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: Dec 22nd, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on What did we learn from Week 15?

What did we learn from Week 15?

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nfl

It’s hard to be perfect.

The Saints couldn’t stand the pressure of the undefeated season. They played uncharacteristically badly against the Cowboys. The now have to worry about losing their #1 seed but got a break when the Vikes lost unexpectedly to the Panthers.

The Boys were more lucky than good. Phillips still have an up hill run to keep his job.

The Colts struggled to win at the Jags 35-31. They are still undefeated but may not care enough about a perfect record to play their starters in last two games. They are more interested in winning the Super Bowl. Their lack of a running game is a major concern going into the post season.

The Chargers virtually lock up the 2nd AFC Playoff spot with their win.

The Bengals played well at SD and even getting the game to a tie in the 4th quarter. But the momentum of the Chargers was just too much to take. After 2 straight losses they are just 1 game ahead of the Ravens. The Bengals hold the tie breaker. They will win the division title but stumble into the playoffs and will be an early out.

The Chargers look good. They are playing at a very high level and will be a tough matchup for the Colts if they meet them in the AFC Championship. The Colts have always had trouble against the Chargers.

AFC Playoffs

The seeds at this point are

  1. Colts

  2. Chargers

  3. Patriots The Pats are locks to win the AFC East with games against the Jags and Texans left on the schedule. The Pats will get into the post season but won’t go far because their D is pathetic.

  4. Bengals

  5. Ravens To hang on to this spot, the Ravens need to win next week at the Steelers.

  6. Broncos The Broncos are going to have to win against the Eagles next week to stay in the playoff picture. They won’t and could be replaced by the Steelers. They can help themselves a lot by winning out against the Ravens and Fish.

  7. Jaguars IF they can beat the Pats this week, they could get into the playoffs. But that is a very big if. They have lost 2 in a row but played very well against the Colts. They finish up at Cleveland. If they win out and get help by the Broncos loss to the Ravens, they hold the tiebreaker against Denver.

  8. Dolphins The Dolphins lost any chance to catch the Pats with their loss to the Titans last week. Now they will struggle to climb back into the playoffs. The Fish have to play a resurgent Steelers in week 17.

NFC Playoffs

  1. Saints

  2. Vikings The Vikes are going to have to win out to keep the 2nd spot. They are only 1 game ahead of the Eagles and would lose the tie breaker. The Vikes have to beat the the Bears and Giants to keep the bye week.

  3. Eagles The Birds have no easy walk to the 2nd spot because they play the Broncos at home and finish up at the Boys. They should win both and get the bye week which they really could use to get healthy.

  4. Cardinals The Cards continue to play up and down. The problem seems to be the D and the O line. When they play solid D and protect QB Warner, they can beat anyone. They won’t be able to in the playoffs and will not return to the Super Bowl. They have clinched the NFC West. With no chance of moving up to the 2nd seed, they may rest their stars in week 17.

  5. Packers The Pack should have beaten the Steelers but it wouldn’t have made any difference to their playoff hopes. They are 9-5 and should win both their remaining games against Seattle and at Arizona. If they do, they will play at Arizona in the wild card round.

  1. Cowboys The Boys are in serious danger of falling out of the playoffs unless they can beat the Eagles at home in week 17. That will mean that Owner Jones will likely blow the team up and rebuild with a new head coach. It won’t be coach in waiting OC Jason Garrett. JJ will look for a brand name to get the Boys turned around.

  2. Giants NYG is bearing down on the Boys and holds the tiebreaker against them. They will have to win at the Vikes in week 17 but the Vikes will likely be resting key players for the post season. That is something to look out for in Fantasy Football.

  3. Falcons The Falcons are waiting and should win out. But they need help and their injuries may keep them out of the post season.

Holmgren joins the Browns as Football Czar.

As a long suffering Browns fan, I am very glad to see him take the Presidency rather than the GM spot. He will hire a solid GM and head coach. Mangini is almost certainly history no matter what happens in the last two games. DC Ryan may well get to stay depending on who Holmgren brings in as HC. The Browns will end up with the 5th 6th or 7th pick in the draft. You can bet that this one won’t be traded to the Jets for a bag of balls and players to be named later.

Washington gets Allen as their new GM.

Hall of Fame Coach George Allen’s son is the new GM in DC. George Allen Jr. is a no nonsense guy with an outstanding history of drafting and picking free agents. He also can stand up to ownership which has been a problem at DC in the past.

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 .

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  • Author:
  • Published: Nov 18th, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on What did we learn this weekend?

What did we learn this weekend?

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football

College football:

TCU is REALLY good.

#4 TCU played #16 Utah and blew them out 55-28. Everybody expected the TCU O to be outstanding but their speed on D is as good as any team in the country. They have everything they need to beat Texas and probably Florida as well. Alabama is the one team above them that could give them real trouble. The power running game of Bama combined with the very big O line might be able to win the game.

TCU goes to Wyoming (5-5) then gets winless New Mexico at home. Neither will provide much competition.

#1 Florida and #2 Alabama set the date.

The stage is set for the top 2 teams in the BcS to play for the right to go to the big game. The winner of the SEC Championship game on Dec. 5th will get the bid. The loser will likely be named an at large BcS bowl game team. Both come in a little banged up from nice wins last week.

Florida won a tough game at South Carolina 24-14. They will take on Florida State after an easier game this weekend against Florida International.

Bama beat Mississippi St. last week 31-3. It has a date at Auburn on 11/27. Auburn has lost 4 games but only 1 at home.

BcS’s worst nightmare

If either SEC team loses their rivalry game then win the SEC Championship it would open the door for TCU who hangs like an unwelcome buzzard over a wounded animal.

Texas looks good for a ticket to the BcS big game.

The Horns beat a badly over matched Baylor team 47-14. They have to play Kansas at home before traveling to Texas A&M next weekend. Kansas was 5-0 after winning their Big12 opener against Iowa St. but then have lost 5 games in a row. They still can be dangerous for any team that over looks them.

TAM is 4-1 at home and can also be dangerous in the season ending rivalry game.

Ohio State wins a ticket to the Rose Bowl.

The Bucks are playing as well as they have any time in the last 2 years. QB Pryor seems to be more comfortable in the offense that is more aligned to his abilities that it was earlier in the year. The D seems to have found its pass rush which was missing in action at Purdue.

Around the NFL:

Indy is the lone AFC Undefeated

The Colts came back after a major gaff by Belichick to win by a single point over New England. Indy is not a perfect team. Given the injuries on D, they will be at risk of upset by a passing team with some running game like Cincy, the Pats or San Diego. But they now have the inside track to home field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs which is critical to their success. They are not a team that is built to play in the cold winds of the North East in January.

The Bengals take 1 giant step toward the playoffs.

By sweeping the Steelers and Ravens the Bengals need only another win over 1-8 Browns to be perfect in the AFC North. They will make the playoffs and should have a home game in round 1.

The Bills fire coach Jauron.

Dick Jauron is one of the great D Coordinators in the history of the league. He just has not been able to equal that success at the head coach level. The Bills are going after the usual suspects including Shanahan and Holmgren.

The Cleveland Tans formerly known as the Browns are REALLY BAD!!!!

Will the person that stole Mangenous’ crystal ball please return it—no questions asked. Several sources are predicting that if Mangini loses to the lowly Lions this week, he is history. That would be a good think. Owner Lerner wants to bring in a “football guy” to oversee the operation and has leaked Holmgren as his top pick for that spot. He had better hurry if that is the guy he wants.

What the Browns should do about a coach.

Personally, I don’t get Holmgren as the GM/VP Operations. Mike was stripped of his GM duties in Seattle after a less than stellar series of drafts. I would fire Mangini now and have him take OC Daboll with him. They should name DC Ryan as interim head coach and grab Jauron as the DC. Then QB coach Smith would become OC and former QB now consultant Kosar should work with the QBs.

That would give the team time to find a permanent coach if Ryan doesn’t work out. I do believe that the locker room would get a lot better with Ryan as the HC. The D has played hard for him even with the miserable work of the O.

Al Davis FINALLY benches QB Russell.

The Raiders announced that Gradkowski will start over Russell. It’s about time!!!

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 .

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