Shawn’s First Three Round Dream Draft Scenario

*** Disclaimer ***

This is NOT a Mock Draft.  I don’t think this scenario is going to happen, because I believe the Browns will draft Johnny Manziel with the #4 overall pick.  That being said, this is my dream scenario.  This is how I would draft this draft if I were the Browns GM.

1st Round

#4 Pick

“With the 4th Pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns select Sammy Watkins”

Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson University

The problem I have with this draft class is not talent.  This is a deep, deep draft, full of great values.  That said, there are not 5 or 10 players that I feel stand out above their peers.  Sammy Watkins, to me, is the only true top 5 pick in this class outside of Jake Matthews.  As we don’t need a LT, Watkins makes the most sense.  He’s a certified beast too, a playmaker and a physical nightmare to match up against, especially if you put him opposite Josh Gordon.

#26 Pick

With the 26th Pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns select Marqise Lee”

Marqise Lee, WR, University of Southern California

The truth is, there are about 4-5 receivers that should be available at this point that would be good picks.  Kelvin Benjamin, Allen Robinson, Odell Beckham, Jordan Matthews, Jarvis Landry would all be fine selections.  Marqise Lee though is probably the 3rd best WR in this draft, and there’s a good shot that he’ll still be on the board when the Browns pick again in the first round.  He’s very, very good too.  The best comparison I can give those of who have never watched Lee play is to Steve Smith, but a little taller.  He’s 6 foot, and his speed is noticeable on the field.  He’s a great route runner, has great hands, and can get open.

2nd Round

35th Pick

“With the 35th Pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns select Cyril Richardson”

Cyril Richardson, OT, Baylor University

At 6’5″, 335 pounds, Richardson is an absolute monster of a man.  This mountain is also versatile, able to play Guard or Tackle on the offensive line.  With the lack of run blocking, Richardson would be a great upgrade over 3/5th’s of the Browns current offensive line.  He’s shockingly nimble for such a beast, and should be an immediate starter, upgrade and impact player.

3rd Round

71st Pick

“With the 71st pick in the 2014 NFL draft, the Cleveland Browns Carlos Hyde.”

Carlos Hyde, RB, The Ohio State University

I’m going to level with you all.  Whenever Browns fans start clamoring for drafting a player from Ohio State (Pryor, Ginn, Guiton, etc) I secretly scoff at you before choosing to ignore your comment.  What works at Ohio State does not often work in the NFL.  And usually, OSU players are not a good fit for the Browns.  That being said, Carlos Hyde is an exception.  Pairing his plow you over style of running with the speed of Dion Lewis and Edwin Baker is a sure fire way to get our non-existent running game a jump start.  Hyde is a power back who can actually pick up short yardage and score in the red zone.  He’s a monster, plain and simple, and he’s likely to fall to the Browns with the 71st pick.

83rd Pick

“With the 83rd pick in the 2014 NFL draft, the Cleveland Browns select Christian Jones.”

Christian Jones, LB, Florida State

The clear chink in the armor of the Browns defense was Craig Robertson at inside linebacker.  Robertson constantly got beat in coverage by TE’s and slot receivers, and was weak in the run department, which is supposed to be his strength.  Robertson played himself out of a contract and likely a starting job.  Christian Jones is a 3rd round pick who would be ready to start day one of camp.  He big enough to play smother coverage on Tight Ends, and fast enough to open up and catch WR’s deep.  He’s a diamond in the rough if he falls this far, which is expected.


One Pound of Sadness – Grading the Browns Draft

In this installment of One Pound of Sadness, I’m going to grade each draft pick individually, then give an overall grade to the total draft.

Round 1:
Pick: Barkevius Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU
Grade: A

Mingo is a beast.  Anyone who questions this pick because of his relatively low weight for a hybrid DE/OLB has never seen him play.  He’s got moves, he’s got incredible speed (4.52 40 time), and a vicious tenacity in pass rush.  He is a stud, and should immediately impact the Browns pass rush.

Round 2: 
Pick:  Josh Gordon, WR (supplemental pick in 2012)
Grade:  A+

Its kind of cheating, being able to evaluate Gordon’s selection in last years supplemental draft against his value as a 2nd rounder this season.  Look, I have no doubt if every team in the NFL knew going in to the draft that Gordon would be as good as he is, he would be a first round pick.  So, being able to get a first round talent for a second round pick is a win to me.  Gordon stands to be the Browns premier WR for years to come.

Round 3:
Pick:  Leon McFadden, CB, San Deigo State
Grade:  B-

I don’t love McFadden, but with a team so light on true CB talent, he should be able to fight for a starting spot.  Fortunately for McFadden, if he wins the job, he’ll have Joe Haden taking the heat off by covering opposing teams #1 WR’s.  I do think that we can expect McFadden to start, and comparing him to Brown/Skrine in the same spot, I think he’ll be an upgrade.  I doubt he’s going to dazzle us, but he should do alright.

Round 4 & 5:

Pick:  Traded down with Miami to aquire Devone Bess
Grade:  A+

The Browns aquired veteran WR Devone Bess, dropping a total of 11 spots in two rounds.  Bess is exactly what the Browns need at receiver, a proven veteran with top notch production to round out their receiving corps.  He’s a proven set of hands, excellent in the slot, and not actually giving anything up for him makes this move one of the steals of the draft in my opinion.

Pick:  Traded 4th Round Pick to Pittsburgh for 3rd Round Pick in 2014 AND 5th Round Pick to Indianapolis for 4th Round Pick in 2014
Grade:  A

Trading picks is never a fun thing to watch, but it made a whole lot of sense in this draft.  No sure fire talent was left by the time the Browns picks rolled around in the 4th round, so getting an upgraded pick from two teams in what is sure to be a deeper draft next year is golden.  Well played Brownies, well played.

Round 6:
Pick: Jamoris Slaughter, S, Notre Dame
Grade: C-

This is when the Browns started to go off the rails a bit. Slaughter is okay, not really good. He’s coming off missing all but three games last season from injury. I expect him to compete, but not start. He does little to add depth in my opinion.

Round 7:
Pick: Armonty Bryant, DT/DE/OLB, East Central (OK) University
Grade: F

Bryant was arrested, twice, in October for attempting to sell marijuana to undercover police officers. He also recently had labrum surgery. He has the raw materials, he’s 6’4″, 264 lbs, but has too much baggage, even for a 7th rounder. Bad call Browns.

Pick: Garrett Gilkey, OT, Chadron State
Grade: B

I really like this pick, and kind of feel like we stole Gilkey this late. He has the size, strength and skill set to move to Guard and possibly start this season for the Browns. There aren’t many 7th rounders who can say that they have a legit shot at starting their rookie season, thus the reason I feel the Browns got such a deal here.

Overall Draft Grade: B

This was a good, not great draft. The Browns added another fantastic pass rusher in Mingo, possible starters at CB and OL in McFadden and Gilkey, an elite WR talent in Gordon, a veteran WR in Bess, and 2 upgraded extra picks next year. The Slaughter pick is a little bit of a headscratcher (when Baccari Rambo was still available), and the Bryant pick is a little bit of a waste from my perspective. Overall though, the Browns did alright.

Transcript from Post Draft News Conference with Joe Banner and Coach Chud

Here is the full press transcript from the news conference held with Browns CEO Joe Banner and Head Coach Rob Chudzinski from immediately after the 2013 NFL Draft.

Joe Banner

(Opening statement)- “A couple things I think you already know. We signed (Davone) Bess to a three-year contract extension, so including the year he already has that’s four years. We have agreements with, we won’t have them signed so we won’t release any of the names yet, 17 undrafted free agents. We’ll get you those names as soon as we get the contracts back but until we do that we don’t want to put them out. That probably won’t be until tomorrow morning. We’re still working, we probably have two more spots to fill. I just want to talk a little philosophically about what we did. We view Bess as part of the draft and we were fortunate being able to trade back a couple spots to acquire him, keep the same number of picks and then as you know we were able to take those picks and trade them for future picks. The philosophy really is to treat everything we have, whether it’s a draft pick, an undrafted free agent, cap space, whatever it is as an asset and try to maximize the value we can get for it. We took our fourth round pick for example, traded back to pay for part of Bess and then traded that for a future third round pick. We feel like, for a fourth round pick that’s about as much value as you can possibly hope to get. He’s a good player, still good enough to contribute for a while. Again, he’s very high character, all the things that we keep talking about that we’re looking for. Then we were able to trade the pick and have the asset of a third round pick next year. That’s how we’re thinking about those things, what’s the best value that we can get out of each of those assets, with having in mind the idea of building a really good team over two to three years as opposed to just worrying about filling every single need that we could identify for this moment. That’s just kind of an overview behind the moves you saw us make today.”

Joe Banner

(On if they stuck with their plan going into the draft)-“We were open to the idea of trading for future picks if we could get the right value, but we also went in, I mean frankly I think if you had asked us this morning we would have thought we were going to use those picks. We thought we had good players identified but you start getting into the fourth and fifth round, I’m not going to tell you they’re guys you know that are going to be stars. But as we were able to go through and finalize the best trades, we were a little further in the fourth round as we got an offer that we thought was really good value for the pick as we looked at who was available, I think we had open mindedness about that possibility and then made the decision to use it that way.”

Joe Banner

(On if the plan all along was to improve the defense in free agency and the draft)- “Yeah, to a degree. We were trying to focus on making sure we got players that we thought made us better. I think the difference is on offense we think we have a lot of young guys who are not quite sure what they are going to be over time. So we were inclined to give them some time and see how they develop and then we’ll be able to identify where we’re at. On defense, we felt it was clear to identify what talent was out there, what talent we had, match it up with the philosophy we’ve been talking about and make some moves that will make the team better. It was a little bit of both.”

Joe Banner

(On why they traded with the Steelers who initiated it)-“We had so many causable trades. I think they called us first. Although we had multiple trade offers for that pick, including other teams offering the same thing and we felt that was the best trade to make. Time will tell who got the better of the deal.”

Joe Banner

(On if they have a philosophical problem trading within their division)- “I’m going to sound, I don’t know where this is going to lead, but I prefer to trade within the division. You don’t make a trade that you don’t think you’re winning. So if you’re winning a trade in your own division you’re even better than winning a trade in another division. Obviously, that can burn you from time to time. If you look in Philadelphia, we traded (Donovan) McNabb to the Redskins and everybody thought, ‘Oh my god. What are they doing? They are giving a quarterback to a team in the division.’ We thought we strengthened the Eagles, and in time we didn’t really do anything that helped the competitors. We try to make the best deal, it didn’t really matter who it was, but we’re also not afraid at all of making a trade within the division if we think it benefits us.”

Joe Banner

(On if the trade with the Steelers had anything to do with the Giants’ trade before that pick)- “That trade had nothing to do with anything other than our board and our own value.”

Joe Banner

(On if they had other 2014 third round offers for their fourth round pick)- “I don’t want to get that specific, but other offers that involved future picks. There were other opportunities.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On Jamoris Slaughter)- “Just looking at Jamoris, we felt good looking at his film from the year before, not this past season. Obviously, he is coming off the injury. We felt good medically from the research that we had done and he’ll be back at full speed. That’s still going to take a little time in him getting back into it, but we saw a player who was extremely productive, and very versatile that played on the slot, been able to cover people man to man and also blitzed and played back deep. He’d been able to do a number of different things and we really liked the player we saw at that particular time, and projecting forward, that he we would be able to be in the mix and be able to compete for the safety positions.”

Joe Banner

(On why they would draft a player coming off an Achilles injury after they cut Chris Gocong who had the same injury)- “I think the difference is player evaluation in terms of we are picking the in the sixth round and we feel like we have a player who has a chance to be a contributor – much more than you would get in the sixth round. Our medical staff was very optimistic about the medical part of it. We thought this would be good value.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On Tashaun Gipson)- “Well from what we have been able to see – very positive on Tashaun and his work ethic and how he has approached things out on the field. He has some good instincts as a player and solid skills. Again, he’s a younger guy and we will see once we get into pads and into real football, how he looks.”

Joe Banner

(On if there is any worry that the focus is already down the road when the 2013 season is coming up)- “We are not asking for a free pass for this year. We expect to improve. We expect it to be conspicuous. As you look at the individual players we added and the way the coaches bring them together and get them in sync, we are not saying that we don’t expect to be better. We are not going to reach all of our goals or fill all of our needs this year. But we think we will play exciting, aggressive football. I think it will be clear that the team is continuing to improve as I think it has for the last year or two and positioning itself well to have a chance to become very good and sustain it.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On if he has a different view because he is trying to win next year as a coach)- “Our goal is to win and it always will be. We will approach it from that standpoint. I want us to progress and improve on a daily basis. That is always the focus of a coach, you are focusing on today and improving today. That is the approach that we have taken up to this point with our guys and we will continue to approach it that way.”

Joe Banner

(On the quarterback situation)- “Quarterback is an important position. We are always going to be open to looking at the position. We are always going to be evaluating everybody and every option there is to get stronger there. That’s just a matter of organizational philosophy.”

Rob Chudzinski

“As far as the draft goes, I think the value and the ranking and rating and how we had players stacked with the timing of when the draft was just didn’t match up. As far as the guys that are here, I want to see and we want to give them every opportunity to improve. They have ability and we are excited about them as players to see them grow and how they progress in the system. We feel good about the group that we have.”

Joe Banner

(On if the Giants trading in front of them impacted them trading in the fourth round)- “I answered that question before, the players picked in front of us and around us had no impact on the decision to go ahead and make that trade.”

Joe Banner

(On if Jimmy Haslam was actively involved in the draft)-“He’s actively involved in his way, which I think I’ve described. He holds everybody to a high standard. He asks a lot of very good, very smart questions that are good things to make sure we think through. He is a very positive energy and force to have around. Everyone feels like we have his support. He just uplifts, you’ve been around him, he up lifts the energy around him. He is just a very positive, happy guy. He was here all weekend and it was great to have him.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On having inexperienced players at wide receiver)- “We feel good about that group. There are young players who have ability and talent. We would like to give them the opportunity to develop them and work with them. We were talking a little about Josh Gordon who was basically our second round pick this year. He is a young guy. Davone, we were able to get. We’re excited about him. He is a proven guy in this guy and has been very productive. He’s a guy that can win matchups and help you win particularly in critical situations in games. You look at Greg Little and the improvement he has been making. Travis Benjamin and his speed and some of the things he brings. It’s a group that we’ve had a chance to see a little bit on the field that we are excited about. I would say the same thing about the tight ends. That’s what we do as coaches is take those guys who may not have the experience right now and work with them to improve and get better. They need to get better in a hurry and am confident in our coaching staff that we will get that done.”

Joe Banner

“We think of our draft as the five players we drafted plus Gordon plus Bess plus two quality future draft picks. When you look, before the (Colt) McCoy trade we have six draft picks. What value did we turn that into? It’s Gordon, Bess, plus the players we picked, plus the two future assets that we have acquired and hopefully some good decisions with the undrafted guys. Almost every one of the really good teams in the league has some undrafted players that have cone through and contributed to the team. We view the last couple hours as an important part of the draft as well.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On Armonty Bryant)- “As you looked at Armonty on tape and we’ve had a chance to study him – actually Joe Cullen went out and worked him out as well. So we got to know him a little bit better than the cursory glance at a guy. He’s an explosive, speed off the edge, good sized defensive end who can apply pressure to the quarterback. He’d be that type of player in our scheme. He can put weight on. I think he is 265 or somewhere in that range. He has a big frame and is real raw. He’s a guy that you look at that you are excited about what he can be if he develops and works at it. Through the course of looking into his background with Coach Cullen out there, as well as our scouting staff, we felt like he is passed the mistakes that he has made and ready to move on. He has matured.”

Joe Banner

(On the philosophy of drafting two Division II players and how he found them)- “This is mostly the work of Michael Lombardi, Jon Sandusky, John Spytek, Ray Farmer and the rest of the crew. They did a great job getting us ready for this. It’s a matter of leaving no stone unturned. Sometimes you can find value in those spots. They found them, they identified them, we went through the process with the scouts and the coaches evaluated them. We felt they had a chance to help us and we went ahead.”

Joe Banner

(On if there is more concern because they are taking a bigger leap from Division II)- “There is a little bit more of a projection when you do that. You trust yourself, we had a lot of eyes on it and a lot of opinions. Probably had at least five scouts and two to three coaches on every single player that we seriously considered. Maybe even more on some cases. You just have to trust that collective wisdom.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On if not drafting a quarterback shows commitment to Brandon Weeden)- “Again, I feel good about the group. How all that plays out, we’ll see and know in time. I’m excited about Brandon and the progress he has made thus far, learning the system to the point we are right now, which is still very early. I’ve also been pleased with Jason (Campbell) and the role he has taken in being there. We want to give these guys every opportunity to succeed and give Brandon, since you are asking about him specifically, every opportunity to succeed.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On if they are moving forward with the intent that Weeden is the guy)- “We’re going to proceed as we are proceeding right now. Brandon is getting the reps with the first team and working with the first group. A lot of this will remain to be seen. We get into pads and we get into real football instead of the football where you run around in shorts on air, which is what we are doing right now.”

Joe Banner

(On if he can say now whether or not Josh Gordon was worth the second round pick)- “My answer is the same as it was. I think Josh has a lot of potential and we are excited about what he can do. We’re all going to see how he develops and what he can turn into. In the end that question will answer itself, I think. We’re certainly rooting for him to prove that was a great decision.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On if Garrett Gilkey is a guard or tackle- “He has played tackle and then played guard in the Senior Bowl. He has played some of both so we’ll see when he gets in. He has played primarily on the left side and we’ll see if he can play on the right side. We’ll see when he gets in.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On if Bryant is an outside linebacker or defensive end)-“More defensive end.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On what he liked about Gilkey)- “Big guy, good size, has really good feet for a big man and can bend very well. He went into the Senior Bowl and played very well against those guys and competed. Coming from Chadron State and competed against those guys. He has lined up against guys from Florida State, North Carolina and everywhere else and looked like he fit right in. It didn’t faze him one bit. He’s a tough guy and has the kind of attitude that we want.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On Gilkey’s past health conditions)- “We did all the research on him and we felt good about that.”

Joe Banner

(On their reaction to Quentin Groves)- “I think we said all there is to say about it. We’re aware of it, we’ve spoken to him. Chud has met with him extensively. There’s really nothing more to add to that.”

Browns Draft Recap

Here’s a complete list of the Browns 2013 Draft Tally.  This list may get some updates tomorrow as more signings are announced.

1st Round:  Barkevius Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU
2nd Round:  Josh Gordon (supplemental from 2012 draft),
3rd Round:  Leon McFadden, CB, San Deigo State.
4th Round:  Traded to Steelers for 3rd Round pick in 2014 draft.
5th Round:  Traded to Colts for 4th Round pick in 2014 draft.
6th Round:  Jamoris Slaughter, S, ND
7th Round:  Armonty Bryant, DL, ECU and Garrett Gilkey, OL, Chadron State.

Undrafted Free Agents:
Jamaine Cook, RB, Youngstown State
Travis Tannahill, TE, Kansas State
Dave Kruger, DT, Utah
Ricky Tunstall, DB, Delaware
Aaron Adams, OT, Eastern Kentucky
Josh Aubrey, DB, Stephen F. Austin
Braxston Cave, C, Notre Dame
Ryan Aplin, QB, Arkansas State
Perez Ashford, WR, Northern Illinois
Dominique Croom, WR, Central Arkansas
Cordell Roberson, WR, Stephen F. Austin
Chris Faulk, OL, LSU
Mike Edwards, WR, UTEP
Garrett Hoskins, TE, Eastern Michigan
Martin Wallace, OT, Temple
Justin Staples, DE, Illinois
Ryan McWethy, S, Wisconsin-Platteville
Mike Niam, LB, Wofford
Caylin Hauptmann, OL, FIU