Who SHOULD the Browns draft?

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Browns

The first round of the Draft is Thursday so it is time for my “fearless” predictions of what the Browns won’t do in the draft.

Round 1: No. 7 overall There has been some talk about the Browns trading with the 49ers for their 13th & 17th picks. The value of this pick is 1500. The 13+17 equal 2100. To do the deal the Browns would have to give their 2nd pick (#38 520) and their last pick in the 3rd (#92 132). They would likely get an early 5th round back as part of the deal. In short, I doubt this deal gets made.

Another rumor is that they would trade up to 5 and give the Chiefs 7 and #72 in the third round. I don’t like this deal because I don’t see that much difference between Berry and Thomas. I would take Thomas and save the 3rd round choice.

S Earl Thomas Texas The Browns need a FS badly. It is looking like KC will take Berry or Thomas at 5 and if they pass on him the Seahawks might grab one or the other at 6. If Berry is there, they would take him. However on many draft boards, Thomas has moved over Berry. I prefer Berry as a player by the thinnest of margins due to his greater experience. But Thomas at FS is a better fit for the Browns and has a higher up side. He has better cover skills, is a more consistent tackler and can be as good a center fielder. They will not pick him but they should.

Round 2: No. 38 overall DT/3-4 DE Brian Price UCLA There is a better than average chance that Rogers will be the guest of the Federal Government in 2010. The team needs another NT badly. Price is 4th on my DT list but is not quite big enough yet to be a NT but he will grow into it. He is young and athletic enough to play DE in the 3-4 as well. He is a trouble maker for the O with a great motor and quickness to get into the backfield. He forces fumbles and interceptions. Watch him vs USC.

Backup plan: Cam Thomas DT North Carolina Thomas has the size and the athleticism. I question his motor but that is not unusual for big men. He can rush the passer and is a rock in the middle of the line against the run.

Backup plan: DT Lamarr Houston Texas He is rising as more people watch tape. He can be disruptive but is not as consistent as Price. If you can get into his head he has everything to become a very good pro.

Backup plan: NT Terrence Cody Alabama Cody is the last resort because he looks disinterested despite his physical abilities. I am concerned about Cody’s dedication to football but if anyone can handle him it is DC Ryan. There is a real risk of him eating his way out of the league.

Round 3: No. 71 overall QB Dan LeFevour Central Michigan The team needs a QB that can throw the ball through the winds of Cleveland in December and hopefully someday in January. Almost every mock has them taking McCoy in the 2nd round. I believe NT is a much more pressing need than QB. Lefevour has above average arm strength and size. They might be able to wait to pick 85 to take him but to be sure they need to take him here.

Backup plan: QB Tony Pike Cincinnati I like Pike almost as much as LeFevour but Pike is a little less constant.

Backup plan: ILB Navorro Bowman Penn State Bowman is rising fast. He is a solid run stopper in the mold of Dan Connor from PS now with the Panthers.

Round 3: No. 85 overall CHANGE: WR Carlton Mitchell South Florida This is a tough pick because it is just below the end of the second level of players. If they could trade this pick for a 2nd next year that would be a good move. However, if not Mitchell has deep speed and can stretch the field. He has great instincts and has fallen a little in 09 because he lost his Senior QB at USF to injury.  He needs work on running patterns but which WR doesn’t.

Backup plan: TE Anthony McCoy USC McCoy is the best available here that also fits a need. McCoy is a good receiver and willing blocker. He is one of the top combo TEs in the draft.

Round 3: No. 92 overall LB Jason Worilds Virginia Tech Worilds is a DE that will transition to OB in the 3-4. He has the speed to attack the QB and enough quicks to cover when needed. He is solid against the run and has the instincts to attack it. He could play IB or OB.

Backup plan: Javier Arenas CB Alabama Arenas is rising again. Originally he was the guy and Jackson was the “other” corner for the Tide. But his speed in the 40 drove his draft potential down. He got a lot of action because Bama was ahead so often and has good instincts. His 4.6 40 has pushed him into the 3rd round.

Round 5: No. 134 overall SS Larry Asante Nebraska Asante is a solid player against both the run and the pass. If the Browns pick FS Thomas, Asante could be the perfect compliment at SS. He is a great special teams player with the kind of up side that suggests that he could step in to start in 2011. The team has only 1 S on the roster with any experience.

Backup plan: Riley Cooper WR Florida Coop is not fast but gets open and catches everything.

Backup plan: Greg Hardy DE Mississippi He led the SEC in sacks in 08 and is big enough and quick enough to play DE in the 3-4. He needs to work on lower body strength and use his hands better. He has a history of injury which is why he may be available in the 5th.

Round 5: No. 146 overall OT Ed Wang Virginia Tech Wang his a value here but should still be on the board. He is a RT that can drive block with the best of them but is needs to improve his technique on pass protection. He has good awareness and the ability to get to the second level blocking. He can play G as well as RT. He is a natural knee bender with real pop at the point of attack.

Backup plan: Eric Olsen C/G Notre Dame Olsen is a perfect backup interior lineman. He is technically sound with the feet to pull from either G or C and block on the edge. He is also a knee bender and uses leverage effectively.

Round 5: No. 160 overall WR Armanti Edwards Appalachian State The former AS quarterback is the guy that let the upset Michigan in 07 as a Soph. He understands routes and runs a 4.41 40. He is an outstanding smart athlete and the team can use all of those they can get.

Backup plan: Andrew Quarless TE Penn State He has decent speed and great upside. If the team hasn’t gotten a TE he would be a great value here.

Backup plan: ILB Phillip Dillard Nebraska Phillips is one of the top IB prospects but is lower ranked due to a history of injury. He is a downhill player with good instincts and had 11 tackles for loss in a tough Nebraska D.

Round 6: No. 177 overall LB O’Brien Schofield Wisconsin Schofield probably won’t be able to play in 2010 due to a knee injury in the Senior Bowl practices but he has outstanding instincts and a non-stop motor. He is quick enough to blitz and is a knee bender. He could become an all pro in the future. At the EW Shrine game he was outstanding at OB after just a couple of practices at the position. If he was healthy he would have been a late 2nd or early 3rd round pick.

Backup plan: OB Arthur Moats James Madison Moats is another transition with a great motor but very green. At this point, teams are looking for a player with one above average skill. Moats’ skill is the ability to rush the passer but he is a year or 2 away.

Backup plan: A.J. Edds OB Iowa or OB Kavell Conner Clemson Both of these guys
are run stuffers with enough speed to rush the QB.

Round 6: No. 186 overall OB Keenan Clayton Oklahoma Clayton is listed by almost every expert as undraftable. But when you watch him play he is outstanding. He can cover the TE down the field with quick hands to knock the ball away but then stuff the run after taking out the blockers. He has great instincts. Take a look at the OU Texas game and you will see what I do.

Priority Undrafted Rookies:

Jacob Hickman C Nebraska He is not a great athlete but at C he doesn’t have to be. He is a very hard worker with above average technique and a mean streak. He gets to the LB and runs hard to get blocks down field on runs.

Brandon Minor RB Michigan He is a tough guy that can move the pile up the gut. He has outstanding vision and balance even when hit.

Cordarrow Thompson DT Virginia Tech He is athletic with a good motor. He is not as instinctive but gets through double teams to put pressure on the QB and collapse the pocket.

Jevan Snead QB Mississippi I am not sure he will be undrafted but if he is he deserves a look. He had a very bad 09 but coming into that year he was considered one of the top 3 QBs. He had an outstanding 08 and is much better than he showed in 09.

Doug Worthington DT Ohio State He is a rotational player that can make some plays in both the pass and the run. He can play DE in the 3-4 as well. I believe in football or basketball, you never have enough good big guys. If the coaching staff can keep him focused and his motor going, he can help a team.

Donovan Waren CB Michigan He is able to cover man to man effectively. He has decent speed and fluid hips. He handles multiple moves effectively without losing contact with the receiver. He has quick hands and is effective at knocking the ball away. He plays his best in big games.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He is a regular contributor on Cleveland Sports Radio http://www.sportstalkcleveland.com/ Monday afternoons at 1 Eastern. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

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  • Author:
  • Published: Aug 22nd, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on The pressure is on Delhomme to take the Panthers to the next level.

The pressure is on Delhomme to take the Panthers to the next level.

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It’s hard to find many holes in the Carolina Panthers but there is one Empire State building size question mark—Can Jake Delhomme take the team deep into the playoffs? Delhomme enters his 11th season but he has only 6 seasons starting (not counting his 3 games in 07). He is a slightly above average QB but not the guy that can get a team over the hump to the Super Bowl. In 04 and 05 he threw 53 TDs and only 31 picks. He made the pro bowl and looked like he was about to become a star. That star faided quickly because in 06 he was back to throwing about as many TDs (17) as Ints (11). 07 was a lost year with injuries. Last season was another average season (15TDs and 12 Ints). What was worse, he blew up in the playoff game giving away the hard earned home field advantage and throwing his team right out of the playoffs.

This year will decided if he is the guy or if the team will try to get a starter of the future in what is expected to be one of the all time great QB drafts in 2010. That will be hard without a 1st round pick next year. My projection is that he will not get back to his 04/05 level and will be replaced. The team has Matt McCown who has started but doesn’t scare anyone.

The RB combination of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart is excellent. Williams is under rated and is a good bet for Fantasy football this year. He very quietly had 1,500 yards with an astounding 18 TDs and 5.5 yard average. WOW! One reason was he got some relief from rookie Stewart who ran for over 800 yards. This combination needs Delhomme to be more consistent so that the opponents don’t load the D line against the run. The team added rookie Mike Goodson in the 3rd round. FB Brad Hoover is a solid blocker and can catch and run as well.

Delhomme’s problems are not due to a bad group of WRs. Steve Smith not only can land a punch (for which he was suspended for the first 2 games in 08) but passes like few others. He averaged 100 yards per game and went to the pro bowl again. It seems like Smith had been doing that since 1950 but he is only 30. His running mate is Muhsin Muhammad. He was the #1 WR in Chicago before coming to be Smith’s wing man. At 36 he has lost a little speed but still has the hands and runs sharp routes. Dwayne Jarrett is a solid #3 WR and the team has a few candidates for the 4th guy.

TE is a question mark as well. Jeff King starts because he is a very good blocker and reliable receiver. Gary Barnidge and Dante Rosario who is coming off injury will try to unseat King again.

The O line is one of the great strengths of the team. LT Jordan Gross is consistently playing at a pro bowl level. C Ryan Kalil and RT Jeff Otah are both very young but growing into stars. LG Travelle Wharton is a little over rated but consistent. RG Keydrick Vincent is starting quality but still has upside. The depth was hurt by losing players to free agency due to salary cap concerns.

The D line took a huge hit when DT Maake Kemoeatu was injured and put on IR. He will be missed from a D that had trouble last year stopping the run and getting off the field verses top teams. Franchised E Julius Peppers will have to be most of the pass rush again. The team brought UFA Tyler Brayton in last year but he is over rated. RDT Damione Lewis is OK nothing more. The team traded their 2010 #1 pick to move up to get DE Everette Brown. So far, Brown has not dazzled anyone. The team also has Charles Johnson and Hilee Taylor both of whom can rush the passer.

The linebackers are WLB Thomas Davis, MLB Jon Beason and the always challenged SLB Na’il Diggs. The team has been trying to replace Diggs for several years but finally realized he is fine. Beason has developed into a very good pass defender and can blitz effectively. He made the pro bowl in his 2nd season. The depth consists of MLB Dan Connor and WLB Landon Johnson. Both are good and would start on a lot of teams.

LCB Chris Gamble, RCB Richard Marshall, FS Charles Godfrey and SS Chris Harris start for the Panthers in the D backfield. Gamble says he is a top corner. So far he has been good to very good. Marshall replaces CB Lewis and is a bit of a concern. He has been with the team for 3 seasons and has talent. The safeties are fine but not extra special. CBs Sherrod Martin and C.J. Wilson back up the corners. Reserve Nate Salley at safety really came on last year but was hurt.

OVERALL: The Panthers are as good as any team in the NFC with the exception of QB. That will hold them back again this year and even with a very good record in the regular season, they will be bounced out of the playoffs by Delhomme.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: NFL,NFL Draft,Fantasy Football,Panthers,Delhomme,Williams,Stewart,Goodson,Smith. Muhammad,Jarrett,Gross,Kalil,Otah,Kemoeatu. Peppers. Beason,Davis,Diggs,Gamble,Marshall,Godfrey,Harris

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