:
Here’s where it gets really interesting. This, in my opinion, would only happen if we trade down. We would NOT draft him with a 1st round pick. However, I think he would be great value if we use our newly gained pick in the 2nd round to draft him. Of course, we could draft at 4 and still take him in the 2nd.
Pros: Arguably the second best passer in this draft. I know that is a bold statement but none of us have seen Griffin throw yet. If it weren’t for Weeden’s age, he would easily be the 3rd QB taken and a first round pick. Very smart, I have zero worries about his game translating from his college offense. Just about every team that has talked to him, including the Browns, have said great things about him and seem really impressed.
Cons: he is 29 years old. Yikes! Here come the Chris Weinke jokes. Honestly, I’m not too worried about his age. If this even pans out, the Browns wouldn’t get a franchise guy for 10-12 years, only like 6-8.  In today’s NFL, you can’t really plan much past 4 years in the future. If he wins the job quick, he could give us 5 good years.
NOTE: These scenarios only consisted on the Browns addressing QB needs through the draft. There are still FA’s out there such as Flynn and Kolb. I don’t like Flynn and really don’t see it happening. However, Heckert drafted Kolb and bringing him back to a system he knows could work out. Stay tuned for my QB odds predictor coming soon. 

Mock Draft v. 2.0: Post-RGIII Trade





1.) Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck, QB Stanford
Obvious pick here, Indianapolis gets a prospect that has the potential to be one of the best in the league. Also, his social awkwardness could undoubtedly rival Peyton's, but we all know those are big shoes to fill.

2.) Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III, QB Baylor
Again, no disputing this pick. Washington made that blockbuster deal over the weekend to guarantee being able to nab Griffin. The only other trade that this compares to is the mega-Herschel trade. But hey, it worked out for the Vikes when they gave up three first rounders and a second, among other things. Oh wait, you mean those picks yielded the Cowboys, Emmitt Smith, Alvin Harper, and Darren Sharper? Oh. Moving on. Way to set your rookie QB up for failure Dan Snyder.

Mar 11, 2012

Post RG3 Trade Reaction

When the news broke late Friday night about the trade between Washington and St. Louis, I already had a pretty good buzz going. The mixture of alcohol and sports usually gets me pretty fired up, aka, I tweet like crazy. So, I apologize to those who's timelines I cluttered.

Friday consisted of a rollar coaster of emotions for me, as I assume it did for other Browns fans out there. The "RG3 Trade" had my night going like I was riding the Mind Eraser at Geauga Lake, RIP. (Not sure why I always chose to ride that coaster but it always gave me a headache, seemed fitting for this analogy)

At first I was upset. Naturally, I fell in love with the idea of a franchise QB, something the Browns have been missing since Bernie. I felt like Griffin could flourish in Cleveland and would create a buzz this city hasn't had since it drafted a high-schooler from Akron. Basically, he would be a great asset for this city.

However, once my initial anger subsided a bit, I realized the Browns probably made the smarter decision. In fact, they definitely made the smarter one. The Redskins, gave up their first two round picks this year and will not draft in the first round of a draft until 2015. Some may argue that price is acceptable in order to land a franchise QB. It may end up working out for them, it may not, who knows. Either way, they set the bar for using the "eggs in one basket" analogy. This is easily the biggest draft trade in recent history.

Word came out later that the Browns did in fact offer a similar deal to the Rams. I've heard that we offered three firsts, and I've heard we offered slightly less. Either way, this kind of surprised me. I underestimated how much Heckert and Holmgren wanted RG3. And as much as I like the kid, if we would have been the one making the trade, I think Cleveland fans would be more upset we gave up that much. Both team's are in a hole. Washington dug there's much deeper banking on the fact that Griffin will be the ladder to get them out.

Furthermore, giving up that much would force the Browns to fix every other hole through free agency. Of course this is going against the well known strategy of our front office to build through drafts (beating an already dead horse). Also, we would face a much more difficult time in bringing free agents to Cleveland than Washington would. This would put the Browns at a huge disadvantage, and leave RG3 out there with no weapons.

I finally realized that with our picks, the Browns still have plenty of directions in which they could go (I'll cover those in a future blog).  Sure we lost out on a franchise QB. Sure we could just continue in the cycle of mediocrity I mentioned previously. But we have options. My night, as many of yours might have, finally ended in a confused, angered, relieved, and ultimately, optimistic mood. Optimism is a luxury most Cleveland fans don't get to have. Therefore, I'll take it, and continue looking for a brighter future. Even if its an RG3-less one.

Mar 8, 2012

(Extremely) Early Spring Training Injury Analysis

When the Indians first opened the Spring Training complex in Goodyear lasy year, the team was tentatively met with hope and optimism after a surprisingly impressive 2011 where the Tribe nearly went .500 and began the season an impressive 30-15.

Then, of course, the Indians were met with what all Cleveland teams are seemingly met with every year, pain and injuries. For only a few week's worth of off the mound throwing and light jogging around the warning track, the Tribe has been struck with a barrage (ok well 2) of injuries.  The inevitable feeling of hopelessness and a complete lack of luck that Cleveland fans know all to well hit Tribe fans this year even before the first Spring Training game.  Grady Sizemore decided to step into his own personal suicide booth, leaving with a bad back (more like a bad body).  Not that this was unexpected in any way, but for us Cleveland fans, whenever Grady Sizemore is healthy there is some faint glimmer of hope that he might continue to remain healthy.  Of course that won't happen, so naturally it's not surprise the guy can't make it through Spring Training without some type of ailment.  Whatever, we knew this was coming and we shouldn't've been so stupid into believe he would remain healthy.  This one is on you overly optimistic Indians fan, you know better.

Now for the injury that really hurts, we've got Chris Perez's strained oblique.  Perez hurt himself in literally his first bullpen session of the year and is out 4-6 weeks, although he claims to be back sooner then expect (although what athlete doesn't stay that).  Perez, unlike Sizemore, actually is expected to be healthy and perform at that high level we all know he can play at.  Also, unlike Sizemore, Perez has a body that does not resemble an athlete, so anytime muscles are strained, especially muscles that are used primarily in the pitching motion, there is reason to be concerned.  So, prior to the first game the Indians lose their former MVP candidate CF and their All-Star closer, great.

There is a positive coming out of this Cleveland fans.  Both of these injuries came at literally the earliest possible time in the MLB season.  Sure Perez is out 4-6 weeks, but even if he is ready on the far end of the estimate, he'll only have a minimum stay on the 15 day DL.  Now Sizemore's trip to the suicide booth is going to be terrible.  He will inevitably be given a "set back", but until that happens we can be optimistic that he'll at least be around for the All-Star break (for now).

In on field news Shelley Duncan has 2 home-runs, don't mess with him.


Why Trading Down Is Not A Bad Option For The Browns

Browns GM Tom Heckert talked to reporters today about the draft options as well as Hillis. There wasn't anything new about Hillis other than the same old "We'd like to have him back if he wants to be back" crap.

However, Heckert mentioned just about every possible option the Browns can do in this draft. Trade up, pick at 4, and TRADE DOWN. Within seconds of him uttering those words, my Twitter timeline erupted with fans upset about trading down again. However, I think it could be more valuable than last years trade.

Here's why:

Last year's strategy was simple. The Browns could have taken a dynamic WR in Julio Jones at 6, but sided with the idea of gaining picks. We basically stole house from the Falcons and are now sitting pretty this year.

This year is a bit different. Heckert mentioned trading up for Robert Griffin III, but didn't say that was the only option. If the price tag gets to high (see: Dan Snyder), it wouldn't be in the best interest of the Browns to move up.

The simple plan would then be draft at 4 and take either Blackmon or Richardson. However, I believe at this point, trading down would be smarter than drafting them.

Blackmon is the consensus top WR in this years draft. However, last year, he would have easily been 3rd. This means he could have fallen between 10-20. There is no doubt he is talented. But is he that talented? If you are going to draft a top 5 WR, it better be the likes of Calvin Johnson, AJ Green, Fitz, or Andre Johnson. Frankly, Blackmon is not on that level. It would be too much of a risk to draft him at 4.

Yet, not every GM thinks the same. I'm sure there will be some team that falls in love with Blackmon and would be eager to trade. The same goes for Richardson.

If the Browns trade down to the early teens, we could still be looking at two 1st round picks this year, plus either an additional 2nd round or 2013 1st.

Now I know eventually, the Browns actually have to draft players and not keep acquiring picks. If they only trade down to the early teens, QB Ryan Tannehill could be there. In fact, I doubt the Browns make a trade unless they are sure he is. Why trade the house for RG3 when you can gain picks and get Tannehill? Believe me, I am a huge RG3 fan and think the Browns should do everything to get him. But if the price is too high, let's add picks.

Staying on this hypothetical course, the Browns have just drafted Ryan Tannehill. We now have our 22nd pick which leaves us with a ton of options. This includes the likes of a 2nd tier RB (Miller, WIlson), and O-Lineman, A LB, or a WR. In fact, I am just as high on some 2nd tier WRs as I am on Blackmon. Kendall Wright and Alshon Jeffery will be there at 22 and possibly 37. Don't forget Stephen Hill from Georgia Tech who is 6'4" and is blazing fast.

The Browns can easily add 3-4 decent starters with this draft and we haven't even mentioned free agency yet. So Browns fans, don't freak out when you hear the option of trading down, it might just be the best option.

Mar 7, 2012

Peyton Manning and Tony Grossi Enter Free Agency

Football fans will always remember today. Most will remember it as the day the Colts cut Peyton Manning. However, some Cleveland fans may not remember it for that. Some will remember it as the day the infamous Tony Grossi and The Plain Dealer parted ways. 


Grossi tweeted today, “After more than 30 years, I am leaving the Plain Dealer. And thanks to Peyton Manning for stealing my thunder." Clearly upset his news took a backseat to a four-time MVP and Super Bowl winner, Grossi let us know of his departure over the same social media site that led to his downfall. 

After tweeting his displeasure about Randy Lerner, Grossi lost the beat. It wasn't until today that the two sides officially parted ways. 



Now, it is no secret I am not the biggest fan of Grossi, however, it is kind of a shame a man lost his job over a tweet that was probably meant to be a text to a friend. Many Cleveland fans shared the same view of Lerner. I think the solution to all of Cleveland's sports franchies is Dan Gilbert owning them. All of them. He's getting close. 


Anyways, since I doubt our blog can land Manning as a writer, we will settle and offer you, Tony Grossi, a job here at Cleveland's Rocks. The anual pay is $0 but you do receive some pretty cool perks. They include going out drinking with us as well as an invitation to our fantasy football league. Just think about it Tony. Its not as bad as T.O. playing arena ball. 

Mar 6, 2012

Cleveland Magazine Blogger Bracket

In case you missed it Cleveland Magazine came out with a March Madness type bracket of the City's best blogs. We here at Cleveland's Rocks landed the 8th seed in the sports section. We are honored to get the recognition and will try our best to Shaka Smart our way to the Final Four. Please come out and vote.

HERE IS THE LINK TO WHERE YOU CAN VOTE!

Possible Browns Bounties

With all the talk recently about bounties in the NFL, I thought it would be fun to think of some bounties the Browns should have. Let's be serious, everyone does it.

50 Days Till The Draft

Fifty days until one of the biggest NFL events of the year. Like other Browns fans, I usually start looking forward to this in late December. Anyways, Free Agency starts next week which will dramatically affect the way the draft unfolds. Pay attention to Twitter updates for all FA moves and how they affect the Browns.

Mar 1, 2012

Peyton Hillis to the CIA? Holy Madden Curse


This has got to be one of the most interesting Madden Curse’s ever. I will admit, I was pushing the campaign last year for the Hillis Madden Cover. My reasoning was that Cleveland was already cursed. So what happens when you curse a curse? You break it. Well I guess my math was wrong.
But Hillis didn’t just break his leg or tear an ACL. He went way beyond that. And the new that broke today that mentions him contemplating retirement and joining the CIA is just the icing on the cake.
Seriously? The CIA? It's one thing to say that you’ve always wanted to be in the CIA, but to say you may retire to join? C’mon Peyton, this is not the thing to say when you are searching for a long-term contract. 

Why It May Be Easier To Acquire RG3 Than People Think


If any of you have happened to flip to ESPN lately you know that the Rams have publicly claimed they are willing to trade the 2nd pick. The obvious contenders are the Browns, Redskins, and Dolphins. 
We have all heard the crazy rumors that Washington is allegedly willing to trade. I have heard they may offer a 2012 1st (6), along with a 2nd and 3rn this year, plus a 2013 1st and 2nd. While I know their owner, Dan Snyder, is not above doing anything crazy, I don’t think it will end up that high. That would be the most extreme draft pick trade in the history of the NFL.

Why The Browns Need To Trade For Robert Griffin III


Not many times will someone say that a single trade can change the fortune of a franchise for the next 5-10 years. However, I will go out on a limb and say that if the Browns make the necessary trades and acquire Baylor QB Robert Griffin III, they will set their franchise on a fast track to the playoffs and actual contention for the foreseeable future. On the contrary, if the Browns whiff on this trade, it will set the franchise back at least 5 years, the Browns’ growth will remain stagnant, and they may never fully get out of the cellar.
Before you say I’m crazy to think we should trade both 2012 first round picks (#4 & #22), and possibly more, let me explain why Griffin is a necessity for the Browns. Ideally, Cleveland could land Griffin for both first round picks and maybe a future second or current third round pick. I will explain in a future blog why I don’t think the price will be as high as everyone expects. However, if Washington does offer something crazy, then I’ll back off. But I just don’t believe it will come to three first-rounders.
As I have said many times before, you need a franchise QB to win in today’s NFL. The following stat cannot be reiterated enough: Since 2003, only three AFC quarterbacks have reached the Super Bowl. ONLY THREE. Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and Ben Roethlisberger. You are never going to reach the next step without a franchise guy.

Browns Draft Report: Riley Reiff


OT, Iowa, 6’6” 300
Report: Reiff is the 2nd best offensive tackle in the draft behind Matt Kalil. Most years, he would be rated the best at his position. Reiff is 23 years old, which hurts his draft stock a little bit, but it isn't a big concern. Like many other Big 10 prospects that have come before him, Reiff really excels at run blocking and bringing an intense, ferocious attitude each and every snap.

Browns Draft Report: Justin Blackmon


WR, Oklahoma State, 6’1” 215
Report: Blackmon is easily the best receiver in this class. Compiling over 40 TDs in just over two full seasons, Blackmon has easily been the top WR in college over that time. While he doesn’t have great size, he uses it well. He has the ability to catch in traffic, run precise routes, break tackles, and be a legitimate deep threat. His skills are there to be a #1 WR in the NFL. He has tremendous hands and knows how to use them. What this means is that he attacks the ball. He can catch the ball at the highest point, yet doesn’t jump when he doesn’t need to. This allows him to gain yards faster and break tackles. While many WRs are hyped on their “great hands” not all of them utilize that to the full.

Browns Draft Report: Trent Richardson


RB, Alabama, 5’11” 224
Report: Richardson is by far the best running back in this draft class. In fact, the only running back rated this high in the recent future has been Adrian Peterson. You already know just about everything there is to know about him. He is a beast.
How the Browns could get him: Obviously this depends 99% on whether or not we resign Peyton Hillis. If we do not resign Hillis, and we are not 100% sure on RG3, then Richardson could easily fill a needed hole.  If we do resign Hillis, then this discussion is pointless.

Browns Draft Report: Robert Griffin III


(Originally posted 2-7-12)
QB, Baylor, 6’2”, 220
Report: There’s no question that RG3 is a playmaker. His 2011 Heisman season consisted of 4293 passing yards, 37 TD, and only 6 INT. Not to mention 700 rushing yards and 10 rushing TD. Some people who only pay attention to “their” team or just before the draft, say that RG3 is a one-year wonder. FALSE. Just check his career stats. He improved each year.  Some doubt that he can last in the NFL because he is primarily a running QB. FALSE RG3 has shown great pocket awareness, poise, and the accuracy to deliver the ball all while in the pocket. Even with the possible Olympic career, he doesn’t look to run first. Yet, the threat of it adds pages to the playbook and keeps the defense honest. RG3 also has the brains to be an NFL QB. Obtaining his degree in only 3 years, Griffin has been enrolled in grad-school this past year and may finish his masters before the draft.
We all saw what Cam Newton did this year. Most of his doubters claimed his character issues, college playbook, and accuracy all would hinder his success in the NFL. Now, I’m not comparing the two, but RG3 excels in all three of those issues Newton had.