Posts Tagged ‘trade’

The NFL Draft. Quite possibly my favorite event on the sports calendar every year. Is it because that’s when Browns fans have the most hope? Probably – but I love it nonetheless.

In 2014 the Browns have 10 picks including five selections in the first three rounds so they are positioned to make a huge impact on the team. That is if Banner and Lombardi don’t screw things up! I’m here to make things easy for them so here’s the plan.

First, I’ve said it for months, the Browns need to find a way to get Johnny Manziel. Period. Will he be there at #4? That’s debatable. I honestly think he may go #1 but if the Texans take Teddy Bridgewater then there’s a chance. If they think they need to move up to #2 with the Rams I try to offer a third this year and a third next season and see what happens. Either way let’s say the front office does something right and gets my man Johnny Football.

Next, with the #26 pick they need to target a WR to pair with Josh Gordon. I really like Mike Evans from Texas A&M and Jordan Matthews from Vanderbilt. I’m also intrigued by Kelvin Benjamin from FSU but he doesn’t appear to play hard every play and we already have that with Gordon.

With the #35 overall pick, #3 in second round, I look at a MLB or my favorite RB in the draft – Tre Mason. It is clear when he plays he has a gear no one else has in college football. He also runs hard and can catch the ball too. Reminds me of LeSean McCoy and that’s the kind of RB the Browns have been missing. Pair him with Dion Lewis and we have a solid 1-2 punch in the backfield.

If Tre Mason is gone I love Shayne Skov the MLB from Stanford. He’s fast, hits hard and is a leader on defense. I might even look at Ryan Shazier from the Buckeyes who knows how to make plays.

In the third round I look at guard and corner with those two picks. The Browns guards are slow and undersized and can’t generate enough movement to establish a running game. At corner, Buster Skrine played much better in 2013 but he’s still better suited as a nickel corner long-term.

So after day two of the draft the Browns have a QB, WR, RB, CB, and MLB. Pair these guys with the pieces currently in place on offense (Gordon, Cameron, Benjamin) and defense (Haden, Mingo, Taylor, Ward) and that’s the making of a core of young players the team can finally build around.


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Well, tonight is like Christmas night (or Rosh Hashanah for my Jewish friends) for many NFL fans and especially those of us Browns fans. The Browns had two first round picks in the NFL draft and a huge opportunity to improve the team which has struggled since coming back to Cleveland in 1999. So, with the picks of RB Trent Richardson from Alabama and QB Brandon Weeden from Oklahoma State how did the Browns do improving their team?

First, let’s discuss the Browns trading up to take Trent Richardson at #3 instead of #4. When I first heard about the trade the first thing I heard was that they gave up three picks to move up one spot. When I heard that I squirmed for a minute but said “As long as it isn’t a 2nd or 3rd round pick I’m ok with it.” It ended up being the second of two 4th round picks, a 5th and a 7th. When I found that out I was ok because we were getting our guy for sure and weren’t going to let Tampa or St. Louis move up to snatch him away from us. Also, the next thing I looked at was what “value” did we give up to move up one spot. Using the Trade Value Chart moving from three to four should cost 400  additional points. The value of the picks we gave was only about 115 points so in theory we got a bargain! Plus, the Browns still have 10 picks in the draft – plenty of picks to improve the team.

Next, Richardson fills a HUGE hole on the Browns. Do Brandon Jackson, Montario Hardesty or Chris Ogbonnaya scare any defenses? Hell no. Does Richardson – absolutely. He’s going to be an immediate starter for the Browns and a top five or ten RB in his first season.

Now on to the much more controversial pick of Brandon Weeden at #22. First, let me say I like Weeden as a potential NFL QB. As a Minor League pitcher he threw in the upper 90’s so he has a great arm. He made tons of throws at Oklahoma State so has plenty of passes under his belt.  However, think about this…

Brandon Weeden is 28 and will be 29 during this season so any NFL team who would want to maximize his value would want him to play right away in the hopes of getting 8-10 years out of the guy. If you look at every team before the draft started how many teams fit the criteria of needing a starting QB for the 2012 season? The Dolphins could have been one of them but they took Ryan Tannehill at #8. The other team who was considered to be looking for a QB was Kansas City but they have a starter and wouldn’t have chosen until after the Browns in the 2nd round. Any other teams come to mind? No. So why would the Browns think they’d need to take him at #22? I’d almost argue that Weeden may have slipped to the 3rd round if the Browns didn’t take him in the 2nd round!!! Again, I like Weeden and will be rooting for him to be a success…sooner rather than later.

Had the Browns passed on Weeden they could have taken the second best tackle in the draft, Riley Reiff, the best guard in the draft, David DeCastro, or the best WR left on their board (who knows who this is but maybe Stephen Hill, Ruben Randle or even Alshon Jeffery). If the Browns can get Hill, Randle or Jeffery in Round 2 then I think the pick if Weeden looks a lot better. The other direction the Browns may look in the 2nd round may be RT with both Cordy Glenn and Jonathan Martin still on the board.

Overall, I’m happy with the 1st round of the draft for the Browns and am almost as excited for the 2nd and 3rd rounds of the draft tomorrow!

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Here in Cleveland you can’t go 15 minutes without hearing about Robert Griffin III on the radio, TV or from the NFL fans in your office. I’d say about 75% of the people here in NE Ohio would love to see RGIII in Brown and Orange next season…but fans in Washington D.C., Miami, Seattle and even some in Buffalo, Kansas City and Denver want him in their city too. The question of the off-season so far is where will RGIII call home two months from now?

People tend to forget that something called Free Agency is going to take place starting about two weeks from now (March 13) and there are a handful of starting-caliber QB’s on the market this off-season.  Here are the QB’s who I could see a team looking at as a starter for 2012:

Peyton Manning – no explanation needed
Matt Flynn – two big games in Green Bay are going to earn Flynn two extra zeroes on his paycheck for 2012
Jason Campbell – played very well in Oakland until he got hurt
Kyle Orton – had two solid seasons in Denver on a team with a terrible defense – throws more TD than INT
Chad Henne – still young and has potential and upside still

Consider this RGIII suitors…what if two of the top four teams who are considered to be the front runners to pursue RGIII (Browns, Redskins, Dolphins and Seahawks) end up signing Manning and Flynn at the beginning of Free Agency? Immediately St. Louis loses a ton of leverage. That’s likely the reason you are hearing so much from St. Louis about their willingness to trade the pick. The value of that pick won’t be higher than it is right now when, in theory, there are four teams who are likely in the market for Mr. Griffin.

As a Browns fan, here’s the scenario I’d love to see happen as I’m one of the many who want the Browns to get RGIII. Miami decides to throw cash at Manning and they sign him once he’s cut by the Colts. Next, the Redskins decide they don’t want to mortgage their future (like they did for several years in a row) and give up the draft picks to trade up in front of the Browns so they throw big money at Matt Flynn and sign him. Now, the Browns main competition for Griffin is the Seahawks who draft 12th overall. If I’m the Rams I don’t want to face RGIII twice a year by trading the pick to the Seahawks, plus, I don’t want to drop down 12 spots in this year’s draft because I know I can get an impact player in LT Matt Kalil or WR Justin Blackmon if I pick 4th. One other thought…what if Seattle signs Orton, Campbell or Henne as their starter…now the Browns may be able to stay put at #4 and get Griffin without making the trade. It’s risky, and St. Louis may pull a fast one and draft RGIII knowing someone will want to trade for him, so that’s why I think the trade ends up happening. Either way the Browns can make the trade for a reasonable price (both first-round picks this year, a third in 2013 and one of their two fourth round picks this year) and give all of us Clevelanders another reason to think “Maybe Next Year” is finally here.

PS – Remember the Browns’ trade with the Falcons in last season’s draft? Do you know where Les Snead, new GM for the Rams, came from? That’s right…the Falcons, the same team the Browns made their first round trade with last season. Hopefully that familiarity helps in getting a deal done this year too.

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